Special Cars, Special Places

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Long-term ownership

of a well-loved car

It’s still no sports car, Cohen says, and its size and weight—4,123 lbs., as delivered, or about 600 lbs. lighter than our M6 Convertible—keep its agility firmly in GT territory. “But the way it is now, with the 6.0-liter engine, it’s one hell of a GT car. And it’s fun to drive, just really neat. I enjoy it.”

He’s enjoyed it for 21 years and 289,000 miles. We’ve said many times that BMW’s coupes and convertibles tend to be special cars that are treasured by their owners, and Steve’s car is a perfect example of that phenomenon. It’s not a perfect car, mind you, though it shows far less wear than it would if I’d owned it since 1991.

What’s the key to Cohen’s initial attraction and long marriage to the 8 Series?

“It’s just a gorgeous car, absolutely gorgeous, and unlike anything BMW has ever done,” he says. Cohen agrees that coupe owners tend to be exceptionally passionate about their cars, keeping them for a long time and selling only when necessary. For those who buy 8 Series cars used, that day often comes sooner rather than later when they realize the price of maintaining a high-tech coupe with a V12 engine.

“We’ve been predicting for years that as the price came down on the 8s, people would buy them, usually kids under 30, who didn’t realize what it takes to keep one up,” Cohen says. “I get questions like, ‘Where can I get a used coin holder?’ They could go down to the dealership and buy a brand-new one for a minimum amount of money, but they just won’t do it or can’t afford to do it.”

Also from Issue 116

  • MKO's E9-meets-E39 CS M5
  • 2013 F34 3 Series GT first drive
  • 2012 E84 X1 xDrive 28i road test
  • Interview: Sales chief Ian Robertson
  • Buyer’s Guide: 5 Under $5k
  • ESS Tuning's E60 545i
  • Matt Russell's turbo E30 325i
  • Legends of the Autobahn ’12, with M8!
  • Amelia Island auctions: 3.0 CSL & 327 cabrio
  • How-To: 2002 grille installation
  • Paddock Pass: Z4 at Sebring
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