Car of the Month - October 2006

Cars of the Month

The Car of the Month for October 2006 belongs to:
Ronald Aker

The car was manufactured with VIN# 4145256 in June 1980 and registered and delivered new in Holland exactly one year later, on June 11th 1981.

The colour is Polaris and the car has the following factory fitted options:

Air-conditioning and a manual steel slide/tilt sunroof.

A rare combination I've been told, but in those days the customer was king at BMW Motorsport, and one could have the car made to personal specification.

The car was bought in the year 2000 in a very good condition by our Club (BMW Coupé Club Netherlands) Chairman who was a bit of a BMW collector and perfectionist about his cars as well.

In the years before 2000 the car must have had a very cared-for life, as the condition was very good indeed, both technical, bodywise and interior.

And although very little needed to be done to make the car perfect, he still decided on a full restoration.

This process took him two years, the car was stripped completely, engine and gearbox removed, axles removed etc. Everything what needed to be replaced or was slightly worn was replaced with brand new parts or overhauled.

The body was repaired were necessary, and fully resprayed.

After the build-up of the car was ready, the car got a very good waxoil anti-rust treatment throughout.

Unfortunately just after the restoration was finished our Chairman got very seriously ill, and sadly died in April 2004. He has barely driven the car since the restoration because his illness prevented him enjoynig his work and the car, which is very sad indeed.

During the introduction of the new BMW 5-series (E60) at the end of 2003, our Chairman was asked by the importer BMW Netherlands if they could use his car to be presented at a huge press-show in Amsterdam were every 5-series model would be present, E12, E28, E34, E39 and E60. He agreed, but was not able anymore to either drive the car there or attend the show. BMW NL picked the car up on one of their car-trailers and it went to the show.

After our Chairman's tragic death, the car was bought by our Clubmagazine editor.

Last year however, our magazine editor bought a very nice Glas 3000 V8, his childhood dreamcar, but as he just had too many BMW cars already, one had to go.

So the E12 M535i came up for sale, and he asked if perhaps I was interested (at the time I had a very beautiful '76 630CS), and for many reasons, mostly family-practical, emotions about the car having been owned by our former Club chairman, a good friend, and the fact that it is a very rare car indeed in such a fantastic condition made me purchase the car.

I've always been interested in the more special or rare BMW models. It is also a blast to drive. Absolutely fantastic! A real "Old School" BMW.

The car has at the moment only 86k miles from new on the clock.

In August this year my car had the honour of being featured in a respected Dutch Classis Car magazine. I was really proud of that, specially because sadly these cars are very rarely written about.

I think it is one of the most exclusive and ultra rare M-cars around today. It was the very first M-car BMW Motorsport-GmbH built for private owners. So it's the Father of all the M-cars we know today.

The cars were all handbuilt at Motorsport's own facility. Only the bare bodyshells were made in BMW Dingolfing plant and shipped to Motorsport.

BMW used this particular model to test if there was market-potential for the "M-brand" as we know it today. Well, 2,5 decades later we know the
answer: Yes!

Like with the cars themselves, the specific E12 M535i documentation like brochures, Motorsport ownersmanual supplements etc. are also extremely rare and sought after.

Luckely I've managed to get quite a lot of this material in my collection.

Ronald's M535i

© 2006, ™