This Cheap 850i Is the Manual V12 Grand Touring Project You Didn't Know You Wanted

It's tough to find a manual 8-Series for sale that isn't incredibly expensive. This one's cheap, but you have to be willing to deal with the maintenance.


The new BMW 8-Series is going to be revealed sometime this weekend at Le Mans. While that's cool and all, we're pretty sure nothing could top the original car—especially when it's equipped with a naturally aspirated V12 and a six-speed manual transmission. This one's for sale, and you should buy it.

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This 1991 BMW 850i is a first-year model car, equipped with the rare six-speed stick. It's paired to a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V12, which BMW designed by combining two 2.5-liter straight-sixes from its E30-generation 325i. It was rated at 296 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque from the factory, and has a top speed for 156 mph. Even 27 years later sitting on some less-than-tasteful 20-inch Hartge wheels, it looks cool as hell.

I used to own an automatic 8-Series of the same model year, and while it never ran right, I still love how it drove. The view from the driver's seat was unlike anything else, and having that smooth V12 to command with your right foot was sublime. I still miss it.

This particular car isn't in the best shape, but considering it has over 147,000 miles, we can't fault it too much. , the seller is asking just $9000—thousands cheaper than any other running, clean-title manual 8-Series I could find for sale online. The ad says the engine runs a little rough, and the interior needs refinishing. But it does have Eibach springs, a Dinan tune, and the original 16-inch wheels, which is nice.

For that kind of money, you can pick up a pretty clean early 850i with the four-speed auto. But if it were my money, I'd risk the extra maintenance costs to get that extra pedal.

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