We’ve seen quite a few examples of the e28 M5 come across EBay lately, which primarily seems an attempt by those sellers to test the market and see how high the e30 M3 has pushed up prices. So there isn’t a ton left to be said about these cars. Many of those we’ve featured have failed to sell, but that problem should not arise for the present example: a 1988 BMW M5 with 108,399 miles located in Houston. The seller has put this car up with no reserve so at the very least this will provide us a glimpse onto the current market. Even 25 years on, the e28 M5 is still a fantastic looking car with sleek lines emphasized by just a touch of aggression.
Up for grabs is a well maintained rust free example of a beauful classic. Of the 1200 or so imported, roughly 500 are known to be in good shape. This has been a 2 owner car and has been religiously serviced by both of us. The first owner was an elderly gentleman who had it till he could no longer drive it. Garaged most of its life.
This car has been maintained to preserve its originality. I have most maintenance records since birth till its most recent service. The elderly original owner was an enthusiast, trading in his 1983 533i for this M5 in November 1988 for $48.9k. I have copies of the original bill of sale and all books.
My first intro to M-powered BMWs was an e30 M3 that I purchased 15 years ago. Since then, the addiction has worsened. I get goose bumps everytime I get in this car. It is a very special M car and I am reminded of that everytime I step in it. Recent acquisition of an e39 M5 and an old Land Cruiser has prompted the sale. If it were up to me, I would have found storage for it, and preserved it for my daughter, who loves my “stick shift M5s that mommy can’t drive”. But my wife doesn’t feel that having 6 cars is reasonable, and i can’t exactly blame her…
During my ownership, I have done an exhaustive renewal of the front and rear suspension, fixed small oil leaks, did an overhaul of the AC system and an exterior and interior refreshening as outlined below to make it a daily driver. The end result is a car that looks as good as it drives and gets comliments everywhere. I drive it twice a week to work. It is not a perfect or concours car, but a car you can stare at everyday in admiration and drive it whenever you please.
MECHANICAL: The S38B35 powerplant is an amazing beast. Much more refined compared to the e30 m3.
– It has great power throughout the powerband and shifts are smooth through all the gears. Recently treated to a full tune up.
– The clutch feels great.
– Tracked down and fixed all oil leaks
– The suspension has been completely revamped by me. I went the route of New OEM M-Tech springs and Bilsteins shocks, a costly but worthwhile change, opting for the SLS delete. The car tracks amazingly well. Cost just under $2k for parts and labor.
– New front and rear strut mounts.
– New Pitman arms
– New tie rod ends and ball joints.
– Spent almost $1500 on a new AC compressor, dryer, condensor etc… It now has cold AC. Heat works too
– New power steering pump and power steering hose
As it was owned by an elderly gentleman, it went through periods of time where it was stored while he battled chronic disease and cancer. In 2005, after sitting for a while, it underwent a comprehensive top to bottom service to the tune of $11k at BMW, where they had it for nearly 4 months. List of services include but not limited to –
– Front and rear shock absorbers
– Front brake pads and rotors
– Rear brake pads and rotors
– 4 new tires
– 4 wheel alignment
– Driveshaft flex disc replaced
– Brake Master Cylinder replaced
– Brake fluid flush
– Antifreeze/coolant flush
– Cooling system hoses
– Electrical system serviced
– Door weatherstrips replaced
– AC service
– Transmission service
– Drive belts
– Fuel filter
– Oil and filter
– Spark plugs. cap/rotor
– Valve cover gaskets and valve job
– The speedometer cluster was replaced at this time by BMW in 2005 at 53.5k miles (paperwork included) due to an erratic speedo and the new cluster set to 0. Present odometer reading is 54.7k miles, so total miles are approx 108k. Service records from the 90s to now document and chronicle mileage.
In 2011 at 106k miles (52k on new odo), it underwent another major service to tune of about $3500 including
– Front and rear brakes
– Brake fluid flushed
– Transmission service
– Cooling system flushed
– Drive belts
– Full tune-up
– AC service with Blower motor
The car wasn’t driven much since then as the previous owner passed away in 2012.
EXTERIOR: The Black paint has a great shine to it.
– I had it professionally wet sanded and polished and it gets compliments everywhere. Also had paintless dent removal remove small door dings.
– One of the few rust free examples around. No floods.
– 16″ factory basket weaves are paired with Matching Conti Sports with approximately 90% tread life left.
– Many years ago, the hood and left fender were replaced from a fender bender. Paint match is great to this day. Rest of the body panels are original.
– The front bumper has a small rip in it at the bottom from being low.
INTERIOR: The original natural tan interior has survived the test of time.
– The seats are original and have no tears. Bolsters are in great shape. All power seat functions work, except the head rest mechanism.- Heated seats work!
– Headiner is great shape.
– The radio is original and works as intended; the speakers work fine, but not audiophile quality.
– The power antenna is functional.
– Many rubber componts have been replaced throughout the years, along with switches.
– Replacement black BMW mats, with the originals included.
– The original dash has one tiny visible crack and 2 smaller ones by the windshield that can’t be seen from the inside.
In summary, given the rarity and condition of the car, this car will continue to appreciate in value. This is a solid daily driver, but it is not concours. These cars are getting rarer in good shape. Be realistic in your expectations and you will not be disappointed. These young classics, including the e30 M3 and M6 are appreciating and the e28 M5 is following that lead. I sold my pristine e30 m3 10 years ago for $10k and it is a $25k car today.
A very reputable seller of M powered cars recently sold one with 75k miles for around the $30k mark.
I reserve the right to end the auction early for a favorable offer. Feel free to contact me with questions at 504 957-9636. Thanks for your interest.
With a detailed description and some good quality pictures, this seller has provided buyers with enough information to feel comfortable furthering any investigations into purchasing this car. It looks rather good both inside and out and comes with a stack of service records. Any buyer who has felt the itch to get into an e28 may want to look into purchasing one soon before prices ramp up. Bidding here is currently at a fairly reasonable $13,900 but has seen quite a bit of action so we may see that rise even more. With that said, the price is still lower than what some sellers of lesser examples of the e28 have hoped to extract so the price here doesn’t seem egregious. Price aside, it’s still a beautiful car that with continued maintenance will provide quite a bit of driving pleasure.