Among 7 Series generations, it’s the E38 that is the most beloved. For good reason, too, as it’s a near-perfect luxury sedan. However, its predecessor, the E32-generation, does have one very special thing going for it that could make it more desirable than its superior successor — a manual gearbox.
Now before you head to the comment section to call for my head on a stick for claiming that the E38 didn’t come with a manual, let me stop you right there. The E38 7 Series was available with a five-speed manual in a few markets. However, the US market — where we at BMWBLOG live — the E38 did not come with a manual. However, the E32 7 Series was available in the ‘States with a manual gearbox.
In this specific instance, a 1988 BMW 735i is for sale with a proper three-pedal ‘box in the good ole US of A. Being a 735i, it sports a 3.5 liter naturally-aspirated inline six with 208 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent to just the rear wheels. With only 141,000 miles on the odometer, it’s also quite fresh for a 1988 car.
The old three-pedal 7 Series looks to be in good shape but there’s no way to truly tell without looking at it in person. The paint seems fine, though, as does the interior and it sits on a set of M Sport wheels from an E38 7 Series. It’s a handsome car and quite special, thanks to its manual transmission. We’re not entirely sure it’s worth the price.
As per the ad, the seller is asking $8,500 for it, which is a bit steep for a 1988 BMW that isn’t exactly popular. Sure, it’s in good shape and it sports the rare manual gearbox but there are a lot of cool older cars you can get for that money, all of which have manuals. So if your dream is to have a manual luxury car, this BMW 735i could be for you. If not, maybe pass. It’s still cool, though.