We have 15 years of archives. Links older than a year may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.
Back in March, I looked at a great-looking 1993 M5 with moderate mileage and a moderate pricetag. While I like the look of the later M System II wheel covers – the ubiquitous “throwing stars” – if I’m honest I’ve always been more of a fan (pun intended) of the M System I turbine wheels.
Today’s ’91 has those original wheels in place, and it’s got less than half the mileage of the ’93. Let’s take a look!
BMW’s second-generation M5 followed the same recipe as the outgoing E28; manual transmission, rear-drive, howling inline-6 under the hood. But the E34 was far from a copy of the car that was really credited with being the first super sedan. BMW upped with power first with the 3.6-liter version of the S38; though the increase in displacement was a scant 82 ccs, the result was impressive. BMW Motorsport GmbH fit a new cam, a higher compression head, and a new engine management system to yield 311 horsepower at a rev-busting 6,900 rpm.
While the E34 M5 was available on these shores far longer than the E28, there weren’t a ton imported – especially towards the end of the run. Today’s example is a beauty, too, in Calypso Red with M System II “throwing stars”. While it’s no spring chicken, to me it still represents good value in today’s market:
For years I’ve banged on about the E34 M5, a conundrum of the M lineup. It’s got all the right DNA to be a classic, yet like the similar 944 Turbo has generally languished in value compared to similar products. That may sound like a broken record on these pages, but it’s a tune which is both catchy and sweet-sounding for BMW fans because it means they’re getting more car for their money. They’ve got plenty of the right ingredients – the last of the individual throttle body S38 motors producing 315 horsepower, Motorsport details throughout, a great subtle look which still is commanding of respect, supreme road manners and limited numbers – only 1,678 were imported. It’s the right recipe for a future classic. This chassis is still generally overlooked compared to the E28 and E39 models, but those that have spent some time behind the wheel of these well engineered, hand-built Q-Ships proclaim they’re one of the best BMW products made. Recent market activity in since 2016 has started to remix the tune, though, and E34s have been on the rise. Hagerty currently places top value on 1991 M5s at over $74,000 – steep sounding given what many traded for over the last few years, but perhaps more in line with their legendary build quality and performance especially when considering their siblings. So let’s see what a top value M5 looks like today: