Fans of the venerable and arguably original super sedan, take note! This post – and the included auctions – are two that you probably want to pay attention to. Why? Well, we have two examples of the awesome 1988 BMW M5 – not unusual, in all honesty, over the past few years. But the two examples differ in many ways; one is a flawed but original, lower mile example, while the other has high miles, plenty of modifications and is generally very clean. The kicker, though, is that both auctions are no reserve and with a few days to go on each, they’re racing for the top spot. Which will be garnished with the highest bid and where is the market heading?
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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
Lets get this out of the way right off the bat. The E39 BMW 5 series is the best looking sedan ever made. It is the pinnacle of balanced design and it’s beauty is only accentuated by the garish abomination that succeeded it. Show me someone who says they love their “Bangle Butt” 5 series and I’ll show you a person in serious denial. BMW tired to scale back the ugly on the F10 but it’s still a bloated boat compared to the clean, svelte E39.
Growing up I was obsessed with the hottest version of this beautifully thought out machine, the E39 M5. One of my favorite pro skateboarders had two of them and could be seen thoroughly enjoying them in his video parts. At age 15 a blacked out M5 with “peanut butter” interior was THE car and it remains a vehicle that I am still in lust with. However I’m a bit more educated than I was back then and I know that while the M5 is the lead, there is an equally impressive supporting player in the cast, the 540i M-Sport.