Green Around the Gills – Sharknose 1987 BMW E28

1987 BMW 518i

Everybody getting bored of the continuous E28 posts popping up around these parts, raise your hand. Good. I don’t really care – I like them so much.

Now that little bit of tending-to-the-reader-base is out of the way, let’s focus on this exquisitely good-looking sharknose which parked under my window on Sunday. Yeah, sometimes I have to go to actual trouble when photographing cars, but this Beamer as close as parked itself on my lap. Naturally, out came the camera.

Please ignore the ice on the car and try to imagine your way under it, so you get a complete picture of the BMW. Honestly, I should put up a sign that said “Anybody with an interesting old car, please brush off the snow and ice before parking.”

Every time you see an E28, there’s always bound to be just something about it that’s less-than-ideal. With the gold 520i, it was the shunt on the front that had left a mark. With the M535i, it was the really wide Borbet wheels. With the 524td, there was the whole business of not-probably-actually-running and most likely being abandoned – and with this one, it’s the fact it’s a 518i. That means 105hp, which is about 2/3 of what one really needs on a BMW 5-series. Truth be told, the M10B18 is an excellent real-world choice as it’s fairly bomb-proof, but judging by the experience behind the wheel of a friend’s 518i Bavaria it really needs a heavy right foot to get out of its way.

But what it loses on outright grunt, it gains on style points. These lattice BBS:s are just perfect – and the fact they’re on winter rubber is actually ballsy. I imagine cleaning them from corrosive smush with a toothbrush is a day’s work.

Speaking of corrosion, the BMW is fairly rust-free. A 25-year-old car with zero rust is a rare sight, and the 518i does have a few bubbles, but it’s actually really tidy in comparison to most BMW:s of the same age.

This is why there are precious few rear shots of the car: it was so completely iced over at the rear there’s nothing to photograph. What there is, however, is a Finikor rust-proofing sticker. That’s always a good sign.

There is some evidence of a frontal shunt here, too, but it’s still reasonably easy to put right with a bumper swap. The leading edge of the hood doesn’t look good when inspected close, but it’s not rotten through. There’s a couple of cracks in the windshield, so that’ll probably have to be swapped before inspection time.

Depending of the condition of the running gear, the BM is worth something in the region of 1500 EUR. It can have anything between 200 000 and 400 000 kilometres on the clock, and fetch roughly the same price, as long as it’s inspected and doesn’t have deafening lifter tick. How does it make you feel?

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