Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

A Grand Monday: BMW E34 518i

Published 06 August 2018

Just because a car is getting on a bit doesn't mean it's not fit for regular use, and this BMW 518i E34 that we uncovered in the classifieds is very much proof of that. 

Acquired by its current owner in 2012 with 73,000 miles on the clock, he has added almost 120,000 to its tally, racking up 20,000 miles a year over the past six years. 

There are some, of course, who would say that taking a low mileage car such as that and racking up the miles is sacrilege - after all, a 73k car with full service history has all the hallmarks of being a cherished future collectors' car. But cars were made to be used, and a lowly four-cylinder 518i is never going to be the E34 that makes a collector their millions, after all.

BMW 518 E34 (5)

Besides, the owner has clearly enjoyed the car, as well as kept up its maintenance, with new front and rear shock absorbers, cambelt, camshaft, clutch, propshaft, radiator, battery, alternator, distributor and four tyres in the past two years. He says there are over 20 pages of documented repairs and servicing from his ownership, so it's clear that the E34 has been maintained as much as it has been enjoyed.

At £900 it's not expensive, even if it is the very entry level into 5-series ownership. Indeed, there's something really quite charming about a base model exec such as this - the solidity of the controls and purity of the driving experience shine above all the bells and whistles, proving that the essentials are what make a truly great car. 

BMW 518 E34 (3)


expertad    on 12 August 2018

Years ago I was loaned a 518I when my 535i sport was in for a service.You can easily climb into the engine bay with that little lump in there! but it was fine,smooth enough and brisk enough and with all the solid quality of the E34.Still way better with a six cylinder though,I had several and the pick was probably the 525I from about 1994.BMW were way ahead back then,recently drove a Kia something or other and really not much difference to my company 320d.

   on 8 August 2021

I quite agree. I worked in sales for Apricot computers ( Birmingham business park) and was lucky enough to have a “brilliant rot “ (bright red) 518i . I loved it. All my colleagues were stuck with mediocre dull Sierra’s, Volvos and Cavaliers. The 518i performance wasn’t bad ( once it was underway). A large number of turns lock to lock for its recirculating ball steering though. Grip levels high and the gearbox like a rifle bolt action.

I covered 100,000 miles in two years with it. Happy memories.

Add a comment


Compare classic car insurance quotes and buy online. A friendly service offering access to a range of policies and benefits.

Get a quote