Would You Go $52,500 For This Time Machine 1988 BMW M5?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW E28 M5 represents one of the rarest of the series’ models with only about 2,200 ever built. This one looks almost factory fresh, but will its rarity and condition prove it’s worth its asking?

Do you like peanut butter in your chocolate? How about a little Irish in your coffee? You see, there are certain things that just go better together, and you can justifiably add to that combination platter yesterday’s 1990 Jaguar XJS and its Chevy LT1 V8. Reliable power and a sexy and powerful body make for an excellent mix Add to that a somewhat pocket change price and you get a solid 60% Nice Price win. You see, it really does pay to mix it up.


Mix it up is just what BMW’s Motorsport GmbH (Now just M) did with the E28 sedan and the most romper-stomper engine they had at the time—the race-bred M88/3—in the creation of the first in a series of iconic sports sedans, the M5.

Later M5s have exceeded the E28 edition in just about every single metric, but just like with sex there can only be one first time. Fortunately for car enthusiasts the M5’s first time was a whole lot better than most people’s first encounter between the sheets.

The specs for the U.S. edition spell it out: 256-bhp and 243 lb-ft out of the slightly less rowdy S38 3.5-litre DOHC straight six. Each of those six cylinders was given its own throttle body and four valves through which to breathe and fart. A five-speed Getrag 280 offered shifting duties while a limited slip rear end kept things in line.


And of course they looked awesome in Darth Vader’s Panties black.


This 1988 M5 is just so hued, and features a camel interior that’s a nice contrast to the outside. From the pictures it appears to the be both remarkably stock—the only major mods the seller admits to are a Conforti chip, e34 brake calipers, and Euro springs in place of the rear end’s self leveling system. A previous owner replaced the muffler but there’s no word on whether it’s factory or aftermarket.

A word about this car’s ownership: the seller says he bought the car two years ago from his brother’s neighbor. That neighbor had sold it to his parents but then bought it back again after they got too old to handle it. He expected it to be his daughter’s DD. That apparently didn’t work out and now it belongs to this seller who says he’s forced into unloading it due to health issues. Geez, now I know why mobsters always just told their families that they got the new TV for a song because it “fell off of a truck.”


The car rocks 106,000 miles and looks straight as an arrow on all sides. The seller has replaced the windshield, the dash, had the front seats recovered and the car comes with a Momo wheel, from Spain!


Mechanically, there’s less apparent work done, but all the vacuum hoses, TB boots and other consumables have been replaced, and the valves have been given a recent attitude adjustment. The clutch is supposedly in serviceable shape and there’s a new guibo downstream. Suspension bushings have all been refreshed and the brakes have new rotors along with those E34 clampers.


Perfection is a worthy goal that few of us will ever attain. This M5 is not perfect, but it still does seem to present as pretty damn nice. Not only that but it’s one of the rarest Ms money can buy. That’s a big part of the reason that the seller is asking $52,500 to buy it. He notes that Hagerty places excellent editions of the car at $57,000, and that this one is almost excellent. Maybe somebody from Hagerty will weigh in on this one in the voting.

In lieu of that, we’ll just have to get the job done. What’s your take on this clean as a bean E28 M5 and that $52,500 price tag? Does that make it an M that makes you go Mmmmmm? Or, does that price make your ardor for this Bimmer far dimmer?


You decide!


Bean Town Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to M3Eater for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.