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Exterior photo of 1994 BMW 540i 6-Speed Individual Touring (European Import)

1994 BMW 540i 6-Speed Individual Touring (European Import)

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Details

Price: $21,500

Mileage: 283,623 Kilometers (176,235 Miles)

Engine: M60B40 V8 Engine

Transmission: 6-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Brocade Red (Brokat-rot) Exterior (259)

Interior: Dark Gray Leather Interior (438)

Additional features:

Wood Trim

Individual German/Austria Market E34 Touring

Euro “Smiley” Headlights w/ City Lights

Intensive Cleaning System/Headlight Aim Control

M Sport Front Valance

Sport Suspension

Rear SLS Delete

Rear Parking Sensor

Roof Rack

Dual-Panel Sunroof

Model Lettering Deleted (original factory option)

Leather Steering Wheel

Manual Sport Seats

Heated Sport Seats

On-Board Computer

Cruise Control

Euro Analog Climate Controls w/ Automatic Function

Outside Air Temp Display

Fold Down Rear Seats

Rear Side Sunshades

Rear Cargo Divider

Rear Cargo Cover

Automatic Stability Control (ASC +T)

Style 37 18-inch M Parallel Wheels

Background

1994 BMW 540i 6-Speed Individual Touring (European Import) exterior photo

The E34 was the third generation of the BMW 5 Series and the most advanced of the traditional BMWs. Its form comprises iconic BMW 3-box design language, square kidney grills, double headlights, and tidy lines that were smooth and sleek compared to its E28 predecessor and smaller E30 3 Series sibling. At its release, BMW accurately described it as “Sophisticated styling that is aerodynamic while in motion, and admired when parked.” Along with its E32 7 Series sibling, the E34 530i and 540i received the first V8 engines BMW ever produced, the M60. In the 540i, the M60B40 was good for 282 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque (more than the U.S. market M5).

One of the rarest E34s was the 540i Touring, which married the big power of the 5 Series sedan to the utility of a European estate. The top-tier wagon was not available in the U.S. market and could hit a governor-limited 155 mph while hauling anything that you could fit in its hatch area.

Summary

 exterior photo

This German/Austrian market Individual 1994 E34 540i 6-speed Touring finished in Brocade Red (Brokat-rot) is an exceptionally rare example. The color is highly dynamic, presenting different hues of dark red and burgundy, with hints of violet depending on the light. Notable options include the M Sport front valance, Euro “smiley” headlights with adjustable aiming and intensive cleaning (although the latter is inop), sport suspension with Servotronic steering, heated manual sport seats, the dual panel sunroof (which is functional), model insignia delete, and Style 29 M Parallel wheels. It was imported to the U.S. in 2021 under the 25-year rule exemption and came to us on consignment via a Glen Shelly regular from Arizona. When it arrived, we did a round of maintenance, including cleaning up messy wiring, replacing the valve cover gaskets, correctly deleting the SRS system and refreshing power steering lines, replacing the battery, and installing 50-state legal U.S. catalytic convertors with straight exhaust pipes. Rev the engine vigorously, and the exhaust note is one of the best we’ve ever heard in a BMW, yet keep the revs in check, and it’s civilized enough for regular driving. Large estate cars were the 1990s European equivalent of a Ford F150, and this one is in good shape considering. The cosmetic condition is presentable enough to be proud of and draw attention from anyone with enthusiast blood (and even those that don’t), but imperfect enough to allow it to be used and enjoyed without guilt. The worst offenders are paint peeling on the lower front valance and some chips in the hood, typical E34 corrosion in the lower doors and rear hatch area, and roof rails covered in a carbon wrap. These could be lived with for the near to medium term future. As it sits, it is an extremely rare example of a BMW wagon that was never offered here in the U.S. While it certainly isn’t cheap, it offers the same exclusivity and nearly identical performance as an M5 Touring at a fraction of the price. We want to find another wagon fanatic who will enjoy it for the next chapter of its story.

