My cohort here at TTS and I occasionally discuss why we’re not wealthy. Aside from the obvious – not winning the birth lottery, dedicating our dwindling free time to blogging – we’ve decided a lot of it has to do with karma.
Karma, in addition to being a cruel mistress and an all-powerful guide, is also a funny ol’ thing. She determines who ultimately pays for our minor transgressions. She sits in the back of our minds, prodding us to not lick the produce at the grocery store. Best to not cut off too many people during the afternoon commute, or joke about their death. Karma also precludes us from having our very own museum of random, somewhat pedestrian automobiles in pristine condition.
If karma cares about these things at all, she wants car collections to be focused on the traditional totems of assembly. Themes like collectability, marque, and time period all fall into the mix. A collector may have a grouping of Ferraris from a certain vintage. Another may put together a warehouse full of microcars.
Take my fantasy garage. Sure, it contains some higher-dollar rides, like a Lamborghini Espada and a Jensen Interceptor. But it would also have the world’s nicest Datsun Roadster, a perfect BMW Bavaria, and probably some old and very large American station wagon. If I were feeling it I’d add a 1973 Porsche 914 2.0-liter, one with chrome bumpers, and maybe a 5-speed Ferrari 400i.
I would not necessarily have a collection featuring examples of every BMW 7 series, because that would imply a theme. But I’d have this 1984 733i just for what it is – a ridiculously low-mileage survivor in great colors with a 5-speed manual transmission. Done.
And this is why karma doesn’t shine on me. I would have a silly collection of gorgeous cars few people really care about. Karma apparently abhors chaos.
There’s a lot that stands out on this car, above and beyond the mileage claim of 5,350 original rounds. The black paint stuns, of course, but check the photo of the front seat armrests: they have zero wear, and the seat switches under them are perfect. This does not happen to cars that are used. The paint on the TRX wheels is perfect. The rubber trim around the body, especially the park-bench bumpers, is not warped. The tailpipes have their chrome tips.
Black isn’t my first choice for bodywork, mostly because I’m lazy about cleaning cars. However, I am a huge sucker for red interiors, particularly when paired with contrasting black trim and clean woodwork.
This is all clear despite genuinely lousy pictures. Pro Tip: if you have a pretty and/or rare car, take some decent photos of it. Try getting the whole car in the frame. Try showing more than just part of the interior. Take detail shots of things like the seat bolsters and the engine. Try not to have some random guy in camouflage lurking in the background.
Reed had a 733i for a short time. He took these photos.
Point made? Regardless, it shows some of what a 733i should look like.
There has to be a story behind this car (not Reed’s, the other one). Why would you not drive it? Why would you lock it away? Was your Benz S-class more interesting? I’m sure the 3.2-liter engine is strong and the gearbox and shifter are tight. You’d want to go through the brakes and clutch to make sure the rubber lines and fluid are fresh. The power windows and sunroof are probably a little stiff from lack of use. I can’t remember the last time I sat in seats from this era that were actually still supportive, but I’ll bet these are.
So do you drive it? Keep it? Every mile you drive, you devalue it. It will never again be worth $25,000, assuming it is now. Which it probably isn’t. Still, go find another one.
Though this example is far too nice for such silliness, I have fantasies about taking one of these and plunking a later BMW V12 in the engine bay. That’s a story for a different time.