Posts Tagged ‘James Bond’

Test Drive: 1997 BMW 750il (E38)

On November 23, 2011, I test drove a 1997 BMW 750il at Weir Canyon Honda in Anaheim, California. The car was in Arctic Silver and had a grey leather interior. It had 89,000 miles and the asking price was $9,900. The 750il has a 5.4 liter V12 engine that produces 326 horsepower @ 5000 rpm, and 361 lb-ft of torque @ 3900 rpm. The engine’s code name is M73B54. It was used in all E38 750’s and in the E31 8 series (850i and 850Ci). The transmission used in the 750il is a 5 speed automatic. What caught my eye about this 750il is that it’s almost an exact replica of the BMW 750il in the 1997 James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies.” The only differences between the car I drove and the one in the movie was that it had a grey interior, not a black one, and of course, it didn’t have the weapons and gadgets. The 750il in the 007 film had a variety of features such as a missile launcher that pops out of the sunroof, a steel wire cutter that pops out of the BMW hood ornament, spikes that drop from the rear bumper to flatten tires, reinflating tires, and a remote control to operate the car from a distance. You can watch the chase scene from the movie at the bottom of this article if you’d like. Now back to the test drive. I made an appointment ahead of time to take a look at the BMW. It was in the back of the dealership lot, so he went back to get the car. When it was brought out I thought that there was just one fishy thing about the car. It said on the windshield $6900. I found that hard to believe at first because it was in excellent condition except for some minor scuffs and the mileage was so low. I asked the salesman if the price was lowered. He said it was likely a mistake. I started the car, and I loved the start up sound of the 12 cylinder engine. I looked around the interior, and I noticed the car’s phone that was built in and on the center console. Whether it worked or not I didn’t know. It was cool but useless because most people would use a cell phone to make calls or texts, and it’s illegal for drivers to do so while operating a motor vehicle in California. I put the car in drive, and the only issue that’s not a big deal was that the parking brake didn’t disable itself all the way. I had to pull the pedal back a tiny bit to turn off the parking brake light. I let my foot off the brake pedal and it made a loud grunting noise. I thought it was the parking brake, but It wasn’t. I just realized that the brakes on the car were very strong, and they certainly were while driving it. This car has power, no doubt. I wouldn’t be surprised if it could do 0-60 mph in 5 seconds flat. I have never driven anything with a V12 engine in my life. It is most definitely a car that you would drive and not realize that you’re speeding in it if you are. You could easily do 60 mph in a 40 or 45 mph zone. I have previously driven a 1998 BMW 740il which had a 4.4 liter V8 a few months prior, and that car was excellent with handling. The 750il’s handing was also excellent and had a good turning radius. The V12 was very quiet, and the car was very smooth. I wanted to take it on the nearby 91 freeway; however, there was too much traffic to really get a good feel of the car. I was very happy with the test drive. When I got back to the dealer, I looked at the 750il more thoroughly. The silver paint was in excellent shape, with some minor scuffs here and there. I admired the sporty looking wheels on the car, which were 18 inch BMW M Parallel chrome wheels. These are the best looking wheels on any E38 BMW or any 90’s BMW for that matter. The tires on the wheels still had plenty of tread. The interior was in excellent shape. The backseats were comfortable and roomy. They can recline, and there was more than enough legroom for me. The trunk was massive, and had plenty of cargo space. I popped open the hood to take a look at the engine, or the heart of the beast. It was a little dirty, but it was beautiful. The engine could be steam cleaned for a nicer appearance. After “kicking the tires”, the salesman spoke to someone else at the dealer about the price. Supposedly, the car’s price was lowered from $9,900 to $6,900. At that price it would be a steal. The asking price for the 1998 BMW 740il that I test drove was just under $6,000 with less than 162,000 miles. This is so far the best car I have ever driven in my life. I would buy this car on the spot if I had the money without hesitation. If I bought it however, the results would be that my insurance rates would skyrocket, the maintenance costs would drain my wallet, and it would consume a lot of fuel. Remember, this is a $100,000+ car that we’re talking about here. Even though I love this car, I just don’t think it’s the right one for me. Maybe in the future if I have the money to buy one, but it’s a lot of car for a young person to have. The salesman told me that people have looked at the car that knew absolutely nothing about it. They only look at it because of the price. Many of them have said that it’s just too much car for them. If you’re not a car enthusiast, this is definitely not for you. If you are seriously looking into buying a car with a V12 engine, but not a highly expensive one to buy, then this car is perfect for you! If you’re a James bond fanatic, then you’d love this car also. This 750il is almost identical to the one in the movie. Perhaps in about 10 or 20 years, these cars will be classics! Do your own research before you buy, and I hope this article has been a good source for you if you’re looking to buy this “Ultimate Driving Machine!”

Photos taken by Weir Canyon Honda/Acura


Test Drive: 1998 BMW 740IL (E38)

September 10, 2011

Today, I went to go take a test drive in a 1998 BMW 740IL. It was located at J&M Auto Sales in Riverside, California. The dealer was asking $5988 for the car, and it had about 162,000 miles on the odometer. It was silver on the exterior and grey in the interior. It had a 32 valve, 4.4 liter DOHC V8 engine that produced 282 horsepower @ 5700 rpm, and 310 lb-ft of torque @ 3900 rpm. I must say that out of all of the cars I’ve driven in my life, this one takes the cake!


I would say that condition wise, this car was 4.5 out of 5. However, the telescoping steering wheel did not work properly. That was the only issue I encountered with the car. When I started the test drive, the first thing I noticed was the smooth shifting of the 5 speed automatic transmission. After giving the Beemer full throttle, I didn’t know how soon it was when I realized I was doing 50 mph (I’m guessing that took around 5 seconds). That car was quick, and my Acura RL with a 3.5 liter V6 takes almost 8 seconds to go from 0-60. I was also pleased with the car’s handling for its size. I’ve driven Cadillac Devilles and DTS’ many times that were much newer and the handling wasn’t sharp compared to the 740IL’s. The best part of the test drive was when I was driving down a residential street, and a young kid playing in his driveway yelled “Nice car!” when I drove past him. I quickly replied back with a thank you, even though it wasn’t really my car. The BMW 740IL was already making heads turn after putting only 1 or 2 miles on it!


I brought the back to the dealer, and I told the salesman that “It was a nice car and that I liked the way it drove.” I also mentioned how it reminded me of the 750IL that James Bond drove in the 007 movie “Tomorrow Never Dies”. The biggest difference between the two cars is that the 740IL has a 4.4 liter V8, and the 750IL has a 5.4 liter V12. Of course I didn’t have any intention in purchasing the car, but if it had much lower miles, the telescoping wheel was fixed by the dealer, and if I had more money, then I would have considered buying the car. So if you are looking for a large 4 door sedan that looks and shifts smooth like a luxury car, but is also quick, powerful and handled like a sports car, consider the 740IL. I certainly do consider it as “The Ultimate Driving Machine”.

Pictures are from