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A Grand Monday: BMW 525i Tourer with LPG

Published 06 October 2014

If you’re after a modern classic that looks great, is practical and fun to drive, then look no further than this 1995 BMW 525i Tourer at just £1650.

Launched in 1988, the shape of the E34 still looks great today and the 2.5-litre DOHC straight-six is one of the best engines ever made by BMW. This one has been converted to run on LPG, which means you get most of the performance but with much improved fuel consumption, returning roughly 50mpg. The LPG tank is where the spare wheel would’ve been and all the paperwork is in order with the car showing LPG on the V5C and the conversion certificate in the history file.

We reckon this is one of those rare finds that has been look after all its life and cherished beyond its market value. It has had just two owners from new, the previous being a military policeman who also clearly cared for the car. Indeed, the current vendor is only selling it as he has retired and has no need for such a big car.

The car is fully loaded, with 17-inch alloys, cruise control, air-con, rear parking sensors, leather trim, electric front seats and windows, alarm, power steering and on-board computer. The automatic gearbox has a switchable sports mode and there’s a tow-pack fitted, which means self-levelling Nivomat rear dampers – which can be expensive to replace. However, you can swap to standard dampers easily enough, although you’ll also need to replace the springs.

Other extras include privacy glass and Bluetooth with microphone above the driver. There are a couple of aftermarket items with the car: a roof rails set and the rear lamps (although the originals are included).

It looks to be in tidy condition all round and comes with an MoT until September next year. Inside there are no cracks in the dashboard or tears in the leather, and the vendor assures us that all electrics are working with no hesitation on kickdown from the gearbox or smoke from the engine on start up. Even better, there is no rust on the car and the car comes with a fully stamped up BMW service history, plus lots of receipts.

The exhaust is in good condition but there is a spare – a used sports exhaust that was removed by the previous owner as he didn’t like the noise. And how’s this for cherished: the car comes with the correct tool kit, warning triangle and glovebox torch. There’s also an aftermarket transmission cooler fitted by the radiator to replace the factory one, which is prone to damage and corrosion due to its location under the car.

So what’s wrong with it? Well, there are a few scratches here and there. Perhaps the most noticeable is the dent on the bonnet from a trolley-based altercation at Tesco. If we’re being picky there’s also a crack on the rear bumper. The air-con needs re-gassing and, at 206,000 it is a little leggy.

Don’t let that worry you, though, as these engines are very strong. Do, though, check all the suspension components. These cars are heavy and hard on their underpinnings. Springs can crack at the base where they sit in the retaining cups, dampers can leak, and expect clonks from the lower front control arms. We’d also want to get it on a ramp and have a look underneath to double check all is at is should be. Finally, check the bottom of the radiator for leaks – rads and water pumps tend to last about 100,000 miles.

If all that looks good, then this promises to be a great buy. Yes, there are cheaper examples out there, but few of them will have been as well looked after as this. And with the car turning 20 next year (and the E34 model range already 26 years old) we reckon this is a real classic on the cusp.

Comments

janeleonard    on 8 October 2014

The modern classic BMW 525i Tourer seems to be a great choice to go with. It can bring back some of the classic sweets memories about the past and any car lover will definitely wish to take a ride with it.
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