Car guys and gals are often the recipient of leads. You know, the “You have to check this thing out” kind of leads that come from friends, co-workers, family, and casual acquaintances. I got one of those leads while looking for a car for a co-worker. The full convoluted process to how it became my car is documented in the main blog (see how to catch a mermaid). Suffice it to say that I was very pleased to be the new owner of a car that I did not go looking for.

The 1991 BMW 525i is a like-new example of the critically acclaimed E34. Journalists and buyers at the time heaped praise upon the styling, interior, and performance. Lawrence Meredith, writer of many definitive motor books admits to his own bias in describing the car since he is an owner himself. High praise indeed. The E34 is also the last chassis designation that I really liked in the styling department. It still had 4 uncovered headlights up front, a slightly wedged shape, and limited electronics. The most advanced acronym in my car is ATSC (automatic tape slack control) which relates to the operation of the cassette tape deck.

Besides the cassette tape deck, it has a trunk-mounted 6 disk CD changer. Remember those ? More importantly, it has sunroof, leather, heated seats, and….wait for it….a limited slip differential. Now that is a useful option. The car is ridiculously smooth, so much so that I had a hard time remembering that it was a five speed on the drive home. Every car I have with a stick shift is old enough to have an engine noise and vibration to match. This car is smoother than any automatic, and is barely working at highway speeds.

This car will also be a test. It needs nothing. I mean nothing. As we enter winter here, it is too nice to slosh around on salted roads, and not really old enough to be vintage. It is also a great platform for all manner of go-fast goodies. It is going to get some daily driver usage, and may become the full-time daily driver going forward, but it will take discipline to keep my grubby hands off it….

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