1988 BMW E28 M5 – The Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

June 9th, 2022 by

The E28 M5 is the BMW Motorsport-developed version of the E28 5 Series.  It uses the M88 or S38 twin-cam 24-valve inline-six cylinder engine first introduced in the legendary BMW M1.  The S38, being the “clean” catalyst version of the M88 motor, was introduced to allow E28 M5s sold in the United States, Canada, and Japan to comply with stricter emissions regulations mandated by those governments.  Unlike the other E28 5 Series models, M5s were assembled by a small group of BMW Motorsport technicians who mated the drivetrain and interior trim with pre-painted bodies transported to BMW Motorsport headquarters from the nearby Dingolfing factory.  Out of a total production run of 2,241 vehicles, 1,239 were sent to the US and 101 to Canada.

Because the E28 M5 was hand-assembled yet needed to be manufactured for the North American market in relatively large numbers within a relatively short amount of time (production only lasted from 11/1986 to 11/1987) , BMW of North America was forced to limit the model’s specification to just two color schemes: Black with a Natur (tan) extended leather interior and (officially for Canada only) Black with a Black extended leather interior.  Standard equipment included air conditioning, power seats, power sunroof, cruise control and an AM/FM radio/cassette with BMW Sound System. Heated front seats were technically the only factory option in the US (standard in Canada), though nearly every car was equipped with them.  According to all official BMW documentation, only a Natur extended leather interior was offered in the US market, however, in the final month of production, 30 examples of the E28 M5 with a Black extended leather interior (identical to the black extended leather interior offered in Canada throughout M5 production) were allocated to various dealers across the United States. In total, 101 E28 M5s with a Black extended leather interior were produced for North America, of which 71 were built to Canadian specification and 30 to U.S. specification.

 

This particular M5 is one of the 71 Black/Black Canadian market examples and was purchased directly from its original owner in Canada.  This all factory-original vehicle was produced in September 1987 and was cared for by its owner (who affectionately called the car “April”) for 33 years until Otto’s purchased the car in May 2021 and imported it to the US.  Aside from minor differences in instrumentation (imperial versus metric), US and Canadian E28 M5’s are identical.  This unblemished survivor came to Otto’s with just 83,679 kilometers (51,995 miles) and we look forward to taking up the torch in caring for this vehicle!

The M5 is part of our Private Otto’s Collection, and is not for sale.

Posted in Otto's Collection