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MadeinWigan

Avus E34 540/6 Touring restoration

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Another month, another punt on a rough E34. This one needs quite a lot of work doing to it and is going to take some time. It's an individual model and i'm fairly sure that it is the only RHD 540/6 Touring that was built in this colour.

I wasn't looking to buy anothe car after just buying a 95 E34 M5 but then this came up on ebay and I couldn't resist. It's high on miles with 196k on the clocks and it's had a fairly hard life by the looks of things. Here's a few pictures to tell the story.

 

These are the pictures from the advert and were all I had before I committed to buy.

 

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I took a trip over to Newcastle to pick it up and when I saw it in the flesh it was a disappointment. The bonnet was faded, paint had been peeled off where stickers had been removed, it was filthy and just looked really rough. I bought it anyway because I knew I would never get another chance to own the only Avus 540/6T and there was a very good chance that if I didn't buy it, it would be snapped up by one of the E30 chaps and used as a donor car. The price wasn't bad and included a full Bilstein B12 kit and an E32 3.15 lsd.

 

Nice mpg on the way home!

 

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This shot shows a really faded bonnet
 

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The strip down starts to assess the damage. The car appears do have been in an accident early on in its life and there is evidence of repair in the right corner of this shot. Also a bit of rust that needs dealing with. If you have a touring it is worth checking under the tray where the jack is kept. You may have something similar.

 

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How bad is this rot! Another throwback to the accident, i'll be looking for replacement sills for both sides. I kept on digging at the sills and more kept on flaking off. Not pretty at all!

 

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All clear behind the front wings. They are being replaced with ones off an M5.

 

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Here is the touring with the panels from the M5 fitted, the long transformation has begun.
 

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Edited by MadeinWigan

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I'm going to split the work on this into a few sections otherwise it will be a bit overwhelming.

Part 1 - Strip the interior out ready to attack the welding needed. I've already got all of the back end stripped. Now need to find a solid shell that I can cut apart to repair any areas that need attention.

Part 2 - While the inetrior is out I may take the opportunity to replace the interior with a darker coloured/ better condition alternative

Part 3 - Mechanicals. It came supplied with a B12 Bilstein kit which looks almost new. This will mean i'll probably do the sls delete mod. After that it's a case of replacing any parts that need replacing and making sure that it feels right.

The engine feels very solid, one of the best that i've had. No nasty noises anywhere and it is an alusil block. The gearbox is very healthy as well though the clutch pedal isn't quite right. I've got a spare clutch and flywheel if necessary. I've got an E39 shifter to fit, the current one is like a wizards sleeve.

Other than that it has the usual inoperative air con and the cruise control doesn't work

Part 4 - Bodywork. I'll get some paintless dent repair done, have the reaired sills painted and give the rest of the panels a good buffing.

Loads of work ahead!

Edited by MadeinWigan

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It could well turn out to be a stunning car - it needs work yes, but don't they all?

I'm sure Stephan will be along to confirm your suspicions about the rarity of the colour - Avus is stunning and especially so on a Touring. There really can't be many 540i/6 Tourings left now - probably just the time to make one nice example.

Good luck with the project - I hope I can arrange to pop up soon and bring along another Touring for inspiration - I'm just ready to fit slightly taller rear springs, retro-fit cruise control, replace the glass tailgate and the dreaded shocks and lastly fit some staggered 18" Alpina's icon_cool.gif

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Thanks chaps.

I've explained the situation to a friend who is more into modern stuff, saying that if you really want one of the RHD tourings or any older car, you have to make sacrifices and be prepared for a bit of ugliness. He thinks that i'm crazy and i'm slighty inclined to agree. Why am I so drawn to a near twenty odd year old design when there is newer stuff that is technically better.

I've found a post by Stephan about the 62 RHD 540/6's made

I have just got all equipmentlists of the 62 manufactured HK32 540iT/6 and I will start with exterior/interior, looks like this;

Exterior

1, Oxfordgr�n 14 cars

2, Calypsorot 7 cars

2, Orientblau 7 cars

2, Arktissilber 7 cars

5, Cosmosschwarz 5 cars

6, Fjordgrau 4 cars

7, Arktisgrau 3 cars

8, Alpinweiss III 2 cars

8, Sorrentblau 2 cars

8, Diamantschwarz 2 cars

11, Hellrot 1 car

11, Kaschmirbeige 1 car (only one with LSD, all others has ASC+T)

11, Technoviolett 1 car

11, Avusblau 1 car (only one with Individualpaint)

11, Petrol-Mica 1 car

11, Ascotgr�n 1 car

11, Aspensilber 1 car

11, Montrealblau 1 car

11, Brokatrot 1 car

Interior

1, Silbergrau Leather 21 cars

2, Schwarz Leather 20 cars

3, Silbergrau Hell Leather 9 cars

4, Pergament Leather 8 cars

5, Anthrazit Velour 2 cars

5, Silbergrau Velour 2 cars

Truly rare cars from the start, even more so with all colors known=)

Stephan

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Always great to see a rare car falling into the right hands. smile.png

It's absolutely 100% worth saving & I look forward to seeing how you progress.

Good luck!

P.S.-The colour list is interesting,would love to get my hands on 1 of the 2 Diamond Black ones to complement my saloon (if they're still about!).

Edited by 540i/6DB

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I owned one of the black ones a few years ago. Sharkfan said I'd be best to keep it but I didn't realise quite how rare they were. That one was a non sunroof model as well. It was for sale again last year but I think it has since been broken for parts.

