1985 BMW 535i

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As I picked up the M5 from the shop today (finally), they were still working on a woman’s beat E12, into which she was dumping $5k so that her daughter could inherit it as a daily driver. Despite admittedly being the pot calling Mrs. Kettle black, it seemed silly to drop that kind of coin on a car that seemed unspecial to me. Today’s E28 adds an interesting juxtaposition to her and my situations; advertised as “lady owned,” this 535i is rough on the top, but the sides through the interior are commensurate with the nice 115k mileage.

Yes, it’s an automatic. Yes, the up-facing surfaces look like the skin of someone who has been retired and at the beach since 1985… but it’s not too far from being a 30 year-old sugar momma in a beach house.

Click for more details: 1985 BMW 535i on eBay

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Year: 1985
Model: 535i
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 115,616 mi
Price: Reserve-on auction

$_57 (1)

Lady owned over 30 years, never painted on. Clear is bad on hood, roof, deck. Great everywhere else. Interior looks like no one has been in it. Dash is perfect. Running gear does not leak. Runs absolutely new. Trans is as new. Tires are old. Tools and trunk are flawless. New hood insulation. New front and rear window trim strips included. Books, chain is new, in amazing condition.


I often discourage buying someone else’s project here, but just as often encourage some great blank slates to start your own. At time of writing, bidding is just over $1,500. With a little paint it’s a great cruiser; with a little creativity it’s an awesome E28. It will be interesting where this ends up; right now it’s looking like a serious bargain.


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One Comment on "1985 BMW 535i"

  1. Dan says:

    Our 85 535i was an auto too and to be honest it suited the car fine. While no S38, it’s still a gutsy motor in small car by today’s standards.