Depreciation! It brings down the kings as well as the commoners, and the BMW 7 Series is a fine example of the phenomenon. Today’s Junkyard Gem started its career with a sticker price that amounted to nearly $115 grand in present-day dollars, but now it languishes between a 2008 Nissan Altima and an equally proletarian 2002 Ford Explorer in a Denver-area self-service car graveyard.
This car is an E65, the successor to the E38, E32 and E23 big Bavarians. The E65 had its American debut as a 2002 model, and it was packed with futuristic electronic gadgetry that its rivals moved to match as quickly as they could.
It was big, flashy, comfortable and fast. The price tag for the short-wheelbase 2004 745i was $69,200, which amounts to $114,895 in 2024 dollars.
The engine is a 4.4-liter V8 with 325 horsepower and 330 pound-feet, delivered through a six-speed automatic.
There’s an iDrive knob/mouse/joystick control (our reviewer felt that the level of technology in this car “bordered on overkill”), plus Nasca leather upholstery with genuine ash wood trim. Back then, most baseball bats were made from ash as well.
Thing is, all that complexity and engineering mastery will bite you if you don’t perform all maintenance and repairs as needed. You can buy a 20-year-old 7 Series for about the same price as a 15-year-old Ford Taurus these days, which surely is tempting to the budget-minded used car shopper.
The (presumably) final owner of this car was an anime fan, as we can see from the stickers on most of the windows.
These anime-themed “peeker” decals have become very commonplace on discarded vehicles in Colorado boneyards, though still not as easy to find as cannabis-related stickers.
Just the thing for the underwater Autobahn.
Don’t get confused by the many layers of HVAC menus.