A couple of weeks ago I wrote up a 1995 530i. I noted that despite classically handsome styling and a spot-on chassis, the E34 5-series has remained curiously under appreciated, with the exception perhaps of the M5 variant. At the time, I admitted that the particular example I posted (an automatic with the relatively underpowered 3.0 V8) wasn’t exactly the best of the range. This 525i probably offers a better all round package than the 530i, and is more likely to be attractive to those looking for a cheap but dynamic daily driver. While it’s not in quite the same condition as that other car, this one arguably has a better engine and comes in a better color, with a more competitive asking price. It also features that all important third pedal.
All posts tagged e34
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a clean, low-mileage E34 5-series. I should know: I recently bought one myself. Although I eventually found a nice example, I had to wade through a lot of sad and tired cars before finding it. That’s a shame because these are among the most attractive and well-balanced cars produced by BMW in recent memory. The design neatly bridges the angular, four-headlight era with the softer, more rounded period to come in the late 90s, and is likely to be looked back upon as a classic. The styling is purposeful, handsome and unmistakably BMW. Even the hot versions, the 540i M-Sport and the M5, are only distinguished from the lower models by subtly modified bumpers and side skirts, leaving owners of base models, like myself, able to kid themselves that they are driving something a bit more special than they really are. The finely weighted chassis makes the car feel surprisingly throwable and sporty for an executive sedan; if the equivalent car from Mercedes, the W124, is built for autobahn cruising, the E34 is well suited to driving the back roads.
But unfortunately, a lot of these have already been driven into the ground. Every now and again however a nice one pops up, like this mint condition example for sale in Canada and eligible for import into the US.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 530i on eBay
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
It is always a bit of a treat to look back at some alumni of the GCFSB pages, especially so when it’s a lovely example of a special car that was snapped up by one of our enthusiast readership. For years we’ve banged on about the E34 M5, a conundrum of the M lineup. It’s got all the right DNA to be a classic, yet like the similar 944 Turbo has generally languished in value compared to similar products. That may sound like a broken record on these pages, but it’s a tune which is both catchy and sweet-sounding for BMW fans because it means they’re getting more car for their money. Recent market activity in 2015 has started to remix the tune, though, and E34s have been on the rise. Hagerty currently places top value on 1991 M5s at $42,000 – steep sounding given what they’ve traded for over the last few years, but perhaps more in line with their legendary build quality and performance especially when considering their siblings. But in terms of overall value, let’s consider today’s Jet Black 1991. It is nearly 100% original, fully documented, accident free and has under 100,000 miles on the clock – and currently represents the best value of the original M-car experience:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay
There’s something about beige wagons that just screams KIDS AND DOGS. The E34 5-series tourings seem to scream it extra loud to me, perfecting the mix of country and classy, sedate and sporty, unsuspecting and utilitarian. The E34 was the last 5-series to really embrace the long, straight line aesthetic so easily accentuated by a longroof. In 1992 the 525i received the M50B25TU, getting single VANOS and putting out 21hp more than the earlier M20B25. It doesn’t make it a speed demon, but there’s no denying the versatility of the silky-smooth little inline-6. This autobox-equipped wagon has covered just 65k miles and the interior, exterior, and engine compartment look it. I dream of a OEM+, M5ish E34 wagon some day, but as a daily-driving family hauler this 525iT will impart subtle class to any road it graces.