- Post is under moderationBMW 7-SERIES 7, turned up to 11 / #BMW-G12 / #BMW-G11 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-G11 / #BMW-7-Series-G12 / #BMW / #2019 / #BMW-750Li-xDrive-G12 / #2019-BMW-750Li-xDrive-G12
This glitzy 7-series facelift isn’t subtle, but there’s substance behind the oversized kidney grille
Licensed to grille, king of the grille – we could go on making poor jokes about the enormous nostrils on Munich’s updated limo but let’s be adult about this, because, believe it or not, that front end is the result of feedback from actual BMW-7-Series customers.
BMW responded to the call for bolder styling by enlarging the trademark kidney grille by 48 per cent – it’s so big it made the standard badge look microscopic, and designers had to prise a much larger BMW roundel off an X7 to redress the balance.
The highest point of the nose is now 5cm higher to make the front end look more upright, plus there are thinner head- and tail lights, and a light strip running full-width across the boot. Both the long- and short-wheelbase cars have grown 22 millimetres in length, while bigger vents improve the aerodynamics around the wheels.
Tall rear-seat passengers might find themselves a little tight on headroom but are easily distracted by a pair of 10-inch displays and a Blu-ray player. As before, everything is controlled by a seven-inch removable tablet taking in seat adjustment, lighting and climate, as well as infotainment and sat-nav.
Behind the huge honker you’ll find engines ranging from an improved plug-in hybrid to a #V12 petrol, with a new V8 and different versions of the best-selling six-cylinder turbodiesel making up the bulk of the range.
We reckon the #BMW-745Le-xDrive-G12 plug-in hybrid is a real highlight – it’s now capable of up to 36 electric-only miles and features a more powerful straight-six petrol engine. It’s impressively wafty and serenely quiet-running in EV mode, thanks to the thicker glass now fitted all-round and more insulation in the wheelarches and B-pillars.
But it’s the superb 4.4-litre V8 750i that’s most rewarding when you up the pace, and the stiff, Carbon Core’d chassis delivers thrills in ways no massive limo should.
The 7-series remains the best driver’s car in a market where most buyers prefer to be driven by someone else.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
BMW designers tried a 50% bigger grille, but no, too vulgar; 48% it is
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- Post is under moderationWhat I’m about to tell you is a good example of why you should never give up on a project. Back in the early ’80s a friend of mine had a sports car he wanted to get rid of. It was a #1967-Lamborghini-Miura . It had been pretty well thrashed and the engine needed a bit of work. Fortunately it had never been crashed, just used hard and put away wet. It was an extremely early car with wind-up windows and a wooden steering wheel.
the car also had a fascinating provenance. It had been bought new by the famous singer Dean Martin, the story goes that Martin bought it for his teenage son to drive to school. To the boy’s credit he never hit anything, but apparently he went over some speed bumps way too enthusiastically, cracked the sump, the oil drained out and you can imagine the rest.
My friend, a teacher at the time, picked up the car for next to nothing, hoping to repair it and put it back on the road. Reality set in when he realised it would cost more to fix than it was worth. In the early ’80s there was no internet and parts for a 15-year-old handmade Italian sports car were not easy to find.
Crazy as it sounds today, there was talk of swapping the V12 engine for a Chevy small-block. Don’t laugh. It was actually done in at least one case. Years later I even bought the blown #V12 engine from the Miura that the V8 was put into.
So the Miura sat in my friend’s garage, depression set in and he gave me the car. It was the first Miura I had seen in person. I’d seen them in Road & Track and read of #LJK-Setrights epic journeys across Europe in Car, but they just didn’t exist here. At least, not where I lived.
When we got it to my house, I did something I don’t think anyone would contemplate doing to a Miura today: I started restoring it myself. Remember, this was before I had my workshop and we were doing this in my domestic garage. We got it running and did all the sanding and prep work before we gave it to a friend to paint. We chose Fly Yellow because of the way it looked on a Ferrari Daytona I had seen in a magazine.
When the Miura was finished, I took it on its maiden voyage on #Mulholland-Drive above Los Angeles. I was looking in the rear-view mirror at the window above the engine compartment, disappointed that it was beginning to rain, then I looked through the windscreen and thought: it’s not raining at the front of the car, so why is it raining at the back? I realised the fuel line had popped off and was spraying the rear window with gasoline. I quickly pulled over, shut off the engine and raised the engine cover. And as I stood there at the ready with my ridiculous 12-year-old fire extinguisher, no bigger than a Coke can, I could hear gasoline dripping over the headers, making a hissing sound each time a drop landed. Luckily no fire started, so I fixed the fuel line and was on my way.
