1993 BMW M5

BMW’s second-generation M5 followed the same recipe as the outgoing E28; manual transmission, rear-drive, howling inline-6 under the hood. But the E34 was far from a copy of the car that was really credited with being the first super sedan. BMW upped with power first with the 3.6-liter version of the S38; though the increase in displacement was a scant 82 ccs, the result was impressive. BMW Motorsport GmbH fit a new cam, a higher compression head, and a new engine management system to yield 311 horsepower at a rev-busting 6,900 rpm.

While the E34 M5 was available on these shores far longer than the E28, there weren’t a ton imported – especially towards the end of the run. Today’s example is a beauty, too, in Calypso Red with M System II “throwing stars”. While it’s no spring chicken, to me it still represents good value in today’s market:


Year: 1993
Model: M5
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 159,650 mi
Location: Carlsbad, California
Price: $27,500 Buy It Now

Available is this excellent and last of the “hand-built” BMW M5’s.
This is 1 of only 1,678 E34 M5’s sent to the US from ’89 thru ’93. Less than 1,200 (max) are thought to be left in North America. *Only 261 were produced for North America in ’93.

Just benefited from a $5,310 service at 156,010 miles which consisted of Left & Right Upper & Lower Control Arms, Front Struts, Rear Shocks, Valve Cover Gasket, Brake Fluid Flush, Coolant Flush, and Engine Oil/Filter.

All Power Steering Hoses replaced at 153,311 miles ($1,839 receipt).

– San Diego Car Since New
– 3-owner E34
– Clean CA Title
– Recent ($14k receipt) Glass-Out Paint Job By Best Autobody Shop In San Diego
– 159,650 Miles on Chassis
– “Calypso Red” Metallic with Grey Leather Interior
– 3.5L (S38 B36) I6 Engine Producing 311hp & 265tq
– 5-speed Getrag (type 280) Manual Trans
– Power Seats/Windows/Doors/Locks/Sunroof
– Upgraded ($3,300 receipt) Pioneer Audio System
– 17″ ///M System II “Throwing Star” Wheels
– Newer Michelin Tires
– Original Owners Manual

If you are looking for an excellent analog sports sedan with unrivaled motorsport history and panache, this is a great choice.

*The car is 25 minutes north of the San Diego Airport (Charlie’s Foreign Car) for those that want to come view it in person.

It sounds crazy to think that a ’93 BMW with 160,000 miles would be considered “good value” at $27,500. But this one looks deceptively new and in great shape, has an appreciative owner, and it’s a very rare color combination. A similar E30 M3 would trade for easily double the asking price here; and yes, while you can get an equally fast and rare Audi S4/S6 for less, you’re not going to get into a 500E any easier. I’ve loved these E34s since they were new, and this one surely looks as sharp as any.


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  1. Beautiful, love Calypso!

  2. I love E34 M5s but I wouldn’t pay high $20’s for one with 160k miles and a repaint. In fairness they do all seem to have high miles and the S38 is pretty durable if maintained properly, but a top end rebuild/valve job is VERY expensive. Also the G280 gearbox is not the most robust and repair/replacement is expensive.

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