BMW M5 Touring (E34) | Spotted

You may have seen the BMW M2 CS story already; you may, like us, be tremendously excited by the idea. Cost notwithstanding, the thought of an M2 Competition made even better is surely one to get PHers everywhere just a little more animated.

Why? Because it ticks so many of the traditional M car boxes, the criteria through which so many of us came to know and love the very fastest BMWs. It's a small(ish), two-door sort-of-saloon, sort-of-coupe, like the early two-door 3 Series; it has a 3.0-litre straight-six, like an E36 M3, it powers the rear wheels like all of your favourite M cars, and it's offered with a manual gearbox. And does your favourite M car ever have a manual gearbox? Exactly.

So, inevitably, we've been thinking about iconic M cars from the classifieds. Because you would, right? And although the E34 M5 3.8 Touring may not be the most revered of the M cars, its unicorn status in the UK certainly makes it one of the most desirable. Today's Spotted in particular.

But more on that in a second. First let's discuss BMW M's bizarre relationship with the fast estate. Because there's no doubt that, once upon a time, they were very keen on the idea: as well as the two generations of M5 Touring, a stunning E46 M3 Touring Concept was made, as was an E39-era M wagon. Now, however, more than a decade has passed since the last one, and the rise of the SUV has surely put paid to any future estates. Yet it can't have escaped the attention of anyone in Munich that both Audi and Mercedes have persevered the format - enjoying great cult and commercial success along the way - as well as burrowing into the niche of performance SUVs. They're not mutually exclusive, basically, the fast SUV and the fast estate, so maybe there's a future for BMW to do both.

Until then, it's the old ones we'll focus on. This particular E34 Touring was sold new in Germany, first reaching the UK in 1997 - personally imported by the dealer now selling it more than 20 years later. In fact, the Sterling Silver M5 has been with the same UK owner since the 1990s, meaning whoever buys it next will be just its fourth keeper. Furthermore, over the past quarter of a century and 110,000 miles, this M5 looks to have been beautifully cared for: it's been garaged the whole time it's been in the UK, never driven in adverse conditions and has survived with all of its original, unrusty panels. As mentioned in the advert, these were very cheap cars not so long ago - remember the 3.6 Shed? - and so seeing one that's lived up till now in such fine fettle is a real pleasure.

Of course, it's not quite perfect. But the fact that the dealer mentions such an in-depth list of remedial work to be actioned post sale suggests this M5 is a little more special to them than most stock. And would you believe it, at Β£50,000 it's more affordable than the last E34 Touring we featured, two years ago and with more miles. So it's good value as well. Kind of.

Alright, the pool of prospective customers for this car, a fairly dowdy BMW estate from the early 1990s that costs as much as a new M2, will be pretty small. But for those who get it, those invested in classic M car cool, what an opportunity this M5 is. That CS just became the second-most interesting straight-six BMW on PH this week...

3,795cc straight-six
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, LSD
Power (hp): 347@6,900rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@4,750rpm
MPG: Less than a new one
CO2: More than a new one
First registered: 1992
Recorded mileage: 110,000
Price new: Costly
Yours for: Β£49,000

See the original advert here.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (52) Join the discussion on the forum

  • GTEYE 07 Nov 2019

    Not cheap but looks a good example. The seller used to be the proprietor of Munich Legends, so whilst the price may not be cheap, I wouldn’t doubt the thoroughness of preparation/inspection on the car.

  • g3org3y 07 Nov 2019

    Back when BMWs were special. cool

  • SidewaysSi 07 Nov 2019

    What a special car and special interior

  • chelme 07 Nov 2019

    Over priced. There is another one trader wanting 64k. They are nice looking cars however the one at 64k has been waiting for nearly a year.

    Traders seem to be in denial. The market has been changing and it is not what it was in 2015/16. The 'modern classics' has become predominantly a hollow fad, with only the authentic motorsport homologation specials holding their prices. Others? We are seeing significant drops.

  • Black S2K 07 Nov 2019

    g3org3y said:
    Back when BMWs were special. cool
    That example is a class one.

    There's barely any modern cars one could describe as such.

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