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1988 BMW M5

Neither the E24 M6 nor the E28 M5 need an introduction on these pages. Legendary even when new, they both captured the imagination of generations of German car enthusiasts and established the benchmarks for sedan and GT performance in period. Both went through a relatively long downturn in value, as well. And today, as each has moved firmly into classic status and the market ///Madness continues, each has increased in value considerably over where they stood a few years ago.

But with so many shared components, which is the one to get? While a lot of that boils down to personal preference, more so than ever it’s also dependent on your budget. We’ve seen asking prices for nice examples of each chassis hovering between $50,000 and $80,000 depending on mileage and condition, and with a hot market there’s no letup of good ones to choose from. Today’s example is not the most pristine or low mileage on the market by any means, but it does balance that out with some desirable mods:


Year: 1988
Model: M5
VIN: WBSDC9303J2791034
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 147,000 mi
Location: Oakland Gardens, New York
Price: Reserve Auction

About this vehicle
This 1988 BMW M5 is an original. The owner has had it for 3 years. The vehicle runs great.
Seller’s Notes
3.5L S38B35 Inline-Six
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Dinan Chip
Split Second MAF Kit
Euro Bumpers
Reupholstered Interior
Overhauled A/C System
Records From 1989

As with more than a few of the 1,340 North American E28 M5s, this one appears to have a bit of a checkered past. It’s got nearly 150k miles on the odometer, which is branded Exceeds Mechanical Limits from what it looks like on the AutoCheck report. But what you see is what you get here, and there are nice upgrades like the European-specification bumpers, the Dinan chip, the refreshed interior, the functioning air-conditioning system, 17″ Style 5 wheels, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some additional suspension mods. Service history is unspecified and that’s worrying on an S38, but records are included. So far bids have hit over $20,000 with the reserve unmet. That’s far less than where the car sold on BaT a few years ago, and since it looks like the seller recycled the old photos from then, you’ll definitely want to do a bit more digging before plunking down any more money.



  1. KrautHammer
    KrautHammer October 29, 2020

    If its a sorted driver that looks respectable if not perfect its the best one to own.

    Are those 16″ or 17″ Style 5s?

  2. ace10
    ace10 October 29, 2020

    Using 2 1/2 year old pics from a previous owner to represent current condition is a dick move.

  3. Carter
    Carter October 29, 2020

    @KrautHammer – they look to be E39-spec 17″ Style 5 BBSs.

  4. KrautHammer
    KrautHammer October 30, 2020


    Noice! Those are hens teeth.

  5. Greg
    Greg October 30, 2020

    It has a title brand due to an odometer issue, so assume miles are not accurate unless proven otherwise. 150k miles on an e28 M5 is probably about average. If it has been disconnected or rolled back it could easily be a 200k + mile car. Other than that it seems like a nice example, but a PPI is a must on any early M car.

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