As M prices continue to soar, one of the safe havens if you want something special that isn’t outrageously priced is still the E34 M5. The E34 is often overlooked by enthusiasts because it’s the slightly conservative filling in a legendary bread sandwich. With the bookends of the E28 and E39 M5s, the E34 in comparison seems understated and perhaps even a little boring when you first look at it. It doesn’t visually look much different than the rest of the production line other than two M5 badges (do you read that BMW? You only need TWO badges to make us take note. TWO!). But that understated presence hides driving dynamics that are second to none – this is a Q-Ship in the greatest sense, perhaps even better in its execution of that goal than the E28 was, and certainly less showy than the E39. For those who want a great driver from one of the best periods of BMW history with a legendary engine, excellent build quality and enough luxury to make you and your 3 friends feel very special on your weekend getaway while staying on a reasonable budget, look no further:
The ascension of the E30 M3 and subsequent increase in value of both the E28 M5 and E24 M6 have underscored the incredible value of the lone early 1990s BMW M survivor, the E34 M5. While purists may complain that the E34 was heavier and a more dulled experience than the E28 M5, I’ve always found the E34 to be an even better representation of the M experience. M cars were all about stealthy performance, and in my mind the E34 is the most stealthy M car produced. Another reason I like the E34 versus the E28 is the introduction of more colors than just black – in this case, this E34 is the same color combination as the first M5 I ever sat in; silver with grey leather:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay
The E39 M5, for all its amazing performance and quiet aggression, is fairly ubiquitous, especially here in top-of-the-line hungry Silicon Valley. The E34 M5 has its detractors, but it is still a rare, fast, and attractive sports sedan that will hide from those who don’t know and is searched for by those who do. Today’s comes from an owner who clearly knows his stuff and has enjoyed the car for 16 years while making (mostly) tasteful upgrades. The performance pieces all make sense and it’s surely a hoot, giving the singing inline-6 more juice and the chassis greater ability to hang with it. It has covered a lot of miles, but there’s always the chance that this is one of the “extra-special” S38s that can go for 300k+ miles. There’s also the chance that it’s not, meaning it’ll need a rebuild in the next 20k miles, and that’ll set you back nearly its current list price. The price is right though, and the owner is indeed being completely reasonable.
Click for details: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay
Notably absent in last week’s M5 Double Take was the middle model E34. Often overlooked unjustly, the E34 is a great looking car that retains the title “last of the handbuilt M cars” – something that appears in nearly every advertisement. But if it’s cliche, it’s also a testament to the solid nature of the E34. Couple that slightly more luxurious and isolating cabin to the incredible S38 powerplant, and it’s a natural winner. Prices on this middle run super sedans have begun to creep up, but many have remained quite attainable – especially if you’re willing to accept an example with higher miles. Today we have two seemingly clean higher mile examples; which would be your pick?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay
Back in April, Nate wrote up an attractive E30 M3 S38 swap that was asking all the money for what was a non-original car. But we liked it, mostly because it was a well executed build and it took what would have been a tired S14 E30 and breathed new life into it. So what else does that great S38B36 look at home in? One of the complaints about the E36 in North America was that the M3 didn’t get a full-blown M motor as its predecessors and stablemates, but the builder of today’s track attack 1998 M3 has resolved that. Backdating the motor, this E36 is a rolling M appreciation billboard that will remind you what an incredible track car the E36 makes: