This beautiful E34 M5 is only the 2nd example we've bought in Japan over 12 years. The few we have seen over the years have mostly been tired, high mileage, neglected and long past their prime. This particular example was manufactured by hand in Munich at the end of 1991 and imported by BMW Japan and displayed indoors till sold at the end of 1992 and registered at the beginning of 1993. It has been owned by a mature Japanese enthusiast who always kept it garaged, polished, protected and regularly serviced. Throughout it's life it's never been driven hard & has always been carefully parked and cared for. We daresay this may well be not just one of the lowest genuine mileage examples left in existence, but the best kept example of all. It's a concours condition collector's car that deserves to be preserved as one of the last hand built models made by BMW.
Brief History: The E34 M5 is the BMW Motorsport-developed version of the E34 5 Series & was produced at BMW M GmbH in Garching, Germany. Like the previous M5, it was entirely hand-built. A total of only 5,877 examples with the 3.6 litre M engine were assembled between September 1988 & April 1992. The M5 utilized the 535i chassis which was produced at BMW's Dingolfing plant. Assembly was done either by a team of M employees whilst engines were each painstakingly built by hand by BMW M technicians.
Mechanical Specifications: Power was courtesy of the S38 twin-cam 24-valve inline-six, an evolution of the engine used in the E28 M5 and E24 M6. The engine was designated S38B36, with a bore of 93.4 mm and stroke of 86 mm for a total capacity of 3,535 cc producing 232 kW (315 PS; 311 bhp), and 360 N∑m (266 ft∑lbf) at 4750 rpm. Induction was fed via 6 individual 50mm throttle bodies. The added stroke for increase over 3.5 litres was due to an all new forged-steel crankshaft. Camshafts were of course long duration to encourage high rev breathing. Compression ratio was 10:1. The engine also featured Bosch Motronic fuel injection, equal length stainless steel exhaust headers, and three-way ceramic catalysts.
All M5s built before May of 1994 utilized a Getrag 280/5 five-speed manual gearbox mated to a lightweight flywheel with the following ratios: 3.51 (1), 2.08 (2), 1.35 (3), 1.00 (4), 0.81 (5). This was mated to a 3.91:1 final drive.
The chassis of the E34 M5 is based on the MacPherson strut/semi-trailing arm design of the normal E34 M535i but incorporated the following additional handling improvements: 20mm reduction in ride height, 25 percent firmer spring rates, firmer shock valving all around and self-leveling springs in the rear, thicker antiroll bars* (25mm vs. 23mm in the front, 18mm vs. 15mm in the rear) & adjustable rear toe-in
Interior Features: Though the basic architecture of the interior is identical to that of any E34 5 Series, the M5 interior has the following unique items: The instrument cluster contains red needles, an oil temperature gauge under the tachometer (instead of an economy gauge) and an M logo between the speedometer and tachometer. This instrument cluster includes an integrated check control vehicle monitoring system. A three-spoke M-Technic II steering wheel without airbag was also included in the specifications. Like the E28 M5, there are "M5" trim plates on all four door sills and a fully-carpeted trunk with a luggage net and special storage compartment on the left side. All E34 M5s are equipped with sport front seats, identical in shape and adjustment to those fitted as an option to other E34 5 Series models. On European & Japanese spec M5s, the seats could be upholstered in a unique M cloth with leather boolsters and this feature is evident on this example. 20 years ago BMW offered full electrical adjustability with memory, 4 heated seats and dual climate control, electric sunroof and even retractable UV nets for rear seat occupants. The rear view mirror is auto-dimming and of course there's full electrical specification including dead locks. Even 2 decades on, the interior of this car remains one that's a pleasure to be with.
Performance figures: 0-60 mph (97 km/h): 6.3 s. Top speed: 155 mph (250 km/h)(electronically limited).
