100,000 miles too measly? Good – let's talk about doubling it…

By Matt Bird / Sunday, January 10, 2021 / Loading comments

Later this month BMW will reveal its new M5 CS to the world, and a mighty thing it promises to be as well. The current F90 is the best M5 in years, and the CS upgrades have created some fantastic M cars thus far: M2, M3 and M4 have all been great. If rather expensive.  

No doubt the big BM will elevate expectations of fast saloons again – it has already lapped the Lausitzring as fast as a GT3 – and everyone who does a big skid in it will love the CS. Perhaps the opposition might try to compete with the more focused M5, though it seems unlikely. The next big step change for the supersaloons will probably be when they adopt downsized, hybridised powertrains. Gulp. 

Still, any excuse to talk about the original M5. As we’re all patently aware by now, there really hasn’t been a gamechanger for fast four doors quite like that E28. The performance it offered simply hadn’t been seen in family saloon cars before 1986; while gains were inevitably made over the years, the redefinition of expectations that everyone experienced when the M5 came along hasn’t happened since.

Consequently, they’ve become collectible. Again, that’s not really news, the clamouring for early M5s probably first starting with the old F10 generation. For some it was too digital, too aloof and too ordinary to feel like a great M5 – the original was cheap back then and blessed with a sensational engine. Values went up. And up. And then up some more… 

Which leads us to this point. Though you’d never guess it, this M5 is showing 191,000 miles on its odometer, making it one of the highest mileage cars on PH full stop. As might be expected, the miles were accrued before values climbed up – it was showing 189,000 miles when it went into storage a decade ago, and 185,000 back in 2006. Good on those owners, too – this was probably a joy in which to cover tens of thousands of miles in, particularly with that M88 straight six up front.

Even back then, though, the E28 will have been a rare car. It’s hard to believe now when there seems to be an M5 on every other street, but just 187 right-hand drive M5s made it to the UK. Given that was more than 30 years ago now, you can be certain that quite a lot fewer than 187 now survive – remember these were sub-£10k cars not all that long ago. As a 1988 car, this Alpine White M5 with the M Technic styling kit – BMW selling M car buyers iffy extras isn’t new – is number 172, right towards the end of the production run. And isn’t it stunning? Every single bit, from seats to seals and arches to exhaust, looks far fresher than it has any right to at almost 200k, a testament surely to the attention that’s been lavished on it.  

For the privilege of owning an original M5 like this, a buyer will be asked to part with £54,995. Not the most expensive E28 out there – see here for that, and sit down first – if still a lot of cash for a 33-year-old 5 Series. The advert implies further appreciation might be possible given what happened with E30 M3 values; that seems a long shot given this particular car’s mileage and the lack of motorsport kudos that so obviously helped the smaller car. What’s far easier to guarantee, though, is that this M5 will be a joy to drive through 200,000, brimming with all the performance and swagger that made it so desirable in the first place. It won’t be as fast as a CS – it won’t be as fast as a lot of things nowadays – but you might just like it more. Whether that joy is worth more than £50,000 is up to you. 

See the original advert here

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