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1991 Dinan 8

This Dinan 8 started out as a standard 1991 BMW 850i but was converted to a Stage II/III Twin-Turbo monster by former PGA Pro Mark Calcavecchia in the early 90’s. Chassis CB72129 features a long list performance enhancements and modifications by Dinan, BMW Motorsports and others.

Year:
Manufacturer:
Model:
Package:
Engine:
Transmission:
HP / TQ:
Exterior Color:
Interior Color:
1991
BMW
850i
Dinan 8
Twin Turbocharged V12
Four-Speed Automatic
525 hp / 589 ft-lbs
Gletscherblau (280)
Silbergrau Hell Nappa (0353)

The Story:

One of the first things I did after college was to pick up a new ride. It was a black on black 1991 BMW 850i that I spotted sitting at an Acura dealership on the way home from work. I remembered reading about these legendary GT cars in automotive magazines and thought this was the perfect time to own one. I detail my time spent with my first 8-series here, but it was this car that pushed me to seek the Dinan 8. While the 850i in factory trim is enjoyable to drive, it is seriously lacking power which is why the Dinan prepped beast was built.

It is thought that there were 50 twin-turbo V12 packages built by Dinan; (25) Stage I or II 8-series, (3) Stage III 8-series, (2) Stage IV Supercoupes w/ one being destroyed, and (20) 7-series cars. With such low production numbers, it was proving difficult to find the right car at an affordable price. There was one floating around ebay for almost a year with starting prices in the $75k-$85k range which was more then I was willing to pay. Finally, another popped up on ebay from South Carolina with a more realistic starting price of $45k. After a couple of weeks, I was able to make a deal (sight unseen) and the car was headed up to NJ in an enclosed transport.

The car arrived about a week and a half later and it was just as beautiful as I had imagined. The glacier-blue paint was in great shape and the car drove like a dream. The only issue was that the car came with what appeared to be brand new wheels and tires from a 5-series rather then the optional Dinan wheels that were shown in the advertisement.

About Dinan Performance Engineering:

In 1991 BMW released the 850i into the US market. This 2-door coupe featured much of Munich’s best engineering and was a marvel of its day. Power came from a 5.0L dual over head cam V12 putting out 296 horsepower through either a 4-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. This supercar had a base price of $87,xxx.

BMW later expanded the 8-Series line up with the addition of the 840ci (V8) and 850CSi (Motorsport tuned V12). Just over 6,500 8-series cars reached the US between 1991 and 1997 with only 225 examples of the 850CSi.

Dinan Engineering is a performance and racing shop that was founded by Steve Dinan in 1979 and is located in Morgan Hills, Ca. They are currently the only after market turner that sells parts through BMW dealers and don’t void the factory warranty. Their racing program has been very successful in Grand-Am racing in both the GT and DP classes.

The Dinan 8 is a completely transformed 8-Series BMW that was built in extremely limited quantities. These cars came in three flavors Stage I/II, Stage III, and Stage IV depending on how much the customer wanted to pay and how much performance was necessary.

There were only two Stage IV cars built (known as the SuperCoupe) with one being completely destroyed over seas. These cars started life as stock BMW 850CSi’s and recieved a CA smog legal 750+ hp twin turbo V12, Stage III suspension, upgraded brakes, and custom cabon fiber body work. Prices are believed to have been around $250,xxx for such a car.

Dinan is thought to have only produced three Stage III cars which make 625 hp through a 5.6L twin turbo V12. These cars received the Stage III suspension and upgraded brakes, but started life as 850i/ci cars and didn’t receive any custom body work. Of the three cars produced, two of the current owners are active in the 8-Series community online.

Modifications:

Dinan Stage III Twin Turbo Package

  • 5.6L M70 V12 conversion
  • Twin turbochargers (10psi), dual air-to-air intercoolers and associated piping, valves and wiring
  • HP exhaust system
  • Extrude honed intake manifolds
  • Engine electronics

Dinan Automatic Transmission

  • Transmission cooler
  • Transmission chip
  • High stall torque converter
  • 3.64:1 Limited slip differential

Dinan Stage III Suspension

  • Performance spring set
  • Custom valved shocks/struts
  • 27mm (F) and 17.5mm (R) adjustable anti-roll bar set
  • Front camber plates

Dinan Stage III Brakes

  • 345 x 32 mm (F) and 328 x 20 mm (R) floating rotors
  • BMW Motorsports 4-pot (F) and mono-pot (R) calipers
6 Comments
  1. You seen to know a lot about the Dinan 850’s
    I have a complete 5.0L Dinan twin turbo V12 engine and auto trans. that came out of a wrecked 850 along with the Dinan sway bars, coil springs,exhaust, camber plates, intercooler, both DME’s with the Dinan chips, trans ecu etc. Any idea what something like this could be worth?
    Thanks, Dave

    • Dave,

      Sounds like you have some cool stuff. I sent you an email.. reply back and we can talk.

      -JRW

    • Hi, Dave!
      You indeed have some cool parts and I`m interested to find out some details about those things.

      Kari

    • i will pay cash big amount send me an email.
      thanks
      shervinjahn@ yahoo com

  2. Im 16 and looking to buy a 1991 850i(not dinan…yet)for around 5k later this year. Do you think i can get a decent one for around that price?

    • I think its possible but an 8-Series BMW that cheap will most likely come with a ton of issues. Be very careful buying an 8 that cheap. Be sure to get a thorough PPI done prior to buying. Let me know if you have any specific questions. Good luck!

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