Euro Touring: 1994 BMW 525tds

Continuing on the wagon theme, today we’re going to take a look at something in a similar vein – but oh, so very different. This 1994 BMW E34 Touring is in many ways the antithesis of yesterday’s S6 clone; it’s an original European model, it’s very bare bones, and it’s a diesel.

The story behind BMW’s foray into diesel power in the U.S. was pretty interesting. BMW had developed the M21 2.4 liter turbocharged inline-6 diesel in the 1970s with fuel prices rising; it finally launched in the early 1980s with the E28 524td. But you probably best know that motor for its appearance in mid-80s American iron; an attempt by Ford to improve the fuel economy of its large executive Lincoln Continental. The marriage didn’t work; although the M21 was a good motor (especially when compared to GM’s diesel!), gas prices were falling and the economy was recovering by the time it finally came to market. But since BMW went through the effort to get the M21 legal for U.S. shores, they brought the 524td over here, too. It was a slow seller in the E28 lineup; equipped only with an automatic, BMW dealers shifted 3,635 of the diesels.

No surprise, then, that when the E34 launched, the diesel didn’t come back with it. Though the U.S. market didn’t see the M21 in the lineup though it soldiered on. The M21 was replaced in 1991 by a new version, the M51. Now displacing 2.5 liters and with an intercooler in “s” version, the 525tds upped the power from the 114 seen in the 524td to 141 and it had 192 lb.ft of torque at only 2,200 rpms. This motor carried BMW’s diesels through the 1990s, and was available in everything from the 3-series to the 7-series.

So it’s a bit of a treat to see the M51 in North America. It’s more of a treat to see it in a Touring, and in great shape, and hooked up to a manual transmission. Yes, the want is strong in this one!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 525tds on eBay

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1997 BMW 525tds Touring

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We’re raised in the US to think that all BMWs are all full-leather, optioned-out, powerful luxury machines. Then we ‘Mericans set one foot in Europe and see BMW cabs and dented city cars running around on steel wheels and get thoroughly confused. Unfortunately for us, BMWs standard of engineering and handling extends much further than just catering to yuppies. Fortunately for us, some zealous souls bring these oddities over, like today’s diesel E39 wagon. Sure, I’d love a 540iT or even a 528iT, but wouldn’t it be sweet to get Prius gas mileage with the good looks and handling of the E39 longroof? Today’s your chance with this double-import, first to Canada and then officially to the US. Cloth seats and celsius temperature readings mean this is no American Bimmer, and that makes it an interesting proposition indeed.

Click for details: 1997 BMW 525tds Touring on eBay

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