I keep pinching myself, but it’s real. Earlier this month, we covered eleven brand-new E34s being discovered in a disused warehouse somewhere in southwestern Bulgaria, with many still wearing the factory plastic wrap over the seats. How did this happen?
Back in 1994, a rental-car company ordered these eleven E34s—ten sedans and one wagon—and never pressed them into service. They sat all but abandoned in this warehouse, likely long-forgotten by the rental company, until recently.
While that’s a potential boon to E34 enthusiasts like me, it’s both a blessing and a curse. Cars are not made to sit, and they’re especially not made to sit in damp warehouses where the temperature isn’t regulated and the elements can sneak in through the cracks.
Since this location was never meant for long-term service, the cars aren’t quite in new condition anymore. In addition to the typical issues cars face when they sit too long—shrunken seals and gaskets, most notably—the cars have suffered some slight exterior damage.
It would take a bit of work to return these cars to new condition, but the work would be worth it to have a brand-new E34 to love and enjoy for the next quarter-century.
However, they do appear to be largely rust-free (I’m willing to bet money at least some of the door bottoms are rotted), with perfect interiors, and brand-new engines and drivetrains that will just need some work to be ready for prime time. All of the cars are M50-powered 520i or 525i models, and most are manuals. Since they won’t meet emissions standards in Europe, they will likely be exported for sale.
I call dibs on the wagon—you know how I feel about E34 wagons.—Cam VanDerHorst