Award Winning Magazine Car 850 Csi V-12, #166 Of 225 Imported To The Us on 2040-cars
Cardiff by the Sea, California, United States
Award winning CSi up for sale )1st Place Winner of the 2011 San Diego Chapter BMWCCA Clean Car Contest in the Super Clean category. Now is your opportunity to own this CLEAN, well cared for, highly desirable beauty. Well maintained, well documented, adult driven, with ALL of the most highly desirable upgrades – and some custom ones, that no other Eight owner has! This car's engine had a past recent major engine rebuild/upgrade. It's the equivalent of just 35,000 miles on the engine! Complete maintenance history available, going back to April of 1995.
Save your money and check the CARFAX Vehicle History Report here. View more about this unique CSi on my 850CSi Blog.
So you like the classic look of the rare BMW 850? Arguably one of the most beautiful cars BMW ever produced, you probably also know the history: Low volume, high priced 90?s car that was introduced just when the economy started to slide. A huge 2+2, it was a luxury land yacht that screamed “I have arrived.” I marvel how even today how you’ll see them used in videos and has already become a cult car. So few Eights are in such good condition. Even fewer are CSis in this excellent of a condition. Still fewer have had the performance and aesthetic modifications that bring the car to a whole different level. I know of only 5 in the US. This is one of those cars, and this is her story.
I bought this car in 2010 when it had 118K miles but we've had a relationship since 2004 when we met at WrenchFest. The engine being rebuilt at 104K miles to start fresh and add performance modifications in 2004. Don't let the mileage fool you. Compare this car to others with 60-80K, which is when all the major and expensive maintenance on these cars hits. Intake manifold gaskets, valley pan gaskets, head gaskets, timing adjustments, upper/lower oil pan gaskets... expensive and labor intensive stuff. This car has already been through all that. There's not a rubber gasket missing or torn, no messed up body trim, not a plug, screw, clip or item missing on this car. The sunroof runs smoothly, the A/C runs *COLD*, all the lighting, switches and gizmos work. It has COMPLETE first aid and tool kits. It's as undiminished as it came when it was new, with some added and much desirable modifications. Mandatory oil/filter changes EVERY 3,000 miles whether it needed it or not.
Always garaged – this car was the 1st Place Winner of the 2011 San Diego Chapter BMWCCA Clean Car Contest – Super Clean category. Tools of the clean car trade were toothpicks and cotton swabs. The leather looks and smells as fresh and clean as they day it rolled off the line. She has never let me down. Car cover is included. I also have a pair of brand new floating front rotors with all pads, and a fully working GT1 programming computer - for additional side sale if interested.
This is not a short adventure. It will be like reading a magazine article. So you may want to bookmark this page and come back a little at a time. Otherwise, grab a beer, pull up a chair and let me take you through the details of this 1995 BMW 850CSi… The problem with the stock 850i was it was under powered… not necessarily for the time (we are spoiled today with much more efficient and powerful engines), but for its price and its look. It looks fast. I should be fast. It wasn’t. In 94-95 BMW shipped into the US, the CSI which took hp from 296 to 375 via a larger engine (5.6 from 5.0 liters). Much better. It should have been the 850 they produced to begin with… more power, better suspension and handling, better body kit, etc. “Regular” 850s come much cheaper (both i and Ci) versions. The problem again is they are underpowered. I have all the service records from the original owner, as well as an inch of my own… all the repairs of course, but also all of the modifications. At 104K miles, this car’s engine was rebuilt, all new gaskets and seals and with more aggressive cams, everything ported polished and matched. The head work was extensive and the rebuild engine ended with Racing Dynamics headers (another impossible find today). The car also had a custom built 3.45 Limited Slip Differential with 50% lock which gives an extra boosted feeling of torque in the butt torque meter (amazing how it was a perfect match). Shifts are hard and determined… nothing lazy here. Add an expensive Eisenmann Sport exhaust and racing cats, the rebuild was finally completed.
