HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1991 BMW 535i

Pick of the Day: 1991 BMW 535i

A 535i with a manual transmission


All it takes is three words to evoke the essence of BMW’s engineering philosophy that dates back at least the last 50 years: Ultimate Driving Machine. BMW injected a fun-to-drive demeanor into every car it manufactured in the last few decades, and its luxury-appointed sport sedans were no exception.

The Pick of the Day is a 1991 BMW 535i listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Smithfield, Rhode Island. (Click the link to view the listing)

1991 BMW 535i
1991 BMW 535i

“The car runs and drives great. Fully serviced, ready to enjoy,” the listing states.

Launching in 1988, the E34 chassis 5-Series was a successor to the E28 and was offered in both sedan and wagon variants. This E34 sedan from 1991 is a “sleeper” in the sense that it combines executive luxury looks with a five-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip differential, and a sport-tuned suspension with front and rear stabilizers. After all, an engaging driving experience and luxurious appointments don’t have to be mutually exclusive features.

This 535i is presented in stock form with exception of a modern Kenwood sound system with added connectivity for Pandora, Apple CarPlay, and additional inputs. For its time, the 5-Series was a well-appointed sedan, offering dual-zone climate control, heated and power-adjustable sideview mirrors, an electric sunroof, power windows, and cruise control. Every 1991 535i was also pre-wired for a CD player and a cellular telephone – features that were on the cutting edge of technology 30+ years ago.

1991 BMW 535i
1991 BMW 535i

The E34 was offered with a long list of available engines throughout its lifetime, including an inline-four, a straight-six, and a V8. This example comes with an M30B35 straight-six that was rated at 208 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque when new.

Despite showing 241,000 miles on the odometer, this 535i’s motor is well-sorted according to the listing. Recent work under the seller’s ownership includes replacement of the tires, rear brakes, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and distributor cap and rotor. In addition, the suspension received new strut mounts, Bilstein springs, and struts. “There has been extensive service to get the car back on the road,” states a printed listing of services items that accompanies the listing.

Original window sticker for The Pick of the Day
Original window sticker for The Pick of the Day

The window sticker accompanying the ad shows a suggested retail price of $44,555, which translates to $94,756 in 2022 dollars.

That makes the seller’s asking price of $13,500 or best offer a relative bargain!

To view the listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.


  1. Have you ever taken one of these supposedly great old BMWs in for service? $13.5 grand doesn’t even come close to mitigation of what the maintenance on these things run. Suspension bushings? Pads and rotors? A power window motor or (gasp!) a seat motor fails? Jeezus wept, check the price for a clutch, or auto trans rebuild. Direct personal experience, when the HVAC actuator goes, and IT WILL, it’s $2 grand in labor to get the air to blow out of the vents you choose.
    Nope. Just nope.


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