Euro on a Budget – 1983 BMW 525e

As conversions to European bumpers become more popular among enthusiasts to clean up the looks of their aging E28 BMWs, it’s good to remain aware of some affordable alternatives to all that work. Like many cars with large picnic bench bumpers (and BMW were far from being the worst offenders), the European specification trim really does a lot to make them look trimmer and also reduces the weight slightly. Now these cars are moving into the collector/occasional driver phase of their lives, the practicalities of the bigger bumpers are less important. Check out this 1983 BMW 525e for sale with bidding at $1000 and 6 days left to go, in Durham, NC.

1983 BMW 525e left front

The seller bought the car from a friend, who had the car sitting for the last few years. While it managed a 1-hour trip without fail, the seller still recommends a service to bring things back to reliable. Well, as much as that’s possible for a 31-year-old car. As you can see, this car still has its original paint job with pseudo-Hartge striping, and it’s gone a bit rough. However, the car looks generally decent, though those E32/E34 wheels could stand to be replaced with something more attractive. The car is titled in North Carolina and has been stateside for at least 10 years, though the seller does not go into detail on any documentation.

1983 BMW 525e right rear

The car is said to have been sideswiped, and while the door was replaced, there is still some residual damage visible just aft of the door. It still retains all its European-market parts, has minimal rust, and is said to drive well and feel solid. Having sat for a while, it will need a general cleaning and the usual mechanical attention from a long period of dormancy.

1983 BMW 525e engine

The engine is said to run well and to fire up every time, and the transmission engages properly. There is a slight rumble from under the car upon take-off, which the seller suspects is a center support bearing. In a way, it’s a shame the car runs well, since you don’t have an easy excuse to replace the somewhat doggy 2.7 eta and automatic transmission setup – hopefully there’s a little more poke from a European-spec drivetrain.

1983 BMW 525e interior

Pretty decent on the inside, though it does show its age. Seats have been replaced by X5 units, and the instrument cluster is faulty, with a failed speedometer, temperature gauge, and odometer. Perhaps this is just a sender/cable issue, and if you can find some decent E28 seats, these and a good carpet cleaning would do wonders to bring the interior up to par. Would you take this shortcut to Euro E28 goodness?


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