Woohoo, Cheap Meat Again! – 1983 BMW 733i

It’s not often you can pick up a German autobahn bruiser for a mere 3 digit price. As you may know, RustyButTrusty loves it some old BMWs, and the E23 7-series is one of them. Mostly unloved in the used car market, although it’s not as clear why as with the E21 3-series, their perceived complexity might be a deal-killer for many. However, knowing you paid less than 10 Benjamins for a respectable looking car means you might be willing to overlook, say, broken cruise control or air conditioning that just needs a charge. You can find this 1983 BMW 733i for sale for the low, low price of C$999 in Maple Ridge, BC.

1983 BMW 733i left front

That price sounds even more impressive if you convert it into US dollars, but hey, let’s go crazy and convert it to its home currency – only €659 will bring this baby home. And you have to admit, you would have expected some oxidation, even the odd dent or two, or some rust. At least some stone chips in the paint? The owner even seems to have washed his car for the sale. The car will be sold with the bottlecap wheels (which don’t appear to be the TRX variant), as shown in this picture, which is a shame since the Borbet wheels shown below look great on the car.

1983 BMW 733i right front

No visible damage on this side either, and the paint is good too. Has Maaco had their greasy little fingers on this one? If you’re feeling spendy, you might try negotiating the seller out of these wheels. The heated seats are said to work, and the seller calls out central locking, a working sunroof, a 3.25 LSD and a strong engine as features. No detail is given on the automatic transmission, so perhaps that’s the reason for the sale, although the ZF 4HP 22 transmission’s ubiquity means parts should be easily had.

1983 BMW 733i interior

Not much is shown of the interior, so figure on worn front seats. The listing’s mileage box shows a simple “320”, which suggests 320,000Km or 200K miles. The leather steering wheel cover is worn through, and the radio is missing, but there is minimal dash cracking. So it’s possible this is just a well-cared for, high mileage car, looking for a nice place to retire. If you could run this for a year with minimal investment outside of consumables, would you do it?


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2 Responses to “Woohoo, Cheap Meat Again! – 1983 BMW 733i”

  1. Dave Says:

    I’d do it (again) in a heartbeat. I picked up an E23 this fall as a cheap restoration project. Desirable options include the delightful Getrag 5-speed, European-spec bumpers & lighting, and the high-end water buffalo leather interior. Power rear seats, rear sunshade, and leather trim (dash/console/door panels) were among the high-end options BMW offered. Also keep an eye out for the rare 745i turbocharged variant.

    Gotchas include the Behr vacuum-servo HVAC system, and the transmission. Absolute performance and luxury are not strong points of these cars, but more than adequate considering the price. Hilariously, these cars are appropriately the same overall size and weight as the current 3-series.

    Given that they’re old BMWs, they aren’t very hard on the wallet if you’re willing to do your own work. Buy one of these to drive it, as they are terrible investments. Low resale values make it unlikely to ever get much money back out of them.

    • Chris Keen Says:

      It’s always amusing to me how the original version of a manufacturer’s large car is now equalled, if not outsized, by what was then their compact…. Civic vs. Accord, 3- vs. 7-series, etc.

      Sounds like finding one of these with some of the most desirable options you mention is the hot tip, unless you plan on just running it until it dies… are these the modern-day Bavaria?

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