Yesterday, a reader suggested that 2016 might be the year of the E28. It’s not a bad prophecy to make, after all, since we’ve seen all 1980s cars increasing in value, and the E28 is certainly a fan favorite. Handsome styling, good build quality, more than adequate performance and classic tail-out BMW handling make it a practical choice for a classic BMW. Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at some neat options outside of the natural choice M5; there was the Euro-bumpered Dinan 3.9 1988 535i that everyone seems to think is overpriced. Yesterday I also checked out a 1983 Alpina B9 3.5, one of my favorite unsung heros of the E28 lineup. Nate looked at a ultra-clean all-original 1985 535i that just sold for $12,000. Paul considered a lightly modified 1988 535is that everyone loved but failed to find a buyer. And even last month we looked at a rare option, when Nate checked out a right hand drive M535i. When this 533i popped up, I was almost certain we’d seen it before; it was a near clone of a car we looked at back in 2012, but it’s not the same car. Is this a good potential candidate to express your E28 love, then?
As even 3-series models of real, full-blooded Alpinas go for big money, they pull up the wide range of tributes as well. Today’s E12 533i is more than just a sticker job, as it brings with it one of those cool, “back in the day this guy was the MAN!” stories. Here, BMW importer Mike Dietel is the hero with a magical line on Alpina parts who built up this 533i with Euro and Alpina parts when it was fresh from the dealership. On top of the unique provenance, a respected enthusiast spent a good amount of time and energy restoring it, yielding a gorgeous and unique 80s tuner car. It may not be straight from the Alpina shop, but that won’t stop the seller from asking for very serious money.
Click for details: 1981 BMW 533i Alpina Conversion on eBay
When I was a younger lad, my father was looking for an upgrade to his BMW 635CSi for a track car, and we were scouting out E28 M5s. He finally picked one up, and we headed to the track – these were the days when, short of a modified 930, there wasn’t much faster on track than an E28 M5. We were at Lime Rock park, and I excitedly waited for him to come blowing down the front straight, decimating his competition in a wave of speed, power and sound. Yet, when he did appear on the front straight, his arm was out the window – pointing by what appeared to be a fairly unassuming 535i. My 15 year old self couldn’t really contemplate what had happened; how could a 535i possibly be faster than an M5? The answer was under the hood, where a Dinan Turbo kit subtly hid; with a reported 400 horsepower on tap at full boost, the M5 was no match for this supercar slayer. That power figure may well have been exaggerated by the owner, but it was no slouch, so I was excited to see a similar 533i 3.5 Dinan Turbo pop up in our Self-Service Classifieds:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 533i Dinan Turbo on eBay
I very much like BMW’s Style 32s, especially as an OEM+ retrofit on E28s. Today’s 533i is pretty far on the looks-over-function side of the scale, but it does it pretty well when it’s not grinding on the ground. With rally lights and roof rack rounding out the hipster look, it’s dedicated to style but seems like the owner has taken time to make it a good runner too. If I were a couple years younger and a few Bay Area towns hipper, I’d be very into this 5er.
Click for more details: 1984 BMW 533i on eBay
Steve dropped me a note this morning that his stunning and exceptionally clean BMW 533i is up for sale. I like the clean front and…