RE: Eleven unused E34 5 Series BMWs found

RE: Eleven unused E34 5 Series BMWs found

Friday 4th January

Eleven unused E34 5 Series BMWs found

Originally intended as Bulgarian rental cars, you can take your pick from these never-registered 520i and 525i E34s



We're all familiar with the weird, wonderful and sometimes extremely rare cars to have been unearthed in barns, but finds that reveal cars with only delivery mileage are almost unheard of. Imagine the excitement, then, when eleven unregistered E34 5 Series BMWs were discovered in a Bulgarian warehouse. The finder must have thought they'd landed upon a Bavarian gold mine.

It's thought that a hire car company purchased these E34s in 1994, but for reasons that are yet to be understood, they never saw use. After 25 years of abandonment, the line-up, comprised of one estate and ten saloons in 520i and 525i forms, is no longer immaculate, with some cars suffering paint fade or receiving dents and scratches over their lives. But, aside from one that looks to have a broken back window, the vast majority appear to have interiors in a showroom-like condition. The seats have even retained their plastic delivery covers!


Returning cars that have sat for so long to the road will be no simple task, as many PHers will know from first-hand experience. The suspension, brakes and hydraulics will likely all need attention, and there's no guarantee that rodents won't have gnawed their way through wires to render the electrics kaput. But, as far as the metal bits go, these cars are probably the best-kept E34s in existence. Certainly they'll be the most original.

Bulgaria doesn't allow cars not certified to modern emissions limits to be registered these days, so, according to Autoclub.bg, the cars are likely to be imported to Germany or other neighbouring countries for sale there, as they can be registered and put back on the road as classic cars. Thing is, E34s still exist in large numbers across Europe, and these 150hp 520i and 192hp 525i BMWs aren't the most sought after. As a result, the warehouse cars are estimated to sell for about €15,000 each. Not quite a gold mine, then, but still a very a handsome taking from a lucky find.




Image credit: Autoclub.bg

Author
Discussion

Kawasicki

Original Poster:

6,592 posts

183 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
My favourite BMW era. Wouldn’t mind a manual 525i, though wouldn’t pay close to 15k € for it!

helix402

5,141 posts

130 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Good old M50s too!

Greg the Fish

894 posts

14 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
"but for reasons that are yet to be understood"

Probably broke before they could be used.

Loplop

1,714 posts

133 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Two front wings, driver's door, boot lid, door seals and blower motor for my 540 please :-)

Dannbodge

1,675 posts

69 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Perfect candidates for a shell swap with a crashed 540/M5

Or get a Rotten E39 (with a decent engine) and stick it all in one of these.
Would be amazing.

Diesel Meister

2,041 posts

149 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Great to see some potentially as-new examples of the mighty E34.

Having said that, £15k plus a potentially large bill to bring up to a usable standard requires quite conspicuous levels of commitment - it's not as though we're talking S38 powered beasties here (not least because we'd likely need to add a zero were that the case!). A well-used and cared for example is likely to to prove a more realistic and usable prospect for anyone other than a particularly nostalgic and well-funded collector. Money no object, I would certainly be interested as an antidote to the mainstream alternatives, depreciation be damned. What more could one need?

ETA: I like the idea of building an M5 out of one - the M50 would be snapped up by any E30 ./ E36 owners and replaced with a nice S38B36 or B38. Modern rust proofing and some other judicious tweaks / updates = my ideal DD.

Fabulous find.



Edited by Diesel Meister on Friday 4th January 14:20

will261058

1,115 posts

140 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
I used to have an e34 525i and nothing ever went wrong with it. These are from arguably the most reliable of all models of BMW. I traded mine for an e36 coupe and at 159k it was as strong as ever and still in great condition. I would have one in a heartbeat and 15k is an absolute bargain. Pity they will be LHD.

Loplop

1,714 posts

133 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
will261058 said:
I used to have an e34 525i and nothing ever went wrong with it. These are from arguably the most reliable of all models of BMW. I traded mine for an e36 coupe and at 159k it was as strong as ever and still in great condition. I would have one in a heartbeat and 15k is an absolute bargain. Pity they will be LHD.
Unfortunately they're starting to show their age. My 540i is bullet proof mechanically (bar the troublesome ZF 5hp30) however there are numerous niggles and annoyances starting to surface.

I'm talking menial stuff like slow door locks, noisey heater blower, knackered slip rings on the wheel, sticky boot lock, phantom electrical issues, a (factory fitted) alarm system that sets itself off when it feels like it. The list goes on, yes they are all very fixable but E34s are getting to that point where these minor objects are becoming rarer and therefore more expensive.

