1981 BMW 7 Series 733i 7.32L petrol from Australia and New Zealand
A worthy classic project car, but ensure you buy one with no problems!
Electrics: Air conditioner not functional, dials non-functional, power windows flaky, alternator condenser rotten, battery badly rewired
Auto transmission slipping
Engine leaking oil, bent valve, eventual blown head
Cloth trim in average condition
Drivers side rear door latch sticky
Paint re-sprayed after oxidising
Fuel sender at top of tank leaking.
I bought my 733i for $1600 at a cheap car dealer in Brisbane. In short, it was probably worth $800, if that much, but it was still a superb car shining through the years of neglect of previous owners.
It rode like it was on rails, not bad for a 21 year old (at the time) car. Its steering was fantastic, not a millimetre of play, and no leaks in the power steering box. Sump gasket, rocker cover gasket leaks probably extent of oil leaks. Engine ran ok, but an idiotic rewiring job in the past made the electrics a nightmare.
Learned: buy appropriate filters, oils, vacuum lines etc; will save you in the long run.
Suspension was great, the car still rode excellently, and combined with the massive room inside was a truly luxurious machine. Braking was commendable for such an old car, but worth keeping well maintained as it's $$ to remanufacture a master cylinder.
I bought it as a project (naturally) so the extensive list of problems should not be seen as indicative of cars its age, just as things to look out for. I suspect it had done in excess of 300,000 km, because the tachometer did not turn over, but it could have done many more km's.
I could have sunk a new engine into it easily, with a respray and a new interior and it would have been great. No rust to speak of, and style oozing out of it. Truly it was built like a tank!
Having to move interstate necessitated relinquishing it, but it sold me on BMW's and I'll be buying a much younger one to satiate my lusts!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th January, 2004