2001 BMW 530i

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It’s been more than a decade since the E60 BMW 5 series debuted and most will agree that time hasn’t been too kind to that design. Too often, what is radical and forward thinking at a certain time becomes another man’s dated design a few years down the road. For many, however, the E39 5 series was the watershed for BMW’s mid-sized sedan. It brought us one of the most beloved M5s of all, packing a 4.9 liter V8 mated exclusively to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Offered in both sedan and Touring format with a wide range of engines, the bread and butter model would be the 530i, which could be optioned with a Sport Package for those looking to tart up their ride with some M bits, tighter suspension and more aggressive wheel and tire package. This 530i for sale in Arizona looks sharp in monochromatic Royal Red with the Style 66 alloy wheels.

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1975 BMW 530i

3The E12 was the first sedan from BMW to wear the 5-series badge. Available in the US only as a six cylinder model, it was sold here in two guises: the 530i (1975-1978) and the 528i (1979-1981). The classic, Paul Bracq-styled design was, and remains, a winner. However, the E12 is mostly remembered for its numerous flaws. Like a lot of European imports from the time, US market cars were burdened by less powerful, emissions-restricted engines and ugly, 5mph crash resistant bumpers. The 528 incorporated thermal reactors as part of its emissions control system and these had a tendency to overheat the engine bay, causing cracking or warping of the cylinder heads. The air conditioning was rubbish. The handling could be twitchy. The gas mileage was pretty awful. The bodies were particularly susceptible to rust, which is why most of them ended up in junkyards long ago. Still, I have a lot of time for these cars mostly because they are so handsome. Since there are so few of them left it’s always a pleasant surprise to find a nice looking survivor like this one.

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1995 BMW 530i

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It’s surprisingly difficult to find a clean, low-mileage E34 5-series. I should know: I recently bought one myself. Although I eventually found a nice example, I had to wade through a lot of sad and tired cars before finding it. That’s a shame because these are among the most attractive and well-balanced cars produced by BMW in recent memory. The design neatly bridges the angular, four-headlight era with the softer, more rounded period to come in the late 90s, and is likely to be looked back upon as a classic. The styling is purposeful, handsome and unmistakably BMW. Even the hot versions, the 540i M-Sport and the M5, are only distinguished from the lower models by subtly modified bumpers and side skirts, leaving owners of base models, like myself, able to kid themselves that they are driving something a bit more special than they really are. The finely weighted chassis makes the car feel surprisingly throwable and sporty for an executive sedan; if the equivalent car from Mercedes, the W124, is built for autobahn cruising, the E34 is well suited to driving the back roads.

But unfortunately, a lot of these have already been driven into the ground. Every now and again however a nice one pops up, like this mint condition example for sale in Canada and eligible for import into the US.

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1994 BMW 530i – REVISIT

The 1994 BMW 530i we featured last October is back up for the sale at the same ask of $9,900. If you’ve hankered after the chance at a clean example of one of the most handsome 5 series to date with an eight cylinder engine under the hood, you’ll want to take a second look at this sedan.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 530i on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site October 6, 2015:

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2002 BMW 530i

Of all of the BMWs that have come and gone over the last two decades, the E39 5 series happens to be one of my favorite, ranking right up there with the E38 7 series and iconic M Coupe. While there are still a good number of clean, low mileage M5s circulating around, these come with a high price. However, if you are willing to sacrifice a bit of performance but maybe want something a bit more tame and reasonable on the wallet for daily use, this 530i for sale in Florida should work just nicely. Finished in Blue Water Metallic and sitting on Style 42 alloys, this low mileage beauty is bound to make some Bimmer enthusiast happy.

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1994 BMW 530i Touring

I feel as though I’ve been on a kick of featuring performance variants lately and while a well maintained go-fast-machine is certainly attention grabbing, I think there is something to be said for solid basic transportation as well. This 1994 BMW 530iT lives only a few minutes away from me and I swear I’ve seen it out on local streets. E34 wagons always catch my eye, I’ve written up a number of them in the past, and while I usually look for rare ones with a 3rd pedal, I couldn’t pass over this example.

It appears to be quite clean overall and the seller mentions that $1,400 in service was recently performed. With an older BMW that could have easily been one minor part and a bunch of labor, but still, good to know it has recently been in the shop. I’d be sure to find out where he took it and touch base with the shop to see how well they know the car. The seller does mention that he has all the maintenance records from new, so either they’re the original owner or the records came with the car. Lots more to find out here, but I have to say this is one intriguing package.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 530i Touring on Craigslist Los Angeles

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1978 BMW 530i – REVISIT

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The 1978 BMW 530i that Carter featured last September has reappeared, once again with a reserve. It’s not everyday you see an E12 in survivor condition, so let’s appreciate this car for what it is and reflect upon the first in a series of what would be some of the world’s favorite sport sedans.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 BMW 530i on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site May 31, 2015:

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1977 BMW 530i

Being an Audi fan, I’m aware of what a bad reputation can do to cars. In the 1970s, Audi gained a reputation for unreliability and poor electronics; perhaps justified, considering the many stories that people have about early Audi 100 ownership. However, it’s a haunting reputation that amazingly nearly 40 years on they’re still trying to shake. It looked as if by the early 2000s they had done so, but now a generation on, the cars from that generation have their own problems and have bred more discontent generally from enthusiasts on the outside looking in. The result is that it’s damn near impossible to find a nice condition Audi from the 1970s, and in just a few years we’ll see the same thing with 1990s Audis, too.

Where am I going with this, considering this is a listing for a BMW? Well, the early E12s had their own problems, but notably that was an issue in the U.S.. That’s because to meet U.S. market regulations, the E12 was made slower and more ugly. Large 5 m.p.h. bumpers were fitted, and compression on the M30 was dropped to meet lower fuel standards. Additionally, to burn off hydrocarbons to meet emissions regulations, the 530i was fitted with thermal reactor manifolds. They did as their name suggested, though the reaction unfortunately many times was with the internals of the engine – warping heads and frying valves. It was a debacle which spelled the death of the 530i, reborn as the 528i in 1979. Coupled with rust issues that this generation BMW had, it’s now quite hard to find an original U.S. spec 530i:

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1977 BMW 530i

If the E28 defined BMW as the defact mid-range sports sedan manufacturer, it was the E12 that established the trend. There’s a beautiful simplicity to the original Paul Bracq design; it is both stately and organic, subtle and understated but strong and elegant. The 5-series announced that you had arrived in a distinctly more sporty manner than the Audi 100 or Mercedes W123. Unfortunately, unlike the W123, it’s become exceedingly difficult to find good examples of the E12 – especially when you wind the clock back to the U.S. thermal-reactor 530i. Many suffered death by mechanical disregard or worse yet the ignominious death by tin worm. That’s why it’s especially awesome to see one pop up in fantastic shape, such as this 1977 Topaz Brown model that was spotted by our reader John via Daily Turismo.

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2003 BMW 530i

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Not a week goes by it seems that we don’t feature an E39 BMW 5 series of some sort. Generally we like to hone in on the V8 engined fast Fives, but the bread and butter E39s in the US market were the ones equipped with the inline-6 under the hood. This 2003 530i represents the last year for the E39 and the sunset on this particular chapter in BMW design language. Equipped with the sports package and a 5-speed manual gearbox, it is sort of junior version of the M5 for those who may be scared off by the running costs and thirst of the Motorsports beast.

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