Showcasing South African BMWs and its passionate fans

E34 M5 Turbine Twins

Posted on: 24 October 2013
Credit: sabeemer, Photography by Ghosian Jacobs


BMW E34 M5


The E34 M5 was the solution for rendering Super Cars impractical, they were known as Super Saloons, and it brought power to the masses.  

The E34 M5 was the car that basically kick started the whole super saloon saga.


When introduced in 1988, its rivals were almost non-existent. Today one finds it common practice amongst the major car-makers to have a powerful tar-chewing 4-door model in their range but all of them have their presence owed to the E34 M5. Anyone can slap a big powerful motor to a car, but few can combine it with the technical details which render it an astonishing piece of motoring marvel. BMW managed to achieve - through their M-division – a combination of superb handling, absolute power and refreshing comfort with the M5, and from then it just got better and better.


bmw e34 m5


bmw e34 m5


The E34 M5 is the BMW Motorsport-developed version of the E34 5 Series. It is powered by the S38 twin-cam 24-valve inline-six, an evolution of the engine used in the E28 M5 and E24 M6.

bmw e34 m5

bmw e34 m5

It also has a BMW Motorsport-tuned chassis and a few special cosmetic pieces.

Unlike the normal 5 Series, M5s were hand-assembled at the BMW Motorsport facility in Garching, a suburb of Munich. Bodies were pressed at the normal Dingolfing factory, then sent to Garching where they were mated with the engine and interior trim. The only exception was the South African-spec model, assembled at BMW's Rosslyn, South Africa factory from German-supplied Complete Knock Down (CKD) kits

bmw e34 m5

bmw e34 m5

bmw e34 m5


How is the South African version of the E34 M5 cosmetically different from the German-built version?
The South African-built M5s are cosmetically identical to the European-spec cars. However, because their bodies were painted at the Rosslyn factory instead of at BMW AG in Germany, different paint selections were offered. In addition, the Nappa leather interior of the South African models is equipped with unique leather door panel inserts.

HD98 (SA-spec 3.6-liter sedan, RHD): 265 produced (assembled from CKD kits) from 9/1990 through 03/1993*


bmw e34 m5


The two picture-perfect samples of M5s you see her here belong to:


Jandre Steyn..........


bmw e34 m5


and the other to Richard Smuts.


bmw e34 m5


We learn a bit of their history and craze for the BMW brand


 Jandre says:


"Basically I grew up with BMW in the family. I remember an e12 518 that my dad drove when I was  about 3 or 4 years old. After that, a few e30’s, e36, e46, e90, also a 1969 2000cs and a 1971 2002ti in the mix.

Counting the M5 twice, I have had 12 BMW vehicles in total.

My first BMW experience was a 1971 2002ti. Then, a few years later, a 1991 e30 325is, 2001 e46 318ti, 1999 e46 328i, 2003 e46 320i, then the 1991 e34 M5, a 1996 e36 318i, 1996 e34 540i, 1997 e39 540i,

1969 2002 (my current restoration project. not a ti unfortunately), a 2002 e46 320i and now again the 1991 e34 M5. (I plan on adding a few to the list in the near future)

We bought the M5 in 2004, sold it at the end of 2006, and by end 2012 the need to get her back became very strong. So, this year April, I had the opportunity to buy her back. I have had the M5 now from mid 2004 till end 2006, and now again from April 2013 to present. 

Mileage on her stands at 234 000km"

The greatest characteristic of a BMW? They just love to be driven.

What was done to the car? Any changes?

The previous owner removed the turbines, colour coded the side skirts and lower bumper lips, and fitted a very dark window tint.

I refitted the turbines, removed the tint and sprayed the side skirts and lower bumper sills diamond black, according to original spec.

I still need to replace the rather worn gear knob and would love to treat her to some new leather for the front seats. They are showing a little bit of wear now.

bmw e34 m5



bmw e34 m5


bmw e34 m5


bmw m5 e34


Would you sell the vehicle?

I have been offered a very generous amount for the car, and to be honest, the temptation was huge, but no. No, I don’t think I will easily sell her again.


Is there anyone you would like to mention/thank?

Not wanting to run the risk of leaving someone out, let me just thank and all its members. Some of the guys made it completely impossible for me to forget my previous love affair with this car, and they became rather persistent when the opportunity came knocking for me to buy the car back.


The car has had quite a few owners over the last 22 years, but all of them took really good care of her. Apart from the front end that was re sprayed due to stone chips, this is still the original paintwork on the car.

According to the owner’s manual, the first owner of this car was legendary SA Rally driver Serge Damseaux.

bmw m5 e34

 bmw m5 e34



We then turn our attention to Rick and note his tales


bmw e34 m5


“It started in 1993 with a Ruby red E23 733i. Totally sold me on the brand with performance and tech. It used a ton of oil so I rebuilt the engine in my back yard, to my knowledge this car is still running today after I sold it for 10K”


How many BMWs have u had ?, and what models were they?


1982 E23 733i

1986 E32 735i

1988 E30 325i shadowline

1990 E32 735i

1987 E32 735i

1992 E30  325is Evo II

1994 318i

1995 E39 540i

1995 E36 328i

1990 E34 535i Man

1995 E38 740i

1997 E39 540i

1998 E39 528i

1992 E34 M5


What is your standing out characteristic of any BMW? 

Their six cylinder engines are like no other


 How long have you had this M5?

18 months




BMW E34 M5


BMW E34 M5


BMW E34 M5


What was done to the car?

 I rebuilt the entire front suspension, engine after having to order parts from all over the world at unbelievable costs

bmw e34 m5


bmw e34 m5


Would you sell the vehicle? 

Yes, after the rebuild I used it to work every day for at least a year, I did not want the car to be a garage Queen I really enjoyed living with the M5 as a daily. It proved very reliable


Is there anyone you would like to mention/thank? 

BMW fanatics for support, and Adi Stephan in JHB who bought an entire rear ended M5 just so I could get a   front bumper.


 bmw e34 m5


bmw e34 m5



bmw 34 m5


We thank Jandre and Rick for showing us these beautiful machines. The photographer didnt believe me when i told him we were featuring two E34 M5s together. He was shocked and said he had never ever seen one yet, let alone two Smile


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Thanks Jandre, your work and dedication on the speaks volumes about your passion for the BMW car and more specifically the 540i. Thanks to you am now eyeing a five series (e60) to add to my stable. I have been saving up and if all goes well I will buy one around winter (cash). Thanks forshow casing what passion for a Beemer entails. Cheers!! and like Max commented earlier, I also sit and ogle at the fiver for hours. The vehicle sales pages, and are my favourite blog spots.
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By: Brooks Posted on: November 28, 2013, 4:50 pm

Spectacular article! E34 in my opinion is the best shaped and the E34 M5 is the ultimate ///M car. I had the pleasure of driving Richard's M5 once before and bloody hell! to this day an E34 M5 is my ultimate car! Everytime I see a E34 M5 post on Gumtree...I sit for hours dawdling at it, hoping, praying and wishing that someday I would get the opportunity to own one! E34 M5 for the win!
By: Max Posted on: November 1, 2013, 7:25 pm


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