Once upon a time, station wagons had a glorious history. They were the chariots of suburbia, a proud class of vehicle that could be loaded with gear and driven to parts unknown. Sadly, the glamorous wood-paneled people carriers of the 1950s eventually gave way to the vinyl-clad monstrosities that roamed the streets in the 1970s and 1980s. The station wagon promptly ceded its role as the family hauler of choice, first to minivans, then to SUVs, and now to crossovers. The image of station wagons faded like the faux wood on so many of their sides.
Not all wagons, though, were created equally. Behold this 1995 BMW M5 Touring. Put simply, it’s the sexiest wagon in the long history of station wagons. And it’s for sale. You should think about buying it.
“Touring,” for the uninitiated, is BMW-speak for “station wagon.” M5 is, of course, BMW’s flagship high-performance luxury sedan. From 1989 to 1995, the second generation M5, based on the so-called E34 5 Series, was the premier high-performance family car in the world. World-class cornering and stopping abilities were accompanied by a 340 hp straight six under the hood. The car could reach 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, a time that’s still respectable today.
Simply put, the E34 M5 Touring is automotive Viagra for anyone that values performance and practicality in a single automobile. This one sports a manual transmission, too. Amazingly, it’s even more special than that.
That striking paint is called Santorini Blue. It had to be specially ordered, and only two M5 Tourings ever came in that color. Inside, the white leather makes for a striking contrast with the leather dashboard, nubuck headliner, seat piping, and stitching, all of which are in matching Santorini Blue.
After an autobahn-dominated first life, the car’s second owner brought it to America in 2000, and the current seller picked it up in 2006 with just under 90,000 miles on the clock. The car has been souped up, but just enough to enhance the magnificent engine and bring out its personality, not change its character.
The asking price is $130,000. If that seems like a lot, well, it is. But it’s actually right in-line for comparable cars, as illustrated by this one that sold for $120,000 earlier this year. 891 E34 M5 Tourings were built, ever. Just 209 came with this same engine and a manual transmission.
As the saying goes, money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy this car, and that’s basically the same thing.