When buying an E28, there’s an amazing breadth of options when it comes to style, approach, and history. Some go with the M5, an epic and significant performance sedan that comes with steep prices and even steeper maintenance costs. Some look to the affordable and classy daily drivers out there, highlighting the simple sportiness of this great mid-size generation. Somewhere in between, there are some fantastic modified examples, whether they’ve been turbo’d, Euro’d, or all of the above. Today’s E28 wears the sharp exterior of a Euro M5 with its slight bumpers, clean foglight setup and 80s-tastic trunk spoiler. The seller, a strong member of the MyE28 forum and owner of both an E28 M5 and Hartge H5S, has spared few expenses. Beyond the full Euro conversion, the all-black interior is redone including a leather dash, undergone a nice repaint, the M30 was rebuilt just over 30k miles ago, and much more. Despite the beautiful looks, excellent attention to detail, and a very reasonable price, he’s had a surprisingly tough time finding a new home for it.
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Most E28 M5s have experienced some level of modification, whether it’s removing the self-leveling rear suspension, adding a chip and exhaust, or getting a little crazy with more displacement out of the S38. There are plenty of tuner options out there, but Dinan is one of the most respected names out there and this owner went to town with their catalogue. The usual suspects are all there from chip to short shift kit to intake, but one of the more interesting mods is the SLS upgrade by Dinan as opposed to the more common complete removal. It also has some amazing, blocky Dinan 5-spokes, which remind me a lot of Ruf’s classic rims. It all adds up to a modified M5 that appears loved rather than abused and looks every bit the late-80s hot rod it was meant to be.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
As much as we discuss 80s M car values getting pulled up by the E30 M3, they aren’t insane yet. There are still some great drivers out there for the same price as a brand-new economy car, which will always be a great argument for getting adventurous and buying a fun classic. This 140k-mile example isn’t the cream puff some middle-mileage examples have been, but it’s pretty well sorted with enough minor blemishes to keep the price in check. Buying an E28 M5 for reasonable money has been one of the most educational and fun experiences in my car-loving life, and this one is a good opportunity to get a decent driver without breaking the bank.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
There’s so much to like about this E28 5 Series that it’s hard to know where to start. The car itself is an absolute gem, the manner in which the seller has photographed boarders on editorial quality and the bidding sits at at very reasonable $5,200 (though we don’t know the reserve is) with 4 days left to go. However, as with so many things in life, there’s a catch. This bronze Bavarian beauty only has two pedals, which for many people is a deal breaker but not for me. Would I rather have a 5 spd manual in this car? Absolutely but given the pristine condition this vehicle appears to be in, I don’t think I could pass up a chance to be its caretaker for a little while, even though it suffers from PRND syndrome.
The E28 is considered by many to be the original Q-Ship and for those of you out there that would harp on the automatic transmission found on this example, let me remind you what a Q-Ship is all about, stealth. Now I know it would be more fun to row your own in this car but what better way to fly under the radar when having fun than to have an automatic transmission keeping you in check. I honestly believe that just taking away the option to quickly downshift and take off around a corner completely changes the personality of the 535. Where most folks would envision themselves tearing up windy roads in this car I see myself cruising around town with friends or road tripping around the Pacific Northwest. That may seem oddly specific but I’ll attribute it to the Bronze Metallic over Nutria leather color-way and the car being from Vancouver.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 535i on eBay
E28 M5 values are continuing to climb, and examples that are good but flawed are now going for amounts that, until recently, were reserved for nearly perfect, low-mileage beauties. Many enthusiasts and publications have seen this coming for a while, but this past year has seen the largest jump yet. Today, we have two M5s that have covered a little over 150k miles – certainly not spring chickens. We’ve seen well-traveled M5s go for over $30k, but exceptional care and appearance seemed to rationalize such a high price. Both of today’s cars have their flaws, signifying that the 80s ///M appreciation is spreading far and wide.