1997 740iL - risk factors - for a friend.

I have read about the maintenance costs on the 740s, but I would like to give my buddy a more specific answer. Any ideas about what services are due in the near future and/or what is likely to fall apart ?
Here's the excerpt of the original email, privacy-protected.
-------------------------------- I'm thinking of buying a used 1997 BMW 740iL. I read that people really love to drive it, but that the reliablity on accessories is really really bad.
I found someone [close to the northern CA city I live in ] who is selling one with 65K on it for around 16,000. I can probably get him a little cheaper, but because the milage is so low it probably is not worth it.
I was thinking of making it a gift to [my girl] - she always wanted a car like this, and she has no clue that I am looking into this. I was going to sell my [current car] and replace it with a beemer. I figure it will last a long time, even though I know there will be problems with the accessories and electronics. What do you think? Is it even worth considerting, or should I look elsewhere? The seller says everything in the car works, but I was going to take it to a mechanic first and have them to a full check to see if this is true or not.
If you think that there are better models, let me know, but I like the size of the 740. Or, is there a better alternative with similar size/features that would be a little cheaper/more reliable after market. I know the BMW name carries a little more weight...
Let me know what you think!
I was also looking at a 1995 750iL - although it looks good, it has almost 100K on it. But, it has bullet proof glass - how cool (and useless) is that??? :-) ----------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The 12 cyl. is even more expensive, but some say are the smoothest engines BMW ever built. In general, I would opt for the 8 cyl. My brother has an 1999 e38 740iL that has been wonderful. These are sophisticated cars with a lot of features. My best advice is to take it to the dealer for an inspection/estimate. Here is a few links with some info. on what to look for as you check out the car: http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/22364 http://www.e38.org / see: Bill's E38 Buying FAQ And search this board (it has a search feature near the top for "buying 740iL problems") http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/e38 /
I own a 1995 525i (e34) and love it. Don't let your emotions get involved, after dealer inspection/estimate use that as bargaining leverage. If the seller doesn't have good records, I wouldn't even go near it. Good luck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hey, it just depends on -which- Northern California town you live in...might be very useful.
They had sorted the infamous 'sulfur' problem by '96, right? What -was- the policy with the engine replacements? Where's the V8 Engine Death FAQ? My special lady-friend wants a 740iL, but I can't seem to find one with an M30 engine ;->
304,000 on my E28..what, me worry?
cds
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.