What an amazing difference, definitely better than a stock CSi. Add the 3.45 rear diff and things really woke up. Mind you, this thing is 100% street legal, smog legal and all BMW (except for the cams). This isn’t some Frankenstein car. We were adhering to a known high-end BMW configuration for the engine… one that worked. We just made it better. And it didn’t stop there. Real Euro CSI headlights (those of you with regular US 850s know the headlights are a mess, break, aren’t bright and generally remind you of a 60s beetle). Then I added HID lighting all perfectly concealed ballasts and the lights are future perfect now. The parking light strips were also imported, lightly blacked out on Euro CSIs… they look amazing on the car. You’re not going to find these parts on any eBay 850s. New headliner and a complete sunroof rebuild, it looks better than original. I really like the previous owners choice of Hartge Classic 19? wheels too, as they definitely updated the look of the stock 16” wheels (ugh). I’ve considered finding larger, but I like how the Hartge Classics make it modern, but not trying too hard… which is what the 8 Series is about. I also added a beautiful //M stitched Euro style three-spoke steering wheel with matching shift and hand brake boots. And two brand new Optima Yellow Top batteries in the rear.
Then there’s the suspension. Eibach springs surround Bilstein custom valved strut inserts and shocks. Standard Bilstein valving is too harsh for this car so after MUCH experimentation, I went with shocks valved to HD settings – between Sport and Comfort. It makes the car perform quite well under the widest variety of situations. The land yacht changed overnight. No M3, but as far as 850s are concerned this is night and day and will give any M3 or M5 a run for their money. Still smooth and comfortable, but with this setup you are definitely more in touch with the road. Oh, yes, let’s not forget the Euro CSi spec big brake upgrade all around – stopping power that should have been on ALL US spec cars but sadly was not even an option. THAT was definitely worth the money! And I picked up hard to find spares as well. Today sit in the custom build Sport Seat, take a whiff of the leather surrounding me, I fire up the 850CSi and it calmly reminds me it’s different than those aging, wobbly headlight siblings it once knew. How fast is it? Its plenty fast. It pulls like a train and keeps up with the best. It’s not overwhelming… it’s just right. It’s the way it should have been. I have done so much work on this car to get it perfect, its mind boggling.
With that said, I’m not trying to just dump it and get the going rate on this car. I’m trying to find an 850 lover that wants to pick up where I have left off… preserve it or enhance it further, this car needs to go to a serious connoisseur… not some kid lazily browsing eBay for a cheap 8 series he can act gangsta in. This is one of a kind. This one is special. Feel free to ask away… but try and see if your question was already answered in this material. Obviously, this car is my baby and it will be hard to part with her. But she deserves a new owner ready to continue to improve and take care of her. That’s why I’m not taking pictures in front of a fancy house or pretty trees. This is in my front yard after a brief wash. She’s not made up, and not posing… not Armoralled to death. This is the real deal and yes, she looks better in person. The major kick ass upgrades: (a lot of time and money went into these upgrades that everybody in the E31 community wants! If you buy this car, they’re already done for you.)5.6 liter engine rebuilt at 104K with additional performance modifications:
When looking at other sellers, mostly dealers, you’ll notice they say very little or as little as possible about the factual condition of their cars. They want YOU to do all the leg work to discover the hidden issues with their cars and they hope you’ll never find out. I believe in complete honesty about the condition of this car and I stand by its entire description. I will assist in shipping this car any way I can… but it will be at your expense of course. Payment by cashier’s check, and I welcome in person inspections! If you’re looking for an enthusiast owned, well maintained, adult driven, tastefully upgraded 8 Series that you can just get in and drive across the country, this is your car. Notable exposure of this car includes:
The top examples of original surviving BMW 8 series just may prove to be collectible and as valuable as the top examples of 60s muscle cars. Few will argue that the BMW 8 series is a timeless car yet to be matched in style and looks by just about anything made since. One thing I have learned watching cars progress since this car was new in the early 90?s; Although there are really nice improvements in technology, you will never see the quality of workmanship and engineering thought put into any car any time soon. Although technology had increased, workmanship quality and certainly the quality of materials used in even the top cars of today have gone down since. This car was $120K in 1995 for a reason – it represented the pinnacle of BMW’s technological advancement at the time – truly a flagship vehicle. You cannot duplicate this today for under the price of a new Phantom. I have owned lots of cars. The BMW 8 is a car that’s always at the top of the list and sadly for me, but good for you – this very well preserved example can now be yours.
