The E34 M5 has long been overshadowed. Bookended by the original—the E28 M5—and the game changer—the E39 M5—the E34 wears traditionally understated BMW styling with performance that was exceptional for its era. But when the V8-powered E39 M5 arrived, BMW had entered a new era, and few were looking back to the days of the E34. With a generation worth of perspective and appreciation though, it’s clear that the E34 M5 was under appreciated, and that’s completely changed over the past few years.
Back in 2017, the high water mark in the E34 M5 market was set, when one of twenty M5 Touring Elekta examples hammered for $120,500 plus fees on Bring a Trailer. The E34 M5 was only sold in the U.S. for three model years, but these days, a clean example will cost you. Although the average value for a 1991–1993 U.S. market BMW M5 is around $21,000 according to Hagerty, concours-condition example go for triple that—around $60,000 or more. Those numbers don’t account for the rare wagons and late-model 3.8-liter six-speed European-spec cars, which are easily the most desirable of the production run.
It’s safe to say that now, drivers have woken up to just how excellent the E34 M5 is and always was. In the latest video from the new Inside BMW Group Classic series on YouTube, three examples that couldn’t be more different are highlighted, from a top-of-the-line late-model touring, to what could very well be the first M5 Nurburgring taxi. There’s also a rather unassuming sedan, which wears a stunning shade of Daytona Violet. Which E34 M5 is your favorite?—Alex Tock
[Photo and video courtesy BMW AG.]