BMW 8-Series (Supercar / GT)
Written by Tom Carter (E31 Specialist)
Year: 1989-1999 [E31 Chassis]
- Alpina B12 (only 150 produced, don't even ask for one!)
Originally introduced at the Frankfurt Auto show in 1989, the E31 was thought to be the replacement for the very successful 6 series. The first E31’s made their way to North America in 1991 and continued to be imported until 1997 although production continued until mid 1999 for European delivery. Total worldwide production was 30,621 with 7,232 imported to North America.
Today, the $120,000 exotic can be had for as little as 10-20% of its’ original retail pricing depending on condition and model.
Over the past few years, a large number of Japanese spec 850’s are finding their way to Canada from Japan, thanks to our somewhat lenient 15 year importation rule. A total of 1,980 E31’s were imported to Japan in various model configurations but predominantly 1991 model 850’s and mainly left hand drive.
While extremely complex and expensive to work on when new, experience and tenacity has shown that not only can a mechanically inclined owner perform routine maintenance and repair with basic (metric) hand tools, he or she can also obtain necessary replacement parts at a reasonable price. Available to all owners now are Electronic repair manuals, electrical troubleshooting manuals and much more. Coupled with the knowledge base of local enthusiasts visiting your local repair shop is not always necessary.
In short, there is no need to feel intimidated by this beautiful complex automobile.
In the lower mainland of British Columbia there is a large and very active group of E31 enthusiasts, the BC 8’s with total ownership in excess of 55 and growing. Throughout the year there are many events and opportunities to showcase, repair and learn about the E31. Impromptu wrench fests are held both locally (Langley) and regionally in Ferndale, Washington where owners have the opportunity to meet others with the same car interest and perform repairs and maintenance. Other events include Wine Tasting tours, driving events, show and shines and Concourse.
To learn more about the local E31 scene visit www.wuffer.net, home of the BC 8’s Special Interest Group for more information.
Available BMW 8-Series Listings