The V12 engine is never labored. The sensation of speed is muted to a degree I’ve never experienced in any other car. I apologize for not hitting you with a wide-eyed tale of white knuckles at 170 beats per minute, but driving fast in the 850Si is just a no brainer. BACKGROUND In the 1980s, BMW decided to up the level of their flagship: to put it right at the top of its class. They wanted to design and build the world’s finest coupe. A real jewel in Munich’s crown, a top-level expression of the firm’s technological ability, a love-object motivated by impeccable technical substance. All within a completely German tradition; not too adventurous, absolutely reliable, responsible, comfortable. The new BMW’s principal target, as always, was Mercedes, the biggest coupe produced by the century-old milestone of automotive history, the name Daimler-Benz for which the Bavarians nourish a love-hate relationship. At the time, the Mercedes SEC had all to itself a market in which there was no place for the old 635CSi, dated, cramped and above all with a range of engines which went no further than a 3.5 liter 6-cylinder against its Swabian rival’s 5 (later 5.6) liter 8 cylinder. To attack this powerful rival, seeing that the customer wanted more bulk, more room, more pistons and more horses than the 635 could offer, it was decided to provide him with just this, and to equip the new coupe with a single engine, the new 5 liter V12 which was at the time in an advanced stage of planning and which was destined for the 750i saloon. The Bavarian firm unleashed its engineers to design a car to be a true and explicite celebration of its technological potential. What they built aesthetically oozes the solid good sense of the best German entrepreneurs. Internally designated E31, this car would get the new V12 engine waiting in Munich.
A new 6-speed overdrive manual gearbox was devised, the first ever to be mounted to a 12-cylinder engine in a production car. A revolutionary new rear suspension would finally see daylight on the E31, as well. The new coupe would also serve as the test bed for a number of technologies that were due for a revolution rather than the traditional evolution. Multiplexed wiring facilitated BMW’s stated goal of replacing mechanicals with electronics, including a new drive-by-wire system that would eliminate the traditional throttle. Engine redline would vary according to oil temperature. That new rear suspension would have an optional hydraulic rear-wheel steering system. The front seat belts would be integrated into the seats themselves. headlight technology was about to take a the leap to modular, integrated lamp systems – but Xenon was still a few years away.
Big stuff was going into the next big coupe, and its exterior design would also break all BMW’s rules. Gone were the angles and contours of the 6 Series, as well as the traditional BMW box front end. The new coupe would be a wedge, shaped in the wind tunnel for a drag coefficient of just 0.29 Cd (with its retractable headlights not deployed). A number not yet beaten even today by any production car on the road! Four tailpipes would accent the most muscular rear end ever to grace a Bimmer. You can see how the 8 Series was he precursor of things to come. Production totaled just 30,621 units worldwide. Models ranged from the extremely rare 3.0 liter V8-powered 830i to the 840Ci, 850i, and 850Ci. Then in a brief shining moment, BMW gave us the Motorsport-massaged 850CSi in 1994 and 1995 in the US, but only 225 examples were ever built, each costing over $100,000.Even today, the 850CSI stands alone in the US as the lowest production run of any car in the market. BMW Motorsport (corporate predecessor of BMW M) changed the entire car – suspension, brakes, engine, and aerodynamics – to create an M8 in every respect, if not in name. BMW, however, did ship the CSi with a Motorsport VIN classification. In the US, trim, the 850CSi’s S70 V12 features 9.8:1 compression for 372hp at 5,300rpm and 402 lb-ft of torque at 4,000rpm. There was no automatic transmission available. Truly an fine example that represents the 8 series properly as one of the most unique and timeless cars ever produced, prompting TV’s Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson to remark that the BMW 8-Series was “an iron fist, in a velvet glove.”
