While engine swaps on BMWs seem downright commonplace, there are the normal engine swaps (the well played out S50/52 comes to mind) and then there’s Hartge. The history between the two premier BMW tuning firms in Germany – Alpina and Hartge – is interesting. They’ve vied for the top spot for several decades with slightly different design philosophies. During that time, they’ve also seemingly flip-flopped; originally, Hartge took a more conservative route than Alpina, whose wild turbocharged creations challenged BMW’s own offerings. But after they were granted full manufacturer status in Germany in 1985, Hartge really came into its own and hasn’t looked back since. While like many firms they offer a line of aerodynamic tweats, wheels, exhausts and engine management chips, their party-piece is taking motors from the larger BMWs and popping them into the 3-series models. None of these conversions is more notable than the E90 H50 though. While the E46 H50 took the V8 out of the 5 series, the E90 had a V8 available in the lineup in the M3. Hartge therefore moved up the food chain to the E60 M5’s S85 V10. With a staggering 500 horspower out of the box and even 50 more with Hartge’s tuning, they transformed the rather mundane small executive sedan into a supercar:
All posts tagged m5
As 80s Bimmers ramp up in their collectibility, so too comes the heat with which enthusiasts argue for their personal preferences. E28 M5s are a nice example of this, as their values creep up following the contemporary and now-absurd E30 M3. The E28 hosts a much more vehemently debated preference than the M3, that of the vast different between the bumpers present on US models (disparagingly called “diving boards” and other silly things) compared to the much slimmer treatment given to the Euro models. Many have attempted conversions, but the historically-low prices of E28s made it reasonable to grab some Euro bumpers from a 524td, graft them on, and paint them Schwarz. The value of cars with the conversion is as debated as their looks – yes, it took work and is a desirable aesthetic, but it’s also an impersonation that involves hacking into a classic. For the record, some people (like the author) appreciate and enjoy the big US bumpers, as that’s how we first saw and lusted after the E28 M5 anyways.
Today’s example is, from all angles, gorgeous. From the door jambs to the engine bay, the trunk to the paint, you can’t tell that it’s covered 135k miles. It’s really one of the cleanest I’ve seen. Seemingly in contrast to the thorough like-newness of this US E28 M5 is a Euro bumper and headlight conversion. However, these are no 518i bumpers – this is a real, OEM M5 bumper conversion. That kind of effort and cost can’t be overlooked when valuing this car. But even with an all-correct conversion and truly stunning condition throughout, is any E28 M5 with 135k miles worth the same as a perfect, low-mile E30 M3?
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
The E28 M5 still gets me excited, whether I’m driving mine or just pass one on the road. Today I saw a well-used but sweet example with throwing stars, Euro bumpers, and a nice Dinan badge complementing the standard trunk emblem. While that owner clearly went down the deep rabbit hole of modification, today’s low-mileage example looks almost entirely stock on the outside other than a slightly lowered stance. Some work has been done under the hood though, with the reportedly-howling Euro headers and a chip ensuring this M5 lives up to the legend of hauling ass. It’s not perfect – a few blemishes in the interior and the commonly-scraped front spoiler – but the completeness is what catches my eye here. The full trunk carpeting, first aid kit, and fully-functioning electronics are all items worth paying a little more for. With low (for an E28 mileage), this is a good M5 that could easily be made great.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
Recently, one of our our posts on a Dakar Yellow M3 sedan prompted reader Ry to ask if there were any E39 M5s that were built in the shade. Well, today’s car isn’t one of those, but it’s interesting that so close to when the question was raised an M5 this rare to see shade pops up for sale. Like it or not, the E34 M5 painted by BMW Individual in Dakar Yellow certainly stands out. It’s no surprise, though, that the listing is nearly as eccentric as the person who ordered it’s tastes must have been: