E30 M3s have been on my mind recently, but I’m thankful that considering the ways to get ahold of one has only served to remind me that the E28 M5 is the car for me. The M3 could only supplement, not replace the 4-door brawler. I just can’t do without the lines, the usability, and most of all the sweet howling fury of the S38. I bought mine with a healthy dose of mileage and a rebuilt engine so that I could explore, learn, and hammer on it without worrying too much about a pristine garage darling. The issues listed are common, but can range from simple (odometer – it’s not frozen, the gears are bad and easily replaced) to potentially complicated (seats not moving can be a simple switch or ridiculously-expensive motors). 120k miles is a nice middle ground where it’s not going to bring a huge premium, but it’s still pretty fresh for an E28. With a $9k starting bid, this could be a great deal on an appreciating classic.
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The E39 M5 is well known for being one of the wolfiest cars wearing sheeps’ clothing ever. Typically seen in silver or black, I grew up near an Imola Red version that draws a bit more attention. Today’s will draw the gaze of all who pass, including car lovers and cops. As much I love subdued performance machines, red is my favorite color and I actually love this hue on M5s. I might go without the bright chrome wheels, but hey, if you’re going to be blinding people, you might as well get some help from your wheels as well. With right around 100k miles and a Buy-It-Now of $16k, this is a great deal for a stunner in both aesthetics and performance.
Click for details: 2001 BMW M5 on eBay
The E34 M5 is one of those pieces of fruit that’s not quite forbidden, but perhaps it should be. Cheap to buy but expensive to own, I always wondered if the price of admission was worth it compared to a 540i with the V8 and a third pedal. Personally, I can get into the mystique that comes with owning an M car: it just feels special, whether deserved or not. However, there’s nothing wrong with the sounds of a storming V8 with the classic E34 body wrapped around it. This example has had some recent maintenance items addressed and the pesky SLS suspension has been swapped out for conventional Bilsteins. Is the M-badge worth it? You decide.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay
The low mileage E28 BMW M5 that Nate wrote up last week got me thinking again about what kind of cars would fill out my collection if I struck it rich. Certainly it would be an M5, but which one? As sharp as the original M5 is, I’m still distracted every time I come across an E39 M5 in my travels. Much like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this is the sports saloon that is just right for me. It straddles the line nicely between modern and classic, packs a punch with the V8/6-speed manual combination and has just the right amount of aggression in an almost perfect sized package. Apparently I’m not the only one who finds this car to be “just right” given the values we’ve seen for these Munich monsters.
Both E39 M5s we’ll look at today are 2003 examples, the first being this sinister looking black example for sale in Maryland with just under 30,000 miles on the clock.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW M5 on eBay
The Euro’d E28 M5 with just 62k miles Carter wrote up last week went for a reasonable $21k, showing that the market for M5s is strong but not skyrocketing. Extra-low mileage examples are few and far between, and today’s 28k-mile example is being sold by the notoriously high-pricing Enthusiast Auto Group. Forum guesses put the price as high as $80k, which may be what EAG is asking but is not what they’re going to get. While it certainly looks like a sheltered, sub-30k mile creampuff, the door-card speakers are a strikingly bad choice. Low mileage is great, but without full originality I don’t see the point.