Monday, December 31, 2012

5k: 1995 BMW 540i M-Sport

We just featured a e39 BMW 540i yesterday and while some would say it is too soon to feature another used/abused 5-series, we say its never too soon to share a rear-wheel drive luxury sedan that today is selling for 1/10th of its original MSRP.  The e34 BMW 5-series is considerably more dated in appearance and therefore gives fast examples a 'sleeper' status since most e34s you see today are 525 automatics driven by professor types.  This rare 1995 BMW 540i M-Sport 6-spd is not a car to drive your Yorkie to the pet salon, on the way to the used book store - it is a legitimate hoon-mobile and for sale in Fresno, CA for $5499 via craigslist.

 In 1993 BMW introduced the M60B40 - a 4.0 liter all-alloy V8 to their 5-series lineup, but the M5 version continued to use BMW's DOHC inline6 and was discontinued for the US market in 1993.  BMW's M division decided to give the outgoing e34 a last hoorah before the introduction of the e39 in the form of the 1995 model year only 540i M-Sport. 

 The M-Sport had many of the parts from the M5, including adaptive suspension, sport seats, re-calibrated steering ratio and M badging but was powered by the 282 horsepower V8 and mated to an automatic or (in this case) a 6 speed manual transmission.  The M-Sport was offered in very limited quantities and according to internet lore only 139 of them were built with the 6 speed trans.

Now to the details that are less than stellar: this example has 177k miles on the odo and a salvage title..ouch...but its being offered for about half the cost of the "M-Sport" option (~$8k) that someone paid in addition to the $50k base price.  So yes, it isn't a low mile single owner example...but the price is right.

See another M-sport for cheap? Want to complain that we feature too many BMW 5-series? email us here:

Don't think an e34 540 is fast?  Check out Black Iron Racing's old 540i $500 racer pass all manner of cars on track.


  1. "Salvage title" and "all records since purchase 1995".... must make interesting reading!


  2. A bumper skin and a taillight lens will get you a salvage merit badge on a $5000 car in CA. Ask me how I know.

    1. One thing about salvaged cars is you can keep salvaging them out and it doesn't affect the title. Its not like anyone cares if its been salvaged once or 4 times- but that can be a big difference in the amount of "repairs" and issues.

    2. Hmm... interesting twist... I like it!

  3. ~ i once had a grease-ball acquaintance that couldn't keep himself away from the silent auction at the insurance pool. he would bid 10 or 15 cars a week, buying 5 to 10, for resale - never disclosing the truth. one of his worst mistakes was a 535i flood car. cost at least $5000 over-the-counter in electronics before getting it back on the street. every week was something new (and expensive.} i pity the poor guy he duped into that purchase, though not as much as the buyer of the Allante from the same deluge.
    (may the grease-ball burn for eternity, amen)

  4. This one looks better to me although it's not an "M"

  5. I happen to know that the one in the Portland Craigslist ad is owned by a BMW enthusiast, and that is the one that I would buy.

    (No affiliation, by the way.)


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