It’s a common misconception that the BMW 8-Series was intended as a replacement for the 6-Series coupe, even if the start of production for the former coincided with the end for the latter.
You see, while the 6-Series was an upmarket grand tourer, it ran out of cylinders before the 8-Series even began. The new ‘8er’ was aimed at a more upmarket audience. It was a rival to the V12-engined Jaguar XJS at the top of its market (in the form of the 6.0-litre V12 860Ci) and more of a Porsche 968 challenger in 4.0-litre V8 flavour, which is what we have here.
The 840Ci was the ‘baby’ of the 8-Series range, though everything is relative and in this case ‘baby’ refers to a car that was five metres long and came with a 282bhp 4.0-litre V8 under its pointed bonnet, with pop-up headlamps and a long, pillarless profile giving it distinctively sharp looks.
The 8-Series is a rapidly appreciating modern classic, even if it was a pretty sow seller from its 1989 debut until its eventual demise a decade later. Neither sports car nor luxury GT, it fell somewhere in between. Those who knew its charms became big fans; those who didn’t missed out.
It was also one of the most aerodynamic cars ever produced, with a drag coefficient of 0.29 – the same as the slippery Vauxhall/Opel Calibra.
In total, just 30,679 8-Series were sold globally despite a 10 year production run and just 650 840s remain registered in the UK, making them an increasingly rare car that’s rapidly becoming a valuable modern classic.
M916 EFK was returned to the road in 2019 after a nine-year lay-up and has covered a minimal mileage over the past decade, most of which it has spent in a garage.
Prior to that, the car had a number of owners since being supplied new by Tice and Sons Motors in Dorchester, Dorset. After its time in Dorset it spent several years with a long-term owner in Cheshire, followed by another long-term owner in Surrey.
More recently, it was part-exchanged against a new motorcycle in Staffordshire and was purchased through the trade by the vendor, a specialist motorhome and SUV dealer who has a personal fondness for modern classic coupés.
He is selling the car with a brand new MOT, which is valid until March 18, 2022, and was passed with no advisory notes.
The 840Ci has a well-stamped service book through to 2010 and 114,000 miles, which corresponds with it being laid up. Since then, it has been serviced once ahead of its return to the road.
It also comes with a selection of independent receipts for repairs such as a new ignition key/alarm code, tyres and exhaust parts in recent times.
The book is stamped as follows:
12/01/95 – 0 miles – pre-delivery inspection, Tice Motor Co, Dorchester
01/06/95 – 1,780 miles – Tice Motor Co, Dorchester
15/02/96 – 7,923 miles – Blue Bell BMW, Macclesfield
14/11/96 – 14,621 miles – Blue Bell BMW, Macclesfield
08/09/97 – 23,274 miles – Blue Bell BMW, Macclesfield
03/06/98 – 29,420 miles – Barons BMW, Hindhead
19/11/98 – 36,006 miles – Barons BMW, Hindhead
17/05/99 – 43,888 miles – Barons BMW Hindhead
30/11/99 – 49,085 miles - Barons BMW, Hindhead
02/05/00 – 58,203 miles - Barons BMW, Hindhead
14/11/00 – 65,879 miles - Barons BMW, Hindhead
10/12/01 – 73,848 miles – AMC Independent BMW specialist, London
10/09/02 – 81,309 miles – Unipart Car Care Centre, West London
17/06/03 – 88,009 miles – Unipart Car Care Centre, West London
04/03/05 – 92,746 miles – Linden Automotive, Ashford, Kent
19/09/05 – 97,814 miles – Linden Automotive, Ashford, Kent
21/11/05 – 102,012 miles – Linden Automotive, Ashford, Kent
23/02/07 – 110,052 miles – BayMow BMW Specialists, Stockport
09/03/10 – 114,619 miles – James Paul Sport Cars, Bucks Green, West Sussex
The current mileage is 118,711 and the car was fully serviced before being returned to the road in 2018, with 118,005 miles on the clock.
Among the receipts are bills showing the car to have had three previous registration numbers including two cherished number transfers. The current plate is non-transferable.
Finished in Oxford Green and offset by accessory Hartge alloys, the 840Ci looks absolutely fabulous. It’s quite a discreet colour scheme compared with the more garish reds, blues and yellows often seen on the 8-Series and the hue really suits it, picking out the car’s razor-sharp lines with more definition than one of the brighter colours.
It’s in fine order and looks absolutely stunning – the only minor detractions being some stone chips on the nearside front wing and some very slight rust bubbles on the bonnet edge where it meets the bumper.
The pop-up headlights work as intended and look great, while the pillarless profile looks sensational with the windows down. This is a car that has aged beautifully, with just the right amount of retro appeal to sit alongside its everyday usability.
Everything is spick-and-span inside, with the pale biscuit hide offset against the car’s rich green exterior. It’s a classy combo and one that really suits the 840’s grand tourer appeal.
By far the car’s coolest feature is its head restraints, which incorporate the seatbelts to allow for the lack of a B-pillar. The belts are integrated into a single piece seat back that arcs round to create a ‘floating’ head rest, and while it’s clearly a functional piece of design, the form with which it is delivered is fabulous.
Overall, the cabin is really good, though there’s some loose trim on the nearside A-pillar that will need attending to, some lifting under the vinyl on the driver’s side door card and some pixilation of the writing on the trip computer, none of which will hamper your enjoyment of the car.
We were able to run the BMW up to temperature and move it around for the photos so can confirm that it starts on the button (with a functioning immobiliser) and holds a steady idle and temperature, with no untoward noises or rattles.
The automatic transmission engages drive smoothly in both directions and the owner reports a full bill of health from a roadworthiness perspective, which is backed up by a very recent MOT pass with no advisory notes.
Nineties classics are on the up and up and the BMW 8-Series is one of the star cars of its era – a proper representation of the decade’s upmarket aspirations.
This one is an 840Ci so is the most affordable of the lot, yet it’s still a 4.0-litre V8 and it still goes like stink and makes lovely V8 noises, while at the same time remaining one of the most refined and luxurious big coupés of its era.
It looks sensational, is in superb original condition and appears to be in great mechanical health, too. Oh, and did we mention that it’s also agonisingly cool?
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