The colour is quite rare, the royal V5 even more so.
The Sultan of Brunei is famous for his outrageous car collection, and a dealer in Shropshire is offering the chance to own a 1993 BMW 850Ci that previously belonged to his fleet. At a price of £36,995, the sporty coupe actually borders on affordable given its interesting provenance.
The Sultan of Brunei ordered this coupe in a very 1990s shade of teal that BMW called Maldives Blue Metallic. Plus, the dealer believes this is the only right-hand drive 850Ci to come from the factory in this hue. The statement seems accurate because the online BMW 8 Series registry reports just 80 cars coming in this colour. This coupe also has some luxurious options like electronically controlled dampers, the automaker's Dynamic Drive Package and an electrically adjustable steering column.
There are two iterations of the 850Ci. Early examples like this one used a 5-litre V12 with 296bhp. Later, BMW put a 5.4-litre V12 in the engine bay that made 322bhp.
Given the Sultan of Brunei's famous love of speed and luxury, it's surprising for him not to opt for the ultimate version of the 8 Series. Not only did he not get the more powerful 850CSi but also didn't get in touch with Alpina for its B12 variant of BMW's coupe. The tuner made just 97 of them, and they featured an upgraded 5-litre V12 with 345bhp and a revised four-speed automatic.
BMW revealed the 8 Series at the Frankfurt motor show in 1989, and its edgy design fit with the era's preference for wedge-shaped performance cars with pop-up headlights. At the time, these coupes featured cutting-edge technology like drive-by-wire throttles and sophisticated computers to monitor the various systems. Unfortunately, this tech became prone to failure as the vehicles aged.
Now BMW has a new 8 Series and M8 under development for a debut in 2018. Ideally, they will have a cabin as futuristic as the concept so that the upcoming coupe would continue the model's legacy of being a technological and styling powerhouse.