Exterior photo of 1988 BMW E28 M5

1988 BMW E28 M5



Price: SOLD | Visit the auction

Mileage: 172,052 Miles

Engine: S38B35 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Black Exterior (Schwarz 086)

Interior: Nature Leather Interior (Natur Volleder 0237)

Additional features:

Top End Mark Hutto Engine Rebuild:

Refreshed Timing Components

Rebuilt Head

Bottom End Inspected

S38B36 Intake Cam

Adjustable Cam Gears

Frank Fahey Crank Hub

Turner Motorsports Chip

M88 European Headers

VSR High-Flow Catalytic Converters

Billy Boat Muffler

Original Header and Catalytic Convertor Included

Gloss Black Powder Coated Valve Cover / Intake

Getrag G265 3-Piece Gearbox Conversion

SLS Deleted (Shocks, Springs, and Lines Included)

H&R Springs

Bilstein Sport Shocks

Original Paint w/ Exception of Trunk Lid

Restored Front Seats

Power and Heated Front Seats

Rear Headrests

Euro Grills

Euro Headlights w/ Yellow Lamin-X on High Beams

Restored 16” Style 5 BBS Basketweave Wheels

Fresh Dunlop Direzza DZ102 Tires

1st Place 2017 Colorado Concours d’Elegance Winner

Car Cover / Battery Tender

Clean Carfax

Owned by Well-Known E28 Community Member


1988 BMW E28 M5 exterior photo

The original M5 was one of the most legendary, iconic, and marquee-defining BMWs ever built. A direct descendant and evolution of the original M car, the M535i, the E28 M5 cemented the super sedan’s place in the performance market. It heralded from an era when M GmbH cars were still hand built, mainly for the expressed purpose of supporting racing. At its release the E28 M5 was the fastest four-door sedan in the world, but it could be driven daily in civilized fashion thanks to luxurious appointments and enough room to comfortably seat four adults. At the M5’s heart was a fire-breathing, high revving, high compression, individual throttle-bodied engine that was unapologetically Motorsport to its core. Yet, it lived underneath perfectly proportioned E28 sheet metal that was the picture of understated elegance. There was no need to compensate for its performance with excessive flair, just discrete badging and subtle M additions. The E28 M5 played an integral role in establishing BMW as the makers of the Ultimate Driving Machine, at a time when those words had meaning beyond just marketing jargon.


 exterior photo

This is 1 of 1,340 North American market (101 examples went to Canada) E28 M5s produced. It was originally delivered by Winslow BMW in Colorado Springs for $48,470—$102,547 in today’s money! I am selling it on consignment for a friend and fellow BMW enthusiast, who kept it as part of a small collection consisting of an E30 M3 and a 2002. It is a nearly perfect example of an E28 M5, despite its 172,052 miles. It won first place at the BMW Car Club of America-judged 2017 Colorado Concours d’Elegance with a score of 72 out of 75 points for the exterior and 68 out of 75 points for the interior. Noted exterior flaws were minor rock chipping on the front spoiler and hood, in addition to a cracked fog light lens (which as since been replaced). Points on the interior were deducted for door car imperfections, seals, and glass. The front seats were recovered at considerable expense with period-correct matching Natur Leather and received a perfect score, along with the dashboard and carpets. I cannot overstate its overall cosmetic condition, it presents like a car with five digits on the odometer. It doesn’t end there either, or in “Clarksonian” terms, it’s more than “all face and no trousers.” Those trousers come in the form of a disassembled and inspected bottom-end and a top-end rebuild of the S38B35 engine with a Turner Motorsports performance chip, indexed S38B36 cam, Euro M88 headers, high-flow VSR catalytic converters, and a Billy Boat exhaust. BMW E28 specialist Mark Hutto (builder of our last M5) performed all engine work. The G280 transmission was replaced with the rebuildable G265 5-speed. The self-leveling suspension was replaced with H&R Springs and Bilstein sport shocks. Comprehensive records date back to the year 2000 and show nearly all of the mechanical components being refreshed at some point. They are organized chronologically in a 4” binder, along with previous ownership history and the original window stickers.


1988 BMW E28 M5 exterior photo

The BMW E28 M5 is a time machine. Open the door and you are transported to the 1980s. Once there you can view the current world through the lens of the past—and what a lens it is! The shark-nosed 3-box design is paradigmatically BMW. As are the upright windshield, the tiered dashboard, the domino-sized power seat buttons—my favorite E28 feature. When it was released the E28 M5 was the fastest four-door “saloon” in the world and it remains no slouch today. This M5 have takes that to the next level with mild engine improvements that every US-spec M5 should have had, most notably the M88 headers. They allow it to breath in a way that US-market cars never could. If you are familiar with the last “built” E28 M5 we sold, this one’s performance is on par, but in a more civilized package. The Billy Boat exhaust is just loud enough to telegraph that there is something special under the hood, but it does not compromise refinement. There is no limp spot in the power band. Moderate throttle applications result in buttery smooth torque, while redline pulls are a symphonic climb through the RPMs in a way only the S38 does. Thanks to its enhancements, this M5 pulls as long as your dare to keep your foot in it. The S38 needs to breath to take advantage of its old school, high revving, high compression recipe and the B36 cam and headers allow that. Why all US M5s never came this way is a tragedy. The E28 M5 was a snapshot of perfection in the inevitable march of automobile evolution and technology. It was an integral part in defining BMW as the Ultimate Driving Machine. The farther from that snapshot of time we go, the better the E28 M5 becomes.


