BMW 5 Series (1982)

Price: GBP3,995

 Vehicle Specification 

  • Year: 1982
  • Colour: Kashmir Gold Metallic
  • Engine: 2000cc Petrol
  • Mileage 39,000
  • Condition Concours

 Vehicle Description 

  Bavarian Retro Cars  

Telephone: 00447762725041

Visit us:

Unit 3 Argyle Crescent,

Hillhouse Industrial Estate,


ML3 9BQ,


United Kingdom


BMW's model change programme can be quite interesting - or it was back when there was only the 3 series, 5 series and 7 series to worry about along with a big coupe. It seemed to be that there was a pattern. There would be a mild makeover follwed by a wholesale change followed by a mild makover. So the E21 evolved into the E30, the E36 was a huge change and it evolved into the E46 which was a dinosuar compared to the E90.

The same applied to the five. E12 morphed almost seamlessly into E28. The E34 was the major revamp, but is now barely distinguishable from the E39. The E60 was new ground, but I can hardly tell it from the F10.

This is relevant because this car, an E28 520i auto, built in July 1982 is an early example of the E28 and you can imagine how disappointed its new owner might have felt, having loyally owned E12s since 1972 and having denied themselves their new five series until the new model was available, waiting patiently for delivery, excitedly taking the call to say their new E28 had arrived and heading to Wheatley Hall Motors in Doncaster to collect it in 1982, to be met with a brand new car that looked just like the 10 year old E12 they were trading in. "Are you sure this is it?", they could well have asked, because externally there is very little real difference between the 1972 E12 and the 1982 E28.

Maybe this disappointment explains its mileage today with just 39000 miles covered in its thirty two years. But all of this is just artistic licence and really, I don't think the new owners, a well known and respected family business manufacturing surgical instruments in Sheffield, would have been disappointed. I think a far more likely explanation is that the director running the car may have retired, because the car's ownership moved from the company into the family name of the owners of the business.
Whatever actually happened doesn't matter. What is relevant is that this car is now available for sale having covered only 39000 miles and, as you would expect, it is in original and totally unmolested "show" condition.

You'll often see adverts stating something like "odometer shows <insert low mileage> and with the condition of the car, it could be true". Obviously, the low mileage on the odometer is what is noticeable about these cars.
This car is different. It is the astonishing overall condition of this car that really hits you the first time you see it.


Excellent and rust free. I cannot see any area of this car that needs any significant work - certainly not in terms of MoT or roadworthiness. Factory fitted steel sunroof, with rare wind deflector fitted.

I suspect it will become a show or museum car and the standard of preparation will be down to the individual owner or display, but as it stands, you could enter it into a Show & Shine or concours and not disgrace yourself.

As you'd expect, it is resplendent in Kashmir Gold Metallic paint and it is difficult to spot any flaws. The colour is a luxurious, late seventies/early eighties metallic gold. It reflects the sun and takes on different hues. It is difficult to photograph and the photographs can make it look like paint flaws and different colours. It is not. It really has to be seen in the flesh.

It has had some remedial paintwork over the thirty two years, but it has been done professionally and overall, the condition of the bodywork and paintwork is superb. Exactly as you'd expect for a 39000 mile car and probably better than most 4 year old cars.

The car is supplied with an indoor cover.

The front bumper isn't perfect, but it is very presentable. All the rest of the chrome and brightwork is very good indeed.

No attention required. Quite simply the best E28 chassis/floorpan I have seen. Obviously with a car this age, depending on the use it is likely to get, some preventative rustproofing should be undertaken. Subject to the new owner's wishes, we would do that prior to sale. It will not be done until the car is sold, a) to allow potential buyers to inspect it as is; and, b) in case the new owner wants to retain its originality.

With a current, valid MoT until late in the year, and with current tax too, it will get a new full twelve months MoT prior to sale. For completeness, prior to delivery, it'll get a full engine service, the service lights reset and we'll replace the water pump, cambelt and tensioner and fit a new silencer. The existing ones are absolutely fine, but the exhaust has had a repair and the belt, though more than safe on mileage, is due for replacement on age.

While no screaming multivalve high performer, the M20 is a superb engine. It is phenomenally reliable, easily seeing 200000 miles (enough to take this car to October 2165 at its present rate!), sufficiently powerful, easy to work on, maintain and obtain parts for, and it always makes a lovely noise. Its biggest attribute, particularly, I find, in two litre form, is its supreme smoothness.

This car starts instantly and quickly settles into a steady, even idle. There is no sign of the not uncommon L-Jet cold start issues that often cause rough idling when cold.

The three speed auto box shifts smoothly and almost imperceptibly. All instruments and gauges work as they should and the SI board is in working order. Kickdown operates perfectly.

The drivetrain is smooth and vibration free.
There is no play in any of the bushes or track control arms or suspension balljoints.

