Tuesday, July 21, 2009

1983 BMW 533i

1983 BMW 533i - This is one of those ads that makes you wonder if the seller really owns the car. But, I've always had a soft spot for the E28 5 Series and they look great in black, so I'm going to write about it...

This 533i was a two year, North American only model. Sold in 1983 and 1984, it was, at the time, the fastest sedan sold in the US. In 1985, BMW replaced it with the 535i.

This one is interesting for having a 5 speed manual transmission. Most, or at least most of the ones I've seen, had a 3 speed automatic.

There are a few downsides to this car... First of all, they're prone to rust. This one is located in Vermont, so a thorough check of the body work is in order. Check the floors, wheel wells, door bottoms, trunk lid... just check everywhere. Most 533s, if not all of them, came with Michelin TRX wheels and tries. The TRX system was a good idea that never really panned out. Most cars that came with TRXs have been switched to standard wheels, but if this one hasn't you'll either have to pay big bucks for TRX tires when it needs tires, or buy a complete wheel and tire set to replace the TRXs. Neither is going to be a cheap proposition. While the 533 is a bulletproof car if maintained properly, it's 26 years old and things do wear out. Parts are not cheap.

OK, so why do I wonder if the seller really owns the car? First of all, he lists it as a 4 cylinder car. It's a 6. Given it's age and scarcity I would think the seller would include better pictures and a longer description, but he just includes 3 pictures of the exterior and the usual "in good condition" text. He's also willing to trade it for a Mustang, Camaro or Firebird. Those are all fine automobiles, but quite a switch from a 533i. Who knows? I suspect this car is something he inherited and is trying to sell it in order to get something he really likes.

If the car is what he says it is, the $2500.00 or B/O asking price is reasonable. (A parts car is included in the sale.) This is a classic you could drive everyday.

Located in Castleton, VT, click here to see the Craigslist listing.

E38.com has a page dedicated to the E28. You can find it here.

Bimmerboard.com has a pretty good E28 forum. You can find it here.

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