1989 BMW 525i SE Automatic E34

What’s the ultimate everyday 5 Series?

Bryan says E34.



Year 1989

Mileage 79,000

Engine M20B25

Acquired September 2017

Dream car Black Lamborghini Countach

Dad drove Ford Granada MkI

Worst car owned Fiat Uno

Why did you choose the car?

I owned a 325i E30 and although it was a great car I just thought it was too small. I loved the shape though, so the logical next step was to buy a 1990s 5 Series. I always wanted one of those after watching the 535i car chase in Ronin. The colour of mine was also a plus point. ‘Glacier Blue’ looks silver at night but bright blue in the day. The fact that this one was totally standard and had been owned by an RAF mechanic who loved it also convinced me that this was the car for me.

What’s the best bit?

In all honesty this is the best car I have ever driven. I saw a funny quote online which made me laugh but it’s so true: “it rides like you’re flying along on a carpet made of marshmallows!” It’s a real driver’s car. Mine is an automatic with the Economy and Sport buttons. I tend to cruise around in Economy and that is fine by me.

What’s the worst bit?

Keeping your eye out for any signs of rust bubbling, and also for when the OBC starts to play up giving random messages, which are almost always down to faulty sensors.

Any modifications?

Unless you count a period 1990s Sony radio cassette player with remote, the car is totally standard in every way and that’s just how I like it.

What’s it like to run?

The online groups are amazing. I was worried about buying one but you can ask anything and not feel like a muppet, everybody is so welcoming. I keep my eye on eBay for any spare parts I might need, there are plenty about.

Any advice for buyers?

Join the online groups and ask questions. Not all the best cars are for sale but if you put a genuine shout-out asking around then you may just get somebody who is ready to sell but has not listed yet and is ready to offer you the perfect car. That’s how I got mine.

Any funny mishaps?

I had just bought the car and was driving it back home listening for every little rattle/sound, when the console beeped that the temp was 58 degrees! I pulled over fearing engine overheating but found out the OBC temp is related to outside temp not engine temp and it was just a faulty sensor, now fixed!

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