What’s the best deal going amongst BMW M cars? One could certainly argue that it must be the E34 M5. With the classic and refined looks of the third generation 5 series comes both great build quality and legendary reliability that helped to solidify BMW’s place in the luxury market today. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that there was an equally legendary series of engines under the hood, and without a doubt the shining star of that lineup and the model range indeed was the M5 with the original S38 motor screaming its last song. Despite the rush on all things M from the 1980s and general good shape that many of the E34 Ms appear in, they’re also generally quite affordable compared to the rest of the examples of BMW Motorsport’s influence. Part of that was that the package didn’t stand out quite as much as either the E28 or E39 M5 did. It was subtle, understated and almost whisper quiet in its delivery of a performance package; out of the box, it even almost looked like it had white wall tires due to the unique two-piece M-System wheels. To solve the perceived lack of gusto compared to the competition, one could turn to BMW specialist Dinan to turn up their luxury rocket ride to 11:
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For years, yours truly has been keeping up a hobby rather quietly: slowly building up a collection of the very best 1:18 scale models out there. With the amount of money invested in my collection, I probably could have paid for a second 1:1 toy of modest means, but that’s beyond the point. For people like fellow writer Rob and myself who live in a big urban environment, space is at a premium. So then, what to do to sate your automotive appetite? Well, have a look at the following 1:18 scale German vehicles below.
I started collecting 1:18 scale cars in my formative years, when one of the few players in the market was Italian manufacturer Bburago. The art of scale models has come a long way in the last two decades or so, with makers such as Kyosho and AutoArt bringing incredible detail to ever expanding product portfolios of both vintage and modern cars. I’ve gathered up a few choice 1:18 diecast and resin models below that I felt would appeal to most GCFSB readers.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Minerva Blue Porsche 928 by AutoArt on eBay
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi V8 by Best of Show on eBay
CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW M1 Procar Niki Lauda by Minichamps on eBay
It’s a bit of a Euro-spec day here at GCFSB, and both of the featured cars are rare to see on this side of the pond. In the case of the earlier 420SEC, it’s rare to see them because there weren’t many produced and stateside we have the 560SEC that ran at the same time; in many respects, the smaller motor is a curiosity and a neat side note, but offers no real advantage to U.S. buyers. However, this example is very different; a Euro-spec 1994 M5. While the M5 left U.S. shores in 1993, it soldiered on for a few years in Europe with a revised and enlarged motor. Dubbed the S38B38, the new motor gained 25 horsepower but importantly 30 lb.ft of torque – it was now only 17 horsepower shy of 100 more than the U.S. spec E28 M5’s S38B35. That made up for some extra pounds that adorned the E34 chassis versus the earlier M cars and the M5 was even more of a flyer once again. A few of these 3.8 cars and motors have made their way stateside but they’re still quite rare to find. Usually, they have some neat oddities that we didn’t get here, such as this example’s Hurricane cloth interior. All in all, it makes for one tidy performance package that’s still quite discrete:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW M5 Euro-spec on eBay
One of the more interesting E34 M5s we’ve seen has once again popped up on eBay. This is the third time this lovely Japanese market, European-spec M5 has graced these pages. First, Jeff wrote the car up in September, 2013; with a little under 116,000 miles on the clock, the car sold in the teens, traveled across the country to Wisconsin, and then reappeared on eBay with only a few more miles in January, 2014. After a few relistings, it finally sold for only an indicated $12,500. Well, now it has returned back across the country with what appears to be a thorough detailing and some much better photographs than the first two times. Still, this is the third different seller in a very short period of time, making me wonder why no one is keeping it. The new seller has raised the price substantially to nearly $22,000. Compared to what that amount buys you in other makes and other cars, I really don’t feel like the asking price is incredibly outrageous – except that you could have had it for half that amount 10 months ago and detailed it yourself. What do you think?