Sleeper Alert: 53k-Mile 1988 BMW M5

  • March 18, 2021
The Rundown
  • BMW’s High-Performance ‘Q-Ship’
  • Potent M1-Derived Powerplant
  • Desirable 5-Speed Manual Gearbox
  • Reasonable 53k Miles
  • Outstanding Black Over Anthracite Leather
  • Advertised by Seller as 1 of 96 as Equipped
Why We Like It

Following the launch of BMW’s new E34-generation 5-Series models in 1987, the M5 was unleashed in 1988 as the latest BMW to be expertly massaged by the Bavarian company’s renowned ‘M’ Motorsport division. Styled and engineered as a true “iron fist in a velvet glove,” the E34-Series M5 was the stealth bomber of the line with a sophisticated character, purposeful luxury, and the latest development of the company’s inline 6-cylinder powerplant derived from the M1 supercar. Select tweaks raised output to 315hp, propelling the M5 to an electronically limited 155 mph top-speed. While further refinements would increase power to 340 horses by ‘94, the entire E34 M5 generation is highly coveted by the marque faithful – and rightly so. According to marque experts, production was just two cars shy of 11,100 in all.


sleeper-alert-53k-mile-1988-bmw-m578147444-770-0@2XAccording to the seller, our subject 1988 BMW M5 is 1 of only 96 produced in black paint over Anthracite leather upholstery. Mileage is 83km, which converts to an approximate 53k miles. As the seller relates, this M5 remains almost totally original with fastidious service and maintenance history. While the car is indeed awesome, in our opinion, the seller’s statement that this M5 is a pampered garage queen is nonetheless a bit of an overstatement, given the car’s reasonable, yet not inconsiderable current mileage, although we can sympathize with his sentiment as BMWs are known to be driven mercilessly because they’re just too fun!


Valuation Verdict

Alright, this is a very strong example of a true motoring legend. Mileage is not excessive. Colors, condition, and rarity are strong attributes. Hagerty’s value range spans $40,100 for a good #3 car, $62,300 for an excellent #2, and a whopping $98,900 for a #1 as-new concours queen, while the last one to sell on Bring a Trailer was in January of this year with 96k miles and it still brought $77,500! Our subject vehicle seems to offer ‘Fair Market’ pricing at the seller’s ask, and anything less is just icing on the cake.

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