Clean Copper: 1978 BMW 530i


No, that’s not a picture from a 1978 BMW brochure! This impossibly clean BMW 530i had me looking closely for a flaw, or even much of an indication that it wasn’t brand new. I’ll save you the trouble; apart from the ac not working, one very tiny crack in the dash and some pretty bad looking aftermarket floor mats, there’s not much bad to see here! The car is located in Irvine, California and is listed for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $6,900 but lower offers are being accepted. I admit to preferring a manual transmission in this type of car, but I could overlook it this time considering the condition of this one. I even really like the color! I’ll bet there’s interest in this one, right, Jeff? Too bad it’s on the wrong coast!

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  1. Cassidy

    Wow!! How did they keep it this pristine? Someone is going to buy an awesome car! My daughter is looking for a nice car, too bad she’s only about $6K short. I will show this auction to give her incentive to save up the bucks and buy the best that can be found.

    Oh, and by the way you’re right: those are hideous floor mats!

  2. jim s

    great looking car, to bad it is an automatic. still would make a nice driver if the underside looks as good. great find.

  3. Tirefriar

    Right coast, wrong transmission. I had this exact model year also with auto. Yeah, freeways were o.k. but getting your ass handed to you by a VW Rabbit stick did hurt. It racked up 176k miles before trading owners but the trans didn’t last that long.

    • Tirefriar

      I wanted add that although I like the E12 design and interior layout, there was nothing phenomenal about this model. They were goid performers with a manual trans, but had the thermal reactors that sapped power and generated too much heat, propensity to warp heads and a very marginal a/c system.

      This one is about $3k overpriced.

    • Olaf E

      Those Rabbits (Golf GTI) could be a real pain in the a.. here on the European freeways too. In Germany there were tuning companies like Oettinger and also Abt that tickled Rabbit GTI to great Heights. My brother drove a unrecognisable Mk1 Golf GTI tuned by I believe Abt and made BMW and other make drivers crazy. 6 years later one of my cars was a new ’85 VW Polo 1.3 Coupe GT. I was asked by the German branch of a USA book publisher to get the Dutch branch out of bankruptcy. Those guys were geerheads and urged me to give my 4 months old Polo a sleepover at Oettinger, well to be short it had a far better road behaviour but sometimes the power made me afraid. I sold the car in 2004 when I went to India for a year (‘sabbatical’), the new owner wrecked it after 3 weeks.

  4. Tom

    The air was almost worthless in Arizona. As other have said the auto was a dog.

  5. Olaf E

    This car looked familiar and I don’t want to make the same mistake as with halve a Corvette body, so I had to check and found the following link

    Guess the seller didn’t get the reserve then and is now trying again. Never the less, fantastic condition.

  6. Bentleyguy

    Absolutely the worst car ever built by BMW. I inherited one a year and a half ago, but also worked for one of the biggest BMW dealers when these monstrosities came out.

  7. MountainMan

    Sweet. I had one in silver with black interior. It was a 5 speed car and super clean and bone stock. It was a blast to drive. This one looks amazing. I wouldn’t feel guilty about swapping in a manual transmission one bit!

  8. George

    Anybody know the name/code of that colour? cheers.

    • George

      After some more googling “Topasbraun-metallic 013” seems to come pretty close, but this 5er looks a bit more redish, no?

  9. Mark E

    At least it’s only the wrong coast as opposed to the wrong continent, no make that HEMISPHERE with regards to that truly excellent MB Gullwing replica… >_<

  10. krash

    ….is it just me, or is there a quarter-sized hole to the right of the trunk latch?

    I really like the color…..(too bad it’s @3k miles away)…would really like to see it up close….

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