Rides from the Readers: 1988 BMW M5

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Anthony Ficalora

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to us at the above email. 

Today’s featured car is a 1988 BMW M5. The first generation of Munich’s super saloons was an exclusive breed, with only 2191 produced. Upon its European debut for 1985, the E28-generation M5 was the fastest production sedan in the world. It’s long since since relinquished that particular title, of course, but this hot four-door is as desirable (and rare) as ever. This first M5 shared a chassis with the 535i but boasted an evolution of the M1 supercar’s DOHC inline-six, which in the U.S.-spec M5 made 256 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Channeled through a five-speed manual and send to the wheels via a limited-slip diff, that power was good for a 6.5 0-60 mph sprint and a top speed of 148 mph.

This particular M5 retains all its classy—yet menacing—lines, but it sports a slightly different mill under the hood. Instead of the original 3.5-liter straight-six, owner Anthony Ficalora’s M5 has a custom-built 3.8-liter stroker topped with a forged steel crank and finished off with a mass air flow conversion kit. The M5’s suspension’s received some love, too, in the form of Bilstein HD shocks and polyurethane front bushings.

“It’s no garage queen,” says Ficalora. “It’s motivated me to get up earlier on the weekends and go on a canyon blast or attend a car event with other enthusiasts. Most of the drives I attend are not alone, and truly the theme is that it’s all about the people. It doesn’t matter what you drive as long as you get out and drive.”

More power to you, Anthony—we can’t wait for in-person cruises and cars-and-coffee events. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Ficalora’s M5 and its friends:

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