Better E12 – 1977 BMW 530i

There are certainly many popular models of BMW among lovers of older cars – the 2002, E9 coupes, and E28 5-series for starters. What’s funny is, quite a few of the BMWs of the late 1970s to early 1980s cars have yet to find a true cult following in the way some of these cars have, or even some of the less-popular models like the E9 sedans. For North American enthusiasts, some of those issues are rooted in the reactions to emissions and safety regulations in that period, so everything from 1974 onwards got mega-bumpers to take out pedestrians at the knees, as well as a not-so-cool device with an awesome sounding name – thermal reactors. On top of that, NA-market cars lost power to run cleaner. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this 1977 BMW 530i for sale for $3000 in West Eaton, PA.

1977 BMW 530i 2 left front

Hmm, what’s that, small bumpers from a European-market car? Aside from cleaning up the looks, these also lighten the ends of the car substantially, and street parking will be easier since your car should be at least 6″ shorter. Center kidneys seem to be missing, and while those gold mesh wheels are pretty sweet on a car of that time, the white letter tires seem more appropriate for Jock’s Camaro than this BMW. Seeing a car on a trailer is always worrisome, and in this case it’s with good reason as the car is said to be an unfinished restoration.

1977 BMW 530i 2 engine 2

Electrical problems? Just get rid of the wires, duh… Things really do look quite clean in here, and the seller does not provide any insights as to why the engine compartment is so bare – is that intentional or just because the car remains to be reassembled? The engine itself looks like it’s had some work – rebuild, maybe? It also has six individual throttle bodies, so the seller is obviously addressing some of the performance issues of this model. It’s surprising more people haven’t picked up on E12s with a later 3.5 engine, as it is absolutely possible to upgrade your car like that and stay within the confines of the law, while having enough power to fling the car around corners completely sideways.

1977 BMW 530i 2 engine

The M30 is a nice engine, and while nobody’s ever accused it of being beautiful, this shot might change your mind. Unfortunately there are no interior pictures, but odds are this white car is either blue or black inside, so finding a replacement interior (if needed) shouldn’t be too hard. The transmission is also out and extra clean, so hopefully both have had significant work. Engine work notwithstanding, what would you do with this car?

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One Response to “Better E12 – 1977 BMW 530i”

  1. ClydeAnkle Says:

    I love the look of those tires, actually haha

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