The ascension of the E30 M3 and subsequent increase in value of both the E28 M5 and E24 M6 have underscored the incredible value of the lone early 1990s BMW M survivor, the E34 M5. While purists may complain that the E34 was heavier and a more dulled experience than the E28 M5, I’ve always found the E34 to be an even better representation of the M experience. M cars were all about stealthy performance, and in my mind the E34 is the most stealthy M car produced. Another reason I like the E34 versus the E28 is the introduction of more colors than just black – in this case, this E34 is the same color combination as the first M5 I ever sat in; silver with grey leather:
All posts tagged m5
I think I like the new F10 M5. Despite the technology overload and a severe distaste for the sound-reproduction technology, any time I see one pass I dream of slapping on an exhaust that makes electronics unnecessary and letting the twin-turbo V8 do its thing – spinning tires. When the E60 M5 came out in 2005, I didn’t really get into it. The styling didn’t do much to improve the E60′s ugly genes, and all accounts seemed to find the SMG and V10 interesting at best, confused and pointless at worst. But now, as I see them ignored in parking spots, a few years removed from being the king of the hill, I see many parallels to the E28 M5 I hold so dear. The engine is motorsport-derived and batcrap crazy. It’s certainly a Bahn-stormer, and flies under the radar of most. The owner of today’s M5 must have some appreciation for the E28′s only-black US availability, as they have endeavored to completely black it out. The real headline here, though, is the fact that regardless of where your M5 affinities lie, there’s no question that low-$20s for a 500hp V10 is a silly performance deal.
Click for details: 2006 BMW M5 on eBay
While generally I find myself looking at C4 Audi S4/S6s and thinking they’re an amazing deal right now, it’s hard to not feel the same way about the E34 M5. If the E28 was the unloved M from the 1980s for some time, more recently we’ve seen a surge in E28 prices that are starting to pick the “original” super sedan up in price. In some cases, clean versions of the E28 M5 are now trading for more than their sister in a prettier dress that has traditionally carried more value, the M6. In even more rare cases, some have surpassed the values of the market-darling E30 M3. Where’s the M deal to be had now, then? Even if the driving experience was dulled slightly by some added weight and luxury with the E28′s successor, the E34, the retention of the great drivetrain coupled with some refined looks wasn’t all bad. In my opinion, the E34 is a very worthy replacement for the E28 – and a strong alternative to the S4/S6 market which is also beginning to tick up slightly. Check out this first year Brilliant Red example:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay
I passed on a decent, local M5 that was in very similar spec to the one I ended up buying due to some pragmatic reasons – lower mileage, lower price, newer rebuild – as well some reasons that were more intangible but made traveling across the country to drive it back seem worth it. The big “gut feeling” reason was finding a seller who loved the car and could talk to me about every piece of the car. You’ve got to go into buying one of these knowing that you’re in for some work, and I’d rather know that the previous owner had acute knowledge of what was happening instead of “uh, yeah, the mechanic did something up there because something was broken.” Today’s E28 M5 looks very clean, with a nicely maintained interior and exterior, but the details aren’t exactly flowing, leaving enough question marks to keep the bidding lower than most 80s M-cars these days.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
The E39 M5, for all its amazing performance and quiet aggression, is fairly ubiquitous, especially here in top-of-the-line hungry Silicon Valley. The E34 M5 has its detractors, but it is still a rare, fast, and attractive sports sedan that will hide from those who don’t know and is searched for by those who do. Today’s comes from an owner who clearly knows his stuff and has enjoyed the car for 16 years while making (mostly) tasteful upgrades. The performance pieces all make sense and it’s surely a hoot, giving the singing inline-6 more juice and the chassis greater ability to hang with it. It has covered a lot of miles, but there’s always the chance that this is one of the “extra-special” S38s that can go for 300k+ miles. There’s also the chance that it’s not, meaning it’ll need a rebuild in the next 20k miles, and that’ll set you back nearly its current list price. The price is right though, and the owner is indeed being completely reasonable.