The new M8 might be among the fastest and most capable BMW models ever produced, but for diehard enthusiasts, there’s no replacing the original E31 8 Series. The pinnacle of the model range is the 850CSi, which uses the rare S70B56 V12 engine. Output of 375 horsepower at 5,300 rpm, 406 pound-feet of torque at 4,000, twelve cylinders, six gears, and three pedals. The 850CSi is among the most coveted BMWs ever produced, and it’s not hard to see why, given that it embodies a near-perfect combination of what enthusiasts seek out in a vehicle.
Only 1,510 examples of the 850CSi were produced in total, with just a fraction—225 to be exact—shipped to the U.S. It’s said that BMW produced roughly the same number of S70B56 V12 engines, which makes nearly everything about the penultimate E31 8 Series rare and sought after. Considering it was BMW’s range-topping model during the 1990s, at least a handful of 850CSIs and other 8 Series models were given the BMW Individual treatment, with special, unique colors typically reserved for other models made available to discerning clients.
The 1995 BMW 850CSi finished in Daytona Violet over a Lotus White and Daytona Violet interior that recently sold on Cars & Bids for $143,000 ($147,500 including buyer’s premium) is one of them. The BMW Individual spec takes an already scarce model (one of the rarest BMW’s ever produced) and makes it one-of-one. Daytona Violet was offered on the E34 M5 and E36 M3 during the same period, but you had to go through BMW Individual to get it on the Eight.
The hammer price of the Daytona-on-Daytona 850CSi allows it to rank as the second-most expensive example ever sold (excluding, of course, the rare Alpina B12 5.7). Rather interestingly, another 1995 850CSi sold for just a bit more ($147,000 hammer price, or $152,000 including buyer’s fees) earlier this month on Bring a Trailer, but that example was finished unassuming Arctic Silver Metallic. No matter how you look at it though, the E31 8 Series market, more specifically that of the V12 cars, and of course the coveted 850CSi, seems to be heating up. And once again, it’s no mystery as to why; if you find yourself wanting to control twelve cylinders through three pedals and six gears, there are only so many other counterparts, and few have the presence of the 850CSi.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy Cars & Bids.]