I've got an E39 530i Sport 5 speed for daily duties now and there's a lot I like about it more than the E34, however it feels slightly less 'solid' than the E34, the doors feel a lot lighter, noise insulation seems to be a miniscule amount less and things like that.

Also, don't automatically assume that an E39 handles night and day better than an E34. It certainly has more grip and the rear end is less lively, but the E39 likes to snap whereas the E34 communicates that it's going to step out and doesn't mind being ushered back into the correct direction as and when you're ready for it to.

I'm quite happy with my driveway for the time being!

oilit

849 posts

126 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
no thanks - steering wheel is on wrong side getmecoat

mainaman

378 posts

133 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Bought by a well known businessman for the Parlament needs after the invitation to tender but before the outcome of the public contract.He was sure he would win it.In the end Mercs were chosen smile

At least that is how the story goes.Allegedly at least a couple have been sold throughout the years.

exgtt

2,053 posts

160 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
€15k for a likely base spec 520i that has been sat all that time? No chance.

g3org3y

14,251 posts

139 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
Calypso red 525i for me thanks. smile

Loplop said:
I've got an E39 530i Sport 5 speed for daily duties now and there's a lot I like about it more than the E34, however it feels slightly less 'solid' than the E34, the doors feel a lot lighter, noise insulation seems to be a miniscule amount less and things like that.
E34 has the best sounding door close of any car I've experienced. biggrin

williamp

16,678 posts

221 months

Friday 4th January
quotequote all
exgtt said:
€15k for a likely base spec 520i that has been sat all that time? No chance.
As somsone above said, these will be used as the basis for a "re shell" of an M5 or Alpina B10. Their trim level is immaterial.

Black S2K

898 posts

197 months

Saturday 5th January
quotequote all
williamp said:
exgtt said:
€15k for a likely base spec 520i that has been sat all that time? No chance.
As somsone above said, these will be used as the basis for a "re shell" of an M5 or Alpina B10. Their trim level is immaterial.
Don't overlook that 'classic' cars can go for absolutely stupid money in Germany. Generally, far more than you'd pay here.

Fort Jefferson

8,216 posts

170 months

Saturday 5th January
quotequote all
exgtt said:
€15k for a likely base spec 520i that has been sat all that time? No chance.
I agree, I think they are dreaming at that price.

Jag_NE

1,943 posts

48 months

Saturday 5th January
quotequote all
What do you think would be needed to make one of these mint? If the interior is as new it’s quite appealing as paint and oily bits can be easier to sort. Hopefully the wiring is undamaged....

Respray. New discs and pads. Full service. New tyres. Suspension refresh. 7k for a decent job? Probably approx 20k GBP all in assuming 13k for the car.

Might make sense for a bmw geek on the continent to use as a quirky daily, it must have pretty limited appeal to collectors.

ElectricPics

758 posts

29 months

Saturday 5th January
quotequote all
Jag_NE said:
What do you think would be needed to make one of these mint? If the interior is as new it’s quite appealing as paint and oily bits can be easier to sort. Hopefully the wiring is undamaged....

Respray. New discs and pads. Full service. New tyres. Suspension refresh. 7k for a decent job? Probably approx 20k GBP all in assuming 13k for the car.

Might make sense for a bmw geek on the continent to use as a quirky daily, it must have pretty limited appeal to collectors.
Plus every rubber hose to replace, fuel lines replaced, injectors and fuel pump stripped and cleaned of the crap from the old fuel that'll have deposited itself on the metal surfaces, possible internal corrosion in the engine due to the extremes in temperature and not having been run to operating temp.

Jerry Can

2,297 posts

171 months

Sunday 6th January
quotequote all
back in 2007 when I worked for the Bavarians, I was at Thorne distribution centre when I saw a mint e36 325i being driven around the yard. Turns out it had been lost in the compound for approx 15 years. The team there just chucked some petrol in it, coded some keys for it and off it went. It was used to shunt around the yard using no more than 3rd gear.Its probably still being used. At the time it had 400 miles on it.

bloomen

2,997 posts

107 months

Sunday 6th January
quotequote all
Black S2K said:
Don't overlook that 'classic' cars can go for absolutely stupid money in Germany. Generally, far more than you'd pay here.
They're old and unused. Not classic.

deltashad

6,728 posts

145 months

Sunday 6th January
quotequote all
Skinny grill with orange indicators and totally original and unused... I think very close to classic.