1979 BMW 520 Dinan 3.9

An interesting conversation erupted in Andrew’s post about the 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport yesterday. Andrew suggested that the E39 was not only the best looking 5-series, but perhaps the best looking sedan ever produced. I think for many that opinion will depend on the generation that they grew up in; for example, I bet you could find some folks who would contend that the early fourth generation Lincoln Continental (early 60s) or even the Bugatti Royale was better looking. But taking a break from arguing the best looking ever, how about within the 5-series? There are a lot of E28 fans out there, our own author Nate being one since he owns a M5. I grew up with a ’88 M5 in the family, too – but for me the E28, while a definitive and landmark step for BMW, was not as “pretty” as the E12 which preceded it. That’s especially true of the early E12s, but in terms of motivation there aren’t many that can match the punch of the later M5 and 540i models. To solve that problem, one owner took the pretty look of a 1979 Euro-market 520i but ditched the M20 inline-6, replacing it with a Dinan built 3.9 M30 with accompanying upgrades. The result is certainly impressive:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 BMW 520 on eBay

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1989 BMW 325ix

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This 325ix was rebuilt as a present for the seller’s father, but apparently Dad wanted an SUV instead. I’m guessing it was a sort of homespun “Pimp My Ride” judging by the looks of it – take the old E30 and pretty much redo it top to bottom, with some extra flair added for good measure. I already know the flair is going to be polarizing, but there’s enough good stuff in here to keep it out of the “Friday Fail” column for me. Wherever you think it lands on the taste scale, there’s no question that a lot of effort was put into giving this 325ix a new life.

Click for details: 1989 BMW 325ix on eBay

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1982 Alpina C1 2.3

It seems we often list multiple cars from the same seller; in some cases, that’s simply because they have the best examples that are available. EAG and Sloan Cars are great examples of this, amongst many. However, there’s a second tier of cars that we feature – eye candy that lies abroad and would be more difficult to procure. Such is the case with dealers like 4Star in England who seemingly has an endless supply of incredible examples of cars we all want. I think, however, that we need to add “ExoticCarsJapan” to the list, since this is now the third successive Alpina and fourth BMW I’ve written up from them. However, unlike the two previous E28 5-series B9s, today’s example is quite a rare example – a 1982 C1 2.3 E21:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Alpina C1 2.3 on eBay

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Dueling Double Dos: 1970 2002 S14 v. 1968 2002 M20 Turbo

One of the great things about personalizing a car is the variety of ways that it can be carried out. Some people choose to return their car to near original showroom shape while others wildly modify the car with a total lack of regard for originality. The 2002 has traditionally been one of the favorite modification platforms as BMWs go; out of the box, it was blessed with good handling and balance, distinctive looks and it’s a car that’s easy to work on. Most that are in a condition that need or warrant modifications can be had fairly inexpensively, and the myriad of directions you can take means that possible permutations and combinations of parts rarely leave two looking identical. Today is such a case – two fairly similar platforms that take two very different directions – which is your favorite and why?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 BMW 2002 on eBay

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Learn to cope: RHD 1988 BMW 325i Touring

If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of the entire E30 scene. I think it’s a bit overplayed, over-hyped and over-priced. Granted, they’re nice cars, but even though they’re slower I’d take a clean 4000 Quattro or Coupe GT over a 325i any day. There are two exceptions, though; the E30 M3 is of course a favorite of mine but firmly out of reach in any meaningful condition. The other exception is the Touring model – I’d love it if Audi had made a B2 quattro Avant, but they didn’t. Sure, there’s the Quantum Syncro wagon, but park one next to this 1988 325i Touring and for me the clear winner in looks is the BMW. In fact, it’s so much better looking to me than a Quantum, even the steering wheel on the “right” side wouldn’t bother me:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 325i Touring on eBay

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1991 BMW Z1

For some time, BMW has dared to look ahead towards the future; in the 1970s, BMW brought turbocharging to small sedans and even the idea of an efficient supercar. In the 1980s, BMW introduced the world to an entire range of sporting products with its M division – a blueprint which certainly all German, if not most manufacturers in general, follow today. More recently, BMW has pioneered “efficient dynamics” and brought the first realistic super-performance, ultra efficient car to the market with the i8. But in the 1990s, it was a different sort of revolution. BMW looked towards new technology in both electronic systems, manufacturing, car design and construction with its revolutionary 8 series and Z1. The E31 is a car well known to these pages, but as the Z1 was never imported to the U.S., it’s not a car that we often get to feature.

The Z1 was a complete departure for BMW; while they were not strangers to small cabriolets, their previous efforts were in the 1930s with the 315/1 and the 1960s with the 700. BMW went away from the idea of an integral body and frame to a separate chassis with removable, plastic body pieces. The idea was that the owners could replace the panels themselves to “repaint” the car with minimal effort. It was something the Smart car would be notable for – a car that launched a decade following the Z1. The doors didn’t open out – the slid down into the supporting chassis structure. In front was nothing new – the venerable M20 from the E30 popped up here, too – but in the rear the Z1 was new with a multi-link rear axle of its own. This new design would later be incorporated into the E36. It’s interesting that with the Z3 BMW opted to go the opposite route and incorporate earlier E30 pieces into the rear of the /7 and /8. While performance was relatively leisurely, the Z1 nevertheless garnered praise for its innovation, unique design and great looks:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW Z1 on Kijiji

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Tuner Tuesday: 1974 BMW 2002 M20 Turbo – REVISIT

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The Manofied-modded 1974 2002 M20 Turbo from last month remains up for sale; I still believe the asking price is too high but it’s a great looking build overall. What price would you be willing to pay for this re-imagined obrut?

The below post originally appeared on our site March 25, 2014:

It’s been a few months since I last looked at a 2002 Turbo replica. Like the 924 Carrera GT, the 911 RS and Audi RS2, the 2002 Turbo is one of those rare and expensive car models that spawns a fair amount of recreations. The nice thing about replicas, though, is that you really don’t need to worry about damaging the value of one of the original and expensive models; for enthusiasts looking to buy into that market, you can also usually purchase one of these tributes at a fraction of the price of the original. While the last model I looked at was a pretty true to original replica, today’s example has gone mild to wild with a M20 swap and a turbo thrown in just for fun:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo on eBay

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1981 BMW 323i Baur TC

The BMW 2002 Baur is a rare car indeed, but more common are the Baur-built E21 versions of the Targa vision, though they’re also rare and unusual. In all, about 5,000 of these Baur conversions were produced – not necessarily the most rare car that we’ve seen by any measure. But when you toss into the equation the somewhat rare already 323i with a 5-speed manual box, you’ve got a quite rare ride indeed:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 BMW 323i Baur TC on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1974 BMW 2002 M20 Turbo

It’s been a few months since I last looked at a 2002 Turbo replica. Like the 924 Carrera GT, the 911 RS and Audi RS2, the 2002 Turbo is one of those rare and expensive car models that spawns a fair amount of recreations. The nice thing about replicas, though, is that you really don’t need to worry about damaging the value of one of the original and expensive models; for enthusiasts looking to buy into that market, you can also usually purchase one of these tributes at a fraction of the price of the original. While the last model I looked at was a pretty true to original replica, today’s example has gone mild to wild with a M20 swap and a turbo thrown in just for fun:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo on eBay

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