Feature Listing: 1983 BMW 635CSi

I count myself lucky that my formative BMW experience was in an E24. Around 1990, my father finally gave up riding motorcycles and decided it would be more fun to have company on his trip. He traded his RT1100 for a much older BMW, but this one had doors. The shape was outrageous to me; coming from a family that had almost exclusively owned Toyota products to that point, the low and long 633CSi he purchased had so much more presence and so much less plastic. The interior was lined with rich carpet and supple leather, and it just oozed class and style. It just felt special.

A few years later, he picked up a second E24. It was a 1985 635CSi, and the character of the two cars was remarkably different. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was in part thanks to the mid-82 swap to E28 underpinnings. Dynamically, the ’85 was a much better driver, and while the revised M30 only had 1 more horsepower, it felt gutsier and revved more freely. It was Arctic Blue Metallic with Pearl Beige leather, and it was just a beautiful car. It only had one real downside – it was an automatic, and after a few years my dad decided he’d have a lot more fun in a M5.

While that would certainly be hard to argue, I wonder if he would have been so motivated if today’s E24 Feature had been his original purchase. There were several distinct advantages to the European model, not the least of which was of course the lack of the DOT bumpers. But one thing that always really bothered me about the U.S. E24 was the front corner lights. They stuck out a strange amount while the European units smoothly followed the fenders.…

2001 BMW Z3 3.0 Roadster

The conundrum of the Z3 is for me wrapped up in the model’s signature appearance in Goldeneye. There was lots of promotion for the new model; after all, the change from Bond’s signature Aston Martin must have been for a car worthy of such a distinction. Granted, Audi beat BMW to the punch when James sported twin Type 44s in The Living Daylights but the fanfare surrounding the leap to BMW was unprecedented. And, as it turned out, largely unwarranted. Despite the hefty amount of advertising and anticipation of the debut, the 1.9 liter light blue convertible barely appeared in the movie at all – in fact, only long enough for James to toss the keys to someone else. This seems to largely sum up how enthusiasts feel about the successor to the Z1; cute, but a little too soft and not very BMW. Of course, as the model progressed it became more in keeping with the brand – especially true of when outfit by the M division. The resulting M Roadster and especially Coupe versions of the Z3 have become hot commodities in the marketplace, but if you’re willing to forgo the Roadstars, quad exhaust and especially the “S” motors in the front, you can still get quite a bit of sport in the 3.0:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW Z3 3.0 Roadster on Hartford Craigslist

2002 BMW 530i

Of all of the BMWs that have come and gone over the last two decades, the E39 5 series happens to be one of my favorite, ranking right up there with the E38 7 series and iconic M Coupe. While there are still a good number of clean, low mileage M5s circulating around, these come with a high price. However, if you are willing to sacrifice a bit of performance but maybe want something a bit more tame and reasonable on the wallet for daily use, this 530i for sale in Florida should work just nicely. Finished in Blue Water Metallic and sitting on Style 42 alloys, this low mileage beauty is bound to make some Bimmer enthusiast happy.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW 530i on eBay

Clone Wars Fast Wagon-off: Audi S6 Avant v. BMW “M5” Touring

We’re all fans of fast wagons here at GCFSB; Andrew’s owned a S4 Avant 6-speed and I’m on my third sporty 5 door. There’s something wonderful about these versatile vehicles; they’re the automotive equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. You can literally throw everything including the kitchen sink at them, go blasting down back roads with lurid 4-wheel drifts, or simply tote the family along in smart style. It’s not that having a wagon makes you smug, in my mind, it’s that those who have opted for that route simply are a higher evolution of thought. It’s the difference between the Australopithecus SUV market and the Homo Sapiens; sure, “Sport Utilities” may be the rage now, but the reality is many are just heavily disguised wagons or are doomed to extinction in the near future. But for right now, it seems the other way around in the U.S.; though some are on the horizon, fast wagons are currently hard to come by and that makes us look towards the past for some evolutionary inspiration. Since we love looking at older cars anyway, that’s not a bad thing – so let’s consider these two utility vehicles that are actually sporty:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW “M5” Touring on eBay

Double Take: 1991 and 1992 BMW M5s

There’s been an avid ongoing discussion of E28 values in the 1988 535i Dinan 3.9 post from Tuesday; partially, it centered around the comparison of that car to M5 values. And, like all other M products, values – or at least, perceived values – of M5s are all over the map. We’ve seen asking prices from $10,000 right through $100,000 on E28s, and much of the same carries over to the E28’s replacement, the E34. For most fans, the second generation M5 wasn’t quite the definitive super sedan that the original was, nor is it as desirable as the 400 horsepower V8 model that followed. But that doesn’t stop some from asking high prices for the their examples, and today we’ve got two to that are very similar with different asking prices to consider; which is on target?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay

Double Take Litmus Test: No Reserve 1988 BMW M5s

Fans of the venerable and arguably original super sedan, take note! This post – and the included auctions – are two that you probably want to pay attention to. Why? Well, we have two examples of the awesome 1988 BMW M5 – not unusual, in all honesty, over the past few years. But the two examples differ in many ways; one is a flawed but original, lower mile example, while the other has high miles, plenty of modifications and is generally very clean. The kicker, though, is that both auctions are no reserve and with a few days to go on each, they’re racing for the top spot. Which will be garnished with the highest bid and where is the market heading?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

While to me the E39 isn’t the prettiest 5 series BMW produced, what they did manage to accumulate was perhaps one of the best wheel lineups they ever fitted. Most ended up on the sport models, but from the Style 5 to Style 66, all of them looked great. I especially love the relatively unloved two-piece BBS made Style 19s that were fitted to early 540i sports, but the Style 5, 66 and 32 wheels that made it to other sport models are equally good. Of course, I had to throw in a set of Style 37 “M-Parallels” even though they’re most often associated with other models – and truth told, the Style 32 wheels here are actually optional E38 wheels. Nevertheless, they’re all awesome – which are your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW Style 42 17×8,5×120 Wheels on eBay