As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of 90s junk, I find myself oddly attracted to the E34 (1988-1995) generation of BMW’s 5-series sedan. A quick trip to BMW’s USA sales website makes me pine for a time when a “kidney grill” wasn’t a grotesque polygonal shaped icon that exemplifies the corpulence of the modern era. The twin […]
This next BMW won’t win best of show at the next Concours D’Alphonse, but it should get you from point-a to point-b without too much fuss. The seller picked it up as a project car and it still needs some additional sorting, but a 535i with a manual box and an LSD is not a […]
A quick trip to BMW’s USA sales website makes me pine for a time when a “kidney grill” wasn’t a grotesque polygonal shaped icon that exemplifies the corpulence of the modern era. The twin kidney shape was a decorative throwback to first BMW grill and not a predator mouth shaped abomination. There was a time […]
u won’t have automatic lane departure warning buzzards (I’m not sure why you’d want a buzzard to peck at your neck when you change lanes without a blinker, but I hear they are friendly birds if treated properly and only molt twice a year) and self aspirating seats (“You can’t never take wound care too seriously” — said the spokeswoman from Toyota at the last year’s Detroit Auto Show) but imagine driving a 30 year old car in 1970. That would have been a 1940 car. Or even driving a 30 year old car in the year 2000 — a 1970 Torino would have been nuts to daily drive in 1999…but you could easily drive this next car every day and not have people calling the cops on you. Find this 1990 BMW 535i offered for $6,000 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.
This next car is a real unicorn and is probably the last chance to drive a manual gearbox wagon if you believe all the Voltswagon hype these days. Electric SUVs and dual-clutch-17 speed transmissions might be the future, but BMW sent the 5-series wagon off with a bang with the E61 generation (2003-2010). They put the twin turbocharged N54 inline-6 attached to a 6-speed manual and sold a car that was a few turbocharger upgrades away from being as fast as the European M5 wagon. The only thing they forgot to include was a set of rear facing jump seats. Find this 2010 BMW 535i XDrive offered for $11,000 in Dover, MA via craigslist.
In the Nick Cage classic “Gone in 60 Seconds”, the protagonist (and car thief) hunts his white whale — Eleanor. She is a unicorn, an elusive 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 that is impossible to capture. No matter how many times he tried, Memphis could not capture it…and I’ve got a similar car. Not one I’m planning on stealing for the Ukrainian mafia, but one I’d like to have in my garage. The E28 BMW 5-series. Sure, I’ve driven a few. I even took one to the top of the podium at the 24 Hrs of LeMons in 2007 (and another to the scrap heap after the first race in 2006, training wheels welded on as penalty, People’s Choice award…good times)…but I’ve never owned or daily driven an E28 535i. I still have the itch and someday I’ll get a manual version before they are all crushed or become victim of hipster price bloat. Find this 1988 BMW 535i E28 offered for $2850 in Petaluma, CA via craigslist.
I feel the need for a manual gearbox equipped European sport sedan…and I want it big enough for a family. And don’t give me some domesticated import that has had its European mystique neutered, I need something without airbags, that only shows kilometers on the speedo, is grey market and unregister-able in California. Oh. Here. […]
Welcome to Leap Day on DT, where we look at cars ready to take the Leap from depreciated crap to appreciating classic: I’ve got to admit that I have a soft spot for the E28 generation BMW 5-series…particularly the zippy 535i with a manual gearbox. I’ve personally driven 2 of them to their unfortunate death […]
The E28 generation BMW 5-series market is currently somewhere between discarded junk and desirable classic, and the low mile, clean examples are starting to fetch decent money. The E28 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. […]
I’ve struggled with the decision about buying a depreciated late model (like a modern 2010ish BMW 535i) with manual gearbox or buying an appreciating classic from yesteryear — because the older car will possibly be worth more in a few years, but the modern car will be a faster and more reliable (probably?) ride? I’m […]