1988 BMW E28 M5 exterior photo

The exterior Gloss Black finish is brilliant with no glaring defects. There are no significant paint chips, dings, scratches, or paint lifting. Small imperfections can be seen with scrutiny, but they are very minor. The lower front spoiler has typical small paint chips, but nothing close to what a car of this age and mileage should have. All panels are original and all VIN tags are in place. The paint is original except for the trunk lid, and a paint gauge report is provided in the pictures. There is no rust anywhere. All trim is accounted for, and the US bumper trim is not warped or wavy. The windshield and window glass are clear and crack-free, but there are a few small pits in the windshield. The passenger side door seal felt was separated in small area near the door hinge, but this has been repaired using 3M adhesive. Euro grills and headlights have been fitted and both are in excellent shape. Yellow covers are on the high beams, but are removable if desired. The indicators, markers, and brake lights have crack-free lenses. The Style 5 wheels have been refinished and are in excellent shape. They are wrapped in Dunlop Dirreza DZ102 Tires with 90% tread remaining.


 interior photo

The interior has that signature leather smell that all well-cared-for BMWs of this vintage have. It has never been smoked in. The carpet is free of stains or rips and is protected by factory BMW floor mats. The floor mats show a little wear, but they are replaceable. The front seat leather is in excellent condition; they were recovered with period-correct matching Nature leather. There are no rips, tears, bolster wear or even creasing. The rear seat leather is original, but in excellent condition. All backrest M badges are in place, as are the rear headrests. All power seat functions work along with the seat heaters. The dashboard has no cracks and the leather is still soft and supple. The M-Tech I steering wheel has no excessive wear, all stitching is in place, and the M badge has no peeling paint. All instrument cluster gauges and lights function correctly. The odometer and trip meter work. There are no check engine, brake lining, or anti-lock warning lights. The on-board computer LED strip has no missing pixels and all on-board computer functions work. There are no over-head check panel lights. The factory CM5907 stereo has been replaced with a modern Alpine unit, but it is included with the sale. All speakers were upgraded along with an Alpine amp. There is a removable infinity subwoofer in the trunk. All HVAC controls function correctly; the heat blows warm and the air-conditioning blows cold. The blower motors work at all fan speeds and the bearings do not chirp. The gearshift knob and shift boot leather are in very good condition, as is the center console leather and stitching. There is one cracked “blade” near the driver’s side knee of the center console trim, but it takes moving it to see it. All power window switches work, as does the sunroof. The passenger side power window adjustment can be finicky. The leather door cards are not warped, there is minor leather wear on the driver’s door handle, a small scuff in that map pocket, and a small scratch in the lower portion of the left rear card. The headliner has no tears or cracks and does not sag. Both interior lights work. The map light mirror bulbs work as well. The trunk carpet has very minor staining, the rear trunk lid leather covering is present, and the toolkit is complete. The original red small screwdriver has been replaced with a period-correct green one.


 engine photo

There is a 4-inch binder of records and receipts dating back to 2000 and the service manual has maintenance stamps from early in its life. The original window sticker is also included in the records. It has always received regular engine oil, gearbox and diff oil, coolant, and brake fluid changes. A pre-purchase inspection was completed this summer that is included with the records. All significant items noted have been addressed. The air conditioning system has been topped off, along with the reverse light switch, shift selector seal, and an oil cooler line fitting. The motor has been freshly rebuilt and operates accordingly. There are no leaks or seeps. It starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strongly to redline. The clutch take up is correct, the shifter is crisp and precise, and the transmission is quiet. There are no driveline or wheel bearing vibrations. The steering is tight. The suspension is also tight and compliant. The brakes are firm with 90% front pad and 50% rear pad thickness remaining. As it sits, this is a turnkey M5 ready to be driven across country. It deserves to be cared for as it has been.

I am proud to have the opportunity to represent this M5 and I think it makes an excellent buy in the E28 M5 market. It is an extremely clean example with the documentation, ownership history and pedigree to back it up. It has very desirable upgrades that do no compromise its original DNA. It presents like a car with 100,000 miles less than indicated on the cluster, yet it is priced accordingly—and has had all of the issues that an ultra-low mileage example will have addressed. We would like to find a new owner who will continue to be a good steward of it and enjoy it for years to come.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBSDC9308J2791529
  • Type: DC93
  • Model: M5 – USA
  • Development Code: E28
  • Chassis: LIM
  • Steering: LL
Doors: 4
  • Engine: S38
  • Displacement: 3.50
  • Power: 252 Horsepower (in stock form)
  • Drivetrain: RWD (HECK)
  • Transmission: Manual (MECH)
  • Color: Black (Schwarz – 086)
  • Upholstery: Nature Leather Interior (Natur Volleder – 0237)
  • Production Plant: BORN
  • Production Date: 6-16-1987

Option Codes

  • 458 Seat Adjustment Electric Driver / Passenger
  • 494 Seat Heating Driver / Passenger
  • 780 BMW Lm-rad Wheels / M Parallelspeiche