1980 BMW 528i Euro Conversion
The E12 was the first to bear the "5 Series" name. Production lasted from 1972-1981 and resulted in almost 700,000 being made (where are they all now?)
It was styled by none other than Marcello Gandini, the genius behind the Lamorghini Countach, Miura, Citroen BX and Fiat X1/9. The E12 is an interesting piece on Gandini's distinguished resume in that it's a relatively conservatively styled sedan and not the radical sports cars he is more often associated with. Working within the confines of BMW design language, he subtly but brilliant builds off the car's New Klasse predecessors and helped forge the company ahead. Every subsequent BMW design is indebted to Gandini, from Paul Bracq's E23 all the way to the E34 by Ercole Spada.
These cars were saddled with awful U.S.-spec bumpers that detracted from the aesthetics, so it's great to see Euro bumpers on this example, even if they the seller added them on later. This is NOT an authentic grey market car but a U.S. model with modifications.
The 528i was introduced in North America in 1979 replacing the 530i and featured a few improvements. The engine was a 2.8-liter inline 6-cylinder that powered the rear wheels and produced around 169 horsepower, very respectable for the time and still decent today.
The seller states they acquired the vehicle 6 years ago in Oregon. They have since done a number of repairs, upgrades and modifications.
Cosmetically, they say there is some rust around the window but none near the wheel wells. They say they conditioned the leather interior and cleaned the floor mats, and the interior seems to show it. The beautiful red seats are a highlight of this vehicle.
Mechanically, they deleted the U.S. bumpers as noted, deleted the side marker reflectors, lowered the stance, added Blistens and Alpina wheels. They say the car was maintained to be a daily driver, although the a/c is disconnected and the battery doesn't hold a charge well. The seller also says they have records to prove it was cared for.
This car has flaws but it seems to be an ok runner, and certainly looks the part. The seller states the odometer has six digits and reads just 96,750 original miles.
Find it here on ebay in Athens, Georgia for $7,000.