Shop Talk


While many of us tend to be DIY’ers and work on our own cars, often it’s just better to let a pro handle it.

In order to better serve the local E38 community, this is going to be a list of independent BMW specialists and other shops that can help you out. If you have had good or bad luck with any shop in your area from Pennsylvania to Virginia, post that info here. Hopefully this will end up being a great resource for local owners. If you have a shop and want to let people know about it, post here, as well.

Spring 2010 meet

Hi! It’s that time! Time to shake off the Winter doldrums, do some spring cleaning, and get out and enjoy our cars! Time for another spring meet and tour. Since the other one worked out so well, we’ll do it from security Mall again.  Tentatively, it’s set for Saturday, April 24th. I know not everyone can make it out on a Saturday, but fewer can make it out on a Sunday. The plan is the same as before, meet up from 1-3pm at the mall, then tour on to food.

I’ve been meeting some new faces, and I hope to see you there! Watch this space for more info as we get closer.

View map of meet location



Spring Meet is done!

The meet was a rousing success. We had 13 cars in total show up, 11 that were able to make it on the tour. Big thanks to all that showed up and braved the possible inclement weather (which held off for the most part). Check in the gallery here for pics of the event. Some for your pleasure (click to enlarge):


Parts sources that can save you money!

Hi, all! I’ve been asked to put together a section of some of the parts sources I’ve found for both replacement and custom parts. One thing to remember, if you are a member of the BMW Club of America, you can get discounts on parts and service from most BMW dealers in the area, as well as a few independents. I’ve saved way more than the cost of the membership just in parts from Russell BMW!

This is the list, from the Nation Capitol Chapter:

The following lists participating dealerships and their associated price discounts.  Please note that this list is subject to constant change.  You must always present your BMWCCA membership card before ordering parts or requesting price quotes.

20% Off MSRP:

  • Russel
  • Tischer

15% Off MSRP:

  • Northwest

10% Off MSRP:

  • Towson

15% Off Dealers List Price:

  • Fairfax
  • Passport

10% Off Dealers List Price:

  • Arlington
  • VOB
  • Sterling
  • Tate

This can be very handy when you need a part or service and you can’t wait for something to ship from an internet vendor.

Here are some of the other vendors that people have had good luck with:

Max, the owner, is a great guy. he’s been known to help out customers that have been stranded far from home by sending parts to get them home, then working out payment afterwards. That’s a rare trait, and along with his support of, shows his company as one to be supported.

Autohauz Arizona

Another great source of replacement parts at wholesale prices.

Scubaa Steve

Great source of quality used parts.

Radiator AC Imports

This is where I got my Behr replacement radiator. About $150 and easy to change if you need to.

Car Parts Wholesale

Good source for body parts, like bumper trim and fenders. They also carry a bunch of custom parts like custom taillights, but things like that tend to cost quite a bit more than other sources (for example my LED taillights were $175/pair, but they list them there for over $300)

FCP Groton

I’ve used them, but have not had good luck with their parts. And a lot of other people on the forums have had their suspension parts go bad after a few short miles. There have also been stories of poor customer service/warranty issues.



Apparently, the owners listened to the complaints and changed suppliers. they admitted they lost their quality control and are taking steps to win back the BMW community. Follow this link to an informative post/thread on the subject. If this is true, it’s good news for all of us.


And of course, Ebay search one and search two. Some good deals, but some cheesy stuff, too. I got my LED taillights, clear corners, side markers, chrome trunk trim, painted rear spoiler, wheels and even good used tires from here.

Anyone else that has found some great vendors, or had bad luck with certain vendors, please, chime in and let your fellow E38 owners know about them!


About the E38

From Wiki: “The BMW E38 automobile platform was the basis for the 1994 through 2001 BMW 7 Series automobiles. It replaced the BMW E32 in 1995 and itself was replaced by the BMW E65/E66 for the 2002 model year. The models were sold in the US as the 740i, 740iL and 750iL. The 740i and 740iL share the same 4.4 L V8 engine. The 740iL is essentially a long-wheelbase 740i (hence the “L” in the model name). The considerably rarer 5.4 L V12-powered 750iL was only available as a long-body in the US. The 750iL was BMW’s flagship sedan.”


The E38 is a classic, timeless design, and the culmination of BMW’s Neue Klasse design language, first seen in the 1962 1500 sedan, and really popularized in the late ’60s 1602/2002 and Bavaria. Claus Luthe was the designer in charge of it’s development (as well as the E32 before it) up until 1992, When Chris Bangle took over as head of design under Wolfgang Reitzle.  Auto Motor und Sport described the car as “Slim and light on its feet”. It featured all of the amenities of a luxury sedan with the exhilarating drive characteristics of a smaller car.

The E38 has turned into quite the value in the secondhand market, where you can get a lot of car for not a lot of money. As with all used cars (and remembering that the newest of the E38 series is now getting onwards of 17 years old), how a particular example was maintained will have a lot to do with its value and its reliability. In future articles, we’ll go over some of the things to look out for when purchasing or maintaining one of these machines. But don’t let that scare you off! These cars are outstanding driver’s cars that can deliver years of motoring enjoyment, inexpensive luxury, and a fair dollop of practicality now.

Business cards

We have business cards on the way. Some of you may have seen these already, in their temporary form, but the final glossy ones have been ordered! if you want some to start passing out, let me know and I’ll send you a handful, or pick them up from me at an event.

business cards


Welcome to the new home of midatlantic7s! Hopefully we can make this the central meeting spot for all the E38 740/750i owners in the Baltimore/DC area, and everyplace around! Take a look at the site, check out the gallery, and the members list! Let me know if you have any events you’d like to do!

And do check out and the E38 forum at!

Talk to you soon! Email us at

Chris V