The car brakes smoothly and pulls up square, There is no sign of the famed E28 55 mph "shimmy" on braking.
The steering is light and smooth and there is no discernible play, bearing in mind that we are dealing with a steering box rather than a rack.

There are no fluid leaks.

It shows all the signs of having been well maintained throughout its life and even the engine bay is clean and again, looking like a four year old car.

What can I say? It is pure late seventies/early eighties chocolate brown - or "Mocha" as BMW call it. However it is in perfect condition and reflects the car's mileage.
There is not a mark anywhere, the comfort seats are all spotless, the carpets equally clean and all the trim is perfect.

There are no speaker holes or carphone kits fitted. There is a period correct Blaupunkt radio - no cassette.
The dash is uncracked and the switchgear shows no signs of wear.

The boot is equally tidy. The car has the original factory first aid kit and a full bootlid toolkit.

Wheels and tyres
Standard and again original period correct steel wheels with hubcaps are fitted and supplemented by "vanity rings". The effect looks good and complements both the gold metallic paint and the chrome brightwork. There would be nothing wrong with adding a set of appropriate "bottletop" style alloy wheels, but the rest of the car is so original, perhaps these should be left too.
The tyres are recent and branded, but more budget than premium.

All the controls and switchgear feel like new and operate with no age or use induced looseness or slackness. Sitting in the driver's seat really is like getting into a well cared for car in 1986.

The ride is classic 1980s BMW factory feel. No "uprated" bushes or lowering kits. It is firmly sprung without being harsh, smooth and comfortable without being wallowy. OK, it is not a pure sports saloon, like the 535i (we also have one of those available) and while it accelerates spritely and is more than capable of keeping up with traffic, it is probably at its happiest wafting along at 60 - 70, but like all E28s - and more so than most tired ones we see - it is an absolute joy to drive, light, nimble, airy cabin, with excellent road manners, safe predictable handling and hugely comfortable.

With four owners registered, two of them - the company first owner, and then the family who owned the company - owned this car for the vast majority of its life. In more recent times, it has had two shorter term owners. It would be wrong to say that it has a full history, but there is a substantial amount of paperwork and history which comes with the ca and which leaves no room for doubt as to the authenticity of the mileage. There are records and invoices going back to its very earliest days, and a whole string of previous MoTs can all verify the mileage as genuine.

In 2012 the car had a low speed minor bump. We have photos of the damage and the repair work. The car needed a wing, bonnet, front valance and bumper - all bolt on parts. No other damage was done and from the photos, it is clear that the damage was very minor. if anything, this has improved the condition of the car today, however prospective purchasers should be aware that, in view of the insurance assessor's value of the car compared to the cost of a commercial repair, the car was categorised as a total loss in Category C.

This is not unusual where classic cars are not insured on classic car specific policies (perhaps by virtue of the age of the driver or availability of another car, this is not always possible) and we would always recommend a classic car specific policy from one of the specialist brokers. We can put prospective purchasers in touch with a broker if required.

Our view is that, with the photos available and the fact that this was a recent very minor incident where the value of the damage expressed as a percentage of the perceived value of the car was very high; as opposed to one early in the car's life which could have involved a very substantial repair, but would never be recorded; while it is something we would always make purchasers aware of, it is not something that significantly affects the car. How many 32 year old cars will never have been in a wee bump?

A very, very rare opportunity indeed to acquire what must be close to, if not the, lowest mileage E28 on the road today. In quite superb, unmolested, original condition throughout, looking good and running and driving equally well, this car should appeal to a serious collector or a classic car show aficionado or to the classic car enthusiast looking for something just that little bit special for summer, evening and weekend use. Perhaps you always wanted one, or your dad had one, or your dad always wanted one?

Whatever the reason, this car will match up to your expectations of what owning and driving a BMW was like in 1982, when BMW was a prestigious, aspirational niche manufacturer, with a three model range, plus a low production coupe. Not just another volume manufacturer.

While it is not an M535i, that is part of its charm. It doesn't try to be. It is a rarer car than any 535i and while we are the first to agree that "rare" does not necessarily equate with "desireable", the condition, the total originality and, even though it actually predates "Back to the Future" by three years, this car's incredible ability to transport you all the way back to 1982 mean that the car should be celebrated for what it is, not compared to what it isn't.

Priced to reflect its condition and its mileage, but also to sell, we will consider classic BMWs or other classic cars in part exchange. Transport is available - in view of anticipated interest from Ireland where it is eligible for historic road tax, we can transport to Troon free of charge. Any inspection is welcome.

We have many, many photos we can supply to prospective purchasers showing all aspects of its condition. If any other information is required, please contact us by telephone or email. Viewers and callers at our premises are welcome by appointment.

The car can be seen on YouTube here:-


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