Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of the E34-generation 5 Series. I’ve always thought it looked like a brick with a roof and its handling always left me wanting. However, the E34 BMW M5? Well, to quote the great Austin Powers, that’s a bit of all right. However, the E34 M5 is actually quite popular among enthusiasts. But this one has high mileage and has been modified in ways that many enthusiasts might not like. It’s cheap, hough. So could this be your budget classic, a car to tinker with and make yours?
Currently listed on Bring-A-Trailer is a 1991 BMW M5 in silver over a two-tone black and grey cloth interior. On the outside, she’s lookin’ a bit tired. Some paint is faded on the roof, its lower front lip is cracked in a few places, there are a couple of minor dings and dents, a small scratch here and there and the original pin-striping is seriously faded. None of it is crazy, no major dents or scratches and everything seems easily repairable (except for maybe the paint) but all of it still makes this M5 a bit of a handful. The inside is in better shape but it’s not perfect.
But none of this is out of the ordinary, considering the fact that this E34 BMW M5 has 201,000 miles on it. While that’s still not crazy for a car that’s 27 years old, being that it’s still less than 10,000 miles per year, it’s a lot of mileage for a car to have done. That’s a lot of revs for a high-strung, motorsport-bred engine. So it’s going to need some work and it’s not going to be cheap.
Speaking of the engine, it’s the 3.6 liter naturally-aspirated inline-six, being that this is a 1991 model and a pre-refresh car. So it isn’t the torquier 3.8 liter engine of the later model. Still, it’s a proper M engine, with individual throttle bodies, variable valve timing and a motorsport-inspired soundtrack. That engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, as the Car Gods intended.
This car isn’t all original, though. It features lowered suspension, with Koni shocks and Lowtec springs, a new radio headunit and a new amp. So it’s modified a bit. Nothing too crazy but modified nevertheless.
So with its high mileage, imperfections and slight modifications, could this E34 BMW M5 be for you? At the time of writing this, the price is at $7,500, which is cheap for an E34 M5. There are still two days left on the bid and, personally, I wouldn’t pay much more than that for this car, as it’s going to require some additional work and cost. So it might end up being too expensive for what it’s worth. However, if you can get it for the right price, would this car be for you?