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1988 BMW 735i 5-speed Manual

When it was introduced, the E32 7 series would finally be the car that would allow BMW to take the executive car fight right to Stuttgart’s doorstep. It’s predecessor was long an afterthought amongst luxury car buyers, rather, it was more for the extrovert that wanted a bit of sport in his big sedan package. The E32 changed that in 1988, offering short and long wheelbase models and choice of engine options, which included a series of six cylinder engines, a diesel variant and the ultimate 5.0 liter V12 750iL. This was an era where you could still order a manual transmission in most BMW models, and you could certainly have one if you wanted in the 735 model. It was a rare option indeed, and one rarely seen in the US. However, this 735i for sale in California has the 5-speed manual gearbox and looks to be in pretty decent shape after covering almost 200,000 miles.


Year: 1988
Model: 735i
Engine: 3.5 liter inline six
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 192,900 miles
Price: $4,800

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735i 5-speed Manual on AutoTrader


1988 735i BMW rare 5-speed. Very clean all original black paint and leather interior. BBS wheels. Hofco III alarm. Power locks, seats, windows and mirrors. A great car to add to someones collection. Purchased from Newport Auto Center dealer with 6,061 miles in June 1988. All maintenance records available.


Normally, most people would run like the wind at the mere mention of a 7 series with high mileage, but this has worn its age and mileage well. According to the seller, the paint is original and all service records are available. One good thing about this 735i is you won’t have to worry about the headaches and cost of maintaining a 12 cylinder engine, so running it on somewhat of a budget should be within reason, save for errant electrical gremlins. If this 7 is as clean as it looks, it’s a lot of car for the money, with the added twist of the uncommon third pedal. Thanks to our reader Jason for bringing this car to our attention!



  1. Larry
    Larry May 31, 2013

    At almost 200K miles, $4800 seems a bit high. Then again, maybe the seller will be flexible on price. Obviously, a prospective buyer needs to perform a thorough in-person assessment to fill in the blanks left by the minimal description and history in the ad. Interesting opportunity though…if it wasn’t a manual, I wouldn’t have even the slightest interest.

  2. Carter J
    Carter J May 31, 2013

    My parents had one of these in the purple-blue color with blue leather, 5 speed as well, 88. It was a screamer for such a big car and really pleasant to drive. Unfortunately, they sold it in the mid 90s when (as noted at the end) electrical gremlins really started to take their toll – mostly in the form of the climate control head unit blowing up. Still, it was really a nice sleeper luxo-performance cruiser!

  3. Raymond
    Raymond June 1, 2013

    Don’t underestimate the ability of this car to eat you out of house and home on the basis that it is the M30. Yes, it’s more reliable than the V12 but at this age HVAC repairs, steering boxes, rear suspension bushings (front would have had to have been done a few times already), and any other various electrical maladies would be expensive and time consuming (if you do it yourself) to fix. 200k miles is 200k miles, and maintenance records will be the key. Frankly, at that age, the head on the motor should be gone through preventatively, just for starters, and the transmission will likely need to be resealed as well. Otherwise, it is a nice idea but likely a car that will wear thin, quickly, unless the prior owner has been very anal about maintenance / overhaul.

  4. […] across an uncommon car to feature on GCFSB, another one follows shortly thereafter. We featured an BMW 735i in May with a rare manual transmission. It was a quite clean example even though it was closing in […]

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