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HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1998 BMW 740iL

Pick of the Day: 1998 BMW 740iL

Low-mileage executive German sedan

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In the late 1990s, BMW made the following statement about its flagship sedan: “The 7-Series is the embodiment of the BMW philosophy that a luxury car should also be exhilarating to drive.” The company also alleged that the 7-Series was “a true performance car in a very luxurious disguise.”

The Pick of the Day is a 1998 BMW 740i listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Manchester, Tennessee. (Click the link to view the listing)

Showing just 81,681 original miles on its odometer, this Oxford Green executive sedan has a Sand Beige leather interior and is said to have a clean Carfax report. “The car runs great and looks great. Well-maintained and garage kept,” the listing says.

The “E38” chassis marked the third generation of the BMW 7-Series full-sized sedans. The platform ranged from model years 1995 through 2001 and was available in various wheelbase configurations and engine offerings. The “L” version had a long wheelbase, and limousine versions were also offered in limited production. Today’s featured car has the long wheelbase.

Under its hood, the power comes from a 4.4-liter V8 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. When new, the car was rated at 282 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The seller says that the car has received recent maintenance and new tires. Worth noting, some E38s came with a massive V12!

For me, the late-1990s-era 7-Series models will forever be associated with the 2002 action/thriller movie The Transporter, which starred Jason Statham. Statham played a “transporter” named Frank Martin who was hired to move items (or even people) from one location to another, with “no questions asked.” Frank’s executive ride of choice was a black 1995 735i, and in the movie, it had a manual transmission (something that was not offered in North American-market cars).

The last E38s were produced in July 2001, and I’m probably a little biased, but I think the design has aged well over the last nearly two and a half decades. The design conveys an “old money” sort of vibe, yet well-kept examples can readily be found at attractive (and even cheap) price points these days.

To illustrate that: The 1998 740i had an original suggested retail price of $62,070 when new. The asking price for today’s low-mileage Oxford Green example is just $10,000.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, check it out in the archives at Pick of the Day.

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Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine, KSLCars.com, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I had a ‘00 740iL for three years. Without exception the best driving and riding long-haul interstate missile I’ve ever driven, much less owned. Traded it for a big SUV as kids got older but miss it to this day.

  2. The issue with virtually every BMW is the ungodly cost of maintenance and repair, which explains their amazingly low resale prices, despite the truly rewarding driving experience.. ie., eg.,, and to wit, the pleasure of driving one rarely exceeds the pain of keeping one over time, sort of like any non-compliant partner…

  3. Yes, THIS! Mr. Titus is absolutely correct. Like Jaguar, there’s no such thing as an “affordable” BMW. Particularly one two decades old. The simple maintenance on this will strain the budget. A major issue, you’re getting a second mortgage. Unless you are a licensed BMW tech, pass this one.

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