Matching pair of BMWs to make you an instant enthusiast, 635csi & 530i

This seller out in Washington State has listed on Seattle’s Craigslist a pair of classic BMWs that look like they belong together. While nearly a decade spans these two cars you almost get the sense that splitting them up would be like separating out two kitties from the same litter. With both cars finished in a great navy color.

The elder brother is a 1976 530i with 105,000 miles. The car features authentic Hardy and Beck 3 piece 16″ rims and some suspension parts, springs and swaybars from Alpina. It has a complimentary blue leather interior. Judging by the sheepskins on the front seats there is probably some hidden wear, but the rears look to be in great shape.
The seller mentions that the car has had an exhaust header added and an older high end audio system. The intake manifold has also been polished for a somewhat odd look since it stands out on an otherwise fairly subdued car. It doesn’t look bad, just different. The car’s automatic will keep interest a little lower I’m afraid. It is interesting to see the rear mount fog light on the U.S. bumper. The ask price is $6,950.

The other car from the seller is this matching 1985 635csi with 122,000 miles. Unfortunate also saddled with the autobox. The seller says the car runs perfect and it comes with new wheels and tires. The ask here is $5,950. It is unclear if the Beamer vanity plate will also be made available to a new owner.

The ads don’t tell a whole lot about various condition issues so you’ll want to do a bit more digging, but the cars look clean. I suspect that a deal could be had if you bought these both. Sitting them next to each other in your garage will look pretty classy.

1985 BMW 635csi

1976 BMW 530i


1994 BMW 530i Touring

Towards the end of the BMW E34’s lifespan, a new V8 engine debuted, first as a 4.0 liter in 1993 followed by a smaller 3.0 liter version in 1994. A little over 60,000 examples of both 530i and 540i V8 engined E34s were manufactured in both sedan and touring configuration. For 1994, under 1,000 examples of the 530i Touring emerged from the factory, which makes this two owner example particularly rare before taking into account its low mileage and condition. The 3.0 liter V8 was the largest engine on offer in the Touring for the US market and with 215 horsepower and 214 lb ft. of torque, it wasn’t as aggressive as one would assume. It was, however, a smooth engine which provided adequate pulling power for this hauler, being able to reach 60 mph in around 8.5 seconds.

1994 BMW 530i Touring on eBay

We are the 2nd owners of this car. I bought the car from the 87 year old lady who bought it new off the lot from BMW Beverly Hills and doesn’t drive anymore. The car is “USC colors because that is my alma mater.” We have every receipt from anything ever performed on the car. Until we bought the car a few years ago, nearly all receipts came from Beverly Hills BMW or Palm Springs BMW. The car is very very well cared for. We had the car serviced at Long Beach Autohaus, using all BMW parts and cutting no corners. Recently we had all the rubber bushings and sway bar bushing replaced, valve cover gaskets, full clay bar and 7 stage polish approx 4 months ago, new radiator, passenger seat motor replaced and a number of other items. The car also has a new alpine stereo that is very minimal and doesn’t look out of place, with an ipod control in the glove box.

Not pictured is the rear pull out cover that will cover the storage behind the seats if you want, in very good condition. Also the car has a double sun roof that can open for the rear seats and or the front seats at the same time, in perfect working order. The tires are very new, less than 2000 miles on them. The car drives as new, lots of power and very quiet and smooth, the freeway is very comfortable as you would expect with a luxury car like this. This car was the top of the line for BMW at the time, every option. There are signs of wear, nothing unusual for a 18 year old car. Some of the paint on the roof is faded, select rubber around door handles has dried and cracked, and the interior headliner is starting to separate around the speakers in the ceiling above the rear storage (pictured), paint is in good original condition for the age. The car has been in southern California its whole life, there no rust or anything of that nature – zero rust. I would not hesitate to take this car on a road trip across the country and back through Canada, very reliable.

The best example of a 530i Touring might fetch in the $5,000 to $7,000 range. Anything under $8,000 I’d probably consider reasonable, given the specifics on this car. I would have second thoughts about modifying such a nice original example of a not so common BMW, but I can’t help but have visions of an M5 Touring clone, right down to the M-system II “throwing star” wheels. Once again, with a car like this, we have a nice, soothing cure for the common SUV.


2001 BMW 530i Sport 5 speed

The E39 BMW 5er needs no introduction on this website, being a favorite of the writers of this blog and readers. The M5 is probably the most poured over E39, however, between the entry level 525i and the V8 engined 540i/M5 versions stood the 530i, which offered BMWs ubiquitous 3.0 liter inline six producing 228 horsepower. Enthusaists often hold this version in highest esteem, since the weight savings of the inline six over the V8 improves handling while sacrificing little in performance. The following example on Craigslist near Washington, DC has some tasty M accessories, three pedals and not too many miles under it’s belt. The aftermarket wheels are also rather tasteful, unlike some accessorized E39s I’ve seen.

2001 BMW 530i Sport on Craigslist DC

2001 530i Sport, Premium and 5 Speed. Titanium Silver, grey leather interior. 77K miles. M Sport suspension, M steering wheel and trim. I’ve taken really good care of this car and can document with lots of maintenance records. Installed the OEM (no cheap kit) M-Tech front and rear bumpers, along with a Magnaflow exhaust. Rims are 18″ Monet New Age with Sumitomo HTR ZIII performance tires with lots of tread left. Also has Premium package — Xenon headlights, Park Distance Control, top of the line Montana leather, DSP sound system. 

Here’s what Bimmer magazine had to say in April 2008 — “The manual gearbox 530i Sport has always been our favorite E39, as it has ample power and more nimble handling with none of the V8 problems.” Look around – manuals don’t come on the market very often. Get yourself a classic BMW made before they became more software than car.

A neighbor of mine owned a 530i, albeit with an automatic transmission, but even so, in dark metallic gray, there is just a seriousness to this sport sedan that epitomizes what we all love about BMWs and dread about the latest iterations cranked out of the factory in Munich. I’ve driven a 525i and 540i, both with manual transmissions. Both were fantastic to drive, the 525i light on it’s feet but lacking a little bit of top end power, the 540i brutish, but the handling was just a tad compromised. From listening to the critics, it would seem that the 530i mirrors the famous story of “The Three Bears.” It’s the one that’s “just right.”