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Whilst we are all dealing with Covid-19 and the extraordinary times set upon us, this has allowed me crack on with finishing my E28 M535i (on a separate thread) and scratch another itch i have had brewing for some time in the shape of an E12!


I actually started out looking for a E28 M5 and quickly found myself mid search ending up on E12 M535i images, old for sale adverts and reading about other peoples projects. Thats when i came across Reg No: RDA 30 - a Henna Red E12 M535i that was previously owned by a member on here for many years and most recently owned by a Dutch chap who again, decided to sell before getting on with any major restoration work.


I need to say thanks to Eric (Dutch chap) who was super helpful to me whilst considering buying his M535i - sent tonnes of images, videos, recommissioned the car mechanically and spent 45 minutes with me on video call showing me around the good, the bad and the ugly. Ultimately, in the end i passed up on the car as i spent the past 3 years restoring my E28 M535i in between work, travel and deciding what route i wanted to go which cost me a lot of time, money and enjoyment of driving the car. I didn't want that again so immediately parked the idea and promised myself no more until the E28 M535i was complete...then i would know if its just boredom during CV19 or if the idea would go away once i started to enjoy driving the E28 M535i. Again, its been 3 years!!


As with all best intentions, they are not the solution to solve our problems and before i knew it i had somehow found myself in contact with a motorbike collector about a Ducati that - ironically -came about through someone helping me source an E28 M5 that i actually didn't want... It turned out the gentleman who owned the Ducati had many bikes in his collection and like any treasure hunt i asked the inevitable question - "do you collect cars?" Does he what...!!!!


What came across via an email in the form of a 6 page Excel spreadsheet + a WeTransfer link to download supporting images and videos simply blew me away. I wont get into the car list as i wont know where to start but in short i will tell you where i started.... the columns with the letter B.


In amongst the plethora of cars was of course a 2002 Turbo, E23 745i (M88 engine) manual, E30 333i, E30 Alpina C7, E34 Alpina B10 and then..... a E12 530 MLE.



What happened next was pretty damn obvious and yes, best intentions and all that got cast aside immediately. Anyone who knows how rare it is to find an E12 is in good condition will know how even rarer a very clean E12 M535i is... the E12 530 MLE is probably next to unicorn status in terms of rarity, provenance and so on...


So, today i can say i am the owner of a E12 530 MLE, number 23 of 110 Type 1 models ever built, that will come to the UK in the next few months (pending lockdown, shipping dates etc...). From the research i have done so far - limited at best - i dont believe there are any other 530 MLE in the UK?


I waited 3 years to finish my E28 M535i and like waiting for that one bus you desperately want to arrive.... two come along at the same time! :)


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Edited by ROOTS.

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Thank you for sharing your amazing journey to the uber rare car.


Is that a South African M5 Diamantschwartz with Lotus white highline finish next to your car in the last picture?  Do you have any more pictures of it?


Do you perchance have any pictures of the 745?


Looking forward to many more pictures of your MLE when it arrives in the UK.


Best regards,






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I managed to get in touch with Uli Sanne the previous owner of the 530 MLE i bought who shared some imagery with me from the last BMW event he ran the car in October 2008 in Kyalami race track. Interestingly the car has covered 124km in the 11.5 years since Uli sold it to the car collector i bought it from... Crazy!


At the same time Ulrich Thieme from e12.de got in touch as he saw the car being registered on the M Registry and sent me a link to all 530 MLE he is aware of in existence. The common feeling amongst the community is only 7 road cars remain including number #23/108.












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