Car enthusiasts face a use paradox: to keep a car pristine and collectible, you can’t use it. To actually utilize the true joys of the automobile, you MUST use it. The garage-queen vs. daily driver debate delineates different types of car people, and I definitely lean towards the latter. Today’s 1988 M5, the real deal when it comes to true sports sedans, is ideal in my eyes. A refreshingly low and rust-free 80k miles with good maintenance and mechanical replacements with enough eccentricities (“rear left window doesn’t move”) to resist the glove-and-diaper treatment. Put it up with no reserve on eBay and this is exactly what I would look for in an M5.
From the seller:
For sale: 1988 BMW E28 M5. This is a fantastic example for the enthusiast. It’s not a garage queen that you’ll feel guilty driving, but it’s not a thrashed junker that won’t perform to your expectations. It is a very, very nicely kept and maintained example of a true sports sedan.
Somewhere around 1200 of these cars were ever imported to the US (all with black paint and beige leather). Nobody knows how many are still roadworthy, but very few are in daily driving condition with less than 100K miles.
Engine: 3.5L inline 6-cylinder; 256hp stock; 0-60 6.5 secs
Transmission: Getrag 5-sp Manual
Passed Oregon Emissions testing (DEQ) March 2010
New OEM Exhaust system
New catalytic converter
Newer oxygen sensor
Newer OEM electric antenna assembly
Newer upper and lower control arms
New Sway bar link, tie rods, center link
New power steering pump
New Alternator and bushings
New fuel filter
New brake pads and rotors
Most all hoses replaced
New Bilstein shocks front and rear
Fresh hood struts
I have all records and receipts for the above.
–All original body panels with matching VINs
–OEM multifunction trip computer, works perfectly
–Turner Motorsport (Jim Conforti) chip; OEM chip included
–BMW business CD player
–AC blows cold
–Driver and passenger seat heaters, remote power mirrors
–Sunroof with tilt/slide functions works perfectly
–Headliner perfect with no sagging, rips, stains
–OEM wheels, 16” forged basketweave alloys (including spare)
–Less than 10K miles on Kumho Ecsta tires
–OEM toolkit complete
The car spent much of it’s early life on the east coast, but it has been thoroughly inspected by Pacific Motorsports in Portland. There is no body/undercarriage rust or corrosion. There are no fluid leaks.
The car has the flaws you’d expect for it’s age: minor dash cracks, paint blemishes, minor leather cracking. The cruise control stalk is loose, but the cruise control works perfectly. The left rear window doesn’t move. The shifter knob leather is worn. All electric seat functions are normal, but headrests don’t actuate (motor runs). The driveline guibo is cracking.
Runs and drives beautifully; pulls strong, handles just as you would hope and expect.
Look closely. That M pinstriping seals the deal; this is my ideal M5.