Exterior

1994 BMW 540i 6-Speed Individual Touring (European Import) exterior photo

The Brokat-rot paint is presentable and fitting for a driver-quality example. Flaws consist of peeling paint on the lower valance, some rock chips in the hood, and various small dents and dings, but nothing is glaring. Various panels gauge at between 3-5 mils (likely original) on the front fenders, right rear door, right rear quarter panel, roof, and trunk lid, up to between 6 and 12 mils on the hood, front and left rear doors, and left rear quarter panel. There is typical E34 corrosion in the lower doors and door trim, the worst being on the driver’s door, a small rust bubble aft of the passenger rear door, and another in the lower hatch. It is liveable for now, and we know of a nice E34 shell from which good lower doors could be sourced. The bumpers are in good shape, the side skirts have several small cracks, and the trim is present and accounted for. The headlight lenses are crack-free, and the adjustable aiming works. The left fog light is cracked. The windshield glass light pitting. The Style 37 M Par wheels are in good shape, with light curb rash on the right rear and slight clear coat peeling. They are wrapped with Kumo tires in the front and Continental tires in the rear. Both have good tread remaining, with 2017 and 2022 DOT dates, respectively.

Interior

 interior photo

The dark gray interior is rare, a color not usually seen in the U.S., as is the real wood trim (no plastic overlay to crack). Overall, it is in good condition, and there is no smoke smell or odor. The headliner is sagging slightly in areas, and the rear door cards aren’t perfect. The dashboard has no cracks, and the center vent is not warped. The instrument cluster functions correctly, and is in kilometers with German text. The stereo is inop and could be replaced with the stereo of your choice. We may repair this, along with the OBC, which is also disconnected. The heat blows warm, and the AC blows cold. The shifter surround is slightly warped, and the shift knob has typical wear. The seats are in good shape, with typical wear on the outer bolster. The rear seats fold down, and the cargo divider is present. The sunroof functions correctly. The carpet is in good shape, but the driver’s floor mat is missing.

Mechanical

 engine photo

Overall, the mechanical condition is very good, not the basket-case that some E34s become if maintenance is not kept up. The maintenance list outlined in the summary paragraph helped bring it up to spec, but it would be prudent to expect continued sorting. That said, we would drive it across the country tomorrow. The M62 engine fires on command, idles smoothly, and pulls gloriously to redline—the exhaust is one of the best we’ve ever heard. There are some typical weeps and seeps, but no glaring fluid leaks; we replaced the valve cover gaskets. The transmission shifts smoothly and the clutch take-up is correct. There are no driveline or wheel-bearing vibrations. The suspension is compliant, with no excessive bushing play. The SLS system was deleted, and we replaced most of the power steering lines. The brakes have life remaining, and the tires have good tread and even wear.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBAHK41030GK00300
  • Prod. Date: 11-26-1993
  • Model: 540I
  • Series: 5
  • Generation: E34
  • Body type: Touring
  • Type code: HK41
  • Engine code: M60/2
  • Fuel type: Gas
  • Displacement: 4.0
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Steering side: Left
  • Color: Brokat-rot (L0259)
  • Interior: Dark Grey (P0483)
  • Transmission: Manual

Options

  • 214 Automatic Stability Control (ASC+T)
  • 216 Hydro Steering-Servotronic
  • 227 Sport Suspension Lower Ride Height
  • 235 Towing Hitch, Detachable
  • 240 Leather steering wheel
  • 243 Airbag for Front Passenger
  • 320 Model designation, deletion
  • 354 Windscreen with green shade band
  • 385 Light alloy wheels
  • 404 Double Sunroof
  • 413 Luggage Compartment Net
  • 417 Roller sunblind, rear side windows
  • 428 Warning Triangle and First Aid Kit
  • 481 Sport Seats
  • 494 Seat Heating Driver/Passenger
  • 500 Headlight Washer System/Intensive Cleaning
  • 510 Headlight Aim Control
  • 520 Fog lights
  • 534 Automatic Air conditioning
  • 540 Cruise Control
  • 575 Socket, Luggage Compartment
  • 801 National Version Germany/Austria
  • 915 Dummy-SALAPA
  • 940 Special Equipment, BMW Individual