1991 BMW M5

While generally I find myself looking at C4 Audi S4/S6s and thinking they’re an amazing deal right now, it’s hard to not feel the same way about the E34 M5. If the E28 was the unloved M from the 1980s for some time, more recently we’ve seen a surge in E28 prices that are starting to pick the “original” super sedan up in price. In some cases, clean versions of the E28 M5 are now trading for more than their sister in a prettier dress that has traditionally carried more value, the M6. In even more rare cases, some have surpassed the values of the market-darling E30 M3. Where’s the M deal to be had now, then? Even if the driving experience was dulled slightly by some added weight and luxury with the E28’s successor, the E34, the retention of the great drivetrain coupled with some refined looks wasn’t all bad. In my opinion, the E34 is a very worthy replacement for the E28 – and a strong alternative to the S4/S6 market which is also beginning to tick up slightly. Check out this first year Brilliant Red example:


Year: 1991
Model: M5
Engine: 3.6 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 70,528 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

A.C. does not work, original exhaust is good up to the back axle from there back is one muffler that has a few rust spots but it’s still quiet. There are pictures of two small scuffs on the passenger side front fender, the rear driver side door handle, drivers seat crack lines, console has two small cracks, and two door panels. This car is original even the tool kit has the factory towel. It looks better than most 2 year old cars, plus has never been in snow. It shows very little wear for 70,000 miles and was keep in a garage at home and work (has very little time in the sun). All exterior rubber and plastic looks great. It runs and drives like new. Front tires good and back have some wear left. Original exhaust is good up to the back axle from there back is one muffler that has a few rust spots but it’s still quiet. A.C. does not work Call 231-740-4503 for a full description of the few minor flaws this car has and to get more pictures. I bought the car new and owned it over 10 years and my friend bought it from me and owned it for 12 years. Shipping to be worked out by buyer

The M-System wheels are pretty polarizing; I remember when the M5 launched being at the dealership and really feeling like the M5 had substantially undersized wheels with whitewall tires. While the rest of the BMW range sported great BBS wheels that were my favorite, it felt like the M5 fell flat. But the original fanned wheel covers have grown on me over the years and I really appreciate them much more now. The miles are in check, the color combination looks good, and the car appears to be mostly original. The big question mark is over the non-working air conditioning, probably hinting that there are some other mechanical needs that need to be attended to. But the rest? I’d be quite happy with the rest. In the U.S., these M5s are nearly as rare as the E28 model, offer a lot of performance in a discrete package, and retained the overall great build quality of the 1980s BMWs. It’s a great, affordable package for a performance sedan – and while you can get an E36 M3 for about the same amount, this represents in my opinion a better package that will appreciate in the not-too distant future.


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  1. This body style is so refined and balanced and well-proportioned — what in animals, including man, is called confirmation. Its successor looks to me like this car but put under a heat lamp and everything oozed downwards, losing a certain nobility.

  2. @Carter….I just sold my E34 and the buyer will be picking it up tomorrow
    mine has more miles (slightly over 100k) BUT has some tasteful gooidies (Real M-Parallel wheels, SLS delete w/Koni suspension all around, and some light motor work & SS exhaust)
    I asked & received 19.5k for my car…..this car should get at least 14-16k, unless there are some maintenance issues that are revealed during an inspection/PPI…
    very nice find…most 91 E34′ are like mine…Blk/Blk…
    @Brad if you are referring to the E34’s successor the E39 as lacking ‘nobility’ perhaps that is just a matter of personal opinion…..because the substance of what made the E34 such a great car is enjoyed/present in the E39 M5 in spades!

  3. MDriver; thanks for the market update and sad to hear you’re moving on! Hopefully something good to replace it. My first ride in an M5 was a dealer new 91 silver/grey example. I still remember it like it was yesterday. The car was sold to a drug-addict who was the boyfriend of a woman who lived through the Souix City Iowa plane crash; she received a large settlement, he got the M5. It was crashed at least 5 times (we frequented the dealer, and it kept coming back). Had a bunch of then-new Racing Dynamics mods. Finally saw it a few years later on the side of the road for sale for $10K….still looked stately, despite the obvious abuse. Glad I didn’t have enough money to make the then mistake of buying that one, but I still like looking at them – what a cool car!

  4. @Carter..thanks for the kind words….it was bitter sweet watching my car get on the flat-bed going to it’s new home. The new owner is a fellow enthusiast who always bugged me that when I was ready to sell call him….
    I am also thinking of selling my E36 M3 track car as I do not get to the track as often as I would like…
    as far as a replacement…I have an F80 M3 arriving the end of September….if it is as I expect I will be selling my E92 M3…
    I will NEVER sell my E30 or E39…LOL

  5. Keep us updated as to how the new F80 is!

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