Cheers for the replies, Roots & Anthony.
I’m not surprised there’s no responses with more info on this one, 12 years is a bit of a long time with no updates.
I have only a nostalgic interest in this car and I’m not looking to buy or restore it, I’d just prefer for it to have survived rather than gone over the bridge like so many others. I have always liked the 5 series and driven/owned a few, so it seems a shame that their (relatively) low values means more and more are going to the crusher.
Since this thread exists for this particular car, I thought I’d put the info I have about it on record here, where it can be found if the car should ever re-emerge. It would be good if someone (thread owner or a mod) could update the title with the UK registration: TDD 930X. Not sure it’ll ever be back in the UK with that registration though since it was last seen in the Netherlands.
I acquired the car in August 1986, purchased from the previous owner who was based near to Rye in E Sussex. I don’t have and can’t remember the name of previous owner, I just remember he was reasonably wealthy and dispatched one of his employees to show me the car and let me drive it. The car was a delight to drive. I can’t remember the guy who showed me round it, although I have one abiding memory of him – I can remember the smell – he later told me was doing some pig farming on the side (!). That made sure I cleaned the interior thoroughly when I got it home. It had about 75,000 miles on it when I bought it – don’t have exact figures, just an old MOT from around that time. I think I paid about £5k for it. It was pretty sharp when I bought it, no significant panel damage or rust (see below for an exception), very clean interior (ignoring the pigsh*t) and drove really nicely. Since it was only 5 years old and always serviced regularly (as I recall), no surprise here.
When I bought the car, I had been told that Nigel Mansell had been the first owner. I couldn’t easily check up on this as you couldn’t see the full history of a car’s owners in the log book. In previous times (up to late 60s/early 70s) you could see full owner name & address history for the car. I recall the handbook and service history had Nigel’s name written in it, but this is not exactly full provenance. Allegedly he owned a few of these, buying (or maybe dealer loan cars?) them and swapping them for new one after a year. Anybody know Nigel in order to check this?
I owned TDD 930X for about a year. It was a great drive, superb engine with all the usual BMW driving strengths, lovely heavily weighted controls and balanced handing. It had the slightly weird dogleg first on the Gertrag box though. I went for the M535i originally because I wanted something that could cover the ground quickly without attracting too much attention. However I ended up buying one in white with Martini stripes – so much for trying to keep it discreet! It was great for fast A roads and motorways – the newly opened M25 (with no speed cameras) was a good place to try it out. It’s surprising how sharp some of the bends on the M25 are when you’re at speed. This was my first BMW but I have always loved the 5 series, I think the M5 (and the M535i before it) is all you need from a car - quality build, easily accessible performance with loads of space for 5 adults.
It was pretty reliable while I owned it, I had a friend who was a BMW dealer mechanic (handily!) who sorted out the odd niggle. The only one I can remember was a cracked exhaust manifold (is that a “they all do that sir” problem for these?) which was welded rather than replaced. The body was immaculate, except for patches of rust inside the door shuts near the check strap (again: is this normal for these models?). I repaired this myself, although it wasn’t my finest piece of panel repair work I’m afraid. Other than that it just had regular servicing.
I sold the car sometime in 1987 for about £6k. The guy who bought it was a collector and he was interested in it particularly because of the Nigel Mansell heritage. He was based somewhere near Bedford and was building up a collection of cars. My main memory of him was that he owned a Cosworth RS 500, which I took for a blast up the road once we’d concluded the sale – great fun!
It’s interesting to compare the £6k I sold it for with the £7k apparently being asked for it in 2008. It seems second hand M535’s haven’t varied much in price over the years.
I’m including my pictures of the car, again as a way of passing on its history to whoever gets it next, assuming it has managed to survive.
If anyone needs to contact me in the future and I’m not replying to this thread, then just message me and I’ll respond eventually.