This E38-gen, 158-mile BMW 7 Series is literally bubble-wrapped
Bored out of your mind and looking for a little distraction from the endless stream of coronavirus news? Check out this BMW in a bubble on Germany’s eBay site.
And we do mean “bubble,” because it’s safely housed inside one, and “check it out,” because if you’re in America, the only thing you can do is look. If Google Translate is correct, there’s no shipping to the U.S. or Japan, only “closed transport within the EU.” If you love Bimmers and you’re not swayed by that little transportation detail, perhaps there’s some wiggle room there for the right price.
Either way, with only 255 kilometers (that’s 158 miles) miles on the clock, this is a nearly new E38-generation BMW 740i that might as well be straight off the lot. And it’s not the tamer U.S. version, but a real-deal German release. The seller, who is from Gogilin Slaski, Poland, doesn’t indicate the model year of the car, but the description says it was registered on September 24, 1997, which makes it either a ’97 or ’98. Tough to tell from the photos.
Again, it hardly matters, since no one is likely to challenge the seller’s assertion that it’s the “world’s only BMW E38 740i in new-car condition.” (Thanks again, Google translate.) The 1994–2001 BMW E38 was the third generation of the 7 Series.
According to the sketchy details, the car was originally registered to a woman born in 1927, and judging from the mileage, she only drove it to the mailbox and back—or enjoyed a few short drives before putting it into hibernation for good. The 740i has “not a single scratch, no dents or rust,” the seller writes, and it is “stored in an air capsule with mechanical air circulation.” Sounds like the perfect car for John Travolta. (If that just went over your head, watch the television movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, which was filmed while the 22-year-old Travolta was also starring in Welcome Back Cotter.)
Should the BMW’s future owner decide to actually drive the thing, there should be plenty of life left on what appears to be a 4.4-liter V-8 engine, mated to a five-speed ZF automatic.
There’s plenty of time left to bid—the auction ends March 31—and the last time we checked, the blue-green metallic Bimmer was sitting at €48,350, which is about $52,131. By comparison, a new 1997–98 BMW 740i cost about $60K, and a solid used example can be found today for less than $10K. If you live in Europe and want the best one out there, here’s your chance.