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.
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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.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
Clean, low-mileage E28s are always a treat, and there have been some nicely preserved examples of the 535i here on GCFSB before. This one has the standard fog-lighted 535i bumper with an “is” rear spoiler, looking pretty sharp on Style 5s but more cruiser than the M5/is package. You can’t get much more 80s than baby blue over blue leather – I love it. 82k miles with no real defects means this is could be a special daily driver or fun entry into the E28 world for an enthusiast.