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1997 BMW 540i Sport

This week I ran across this early production 540i Sport package car. It’s interesting for a few reasons. First, I’ve always really liked the clean look of the early sport package cars with either the turbine Style 32 wheels or the multi-piece BBS Style 19s as shown on this example. Something really worked for me about this wheel on this body style. An early 540i Sport, it’s missing some of the later additions I covered on later 540s, but still carries the aforementioned 17″ wheels and M-Sport suspension. However, this car is a bit different than the usual one that you’ll come across.

Having covered only 61,500 miles in its life, it’s almost completely original. It sounds strange to trumpet that, but most of the 540i Sports seem to be modified – even slightly. This one just looks like it’s got tint. And everything is there – it’s a California car with all original literature. It also doesn’t have the standard sport seats that would have accompanied the sport package. It was ordered in Arctic Silver Metallic with black leather comfort seats, but it’s got the all-important 6-speed manual transmission. Here, the pre-facelift orange directionals and less fussy taillight design work in harmony with the lack of body kit and beautiful exterior hue. Is it a winning combination?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW 540i Sport on eBay

Year: 1997
Model: 540i Sport
VIN: WBADE5323VBV90121
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 61,525 mi
Location: Westmont, Illinois
Price: Reserve Auction

This rare 1997 BMW 540i was sold new 08/06/1997 by factory authorized MY BMW/Porsche store in Seaside California and traveled between Seaside and Incline Village California for most of its life and up to just over 59,000 Miles!

We have original Keys (2) window sticker showing MSRP of $57,095. The vehicle is Artic Silver over black, Comfort Seats and a very rare Manual Transmission!

The 4.4 Liter V8 is paired perfectly to the 6 speed manual transmission and is a true dream to drive. Paint is in great shape as are the factory 17″ wheels, the car was not smoked in and has no odd odors.

The car has been in a collection the last few years and rarely driven, almost all the miles were California driven and the undercarriage confirms no salt or rust damage.

The car now comes with an Illinois title and recently passed emissions tests. This car was meant to be driven and enjoyed and it is not at this point and has to go to a new home, my loss is you gain !

Yeah, I think so. Condition is stellar, the engine – while not the strongest or most reliable BMW’s ever made – gives plenty of gusto, and it’s a great looking example of some of the finest engineering coupled with driving experience you can get from BMW. There are minor changes from stock when you look closer; that shift knob, for example, sure looks like the perforated type that was equipped on my 135i. But if that’s all you’re complaining about, you’ve got great problems. And sure, you’ll probably need to do some engine work at some point. But isn’t that true of all of these cars? You’re not buying a Honda, after all.

Bidding currently sitting at $9,000 at time of writing with the reserve unmet. It will be interesting to see if this one sells. I probably don’t need to tell you it’ll take double that amount to get into an equal condition late M-Sport model. If this one can be yours anywhere under $15,000, I’d say it’s well bought.



  1. Ricky Weston
    Ricky Weston May 3, 2020

    I remember when I paid $12.5k for my E39 M5. Those were the days.

  2. Mark Benton
    Mark Benton May 4, 2020

    Looks lowered to me. Beauty

  3. KrautHammer
    KrautHammer May 4, 2020

    Noice! Love the style 19s.

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