Bought off eBay for AU$2000 a few weeks ago as a fixer-upper. So far have spent over AU$2000 on parts, cleaning products, touch-up paint and so on. Considering all the parts had to be imported this isn't too bad. The 750i wasn't sold by BMW in Australia, and this one is a UK import with a speedo in MPH. This is the short wheelbase version, considerably lighter than the 750iL model and has the sports suspension option.
Main things that needed repairing:
1. ENGINE: Car had not been regularly maintained and had some bad oil leaks. Pulled down the top end, safety-wired the banjo bolts to the cam oil lines (known fault - they unscrew and starve the cams, causing serious damage), replaced rocker cover gaskets, various rubber hoses and mounts, air filters, oil filter, plugs, engine oil and distributor caps/rotors. Cleaned and painted rocker covers and intake manifolds with high temperature paint. Overhauled fuel injectors, replaced cracked air intake boots and alternator cable. Overhauled electric throttle valves.
2. SUSPENSION: Replaced rear subframe mounts, pitman arms, front upper and lower control arm bushes. All looked like they were original parts and were completely worn out.
3. PAINT: The car had been resprayed in two-pack Brokatrot Metallic (Brocade Red, a deep burgundy) from the original IslandGrün Metallic. This was a reasonably good paint job, but has now started to crack on the roof and has some blemishes where the surface wasn't prepared properly. I have bought matched touch-up paint in pressure packs and will be doing a repair in the future. Already painted the front and rear bumpers with black "bumper and trim" paint because they looked chipped and shabby.
4. ELECTRICAL: The electricals of this car are complex and a known bugbear for many owners. Since I'm an electronics tech, this is less of a problem than it might have been for some. Connectors in the engine bay have disintegrated due to heat and age and most have been replaced now. Various warnings (e.g. a false Washer Fluid Low warning) have been fixed, several broken globes replaced, a new washer pump is on its way and I bought a Peake diagnostic tool to debug the onboard computer. Only remaining OBC fault is a Trans Program error, which is keeping the auto locked in first gear for now. I have already overhauled the gear select switch. Replaced the alternator cable due to heat damage and corrosion.
5. BODYWORK: The car has zero accident damage or rust, but some malicious damage from an attempted break-in will need repairing. Passenger door lock repair kit is on order and I will need to find some minor trim parts from a wrecker. There are two small star cracks in the windscreen and I've bought a repair kit for those. Also got a scratch repair kit to remove a couple of small windscreen scratches, cheaper than buying a new one by far. I've replaced the boot (trunk) struts and bought a new tyre spanner and a dished washer/wingnut to restrain the spare. The car came with two sets of original wheels, those on the car are good enough to pass a roadworthy inspection and the second set have 3mm of tread left. I've purchased a new set of "hubcap" inserts and also two sets of transfers so that I can respray the old ones and rebadge them. I'll probably respray the second set of rims as well. Replaced original enamel BMW "roundel" badges front and rear, they were damaged.
6. INTERIOR: The leather on the seats is in fairly good condition, but needs nourishment to keep it pliable, so I'll be rubbing in some Oakwood Leather Conditioner, available at horse supply stores. Dash and door trims are in need of cleaning but no cracks or tears at all. Carpet is all terrific because it has had mats overlaid the whole time, but the mats themselves will need replacing. The access hatch trim over the sunroof motor was broken but still available as a spare so I bought a new panel.
This is what I'd call a "minor restoration" job and cost me about 3-4 weeks of 8 hour days to achieve, including parts research and ordering and time on various enthusiast forums.