As the years passed there were other problems, things such as slave cylinders and the electric motors that raise the headlights, then, in 1988,1 had the chance to buy a #Lamborghini-Miura S for $80,000, a far sturdier, better-built car than the P400, so my P400 got parked and somewhat neglected, then my good friend Andrew Romanowski, from the #Lamborghini Club, stopped by. It’s a support group, much like Alcoholics Anonymous: the club sits with you until the urge to sell your Lamborghini passes.
Noticing that the #Lamborghini-Miura-P400SV had not moved since the last time he was there, he said, ‘What’s wrong with it?’ Slave cylinder, I replied. He asked me, ‘Is that a big deal?’ No, I said, looking at the ground like a five-year-old who had failed to clean up his room. As soon as Andrew left we dragged the #Lamborghini-Miura-P400 over to the shop, replaced the slave cylinder, put a new set of Michelins on it, changed all the fluids, checked the magnesium wheels to make sure they were still structurally sound, then we waxed and polished the whole car. It was like that scene in Rocky where he takes off the girl’s glasses and suddenly she’s beautiful.
These early #Lamborghini-Miura Miuras are different from the later cars, they’re not as structurally sound as the newer ones, but they’re also much lighter. And there’s a rawness to them that I find appealing.
they’re much better as a classic car than they ever were as a new car. By that I mean they’re more fun to drive swiftly than they are to drive fast. You never power shift a Miura; double de-clutching and rev-matching is the way to go. It’s a car that captivates all your senses. Luckily Andrew helped me regain mine.
'IT'S NOT RAINING IN FRONT, SO WHY IS IT RAINING AT THE BAGK? THE FUEL LINE WAS SPRAYING THE REAR WINDOW'
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- Post is under moderationLamborghini Murciélago With one Scandinavian trip cut short but another in the offing, the big Lambo is also gearing up for a close-up down under.
Date acquired September 2004 Lamborghini Murciélago
Total mileage 267,838
Mileage this month 1331
Costs this month £225 oil and filter mpg this month 14.5
/ #2004 / #Lamborghini-Murcielago / #Lamborghini / #Lamborghini-V12 / #V12 / #2004-Lamborghini-Murcielago /
With the exceptionally hot weather this summer it’s been interesting to see the rear-mounted ‘bat wings’ on the Murciélago almost permanently in the raised position – something I’ve seen only very rarely in the UK. On past trips to warmer climes I’ve clocked that they usually rise up to aid cooling only when the outside temperature reaches about 29deg C. Travelling south during summer on the continent they invariably make an appearance when passing the French city of Lyon, staying raised from there on until reaching Lyon once again on the trip back.
They certainly weren’t seen in action in beautiful but bitterly cold Norway, which is where I last reported on the Murciélago from. I actually called time on that trip a day prematurely because the heater called it quits. After catching the ferry back to Frederikshavn in northern Denmark I endured a rotten journey south late at night: sea mist hanging thick in the air and no street lighting or catseyes. It wasn’t fun and I was glad to cross the German border near Flensburg some 220 miles later, where I bunked up for what remained of the night. I promise I’ll never complain about UK motorways again…
That stretch and the horrific road-works around Hamburg aside, I enjoyed my Scandinavian road-trip experience immensely – so much so that by the time you read this the big Lambo and I will be back there again. This time, however, the plan is to miss out Denmark (nothing personal – the Murcie and I just have a thing for car ferries) by planting the Lamborghini’s rubber on the boat that travels from the German port of Kiel directly to Oslo in Norway, before taking up where I left off last time. I’ll let you know how it goes soon.
Talking of travel, another epic trip is looming courtesy of a US film production company. During October the Murciélago will be strapped inside a Maersk shipping container before docking a couple of months later in Nelson. That’s not Nelson in Lancashire, you understand, but Nelson, New Zealand. The movie company had been looking for a Murciélago SV to star in the first few minutes of the remake of an early 1980s classic – the original also having a certain V12 Lamborghini in it. I’m not actually privy to which movie it is yet, but I don’t think it’s that difficult to guess. Let’s just say that back then the Lamborghini in question sported a huge rear wing (and a dreadful front-mounted one, too) plus a set of carburettors and had two particularly attractive female occupants.
