Reviews BMW 5 Series_E12_front

Published on July 7th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Which Classic Car Will Make You Money In The Next Two Years

The classic car game is not for the average person to ‘play’ in right now.

In the last decade we have seen a major shift in the Malaysian classic car scene. We must first thank the current many classic car owners in Malaysia who have actually spent time, money and effort to keep the classic car industry alive and kicking.

There are a number of classic car clubs, then there are some breakaway clubs that are run by individuals seeking to make money from owners and then there are some who ‘pretend’ to be real enthusiasts and instead out-rightly cheat less-informed buyers and owners that they are getting good value.

BMW 5 Series_E12_Classic Car Gear shift

Facebook has allowed some well known ‘personalities’ to get into the used classic car ‘game’ with badly restored old cars and the swapping of good parts for bad parts in their partner workshops.

This has left a ‘bad taste’ for some less informed classic car buyers and some others have just left their old cars to rot in their garden or outside their homes in disgust and anger. We have over the last decade met many of this angry buyers and newbie collectors and it was sad to see their ‘projects’ rotting away.

BMW 5 Series_E12_Classic Car radio

Some, even had the town council towing away the cars to be scrapped. This is sad situation and cannot be solved as ‘there is one born’ every minute.

So, in this article we want to offer our two cents on investing in an old car that just might make you some money in the next couple of years.

BHP_Euro5 Diesel_2021_Lexus NX

Japanese old cars have been rotting away in ‘kampong’s’ for years now and in states like Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak and Kedah you have many small town mechanics working to bring back to life some great old Japanese cars. 

Old Toyota’s, Datsun’s, Mitsubishi’s and Mazda’s are starting to re-appear in big cities with shiny new paint and smooth run engines. Prices have also started creeping up. 

BMW 5 Series_E12_Classic Car window winder

The problem with old Japanese cars is rust. And plenty of it as these cars were never given any form of rust proofing and they were made with low quality steel in the 1960’s to 1970’s. Just like old Italian and BMW models. Yes, the other German brands rust a lot less than old BMW’s. This is why you see little restorations being done on the E21 (3 Series) and its larger sibling, the E12 (5 Series).

So, this is our suggestion. 

Start looking for neglected BMW E12. Best to find one under a kampong house or stored in a garage away from the sun and rain by its current owner. There are many ‘junk’ units to get parts and online suppliers are also available. 

Spending about RM2-3k to buy to buy a complete car and about RM20 to RM25k to restore might be well worth the investment in coming years. Also, when it is running right, this is a really iconic BMW and in our books, a better buy over the high priced BMW E30. 

When you do find the unit to buy. Whatever the condition, make sure the chassis number and engine number match the registration card first. Then see if the car can be driven. Do not worry about engine capacity, 525i or 528i is fine as you can get a classic road tax which starts from just RM180.00. 

Which mechanic to do the work? Well, this is no rocket science. Go online and get advice from the BMW facebook page, then double check this advice with us at (if you think you need to do so) and if it matches, you are ready to start work. Happy hunting and try and have fun. 

The pictures here show a fully restored unit in Germany and this is what you should be aiming for as the end result. 

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