SOLD 05/22

1988 BMW
E28 M5 Sedan

Bring a Trailer NO RESERVE auction preview: In excess of $8,000 in recent mechanical expenditures. An ideal candidate for cosmetic restoration or care-free enjoyment.

  • VINWBSDC9308J2791711
  • Exterior ColorBlack
  • Interior ColorTan leather
  • Mileage81688 Miles (TMU)
  • Engine3.5L inline-6
  • Transmission5-speed manual
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2618


1988 BMW M5 Sedan
VIN – WBSDC9308J2791711
Exterior Color – Black
Interior Color – Tan Leather
Engine – 3.5L inline-six
Transmission – 5 speed manual
Mileage – 81,688 Miles TMU
Current owner – purchased in 2012 with 80,918 miles recorded on title.

General History

Developed as the premier series performance sedan for the BMW line, the M5 continues to be a landmark car still in current production. First launched in 1984 on the E28 chassis, the E28 M5 offered both performance and luxury in a very special package. In production for four years until concluding in 1988, these first series M5s are considered the purest iteration of the original concept as offered for the US market with the 256hp engine and 5-speed manual transmission. Although considered to be production cars, each M5 was carefully built with hand assembly at a very high cost for the times, resulting in just 2,241 units built in the first series of production. Today these cars have an extensive following among M-series enthusiasts, especially those seeking cars that retain their original features.

History and Ownership

This example was purchased by the current owner in 2010. Although early ownership is not known, the recent Carfax indicates it spent time in Pennsylvania from 1993-2003 where it amassed approximately 60,000 miles before being sold to a Portland, OR owner, where it was serviced in 2006, with 61,723 miles indicated. In 2006, it was further serviced at 62,697 miles including a new transmission tailshaft seal, drive belt replacement, new transmission mount, valve adjustment, shift lever replacement, a new radiator, and a new valve cover gasket. Later that year front struts were replaced, front brake pads replaced, a new O2 sensor installed, muffler replaced, brake booster repaired, and rear shock absorbers replaced. The current owner purchased the car in 2010, then moved to Massachusetts in 2010, returning to California where it has remained since 2012. Under current ownership, the current and consigning owner has recently spent over $8,000 in mechanical services.

Recent Mechanical Work Performed

November 2020, 81,273 miles – New Continental tires (dated 2020) and alignment, new driveshaft, install correct exhaust gaskets and rubber hangers, new front brake rotors and pads, replace all rubber fuel hoses and hose clamps in engine compartment and at fuel tank, replace fuel filter, oil and filter change, fuel injection cleaned.

June 2018, 81,262 miles – Instrument cluster removed and sent out for odometer gear repair (Palo Alto Speedometer – car flat-bedded to the shop during the odometer service), replaced all coolant hoses, and flushed cooling system.

December 2014, 81,235 miles – steering wheel horn contact repaired so that horn, wipers, and turn signals function without shorting, two new keys purchased.

Cosmetic and Mechanical Condition

Having been mechanically freshened recently and minimally used by the current owners for the past decade, this M5 presents today with driver-level cosmetics and a dried interior.
Although the paint has aged over time, digital paint meters taken on the original metal panels indicate single digits (4mil or less and 5mil on the roof). The metal body panels are in excellent condition displaying original VIN tags in the factory locations. The car was originally delivered in black finish as indicated on the shock tower. All opening features operate with ease and shut properly, displaying smooth factory finishes on all inner strike surfaces. The glass, lighting, lenses, emblems, and unique M features are all in place and in generally good condition. The BMW wheels are in generally good condition showing some finish fade and selected areas where curb rash is evident. The bumpers are in good condition overall, however the rubber trays on both front and rear are warped. Overall, the car is a combination of presentable and previously enjoyed finishes, presenting itself as a suitable candidate for cosmetic refurbishment or continued enjoyment as is.

The original interior features factory tan leather seating which shows typical age to the driver’s side seat bolsters cracking in some areas, and, despite notable wear, still very usable as is. The tan leather surfaces are showing a range of condition with the front seats being the most aged and the rear seating area remaining quite nice. The carpeting and foot wells are in very good condition, while the switches, control surfaces, and dash front panel are very nicely preserved throughout. The top molded surface of the dash has several cracks. The door panels are in generally good condition. The early series M-Technik1 steering wheel is in very good condition and is a rare item to find without wear or fading. The radio is an upgraded unit featuring a CD player and M logo. The sun visors and the headliner are in generally good condition with some sagging of the headliner and door gaskets requiring refitting. The trunk is in very good condition overall with no damage or excessive use marks on the interior side panels. The BMW tool tray is in place with a range of tools included.

Under the hood, the BMW M series 3.6 in-line six-cylinder engine is a potent powerhouse for this first M5 series sedan and fills the engine compartment with impressive detail including the fuel injection, BMW M series engine castings, and other details. Factory original components are in place with preserved labels and markings. The mechanical condition of the car overall is quite good with very good cosmetic presentation to the engine compartment and care given to using correct BMW parts during repairs and service. Underside photos show condition reflective of a well-preserved car with very tidy finishes, factory applied (now aged) cosmoline evident just as original cars tend to show. The underside shows no visual evidence of structural compromise to the floor or suspension mounting points and no accidents are reported on the clean Carfax.

This BMW M5 represents a great opportunity for an enthusiast seeking the most refined of the first of BMW’s performance sedans available from this era.
These rare 1984-1988 cars have become increasingly hard to find including factory black on tan cars, which are among the most desirable of the first series M5 models built.

Included with this Car

The car is accompanied by a set of four Hartge wheels, a matching spare wheel, and a partial set of factory tools.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608