Published on April 19th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW E12 528 Classic Uncovered
It might be time to restore your own E12 to this level?
Attend any classic car gathering in Malaysia, in any location and chances are you will NOT see a BMW E12. Yes, this classic BMW sedan is sadly a German sports sedan that has not be able to test time very well in this part of the world. Surprisingly its smaller sibling, the BMW 2002Ti is much in demand and there are some Malaysians who will spend a hefty restoration price to get their 2002 looking as good as possible but there does not seem to be many BMW E12 owners who are willing to do the same.
Part of the problem is the low asking prices of this rather special sedan whereas the BMW 2002 (pictured below) commands a rising higher selling price. Yes, the value of the BMW 2002Ti keeps going up and the value of the E12 is just stagnant at the bottom of the value chain.
So, we are here to offer some inspiration to push the prices of the E21 to sensible levels and get owners to start looking at ways to get their E21 looking as pristine as possible.
Take a drive along the many car workshops in Subang Jaya USJ 1 (we are sure the same can be seen in small town workshops around the country) and you will definitely see at least three to four rusted complete BMW E21 cars lying in waste outside workshops. We are sure a detailed head count will show at least double the number of cars left to rot.
Owners who cannot pay their bills, owners who have given up with the almost endless restoration costs and the ever popular rust that eats away at these cars that were built from mild steel are some of the reasons why the E12 is not favored by Malaysian classic car owners. These cars rust like old Alfasuds and Datsuns. There is just no real solution except a total ground up restoration and the final cost does not justify the current asking value in Malaysia.
However, when you see a pristine looking BMW E12 like what we have shared here, then ideas start forming in a classic BMW enthusiasts mind about how nice it would be to get a unit for really cheap right now and restore it or start looking at their own rotting E12 sitting in the garden.
Take inspiration from BMW South Africa. The factory owners in October last year presented an E12 which was restored from a rusting heap. The story is shared here.
With enough cash in hand and a trustworthy mechanic and body-shop, anything is possible.
In 1972, the BMW New Class model series was replaced by this first BMW 5 Series which was called the E12. This designation for the BMW model series is still used today. BMW delivered a total of 37,510 units of the E12 globally. The six-cylinder E12, which was the 528 produced 165bhp and could reach a top speed of 198km/h from the showroom. These were respectable times in the 1970s. The manual version is the best as the automatic version was a lethargic 3-speed.
The BMW 528 was presented as the provisional model to top the range of the 5 Series in January 1975. This carburettor version of the 2.8 litre engine was replaced from 1977 by the injector 528i but remained for sale only for the South African market until 1981.
So, if you happen to own a rusting BMW E12 we hope that you have been inspired to bring it back to life (or course with the available funds) to show it at the next classic car meet in Malaysia which might only happen a year from now due to COVID-19.