BMW 520 (E12)
ENGINE 1990cc/6-cyl/OHC POWER 120bhp@6000rpm TORQUE 120lb ft@4000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 122mph 0-60MPH 11.7sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 27.4mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed man MoT 12 months from sale ODOMETER 25,026 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? This is as close to a new E12 as you’re likely to find. Everything feels drum-tight and there are no rattles to be heard. The straight-six engine idles smoothly and quietly, but delivers an impressive growl under acceleration before fading away at cruising speeds. Performance is respectable and the car feels stable at speed. The suspension is firm enough to feel sporty but as a base model it inevitably errs more towards comfort. The gearshift feels firm and mechanical, but the power-assisted steering still feels heavy, especially when parking. That said, there’s zero slack in the system so the car goes exactly where you point it. The brakes offer little feedback but are effective and stop the car fast and straight. BODYWORK CHECK The stunning original Turmalin metallic green paint covers immaculate panels. There are virtually no defects, just one chipped and touched-in area behind the offside rear door handle. The light lenses and plastics look new, the tinted green glass is crystal clear and the chrome bumper and window frame trim is perfect, though there’s light pitting to the door handles. The silver-painted steel wheels are immaculate and shod with well-treaded 175 R14 Courier Sport tyres, though the sidewalls look rather old. HOW’S THE INTERIOR? With the car having covered so few miles, the interior remains in fantastic condition. The seat fabric is unmarked, with only a slight crease in the driver’s bolster the only indication that it has ever been sat in. The beige carpets are like new, with good colour and deep pile. The headlining is spoiled only by some discoloration on the C-pillar. It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, thanks to a three-way adjustable driver’s seat and movable steering column. The wooden gear knob and dash inserts are perfect and the ashtrays have never been used. The boot also looks like it’s never been touched, the original bootlid toolkit is still present and the original Blaupunkt Hamburg radio still in the dashboard. All four seats are fitted with factory inertia reel seat belts. UNDER THE BONNET There is some light surface rust on the cast metal and patina on other surfaces. The inner wing paint is shiny and the original stickers are still present. There are no leaks and the engine bay looks original and undisturbed. THE CCW VIEW This BMW’s first owner kept it until 2008 and the car comes with a thick history file going back to the invoice from L&C BMW, which maintained it until 2003 – the mechanical condition reflects this. Perhaps its low spec has saved it from being abused, but this really is a time-warp classic that drives like a new car.