I like your black saloon, suits the e34 and t/stars are brilliant.

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Richard,

wow, what a mess, I saw this car come up for sale and wondered what had happened to it. All credit to you for taking it on.

I now know I have one of only 9 light silver grey leather interiors put into these 540's, taken out of one of the 1994 540/6's so thanks for that data.

G

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I owned one of the black ones a few years ago. Sharkfan said I'd be best to keep it but I didn't realise quite how rare they were. That one was a non sunroof model as well. It was for sale again last year but I think it has since been broken for parts.

I like your black saloon, suits the e34 and t/stars are brilliant.

Seen a Cosmos Black one, broken last year (sunroof model) for its engine and box.

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I have to say that despite the massive ability of the E39 cars I do prefer the looks and driving experience of the E34 cars - there are a growing number of people who prefer the slightly older cars for the more 'connected' driving experience. And as I say, I think the E34 is one of the best looking 5's built, certainly better than the E39 and E60/61 but I do think the F10 is a good looking car.

I dearly wish my E34 540i6 Touring was still about; sadly this happened to it....

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It was Orient blue and black leather and the only mod I did was to fit sports seats. Sadly the collision was so heavy the A-post was bent and the drivers door would only open with brute force.

I was made aware fairly quickly how rare a car they are in rhd, I think in total (rhd and lhd) there were fewer E34 540i6 T's than E34 M5 T's and as a day to day car few things are more useful (except maybe an Alpina Touring sleep.png ). But as has been said, it now takes an enthusiast to preserve them. In time I think E34's will become a much envied and desirable car as they are so accomplished yet still fixable by a competent diy'er - it also helps that they are so damned good looking.

I know you're keen on changing the interior (I considered it with both my Alpina's - I thought about blue for the E39 and black for the E34) but it might, just might, be nice to leave as is; a pale or rare colour interior does subconsciously really make you look after the car and not subject it to the wear and tear that black can more easily bear.

Must PM you about a coming up for get together.icon_cool.gif

Edited by sharkfan

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Such a shame about your Orient Touring. I know what you mean about the light interior, I had a go at cleaning some of the trim and it responded pretty nicely. I do like black as well. Good to have a choice.

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shame you live so bloody far away as would love to come give ya a hand .... sods law ah ..

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I have to say that despite the massive ability of the E39 cars I do prefer the looks and driving experience of the E34 cars - there are a growing number of people who prefer the slightly older cars for the more 'connected' driving experience. And as I say, I think the E34 is one of the best looking 5's built, certainly better than the E39 and E60/61 but I do think the F10 is a good looking car.

I dearly wish my E34 540i6 Touring was still about; sadly this happened to it....

post-29250-0-35512600-1336676436_thumb.j

It was Orient blue and black leather and the only mod I did was to fit sports seats. Sadly the collision was so heavy the A-post was bent and the drivers door would only open with brute force.

I was made aware fairly quickly how rare a car they are in rhd, I think in total (rhd and lhd) there were fewer E34 540i6 T's than E34 M5 T's and as a day to day car few things are more useful (except maybe an Alpina Touring sleep.png ). But as has been said, it now takes an enthusiast to preserve them. In time I think E34's will become a much envied and desirable car as they are so accomplished yet still fixable by a competent diy'er - it also helps that they are so damned good looking.

I know you're keen on changing the interior (I considered it with both my Alpina's - I thought about blue for the E39 and black for the E34) but it might, just might, be nice to leave as is; a pale or rare colour interior does subconsciously really make you look after the car and not subject it to the wear and tear that black can more easily bear.

Must PM you about a coming up for get together.icon_cool.gif

how did that happen???

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I dearly wish my E34 540i6 Touring was still about; sadly this happened to it....

post-29250-0-33484700-1336898283_thumb.j

how did that happen???

It was parked up outside a friends house for a New Years Eve Party a few years ago and a sleepy Taxi driver who'd worked all night fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the road and drove into it. It was shunted 7 or 8 feet backwards, the A-post was bent and the entire front suspension was buggered; that offside front wheel is about an inch further back than it should be. Obviously he woke up then, called his mates who dragged him and his steaming wreck away in an attempt to do a runner.

A passerby caught the make and colour of the car, and name of the taxi firm. After some excellent work by the local Plod (and no small amount of pushing by me) we tracked the bastard down and in the face of a driving without due care, failure to report and failure to leave details he fessed up and I got to claim from his Insurance.

After a derisory offer from the Insurance company they asked for further evidence of the value of the car; I sent them a 42 page fax containing copies of the three magazine articles it had featured in (all stating it was Colgate minty fresh) and a dozen examples of prices higher than their offer and of not so good cars - I ended up 100gbp down on what I paid for the car six months previously and I managed to salvage the wheels, stereo, sports seats and a few other bits and pieces.

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I've had a go at cleaning the rear bench over the last two days with fairly good results. 


Rear benches are always in better condition than the front seats, i'm probably going to have to have the fronts repaired and dyed when funds allow.

Edited by MadeinWigan

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Rear benches are always in better condition than the front seats, i'm probably going to have to have the fronts repaired and dyed when funds allow.

I can highly recommend Nathan at Crewe Furniture Clinic, he did wonders for the E34 Alpina marine blue leather.

Good luck with further progress, excellent start with the leather.

Edited by sharkfan

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