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1986 BMW 535i

There’s so much to like about this E28 5 Series that it’s hard to know where to start. The car itself is an absolute gem, the manner in which the seller has photographed boarders on editorial quality and the bidding sits at at very reasonable $5,200 (though we don’t know the reserve is) with 4 days left to go. However, as with so many things in life, there’s a catch. This bronze Bavarian beauty only has two pedals, which for many people is a deal breaker but not for me. Would I rather have a 5 spd manual in this car? Absolutely but given the pristine condition this vehicle appears to be in, I don’t think I could pass up a chance to be its caretaker for a little while, even though it suffers from PRND syndrome.

The E28 is considered by many to be the original Q-Ship and for those of you out there that would harp on the automatic transmission found on this example, let me remind you what a Q-Ship is all about, stealth. Now I know it would be more fun to row your own in this car but what better way to fly under the radar when having fun than to have an automatic transmission keeping you in check. I honestly believe that just taking away the option to quickly downshift and take off around a corner completely changes the personality of the 535. Where most folks would envision themselves tearing up windy roads in this car I see myself cruising around town with friends or road tripping around the Pacific Northwest. That may seem oddly specific but I’ll attribute it to the Bronze Metallic over Nutria leather color-way and the car being from Vancouver.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 535i on eBay

Year: 1986
Model: 535i
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 100,600 mi
Price: Reserve auction

This is a collector grade 1986 BMW 535i, which has covered only 161,959 Kilometres (100,600 Miles) since new. Bronzitebiage Metallic exterior with Nutria Leather interior. Limited Slip Differential, heated and power seats. It was originally sold in Vancouver, BC Canada. It has had two owners only – The first one for 27 years and a BMW collector for the last two years. It has been driven sparingly and stored in garage all of it’s life.

The service booklet tells a story – a careful and fastidious owner who changed the oil, brake fluid and coolant at the prescribed intervals, some brake jobs were noted as well as the brake bomb and master cylinder.

Since the first owner drove the car so sparingly in the last 9 years, the second owner spent 6,800 in the last 1500 Kilometres to have all mechanical shortcomings addressed and all required services performed. Here is a partial list of things done:

New tires. Front and rear shock absorbers were replaced. Front upper control arm bushings and the canter link were replaced, new radiator and coolant flush, heater valve and fan clutch, rear subframe mounts and pitman arm joints, four wheel alignment, new OEM rear muffler, differential fluid and oil change, distributor cap and rotor, etc, etc…All this is fully documented and records will accompany the car.

The car is registered in British Columbia, Canada. As it can be seen from the photographs, this piece of automotive history is in amazingly original condition. The body and the interior are pristine. Fully functional mechanically – it can be driven anywhere. The interior looks and smells factory new, no cracks on the dash, no sun damage, rips, etc. All electrical accessories work – power windows, climate control (super cold AC), etc. It drives great. We haven’t seen another one like it

For more information, or to schedule viewing appointment in Vancouver, please call Splendid Automobiles Inc. (604) 516-6002 or visit

Independent party pre-purchase inspection at your expense prior to bidding is welcomed and encouraged.

A NOTE TO OUR USA CUSTOMERS: As this vehicle is 29 years old, it is exempt from US EPA and DOT compliance requirements. It is fully admissible to USA and NO modifications are required. We can assist you with shipping arrangements worldwide. Canadian residents are required to pay GST, BC residents pay PST and GST. No tax will be collected from non-Canadian residents.

We ship worldwide.

The second of the two owners took care of a laundry list of sub triple digit mileage issues including control arms, subframe mounts, shocks, radiator and so on and so forth. Basically they took care of all the things you would have had to so I’m guessing that will be reflected in the reserve price. Getting down to it, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this car go for close to $10,000 even with the less desirable automatic transmission.

It’s a beautiful color combo, appears to be in immaculate condition, has the right wheels, the right owner history, just damn good all around. Furthermore this is evidence of how far professional photographs go to make a listing just that much more enticing. I mean some of these shots would look perfectly at home in a period correct BMW brochure, which I’m betting is more than just a coincidence. I think the seller really knows their stuff and that’s an ideal situation with any vehicle, let alone a nearly 30 year old BMW. A real solid example this 535i, I truly hope it finds a good home with someone who can properly care for it. A shame that I haven’t sold my S4 Avant yet or that person would be me, PRND Syndrome and all.




  1. 5280 JB
    5280 JB March 19, 2015

    Just a great example of what a stock, well cared for E28 should be. Absolutely love that Nutria leather interior!

  2. Brad
    Brad March 19, 2015

    This is sublime, straight up.

  3. ShaunInYVR
    ShaunInYVR March 20, 2015

    I live in Vancouver and I’ve met the owner of Splendid Auto. I can vouch that he is a trustworthy guy. This car looks amazing!

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