BMW 850Ci E31-based 1992 Koenig Specials KS8

BMW 850Ci E31-based 1992 Koenig Specials KS8

The BMW E31 KS8 is a legendary machine, a modified rarity few people have ever seen with their own eyes. But a lucky group of friends unearthed one of these mythical beasts and brought it out of hibernation to share with the world. This is the story of their encounter with this incredible 8 Series E31.

Words: Elizabeth de Latour

Photos: George Colbeanu


Incredibly rare, outrageous to look at, and immeasurably special, the E31 Koenig Specials KS8 is an awesome old-school beast.

BMW 850Ci E31-based 1992 Koenig Specials KS8

The 8 Series is an achingly cool car these days. It went from being ahead of its time, to looking outdated, to becoming a bit of a modern classic. Rapidly rising prices show that enthusiasts are starting to appreciate the retro GT in a big way. Of the BMW offerings, it is the 850CSi E31 that is the most sought-after, and then you’ve got the ultra-rare beasts in the shape of the Alpina B12 duo. But even those cars are 10 a penny when compared to the rarest of the rare E31s, the mythical, wide-body Koenig Specials KS8. And the car you see here was not only tucked away from the world for eight years, but it also has a fascinating and somewhat sinister past…

Koenig Specials

But before we delve into the story of this outrageous machine, we need to tell you at least a bit about its owner. Tahmid Haque (@m635bmw) will be a familiar name to old BMW Car readers and one that Total BMW readers are also likely to be familiar with because this is a man who eats, breathes, sleeps and lives cars, mainly classics, and mainly BMWs. He’s been into BMWs since he was a kid, and his passion knows no bounds. This is a man who, at the age of just 25. has had some 80-90 cars in the past tour years and currently has a collection of 30, most of which are BMs. He’s keen and then some, and we love to see it.

Koenig Specials

And so we come to the KS8, and what a story this is, for so many reasons. First of all, it doesn’t technically belong to Tahmid, it’s shared between him and four of his friends. And it seems to us, that if you’re going to dive into ownership of something like this, splitting the purchase and running costs is pretty sensible. And as a KS8 is not a casual purchase, our first question to Tahmid was whether or not this was a car he’d always lusted after. “Actually no,” he chuckles. “It’s not a car I’d ever considered because I’d never seen one before,” and that comes as no surprise. According to Tahmid’s research, only around 10 KS8s were built in total, and of those, there exist just five or so red examples, so this feels like the find of a lifetime.

“I’ve owned around 10-12 E31s, and while I’ve seen Koenig Mercs and Ferraris, I never knew the KS8 existed,” Tahmid continues ‘One of my friends found it and sent it to me, and it all went from there!” While the car is on Polish plates, it was located in Germany when Tahmid and co took a trip to see it at the end of last year, and the plates point to its shady past. From Tahmid’s research, it appears that this KS8 once belonged to notorious Polish gangster Nikodem ‘Nikos’ Skotarczak. who specialised in smuggling stolen cars from Germany and Austria into Poland. It then changed hands several times before ending up with the owner that Tahmid ended up buying it from.

Koenig Specials E31 KS8 - interior

“The car had been locked away in a secure underground parking garage bunker for about eight years,” Tahmid tells us. “The owner had racked up some debts and decided to sell the car to get some money.” So far, so good, but there was nothing particularly smooth about any part of the buying process. But that just makes the story so much better, and it turned this into an experience Tahmid and his triends will never forget. “The owner was an old Turkish guy and we had the problem of the language barrier, so his son was mediating for us. He clearly had a taste for wide-body cars as there were a couple of other builds in his collection, including a wide-body X5, and he’d owned a Koenig Specials Mercedes before,” Tahmid explains.

“We had been told that the car was fully running, but it wasn’t,” he laments, and the disappointment in his voice is palpable. Even getting to see the car in the first place was difficult “There were a lot of parties we had to deal with, and after we'd got there, we had to wait five or six hours before we finally managed to see it. Honestly, it looked amazing,” Tahmid enthuses. “It’s just so wide; it looked like the M8 prototype or a baby F40. We had a look around the car, and not only was it not running, but it also wasn’t in the condition we’d been told it was,” sighs Tahmid. “We’d already had a price that we’d discussed beforehand. But because it didn’t run and the overall condition, we tried to negotiate, but the guy wasn’t having it, so we walked away from the deal,” Tahmid says, and that might have been the end of things. Except that Tahmid’s got quite a big following and reach on Instagram, and while the guys were having dinner, he posted a few photos on his account. And then something happened.

The pictures started going viral, and suddenly, Tahmid found himself being sent old photos and videos of the car. “We’d discovered something,” he says with a smile, “and it became clear that this was a special car. We tried to call the seller, but he didn’t reply, and instead just sent a text saying his price was €100,000, and we could take it or leave it,” he tells us, and that’s a hell of a lot of money. “We had to think about it. We came back to the UK, and every day we were flooded with new information, and we realised this was one of the most known cars to come out of Poland. We weren’t about to give up, and about eight or nine days later, we finally agreed on a deal and went out to Germany to collect the car on New Year’s Eve,” grins Tahmid, and what a way to ring in the new year.

Of course, trailering the car back to the UK was only just the beginning of the KS8 experience. “So far, we’ve spent about £10,000 on getting the car running,” explains Tahmid, which is where sharing it with four other people definitely comes in handy. “It’s been fully recommissioned, with new brakes etc., and it drives so well,” he grins. “The engine is strong, and there’s no rust at all, as it was stored inside for so long. We were buying into the unknown, but the risk has definitely paid off,” he smiles.

