One car that seems to resonate with readers here at GCFSB is the E34 BMW 5 series. This car was a bit of a bridge between the older and newer era of BMW. With the help of famed automotive designer, J Mays, few cars really got their proportions so right. The E39 5 series to follow was indeed an evolution of this design which lasted right into the new millennium. One of our favorite E34s is this car here, the 540i Sport, offered during the final production year, 1995. With the disappearance of the M5 from the lineup in 1993, there was a void to fill. US customers got most of the M5 goodies mixed in with BMW’s new 4.0 liter V8. This example for sale in Illinois has the favored 6-speed manual gearbox and is a rather tempting piece indeed for the price.
All posts tagged e34
It’s hard to find a single owner “M” car these days, even harder to find one that was assembled by a single person. This 1993 BMW M5 checks both those boxes and has the added bonus of having traveled a paltry 9,880 miles in its 22 year lifespan. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t get sticker shock when I reviewed this listing. I get it, this is an extremely rare opportunity to drive a legendary vehicle in true showroom condition. If I had $63k to spend on a car I would go out and snatch this thing up right now. I mean, you’d have to be crazy to get a comparably priced new BMW instead of this car. By the time you put any kind of major miles on it the value will have only held steady or decreased very little. Aside from just being a fun to drive, final year North American M5’s are highly sought after for their minor cosmetic upgrades like the iconic “Throwing Star” wheels and the Shadowline Exterior package. The fact that these were the last handbuilt BMW’s available in America only adds to this car’s intriguing portfolio. Seriously, there’s so much to love about this car from an investment standpoint that you almost forget that it’s also just a damn fine car to drive.
The E34 M5 was powered by the S38 inline-6, the last M5 motor to share DNA with the legendary BMW Motorsport engines. It made 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque; not crazy by today’s standards but it’s enough to put a big old smile on your face. Europe saw powered bumped to 335 hp in ’91 and the addition of a 6-speed manual transmission in ’95 because it’s Europe and they get all the good stuff. Speaking of which, in 1992 the folks at M Division built their first estate car and it remains, in my humble opinion, the coolest fast wagon in the history of fast wagons. I will endeavor to find a solid example to write about in the near future as we are only two years away from being able to legally import those beauties. For now we’ll just have to make due with sedan examples like this one, I suppose it could be worse.
Click for details: 1993 BMW M5 On California Beemers
An interesting discussion developed around Andrew’s E39 540i post and my subsequent E12 520i post; what’s the best looking 5-series? One of our readers, William, suggested that it was the E34 – certainly a sentiment that I can appreciate. As his evidence, he submitted this car, probably the best example of how good a E34 can look – a European market M5 with the potent 3.8 liter S38. Whether or not you agree or contend that this was the best BMW, best E34, best M5 or best looking sedan ever, nearly everyone passing through these pages can appreciate that this is one great looking Teutonic piece of engineering; a driver’s car in true sleeper form. It might not be the definitive M5 for everyone, but it’s a pretty darn good example of how wonderful those two letters can be:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW M5 3.8 Euro-spec on Craigslist
I’ve recently had the pleasure of writing up a few very cool Alpinas thanks to a new seller who seems to be flooding the market. Today, unlike the Japanese seller on eBay, there are two B10s that are already located in the Americas – Canada, to be specific, where it’s a bit easier to get these European market cars imported. So here we have two iterations of Alpina’s vision of the 5-series; in the E34, it’s a 1991 3.5/1 that was very similar in many regards to the B11 3.5/1 I featured Tuesday. On the newer end of the spectrum is the 1998 B10 V8; a huge jump in power to accompany the newer chassis. Which is your flavor? Let’s break down what you’d get with each:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Alpina B10 3.5/1 on eBay
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Dinan was still on the cutting edge of performance tuning. As with Reeves Callaway, Steve Dinan had started turbocharging BMWs to create supercar-slaying sedans and coupes. At that point, Dinan was a lesser-known tuner than the likes of Alpina and Hartge, but the results of their turbocharging the S38 in the BMW M6 notably gained the car the nickname “The Annihilator”. That should tell you something of the level to which Dinan Cars brings their creations to whilst retaining the original attributes of the base car. It’s a special combination that resulted in Dinan being incorporated into the BMW dealer network; today, cruise down to your dealership and you can buy Dinan products and software upgrades for just about any model and retain your warranty. Because of that connection, an appreciation for early Dinan cars continues to grow though in general they remain more affordable than their German tuner counterparts. They are, however, just as rare to come across – especially when they come in the condition of today’s 1991 535i, one of the last of Dinan’s inline-6 turbo creations: