- Engine Bay
- Trunk Area
- Chassis #
- Engine # 60974829
- A Beautifully Preserved Example With Just 31,300 Miles From New
- Finished In Brilliant Red Over Silver Leather With Optional Executive Seating
- Fresh Comprehensive Service Just Completed At BMW Dealership
- Complete With Books, Tools, Jack & Original Spare
In today’s world, the idea of a hand built car is something that is relegated to ornate and absurdly fast hypercars produced by small boutique manufacturers with equally ornate names. However, in 1988 the ordinary buyer could walk into a BMW showroom and purchase a hand assembled 4-door performance car, right off the showroom floor in the form of the E34 BMW M5. The E34 generation of BMW’s iconic M5 series of performance sedans followed on the successful launch of the E28 series 3 years prior. The painted shells of the cars arrived at BMW M GmbH in Garching, Germany where a team of skilled employees hand assembled the car in approximately 2 weeks time. The M5 was originally delivered with a 3.5-liter inline 6-cylinder engine producing 311 bhp and 266 lb/ft of torque later upgraded to a 3.8-liter version for the Euro market in late 1992. A total of 12,254 BMW M5’s were handcrafted and distributed worldwide over the seven-year period from 1988 to 1995 before it was replaced by the restyled and more powerful V8 of the E39 M5.
The example on offer here is a 1991 BMW M5 Sedan, chassis number WBSHD9316MBK05387 and engine number 60974829 has only 31,230 miles from new (at the time of writing) and is finished in Brilliant Red over Silver Leather. It is outfitted with the optional Executive Seating package and is complete with Books, Tools, Jack and the original spare. According to the included clean CarFax, this M5 was sold new and first titled in Maryland in late 1990. It spent a good portion of its life here, being serviced at BMW of Towson before moving to California in 2012 with 27,835 miles on the odometer. The car was driven sparingly for the next two years, moving back to New York in 2014 with 29,660 miles on the odometer. From here the car changed hands between a number of private collectors in the New York area, driven sparingly and stored properly among large collections of other vehicles. When we acquired the M5 a month ago it was taken to BMW of the Main Line here in Philadelphia where it was treated to a detailed inspection to find any issues as well as a comprehensive standard “Service II” book service which covers a multitude of elements to bring it 100% current. As it sits now, this M5 needs nothing and currently sits in fantastic original condition, very representative of the indicated mileage. This 1991 BMW M5 represents an awesome opportunity to own a low miles, hand assembled M car that surely falls into collector status and undoubtedly has excellent potential for future gains in value.
Included with the sale of this car are the original books, tools, jack, and spare.
body and paint
The Brilliant Red exterior paint remains in excellent condition with a smooth and clean finish and nice rich color. The paint is believed to be original throughout and the paint meter readings that were taken across the car support this as well, showing between 3.5 and 5.5 across the whole vehicle. There are some small stone chips from normal use on the leading edge of the hood as well as on the front bumper. However, none of these blemishes are major and in our opinion would be left fine as they are, highlighting the original condition of the vehicle. The biggest area of note is an approximately 5 inch scratch on the outer edge of the driver's side of the bumper where it looks like someone carelessly swung a turn too wide and rubber against an obstruction. It is low enough where it is not readily noticeable but it is a fairly sizable scratch that has removed most of the paint in the area. The body remains smooth and straight with tight and well fitting gaps and panel lines. All the correct VIN stickers are in their correct locations.
glass and trim
The glass of the car is in fantastic shape and appears to be all original with the correct BMW and Sekurit stampings on each of the windows. Likewise, headlights, taillights, and foglight all appear in good cosmetic as well as functioning condition. All the black plastic molding and trim pieces have excellent color to them and remain in great shape with the only area of note being some very light scratches on the front driver side of the bumper trim piece. Most of the black rubber trim and seals are in great shape with the only exception being some cracking of the rubber seals around the passenger side door handles, both front and back.
The iconic 5-spoke “ninja star” wheels are in excellent shape with bright clean chrome lips and smooth, issue free spokes. The center caps have great color to them and exhibit no cracking or peeling.
