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1991 BMW M5

While I love my W126, I miss the E34 that I sold back in May. Mine was only a lowly 525i, but with its tight suspension and fun-to-use 5-speed manual gearbox, it drove more like a go-kart than I was expecting, when I picked it up on a whim. I hope to own another E34 someday, perhaps one with a bit more grunt than my old car had. So I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the M5 market for a while now. Values on these cars have risen steadily over the last few years, as buyers looking for a bit of old-school, hand-built M GmbH magic have woken up to the charms of this generation 5-series, with its 3.6 liter inline six powerplant. Of course, this means that an E34 M5 will most likely be out of reach before I can afford one. But for those with cash on hand right now, the last year or so has seen a steady supply of neat examples coming to market. Right now, buyers looking for a tidy, daily-driver quality example can expect to pay between $15,000 and $20,000. Grab one while you can.


Year: 1991
Model: M5
Engine: 3.6 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 96,150 mi
Price: Reserve auction with $19,000 Buy It Now

The vehicle up for auction is an excellent example of a 1991 BMW e34 M5. It has the wear you would expect from a car that has been loved and driven for 96k miles.

The car as a whole is, as far as we know, all original. Including the hard to find turbine wheels. One wheel was curbed slightly by the previous owner, but is barely noticeable and can be easily repaired. The only newer parts, other than normal wear items, is the OEM radiator and assembly we had installed after the expected and typical of this vintage plastic degradation and failure at the upper hose connection. Guess they just used bad suppliers for plastic back then. All of the work and service we have had done to the car was performed at a local BMW dealership with a classic car program.

There are assorted rock chips, and spots where a touch up has been done, but over all the paint is in great condition. There is one scuff on the driver’s rear bumper near the parking light housing. The front chin spoiler absorbed the brunt of the rocks thrown at it over the years, but again this is not in bad shape. It is an excellent daily or cars and coffee car. It regularly gets complimented and turns heads when we are out.

The car shifts smoothly as it should, and runs through all gears flawlessly. The exhaust is throaty and what you would expect from a performance sedan. There are no leaks or issues that we are aware of, but again, it is all factory and around 26 years old now.

The glass is all in good condition with a moderate level tint all around. No bubbling in the tint. The sunroof opens and closes as it should and seals properly. I wouldn’t hesitate to run it through a spray car wash, and haven’t. The only interior issues are that the headliner has sagged slightly at the rear window and the sport bolsters on the front seats need to be repaired. They can be slid manually but do not lock or move with the switch. The leather is all intact and not scarred, and the dash is not cracked.

Any inspections or test driving can be accommodated prior to bidding. Once you bid you may still examine or drive the car, but the winning bid will be held as final. No inspections or examination of the car after it has been won. We have had bad experiences in the past with people not familiar with eBay policies.

We will do our best to arrange time for inspection, driving, and to assist with shipping. Please allow us time to respond before contacting eBay.

Thank you for looking at our M5, and good luck bidding.

This particular example presents nicely in a mean and classic color combination of black on black. Overall condition looks very good, with flaws seemingly limited to some relatively minor cosmetic issues: a scuffed rear bumper, rock chips on the front chin spoiler, a sagging headliner and malfunctioning bolsters on the front sport seats. Otherwise, it looks pretty clean.

The car was previously advertised on Bring a Trailer in 2014, when it was located in upstate NY. It’s now for sale in Virginia. Potential buyers would want to inspect to the chassis for rust, a common E34 problem, particularly on cars that have spent time in the Northeast. The car is said to run and drive correctly, though an inspection is advised.

What’s odd is that the current seller doesn’t give much information about maintenance history other than some recent radiator work, and admits in the listing that he doesn’t know the last time a valve adjustment was performed (an adjustment that is vital to keeping the S38 engine healthy). On the other hand, the BaT listing indicates it was sold in 2014 by someone who had a lot of detailed records on the car’s maintenance and upgrade history. Sounds like the current seller is a flipper who doesn’t have a lot of info about the car, so a bit of detective work is in order if you’re interested.

Thanks to our reader Walker for the spot!

– Craig

One Comment

  1. Landscraper
    Landscraper July 25, 2017

    Anyone have more details on this car?

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