Hagerty has this car listed under BMW E28 M5s, but its origin as a 525is and ensuing plethora of modifications make it a difficult car to classify. It recently received a Euro exterior conversion after a huge modification list of aftermarket E28 parts and OEM M5 parts, creating a FrankenE28 that is truly impressive. Bored and stroked S38s in any chassis are the stuff dreams are made of, with this custom build’s 350hp usurping even the almighty S38B38. A Wilwood big brake kit and Dinan/Koni/Bilstein suspension set up deviate from staying too true to the M5, but a full M5 interior and trunk, including battery relocation, are classy and expensive conversions. While not a fully dedicated M5 tribute/conversion, this ticks all the boxes in the outstanding E28 category.
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Typically, there’s no reason to list a car as Canadian as its more of an importation detail than a real differentiating factor for the model. Perhaps the most notable exception is the legendary E28 M5, with a known history of BMW rushing to churn out 1340 examples for North America and standardizing them with most of the options list and exclusively black paint and (mostly) tan “Natur” leather interiors. 101 examples were sent over with full black interiors – 30 of the US allocation and all 71 M5s for the Canadian market. This creates something akin to a small herd of albino unicorns, and every once in a while they pop up and reignite the forum discussions as to whether a black interior inherently creates more value. The jury is still out on that last point, though I’d suspect that the rising tide for E28 M5s will help them gain some steam purely based on their rarity.
This M5 is one of the 71 Canadian black-on-blacks and is the nicest example I’ve seen. 124k miles and excellent condition make it a high-dollar M5 to start, right in line with the other $30k+ sales we’ve seen.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
The M535i is an interesting piece of BMW history in many ways. On the plus side, it came straight from the E12 M535i, which was a direct result of BMW’s motorsports efforts and was hand-built. Unfortunately, the E28 M535i was no longer hand-built nor rare. Mostly a bodykit and ///M badges unless some options boxes were ticked, the M535i acted more as an advertisement for the BMW’s blossoming M Division, getting those tricolored stripes and Ms out in public as the M3, M5, and M6 took charge as the real performance flag bearers. With rose colored lenses we could see it as an instrumental piece of building the extra-performance arm of the Ultimate Driving Machine; cynically, it can be identified as the beginning of BMW’s whoring out of the M cachet as all show and no go. Whatever your viewpoint, they are relatively rare, never-sold-here E28 legends that will attract some attention from those in the know.
This example isn’t pristine but is better than decent and represents a nice opportunity to get in a piece of E28 history for a reasonable price. The exterior appears to be the best part, with nice paint and complete M-Technic bodykit. The interior – though cloth, which I love – has some unfortunate holes, though not much worse than you’d see on leather. I absolutely love the Style 32 wheels in general, and they fit the OEM+ nature of the M535i perfectly – better than most other E28s I’ve seen with them. With a brake upgrade and recent tune-up, 165k miles isn’t much of a concern on the workhorse M30. All of this for $8,500 or less, right in the heart of good E28 money.
Click for details: 1985 BMW 535i on eBay
Here’s an E28 M5 that should provide an interesting litmus test for those out there still pondering trying to find a clean, driver-quality example. We’ve seen some sub-150k mile M5s reach into the $30ks, which still seems a bit steep to me even though they were nearly perfect. This one is neither all-original nor perfect, with a redone interior and Euro headlight upgrade with Frenchy yellow lowbeams. It also shares the Billy Boat exhaust present on my car, which I enjoy but is rather loud. The leather looks very nice and overall this looks like a complete, clean M5 that would be blast to drive. The seller says he’s looking to “get around $25k” which seems a bit steep to me. Are middle-market M5s there yet?
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
This E28 M5 was the car Dinan used for R&D to create their own modifications to supplement BMW’s upgrades to the platform. Not only does that make it a cool piece of American tuner history, but it clears the air of any pretension or garage-queeniness. This M5 has been used and worked on from the get-go. That makes things like the Euro bumpers, recovered seats (now without heat), and early engine rebuild (likely due to the early testing?) not as big of issues. It’s a very clean and good-looking M5 with a fun – if not flawless – history. Even with over 100k miles and bumper conversions, clean E28 M5s have been garnering some serious attention and money. A colorful but respectful past just seems like more of an excuse to drive a great M5 if you can afford it.