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1981 BMW M535i

It’s been a while since we took a look at the M5’s grandfather; the E12 M535i. Produced for a short time, the M535i was really the M-division’s first attempt at a production road car. It was more than just a prettying up as many of the “M-sport” packages are these days, too – featuring a limited slip differential, a close-ratio 5-speed manual, a host of not-so-discrete aerodynamic upgrades, some great BBS Mahle wheels to dress it up and heavily bolstered Recaros to keep you in place, the M535 looked like a natural racer. Back in the days when 200 horsepower was considered much more than adequate, these were one of the fastest sedans in the world, and one of the best handling, too. Rare to see for sale in North America, this particular model is available in Canada on Ebay today:


Year: 1981
Model: M535
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 123,000 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

I am selling my BMW M535 i , E12 , 1981 , which, as you may know , is a rare model produced since only 1402 were built, it is 100% complete and original, , it was originally sold in England , so ,was originally RHD ( right hand drive ) , it was then imported into Canada where she was converted to LHD ( left hand drive ) , this work was done by professionals ,and only with original BMW parts .
She has 196,000 kilometers ( 122,983 miles ) , the serial number WBADG0207B4148021 meaning it is the 21st out of 450 produced in 1981.
The paint was done in 2010, it is the original color of henna red , the mechanical maintenance was carried out
the M1steering wheel and Recaro black velour are in excellent condition ,the carpet shows signs of wear , the radio is not the original one The central part of the exhaust system has been recently replaced .
We will ship the car anywhere in the world for example: cost to Hamburg Germany is 1200 euros .
For other destinations or for more information you can send an email.
We can also store the car for free for a period of time after the purchase if desired

The exterior looks great, as it should considering it was refreshed in the original Henna Red only a few years ago. It’s amazing how much smaller these Euro-spec E12s look without the massive 5 m.p.h. bumpers that were added for the U.S. market; replete with 14″ wheels this car is a reminder of how large the mid-sized automobile has gotten. I’d guess other than overall length, if you parked this car next to a 1 series you’d find little difference in their overall dimensions. The interior looks to be well kept overall; the only part that looks a bit worn is the engine bay, showing some expected 33 year old plastics that have yellowed or stained. Though the advertisement claims mechanical maintenance was carried out, it doesn’t outline what that was. Well past the 25 year importation block for the U.S., this should be no problem to import and stands in sharp contrast to the very expensive M5 I wrote up yesterday. A natural born Euro-car, this is a bit of history that’s still affordable and generally under-appreciated. The last M535 I wrote up was on the market for about $20,000; I’d expect that this particular model should be priced below that car without the neat Alpina details. Still, classic BMW ownership; and exclusive model that’s very rare to see; most of the heavily lifting done – this car looks like a solid value and a more classic alternative than the predictable E30 and growing E28 crowd



  1. JC
    JC March 27, 2014

    I want to hug that car.


  2. Greg
    Greg March 28, 2014

    Man that is a sweet car. It is so rare for these to pop up for sale in North America. Too bad it was originally an RHD car. I like the manual windows. Wish the seller gave more details about the condition of the body and if there is any rust.

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