BMW opens the door of its archives to highlight three very special and incredibly rare examples of the 7 Series. They combine speed and luxury into a compelling package.

The first car under the spotlight is the BMW 745i from the E23 generation in the mid-1980s. It was exclusive to the South African market, and the automaker made just 192 of them. Plus, this was one of only 14 with a manual gearbox.

Under the bonnet, there was BMW's M88 3.5-litre inline-six engine making 290 bhp. A slightly less powerful version of it was in the famous M1.

At some point before the car entered BMW's collection, a previous owner added M badges to the grille and rear. The crew at the archives decided to leave them on the vehicle.

Next, there's a truly unique machine. It belonged to a BMW engine engineer. He crammed the S38B38 engine from an E34-generation M5 into the series. Plus, the displacement increased to 3.9 litres rather than the stock 3.8 litres. The result was a powerplant making a claimed 390 bhp. Inside, there's a fax machine in the glove compartment.

Gallery: BMW 750iL V16 Goldfish

Finally, there's another unique 7 Series, and it's the wildest of the bunch. BMW calls this beast the "goldfish" because of the gills on the rear wings. Under the bonnet, there's a 6.7-litre V16 engine producing 408 bhp. To make the mill, the engineers sliced up two M70 V12 engines. They basically made two V8s out of them and then brought the sections together.

Creating this giant powerplant meant that there was no room in the engine bay for a cooling system. This is where those gills come in. They direct air to radiators. A massive outlet spans the area between taillights. However, this means there's no storage space in the trunk.

The latest generation of the 7 Series debuted for the 2022 model year. The electric i7 also joins the range. There's even the range-topping BMW i7 M70 xDrive with 650 bhp and an estimated range of 295 miles in the EPA's test.