Buying classic cars is tough at the moment. Prices for even moderately interesting classics are becoming absurdly high, to the point where owning them is almost untenable. However, sometimes buying a high-mileage car that needs a bit of work can make it worthwhile. With prices for the E28 BMW M5 beginning to creep up, is this very high-mileage example worth the risk?
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Currently up for auction on Bring-A-Trailer is this 1988 E28 BMW M5, which has a simply shocking 362,000 miles on its odometer. While it’s had quite a bit of work over the years, the engine is original. So Paul Rosche’s 3.5 liter straight-six seems to be tough enough to handle quite a bit.
Not only is it durable. It’s brilliant. That 3.5 liter I6 was developed for motorsport and the BMW M1, so it’s a proper racing engine. Back when it was new, it made around 280 horsepower, which might as well have been a million horsepower back in its day. That engine is paired to a five-speed manual and drives solely the rear wheels, as the M Division gods intended.
As nice as this car looks, it does have very high mileage. With 362,000 miles on the clock, this E28 BMW M5 has seen quite a bit of tarmac in its day. While it seems to be running well, there’s no guarantee it stays that way for long. At that sort of mileage, things just start to go bad, regardless of how durable and/or reliable a car is. And E28 M5 parts aren’t the easiest to source.
What makes this specific car interesting, though, is its color-spec, particularly on the inside. This particular car was one of only thirty to US-based cars tome in black exterior paint and a black interior. So it’s also quite special and highly desirable among BMW enthusiasts. While all US-market E28 M5s were black, they almost all had beige interiors. This one being black inside makes it stand out.
That rarity would typically jack the price up but the mileage on this one might make it far more affordable for some enthusiasts. It’s certainly a risk buying something with so many miles but that could make it an affordable way to get into an E28 BMW M5. Is it worth the risk to get one of BMW’s most special cars for less than you normally would?