Tuesday, January 20, 2015

5k: Giotto di Bondo: 1977 BMW 530i E12

Giotto di Bondone (1266-1377 1337) was a Florence born artist who is often credited as being the father of the Italian Renaissance.  His fantastically detailed frescoes cover walls of many Italian churches and his work in perspective and the human form was something not seen for over 1000 years in Europe.  Giotto did not invent the artistic concepts he applied on church walls, but he helped to re-discover a lost capacity that was thoroughly exploited a few years later by the Ninja Turtle renaissance masters.  In the same way, the E12 5-series was not the first fun luxury sedan, but it help to re-ignite the love for driving that was all but lost during the middle-malaise-age.  Find this 1977 BMW 530i offered for $6,900 here on craigslist, located in Lancaster, CA PA. Tip from FuelTruck.

Sure, Giotto had some unintentionally Escher-esque staircases in his work, but he was working with limited information and had likely limited contact with actual pieces of art from antiquity when the mud hit the wall.  The Paul Bracq designed E12 5er was similar in its new take on an old problem approach.  Handling may not be extraordinary compared to modern machines, but put it through the cones against a '77 Skylark the difference is staggering. 

The 530i was powered by a 3.0 liter version of the M30 inline-6 that pushes out 176 horsepower and 185 ft-lbs of torque.  The M30 is fuel injected (known by the i suffix on the BMW's badge) and avoids the big displacement, low compression nonsense that permeated the automotive landscape in the fuel/emissions crisis era. The color on this example is simply gorgeous and works well with the gold BBS basket-weave wheels.

See a cheaper piece of bronze sculpture that you can drive to work? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. I very much doubt that di Bondoni lived to be 111 years old.

    1. It was probably the Mediterranean diet...which in his case was dining al fresco. Lemme fix the typo...

  2. Fleetwood T. BroughamJanuary 20, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    It may have avoided the low compression nonsense, but the 530i couldn't escape all of the emissions mandate casualities. Primarily, I'm talking about the dreaded thermal reactor.....these manifolds were a pox on the car, causing overheating, valve issues, and cracked cylinder heads (the latter issue being also due to a design flaw in the head.)

    Obviously on a car this old, most of these issues should have been resolved, but there was and still is a reason that the subsequent 528i variant was considered highly preferable to this model, and given that they change hands for similar money, might be worth seeking out.

  3. That's an American show car color....very different on this Shape.
    The spoiler looks like an aftermarket I had on a 323 German spec.

    Someone is going to get a head turner.

  4. It looks to be in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania rather than Lancaster, CA. As far as I am aware, Giotto (or Mosaccio for that matter) never created frescos in either location.

    1. i could sure go for an icy cold fresca and one of those super-crunchy pennsylvania sourdough pretzels right now - wonder why i thought of that

  5. God, I loved those. I should have bought the 528i I test-drove in 1983. I've never owned an E12, or an E3.

    Sadly, pretty as this thing may be, it's among those years that got the thermal-reactor smog hardware. Us Californians ought to stick to '75s.


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