1995 BMW 530i

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It’s surprisingly difficult to find a clean, low-mileage E34 5-series. I should know: I recently bought one myself. Although I eventually found a nice example, I had to wade through a lot of sad and tired cars before finding it. That’s a shame because these are among the most attractive and well-balanced cars produced by BMW in recent memory. The design neatly bridges the angular, four-headlight era with the softer, more rounded period to come in the late 90s, and is likely to be looked back upon as a classic. The styling is purposeful, handsome and unmistakably BMW. Even the hot versions, the 540i M-Sport and the M5, are only distinguished from the lower models by subtly modified bumpers and side skirts, leaving owners of base models, like myself, able to kid themselves that they are driving something a bit more special than they really are. The finely weighted chassis makes the car feel surprisingly throwable and sporty for an executive sedan; if the equivalent car from Mercedes, the W124, is built for autobahn cruising, the E34 is well suited to driving the back roads.

But unfortunately, a lot of these have already been driven into the ground. Every now and again however a nice one pops up, like this mint condition example for sale in Canada and eligible for import into the US.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 530i on eBay

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1995 BMW 840ci with 28,000 Miles – REVISIT

A few days ago driving through traffic, a lean, low and angular shape drifted in between cars ahead of me. It stood out mostly because it was so different than the pool of SUVs it swam through. Like a shark parting a school of mackerel, it was a beautiful 840ci with M-System II wheels fit, and it was positively beautiful to see. What really struck me was the size though, more than anything else. I’ve never really thought of the 8-series as a small car – but there it was, dwarfed by the modern automobiles that surrounded it. Most other drivers ignored the door-wedge profile, but I sat transfixed remembering how revolutionary this car was when it was launched. When I happened across this 1995 840ci in my searches, a car which Paul featured back in January, I couldn’t help but want to write it up:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 840ci on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site January 10, 2015:

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1995 BMW M540i

Last week’s E34 M5 Double Take left many feeling a little cold; sure, they were both neat cars, but the general consensus was that both were probably at least a bit (or a lot) overpriced. While finding another good M5 in the marketplace can be difficult, if you’re willing to forgo the M badge – or at least part of it – there are great options in the E34 market. One of the neatest is arguably the Canadian market M540i. Only 32 of these special 5 series were produced, all with a 6-speed manual 540i basis. But the special M5 details that were added created a defacto M car that is very special indeed. The M Adaptive suspension was fit, along with the floating M5 brake system featuring 13.6″ front brakes hidden not well under the equally massive 18″ M Parallel wheels. Outside there was M tech pieces front, sides and rear, matched inside by the M cloth. So exclusive were these M540is that there were only two options offered; a CD changer and ASC traction control.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M540i on Kijiji

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Wagon Week: 1995 BMW 530i Touring

Yesterday I wrote up a very clean ’94 525i Touring for sale here in California with only 76,000 miles on the clock. Right after I save that piece I ran another search for E34 wagons and came across this example for sale in Waco, Texas. Though it is the same color, it differs in a number of ways from the first car and I thought it would make for an interesting would you rather sort of question to round out my Wagon Week posts.

More often than not I have trouble deciding between two cars that are very similar vs. ones that are very different. Throughout the course of my recent car shopping adventures I’ve looked at everything from the new M235i to a 911 SC Targa, the latter mostly just out of pure curiosity, lord knows I can’t afford one. However now that I’ve narrowed my search down to 5 different cars, all from the same manufacturer and all sharing design traits, I’m finding it even more difficult to make a decision. I think choosing between an old Porsche and a new BMW would have been far easier than choosing either an E34 or E39 5 Series. Harder still would be to choose between the car you see here and the 525i Touring I posted yesterday.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 530iT

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10K Friday: Grand Tour Ready – 1993 Porsche 968 v. 1994 BMW 840Ci

You don’t have to despair if you’ve missed out on the E30 M3 and Porsche 911 market – there are still plenty of alternatives that make great occasional vehicles with enough sport to have fun with and enough presence to make you feel really special. Two of the best coupes from the early 1990s are often overlooked and are still very affordable – the Porsche 968 and the BMW 8 series. Now, truth be told most 968s are out of the “10K” price range, and 850i/Cis are often close in disrepair if they’re at or below $10,000. But if you’re willing to take higher miles on the well-built 968 chassis and opt for the smaller motor in the E31, you can find examples of either that fit a budget. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Porsche 968 on eBay

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1986 BMW 325es M60 swap

Motor swaps are always a lot of fun, especially when someone else has done the heavy lifting. In the case of the E30 platform, it seems there is no end to the different motors that get swapped in. We’ve seen S14 retrofits into 325s, plenty of S50, S52 and even a few S54s pop up. But let’s say you really like torque. And aluminum. What’s an E30 enthusiast to do? Well, of course you could swap a M60 4.0 V8 out of the E34 540i into a 325es. In its original form, the 325es was a bit of a slowpoke good handler looking for more power. The E34 540i was a great motor toting around a fair amount of weight. Couple the two together, and Viola! You make the folks at the local tire depot quite happy. Take a look at this tuned 325:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325es on eBay

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