ETC
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
The BMW E38 7-Series was sold for the 1995 through 2001 model years, and it was seriously big, seriously fast, and really seriously expensive. In 1996, the top-shelf 750iL would have cost your car-shopping high roller $90,360 for starters, or close to $140,000 when counted in inflation-compensated 2017 bucks. The thing about the 7-Series (and the A8, and the S-Class) is that repairs tend to be expensive, and when one of these cars hits about age 15 and is on its fourth owner and something goes wrong... well, it's hard to justify a $4,000 repair on a car that's worth about as much as a beater 300,000-mile Corolla. So they end up here, in the junkyard, regardless of the number of cylinders under the hood.



I see these cars frequently in the cheap self-service wrecking yards, mostly with V8s but often with the mighty 5.4-liter V12 engine. It made 322 horsepower when new, which was very impressive by the standards of 20 years ago.



This car's final owner wanted to sell it, but found no takers. Did it get towed away for unpaid parking tickets, or did the seller get disgusted with the lowball offers and accept a couple hundred bucks (at most) from a big California wrecking-yard chain? Dead cars tell no tales.



There's no way to read the odometer on a digital display when you can't fire up the ignition, but the large number of air fresheners suggests many miles and many unpleasant scents inside.



If you aren't afraid of doing your own repairs, a big 1990s or 2000s German machine like this is about the very best luxury-per-dollar you'll ever find. Plenty of used parts to be had! This one has been picked over pretty hard, but there's a lot of stuff remaining for junkyard shoppers.


A reminder of happier times for the E38, when videos like this played nonstop at your local BMW showroom.

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