All posts tagged m5

1991 BMW M5

One could argue, pretty convincingly, that the E36 M3 is the best value if you want an M car right now. Good examples can still be found under $10,000, parts are plentiful, and there’s a huge selection of examples to choose from. But for me, the best value has to be the E34 M5. First off, if you’ve never seen a used advertisement for a second-generation M5, you might have missed that these supreme sedans were the last of the handbuilt M models. If you hate movies, you might have missed that a M5 was also an unsung hero in the cult classic Ronin, even if it couldn’t get away from a Citroen and the S8 was more memorable. If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that it’s father – the original M5 – is currently on a fairly steep appreciation curve. Yet the second generation M5, while considered a bit softer than the E28, was a potent sleeper nonetheless. And for me, it’s the ultimate M car; not because it’s the fastest, prettiest or most valuable; but because it expresses the ethos of what made BMW great. A Spartan warrior wolf in taxi-cab clothes, the M5 combined literal race-bred technology into an easily digestible package; it was a pleasure to drive fast or slow, it was reasonably reliable (and especially so considering the performance envelope), and yet unlike Porsche Turbos, Lotus Esprits, Chevrolet Corvettes or any other “sports” car that offered similar performance, it was a stealthy package – it was the adult choice. In 1991 if the M5 was graduating high school, it would have been Valedictorian and voted “most likely to succeed”, but it would have gotten my vote for “most athletic” and “prom king” as well – it’s that good. Despite these superlative qualities, a reputation second to none in terms of quality and driving experience, the E34 M5 still hasn’t caught on as a market darling:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay

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1988 BMW M5

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Here’s an E28 M5 that should provide an interesting litmus test for those out there still pondering trying to find a clean, driver-quality example. We’ve seen some sub-150k mile M5s reach into the $30ks, which still seems a bit steep to me even though they were nearly perfect. This one is neither all-original nor perfect, with a redone interior and Euro headlight upgrade with Frenchy yellow lowbeams. It also shares the Billy Boat exhaust present on my car, which I enjoy but is rather loud. The leather looks very nice and overall this looks like a complete, clean M5 that would be blast to drive. The seller says he’s looking to “get around $25k” which seems a bit steep to me. Are middle-market M5s there yet?

Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

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1991 BMW M5

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Contrary to the waves of criticism heaped upon the E34 M5 as being less raw and special than the E28 and not as incredible-in-every-way as the E39, the second-generation super sedan has a lot going for it. The E34 didn’t deviate from BMW’s strengths – sharp lines and an inline-6 remained – but it is decidedly more modern in both looks and amenities than its predecessor. While the E34 brought the ability to purchase M5s in North America in a variety of colors, this M5 is done à la Canada with black covering the exterior and interior. Both have been redone recently, helping it look extraordinarily sharp as it approaches 200k miles. Small aesthetic modifications make for a unique package, highlighted by an Alcantara headliner inside while the 5-less ///M badge is an unfortunate choice and more readily indicates a pimped-out 525i than a hand-built special. The stock wheels (which come with the car) and chrome kidneys would be more my style, but the E39 M5 wheels look more appropriate than usual as a retrofit.

Click for details: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay

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1988 BMW M5

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This E28 M5 was the car Dinan used for R&D to create their own modifications to supplement BMW’s upgrades to the platform. Not only does that make it a cool piece of American tuner history, but it clears the air of any pretension or garage-queeniness. This M5 has been used and worked on from the get-go. That makes things like the Euro bumpers, recovered seats (now without heat), and early engine rebuild (likely due to the early testing?) not as big of issues. It’s a very clean and good-looking M5 with a fun – if not flawless – history. Even with over 100k miles and bumper conversions, clean E28 M5s have been garnering some serious attention and money. A colorful but respectful past just seems like more of an excuse to drive a great M5 if you can afford it.

Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

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1991 BMW M5

Last week I wrote up a gorgeous E34 540i/6 M-Sport that was listed just below $20k. Seems that most people thought the price on that was too high, despite the low miles and it’s owner being a long time BMW enthusaist. So, when I saw this ’91 M5 on Pelican Parts with a sale price about $2k lower than that of the 540i, I knew I had to write it up. I’m interested to see what ya’ll think of this deal, because while this car has nearly double the miles of the 540i, it has some Dinan bits, and it’s an M5. Is this car really so special that it warrants the price being within a months rent of a 540i with much lower miles?

Yes. Yes it is.

This is the E34 M5 we’re talking about here. This is THE Bimmer of the 90s. I acknowledge how cool the 540i M-Sports are, but I’m an enthusaist, and I’m the target audience for specialty models. The M5 is popular with everyone, and if you’re looking to get into a young timer classic, name recognition is important. There might be more costs upfront but the return on investment will be higher as well. Five or ten years down the road, when you’ve had your fun and are ready for something different, what would you rather be listing, an M5 or a 540i/6 M-Sport? The answer should be M5 every single time, that is if you’re into making some money on the deal. I’m not saying that isn’t possible with the 540i or any other specialty variants that were similar to a top dog car, but I know it’ll be harder.

Name recognition goes a long way and down the road when the bubble on 90s German vehicles bursts, you’ll want the well known hardware on your hands. I still don’t think the 540i I wrote up last week is a bad deal. What the seller wants is perfectly reasonable for a car of that class, with that many miles, no matter how old it is. This M5 on the other hand can command nearly the same amount with much higher miles because of its cultural cachet. Have I hammered home that the M5 is the better deal? Okay, lets get into the nitty gritty of what I like about this example.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on Pelican Parts

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