Ultra-Rare 1994 BMW 850CSi Damaged by Hurricane Ian Needs Your Wallet and Courage

This flagship BMW is as rare as hen’s teeth, and sadly a bit too moist.

byPeter Nelson| PUBLISHED Nov 4, 2022 8:58 AM
Ultra-Rare 1994 BMW 850CSi Damaged by Hurricane Ian Needs Your Wallet and Courage
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We're still well within the wake of Hurricane Ian, and an immense number of cars have shown up on salvage lots in the past couple of weeks looking, at first glance, like they don't belong there. They're just, you know, a little too well-washed.

One vehicular victim that's perhaps rarer than the Maserati MC20 we covered Tuesday popped up in the Okeechobee area: a 1994 BMW 850CSi.

Copart/Autobidmaster

Powered by a 5.6-liter S70 V12 engine and shifted via a six-speed manual transmission, this E31-generation 8 Series CSi was one of just 225 units sold in the USA. A VIN lookup reveals that its white paint shade is Alpinweiss 3, which judging by 8Coupe.com (a BMW 8 Series registry), could be one of just a couple built during its 1994 model year. BMW produced just 396 8 Series (in all trims) in this color that year for the entire global market.

Also according to 8Coupe.com, all models sold in the U.S. were produced during just a two-year run between 1993 and 1995.

Talk about owning a car with a real sense of occasion, never mind its naturally aspirated 375 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque to play around with. These cars are legendary '90s grand tourers with timeless athletic looks, and are a testament to what the Bavarian brand could come up with for top dollar in a bygone era.

Copart/Autobidmaster

Sadly, water and/or flood-damaged cars seem like a real nightmare to restore. It's not always as simple as complete disassembly, thorough de-molding and drying out, and bolting it all back together again. Especially when it comes to this car's complex electrical systems—sure, it's almost 30 years old, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of circuitry that could've given up the ghost and needs replacing. Plus, that bit about old V12 Bimmers having at least two of everything—throttle bodies, ECUs (er, DMEs), etc.

But still, if someone wins the auction for the right price, it could be worth the time and effort to attempt a full resto as this is one rare bird. Would you give it a go?

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