Now…what about this beauty? I’m talking about a 36 years old BMW E12 528i, that was horribly preserved, but impressively modified by Vintage Motorsport Group.
The car had been assembled with only one year before BMW ceased the production of the E12 generation. The interesting fact is that the M 535i has been assambled only in the last two years of the production life, therefore finding an item, not to mention finding it in flawlessly condition, is pretty hard. So, why not building one from a 528i?
This was the case here: instead of searching a very rare 535i, Ron Perry found a 528i in poor condition, but with only 49.000 miles shown on the odometer. And once he had found it, why keeping it original, when he could modify it to enhance its charisma?
To bring it in such a beautiful form, he took off every single piece from the body and restored it to the factory condition. The bodywork was completely cleaned, and painted in the identical shade of silver as the original model.
Then, all the parts have been assembled to perfectly match the quality, shine and function as back in 1980. Getting onboard, other surprises are waiting for the driver (or, should I say racer): an inspired mix of original and new elements creates a unique atmosphere. The blue color of the door trim, upholstery and carpet resembles to the original color scheme, while the dashboard, wrapped in black suede and the two front seats give an even sportier feeling.
“La piece de resistance” is the Alpina steering wheel, which completes the exquisite aspect of the interior. An extra touch of elegance is offered by the wooden gear stick knob, which perfectly matches the doors wooden elements.
Under the hood, there’s a big surprise. Willing to transform the 528i into a powerful M535i, the Vintage Motorsport Group team started to modify the 181 hp and 235 Nm M30 engine. The aim was to equal the 210 hp and 310 Nm of the M90 unit, which equipped the original top-model. Now, the 528i became a beautiful 535i, who’s dynamic performance are in par with its looks.
Finally, the jewel has been lowered even more, using Air Lift Performance struts, but can go back to the original ground clearance anytime, to maintain the original model’s ride quality. More, new H&R sway bars ensure a boost in the fast corners’ performance, while the polished 17 inches BBS rims are wide enough to keep the grip at high levels.