The E31 850csi is one of the most interesting BMWs ever made. Taking the standard 8 series, it was developed by BMW Motorsport (later rebadged BMW M) who, having decided not to proceed with the M8 project, turned their intentions to the 850csi instead. Thus, the 850csi became the defacto M car for the 8 series range and was heavily breathed on by the engineers at M, the chassis, steering, breaks, suspension, and of course the engine itself were all specifically developed by BMW Motorsport. The 850csi is powered by the famous S70 unit (or S70B56 to give it its proper name), which began life effectively as the bog standard 5.0 litre V12 M70, and via the 1510 units developed as a 5.6 litre V12 for the worldwide sales of the 850csi (the shortest engine production run ever by BMW), ended up as the V12 powerplant for the Maclaren F1, as the 6 litre S70/2. The engine modifications to develop the S70 for the 850csi were extensive, hence BMW allocating a new engine identity;
-Increased bore (from 84mm to 86mm) and stroke (from 75mm to 80mm) for a new total displacement of 5,576cc (from 4,988cc)
-Increased compression (from 8.8:1 to 9.8:1)
-More aggressive valve timing for increased high-rpm power
-Larger diameter exhaust pipes
-Variable rpm limit (6,400 in 1st+2nd, 6,200 in 3rd, 6,100 in 4th. 6,000 in 5th+6th)
-Adjustable throttle sensitivity via dual mode (Sport or Komfort) console-mounted switch
-Engine oil cooler
The 850csi also boasts a host of first-gen technology that makes it stand out from the crowd, such as AHK or four-wheel steering, and advanced aerodynamics. We probably don’t need to draw your attention to the sheer classic beauty of the lines, with its pillarless windows (now forever consigned to history, alas) and pop up double headlights.
In right hand drive BMW produced only 160 of these incredible machines, making it one of the rarest and most sought-after BMWs in existence. The 850csi was an expensive car when new, but as the car aged, many owners did not feel motivated to keep up the expense required to slow down the ageing process and keep their cars in collectable condition. As a consequence, when car prices began to rise and the 850csi started to become desirable as a modern classic, many of the original 160 cars where in a sorry state, with bills and issues that contributed towards the 850csi’s reputation for being a potential money pit.
This 850csi is special. Caught by Munich legends at a crucial part of its life-cycle, this particular car was in the right place at the right time. We’d known the car since 2006 having sold it to the previous owner, who drove it only sparingly, covering just over 5000 miles in just under a decade. As a result, he decided that the car should go to a new owner who could love the car properly, and asked Munich Legends to recommission the car and fully prepare it for sale. We found the perfect owner – someone who was prepared to invest the money in this historic car and to return it to its original condition. Between Munich Legends’ prep and the new owner, over £30,000 was spent on mechanicals and cosmetics, including a full repaint overseen by ML. The history, paperwork and provenance always made this car stand out, and over the 5 years of ownership, the current owner has made it his business to curate the past history, and document the car’s life in full, every penny spent, every important journey, every competition entered and so on.
To say that the current owner has lavished care, love and of course money on his 850csi may well be a bit of an understatement, and the car is well known in motoring and press circles for being one of, if not ‘the’ best 850csi in the UK. Here are some of the car’s recent accolades;
Featured and on the front cover of “Classic & Sports Car” – July 2016
BMW Southern Concours – 2nd in Class April 2019
Brighton & Hove Motor Club Concours – Class Winner July 2017 (didn’t enter in 2018)
Brighton & Hove Motor Club Concours – Class Winner July 2016
Bimmerflex Best in Show winner - July 2016
BMW Southern Concours – 2nd in Class April 2016
Goodwood Breakfast Club “Super Car Sunday” – Car has invitation for in circuit display July 2019.
Goodwood Breakfast Club “Super Car Sunday” – Invited for in circuit display 2018.
Goodwood Breakfast Club “Super Car Sunday” – Invited for in circuit display 2016.
Readers of the BMW Car Club’s Straight Six magazine will also recognise the car from the March 2019 cover.
We are very proud of this car – as, rightly, is the current owner. Every bit of attention has been paid to the details, as well as the major jobs. As well as a full mechanical overhaul pre-sale, and a beautiful Oxford green repaint, the underside has been transformed as has the engine bay with both new old stock and refurbished ancillaries and engine cover. Engine ignition and fuel systems have been replaced and upgraded, headlining replaced and details right down to the blue cloth, full tool kit, ski bag and first aid kit are all present and correct.
To find an 850csi in this condition, with such low owners and an outstanding history and provenance - there are three full Lever Arch files of bills, MOTs, tax discs etc as well as all the handbooks, wallets etc and all 3 previous owners are known and documented and all service records from new are with the car – is quite simply exceptional.
To find out more about this exquisite 850csi or to book a visit, please contact our showroom team on the details below
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