Mileage: 145,000 Miles
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Exterior color: Oxford Green Metallic Paint (Code 324)
Interior: Parchment Leather Interior (0453)
Bluetooth Stereo with Matching Illumination
Selling on Consignment for the Original Owner
Complete Maintenance Records and Receipts Since Day 1
No Accidents / Clean CarFax
Original Option Codes
1995 was the last year and most evolved variant of the E34 (3rd Generation) BMW 5 Series. It was the most advanced of the traditional BMW’s, both in form and function. Its form is made up of iconic BMW 3-box design language, square kidney grills, double headlights, and tidy lines that were smooth and sleek in comparison to its E28 predecessor and smaller E30 3 Series sibling. 1994 and 1995 model years featured wider post-facelift kidney grills and color matched lower trim. At its release BMW accurately described it as “Sophisticated styling that is aerodynamic while in motion, and admired when parked.” For function the E34 525i was first BMW to get the M50 2.5-liter inline 6-cylinder engine, what I consider the first of the modern era engines. 1993-1995 models were further advanced with the technical update M50B25TU; featuring VANOS variable intake cam timing that improved low-end torque delivery. It is one of the most reliable BMW power plants ever produced, which earned the late model 525i the reputation as one of the most reliable luxury cars of all time. Many examples have seen well over 300,000 miles and are still going strong. Finding an example that has low mileage, is well kept, and is in good cosmetic condition is hard – especially a 525i with a manual gearbox.
At Glen Shelly we specialize in older BMW’s, picking only the best ones. I am selling this car on consignment for the original owner. It was delivered to him on November 1, 1994. I have the original window sticker, marketing booklet, and every single maintenance record. The owner maintained it the Old School way per the Lifetime Maintenance Schedule (Google it). All preventative maintenance is up to date and almost all common issues are either not present or have been addressed. The Oxford Green Metallic paint over Parchment Leather Interior was one of the best E34 color combinations. Fifteen-inch style 5 “basket weave” wheels with nearly perfect center caps compliment it wonderfully. On the road the E34 delivers a proper BMW driving experience. It was born in an era that earned the marquee the Ultimate Driving Machine reputation. The first sentence of the E34 marketing booklet says, “The more cars the world makes, the more desirable the BMW 5 Series becomes.” The successive two decades have revealed how prophetic those words were, as modern cars have become bloated, numb, infotainment-centric appliances. It is amazing how competent, connected, and fun this car is to drive while still delivering comfort and luxury that is just now becoming the norm for many makes. It is civilized and composed on a twisty mountain pass, highway cruise, or red light slog. In inclement weather the long wheelbase, communicative chassis, and perfect balance allow it to drive circles around the hordes of slow moving SUV’s and AWD vehicles trudging along. ASC-T traction control, dual front airbags, and Autobahn derived crash test standards will keep you safe from those less skilled SUV and AWD drivers. I am extremely thorough and critical of the car’s I sell. Here is a breakdown of its condition.
I have summarized the complete maintenance history in a spreadsheet that is available on request. I have every single record since new totaling over $22,000 in preventative maintenance and repairs. The owner maintained it in accordance with the Lifetime Maintenance Schedule. This included 5000-mile oil changes, regular cooling system and brake fluid flushes, preventative cooling system overhauls, and replacement of suspension components on schedule. In the last 12000 miles the following items have been replaced or repaired:
Cooper Touring CS4 Tires were mounted less than 3000 miles ago.
Overall the mechanical condition is excellent. Like any BMW it will continue to need preventative maintenance and repairs, but this car deserves to be maintained to the previous owner’s standards. The M50 engine idles smoothly, pulls strong, and has no hesitation or running issues. The VANOS operates correctly. There is very slight VANOS rattle on start up if the engine has not been run for some time (like over a week), but it is not ready to be addressed yet. A VANOS rebuild kit is available from Beisan Systems for $60 when that time comes. There are no leaks or drips. The shifting is crisp and smooth thanks to the clutch replacement and shifter rebuild. The suspension is firm, compliant, and does not make any noise. I’ve taken familiar roads in this car at the same speeds I do in my E36 M3 and it goes around corners wonderfully. There are no driveline or wheel bearing vibrations. The steering is slightly vague on center, but that is normal for E34’s and would not be noticeable to someone not highly tuned to BMW steering. It could be adjusted via the steering box if desired, but I would not. Overall it is excellent mechanical shape. I would not hesitate to drive it across country.