Apparently no SV owners were willing to have their pride and joy cross the Pacific in a metal box (not surprising really given SVs are now exceptionally serious money), so SG54 LAM will be transformed into an SV lookalike complete with an enormous rear wing, wider side skirts and a glass engine lid. However, rest assured it will be returned to standard afterwards, the wing possibly becoming a useful garden ornament.
Unfortunately, I’m unlikely to be behind the wheel during filming (I look awful in a jumpsuit) but I hopefully won’t be far away either, since the plan is then to add another two or three thousand miles of Kiwi roads to the Murciélago’s long-suffering V12. It’ll soon be ready for clutch number eight at this rate… Simon George
Above: the Lambo’s active air intakes have been called into action a lot this year; bodywork will soon be given an SV-like makeover – with good reason.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTime for an #Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage ? #Aston-Martin-DB7 / #Aston-Martin /
Quentin mentioned the easing of DB9 prices a couple of issues ago, noting that they had fallen close to DB7 values. With a degree of inevitability, that had a knock-on effect on DB7s, especially the #V12 Vantages. These have also now slipped a bit – there are only so many potential #Aston-Martin buyers in any given price bracket. The drop is most noticeable in less-than-perfect examples, with both coupés and convertibles now being sold for as little as £15,000 if their mileage or history aren’t in the gilt-edged category.
What it does perhaps do is put them in the range of more people who might want to take a punt and place a fat tick in that ‘I’ve owned an Aston’ box. They are now a very real alternative to a hot TVR or Jaguar XKR. But as ever, buy with care.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationHappy times on the way for Aston Martin DB7 buyers / #Aston-Martin-DB7 / #Aston-Martin / #Aston-Martin-DB7-Volante / #1997-Aston-Martin-DB7-Volante / #1997 /
VALUE 2012 £32K
VALUE NOW 2018 £29K
Time to look carefully at the DB7 market. Anglia Auctions sold two in June – a ’1997 Volante in maroon with 55k miles and dealer history for £20,140 and a very fresh ’1998 Coupé in Mendip Blue, 12-year ownership, large history file and 34k miles for £26,500. Both cars feel good value at this money. Also in June, CCA sold a ’1995 Coupé in Jet Black with 72k miles for £15,400, while Barons drew £15,180 for a #2002-Aston-Martin-DB7-Vantage-Volante-Automatic #V12 Volante Vantage auto in Buckinghamshire Green with 96k.
Auction prices have fallen of over the last few months and even an exceptional car such as the mint 28k-mile 2000 Vantage Coupé that Historics sold in May made only £29k. I also see a softening reflected in some private ads such as the seller in Littlehampton offering a ‘superb’ Meteorite Silver ’1995 auto coupé with 42k miles for a very reasonable £23,250. With negotiation, that one might sell for £20k.
This downward step in values is caused by too many cars on the market, but their intrinsic appeal hasn’t changed – they’re still one of Ian Callum’s most inspired designs, radiate unmistakable Aston DNA and, if you can find a V12 Vantage manual, good for 186mph. Higher prices over the last couple of years means many were treated to expensive refurbs and quality servicing, so look for stamped histories and thick service portfolios.
There are close on 200 DB7s for sale in the UK, so the market is in the buyer’s favour. We may even see a time in the next 12 months when early sub-60,000 3.2 auto coupés start popping up at £17k. Happy days. Watch and wait.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFerrari 400/412 values on the up. It could be now or never if you want to buy into the V12 dream for around £50k. / #Ferrari-400i / #Ferrari-400 / #Ferrari-V12 / #Ferrari / #V12 / #Ferrari-412i / #Ferrari-412i-Auto / #1988 / #1981 / #Ferrari-412-Automatic
CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips
Quentin Willson’s hot tips There’s some bustle around the Ferrari 400 and 412. A change in affection has hardened prices with exceptional cars now touching £80k. Neal Gordon in Chelsea has a blue ’1981 right-hand-drive 400i auto with only 16,000 miles and total Ferrari history for £84,950, while Gallery Aaldering in Holland has an ’1983 LHD auto in dark blue with 22,000 miles, three owners and big history for £53,000. Right-hand-drive 400is are rarest, with only 152 cars produced, and the biggest prize is a UK-supplied manual with only 25 examples ever built. The later, rarer and more reined 412 is a good bet too, with Justin Banks in Kent offering an ’1988 412 auto in metallic black, with extensive history and 36,000 miles for a very reasonable £34,995.
