10k: Vader’s Family Car: 1988 BMW M5 E28
The BMW E28 generation M5 is a great way to get into a rare and cool classic without needing a trust fund. It also offers a purity of driving experience undulled by electronic power steering, stability control, traction control or any number of electronic nannies found in modern cars. Unfortunately, the world has moved on and what was once fast is now just mediocre and repair bills from a mechanic (or dealer) can be downright bankrupting. The only way to survive E28 M5 ownership with your pants held high is to buy a nice one and maintain it like you would maintain an airplane. Find this 1988 BMW M5 E28 currently bidding for $9,600 via eBay, located in Auburn, ME.
The E28 M5 (only available in the US Market for the 1988 model year) packed the engine taken
from the M1 supercar into a luxury sedan and changed the world of luxury sport sedans. You can thank the E28 every time you see an 4-door M from BMW, an AMG Mercedes, or Audi’s S-lineup because this is where it started.
The US spec E28 M5 is equipped with the S38 B35 catalyst equipped 3.5 liter
inline six putting out 256 horsepower – enough to make the M5 the fastest
sedan ever built when it was new. The S38 was a detuned version of the
BMW M1 supercar engine (mated to the 535’s 5-spd manual trans and
standard limited slip diff), and compared to everything else sold in or before
1988 it was downright fast.
The E28 M5 interior features tan seats/carpet with black dash and uppers, which is the way they all left when headed for US dealers (except for a handful of black/black cars that are easily overlooked). The interior on this one looks in decent shape, but isn’t perfect and shows some signs of wear tear on touch surfaces.
See another way to drive a fast inline-6 powered M-car with more style for less? email@example.com
Is the airbox rusting, or is there a nice under-the-hood coolant spray to keep things from overheating?
The inspection report the seller posted looks about right. None of it particularly scary, some of it potentially expensive if contracted out, decide what the car's worth to you.
The E28 M5 engine in US form got a different exhaust header and a retarded cam sprocket that cost it 30HP, my guess is that if this car is chipped it's also got a replacement cam sprocket.
Personally, the E28 M5 was the first – and in some ways the least appealing – of an arc of cars that took us from an era where truly fast cars were rare and invariably little coupes to a world where 150mph sedans are a yawn. If I were trying to preserve something from that window – '88 to '95, say – I'd rather have an E34 M5, or a 2.3-liter Saab 9000 Turbo, or an ur-S4 or one of the 20V 200 Quattros, or maybe even a Taurus SHO. The only one of the bunch I could truly be happy with stock would be the E34, and the ultimate E34 was of course the Touring.