If you think today’s 8 Series is an eyeful, its forebear of 1990 to 1999 made an even bigger splash. We found a 1999-reg 840Ci Sport, the version with the later 4.4-litre V8 engine that arrived in 1995.
BMW 840Ci, £2995: It has done 100,000 miles and costs just £2995. It must be whiffy at that money and there’s certainly no mention of service history. Still, it could be worth a punt…
The 4.0-litre motor, the 4.4’s predecessor, suffered problems with its Nikasil bore liners. Most cars were repaired under warranty and the rest scrapped, so if you find one, it’s likely to be okay and they can be cheap.
We spotted a 1994-reg 4.0-litre with 140,000 miles for £5600. It’s not as cheap as our £2995 4.4-litre find, but in 2006 it had a new engine at a cost of £11,000. It has since had a gearbox rebuild (£2500) and a diff rebuild (£1000).
If you want a V12 engine, then there’s the 850i and later 850Ci, and the more powerful 850CSi. We saw a 1993-reg 850Ci with 118,000 miles for £12,995. If you can find one, a good CSi can be as much as £60,000.
But back to that cheap-as-chips 4.4-litre 840Ci. If we were serious, we’d like to know the timing chain tensioner had been replaced. Then we’d look for smoke on start-up and on the overrun, suggesting problems ranging from poor fuelling to worn piston rings.
Next, we’d want to be sure the temperature gauge was sitting properly and would be worried if the diff was noisy because parts are hard to source. Rust can break out on the jacking points and rear wheel arches, so we’d check these, too.