1988 BMW 535i

With its shark nosed, classically cool styling the E28 is a firm favorite among fans of 80s BMWs, but it’s the M5 and 535iS variants that get most of the attention. It’s not hard to see why. The M5 based on this platform was one of the first super sedans, laying down the classic formula for all modern Q-ships: supreme performance packaged in a stealthy, unassuming exterior. Meanwhile the 535iS appealed to those who wanted a bit of flash but couldn’t quite afford the full cream M-car, and was really just a 535i with firmer suspension, bodykit and sport seats. That isn’t a bad thing. The underlying car, introduced as a range-topper in 1984, was a winner, marrying the bulletproof M30 3.4 liter straight six engine (good for about 182 hp, in US emissions restricted form) with a tractable and responsive chassis. A regular 535i with a manual gearbox therefore offers a fun and relatively affordable alternative to the more expensive E28s out there.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 BMW 535i Dinan Turbo – REVISIT

Here at GCFSB, we feature a lot of cars. Since I started writing for this site, I’ve composed some 1,773 articles, a fair amount of which cover more than one car. So it would be easy to forget that you’d already seen a car. That would especially be the case if a fair amount of time had passed since you last saw it and it was a relatively plain-jane looking model.

Enter this 1989 535i in Cirrus Blue Metallic. Outside of Hartge wheels, it’s pretty unassuming. That is, except for the “Dinan” badge on the left side of the trunk.

It’s that Dinan badge which unlocks a world of performance that otherwise is the domain of M models, and this sleeper package with low reported miles seems to be a pretty compelling alternative. Immediately, I recognized this car but knew it had been a bit since I last saw it. Since it was originally featured in March of 2014, very little has changed – the seller utilized the same photos and much of the same description from the original ad, disappointingly. He reports about 500 more miles in two and a half years, and unsurprisingly the price has dropped little. The auction is no reserve with an $11,250 starting bid – only about $750 less than the original ask. As the market on E34s really hasn’t improved greatly since then outside of some exceptional M5s, I’d wager this automatic 535i – even with the Dinan provenance – will have trouble this time around, too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 535i Dinan Turbo on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site March 11, 2014:

1991 BMW 535i 5-speed

3A 535i with a manual transmission is probably the third most desirable version of the E34 5-series, after the M5 and the 540i/540i M-Sport. These cars came with the 3.5 liter “big six” M30 engine (technically a 3.4 liter mill) and represented the top of the non-M lineup until they were replaced in 1993 by the V8-powered 540i. While manual 540s are a hoot if you can find them, they are not without their faults (somewhat thirsty, and susceptible to the nikasil issue, in which the sulphur content of 90s era gasoline had the tendency to eat away at the nikasil lining of the block, requiring a replacement engine). The six-cylinder manual 535 on the other hand, which is perhaps even harder to find than a manual transmission 540, is torquey, smooth, reliable and fun to drive while returning decent fuel economy.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 535i on Bimmerforums

1990 BMW 535i

7Only yesterday I was lamenting, once again, the dearth of nice condition E34s on the market. Well, as if to prove me wrong, another neat example has popped up on eBay. When these cars crop up in this kind of condition, they serve as a reminder of just how handsome an E34 can be when cleaned up. The lines are crisp and unfussy and the overall impression given off by the well-proportioned design is of a purposeful sport sedan. This particular example is an unusually specified 535i with ultra low miles. Unfortunately, it also has a rather ambitious price tag.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 535i on eBay

1988 Alpina B10 3.5/1

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This beautiful E34 Alpina B10 is of the tamer 3.5/1 variety, not the Biturbo monster that Carter posted a few months back, but it still had a healthy 46hp more than the standard 535i. Beyond the breathed-on engine, it comes with about as much style as an E34 can handle, rocking Alpina 20-spokes, pinstriping, seats, and freight-train front spoiler all installed in Beuchloe, Germany. This was just the 9th example made out of a run that reached 572. Personally, I appreciate the omission of the rear spoiler, helping it looks just about perfect inside and out. All factory Alpina cars command a hefty premium over stock examples, but this will get you pretty much all of the Biturbo’s show, just with a bit less go.

Click for details: 1988 Alpina B10 3.5/1 on eBay

1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute – Revisit


“This is not the greatest E28 in the world, no –
This is just a tribute.”

Yet again, the “Manofied Racing” Alpina tribute – a well thought-out and thorough interpretation – is back on eBay. It popped up twice a couple of years ago, a few months apart, but obviously had no bites at $32,500. Two years on it has received a respray but lost its Alpina stripes on everything but the front and rear flight decks. Despite the impressive boom in the ’80s BMW market, this one apparently didn’t get to set whatever price the seller deemed more than generous. It’s down to $25k now, but I’m guessing a low-$20ks offer might get a serious discussion started.

-NR

The below post originally appeared on our site April 15, 2014:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo

When it comes of tuned BMWs, there’s no shortage of examples. Indeed, there are far more tuners of the popular Munich brand than all the others combined. From ABC Exclusive to Zender, everyone had their hand at modifying some series car into something a bit more. Sometimes more was tasteful, and othertimes it was garish – but all the way along, no firm has been consistently more effective at producing a quality product than Alpina. From their roots as a semi-factory race effort in the 1970s right through the dealer-offered cars of today, Alpina’s results have always been top-notch redefinition of the basic car. And while they have subsequently built faster cars, for me the best examples of the ethos of Alpina and its relation to BMW has always been the B10 BiTurbo. BMW built the screaming S38 powered M5, but Alpina provided its clients a private jet for the road:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo on eBay

1989 535i Euro

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As Santa streaked across the sky last night, so too this 535i sailed from Germany to America, ready to bestow a lovely present upon some good boy or girl. It’s a nice early example of the E34 with the 3.4 liter M30B35, updated from the E28 generation with newer fuel injection an a higher compression ratio to yield 208hp, a 26hp improvement over the B34. This example appears to have been a continuing project for its owners and now sports additions on the exterior, interior, and engine bay to make it more than your average E34. An M5’s steering wheel and leather seats look great and are complimented by Schmidmann bit and short shifter, while the same company provided a subtly aggressive bodykit and racing headers. Classic 3-piece, 17″ BBS Style 5s bring the Motorsports feel as well. It’s no M5 or M540i, but it is a nicely-styled and unique European E34.

Click for details: 1989 535i Euro on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW 535i Dinan 3.9

The E28 is a great chassis, no doubt, but often the normal 535i gets overlooked as a potential classic. We search out instead examples of the M5-look 535is or indeed the S38-motored legend itself, but today’s example will give those that dismiss the “normal” 535i a reason for pause. Upgraded with the full repertoire of Dinan bits and given a European specification makeover and repaint, this is one seriously good looking and well built 535i:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Dinan 3.9 on Craigslist

1985 BMW 535i

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What is age, anyway? As my 30th birthday quickly approaches, that question has been on my mind a lot recently. Years alive may be an objective measurement, but youthfulness, vigor, lust for life – these are all factors in “age” that are significantly more subjective. I’ve had a pretty good three decades, but I’m working to make sure that they keep getting better.

This 535i has lived exactly the same amount of years as me, but I can only hope to be as youthful as it appears. Having covered less than 70k miles in 30 years and completely original save the A/C system, this is one heck of an E28. From the chrome to the carpet to to the paint, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything resembling a flaw on this time capsule. The leather shows slight signs of wear, but then again 70k miles isn’t zero. With everything functioning well on a very sturdy platform, age is relative; there are many happy days in this 535i’s future.

Click for details: 1985 BMW 535i on eBay