It is easy to find a home for a 6-series BMW, but where do you put a 1983 BMW 7-series? You may not know that the 7-series was sold in the US, but it was. And they are rare and weird and kind of wonderful. The 1983 BMW 733i is one of those oddballs that doesn’t fit into any particular niche, and it would be hard to imagine anyone actively searching for one. But if you have one, you’re probably pretty happy with it.
When BMW built their flagship 7-series, they did not follow the traditional format for luxury sedans. There were no plush seats or mahogany trim or veneer door panels. Instead, the 7-series featured seats with no padding and vinyl door panels with textured plastics in lieu of woodgrain or leather. It was not an ugly car by any means, but it wasn’t very luxurious either – at least compared to its rivals from Mercedes and Cadillac. It was more of a big brawny car than a fancy luxury sedan like its European competitors from Rolls Royce and Bentley. But that might have been just what some buyers were looking for in the early 1980s.
In 1983, the 7-series was available in three models: the 733i, the 735i, and the 745i. The base model was the 733i, with a 3.2 liter six-cylinder engine making 136 horsepower. The top of the line model was the 745i with a 4.4 liter V8 making 204 horsepower. But while those two models had a standard 5-speed manual transmission, buyers of the middle model could choose between a 5-speed manual or an automatic.
The BMW 750 was built from 1977 to 1986, with two distinct generations. The first generation had an unusual angular design with three rectangular headlamps per side and hidden rear door handles – features that did not age well. But when BMW released their second generation 750 in 1982, they made some significant changes to bring it up to date. The front end was restyled to have quad headlamps and a more conventional grille design with horizontal bars and rectangular parking lamps below it. They also added some chrome trim along the side edges of the car for more visual interest, although that trim would not be seen on US cars since they were shipped without it for cost reasons (which means this one is rare). The rear end was also restyled, with a less angular shape and a smoother transition from the trunk lid to the rear bumper.
The BMW 7-series was not very popular in the US. For one thing, they were not really marketed here, and there were no official dealers. They were sold by specialty importers like Patrick Motorsports and Continental AutoSports. But another reason for their lack of popularity was that they were expensive, starting at $26,350 for the 733i and going up to $37,000 for the 745i. That made them more expensive than most comparable models from Mercedes or Cadillac, even though they lacked many of the luxuries those cars offered.
This example is a rare combination of features: it has an automatic transmission but it also has the optional factory sport package which includes wider wheels and tires, a limited slip differential, power seats and door locks, woodgrain trim on the dash (which is still in good condition), and an air conditioning system that works well enough to be used as needed. There are no other options or add-ons on this car – it’s as basic as you can get. It also has an AM/FM cassette stereo which is a nice feature for 1983.
This 733i is in excellent condition, with only 64,000 miles on the odometer. It has been well cared for and is an excellent driver that should give you many years of trouble-free service. It’s not perfect – there are some small dings and scratches in the paint, and there is a small spot of rust forming on the passenger side fender – but it’s still in very good condition overall.
The interior is in very good shape as well, with a nice woodgrain trim on the dash and headliner, and all the buttons and switches are intact. This is a car that could be driven as-is without any major work needed to keep it running smoothly.
The 6-series BMW cars were cool cars when they were new, but they don’t get much respect these days because they have been overshadowed by their successors. But those successors also suffer from neglect by BMW enthusiasts because they are too new to be “classic” or too old to be desirable to younger buyers who think “newer is better” (they also can’t afford them).
And although the 7-series BMW cars weren’t the most popular in their day, they are a unique car that has a certain charm. They were built at a time when BMW was experimenting with different styles and trying to find its identity. And that search for identity makes them interesting cars from an automotive history perspective.
Here are some of the popular BMW Models in the 1980s:
BMW 6 Series
The 6 Series was the first of BMW’s series of mid-size luxury performance coupes. It was produced from 1977 to 1989. In the U.S., the 6 Series was initially available in coupe and convertible body styles. In Europe, a 2-door sedan model was added in 1983. In 1985, the BMW M6 was introduced, which had a higher performance level than the regular 6 Series models.
BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series is a series of mid-size luxury cars produced by German automaker BMW since 1972, and currently in its sixth generation. It is one of the best-selling luxury sedans in history. The first 5 Series model was released in 1972 as successor to the BMW New Class sedan and coupe models, as well as the company’s first E12 518i and E12 520i models (which were derived from the New Class sedans).
BMW 7 Series
The BMW 7 Series is a full-size luxury sedan produced by the German automaker BMW since 1977. It is the successor to the BMW E3 “New Six” sedan and is currently in its sixth generation. The 7 Series is BMW’s flagship car and is only available as a sedan or extended-length limousine. It traditionally introduces technologies and exterior design themes before they trickle down to smaller sedans in BMW’s lineup.