The South African E23 M745i
I bought this car in 2003. It has cost me an arm and a leg in the meantime but the enjoyment that I get from it compensates for that (only just!).
Most people don't realise just what a special car the South African E23 M745i really is. It was hand-built between 1983 and 1986 in very limited numbers (192 were produced, in fact). Mine was number 108 off the production line. In real market terms these cars are worth almost nothing today. That's too bad if you consider that in 1983 they already cost more than R70 000, which must have been an absolute fortune in those days. Ah well, their lack of value does have the advantage that it allows people like me who know what these cars are all about to own one!
What made the South African M745i so special was that it was the first saloon car in the world to be fitted with the very potent M88/3 24 valve motor from the M1 supercar. It made 213kW and 340Nm torque which means that, even with a 4 speed computer-controlled auto box it was very quick. These motors are basically over engineered for this application as they feature some expensive hardware like a steel crankshaft, forged pistons and conrods and a valvetrain that was rated safe at 10 000rpm. When the manual version was tested by Car Magazine in September 1984 it went from 0 to 100km/h in 7 seconds dead and maxed out at 236km/h which made it the fastest car ever tested by Car magazine up to that point.
I bought my car from the second owner. It came with a full service history with all the dealer stamps in the original service book. It had 200 000 kays on the clock when I bought it. The car was absolutely original right down to the flashlight in the cubby and the first aid kit in the rear arm rest. I have since covered about 50 000 kilometers. During the time that I've owned this car I have spent a lot more on maintenance that what I originally paid for it! I didn't spend the money on it expecting to get even a fraction of it back when I sell the car one day. If you have to ask why exactly I spent so much money on it then it won't help if I explain as you won't understand anyways :)
These are some of the things which I have done on the car thus far:
There are still a number of things that are on my list to be fixed or replaced before the car will be in showroom condition. As it is, there is nothing on the car that doesn't work and you really have to be fussy to find any fault on it at all.
Here's a few random pictures. As you might notice in the first picture, some moron reversed into my right rear bumper. This still has to be repaired. Also, the towbar is easily removable using a quick release bracket. I actually prefer to leave it there for protection in the event that someone should decide to slam into my rear end.
I often get people asking me about the ride on the 18s. Personally I have to be honest and say that I cannot really feel any difference from the stock 16s that came with 50 profiles. I'm perfectly happy with the ride as it is.
Seeing that my car came with the original owner's manual, I've had a number of requests from guys who would like to have a copy (Hello, Josh!). At long last I have complied: The link below will take you to a PDF file containing the entire scanned owner's manual. The manual is complete apart from the pages specific to my car like the delivery details and dealer service stamps. The file size is just over 18MB. Enjoy!
South African BMW E23 M745i Owner's Manual.
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