While the BMW M1 was technically the M Division’s first car, it sold in such small numbers and was more of a homologation car than a full-on production car, the first real M car was the E28 BMW M5. The E28 M5 is one of the absolute best BMWs of all time (and my personal favorite). But the car that came before the E28 M5 and was sort of the car that preluded the M5, was the E28-generation BMW M535i.
Many BMW enthusiasts would love to have an E28 M5, as it’s one of the coolest Bimmers ever. However, prices have been going up for years and they’re getting a big absurd. So many enthusiasts are out of reach. If that’s the case with you, you may want to look at this 1985 BMW M535i to take solace in.
It has a lot of the same great looks of the E28 M5, with its M stripes down the side and the old-school ’80s wheels. It’s such a simple, boxy and charming design, it’s part of the reason why I love the E28 5 Series.
On the inside, the BMW M535i is even more similar to the M5. It gets an M steering wheel and shift knob, along with sport seats, that make it look more special than a standard 5er. This specific car has blue cloth seating, which is actually kind of cool.
Under the hood was an M30 3.5 liter I6 engine that made 218 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque. While that’s not a ton of power, it’s pretty damn good, especially considering how light these older Bimmers were. Paired to that lovely I6 was a five-speed manual transmission.
This specific car also only has 78,915 miles on it, making it pretty fresh for being 32 years old. But it also shows that it was driven and wasn’t a garage queen, exactly how most enthusiasts want it. Even better, it comes at a good price. For $27,000, you can have one of the original 5 Series performance variants and one of the cooler BMWs of what could possibly be BMW’s best generation.[Source: Classic Driver]