Monday, April 15, 2013

2k Flash: TwoK Tan Teuton: 1986 BMW 535i E28 5-spd

The E28 BMW 535i is one of those classic 1980s sedans that can be picked up for cheap, run forever and can be a blast to drive.  In 1981 BMW combined a large inline-6, rear wheel drive, optional limited slip diff and manual transmission to create the first in a long line of luxury 5-series sedans.  Find this 1986 BMW 535i e28 5-spd for sale in Willow Glen, CA for $1,800 via craigslist.  Big thanks to tip from Jeffrey L.

This E28 BMW 535i looks in fair shape for the asking price and features "tucked" bumpers which look tidy and more Euro compared to the standard OE USDM cow catchers. By tucked, we think the seller may mean that the bumper shocks have been punctured and compressed, bringing the structural beam closer to the body. If so - that's certainly a cheap/free way to improve the looks, but of course the crashworthiness will be compromised.

The 535i is powered by the M30B34, a 3.4 liter 12-valve SOHC inline-6 that puts out 182 horsepower. This one looks like it has been serviced reasonably well. We do spy a junkyard flappy-door MAF sensor (pink paint dot) in addition to the open element K&N style cone air filter.

Inside this E28 is in decent shape for an $1800 car, it certainly isn't perfect and according to the seller the "radio works...kinda."

We spy a hitch receiver or a bizarre looking aftermarket exhaust pipe - we hope is it s a tow setup as something like a 535i will tow a few desert toys or a moderate U-Haul trailer without breaking a sweat.

See another Free28?  Email us here:


  1. Wow, congrats to the buyer on this one.

  2. The E28 535i is a great car, and $1800 is definitely on the cheaper end of E28 values. Then again, 254,100 miles is a lot of miles - even for an E28. While the list of mods and maintenance suggests someone cared about this car, it also suggests that it'll still feel like a 254,100 mile car.

    If that is some sort of tow hitch (hard to tell), then where is the exhaust pipe? That's pretty much the location it would normally emerge from. The part that really bugs me though...when you see air fresheners in cars for sale. To me it says, "This car I'm trying to sell you really stinks!"

    Sorry, it's a Monday morning.

  3. Hope that those oil stains are from the seller's previously owned Triumph.

  4. Upon closer inspection, it appears this is the rare "illest" edition 535i. That alone has to double the market value, right?

  5. As the proud owner of an '89 E34 535i with almost 270K miles on it, I can attest to the bulletproof nature of these cars. The only major failure I've experienced in the last three years was the water pump dying (I believe these came from the factory with plastic impellers).

    RE the tailpipe: the seller states in the ad that it has custom exhaust.

    RE air freshener: based solely on broad stereotypes and assumptions (lives in San Jose, CA, modded BMW with "illest" badge) the owner of this vehicle is a young asian male (mid to late 20s). This demographic has a certain fascination with air fresheners, and I would not take this as some sort of attempt to mask a foul odor in the car.

    The future owner of this car can look forward to style, comfort and luxury coupled with excellent road manners. The future owner of this car can also look forward to spending 2-3x the value of this car in maintenance over the next few years. But if that scares you, why are you reading this site? ;)

  6. As I mask my foul odors, thinking of my Oriental forefathers, it occurs to me that you could scrap this and make 1800.00. That alone makes it worth the price it if drives and doesnt leak too much oil......

  7. Don't forget the original CA blue plates - those are the "illest" feature of all!


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