Ciaron’s BMW E28 525 ‘lux’ (1988)


The E28 5-series BMW marks a number of “firsts” for the German manufacturer. It was the first 5-series BMW to include a high performance M5 variant. It was the first BMW ever that could be ordered with a diesel engine, and it was also the first 5-series to feature cruise-control and ABS brakes (these last ones aren’t as exciting we know, but they were important milestones for cars of this era!)

The E28 was originally released with the tried and tested M10 inline-four petrol engine (which is often found in E30 3-series cars of the same era), the M20 inline-six petrol engine, and the diesel-powered M21 inline-six.

We know we harp on about the M10 BMW engine a lot, but it really is an icon when it comes to engines, over 3.5 million of them were built and they came in just about every shape and size you can imagine from gutsy little 1.5 litre units, right up to turbocharged monsters used for F1 cars! (well technically the F1 car engine was an “M12” unit, but it was largely based on the M10 block!)

The Owner: Ciaron, Age 27, Lives in Halifax, UK
The Owner: Ciaron, Age 27, Lives in Halifax, UK

Dream Car: Ferrari F40. Do I need to say why? 

Top of the range for the E28 5-series cars were the M535i, and of course the M5. The M535i featured an inline-six, electronic fuel injected engine (with over 180bhp), M-sport suspension upgrades, and unique body work including slightly flared arches and more aggressive looking front and rear bumpers.

The E28 M5 was a seriously special car – at its launch it was officially the fastest production saloon car available for sale, with a staggering 282bhp! It actually featured an updated (and slightly detuned) version of the M88 engine that went into the iconic M1 supercar. Only 2241 E28 M5’s were ever built, making it one of the rarest BMW M cars to date.

Doesn’t Ciaron’s E28 look completely retro? We love old BMW’s, especially the 80’s ones such as the E30’s and E28’s. This car looks incredible with it’s two-tone paintwork (a nice touch) and sitting nice and low on… you guessed it, BBS wheels! We contacted Ciaron to ask him to share his story and you can read it below!

Please Note – Photography credits on these photos goes to Lew Speight, and Grantography

5 from 1 vote

BMW E28 525 ‘lux’ auto (1988)

BMW's top of the line executive saloon was beautiful to look at, mechanically superior to many of it's rivals, and a hugely capable car on the road! They've aged beautifully too.
Model Year 1988
Model E28 5 Series
Make BMW
Keywords bmw, classic car, classic german, German, Lowered, Modified


  • The car has been lowered, and sits on cut springs – not the most refined way of doing it, but it gets the job done, and if the car is a 'low and slow' cruiser, it doesn't matter how you get there!
  • Custom two-tone paintwork, the top colour being the factory gunmetal grey colour and the bottom half being BMW space grey.
  • The car sits on 17 inch BBS RC041 split rims to complete the look.

Interview with the owner

  • When did you first purchase the car Ciaron?
    Back in 2017.
  • What made you go for an E28 5-series?
    I’ve always loved old BMW’s and the E28 in my opinion is the best looking.
    I didn’t actually buy the car, I swapped my old 2011 VW Passat for it as it was boring and wanted a bit more excitement in my life!
  • What's it like to drive?
    Beautiful! It’s an Auto so it's more of a "lean back, look cool" cruiser!
    I love how popular these cars are with people. In fact, I'm proud to say this car featured in not one, but two music videos!!
  • So it's a six-cylinder isn't it? Do you know the current BHP?
    Yes, and it's got around 120bhp.
  • Has the car been restored / rebuilt?
    Partly yes. For the time I’ve had the car, there became a point where the rust had well and truly taken over.
    Even though a previous owner had done some of it, it needed a fair bit more work. So I had to get a good buddy of mine from work to cut out the old and weld in the new!
  • Let's talk modifications! What have you done to it?
    So currently, not a huge amount. But it's had mods done to the suspension, paintwork, and the wheels.
  • What have you done to the suspension?
    Well this bit wasn't me. It was on cut springs when I got the car – this was done by a previous owner.
    And guess what… it stayed on cut springs the whole time I owned it! They just work.
  • What have you done to the paintwork?
    The paintwork had been done when a previous owner welded new arches on. Which gave it a two tone grey look, the top colour being the factory colour and the bottom half being BMW space grey.
  • What have you done with the wheels & tyres?
    I replaced the wheels that came with the car (which were some fake split OZ wheels) to what's on it now – which are 17” BBS RC041 splits!
  • Do you plan to do any further modifications to it?
    Not at the moment, I'm happy with the car, it looks good and drives good!
  • Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?
    I think I'll sell it at some point.
  • Do you own any other interesting cars?
    Yes, I wouldn’t call them interesting cars but a bagged VW Passat B5.5 estate. Used as a tow vehicle for my friends drag MK4 golf.
    I also own a BMW 5 series touring as a daily.
  • Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?
    Ferrari F40. Do I need to say why?
Owner: Ciaron
Model: E28 5 Series
Make: BMW
Keywords: bmw, classic car, classic german, German, Lowered, Modified

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