I am never happier than when I sit be hind the wheel of my 850 and pilot it through the curves in the canyon. I enjoy the sound that abruptly erupts when I turn the key in the sleeping beauty and all 12 little worker bees (pistons) start their chores. I get a thrill every time I open the hood and see the 12 runners that disappear into the bowels of the beast and according to the uhhhs and ahhhs I hear from people standing around watching - so do they.
This car is stupid cheap at the moment and buying one should be on every enthusiasts list. It is EASY to maintain on your own - there is a great forum online to help you - just don't take it to the dealer!!
The 850 is a timeless design and a joy to look at. Any car with a V-12 is a pleasure to drive on the highway. The BMW 850 is heavy and softly sprung in stock form by today's standards. Modest lowering springs, chips and lower profile tires solves its problems to a very acceptable level.
A BMW V-12 is truly two I-6's mated together. One half of the engine will continue to work if the other side has a fault. So it's very reliable as a commuter. But that also means professional repairs can be expensive searching for the engine problem. If your willing to do some work yourself, the 850 is not that expensive to own and repair. Avoid dealerships. Their people have no idea how to fix an 8. A local Bimmer shop you trust can save you thousands.
For a pseudo exotic, the 850 is a fabulous car; that's why I have two of them. It is Not a sports car. The 850 is 1990's world class grand tourer. Ask it to do that, and you will love the car to death.
Having owned my 91 850i 6 speed for 5 years now I can safely say that I have personally enjoyed this car like no other I have ever owned. It is a blast to drive and as unique as it gets. I"ve seen one other on the road in 5 years. The whole ownership experience including driving, maintenance and repair has been a pleasure. From a technical stand point I dont' think there is another car out there built as well for working on and I have owned and maintained many. I highly recomend modest lowering and larger 18"wheels with sport shocks for the best value in an upgrade. Like any other car 20 years old be prepared for faults and if buying one DO pay an expert to assess the condition if you have any doubts. I was lucky but can appreciate what it would cost to bring a poorly maintained example up to snuff. Paying a few thousand more for a good one with lots of service history will potentially save thousands more in the long run.
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