We recently spoke about the original BMW M5, the E28 iteration, and how it had a very interesting beginning to its life. There are a few different versions of the how original M5 began, told by a few different people inside BMW, but the best version was told by Paul Rosche. According to him, the the CEO of BMW, during a time of tension between East and West Germany, needed bodyguard cars to keep up with his turbocharged 7 Series, so BMW’s M Division stuffed the famous 3.5 liter I6 under the hood of a 5 Series and the rest is history. We like that story, as it has historical tension, drama and just badassery by the M Division.
But stories aside, the E28 BMW M5 is one of the all time greatest BMWs. It spawned a new genre of vehicle, one that would be mimicked by nearly every other automaker since, with none ever being able to replicate the magic that the original M5 had, BMW included. The E39 M5 came very close to being as perfect of a fast sedan as the E28 but, in the opinion of many, still wasn’t as special. The E28 is the original M car, it’s the birth of a genre and it’s near perfect as a car. So when we find one for sale, in the perfect color combination and near perfect condition for a good price, we get very excited.
This 1988 BMW M5 is in Schwarz Black with Natural Tan Leather interior, which is the absolute perfect color combination. The only thing wrong with this M5 is the hideous North American bumpers, but it’s from Canada so that’s to be expected. However, the buyer of this car can always switch the bumpers out to the sleeker-looking Euro bumpers. On the exterior, there seems to be nothing wrong with this car, but it isn’t mint. It’s 28 years old, so there are signs of fade in some of the plastic bits and it doesn’t look perfect, but it’s damn close and it looks great.
On the inside, things are much the same. There are a few signs of wear, but wear that would be acceptable on a five year old car, so it’s in fantastic shape for a 28 year old car. That tan interior, so light it’s almost cream, is gorgeous and has some amenities you won’t find on some modern BMWs, like electric headrests and heated rear seats. It’s just fantastic.
But this goes from a cool car to a car that makes me start looking on the shadier parts of the internet for where I can sell a kidney once the hood opens up. That’s not an engine, that’s a heart for something magnificent. This is the S38 iteration of the engine, not the M88, as it’s a North American car, which means its a bit slower but it’s still amazing. 256 hp in a sedan that only weighs around 3,400 lbs isn’t bad even for today and this is from 1988. Plus, it’s got a five-speed manual gearbox, a limited-slip rear differential and one of the best engine noises in the world, so if you own this car just forget the numbers a go for a drive.
This particular car is selling for $39,800, which isn’t bad for such a good example of one of the best M cars of all time. It’s got around 227,000 km on it (140,000 mi) and the gauges are in km/h because this is a Canadian car, but that adds a bit of character to it if you’re in the ‘States. Personally, if I was in the market, I’d buy this car over a brand new 3 Series costing just as much. Would it be much more of a headache, being it’s a near 30 year old German car with 140,000 miles on it? Yea, but it’d be worth every second of it.