Yes - I believe BMW Individual only formalized the procedure for getting special options which was already possible if you had the right contats. It seems to have started off as an informal way of building special cars during the 1970's which amongst others led to a few dozen E12 533i's (predecessors to the M535i) being built for VIPs and other factory relations. This effort than spun off into BMW M GmbH and BMW Individual.
The (M)533i was a regular model that could be ordered by any customer by adding 'kraftkur' on his order for a 525 or 528i. Yes, it was the predecessor of the M535i. The first one off cars where regular 525's or 528i's with the engine from the E9 CSL. Some with the early carbureted 3.0 engine, others with the fuel injected 3.0 engine and a few with the 3.2 fuel injected engine. Little is known about these cars but they exist indeed.
The 187 cars that came to GB were painted in a total of 20 shades.
Of these, 17 were "production" shades, a few of which I would consider to have been obsolete (in GB at least) by the time the cars were built.
For example, four fairly early-build cars (highest VIN, 1679055) were finished in Polaris silver whereas 34 cars were finished in Lachs silver - the first GB M5 (1679001) was Lachs, so these shades were available concurrently. Lachs silver was the most-ordered colour in GB.
Someone ordered one in Luxor beige with Nutria leather (one of only two cars with this trim colour - the other was painted Bronze).....possibly a dealer, for stock, because this car had no other options.
20 cars had Special Paint. One was the "Glasurit White Paint" car referred to above while 13 cars had Blue/black metallic and 6 cars had Green/black metallic. I have posted this info before but add it here to answer Kevin B's point about "funky" paint. A number of the cars with Special Paint had VIN's in close proximity, not necessarily adjacent but it suggests they were built in batches once the factory had sufficient orders.
Small number GB standard production shades:
Platanen green - 1 car, Burgundy - 1 car, Carmine - 1 car, Cosmos blue - 1 car, Malachite green - 2 cars, Arctic blue - 2 cars, Bronze - 4 cars (Bronzitbeige, I think).
Mfiver, I knew I could count on you. You have the best information!
I would like to know what the VIN's are, this will help piece together a "general picture" of when BMW started this service and at what times of the years. I understand that you may not feel free to offer this info. Only you get to decide.
I think you mentioned that these cars were generaly from the July of the year(was it you?)
On the RoadFly E28 message board, a gent suggested he had an M635i series from 1984 with the Schwarzblau. This seems to follow the M535i's from South Africa in terms of chronology.
It probably was me that suggested in a previous post that July '86 was a significant month - 13 of the 20 Special Paint cars were recorded in that month, just over half of RHD production, suggesting an attempt was made to build a batch.
Thinking about this, it's more likely that the shells were already built and painted as a batch some time before.....perhaps BMW GB was working out a cost with BMW AG!
One was built in May 86 (out of 15 RHD cars) - one with Special Upholstery
Two in June 86 (out of 35 RHD cars)
Thirteen in July 86 (out of 25 RHD cars) - one with Special Upholstery
Two in September 86 (out of 24 RHD cars)
One in November 86 (the only RHD car completed that month)
One in November 87 (last RHD car, completed 2 months after previous RHD car)
No cars were built in August 86 - this would have been the factory summer shut-down.
The June cars were the last two of RHD production that month; the first July cars had Special paint. These 15 cars (2+13) span the VIN range 052-077.
One other GB car, in Malachite green rather than Special paint, was built in February 87 with Special Upholstery.
A couple of the July 86 builds were standard cars with no other options (other than usual GB spec) and Anthracite cloth trim, which suggests they may have been ordered for dealer or BMW GB stock, perhaps added to make up the numbers required to get the Special paint price down to a marketable level (wild guess).
In theory metallic paint was a no-cost option for a GB customer but I wonder if Special Paint commanded a premium against Net Landed Cost, which the dealer had to swallow?
It would be great to find someone who could add hard fact to this subject.....I would imagine that there were some fairly interesting things happening to top-flight 6 and 7 series cars, too, at this point.
Dave, if you look at the first entry in this thread, there is a Build sheet at the bottom of the posting. Open the thumbnail and view the buildsheet for my car. You will find the colour information there.
You will see the reference to the 0490 paint code, as well, at the bottom of the buildsheet is the colour and paint number.....
In my case the refernce is to "Schwarzblau-Met" which is the formal colour.
You will have to remove the lower portion of you rear seat to get at the build sheet, carefull the paper is dried out and wrapped around a seat spring.