Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Oil Burner: 1985 BMW 524TD

The E28 generation BMW 5-series market lives somewhere in that sweet no-mans-land between discarded junk and desirable classic, and the low mile, clean examples are starting to fetch decent money.  The 524TD is a turbo diesel version was only imported into the US for two years.  The USDM 524TD was sold with a low power diesel engine and an automatic transmission, making it just about the slowest, cheapest and least loved E28 available.  Find this 1985 BMW 524TD offered for $6000 near Seattle, WA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

From the seller:

1985 Bmw 542td 
VIN: Xxx 
condition: excellent 
cylinders: 6 cylinders 
drive: rwd 
fuel: diesel 
paint color: white 
size: mid-size 
title status: clean 
transmission: automatic 
type: sedan 
Hi, selling my old collector BMW 524td 1985. very hard to find the clean like this one, Very clean in and out runs perfect. I have the work history and I am the second owner,work done recently spent over $6000 I have the all the paper work to prove it.
Serious buyer only with best offers.  

See a better way to drive compression ignition?


  1. Mandating “serious buyers only” seems unnecessary since I don’t expect to many tire-kicking joy riders will have much interest in this rocket ship. Buy it and park it in the faculty lot of your local community college to give the place some academic cred.

  2. Wow, that is clean. That's really hard to do with a diesel. If you reach into the engine bay of mine, you're already filthy.

  3. M badge on a diesel just looks all kinds of wrong to me.

  4. Eat your heart out Greenwich; there, I said it.
    *this BMW would accelerate 0-60 mph in 13.7 sec, 0-100 km/h in 14.5 sec and quarter mile time is 19.6 sec.

  5. Replies
    1. Forget diesel... bring it to California and swap in something interesting and never have to smog it.

    2. Thats what im planning on doing to mine if it doesnt sell i have on exactly like this one and im out here in california

  6. I can't imagine how much faster the automatic shifts now that the console is wrapped in "carbon fiber".

    But seriously, this is a pretty nice car that I didn't even know existed. I'd keep it as it is and enjoy the rarity and forgive the sloth-like acceleration.

    But if I owned it, I'd just tell people I have a turbo BMW. No need to mention the diesel part. I'd cruise the streets looking for someone in a 240D that wants to race.

  7. I used to own one of these. While obviously not fast compared to a gas-powered BMW of the era, compared to the other similar diesels of the era (such as the W123 300D turbo Mercedes, which I also owned), it was a rocketship, and it handled worlds better than a comparable Benz, basically just like any other E28 BMW. It’s too bad BMW didn’t import more of them because they were quite nice for a 1980s diesel, but because they’re rare in the US, the diesel-specific parts are tough to get and pricey—some have to come over on the slow boat from Deutschland—but many other parts are shared with other E28 models and readily available.

    I sold mine to some guy in Seattle several years ago who was excited enough about buying mine that he flew down to my hometown in Northern California and drove it home. But for the fact that mine was a different color, I’d be wondering if this Seattle seller was actually selling my old car!

  8. Whatever power it's lacking from the diesel must surely be offset by the weight savings from the carbon fiber shift surround?

  9. This car has been for sale for months now. With no movement on the price since last October.


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