BMW 5 Series (1981)

Price: GBP9,995


 Vehicle Specification 

  • Year: 1981
  • Colour: Polaris Silver
  • Engine: 3500cc Petrol
  • Mileage Not Specified
  • Condition Not Specified

 Vehicle Description 

  Classic Heroes  

This vehicle has been sold. Please click the dealers profile button below for more vehicles.


E12 M535i

When BMW Motorsport shoe-horned the 3.5 litre 220bhp engine from the ‘Six’ and ‘Seven’ Series into the lighter more compact ‘Five’ they created a sports saloon that cast the mould for all future Motorsport models…understated excitement. The first generation M535 (E12), launched at the Frankfurt Show in 1979, was the first series-production saloon to wear the now distinctive M badge. Hand-assembled at BMW Motorsport’s Garching plant, just 1,410 were produced between April 1980 and May 1981 of which only 450 came with the wheel on the ‘right’ side and 408 of them found buyers in the UK for £13,745.

This practical family saloon could hit sixty in a shade over seven seconds and on to 100mph in under 20 seconds – maximum speed 139mph. Back in 1980 only the M1 was faster. Front and rear spoilers and wider BBS cross-spokes were the only external distinguishing features. Inside there were close-fitting Recaros and a three-spoke Motorsport wheel first seen on the M1, The Motorsport guys worked their magic on the brakes and suspension whilst the driver found his way around the Getrag close-ratio ‘dog-leg’ gearbox.

This superb example is a real treat, an exceptionally rare find – unrestored, rust-free and 100% original throughout. First registered in August 1981, it has covered a mere 50,000 miles in the hands of three owners.

The car was originally supplied by Sytners with the second owner acquiring the car three years later in the name of his company. On his retirement he had the car re-registered in his own name in 1989 but died a few years later.

Feeling unable to part with the car, his wife with professional help had the car carefully stored in their heated garage for the next 12 years before finally decided sell it to a local architect. Unfortunately, during that lengthy period in hibernation the service book has gone astray but all the relevant books along with the rarely seen M535 supplement remain stored in the original BMW wallet.

The condition of this time-warp beauty following a thorough inspection by the Classic Heroes team gives us no reason to doubt that the mileage is correct and that the car has been maintained to the highest standard throughout its life.

Unlike the later E28 M535 with ABS and a lengthy list of executive options, this earlier version is first and foremost a driver’s car…a car for those who know more about oversteer (and there’s lots of it!) and understeer than on-board computers and hands-free dialling. This rare slice of M-Series history is a real ‘sleeper’, a car whose value will surely rise as its role in the birth of BMW Motorsport GmbH becomes more widely recognised.

UK and worldwide shipping arranged. Please feel free to call to discuss.

Service History:
BMW & Specialist


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