• Exterior: Black Metallic
  • Interior: Black Leather with Red Inserts
  • Engine: 3.4 liter inline-6
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual

1988 BMW 535is Euro Conversion

The current owner of this car purchased it in October of 2002 as a stock US model 535is with a peeling tint job and chrome wheelarch trims. It needed paint and interior, but was a solid, well-maintained California example. The previous owners had bought it in 1995 at BMW of Mill Valley, and it was sold new at Glendale at Pacific BMW. Its original delivery date was the 28th of January of 1988 and it was built in May of 1987.

The owner performed extensive upgrades and has maintained it very conscientiously, at a combined cost of over $30,000, not including the purchase price. The modifications include:


  • Repainted in custom black metallic color
  • European bumper conversion, shadowline
  • Hartge chin spoiler and Zender rear skirt.
  • European Hella Headlights and grilles with protective film; fully refurbished headlight assemblies and buckets including all new hardware and lights. The car is not presently wired for city lights.
  • Yellow French-market foglights with 3M protective film
  • Clear front lenses (~$200) and smoked rear ones.
  • New front and rear roundels
  • Powdercoated door handles
  • Genuine German front license plate


  • Dash cover
  • Momo shift knob
  • Tinted windows 35% light transmission rear and 50% light transmission front
  • Reupholstered seats in leather: black leather with red inserts. New shift boot in red leather. The rear seats were dyed to match the fronts as well.
  • Sparco 3-point harness.
  • E28 (not E23!) Rear headrests trimmed in black leather to match the seats ($427)
  • E28 M5 M-Technik I steering wheel with new tricolor badge. Also, AC Schnitzer steering wheel made by MOMO. It has a thicker rim and a smaller diameter, which gives it a great feel
  • Bavauto floormats with embroidered “535is” script.
  • Change container in door
  • Alpine CDA-9856 receiver with direct hardwired iPod input in the glovebox, Infinity components and 12” subwoofer, MTX and Rockford Fosgate amps.


  • 17”X8” Mille Miglia MM II Sport alloy wheels with 245/40/17 Yokohama ES100’s. 18mm rear and 25mm front spacers with BBS lugs (yes, weird, but all very carefully calculated and fits great)
  • Dinan springs with Dinan valved Bilstein shock absorbers
  • Dinan 25mm/19mm Adjustable swaybars with M5 mountings, new swaybar links. These were installed at Dinan’s facility in Morgan Hill, and to fit the M5 mountings, the old ones had to be removed and new ones welded on, and new undercoating sprayed.
  • Full front suspension rebuild (idler arm, center tie rod, tie rod ends, upper and lower control arms with polyurethane Paul Grey bushings)
  • Sparco front strut tower brace
  • BMW factory rear strut tower brace

Performance (Stop/Go):

  • B&B exhaust system
  • Brembo front brakes (These are the same ones used on E31’s but these were purchased new in 2004. The calipers are black with white Brembo script and slotted rotors. The rotors and pads have been cryogenically treated for drastically improved wear characteristics) with stainless steel lines and Pentosin fluid.
  • Rebuilt cylinder head with a longer duration 274 degree camshaft. The camshaft is a BMW part from an early 533i. New vacuum lines, and changed coolant (or, ahem “Mercedes-Benz Anticorrosive Agent”) and oil. Replaced all eccentrics, all valve springs, all rocker arms, camshaft, all exhaust valves, one intake valve (was slightly damaged), replaced valve guides, surfaced head, reground valve seats. Also replaced most hoses and timing chain, installed new thermostat, oil pressure sender, distributor cap and rotor, new gaskets, new heat shields, painted valve cover, painted exhaust manifolds.
  • TCD cold air intake. ($225)
  • Bavauto 8mm sparkplug wires.


  • Replaced fusebox lid
  • Dual air horns that sound like Ferrari ones.
  • E34 AFM cover
  • New coolant overflow tank
  • E23 hood shocks
  • Z3 short shifter

Vehicle Photos