This next car is close enough from a cosmetic and performance perspective that only you’ll know it isn’t an M5. It was born from the factory as a 525i, but someone put an S52 from a 1999 M3 under the hood, big (but not too big) wheels and some valence/bumper pieces to make it more M5ish. The end result is a car that’ll be only a skosh slower than a real M5. And maybe with the lighter M3 engine/gearbox, it might hang with an original S38 equipped true M5, but it will certainly be cheaper to maintain and insure. This isn’t like a $50 Faux-Rolex, this is more like a $500 Faux-Rolex. Is that so bad? Find this 1995 BMW M5 Clone offered for $13,995 in Phoenix, AZ via eBay.
The e34 generation BMW 5-series (1987-1996) is one of those cars that is new enough to not feel like driving a ’57 Chevy but old enough to not be stuffed with electronic nannies, stupid autotragic gearboxes, and hideous styling. Obviously, the one to own is the screaming inline-6 powered M5 version, but the price of entry is high and price of any failure is…well…yikes. I had an E34 M5 for a short period of time (and CFlo had the car for longer) and discovered that things like transmission parts were made from unobtanium. So, if the M5 is too risky (and pricey) but you want the M5 performance, you should get a 540i and supercharge it to 400 horsepower…just make sure it is 6-speed version…oh hey; Find this 1995 BMW 540i offered for $9,900 in Renton, WA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
BMW wagon owners always complain that BWM didn’t export their best engine/transmission options into their wagons for the US market — and it’s true! The E34 5-series had a V8 and a 6-speed option, but it was never available together on the wagon…perhaps because they assumed wagon owners were family men/women who wanted to just cruise. Anyway, if you want the wagon and you want to have fun, you’ll need to find one that has been modified like this next beast, which is now powered by an E36 M3 drivetrain. Find this 1993 BMW 524iT with S52 inline-6 swap bidding for $5,000 in Burlington, VT via eBay. Tip from Cory.
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. […]
This next car checks the all boxes; manual gearbox, check. Wagon, check. Inline-6, check. Rear-wheel-drive, check. Headliner…errr…that’s missing….and the miles are high, so you will need to do some tidying before you let the wife drive it…but manual transmission rear-drive wagons don’t grow on trees. Find this 1992 BMW 525iT offered for $6500 in Long Beach, […]
In the early 1990s BMW was known for its silky smooth inline-6 engines, and it hadn’t produced a V8 in 25 years (the last BMW V8 was a 3.2 liter model first used in the 501/502 and finally in the 3200 CS model in 1965). However, the folks in Dingolfing were never known for sitting on […]
The E34 generation BMW M5 has been a favorite around this site, mostly because it offers a level of speed and exclusivity that is hard to beat. And if you don’t remember, DT’s own CFlo owned an E34 M5 for a few years and loved every minute of the screaming inline-6 powered beast. Today’s E34M5 […]
The BMW E34 5-series was a large luxury family car from BMW, available as a sedan or wagon (estate). We don’t see the wagon versions very often on the road anymore, but they offer a surprising amount of room for the kids/gear/junk while maintaining the classic BMW luxury, handling and performance. Regrettably, for the US […]
The trick of doing a good engine swap is simple…just follow these two rules: (1) pick a sweet vehicle with plenty of street cred, but maybe down a few ponies on power & (2) juice it up with something that keeps alive the spirit of the original automobile, but turns the dial up to 11. […]
The simple things in life are typically the best. Like a sunset. Or a walk along the beach. Or a glass of cheap bourbon. Or a nachos bellgrande from taco bell. Or a 5-speed manual transmission equipped German touring sedan with a crisp inline-6. Yeah. I wonder if I can eat nachos without spilling my […]