AND SINCE THEN? In 2009 the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the BMW 8, an unparalleled series beloved by owners, coveted by collectors and still hailed for it’s groundbreaking design today. This year will see the 25th Anniversary with celebrations and gatherings going on all over the world. With over three quarters of models outfitted with 12 cylinder power plants, the 8 series represented the peak of BMW power, style and luxury on streets across the world until production ended in 1999. Today, the 8 series represents yet another chapter of a proud legacy that BMW carries on and celebrates two decades later. The BMW 8-Series, or E31, was produced and imported from 1991-1997 in the US in an 850 (V12) or in later years an optional 840 (V8) version. The 840 is more common in the latter years and was a bit less money and performance, but uses the same frame and body style. As with the two engine options, the E31 was offered in an automatic, or a 6 speed. The E31 is truly an engineering marvel set in a timeless classic body yet to be matched by anything BMW has built since in looks and build quality. The E31 850 was offered in the 850CSi version in 1994-1995, here in the US, with a total of 225 cars ever produced for the US market. All 225 CSis shipped to the US market were V12 6-speeds. Yes you read right; there were only 225 850CSi chassis shipped to US customers! (1510 total in the world).
Even today, this car still is the lowest production run of ANY car in BMW’s entire history, even less than the famed M1 and Z8 coupes! The CSi was an improvement to an already incredible car having a few basic body enhancements over the regular 850 and a bit more power boasting a decent 372HP at the flywheel from roughly the same V12 with 5.6 liters. Read on to find out how THIS car improved on that 380bhp.
THIS CAR’S UPGRADES The 850CSi was only produced for two years in 94-95, and my particular car here is a 1995 born in January of 1995. It has been improved upon with all the most desirable and tasteful improvements within reason and integrity. The highly desirable M-Sport mirrors is example of a perfectly reasonable upgrade. The stock mirrors, are often called “Dumbo Ears” for obvious reasons. Compare and you will see this is an elegant and sexy must-have upgrade. To make this car have more power without altering the originality or integrity, a few basic things were done. First, during its engine rebuild, racing cams were added and a Split Second Engine Timing computer which allows for custom timing and fuel/air ratio mapping. The throttle bodies were widened by 3mm and the intake manifolds were honed to allow for better breathing.
Then there is the exhaust. The Eisenmann Race Exhaust transforms this already attention getting car, to a musical tune not heard by other cars on the road. Although it took extensive work to install and only gives the car an improvement of 16 actual HP, the sound is so impressive that you just want to listen to it all day. One of the more pleasurable aspects of this car is the distinctive idling sound it makes – it’s signature is rich, powerful, and exotic; often turning heads. You will soon come to know that even just starting this V12 behemoth is a pleasure of sound all on its own.
SUSPENSION & GEARING The springs on this car were upgraded to a lower and stiffer aftermarket spring by Eibach both front and rear. This has been a very good improvement over all factory E31s CSI or not. However, this combination has perfectly maintained the supple comfortable ride this GT Autobahn cruiser has become known for.
PERFORMANCE UPGRADES RD headers, Schrick racing cams, CNC ported heads, extrude-honed intakes, enlarged throttle bodies (by 3mm), Split-Second engine management, European-spec CSi floating brake rotors, calipers + Porterfield Carbon Kevlar pads, braided stainless steel brake lines, shortened shift lever. The Euro brakes rock! The German-spec brake calipers and rotors hauls this 4,123 lb. juggernaught down from 150mph like an F-18 landing in an aircraft carrier… and it will do it again and again and again without fade.
