The E34 535i Sport was introduced to the UK market in 1989. It utilised the iconic M30 engine that powered BMWs for 28 years starting in 1968 and included championship winning touring cars in the form of the E9 CSLs and the E24 coupes. The 535i Sport had 211hp at 5,700 rpm and 225 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. This propelled the car from 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds via the five-speed manual Getrag gearbox.
All official UK Sport models came factory fitted with aerodynamic M Technic body styling consisting of M front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and an M Technic rear boot spoiler. In addition to this they also came factory fitted with the following standard equipment; cloth or leather BMW sports seats – leather trim was a £1,079 optional extra, an M Technic I steering wheel, limited-slip differential, 30mm lower M Technic sports suspension manufactured by Boge/Bilstien, a close ratio 5-speed manual gearbox or the switchable 4-speed ZF automatic transmission (a £1,860 optional extra), Shadowline tail pipe trim, chrome exterior trim or shadowline trim (a £389 cost option), and 15-inch BBS alloy wheels, although the very earliest Sport models came with larger 415mm BBS forged TRX alloys with metric tyres.
Shadow-line exterior trim, M Technic Sports Package: Front spoiler with integral bumper, Rear spoiler, Rear apron with integral bumper, Lateral sill extensions – all body-coloured; M Technic sports suspension, Limited-slip differential with 25% locking action, BMW front sports seats, M Technic leather sports steering wheel and gear knob, Leather gear lever gaiter, Leather hand brake lever and gaiter, Rear seat head restraints, Front and rear electric windows with “one touch” function, Electrically-operated tilt and slide sunroof, Check control system, Headlamp washer system, Front fog lamps, Electrically heated driver’s door lock and door mirrors, On-board computer, 195 TR 415 cross-spoke alloy wheels, Spare AC Schnitzer alloy wheels with tyres, Third brake light, DTM stainless exhaust, Warning triangle, BMW toolkit, Original sales brochure.
Finished in handsome Granite Silver this manual 535i Sport really looks the part. The lustrous metallic paintwork is in excellent order with only one or two light blemishes to report. As to be expected with the age and mileage there are a few small chips on close inspection but these have been touched-in and so could easily go unnoticed. All the lights are clear and the Shadowline trim still appears fresh all round.
Being a Sport model this 535i boasts aerodynamic M Technic body styling for a more commanding presence, with deeper front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and a rear spoiler – which in this case also features a third brake light. The only other non-standard item to note is the stainless DTM exhaust, which really enhances that intoxicating straight-six rasp.
Black leather upholstery is the perfect complement to the silver-grey paintwork. The comfortable sports seats offer plenty of support on more spirited drives and the leather still retains a lovely matte sheen. Even with the mileage of 118k the deep bolsters show very few signs of wear, which is also true of other commonly worn items like the steering wheel and gear knob. Looking closely the dash and switchgear still feel solid with no marking or damage, and the original cassette player remains in place. Following inspection everything is fully functional.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The 3.4-litre M30 straight six sounds magnificent on test through the stainless exhaust system. Coupled with a silken manual ‘box and limited-slip diff the 535i Sport packs plenty of fun with all the practicality of a family saloon. Under the bonnet of this example you’ll find a remarkably tidy engine bay. There’s no rust to be found and much of the original factory-applied wax is still visible to the metal components. The car has been really well maintained from new, which is not only clear from its condition but also from the stamped service booklet and accompanying paperwork. There are 22 stamps in total with invoices for the most recent maintenance work.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The car sits on its original set of 415mm cross-spoke alloy wheels, all of which remain in great condition, including the spare. They are shod in period metric tyres with some age-related wear to report, but a spare set of alloys is also present with the vehicle. These larger AC Schnitzer wheels are wrapped in quality tyres with plenty of tread remaining and can be fitted in place of the originals upon request. The brakes are in fine fettle and work well on test.
This early 535i Sport was first registered in August 1991. It was supplied new by Cooper BMW in Cobham who went on to service the car twelve consecutive times following on from the Running-in Inspection they also carried out at 1,017 miles. Since 2003 the maintenance has been carried out by a few different garages but the mileage between services has never exceeded 7k. The most recent Inspection II was done just 2k miles ago but a fresh oil service will be carried out upon sale for the new keeper’s piece of mind.
Bayerische Motoren Werke i.e. Bavarian Motor Works, the automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company was founded in 1916, starting as an aircraft-engine manufacturer.
Due to restrictions they shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 and consequently to automobiles in 1928 producing DIXI, effectively Austin 7, licensed from the Austin Motor Company.
In the thirties, BMW produced on of the eras most elegant cars 327, which could be ordered as a coupe or cabriolet. In addition, they campaigned 328 successfully in sports car racing, including Mille Miglia where a number of aerodynamic specials were introduced.
Post war era, saw BMW almost bankrupt before rising to its current status as one of the leading premium brands.