1988 BMW M5

The seller of the BMW 2002ti featured two weeks ago has come to us at German Cars for Sale Blog with another stellar example of an oft favored BMW classic: the 1988 BMW M5. This car needs no introduction, as it was this vehicle, along with the original M6 and M3 that really begun to put the Motorsports brand on the map, after the demise of the M1 supercar in 1981.

This is a US model M5 residing in Canada, with Euro bumpers (which, in my opinion, clean up the look of the car). Overall, a nicely presented, well taken care of first generation M5.

I’ve found that with the E12 M535i that I recently purchased and the fact that it is winter in Calgary 11.5 months a year, I am not using the M5 enough and it’s too nice to let it just sit. The highlights are:

• 88,500 miles – sort of. The previous owner advised that the odometer was inoperative for a period but estimated that he drove less than 1000 miles in that time. No way of knowing for sure but he is the U.S. Attorney for North Carolina so I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
• All original panels and paint. The only flaw in the paint is some touch up work done on a scratch near the door handle on the right front door. Very hard to see but it’s there.
• Euro M5 headers, jet hot coated.
• UUC stainless steel exhaust with Fahey track pipe.
• Timing chain, guides and all related components replaced at 80,000 miles, including cylinder head gasket, ignition wires. No issues – PO was very big into preventative maintenance
• Within the last 6000 miles or so the car has had new OEM leather dashboard and door caps, windshield, emblems inside and outside, Euro grills and headlights, taillights, steering wheel, rear window roller blind and rear package shelf, oil pan skid plate, front door cards, left and right, fire extinguisher and shift boot
• Dinan chip
• Fahey crank hub and cam gear
• New aluminum radiator from the recent group buy
• All suspension bushings replaced
• All interior seals replaced – windows, sunroof, trunk, etc.
• UUC pedal set
• Cross-drilled brake rotors
• Mason Engineering front strut bar.
• OEM rear strut bar (from trailer hitch package)
• Powerflex urethane sway bar bushings
• SLS system removed and replaced with Bilstein shocks/struts and MTechnic springs (original parts retained)
• North American bumpers removed and replaced with chrome Euro bumpers (original parts retained)
• New OEM front valance and Euro M5 airdam (original pieces retained)
• New Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tires
– Valve adjustment within the last 500 miles.

Here is a link to some photos I’ve accumulated – you’ll see that photography is not high on my skill set but if anyone wants a shot of something specific, please let me know.


When I bought the car I had a PPI done at MPowered Automotive in Cary, NC – the tech was a Board member here. I’m happy to share that with anyone who’d like to see it. I can also send PDF copy of the receipts from the last seven years or so, when most of the expensive work has been performed.

This car is nearly flawless – fast, tight, rust free and, with the Euro bumpers, a great looking car. For the purists in the crowd, I retained everything needed to put the car back to US Spec if you so desire.

While the car is in Canada, it is a US car and therefore returning it to the US should be no problem. If you live in a state that tests for emissions, you are going to need to install a catalytic converter.

Price? I’m buried so deep in this car I’ll never see the light of day (you’re crying inside, I know you are) but given the low mileage, maintenance history and desirable upgrades, I’m going to say CDN $28,000.

If interested, please contact the seller here: grbennett@shaw.ca


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  1. I was just wondering what the M5 looked like with euro bumpers. The chrome seems slightly incongruous, but what a tasty car. 88k miles with great upgrades… what an example.

  2. Nice car although I prefer the black interior. It will be interesting to see what he gets for this as I’ve seen nice ones with similar mileage sell for between $12-15K this year (of course, w/o the euro bumpers which are expensive to buy and install).

  3. I just wanted to add that I enjoyed the sellers ad very much. Gave me a nice chuckle and I appreciate the candor. You can tell he’s got the “gene”

  4. Best of all worlds here: classic E28 design in it’s ultimate performance form, US-spec car with the far-prettier Euro look, quality enhancements but not over the top, reasonable mileage in great condition, and apparently, an open, honest seller.

    The bad? Not being in a position to buy a car like this right now. I need to replace one of my daily drivers shortly, and would never consider subjecting something like this to our salty New England winters.

  5. The price is grossly out of line with the market. This appears to be an excellent example of a great car but the owner is married to it and its going to be an expensive divorce for him.

    The M5 with the black interior was never imported to the US. ALL 88 M5’s sent to the US had tan interior.

  6. Jim, I agree with you on the price. It would need to be a very low mileage car to fetch that kind of money.

    The BMW M registry states that 30 black interiors went to the US and 72 to Canada so they do come up for sale from time to time.

  7. According to BMW only 1 black interior went to the US. Either way they are pretty rare and I agree worth looking.

  8. l have a 1988 BMW M5 with black interior and black exterior if anyone is interested , located in Toronto…416-221-9332

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