Like all 5 Series sedans, E34’s were driven and enjoyed. They often did daily driver duty while the M3 or Porsche was tucked away in the garage. Finding a clean one is difficult. This 525i is very clean for its age and mileage and also being a New York car. The owner lived in New Rochelle, NY before moving to Colorado. It was garage kept and driven sparingly in inclement weather. He worked from home and took public transportation often so it doesn’t have the oxidation and rust that most East Coast cars have. There is superficial rust on fastener heads and other underbody items, but nothing to be concerned about (underbody pictures are on our website if you are reading this elsewhere). I’ve worked on this car personally and removal of those fasteners was not difficult. The body and panels are straight and free of dents, damage, or rust with the exception of small dent in the front grill trim. It looks like someone backed into it between the kidney grills with a trailer hitch at some point. I pulled the trim piece and had a PDR specialist push out the nickel sized dent. It’s presentable, but can be seen on close inspection. I’ve been searching for a post-face lift Oxford Green trim panel, which can be had for cheap when they pop up. All VIN tags are present and it has never been in an accident. The Oxford Green paint is original and is in good condition. There are no glaring chips or scratches, and no rust spots on the body. There were a few cloudy areas of clear coat on the hood and roof. I addressed them with a professional cut and polish that restored significant clarity, but didn’t remove the cloudiness completely (we erred on the conservative side). The style 5 wheels are in excellent shape; they are not bent, chipped, or curb-rashed. All center caps are present with good Roundel emblems. The glass has no significant pitting and no cracks. The windshield and rear window plastic sealing trim has broken clips in spots, but it is not glaring. The black work and door trim presentable and intact, although there are few broken clips, which aren’t glaring. The passenger side headlight adjusters are seized, but I was able to aim the headlights correctly and lock them in place using an E30 trick. The left fog light assembly has corrosion on the reflector, which reduces its output, but it works. Overall for an E34 the exterior is very good shape.
The interior of the E34 was probably its weakest area. Common issues are sagging headliners, cracked dashboards, broken armrests, torn seats, broken plastic trim, broken door panels, failed electronics. On the E34 scale, this car has a great interior, exhibiting almost none of those symptoms. It has been spared the UV exposure that cracks dashboards and unzips the seams of Colorado cars. The dashboard was slightly faded, so I had its color restored to match the rest of the parchment leather and replaced the passenger airbag cover. I also repaired a scratched passenger door leather panel. The seat leather is not cracked, although there are defined creases as to be expected at this age. The driver’s side rear seat seatbelt cover trim at the shoulder reel is cracked, but presentable. It does not affect the seatbelt function at all. The floor carpets are not torn or stained. The headliner does not sag, but there are few spots on the sunroof panel that aren’t perfect. The rear deck lid covering also has a few wrinkles, but they are not unsightly. The wood trim is intact and presentable, but there are superficial cracks. The worst are in the shifter console panel. I’ve been searching for a replacement panel, which is very easy to replace. Matching vinyl would be another option. The steering wheel leather is very good. There are no odors other than that fantastic BMW leather smell. The car has never been smoked in.
Virtually all interior functions, controls, and amenities work. The power front seats work in all adjustments, as do the seat heaters although the driver’s seat bottom cushion can be intermittent. Both front seat armrests work at all adjustment points. The power door locks and windows work correctly. I replaced the driver’s window switch because it was intermittent. The instrument cluster, service interval, and onboard computer display have no blown out pixels. The dual HVAC controls work for driver and passenger, along with the independent center vent temp control. The heat blows warm and the air conditioning blows cold. The rear defroster has no failed heating elements. The radio has been replaced with a Pioneer DEH-6400BT head unit. It has blue tooth cellular phone and music interface and most importantly matching illumination. Overall the interior is in great shape, especially for an E34. It is fantastic place to soak up a morning commute or cross-country road trip.
This E34 525i is a rare one due to its 5-speed manual transmission, lower mileage, and fully documented maintenance history. It isn’t perfect, but it in fantastic driver condition ready for years and miles of service. I’ve priced it accordingly and would like to find someone who will appreciate, enjoy, and care for it.