But if the luxurious surroundings and long-legged stride of the M5 ease you into the treacherous conditions, the jagged howl of the 315bhp straight-six spurs you on to look beyond the big saloonís ability to cosset. At first you wonder if that the sonorous, searing soundtrack is writing cheques that the engine canít cash, but stick with it & push the throttle deeply and the M5 gets very serious:
At 4000rpm the 3.6-litre engine sends you up the road on a rich seam of torque and as the revs increase, the power continues to build ever more strongly. Between 6000 and 7000rpm the engine is in the sweetest of sweet spots Ė and if that sounds fleeting, it isnít; the M5 is very long geared (third stretches to 100mph) and you find yourself savouring the finale of the metallic symphonic orchestra up front. Keep the M5 singing over 4000rpm and it lives up to its supersaloon billing with ease, even now 20 years after being hand assembled by BMW's M technicians. In fact itís even better than that. The E34 is smaller than equivalent modern four-doors and is almost 200kg lighter than the current M5. The way it keeps its 1650kg under control is simply stunning.
The Ultimate Driving Machine: Thereís just a bit of initial understeer at the limit, and even when you deliberately provoke it the M5 seems happier to adopt small oversteer angles than mighty power-slides, but itís immensely satisfying to use the saloonís competence to good effect. As you get more committed to the throttle, so you learn that the M5 has enormous reserves of grip and seemingly limitless composure. Itís an astonishingly wieldy, nimble car. Only slow steering slightly spoils the picture, but you soon forget about that and revel in the engineís response and the chassisí remarkably tweakable balance. If the sign of a truly great chassis is its ability to adapt to the driverís every whim, then the E34 M5 is from the top drawer. It takes time to uncover this precise adjustability though, to learn how to get the best from the big straight-six with racebred tuning, but itís worth every effort. Itís a car you have to show commitment to before it reveals its soul. A car you could spend a great deal of time with and never get bored of. A true classic in every sense.
Condition of this example is absolutely flawless. At Japanese trade auction this car was awarded a grade 4.0b (Original auction sheet copy is available to serious inquirers). When we came across it it was hard to believe the condition was so flawless after all this time and naturally there was a fight between ourselves and competition to win this car through the highest bid. It wasn an expensive car to secure, but unique quality like this is priceless.
As pictures show, this is as perfect condition as there can be - throughout. Having never seen salt in it's life in Japan this car has absolutely no corrosion on the underside or anywhere else, nor any oil leaks. It's an absolutely perfect concours condition E34 M5.
Servicing & Maintenance Work: Since arriving to the UK this M5 has received a comprehensive service program too ensure it runs perfectly for the new owner. Service items incude: Oil & filter change, air filter changed, new Bosch spark plugs, Bosch distributor cap & rotor arm. Gearbox oil has been changed along with the diff oil, we only use genuine BMW parts and high quality Castrol fluids. Valve clearances WERE ALL carefully checked and logged (data sheet available). We found that every clearance was within BMW tolerances, which confirmed what we already knew that this is a genuine tight low mileage engine that has been very well looked after by itís previous owner in Japan.
Inside of the engine is spotlessly clean. In addition this M5 has also received a full health check and diagnostic check by respected BMW M specialists Autotechnik.
Test Drive: This M5 drives exceptionally well, with light but communicative steering, nimble & playful handling which belies its weight & size. Powered by the fantastic S38B36 unit, this pre-vanos M engine is a joy with a marked step in power from 4000RPM and a wonderful free revving nature.. Showing just 43,847 original miles(70,564 kilometers) this E34 M5 3.6 represents a great investment for the future with low mileage original rust free cars now extremely difficult to find and we are seeing it continue to rise in value. Clearly a confirmed classic now of course, this example really deserves viewing to appreciate itís outstanding condition. This E34 M5 has lived all itís life on salt free roads and it really shows. Currently stored in a clean dry environment with our UK partners for European cars, JT Auto Classics. Although in dry safe storage, it's fully UK registered so the car is driven from time to time to keep it healthy. Needless to say it's complete with itís original handbooks, service history & paperwork etc.
Check out the walk around video!
Price: £POA. Contact us with serious enquiries to arrange viewing or to reserve this unique E34 M5.
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