As we mentioned, the car isn’t in great condition, but for Tahmid and friends, that’s not an issue. “There’s a lot of patina on the car, but we won’t be restoring it, it tells a story. Normally I like the best of the best, but there’s no need here,” and we totally get that. “We do want to get it back to how it looked when it was new, so we’re going to be removing the cheap aftermarket parts that have been stuck on, like the additional grilles and fog lights. But there are lots of parts that are unique to it – like those silver strips on the front and rear bumpers. This is the only KS8 built with those, and that’s another key identifier for this car,” he explains.

“Every day since collecting the car, more and more photos and history have started coming out. One of the previous owners got in touch and sent some pics over; when it was in Poland, people used to take photos of it driving on the street, and now they’re sharing them, it’s fantastic,” he enthuses. “VIN wiki even got in touch and told us we need to get over to the States to tell the car’s story! It really feels like we’ve unearthed a treasure, and we’ve brought it back to life, and we want to share it with people,” Tahmid grins. And that’s what we love about him. So many collectors would buy a car like this and then tuck it away, hiding it from the rest of the world and calling it their precious, but not Tahmid. “We’re planning on taking this car to loads of shows and sharing it with everyone,” he enthuses, and that’s exactly how it should be.

And the KS8 experience has been an incredible one from start to finish. “This has been one of the best carbuying experiences I’ve ever had, and I got to share it with friends,” smiles Tahmid. It was also filmed for YouTube – I just started a channel, E24 M635 BMW, and this is my first video on there, and the whole KS8 buying and owning experience will be saved there. We’ve also been invited to go out to the Ultrace show over in Poland, which is held in Wroclaw,” he says. “We’re tempted, but at the same time, we realise that this is a very valuable car, and it might suddenly disappear,” he chuckles nervously. “And among all the positive responses, we’ve had a few less pleasant messages, with people telling us that this car belongs to Poland and questioning why did we take it,” but Tahmid’s not going to let that get to him. “It all adds to the story of the journey with the car,” he grins, and we love that attitude. Since the car surfaced, Tahmid and friends have also been getting plenty of attention from another type of car enthusiast, with people all over the world keen to try and get their hands on this seriously rare machine. “We’ve had a lot of collectors wanting to buy the car, and they’ve been offering crazy money,” exclaims Tahmid. But, unsurprisingly, the money is of no interest. “This car is not for sale,” he adds with a smile. “It’s unattainable, a dream car that no one ever thought would be available. The funny thing is that the law of attraction started to work after we bought this car,” Tahmid chuckles. “Since then, we found out about seven or eight other KS8s, including a right-hand-drive one in the UK that’s been off the road since 2014 and is being restored, and another one in Russia. And some American friends bought one that came up for sale in the Middle East! It was cheaper than ours and was also running, but this was the only car that was available at the time, so we didn’t really have much choice,” he shrugs.

And that’s the thing, with a car like this, you really don’t want to miss out because you’re not going to get another chance. “When we put that post up when we went to see the car for the first time, we did wonder if we’d shot ourselves in the foot as the post went viral, and suddenly the chase was on! In fact, at one point, we thought we’d missed out because when we went to look at it, the owner decided to take some new photos and advertise it while we were there! You can see us in the background of the photos he took,” laughs Tahmid. “When the ad he put up disappeared, we thought it had slipped through our fingers, and then it would have been the one that got away,” he winces, but, luckily, fate stepped in to save the day.

And while Tahmid and his friends have already spent a chunk of money on the KS8, “We’ve already spoken to Koenig Specials, and the Albrex supercharger that the car was fitted with back then is still available. There’s a 12-week lead time, and we’ve already got our order in!” he chuckles. “Once we get that on the car, it should be making around 450bhp,” and that will give the KS8 the go to match its incredible they’re far from finished with it just yet. “The wide-body kit conversion cost €50,000 originally, but on top of that, this car was also supercharged by Koenig Specials, which cost another €25,000! At some point in the past, the supercharger blew and was removed, but we’re planning to get one back on the car,” Tahmid grins.

Tahmid’s no millionaire, though, he’s just a guy with a keen eye for a deal who’s spent years trading up from car to car, and he’s had a Koenig Specials E34 M5 in Macau blue in The Netherlands.

It’s my favourite colour and the same colour as my current E34 M5, so I knew I had to have it. I messaged the seller in the morning and struck a deal, and I a lot of success, clearly. “The funny thing is that my goal was always to trade up to a suoercar. But I fell in love with classics along the way, and now I'm not interested in a supercar anymore," he smiles, and that's the power of a classic BMW right there.

And when those cars include as special as this KS8, wonder...

A widebody needs wide wheels, and the KS8’s 17” splits measure 9” across up front and 13”-wide at the near.

It really feels like we’ve unearthed a treasure, and we’ve brought it back to life…

We’re planning on taking this car to loads of shows and sharing it with everyone

The interior features Koenig Specials floor mats and a chunky gear selector

TECHNICAL DATA Koenig Specials E31 KS8

  • ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: 5.0-litre V12 M70B50, custom exhaust. Four-speed automatic gearbox
  • MAX POWER: 450bhp
  • MAX TORQUE: 355lb ft
  • CHASSIS: 9x17” (front) and 13x17” (rear) three-piece wheels with 265/40 (front) and 335/35 (rear) tyres
  • EXTERIOR: Full Koenig Specials wide-body kit including front and rear arches, front and rear bumpers, and rear spoiler
  • INTERIOR: Koenig Specials floor mats, aftermarket gear selector

Koenig Specials E31 KS8

The car had been locked away in a secure underground parking garage bunker for about eight years. The owner had racked up some debts and decided to sell the car to get some money

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