1988 BMW E28 M5 for sale on eBay

As summer starts to wind down, so does my summer work, and I am struggling with the temptation to use my compensation to help buy an E28 M5. While not the most prudent purchase, it’s hard to resist turning a dream car to reality when the opportunity arises. Today’s example would be a plausible entry point, well-maintained with 169k miles. It comes with some solid extra parts like Bilsteins that could replace the still-intact self-leveling suspension, and an extremely reasonable buy-it-now of $10k.

1988 BMW E28 M5 for sale on eBay

From the seller:

Very clean & well sorted 88 E28 M5. Bought the car in 09 with 166k miles & have put little miles, but a lot of cash. Car hs spent life in CA before coming to MN. It has never seen snow or salt by myself or prior owner here in MN as it was garaged winters. Absolutely rust free, ding free,very good paint. Has original SLS, although I have puchased a set of Bilstein sports that will go with the car. B&B triflow exhaust as well as the original. Euro headlites & grill. M5 emblems are removed ,but come with car (hell, it was always supposed to be a sleeper).Tight suspension & rides on rails @ 135mph+( don’t ask). High end Alpine deck w/ MP3 & Infinity speakers & amps where possible (did not want to butcher a pristine E28 for the sound system). Comes with original stereo. Was checked out by very reputable local BMW dealer prior to my purchse, as prior owner was planning a full $25K Euro conversion, & was deemed an excellent candidate. Prior owner ended up buying a Euro M5 for huge money & sold me this one. Leak down & compession are all good. Interior is very nice, except for the all but obligatory bolster damage on drivers seat. Dash is uncracked. Records from new.

Pros: Seems pretty well taken care of, I like that SLS replacement is ready to go, is clean for 170k miles, and the price is right.

Cons: 170k is a lot of miles, the autocheck score could be better, and the M5 emblems are not on (but come with it). It’s enough of a sleeper stock- I want the M5 on the back.

In the end, I’d probably spend a little more to get fewer miles, but it’s nice to know that there’s still a reasonable price of entry for the original super sedan.


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  1. It’s hard to go wrong with a well sorted e28 M5 at this point in their life. They have reached the bottom of the decay curve in terms of value, and although they are not going to make any significant move up in the reasonable future they surely are not going to lose much in value over any period of time. The trick is to find one where someone else has already put the money into it. You can easily find one under 15k and probably in the 12 to 13k area. There was one recently on eBay with about 130k on it for around that price (12 to 13) IIRC. The top end was done the SLS replaced and a lot of other stuff which would need to be done, alternator, recovered seats, etc etc.
    Personally the e28 M5 is one of my all time favorite cars that I have never owned. Back in 1990 I was hot to buy one and I found one with low miles but it was a bit higher then my price range. I ended up buying a brand new e30 M3 which is now one of the few cars in my life of over 50 cars owned I regret selling. I kept it for over 4 years and 43k miles which is an eternity in car life as far as I am concerned.
    I am sure I’ll own an e28 M5 when I stumble onto a deal I cant refuse, and I am always looking. My daily driver is a 2001 Audi A6 2.7 TT with sports package and 6 speed manual gear box.

  2. Great advice, Jim, and things I will definitely keep in mind when I get to looking seriously this fall.

    There’s a few other tempting examples on eBay right now, and this one got relisted with a Buy-it-Now of $8,700. That’s getting into bargain territory!

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