The BMW E12 was the first vehicle to don the 5 Series badge and since has spawned five newer variations all of which are highly regarded in markets across the globe.
The BMW 5 Series continues its strong hold on the public to this day and some say the BMW 5 Series is a car that sets the standard for the midsize sedan class. Since the first one rolled off the assembly line, the 5 Series has been BMW’s most profitable car behind the 3 Series and in 2010 alone accounted for roughly 50% of BMW’s profits.
The E12 was produced between 1972 and 1981, and was a perfect middle child to the larger E3 (6 Series) and the smaller 2002 sedans which later became the 3 Series. This particular model was quite troublesome for BMW when they imported to the US. With different regulations and safety laws BMW replaced and modified many of the parts on this vehicle and because of these mods the car was susceptible to overheating from warped or cracked cylinder heads. The company offered replacement parts one all effected models in and outside of warranty which was a steep price.
As the patriarch of the 5 Series family, the E12 has given rise to a pedigree of automotive evolution forever emulating the Ultimate Driving Machine.