If the E28 defined BMW as the defact mid-range sports sedan manufacturer, it was the E12 that established the trend. There’s a beautiful simplicity to the original Paul Bracq design; it is both stately and organic, subtle and understated but strong and elegant. The 5-series announced that you had arrived in a distinctly more sporty manner than the Audi 100 or Mercedes W123. Unfortunately, unlike the W123, it’s become exceedingly difficult to find good examples of the E12 – especially when you wind the clock back to the U.S. thermal-reactor 530i. Many suffered death by mechanical disregard or worse yet the ignominious death by tin worm. That’s why it’s especially awesome to see one pop up in fantastic shape, such as this 1977 Topaz Brown model that was spotted by our reader John via Daily Turismo.
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