The BMW E28 5 Series was one of the most handsome cars of the 1980s and remains a fantastic driver-focused sports saloon today.
First registered in April 1988, this incredible example is in superb original unrestored condition and is fitted with BMWs superb M20 engine, the smallest (but arguably sweetest) of the BMW 6 cylinder engines. This is mated to the sought after 5 speed manual gearbox. It also benefits from the higher “Lux” specification, which brought with it niceties like luxury velour seats, front electric windows, rear head rests, alloy wheels and a sunroof.
Recorded mileage is just 77,782 (supported by comprehensive MOT, service and maintenance invoice history, dating back to 1990), which is incredibly low for an E28.
Originally sold by BMW Wellsway Bath, the car still wears its original dealer plates and rear window sticker. Having just emerged from a period of storage, it underwent a thorough recommissioning at the end of 2023, which included a cambelt and tensioner replacement.
The 6 cylinder E28s were tipped by Quentin Wilson as one of his “Smart Buys” in the Classic Cars Investment Guide 2021. Ultra-reliable and usable, this car represents a great opportunity to own one of the finest available examples of this classic “shark nosed” 80s BMW saloon and an ideal starter/retro classic for a prospective buyer.
Dolphin Grey is one of the most sought after colours for the E28. The colour really suits its rakish lines and purposeful stance, without detracting from its classic design elegance.
As can be seen from the photos, the paintwork is in superb overall condition, with no corrosion to be found, especially in the usual places (jacking points, wings, sills, door bottoms, wheel arches, sunroof area, bonnet, boot edges and footwells).
The paintwork which holds an impressive shine, is uniform both in colour and finish across all panels and all panel gaps are factory tight, suggesting the car is still in factory paint and has not been restored. Blemishes are almost non-existent, bar one or two very small stone chips on the leading edge of the bonnet.
As part of the pre-sales preparation the car was subject to a sympathetic detail and treated to two coats of Swissvax’s excellent Crystal Rock wax, which provides up to 6-12 months paint protection.
All the chrome brightwork is in excellent condition, with no signs of pitting and all rubber window and door seals are also in excellent condition, with no signs of cracking or shrinkage.
For a car approaching nearly 36 years old, the car’s overall condition is a true testament to the care it has received throughout its life.
The E28 was noted for its ergonomic interior design. With a clear and simple gauge cluster, a centre stack all angled towards the driver, a perfectly-placed gear lever and well-spaced pedal box, it’s every bit the driver-focused interior you’d expect.
As a “Lux” specification car it came with additional features that included velour seats, front electric windows, rear head rests, alloy wheels and a sliding and tilting sunroof.
The seats are both supportive and comfortable and the “Anthracite” velour upholstery, makes for a subtle yet stylish cabin. The seats are in superb overall condition, showing only the lightest of wear, all door cards are good, the headlining free from discolouration and any sagging and the original carpets have been preserved in very good overall condition. Even the dash top is free from any apparent sun damage, with no evidence of any cracks.
Cleverly designed thin A, B and C pillars provide for a light and airy feel to the cabin, further accentuated, when the sun roof is opened. The design also provides for superb all round visibility.
The manually operated sunroof opens and also tilts as it should. All seals are water tight and the opening free from any signs of corrosion.
All the switch gear, dials, warning lights and heater work as they should.
The boot looks like it has never had anything in it and has remained bone dry, with no signs of any corrosion. The car comes with its original tool box containing a pristine set of BMW tools and its original jack.
The car has been retro fitted with a period Pioneer removable radio cassette player beneath which, sits the original BMW cassette storage unit.
The straight-six under the bonnet is a perfect example of why it was the go-to engine of choice at the time, for companies looking to build cars that could feel both luxurious and sporty.
In the 520i guise, the M20 B20 engine is incredibly smooth. It is tractable at the lower end of the rev range, the well-spaced gearing making the most of the ample torque. However, hold on to the gears to explore the upper reaches of the rev range and it rewards with real urgency and a lovely bark to its exhaust note.
Mechanically the car has been well looked after, evidenced by an extensive set of maintenance invoices and service records, dating back to 1990.
Having been stored from 2018, the car went through a comprehensive recommissioning in late 2023, which included, fluids, tyres, battery, timing belt and tensioner, distributor, fuel pump and filter and coolant flush.
The suspension operates as it should, providing a lovely comfortable and compliant ride, with well controlled handling even when pushing on. There are no audible knocks, squeaks or rattles. The power steering also operates as it should and is free of any undue play.
The 5 speed box renowned for their robustness, is a delight to operate engaging gears smoothly and accurately.
The car sits on beautifully refurbished 14 inch factory BMW sculptured cast alloy wheels, fitted with 195/70 R14 tyres, fitted new as part of the recommissioning in October 2023. The spare wheel is of the same type as the driven wheels.
Fitted with discs brakes all round for plenty of stopping power, the braking system was thoroughly checked over and the brake fluid changed when the car was recommissioned.
As can be seen from the photos of the underside, this is one of the cleanest cars we’ve seen. The original underseal is in incredible condition, there no evidence of the car ever being welded and no signs of corrosion to the floor pans, jacking points or sills.
As part of the pre-sales preparation, all mechanical componentry on the car’s underside were painstakingly treated to a coating of clear DINITROL automotive rust prevention and corrosion protection treatment, to provide for long-term protection. In addition, “Lanoguard Motospray” treatment has been applied over the top of the original underseal and the hard to access areas, such as under the bumpers, prop shaft tunnel, up behind the spare wheel well, behind the petrol tank, inner sills, inner wings and wheel arches.
This provides for a further level of corrosion resistance to those areas, which is long lasting and pressure wash proof. This all adds up to a car that now has outstanding underbody protection from corrosion, typically unavoidable for cars driven on UK roads all year round.
The documented history folder, contains the registration document and clear Total Vehicle Check dated 09/01/2024.
The file contains extensive maintenance and parts invoices, dating from 1990 right up until December 2023, evidencing the high level of care it has received from new.
Impressively, the file also contains all MOT certificates the car has ever been issued with the exception of two, which, in conjunction with the invoices, offers substantial evidence to support the car’s low mileage as genuine.
Finally, the car comes with a set of 3 keys and its original BMW owners folder, which contains the Owner’s Handbook and replacement Service Booklet.
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