The biggest area of note is an approximately 5 inch scratch on the other edge of the driver's side of the front bumper. It is low on the bumper so not highly noticeable but it has unfortunately removed most of the paint in the affected area. There is some very minor stone chip in the front section of the car, nothing that needs attention at the current time though. The black rubber seals around the passenger side door handled both front and rear display some cracking, a fairly easy fix should one choose to undertake it.
seats and surfaces
The Silver Leather interior remains in fantastic condition with excellent colors and smooth, fade free leather throughout. The rear of the car is fitted with the optional and rare Executive Station option and the rear seat and center console look like they have seen very minimal use during the car lifetime. The fabric cover on the rear deck has begun pulling a bit around the edges but remains clean with good color and smooth finish. The carpets throughout the car are clean and tidy with good color and minimal wear. There are a set of ribbed aftermarket floor mats currently in the car. The front of the car is in likewise excellent condition. There is some minor creasing beginning to form on the outer driver's side bolster but it still has excellent shape and color. The rest of the bolsters and seating surfaces are in great condition with minimal wear and smooth leather with great color. The dash remains in good condition with nice color and no cracking both on the top and the face. There is a bit of patina forming on the leather of the shift knob that serves to add to the original feeling of the interior.
functionality and accessories
Everything in the interior appears to function as it should. The power seat adjusters move through their respective ranges of motion with ease, and the power windows roll up and down with ease. The gauges are all in good cosmetic condition with excellent color and clarity and appear to all read their respective functions as the should. The headlight, indicator and wiper selectors are free of issues in both form and function. The radio turns on and plays through the speakers. The red release buttons for the seat belts are a bit faded but operate as they should and just serve to authenticate the originality of the car.
The only real area of note in the interior is the slight pulling of the fabric on the rear deck of the interior.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay, like the rest of the car, displays in an excellent original fashion. There are a plethora of factory coatings covering engine components and it appears that all components are of the original and correct type. Painted surfaces are bright and clean with smooth and straight metal. Hoses, tubes, and wires all appear to be in excellent condition with correct clamps and fixtures. The under-hood fire pad is clean and tight. All the correct decals, stickers and vins are in the correct locations and show well. Overall the engine bay is very clean and tidy with no signs of any issues or problems.
The trunk area shows clean and tidy carpeting throughout with well fitting side panels and the factory cargo net affixed in place. The fold down toolbox is in great shape with all the correct tools in place. The original date coded spare sits in a clean wheel well secured with the proper hold down.
The underside of the car would best be described as very honest and true to mileage of the car. The underside of the front lip has some heavy scratching from low driveway entry and exit. There is plenty of factory-applied coatings still in place on much of the components and the floor pans are smooth and free of any issues. There is some minor road dirt that has collected on suspension components from normal usage but there is nothing showing that indicated any present issues etc.
The car has been maintained well and driven sparingly in its lifetime and it shows in the mechanical fortitude of the vehicle. It fires right to life with a quick turn of the key and once up to temperature it settles into a smooth and easy idle. The engine makes great power and revs freely with no stumbles or issues to note.
The gear selector moves easily through its range of motion, the clutch pedal feels responsive and has good solid pickup and feedback. The transmission moves through the rev range with ease and holds power well. Gear selection at speed is smooth and effortless.
brakes and suspension
The brakes bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop with no issues to report. The suspension feels compliant and tight and was checked over by BMW of the Main Line who gave the SLS system a clean bill of health and found no issues worth noting.
The tires are Michelin Pilot Super Sports 235/45/17 on all four corners. They appear in good shape with ample tread life left to them.
The term time capsule is thrown around a lot but stepping behind the wheel of this 1991 BMW M5 is truly like stepping back into the early ’90s. From the iconic and period correct integrated car phone to the simple and understated layout of the dash, this car oozes the 90’s. While many automotive offerings of the ’90s leave you with a lackluster feeling after driving them, in typical BMW fashion, the E34 M5 feels alive and responsive with excellent power and road manners. It is comfortable and roomy, with ample amounts of trunk space making this a very useable classic in day to day life. This M5 represents an awesome opportunity to own a hand assembled piece of classic German automotive engineering. With its lows miles, excellent colors, and fantastic original condition, opportunities to own a car like this do not come along very often.