WHEELS, TIRES & ACCESSORIES The headlamp lenses are of course glass, not plastic and all the headlight adjusters that tend to become problematic in under-kept cars, are perfect in this car because I personally rebuilt them using new internal parts. Also, ALL the headlamps come on when you flick the brights thanks to changes in the programming of the Light Control Module (LKM) to European spec, also known amongst enthusiasts as the “Wall of Light.” This was a disabled feature on the 8 series in the US. The wheels and tires are an upgrade (Hartge Classics Type “C” which are 19?X8.5? ET: 15mm front and 19?X9.5? ET: 22mm rear with high-performance Bridgestone 255/35 front and 285/30 rear tires, providing you lots of grip when using Sport Mode. This is a true looks and handling upgrade, over the best tires ever offered on any stock 8-Series. The original wheels/tires on all models of the E31 are defiantly a weak point. This is a must for any E31 owner! All the glazing and rubber gaskets are in fantastic shape and well maintained – still soft – still un-torn, except for one small tear in the driver’s rear window rubber trim where the front and rear windows meet and the trunk gasket which has one small unnoticeable tear. Interior leather and dash are all in perfect shape. The A/C runs strong and cold and the heater runs warm as expected.
AUDIO This car also comes equipped with an upgrade high watt stereo system for your road trip enjoyment. Controlling this sound is a the latest Parrot Asteroid head unit with removable face. This unit provides complete iPhone integration via cable or Bluetooth, providing voice activated hands free phone support as well as full iPod integration. It has built in GPS, voice recognition, web apps and is upgradable with new apps developed using the Parrot SDK. Power is delivered by a Harmon Kardon 320watt power amplifier. I also enhanced the sound proofing in the rear of the car and site panels. This car is more quiet on the road than any stock E31. Backing up this sound system are two new Optima Yellow Top deep cycle batteries. Most E31 owners in the know will tell you that the E31?s electrical and power supply system was not the most optimal design. Since virtually every hallow space inside the 8 is host to a control unit, many with memory and sensors, it’s no wonder the E31 has such a high resting current drain. Just look at the actual figures: With the trunk compartment lights off: 1) Driver’s door open: 4.8 – 5.0 Amps, 2) Driver’s door closed: 4.1 Amps for 20 seconds, then reduced to approx. 450-470mA for next 16 mins., then reduced to approximately 50mA. With the trunk compartment lights on: 1) Driver’s door open approx. 6.1-6.4 Amps, 2) Driver’s door closed–approx. 5.9-6.1 Amps for 20 seconds, then reduced to approx. 2.5 Amps for the next 16 mins., then reduced to approx. 50mA. What this does to a ‘normal’ battery over time is reduce its ability to hold a charge until you find yourself jump starting your car every few weeks of non-operation. If you don’t drive your car every single day, yu can either keep your car plugged into a battery tender which would help prevent the draw on the batteries while this car enters sleep mode, or use premium deep cycle gel core batteries like the Optimas. Compared to conventional batteries, voltage output from an Optima battery is more uniform across the discharge curve, more deep cycles are tolerated, and they can be mounted in any position with zero corrosion and zero leaks. They recharge faster than conventional batteries, and typically deliver 1.5 – 2x the service life. What this means for the E31 is that these batteries can tolerate the 20 minute to sleep mode and performance audio applications, without suffering the discharge of a normal battery. It means they’ll always be hassle free for you. Do I love my batteries? Yes I believe that I do!
NOTABLE EUROPEAN-SPEC AMMENITIES European-spec CSi ellipsoid headlamps, European-spec CSi smoked front turn signals, RD front bumper filler, High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting for Low beams and fog lights, and European-spec Lighting Control Module (LKM) to enable the infamous “Wall of Light.“
MISCELLANEOUS In addition to this car’s specific enhancements, I have spent a lot of time and money getting the basics right by replacing and repairing worn out plastic wheel well pieces, air collectors and connecting hoses, rebuilding the entire sunroof assembly, repairing common seat motor issues and basically getting this car in perfect working order in every respect. Everything works perfectly on this car. All switches, knobs, levers, buttons, signals, and lights are fully operational. The OBC (On Board Computer) has NO pixel problems (an issue common to this vehicle), and the brake pressure accumulator is brand new. Following is a more comprehensive list of improvements made to, repairs done, and problems with this car. With all of the power train modifications, it was the October 2005 issue of BIMMER Magazine that estimated this CSi to have an estimated 440bhp at the flywheel.
