1992 BMW 850Ci E31-based Koenig KS8 has been extracted from the underground lockup in Cologne

1992 BMW 850Ci E31-based Koenig KS8 has been extracted from the underground lockup in Cologne

Koenig 850 with murky past emerges from underground after eight years in hiding


Rare BMW escapes underworld


A rare BMW 850Ci E31-based Koenig KS8 has been extracted from the underground lockup in Cologne, Germany, in which it spent the last eight years – but the first six years of its life are even more intriguing than how it got to its resting place. Kent-based enthusiast Tahmid Haque, who bought the BMW with five friends and brought it to the UK, takes up the story.


1992 BMW 850Ci E31-based Koenig KS8 has been extracted from the underground lockup in Cologne

‘The car was delivered new in 1992 to Nikodem ‘Niko’ Skotarczak, one of Poland’s most notorious criminals and the subject of the Netflix-produced film How I Fell In Love With a Gangster. Niko operated a car theft ring that stole highend cars to order – think Nicholas Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds – from across Europe, but this was his personal car. Soon after taking delivery he sent the BMW to Koenig Specials in Munich, where it received the equivalent of around €50,000-worth of body modifications and another €25,000 of engine upgrades, including a supercharger.

‘Apparently Niko’s KS8 was well-known locally and it became part of his image – at least until his wife banned him driving it because it brought too much female attention! At that point he lent it out to friends. Niko kept the car until he was shot dead in 1998, after which it passed through several other owners in Poland. In 2014 a German bought it for €10,000 and drove it from Poland to Germany, before parking it in his underground lockup in Cologne among several other tuner specials, including a Koenig Mercedes. It stayed here collecting dust until we got wind of it in late 2022.’


1992 BMW 850Ci E31-based Koenig KS8 has been extracted from the underground lockup in Cologne

When Tahmid first heard that a Koenig 850Ci E31 – one of approximately ten modified by the Munich tuning house – might be for sale, he was intrigued by its rarity but had no clue about its shady past. ‘I drove to Germany to view the car with some friends but after some tense initial negotiations we couldn’t reach an agreement with the owner. However we posted it on social media [Tahmid’s Instagram is @TahmidsCollection] and it blew up. The community quickly identified the car as Niko’s and we soon started getting info and period pictures of him with the car that added an intriguing new dimension to its story, so six of us hooked up a trailer to a friend’s G-Wagon and returned for a second round of negotiations, which were eventually successful.


1992 BMW 850Ci E31-based Koenig KS8 has been extracted from the underground lockup in Cologne

‘By this point the car already had a cult following; we posted live updates on the way home and arrived at a rendezvous point in Londonwhere a welcoming party of 50 people showed up – at 2am! We’ve had numerous offers to buy the car – including many from Poland – but for now we just want to enjoy it. Apart from a clean and polish we plan to leave the exterior alone – each ding in the bodykit is part of the car’s story. We’ve just had it overhauled mechanically so it now runs as it should, and we have plans to increase its power even further in the coming months!’

Flared-arch bodykit and engine upgrades added up to a good chunk of the BMW’s list price new. Bodywork started to crack when car was pushed onto the trailer. Tahmid and co. livestreamed their trip home via Eurotunnel.

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