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An expensive classic BMW is not something that is in short supply. Just about anywhere you can buy a car, you’ll find one. From E30 M3s to the legendary BMW M1, there’s a virtually endless supply of old BMW models that most of us can not afford. However, every once in a while, one comes up that transcends just being an expensive classic car. For BMW enthusiasts, a manual V12 car in the U.S. is a holy grail.

Row through six gears of joy in this V12 coupe

Front 3/4 black 1992 BMW 850i coupe with six speed manual transmission
1992 BMW 850i | Cars and Bids

This gorgeous 1992 BMW 850i that just sold on Cars and Bids is not something you’ll see available for purchase every day.

The E31 generation was the first BMW 8 series. BMW built these cars for only four model years, 1990 through 1993. Compared to the rest of the BMW lineup at the time, the E31 had an outstanding sleek and futuristic design. Over the span of its production, it was available with a V8 or one of three V12 engines, depending on the model and year.

This 1992 850i has the legendary BMW M70 V12 under the hood. In essence, the M70 is basically two BMW M20 inline six-cylinder engines slammed together, according to Bimmerlife. In the 850i, this V12 made 296 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Though it isn’t absurd by today’s standards, it was beyond substantial in its time.

close up of the manual gear shifter in a V12 BMW 850i
850i manual shifter | Cars and Bids

This particular 850i is black and has a gray leather interior. The most outstanding feature, of course, is the six-speed manual transmission. According to NADA Guides, BMW would have listed this car with an MSRP of $78,500 in 1992. That works out to over $160,000 in today’s money. That puts it pretty much on par with the pricing of a 2022 BMW M760i!

Unfortunately, your chance to buy this BMW rarity has come and gone

1992 BMW 850i front end with popup headlights open
The 850i’s iconic popup headlights | Cars and Bids

Remarkably this piece of BMW history has only 93,300 original miles on it. While it may be fairly high for an 8 Series, that still only works out to a little over 3,000 miles a year.

The carfax included shows that it is free of accidents. However, it does have some odd gaps in information between 2001 and 2010, then again from 2010 to 2017. However, it shows that the vehicle has been registered mostly in southern states since the year 2000. So, the underside is likely free of rust.

Overall, this E31 is a fantastic example of one of the coolest BMW models to come out of the ‘90s, especially considering the manual transmission. So, its final selling price of $24,000 seems pretty reasonable. Unfortunately, the chance to buy this particular rare BMW 8 Series has come and gone. There is, however, another.

Up for grabs on Bring A Trailer right now is an even more rare and exceedingly rare 850csi, equipped with the 375 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque producing S70 V12 engine and mated to, you guessed it, a six-speed manual transmission. That one, though, is going to cost quite a bit more.

So, though these cars are gone with the wind or out of our price range, it’s still a great day when you see a manual transmission V12 BMW. Hopefully, their respective buyers won’t be afraid to take them for a drive


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