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1997 BMW 840Ci

1997 BMW 840Ci exterior
After experimenting with 18" M-Parallel wheels, I finally decided on 17" Throwing Star wheels with Continental tires.

Confident in BMW as my marque of choice, I was ready buy a very special car. I've always admired big GT "super coupes" and felt the time was right. Fortunately BMW offers just such a car in the 8-series. This time I wanted to purchase an example from the last model year built, and in like-new condition.

After over a year of searching I finally found what I was looking for in September of '07: a 1997 model in a special color (Orient Blue), with grey interior, and in mostly stock condition. As a bonus, this car already had the cool CSi body kit and very low mileage.

Unfortunately the car was located over 1000 miles away. I eventually flew to pick up the car and arrived back home after a three day drive. After some remedial maintenance I soon had the car running "properly" and quickly began personalizing the car with custom additions and modifications. After all, this is what makes owning a car fun!

1997 BMW 840Ci interior
The multi-function sport steering wheel (fully functional) with CD43 radio, center cup/coin holder and armrest.

One of my special interests is taking a good product and making it better. This car is no exception. I soon embarked on what I called my "8 series modernization project" - an effort to modernize the 8 series while keeping a stock (tasteful) appearance - accomplished using factory parts as much as possible. Most of these projects are outlined in my DIY write-ups:

  • Factory in-dash CD head unit (CD43) with Phatbox mp3 player (write-up).
  • CD changer-delete trunk liner.
  • Homelink transmitter installed in headliner (write-up).
  • Factory wood kit replaced with standard black trim.
  • Steptronic shift pattern reversal (write-up).
  • Multifunction 3-spoke sport steering wheel (write-up).
  • Tinted windows.
  • Custom center cup/coin holder (write-up).
  • 17" staggered, style 21, "throwing star" wheels with Continental Extreme Contact tires.
  • Ski bag removed (trunk pass-thru now actually useable).
  • Factory chrome exhaust tips.
  • Custom floor mats
BMW 840Ci rear view
Rear view with chrome exhaust tips and CSi rear valence.

These cars tend to draw you in, and before you realize it you'll be spending much time and money making the car "right". I endeavoured with the following maintenance common to the 8-series:

  • Headlight bucket rebuild (using copper adjuster caps)
  • Front suspension rebuild (upper & lower control arms, idler bushing, center link, tie rods)
  • Radiator (from 540i)
  • Headliner replacement (write-up)
  • Sunroof rebuild (write-up)
  • General module refurbished (new capacitors)

In 2012, new opportunities and changing circumstances began calling for a new "mission profile" from my daily driver and I reluctantly sold my 840 in September 2013, after a full 6 years of ownership.

I may one day return to owning an 8-series, perhaps next time with a V12!

Please leave feedback in my guestbook!

Texas, USA