Much like the 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport we saw over the weekend, the BMW E28 535is was a bit of junior M5. It featured many of the same styling cues along with sport seats and sports suspension. This was one of the last E28s to appear before the E34 5 series took over, being offered for the 1987 and 1988 model years. This particular 535is for sale in Texas has the desirable 5-speed gearbox and while it isn’t perfect, it has potential and looks mean sitting on 17″ BBS wheels.
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When did the BMW tuning crowd become the new Volkswagen tuning crowd? I must have missed the memo, but it appears that it certainly went out. In my search for modified cars, I come across quite a few; it seems that for every well modified car, though, there are a few examples that leave you wanting for more. More attention to detail, more refined taste, and in some cases more money spent. That money doesn’t have to be spent poorly – we’ve seen, for example, cars which aren’t the best examples but have great photographs somehow be more desirable than good examples with bad photos. Heck, in one Volkswagen post I even pointed out how the seller was at a car wash (and photographed the car there being washed – a new, and also completely pointless, Volkswagen tuning crowd trend) but then failed to vacuum the car out. Well, it would seem that some of the hallmarks of the Volkswagen crowd are spilling out into the all-too-popular 1980s BMW bandwagon. List out loud the details of this E28 and you’ll have the enthusiasts drooling; Zinnoberrot 535is with black leather, Brembo brakes, M-System II throwing stars, Bilstein and Racing Dynamics suspension, Alpina cam and cluster, and a custom 400 horsepower M30 under the hood. But in this case, I don’t think the result is greater than the sum of the parts:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535is Turbo on eBay11 Comments
When I was a young driver, I was lucky enough to have a few mid 1980s BMWs in the family. My father had collected an assortment of some of the best; a 1982 633CSi, a 1985 635CSi, a 1988 M5 and a 1988 735i 5-speed. Of course, driving each of these cars, I felt in some measure invincible. Considering I had learned to drive on a 1984 Toyota pickup, these leather-lined inline-6 monsters might as well have been Ferrari Enzos. And as if an invitation to dip into that speed, the later 6 and 7 had factory hard-wired radar detectors. Not only was I at the wheel of a car capable of Saturn V levels of thrust, but it was also invisible. My cloaking device engaged, I’d speed down the roads; in hindsight, the who scene was probably similar to the pinnacle of the storyline in The Hunt For Red October as a torpedo closed in on the submarine. I’d stomp on the binders as soon as those beeps registered what was surely an entire squad of police setting up a roadblock for me. Oddly, they all seemed to occur around stores with automatic doors. Even more oddly, there never seemed to be any police there. And especially vexing was the total lack of response when you would drive past an actual police car. At first, I assumed they just had their systems off. I mean, why would BMW install a system in their car that didn’t work? But as the number of actual police speed that the radar detector picked up remained shocking close to zero, I began to be suspicious that this system had actually been installed merely to annoy me. I still get a chuckle every time I see them in older BMWs, such as this 1987 535is:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 535is on eBay2 Comments
The 535is was the first E28 that really caught my eye and led to my pursuit of the M5. Back then, the allure was just a very sharp 80s sedan with some subtle aggressive tweaks – exactly how I like it. There are at least two gorgeous red examples in my area, and the rare times I see them out are always a treat. Today’s example comes well-used, with a lot of miles and some general cosmetic love needed. The Borbet wheels will probably be polarizing, but I’ve seen worse choices. The biggest draw here is the no-reserve auction, and this could be a great entry point to the E28 life.
Click for details: 1987 BMW 535is on eBay3 Comments
The 535is provides a lot of E28 bang for your bucks, with the spoilers and much of the handling improvements of the M5 along with a lot more color choices and lower maintenance costs. The M30 is a beast that can go for Mercedes-diesel-type miles, and all the while you’re cruising in one of my personal-favorite car designs. Today’s is a well-used example that has been cared for enough to still be a good buy. The 80s-BMW price bug may hit these some day, but for now they’re one of the best bargains out there as the M-cars and the E30 “is” models become coveted and values are driven up.