When I was a younger lad, I diligently followed the car magazines. It was in the late 80s that a small California-based firm named after its creator, Steve Dinan, started gaining the notice of the car magazines. The reason why was simply; just as Reeves Callaway had done on the East Coast, Steve Dinan was taking already potent cars and turbocharging them in the Golden State. In this case, it was E28 and E24 M5 and M6s that were getting forced induction, and the results were unreal. At the time, having 400 horsepower put you into the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and a few other exotics. Dinan didn’t rest on those laurels though, and since has become a defacto factory tuner in a similar vein to AMG, though they remain independent. That’s a testament to the quality and reliability of their work. What they produce are improved versions of already fast cars, and today’s 1989 535 is a great example. The E34 was a solid performer in its day, but with a turbo and 300 wheel horsepower, it’s an undercover M5 assassin:
All posts tagged Dinan
E30 values seem to have matured to the point that consumers aren’t phased by high prices for the right car. I’ve noticed over the last few months a sort of cooling of heads, and less turmoil when a car is posted outside of the $4-$6K comfort range so many E30s tend to fall into. Examples like this 1990 325is from California, which is in immaculate condition and sports some hard-to-find period Dinan modifications (good luck finding the exhaust – lots of “Wanted to Buy” threads that go no where fast), are the outliers that everyone generally agrees is worth the asking price. Perhaps it’s because the market has settled to the point that we know what generally counts as crap, what’s a decent driver, and what’s truly becoming unrepeatable as E30s get snatched up and either restored or modified beyond recognition. This car, for my money anyway, edges towards the unrepeatable category.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 325is on R3VLimited
The E39 M5 gets all the press as the best E39, and often as the best M5 ever. Sitting in its shadows is the highly capable 540i. The M-sport came with 6 speeds, M Suspension, and the desirable Style 37 M-Parallels. Today’s has been further upgraded with an M5′s LSD and Dinan chip, helping to up performance levels a little more. Ideally this would be a less-expensive alternative to the king of all supersedans, but the price is dangerously close to decent E39 M5 money. Can the low mileage and choice add-ons make up for missing 100 horsepower and ///M cachet?
Click for more details: 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport on Southern California’s Craigslist
A while back I wrote up a very interesting Taiga Green 535is that had a lot of miles but was still an eye-catcher. Today we have a similar situation – a passed-down E28 with a lot of miles but also a lot of love, resprayed in an attractive viridescent hue. It’s a little scary when you look underneath, but if you keep your eyes up you’ll find a clean E28 that looks great in a unique color with shadowline trim and a black interior. If you believe the seller’s history and are ready to continue stewardship (i.e. fixing endless little issues) on this classic, it could be a good looker for the money.