Clean E28: 1987 BMW 535is – SOLD!

Feb 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

February 24, 2022 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

The E28-chassis 5-Series remains one of the better bargains on the vintage car marketplace, combining handsome styling with road manners that are completely acceptable by today’s standards. This 1987 535is was originally listed on Craigslist in February 2022 on Long Island with lots of original details intact and a long list of recent maintenance for $14,999. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide confirms this private seller is tracking his car against the enthusiast marketplace and not the standard price guides, as the “High” retail is said to be just $4,650 and “Average” retail is $3,375.  When you do, please remember to mention you saw his 5-Series sedan featured here on

The E28 got hot a few years ago and prices spiked a bit, just like everything else did about the same time. They’ve since cooled off, at least a more reasonable level in terms of what an old 5-Series should actually be worth. That’s not a critique; it’s just a reality that most car collectors don’t give much of a passing glance to a car with more than two doors. The E28 is a great choice, however, for a first-time classic buyer who wants a car they can use that also won’t be horrifically expensive to maintain. The M30 inline-six engine is known to be overbuilt, and parts are still plentiful. The IS-package cars like the one featured here come with some add-ons that gave the standard 5-Series some M5 flavor, including a rear spoiler, front chin spoiler with fog lamps, nicely-bolstered leather bucket seats, and in some cases, an optional limited-slip differential.

The Proto718 YouTube Channel features this 1987 BMW commercial launching the 525is:

The seller’s car is pleasingly stock, or close to stock, with the only major deviation being a set of period-correct BBS wheels. Many of these E28s by now have been upgraded with lowered suspensions, exhaust systems, and larger wheels. None of this bothers me, but it’s always nice to see one that hasn’t been messed with much. The seller confirms that he bought the 535is from the original owner five years ago, so it’s a genuine two-owner example. The biggest “win”, if you will, is a crack-free dash, as those are near impossible to find and your first mission as the next owner will be to protect that dash like it’s your first-born child, as you’ll never find another one (and if you do find someone willing to sell a crack-free dash, plan on spending $1,500 pretty easily). Maintenance performed by the seller includes a must-do valve adjustment, new clutch slave and master cylinders, and since this E28 has the optional limited-slip differential, the seller has replaced the bearings inside. The price is high, so it could be worth negotiating downward a bit.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1987 BMW 535is . Unmolested, rust-free.
It was purchased 5 years ago from the original owner.
Original paint, optional sport Recaro interior in perfect condition. No cracks on the dashboard.
Leather in great condition.
Car has lots of maintenance done in last 3 years and maybe 500 miles that was driven.
LSD differential bearings replaced.
Valve adjustment, ignition system.
Brake Master cylinder replaced,
clutch slave and master replaced
Runs and drives great .
Working heat and A/C
No major leaks, clutch feels strong.
Period correct BBS Wheels.

Great driver..”

Do you have a BMW 535is story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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