I think I like the new F10 M5. Despite the technology overload and a severe distaste for the sound-reproduction technology, any time I see one pass I dream of slapping on an exhaust that makes electronics unnecessary and letting the twin-turbo V8 do its thing – spinning tires. When the E60 M5 came out in 2005, I didn’t really get into it. The styling didn’t do much to improve the E60′s ugly genes, and all accounts seemed to find the SMG and V10 interesting at best, confused and pointless at worst. But now, as I see them ignored in parking spots, a few years removed from being the king of the hill, I see many parallels to the E28 M5 I hold so dear. The engine is motorsport-derived and batcrap crazy. It’s certainly a Bahn-stormer, and flies under the radar of most. The owner of today’s M5 must have some appreciation for the E28′s only-black US availability, as they have endeavored to completely black it out. The real headline here, though, is the fact that regardless of where your M5 affinities lie, there’s no question that low-$20s for a 500hp V10 is a silly performance deal.
All posts tagged 5 series
The Bavaria down the street from me always gets a second look, and the progression to the classic E28 was a smooth one. Bridging the gap was the first generation of Bimmers named 5, and today’s E12 has been putting in some serious work since it was built over 30 years ago. It looks fantastically late-70s/early-80s with gold wheels matching the pinstriping. The grey paint has a few blemishes but overall this car still shows classy and sporty in a way few cars of this era can. Think about what the American car companies were putting out in 1981… and then stop because it’s horrifying. One thing I love about 80s cars is they represent one of the last generations that can be maintained and continue running forever. With the computer invasion, I find it hard to believe that an E60 5er will ever see 300k miles. This 528i, however, has covered those miles gracefully and is ready for someone to help it go another 300k.
Click for details: 1981 BMW 528i on eBay
Last night I had a conversation with a friend in the market for a new mid-sized luxury sedan. After a lot of back and forth, I realized something that has been plaguing me with most new cars lately: there’s just not much out there that speaks to me. Sure, cars on the whole are more reliable and feature-laden then they ever have been these days, but there’s a bit of uniqueness that is lacking, along with a general disappearance of engagement in the driving experience that has perpetuated across the landscape as of late.
The E39 BMW 5 series is a bit of a touchstone for many enthusiasts, as they remember it as the last of the greats before more abstract styling and electronic aids found their way into the mid-sized offering. Styling was more evolutionary rather than revolutionary and the range of engines and transmissions satisfied most every need. This 528i represents the second year of E39 production and is equipped with the 5-speed manual gearbox, making it a good choice for 5er fans who want a more spirited drive.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW 528i on eBay
The 535is provides a lot of E28 bang for your bucks, with the spoilers and much of the handling improvements of the M5 along with a lot more color choices and lower maintenance costs. The M30 is a beast that can go for Mercedes-diesel-type miles, and all the while you’re cruising in one of my personal-favorite car designs. Today’s is a well-used example that has been cared for enough to still be a good buy. The 80s-BMW price bug may hit these some day, but for now they’re one of the best bargains out there as the M-cars and the E30 “is” models become coveted and values are driven up.
Click for details: 1988 BMW 535is on eBay
I keep finding E28s, and the price for a decent one remains far too low. While there are endless amounts of crap-can E30s that represent the failure of their millennial owners to either show self-restraint or follow-through, finding an E28 with the big six and 5-speed isn’t quite as easy. Fortunately, many of the ones I do see are in decent shape, owned by enthusiasts and needing nothing more than the typical maintenance spots a car of this vintage requires. The 535is, in addition to the larger motor, has so many cool features – the MTech rear wing, the lower front air dam, sport seats, and usually the larger and more desirable factory tool kit. This car has been on the market for a little while, and I’m surprised it hasn’t moved by now. The OEM glass moonroof is a neat feature, and modifications appear to have been kept to a minimum. Someone buy it so I can stop thinking about it!