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The father of all Motorsport 5 series. The M5 turns 35!

Discussion in 'E12 (1975-1981)' started by southernboy, Jul 23, 2009.

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    southernboy

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    Not may people know it, but the M5 celebrates its 35th birthday this year. As part of the "celebration", I thought that you all might be interested in seeing the very first Motorsport E12 produced. This article came out in the August 1974 edition of Auto Zeitung in Germany, and shows the first car that BMW Motorsport built as a test bed for the E12s. This car has a 3.0 liter carbureted engine from the E3/E9's, as well as a rollover bar (which made the car usless), special BBS wheels, Bilstein suspension, and a 4 speed transmission. Even then they said that they were planning on building a small run of these cars with both 3.0 liter carbureted and injected engines. It seems that the author wasn't blown away by the power (only 180 hp) of the car, but he had nothing but praise for the suspension and the brakes. I guess this really shows how far BMW has come with this concept in the past 35 years.
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    CRKrieger

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    Not many people know it because it isn't. That was the M535i, which was made in both E12 and E28 form with a SOHC M30 engine. The M5 - a distinct model with a DOHC Motorsport engine - did not appear until 1984 for 1985 production. Next year, the M5 will be 25 years old.
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    granthr

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    I guess you could then say it is the 35th birthday of the first publicly sold M products. Although even then you say the CSLs were M cars and what about the 1800tisa? :rolleyes: I do agree there were no true M5s till the mid 80s.
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    CRKrieger

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    Yeah, BMW managed to muck it up along the way. I know that they celebrated the 20th anniversary of "BMW Motorsport" in 1992 at Oktoberfest, so apparently, they regarded it as 1972. In 1972, there were CS coupes, but I believe the TiSA was long gone - and the 2002 turbo didn't debut until '73. I am uncertain when the Motorsport division might have first built customer cars. The racing CSL might have been one. ISTR that the E12 M535i is considered the first Motorsport production model offered for general sale, but "M" didn't even exist at that time. The change of name came along with the M1 around 1979-80.

    M3Driver guest

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    Sure wish I was 35 again......:(

    Anyway, Happy Birthday to the M5. I shall tip a glass in the direction of Munich.....:)
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    southernboy

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    I suppose I did use the term M5 a little too loosely. What I really meant to say was that this is the 35th birthday of the concept of a hand built Motorsport 5 series. (As you can see, M5 is a lot shorter, if unfortunately not as descriptive)
    Now as granthr pointed out, this is certainly not a new idea at BMW, but in this case it does mark the first time that this concept was used in the 5 series, and ultimately represents the very first street cars to be built at BMW Motorsport's facilities in the Preussen Strasse in Munich. (CSL's and 2002 turbos were both produced on the normal production lines in their respective factories)
    Anyway, my goal was not to start a debate on the age of the M5, but to disseminate some information on these very early Motorsport cars. Since there are only a handful of these cars left in existence (and none in the US to my knowledge); I thought that this anniversary would be a good time to share some information on these special cars, and also to recognize the efforts of Bob Lutz, Jochen Neerpasch, and the guys in the Preussenstrasse. Without their foresight, we very likely would not be enjoying the great line of M products that we have today.
    As M3Driver said, "tip a glass in the direction of Munich."

    e12m535i guest

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    M535i in the USA?

    I was just wondering if anyone is aware of any e12 M535i's in the US? I just purchased one in Europe and will be bringing it back to the US at the end of my current expat assignment over here. In the meantime, there will be many trips to the 'ring, Munich, the Alps etc.
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    eam3

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    az3579

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    Pleeeeease, for all things holy, do not let them federalize it.. I sure hope it's exempt! I think there is a cutoff year for not requiring federalization, just don't know what it is.
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    CRKrieger

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    I personally know of at least two, and I've seen one firsthand. Both are owned by regulars at MyE28.com.

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