It's Rare In Its Own Way

This Restored BMW M5 Is a Thing of Beauty


May 21, 2019 Cars By
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Regarded as an icon and an incredibly important vehicle in BMW history, the legendary E28 M5 acquired collector car status a long time ago. First-generation BMW M5s don’t come up for sale very often — and when they do, they’re rarely in the spectacular condition if this 1988 example. But this restored M5 isn’t just pristine — it’s resto-modded.

When restoring certain cars held in particularly high esteem, owners often shy away from changing anything away from stock, for fear of diminishing the car’s value. At just 2,241 units total, the E28 M5 is one of those cars; indeed, it is one of the rarest BMW production vehicles ever made. But when restoring this ’88 M5, the previous owner saw fit to eschew the standard practice of preserving the factory setup and make a few changes to improve performance and reliability — and it’s all the better for it.

Under the hood, the owner completely rebuilt the cylinder heads and the five-speed manual transmission. A tuned suspension and 17-inch polished Style 5 wheels sit at all four corners, with upgraded sway bars in between. The previous owner also fitted stainless steel brake lines for increased reliability. A cat-back exhaust has been bolted in to help the 256 horsepower 3.5-liter inline-six engine breath a little easier, not to mention sound better than any stock M5. A window-out repaint in the car’s original color and an overhaul of the interior and upholstery make this M5 look nearly as fresh as it did the day it left the factory.

As with any modified classic, this restored Bimmer probably won’t bring in the same kind of money as a faithful restoration — and that’s good news for you. Hagerty values impeccable concours-grade 1988 BMW M5s at nearly $100,000, and examples in “fair” condition at a more reasonable $18,000. The modifications to this 126,000-mile M5 are on the modest side, so it’ll be interesting to see where it lands on the wide spectrum of pricing. No matter where it ends up, there’s no denying the new owner will have one hell of a daily driver on their hands.

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