As the last of the affordable V12 Ferraris, you can see why there’s been an upswing. With roots going back to the Daytona – including that distinctive body swage line – lush Connolly leather cabins and surprising usability, canny collectors looking for value are now seeing low-mileage 400s with fresh eyes. Significantly, they’re beginning to command more than 456 GTs which is another sign of new interest.
They’re also historically significant as the first automatic Ferrari ever. They also had the longest model production run, 17 years. My punt would be on the final series ’1985-on 412 with its Marelli ignition, anti-lock braking, plusher cabin and better drivability – they’re rarer than the 400 too with only 576 built. In the metal all 400s look terrific, low, handsome and classy and were given an aesthetic knighthood by motoring scribe LJK Setright who described the silhouette as ‘one of the most beautiful and elegant bodies ever to leave the lead in Pininfarina’s pencilling vision’. He wasn’t wrong.
Find yourself a wellfettled, low-mileage 400i or 412 with bulging history file and you’ll be buying one of the few Seventies/Eighties Ferraris that wasn’t hyped in the Prancing Horse boom years. Think of it this way – this is a front-engined V12 classic Ferrari still available for around £50k. That statement might not hold for very much longer.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationXJS upgr ades / MODIFICATIONS
Independent #Jaguar-Specialist-KWE has developed and tested a range of modifications for the Jaguar XJS. It recommends renewing the steering rack bushes with polyurethane, which helps to tighten up the steering considerably without losing ride quality and they seem to last forever. It charges £220 to fit these bushes to the XJS.
KWE also recommends replacing the gearbox mounting bush on the 5.3-litre #V12 XJS with polyurethane because the standard rubber mount is known to wear. Total cost supplied and fitted comes to £180.
KWE’s favoured size of wheel and rubber is 16in genuine Jaguar wheels with 225/55 x R16 #Falken-ZE914 or Michelin Sport tyres.
For the best power and economy, #KWE fits a #Hayward-and-Scott exhaust system with tubular exhaust manifolds (around £3,500). It has also found AJ6 Engineering’s TT exhaust or large-bore system (£2,000-£3,500) provides a noticeable increase in power. It favours #AJ6 Engineering’s Plus Torque kits (around £3,000, fitted) for better power and torque, which includes a super-enhanced (SE) modified ECU, larger throttle bodies and upgraded air filters. KWE also offers cold air intakes for the 5.3-litre V12 (£700 fitted).
For the optimum engine performance, KWE recommends changing the #ECU for a programmable unit to make the most of other engine modifications. Budget for around £8,000 for this conversion, which, in some cases, includes upgrading the engine wiring and sensors.
On the exterior, KWE recommends upgrading the headlamps to HID or gen 2 LEDs (£220 to £340). Inside, it can fit LEDs with green filters for the main dashboard illumination (£80), and fit a modern stereo system with a DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity for around £400 (speaker upgrades using JL Audio components and KWE door skin speaker mounts cost around £450). To make the most of the stereo upgrades, or to simply reduce road and engine noise, KWE can replace the sound deadening material in the floors with a modern material from the likes of Dynamat (around £450). Other areas, including the roof and rear bulkhead can also be soundproofed. And the air conditioning can be brought up-to-date witha more modern compressor (around £500).
/ #Jaguar-XJS-V12 / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-V12 / #V12 / #1989-Jaguar-XJ-S-V12 / #Jaguar-XJS / #Modifications / #Jaguar-XJS-Modifications / #Jaguar-XJS-upgrades
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- Post is under moderationBMW-760Li-E66 / CLASSIC ON THE CUSP / CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips
/ #BMW-760Li-E66 / #BMW-E66 / #BMW-E65 / #BMW-760Li / #BMW / #BMW-V12 / #V12 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-E66 / #BMW-7-Series-E65 / #BMW-7-Series-LWB / #BMW-760Li-Yachtline-Concept-E66 / #2002 / #BMW-760Li-Yachtline-Concept / #2002-BMW-760Li-Yachtline-Concept-E66
COST NEW £90k
VALUE NOW £10k
BMW’s long-wheelbase #V12-7-Series was born in a pre-recession world. Back then excess was a badge of rank and the superlatives piled up – plush, fast, huge, silent, smooth, rare and, above all, selfish. The 21st century equivalent of a long-wheelbase Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (ironically it shares engine architecture with the current RR Ghost), the lengthened 760 was the ultimate luxo-limo for CEOs of PLCs.
Like almost all limousines early depreciation had the downward momentum of a falling Steinway. Back in 2003 you could spec up a 760Li and shell out nearly £100k. That same car with a modest mileage 15 years later is now worth ten grand. Craignairn Cars in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, has a mint #Orient-Blue #2003 with 64,000 miles and £12,800 of factory extras for just £9995. And it comes with a full BMW dealer history plus a titled owner in the V5. What’s not to love?
