1987 BMW 528e Euro-Spec

The allure of European specification cars from the 1980s is great with me. Beyond being equipped with items that never made it to the U.S., there’s the look – especially when it came to BMW and Mercedes-Benz models. Audi’s mid-80s refresh and updated bumper skins meant that by 1985 it was hard to tell the difference outside of the headlight glass; contrast that with this BMW 528e. While I’m sure there is a devoted U.S.-spec 528e fanbase somewhere, it is really low on the appeal spectrum when you consider the 535is and M5 that ran alongside it. Usually presented in drab and unpolished tones, the 528e has always struck me a bit as a German speaking Eeyore. However, revert the car to its original European specification, and suddenly it’s a different ball game. Slimmed down and cleaned up, it’s a smart looking sedan again – and few appear in this condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 528e on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Hartge H5SP

Hartge has never really enjoyed the popularity of Alpina, just as the E34 doesn’t enjoy the popularity of the bookends to its production run – the E28 and E39. There are a myriad of reasons for both occurrences, but the result is that for the discerning individual who would like a potential future classic on an affordable budget, the E34 is a great chassis to consider. Solid build quality, good looks and plenty of luxury combined for a genuinely lovely experience. Even in the small motored 525i, the E34 was an entertaining drive when coupled with a manual transmission – I spent many hours at the wheel of the 1995 example my family owned for several years, and while a few times I wished it was an M5, I never was really left disappointed. Move to the bigger brother 535i and you’ve got more go under your right foot – and if you introduce a host of Hartge bits coupled with a Japanese build from famed tuner Tommykaira, you’ve got one interesting and future collectable driver’s car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Hartge H5SP on eBay

Continue reading

U.S. or ROW? 1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-spec vs. U.S.-spec

I bang on about how much I prefer the look of the European market cars from the 1980s over the U.S. spec cars, and this is especially true amongst BMWs. For some reason, the powers that be at BMW decided to do the worst integration of DOT bumpers of all the European manufacturers; it was almost as if they said “Oh yeah? Well, take this, then!” Bulky, with too much plastic, rubber accordions and fading stainless trim, they stand out as a stark reminder of how simple and pretty the European bumpers on many of the same models were. However, it’s not often that we get to see two very similar models for sale at the same time; today, however, there are two nearly identical BMW 635CSis on eBay. Both are 1985, dark metallic colors, red leather, 5-speed manuals and updated wheels – and in their own way, each is lovely. Does the Euro-spec car win out for me once again?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-spec on eBay

Continue reading