Like I said before, our LeMons BMW 633csi has given me a bad case of BMWs-with-overbite fever (hyperarchomunichosis, in technical terms). As such, I’ve got saved searches on Craigslist, eBay and Autotrader classic for 70s and 80s BMW 5 and 6-series cars. With the reserve met at a mere $999, today’s find may well be the most siren-like of all time.
Stumbling upon the ad, one thinks “score! Euro-M535 for cheap!“. You see, the M535 is basically and M5 with the high-strung M88 (or US-spec S38) engine omitted in favor of the ubiquitous and long-lived M30. All the M suspension, interior and body-kit goodies with an easily tuned, easily replaced from the junkyard serviced engine? What could possibly go wrong?
Sure, it hasn’t run since ’98 and the transmission is toast, but the sale includes another transmission anyway. 167k miles is nothing if we’re talking about a well-maintained M30.
It has been well maintained, right? “A Carfax report shows illuminating clues as to the history of this car”. Huh. At least it’s got the spiffy Recaro-sourced M-Sport interior.
“Interior needs to be redone or removed and cleaned, this car sat for 11 years and for the last 3 months the drivers window was broken so some rain water got in”. Oh. Right, then.
But hey, it’s got those spiffy Euro-bumpers and an M-Sport body kit, which the seller points out sold in another auction for $1100 for just the body kit. Never mind those few rust spots on our current example.
To summarize, for just north of a weekend in Vegas, you could have a not-M5 with lousy paint, a shot interior, an engine that’s been sitting since Third Eye Blind was at the top of the charts, metric-sized wheels, and a mostly functioning electrical system labeled entirely in German!
Check it out on ebay.
Basket Case M535 Will End You
Buy it, strip the body kit off and sell it for $600-$800, the seats might be worth $200 for the pair if they are mechanically sound, and you have a great LeMons racer. The basic mechanicals of this are pretty much the same as the 635csi. These really are THAT bad to work on. You will need a new set of wheels so you could get cheap and decent tires. I suggest installing a set of diving board bumpers and 528e badges to make it a sleeper. Flat black Krylon will take care of the paint.
I'm pretty sure Mad_Science has been singing this a lot lately:
Do you sell Bimmer with (Bimmer with) Overbite, Ebay
Just to let me down (let me down) and change the reserve
And then worst of all (worst of all) you never call, Ebay
When you say you will (say you will) but I bid on you still
I need you (I need you) more than anyone, Bimmer
You know that I have from the start
So Bimmer with (Bimmer with) Overbite, don't break the bank
"I'll be under a grand", you told me time and again
But you're more, I search around and then
I went to Craigslist, I can't take any more
It's not you, you let me down again
(Hey, hey, hey!) Ebay seller, try to find
(Hey, hey, hey!) A little time and I'll buy your car
(Hey, hey, hey!) I'll be home
I'll be beside the phone waiting for you
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