IMPROVEMENTS OVER STOCK
REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE I have records going back to her birthday in 1995. as you can see from the list below, rarely does a month go by where I’m not improving something. Here you can see the records that existed when I bought the car. I have, but have not scanned, the remaining records of the following are repairs, which were performed under my supervision:THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY Even though this car won a clean car contest and has been meticulously taken apart inside to clean every nook and cranny and repair anything needing it, this car is not without its flaws. Pictures can look very good online but sometimes do not accurately reflect exact conditions. I have provided pictures of these items to the best of my ability so you can be confident you are aware of everything. You should be aware of these items before purchasing so you will not have unrealistic expectations about this vehicle.
BMW 8-Series for Sale
Auto Services in California
Zenith Wire Wheel Co ★★★★★
Yucca Auto Body ★★★★★
World Famous 4x4 ★★★★★
Woody`s & Auto Body ★★★★★
Wheels N Motion ★★★★★
Auto blogWed, 28 May 2014
How does one make fast, loud, drifting cars better? Well, you can add more fast, loud, drifting cars or you can add lasers. Either or, really. In this case, Castrol did the right thing and added both, creating a highly stylized commercial for its Edge Titanium motor oil starring South African racer Adrian Zaugg, BMW factory driver Augusto Farfus, Audi DTM and Le Mans staple Mike Rockenfeller and some bloke named Ken Block.
Their cars? No surprise, but Block is in his Ford Fiesta GRC, while Zaugg samples a Lamborghini Aventador and Farfus and Rockenfeller drive along party lines, with a BMW M4 and an Audi R8, respectively. And those cars look good, too, thanks to the creative light and laser work on display.
Take a look below for the video from Castrol.
We're big fans of Alpina here at Autoblog - the BMW tuner has created some seriously delicious products in the past, and recently tuned the diesel-powered 3 Series wagon to create the D3 Bi-Turbo. What we like most about Alpina is how the cars only look subtly more aggressive than stock, yet they pack a real wallop under the hood.
Take this B4 Coupe, recently spotted testing at the Nürburgring. It looks pretty tame compared to the normal 435i, the only visual additions being the Alpina-standard 21-spoke wheels, modified front lip and rear wing spoiler. But under the hood, Alpina is reportedly working on a tuned, twin-turbo straight-six that produces something like 410 horsepower. That means the B4 should be good for a 0-62 time of 4.2 seconds, with a top speed around 190 mph. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, though our spies suggest that Alpina could also use all-wheel drive here in the B4.
We have no doubt that the next BMW M4 will be super hot, but for those seeking a bit more stealth and exclusivity, this Alpina B4 certainly looks the business. Check it out in our gallery above.
So here's something interesting. This might look like an ordinary BMW X1, but take a closer glance - those stickers on the side read "hybrid test vehicle," and around back, there doesn't appear to be a tailpipe at all. But does this mean that BMW is working on a straight-up all-electric version of its smallest crossover? Let's hypothesize for a moment.
Just because we can't see a tailpipe in these photographs doesn't mean there isn't one somewhere under there. And while those hybrid stickers are an indication that there's some sort of electrification going on underhood, it could just be for a forthcoming gasoline-electric version of the X1. Lexus recently confirmed it would be bringing a small hybrid CUV to market that will compete in the X1's space, so perhaps BMW is working on another powertrain option to offer when its littlest crossover gets refreshed.
Also consider that Toyota collaborated with Tesla to bring back the RAV4 EV, which would sort of compete with the X1, so it also stands to reason that perhaps this is an early test mule for a larger all-electric vehicle in the upcoming, eco-minded BMW i range. Our spies seem pretty confident that the prototype seen here is indeed an all-out EV, but we just can't say with certainty without more evidence.