It would be easy to credit the BMW M5 as the first super sedan, and in many ways, it is. With a motorsport-derived twin cam 24V inline-6 under the hood good for over 280 horsepower in Europe, the E28 M535i and M5 were nothing to trifle with. However, well before the Motorsports division of BMW had their way with the E28, they built the prototype for what would become the definitive sports sedan in the E12 M535i. Granted, the E12 didn’t have the super M1 motor under the hood. However, like the later M5 would, the E12 had upgraded brakes, a re-tuned suspension featuring unique springs and Bilstein shocks, a deep front air dam and rear spoiler and BBS mesh wheels. Because this was basically still the 1970s, they also received some spectacular Motorsports stripes outside to help differentiate them as something special. Inside you got special Recaro seats with a unique corduroy fabric and an M1 steering wheel – not a bad touch. All of that was coupled with the uncatalyst M30B34 seen in several other BMWs, good for 218 horsepower. It was in just about every way the stepping stone to creating the M5. They were even produced in similar numbers to the M5, with only around 1,400 made – 450 of them being right drive like this 1980 example for sale today:
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The search for the elusive, clean E30 continues, and this Schwarz example appears well cared-for with only minor cosmetic modifications that are fully reversible. The look is very lippy and very low, and I think with the ///M badge removed and some slightly more subtle wheels, this would be a very clean daily driver. The price is right but the transmission is unfortunately wrong, making this more beauty queen than canyon carver. Maybe it should keep the oversized BBS wheels after all?
Click for details: 1987 BMW 325i on eBay
I hold out a small amount of hope that somewhere, floating around the U.S., there is a pristine, low mileage and mechanically perfect Audi V8 quattro. Honestly, even though I prefer to find a 3.6 5-speed, I wouldn’t even be bothered if it was an automatic as long as it was the later 4.2. As with all the large luxury sedans from Audi, there are precious few that remain in good original shape with lower miles. A similar situation occurs with the same generation BMW 7-series; the E32. Like the V8 quattro, it was a big step forward in the sporting executive market for the company, yet crumbling residual values and expensive repairs on the V12 models have left precious few in good shape. In fact, the E32 almost seems to disappear in the realm of classic BMWs, such is the concentration on early models or the bargain performance of the E38 and newer examples. So when a lower mile, pristine condition E32 pops up, we take notice:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 735i on eBay
I have a few more rare sets of wheels to check out this week to help you set your ride apart. While the Mugen wheels are really intended for Hondas, the look of this particular set of wheels would really set apart an early Volkswagen or BMW. The BBS RA Mahle wheels are much more usual to see on older BMWs, but this set looks awesome and would really suit a 2002 or E21 nicely. The MK Motorsports wheels are much newer but would be a nice addition to an E30 or Mk.2/3 Volkswagen. Melber mesh wheels are another rarity but period for the W123/W126 Mercedes-Benzs, or even an R107 SL. Then there are some great Hart 759 3-piece wheels that would really stand out on a newer Boxster, Cayman or 911. Which is your favorite?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Mugen 15×6 4×100 Wheels on eBay
Another week, another Alpina treat from our favorite new tuner seller from Japan. This time, unlike the mostly 5-series based models that have popped up for sale there is a E32 model on offer. The E32 was a big step up in terms of luxury and driving dynamics from the E23, fully modernizing the high end lineup for BMW. As they had with previous models, Alpina immediately had their hand with the new model and breathed their normal aftermarket life into the large executive sedan. That meant a turned up engine good for 250 horsepower (261 without catalyst) although that engine – from the E28 B10 and E30 B6 – was replaced with a 254 horsepower version in 1988 which was shared with the E34 B10 3.5/1. In addition, the normal suspension, wheel and interior treatments were complimented by some minor aerodynamic tweaks and exhaust upgrades to create a decidedly more performance oriented luxury car: