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:
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The term “Q-ship” was created by the British, originally not to describe super sedans – but rather to describe a class of disguised merchant ships that were in fact heavily armored and carrying weapons. They were intended to fool German U-Boat crews into revealing their location – prior to unrestricted submarine warfare, U-Boats operated by a gentleman’s agreement where they would surface, let the crew of the ship know they were going to attack the ship and get off, and then they would sink the ship. However, these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” would later lend their name to an entire group of “unassuming” sedans equipped with larger engines and with sporting intentions. Often, the BMW M5 has been lumped into this category but I feel this is an incorrect name for it. The E28 M5 was anything but unassuming, with deep front and rear spoilers, large and wide BBS wheels, M5 badges front and rear and of course looking quite menacing in all black. To me, the Audi 200 20V is probably the ultimate “Q” ship – from the factory, only the slightly wider and slightly flared arches distinguished it from the normal 200 model; no badges, no spoilers, and sedate colors meant the performance under the hood was more or less completely hidden. Perhaps in 1985, when the M5 launched in Europe, people didn’t know what sedans were capable of – but by the time it hit U.S. shores in 1988, rest assured that every enthusiast knew what those all black E28s were:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
The 2003 BMW 525i M Sport we featured on Monday could be considered a lot show for not much dough, looking very similar to its M5 sibling while offering more economy and substantially lower operating costs. But what if you want the real McCoy? Is a higher mileage M5 a good bet? Here’s an Emerald Green example closing in on 135,000 miles for sale in Georgia at a tempting price.