So one month ago, while browsing car classifieds I found this M5 not far from my office... I have been looking for one since a long time but budget and timing never really met, and I bought a E36 M3 instead a couple of years ago.
But this time price seemed interesting, money was available, so why not have a look?
So it a M5 E34 3.6L de 1992, slightly under 128,000 km.
It only had 2 owners so far, the later one owning the car since 2004 also owns various other classic BMW and Porsche. In Japan you have to renew the title of the car every 2 years (it is called the Shaken) and the one the M5 expired in July, the owner then decided to sell it to please his wife who thinks he has too many cars...
So the car was always running and maintained on a regular basis until July.
The previous owner also offered this car a full paint, in original colour, in 2015, as well as original EVO 18' wheels, with Michelin PS3 on it. The from the outside the car is gorgeous!
The interior is however less engaging : it has full leather, and as usual the leather dried and delaminated on the front Door Panels so they are shot. The rest of the leather (seats and centre console) needs a bit of love as it bears various scratches and cracks. However this is totally recoverable with a Colourlock kit.
I looked for the VIN and here it is:
Prod. Date 1992-02-10
Type M5 (EUR)
Series E34 (5 Series)
Body Type LIM
Power 232kw / 316hp
Colour STERLINGSILBER METALLIC (244)
S216A Hydro steeringservotronic
S401A Liftupandslideback sunroof electric
S416A Roller sun vizor rear lateral
S423A Floor mats velours
S430A Interioroutside mirror with auto dip
S459A Seat adjuster electric with memory
S494A Seat heating driverpassenger
S496A Seat heating rear
S528A Automatic air flow control
S534A Automatic air conditioning
S564A Interior light package
S676A HiFi speaker system
S687A Radio preparation
S781A BMW LA wheel M Kontur
L807A National version japan
S818A Battery master switch
S925A DummySALAPA (-> this is export protection)
...So after a week of thinking I finally gave up to my instincts and bought it!
... And one month later (last Saturday) she was home!
On the plus sides:
- it is very soft and smooth compared to my M3. All commands are smooth, the car is very quiet and suspensions are firm but still absorbs well the irregularities on the road. It seems much easier to drive fast than with my M3.
- Engine noise is superb!
- Everything works: powered seats, seat heating, windows, sunroof, aircon, sunvisors, audio system, this is really good as people tend to neglect those systems on old cars.
- The outside look is gorgeous!
- Full maintenance history on 20 years (1992-2012), unfortunately as the book is full, I have no history on 2012-2018 period.
- I have the small BMW lamp in the glovebox!!
- Engine does not heat up, no strange mechanical issues I could feel when driving
- It brakes very well
On the minus side:
- Well, it feels a bit slow, especially on the lower rpm band, below 4000. After 4500 it really seems to wake up and pull with a nice noise but below that my M3 seems way faster. The torque curve is very different due to the Vanos on the S50 and also the M3 is much lighter so that could explain it. I need to check engine health anyway.
- My idling is too high : about 1000 rpm. Need to check that
- Steering has a lot of free play, I used to own a E32 10 years ago which had the same issue so I more or less know where this is going. I will start by changing the elements of the front drivetrain then we'll see.
- The alignment is also bad, will need to make it clean after above operation.
- Clutch is a bit noisy, I guess the bearing is tired.
Next week I am going for some spirited mountain drive in Hakone with my friend so I can discover the car a bit more, then we will use this winter for all the needed maintenance. I am quite happy with the purchase, along with my M3 it is the start of a nice collection
And so here is the beast! Pictures of the interior will come once cleaned.