Even before recommissioning, this BMW E34 535i was a steal
And here’s another one that’s tricky to put a price on. A 1988 BMW E34 535i manual in Dolphin Grey with one owner and just 7276 warranted miles from new. Where would you see that? I’d venture rather more than the £7313 achieved at Classic Car Auctions’ December sale. And yes, there was maybe £700 worth of bonnet damage but under the arches looked like new and the suspension arms were still shiny black. It was a textbook tiny-mile survivor with original paint, dealer plates, factory screen and under-bonnet stickers. Driven for just eight months and then put into storage, it wasn’t even on the road long enough to have its first MoT.
The DVLA search showed that it was last taxed in August 1988, when it was first registered on an F plate. The bigger-engine E34s were always bought to be driven and the only time I’ve ever seen one in such unspoilt virgin condition was when they were nearly new back in the late Eighties. Even a decent E34 survivor with a much bigger mileage would now cost you around five grand to buy and then another couple of thousand to spend on improvement, so I think this really was a steal.
And it wasn’t a poverty spec 518 on plastic hub caps either, but a 3.5 six-pot with manual ’box, BBS alloys and factory sunroof. It must be one of the lowest-mileage E34s in the UK, if not the world. Sure, you’d have to recommission with a full service plus hoses and brakes but at the end of the endeavour you’d have an almost unrepeatable, tiny-mileage 535i for less than ten grand. Hopefully the lucky new owner will understand that it should be cherished, cossetted, and sparingly driven.