Don’t get me wrong, a ten-grand 760 won’t be an investment, but as something utterly wonderful for discreet weekend wafting it’s worth losing £5k for a couple of years of feeling like Bill Gates. It might not even cost you that much because there are only 117 examples registered on the DVLA database so they’re rare enough to develop desirability.
As well as the extra length, you also get soft-close doors, heated, cooled and massaging front and rear power seats, rear-window blinds and side curtains, TV, dynamic damping and your very own iDrive control in the rear compartment to override the chauffeur’s one up front.
A private seller in Solihull has a 2007 in Burgundy with 57k, full history and a nice private reg for £13,000. And if you really want a keeper how about this one? Advertised in Manchester is a 2003 in silver with just 7000 miles from new and described as ‘totally perfect’ for £19,300. And yes, I hear you say that any big bills could easily contain four figures, but apart from high-pressure fuel pumps and the need for a gearbox service at 50,000 miles, the trade says 760s aren’t that bad. But this is one used super-saloon that categorically needs a full BMW dealer history complete with a sheaf of receipts.
Therefore, shop with great care and only go for sensible-mileage cars and you should be OK. The 760Li was a neo-classic from the day it was born, but having withered down to as little as £10,000 they’ve become a compelling opportunity.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationELLIOTT STILING 1983 E28 ALPINA B9 3.5 / 1988 E32 750iL #V12
/ #BMW / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-V12 / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32
CAR: E28 Alpina B9 3.5
TOTAL MILEAGE: Can’t remember
MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 0
MPG THIS MONTH: 0
TOTAL COST: 0
CAR: E32 750iL V12
TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,797
MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 0
MPG THIS MONTH: 0
TOTAL COST: Racking-up!
This month has been all about the 750iL. I dropped by Hardings Garage to see how Steve and Dale have been getting on, and am happy to report that good progress has been made.
The guys have fitted the non-electronic suspension and it was a relief to hear that the job went well – partially because that should translate into a slightly more palatable labour bill, although I have no idea what this is all costing, because we haven’t agreed any figures yet!
Before deciding to have that work done, I researched the modification, and it was clear that the removal of the failed EDC insert from the strut sleeve could be both challenging and frustrating. I was expecting an ‘if we knew it would be this bad, we wouldn’t have agreed to do it’-type conversation, but Steve said the old insert came out really easily, then the new one went in perfectly.
The next job is to delete the SLS or Self Levelling (rear) Suspension because, as you can see from the photograph, the rear ride height isn’t correct yet. If you look closely, you’ll also see that the system threw all of its fluid out over the ramp when powered-up for the first time. Hopefully, though, this should be as easy to sort as the internet suggests. The other main job needed was to fix the solid brake pedal problem, which has afflicted the car ever since I bought it. Of course, the previous owner didn’t know anything about that... cough.
Despite replacing another part in the braking system a few months ago, it’s now apparent the actual culprit is the brake accumulator sphere. This device meters out the hydraulic pressure for the brakes and steering, and complete failure of this part means you have neither when you need them most – gulp.
However, the bad news is that after researching the correct part number, I’ve discovered that it isn’t available anywhere. Internationally, BMW itself scrapped all remaining spheres in 2014, when the newest stock reached its maximum stocking age of five years.
Despite scouring the (internet) world, I cannot find another matching sphere anywhere, so all V12 E32 owners worldwide could suffer from this challenge. So, with necessity being the mother of all creation, we’ve had to think outside the box to solve this one.
There’s no way an E32 V12 should be consigned to being a parts car because a single component in the braking system isn’t available. I could fit a second-hand part, maybe, but it’ll be the same age as the part that’s failed. That doesn’t make much sense, so I’ve bought a brand new 735i part instead, and have tasked Hardings with modifying it to fi t, and thus keep my old girl running.
We have a date with an M760Li coming up soon (keep your eyes peeled for a future issue), and I want to make sure Maggie puts in a good showing. More next month on whether the modification worked because, as we stand right now, I don’t actually have a credible Plan B.
There’s work still to be done on the 750iL’s suspension. Having removed the EDC units, the ride height needs further adjustment, and then there’s the fluid loss…
This is a 735i brake accumulator sphere. The correct part for the 750iL is no longer available from BMW, so let’s hope this one can be adapted as necessary.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.