BMW E23 745i Turbo
- Mileage: 70,650
- Year: 1987
- MOT Expiry: March 2020
- Exterior Colour: Bronzite Beige Metallic
- Interior Colour: Executive Nutria Buffalo Leather
- Top speed: 144
- 0-60mph: 7.9
- BHP: 252
- Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 3430cc
- Engine Configuration: Turbocharged Straight 6
In 1977 BMW introduced a new flagship vehicle in the form of the E23 7-Series. The original model debuted with BMW’s M30 straight-six engine in 728 guise and was soon followed by the 730 and 733i, all powered by the same venerable engine.
The first cars owed much of their styling to the 6-series coupé, penned by BMW’s Chief designer at the time, Paul Bracq. The objective for both designers and engineers was to create a car that was larger than any BMW on sale while retaining the typical dynamics expected of Munich’s finest. The cars featured modern innovations of the time such as fuel injection, climate control, on-board computers, ABS, and airbags, and automatic transmissions.
Ready for delivery in early summer of 1980, the new top-of-the-range model of the first-generation 7-Series – the 745i – was handed over to the first customer. The 745i boasted 252hp from its turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The model designation derived from the conventional formula applied to turbo models in motor sport at the time: engine size multiplied by a factor of 1.4 gave you the displacement class in which the turbo cars were deployed on the race track. For the BMW 7-Series with its 3210cc displacement, the calculation produced the figure 4494. The 3.2-litre turbocharged six-cylinder delivered driving performance that was hard to match in the saloon sector.
In September 1982 a number of technical and visual changes began to be phased in as part of a model revision. On the outside the hallmark BMW kidney grille was slightly flatter, the air intake in the radiator grille was smaller, and the panel under the bumper was altered. The 745i now had a 3.4-litre engine under its bonnet (although output remained unchanged) as well as a four-speed automatic transmission. The 735i and 745i also came with the option of Executive leather upholstery at an extra cost of DM 3,390. Model year 1984 brought the option of a 4-speed automatic transmission with electric-hydraulic control and three shift modes.
Executive equipment on the 745i meant supple Buffalo leather combined with real Walnut burl paneling. Buffalo hide (Anthracite or Nutria) covered not only the seats but also the seat backs, door panels, armrests, centre and tunnel console, glove box lid, B pillars, gear lever knob, handbrake lever and gaiter. The headlining also had an exclusive Suede finish.
It is understood that out of the 16,168 745i Turbos built, a total of just 396 were produced in Executive specification making the example featured here a rare beast indeed!
Bronzite Beige Metallic paintwork, Decorative stripes in satin black, Rear spoiler, Executive Nutria Buffalo Leather interior, Walnut burl inlays, Three-spoke Sports steering wheel in black Nappa leather (380mm), Blaupunkt Montreux RCR30 cassette radio with security key cards, Six-speaker BMW sound system, Limited slip differential (25%), Electric glass sunroof with sunblind, Heated and electrically adjustable front seats, Driver’s seat memory, Front seat arm rests, Rear central armrest, Rear head restraints, Air conditioning, Cruise control, Electric windows front and rear, Electrically adjustable door mirrors, Rear window sunblind, Service interval display (SI), Tachometer with integrated fuel consumption display, Check-Control with active display and central indicator light in the instrument cluster, On-board computer, Headlight wash/wipe with intensive cleaning, Electric aerial, Original Golden Gate tailored overmats, BMW first aid kind (unopened), Complete BMW tool kit, Spare wheel, Original bill of sale.
This rare 745i Turbo presents beautifully in Bronzite Beige Metallic, a fantastic period colour that’s still accented by original pinstripes along the car’s low waistline. The paintwork is wonderfully bright throughout and for the most part original, showing remarkably few signs of age upon close inspection. The panels are nice and straight along both sides and the brightwork all round retains an excellent mirror shine.
At the front of the car there are just a handful of discreet stonechips to be found but pleasingly the headlights remain undamaged and moisture-free; the same is true of the rear light clusters. Elsewhere, the plentiful rubber and plastic trims have worn well and still retain a smart satin finish. Rear spoilers of this era have a tendency to sustain damage or perish but that’s not the case here, with this example remaining in excellent supple condition.
As an Executive specification 745i the interior boasts stunning Nutria Buffalo hide adorning almost every panel. The upholstery presents in amazing condition having aged beautifully with no damage to speak of. The distinctively grained leather is accented with immaculate satin walnut inlays laced throughout the cabin. Commonly worn items such as the steering wheel and armrests are in excellent condition, and the dash is pleasingly free from any sun damage or cracking.
In the footwells you’ll find pristine carpets still protected by the dealer-supplied overmats. Better still, the rear seats show almost no signs of use and lowering the central armrest reveals the original BMW first aid kit, which is unopened. The boot area is also remarkably clean, with no wear or marking to any of the grey carpet.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
What really makes the 745i so special is its 3.4-litre turbocharged M106 straight six; it was the last turbocharged petrol BMW until the twin-turbo 335i was introduced in 2006. The engine bay of this example presents to a great standard and is free from any signs of damage, poor repair or modification.
Since arriving at 4 Star the car has been treated to a fresh service, new battery, and full turbo rebuild, totaling close to £2,500. The transmission has also been reconditioned at a cost of over £1,100. The E23 now drives reassuringly well, shifting smoothly through the gears before erupting with a ferocious surge of acceleration at higher revs.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The E23 sits on its original 390mm forged alloys, all in great shape. With only the lightest of marking to report, the wheels look fantastic wrapped in period-correct Avon Turbospeed rubber. The tyres are showing signs of age but have recently passed an MOT inspection; we would recommend a new set if the car is put into regular use. Brake-wise, the front calipers have just been completely overhauled with all new pads and discs fitted at each corner for the new keeper’s piece of mind.
This rare E23 was first registered in April 1987. The 745i Turbo was produced for the European market in left-hand drive only, and this particular one was sold through Titan Garage in Zürich, Switzerland. The original bill of sale is still present and shows the car to have cost CHF 64,500 when new.
Since arriving at 4 Star the 7-Series has undergone a light mechanical re-commissioning totaling in excess of £5,400. The work included a complete brake overhaul, reconditioning of the turbo and transmission, a full service, inspection, and MOT (valid until March 2020). The car is accompanied by a great service history stamped up to the current mileage in the original maintenance booklet. The History File is complete with the original Swiss bill of sale and E23 sales brochure.
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