Guest contribution by our reader Henning Huth
Back in 1988, I was 12 years old and my dad decided to swap our much beloved Mercedes S-class against a BMW 750iL. The BMW was more modern, technologically more sophisticated and more powerful. And I was upset, because I really loved the old S-class. However, the shock was about to turn into admiration for this wonderful car soon after…
My name is Henning Huth and I recently added this silver BMW 750i to my small collection of cars from the 1980’s and 1990’s. It does bring back a lot of childhood memories and I enjoy driving it a lot.
I had always wanted to own a car with a V12 engine. First, I thought about buying a Mercedes 600 SEL (W140) but I was afraid of its complexity and the resulting cost of owning and operating it. I then remembered our old family car and how I grew to admire it over time. The BMW 750i (E32 series) was supposed to be a much more robust and reliable, less complex V12 engine than the Mercedes 600 SEL. Therefore, it was supposedly the better choice for me. (By the way, I nevertheless ended up buying a Mercedes S 600 recently, but that’s a different story.)
So I went searching for a BMW 750i. I always believed silver metallic to be one of the nicest colors for BMW’s E32 so that was my preferred choice. Soon, I found a car at a small classic car dealership not far from where I live. I was spontaneously fascinated by the car’s color combination – and the few options it had. It didn’t take long for me to decide to buy it.
Many invoices proved that the previous owner had already invested quite a bit of time and money in this car. Unfortunately, there was still a lot left for me to do, as it turned out. I will come back to this in a second.
So what was the previous history of this car? My 750i was delivered to a restaurant owner in Karlsruhe, Southern Germany, in October 1989. He drove this car for about 4 years, until the car was traded in at BMW Ungeheuer in Karlsruhe with a mileage of 122,000 km. The BMW sat at the dealership for one full year until it was sold to its second owner in November 1994 for the price of 34,900 DM.
He would then drive the car for 21 years, until 2015. That year, the car didn’t pass the MOT (“TÜV” in German) anymore because a central component of the braking system refused service. Back then, the car was in a rather sad condition and he sold it for 500 Euro – luckily, the buyer was an employee of BMW classic and intended to improve the car for private passion. He would repair the brakes, had large parts of the car painted, rented the windshield, had the steering wheel be covered with new leather, and added some typical BMW cross-spoke alloy wheels to the car (“Kreuzspeichenfelgen” in German). He originally wanted to keep the car in his private collection but then had to sell it for private reasons.
Through the before mentioned dealership in Hagen, Germany, the car found its way to me in November 2018. I spontaneously bought it, had it registered and enjoyed it. What a beautiful machine!
However, there was still quite a bit left for me to do as well. I would actually considered it a “rolling restoration”. After eliminating loss of oil from below the engine and from the hydraulic steering, I had the braking system revised. Then, the car needed a new exhaust center piece. Next, I bought new wheels and then, a new ignition system, and new valve cover gaskets. Last year, I had a new interior roof built in and the seats where upholstered. Also, the wood pieces were professionally polished and the entire left exterior side of the car was re-painted.
Today, I can very well understand my father’s decision back in 1988. Compared to my Mercedes 560 SEL (W126) this car is much for fun to drive. I am still surprised today how much BMW had advanced driving technology with the BMW 750i E32 when it appeared in 1987. It actually still feels like a modern sedan today in many ways. It is just a wonderful car to cruise across Germany with!
Today, my BMW 750i has run 230,000 km already and it is in a really good shape, both technically and esthetically. I enjoy driving it every time and I think I saved it.
But there’s no doubt that this car is worth it!