Shed Of The Week


Friday 3rd April 2009


Surely one of the better sheds of 2009?

Thereís something about an M Sport badge that seems to press all of our buttons here at PistonHeads. When attached to the correct car it often means there's oodles of horsepower lurking beneath the bonnet, but nowadays the ĎMí brand has been diluted somewhat by the extensive BMW options list that lets every Tom, Dick and Harry have a slice of M Badge action.

But Shedís not worried about all that, and has gone back to a time when that tricolour badge meant something. Ok, so this Shed isnít a full fat E28 M5, but that was never going to be realistic for the £1k budget. What weíve got here is the semi-skimmed M535i, the lightly Míd version of the standard 5-Series 535i.

Whereas the 286bhp M5 rolled out of the BMW Motorsport factory in fairly limited numbers, making a good one a relatively rare find nowadays, plenty of M535s rolled off the production lines and itís not hard to see why.

Although the 3430cc straight-six engine was standard 535 equipment, buyers were no doubt lured in by the M535ís trump card, a limited slip diff. Despite producing a pretty paltry (by modern standards) 207bhp, the fact that it has a slippy diff and is complimented by M Sport suspension makes this Autobahn-cruising beauty a real catch. Who can resist these classic early 5-series looks, with room for five and the hardware to let you swing the tail out when the mood takes you? Not us, thatís for certain.

This particular M535 found lurking in the PH classifieds doesnít look like its felt the weight of a thousand Germans backsides, which isnít surprising as itís based in Yorkshire, and looks in top shape inside and out. It also boasts being totally unmodified and un-abused, a bonus for any speedy Munich barge. Thereís no mention of road tax, but with an MOT that runs until the end of August, the sellerís new baby burden will be someone elseís gain....even with that auto box.

PistonHeads Ad says: M535i Auto 108k miles Arctic Blue Metallic (1985)) MOT until August. Plenty of history. Sensible enthusiast owner: unmodified; unabused. A great example of this increasingly rare 80s sports saloon. In one of the better colours with a tan/beige cloth sports interior, this car is mechanically super with solid bodywork that requires one or two minor jobs to do it justice. Performance from the standard M30 3.5 litre straight six is awesome, with LSD, MTECH suspension and ABS to aid control. Matching Goodyear GSD3s all round on 17" Alpina replicas have some life left, but aren't new. The switchable sports auto is one of the best. In economy I get 22-25mpg around town, more like 30 on a longhaul. Put it into sports and it will redline in each gear. But the best bit is that in sports, you can effectively change up on the throttle: floor it and it revs freely, then with a small reduction in pedal pressure, it changes up. Effectively quicker changes than a manual. Selling due to third child and need for 7 seater.† £987.

Author: George B