autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 
This Supercharged E38 Is an Iconic Sleeper That You Can Own for the Price of a New Camry
For hardcore BMW enthusiasts, this mean machine known as "Baby" is a legend. It looks like a conventional E38 740iL from the late 1990s, but under its hood lies one of the first successfully supercharged versions M62 V8 in the U.S.

This Supercharged E38 Is an Iconic Sleeper That You Can Own for the Price of a New Camry

BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"BMW 740iL "Baby"
When it came out in 1994, the third-generation 7 Series was one of the most luxurious and technologically advanced sedans money could buy. The first production car to offer curtain airbags and the first European model with satellite navigation, it was a huge improvement over the previous iteration, finally giving the S-Class a worthy rival.

The E38 was available with a wide range of engine options, including a V8 and a V12 that helped blend the luxury feel of the massive sedan with the sportscar-like performance and maneuverability that made BMW famous.

This beautiful feat of German engineering appealed to many people, including a Pennsylvania resident that goes by the name of Simeon. In the fall of 1999, he was on his way to place a deposit for a new Ford Expedition, but a 740iL crossed his path and 15 minutes later, he was test driving one. The Expedition soon became a distant memory and less than two weeks after the test drive, he was the prowd owner of a BMW flagship.

A year later, a friend suggested that he attend a race driving course and thus Simeon ended up taking his 740iL to the Pocono Raceway (also known as The Tricky Triangle) in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Instantly and irremediably hooked on track driving, the BMW owner soon found out that his car was not built for such endeavors, but instead of buying a track toy, he decided to upgrade the luxury sedan. He took it to Dinan Cars where it was fitted with a Stage 1 suspension, bigger brakes, a cold air intake, a new mass air meter, a cat back exhaust, as well as upgraded engine transmission software.

Although these mods improved the E38’s track manners, it was still too slow. Simeon thought about a thorough upgrade from the likes of AC Schnitzer, Hamman, or Hartge, but the packages offered by these European tuners were limited to “just” 390 hp. Moreover, he would still be stuck with the car’s original five-speed automatic which took all the fun out of the equation.

For the next few months, he researched the possibility of swapping the auto with a BMW six-speed manual, which lead him to Philly-based VAC Motorsports. Not only was the crew open to swapping the transmission, but they also offered to implement other performance-enhancing hardware that would transform Simeon’s Baby into a veritable track monster and one of the fastest E38 in the States.

Apart from the new manual sourced from an E39 M5 that required a strengthened drive shaft and a bespoke aluminum flywheel, the 740iL got a modified M5 limited-slip differential, Brembo 355mm GT F1 Brakes, and a set of Bilstein performance shocks.

To top it all off, the crew managed to squeeze in an ESS supercharger that required a lot of custom fabrication to fit. This was an amazing feat at the time since supercharger kits for the M62 V8 were not that common at the time. With a blower snuggly fit and beefed-up rods, valves, or pistons, the sedan was now capable of well over 400 hp.

On the exterior, it looked exactly like any other stock 740iL, save for a set of aftermarket wheels.

The same can be said about the interior, which gained only a European 7-Series pedal assembly. a gauge cluster from the E39 M5, and five-point seat belts. Years later, the factory navigation system was replaced with a modern iDrive unit borrowed from an i8.

Over the years, Simeon took his beloved Baby to many events both on and off the track such as the One Lap of America challenge or the Cannonball Run, where it became a legend among BMW enthusiasts. It was even flown to Germany where it successfully tackled the infamous Nordschleife.

Today, this awesome sleeper that boasts almost $200,000 worth of performance upgrades and an unparalleled reputation is available for purchase through ASG Miami. With over 137,500 miles (221,285 km) on the odometer, it can be yours for just $28,500 – about what you would pay for a 2022 Toyota Camry.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories