Yep, that’s not a typo: BMW did actually build an E23 735i Touring and it showed it at the 1980 Frankfurt Auto Show to gauge the public’s reaction. Unfortunately (or not), the car didn’t make it into production and was slowly forgotten, up until ten years ago. That’s when this example, one of only two custom built prototypes, first surfaced on eBay with 8,179 miles (13,163 km) on the odometer. Now, it has been posted on the auction site once again, for an opening bid of US $7,000.
The collector who originally imported it to the U.S. sold it three years later and the current owner bought it last November. At that point the car had clocked up 9,002 miles (14,487 km) but wasn’t running.
However, this ultra-rare 7-Series, boasting an interesting green paintjob, tan cloth interior, manual sunroof, roof rack, alloy wheels and automatic transmission, wasn’t in a disastrous condition. A quick service brought it back to life and onto the road and, according to the seller, it has a Massachusetts December 2011 inspection sticker and was driven for only 40 extra miles (64 km).
Being a 30-year-old car, the 735i Touring isn’t flawless. Luckily, it only seems to suffer from some minor surface rust, both on the body and underneath, which can be easily mended.
Other than that, the interior and engine bay appear to be neat and the owner’s detailed description of every fault, accompanied by revealing pictures, should be evidence enough that there’s no foul play involved.
Currently, the bid stands at US $7,600, which is pocket change for something as rare as this. And even if it sells for double the amount, the buyer can rest assured that this car will never depreciate. In fact, it’s a sound investment and, with some mild restoration, it can be turned into a great gem of automotive heritage.
Gallery and videos below.
By Csaba Daradics