By day, Darren Spratt works in a senior business management capacity, but as a release from work pressures it is the BMW E28 to which his attention drifts.
Why the E28? Â Is this some kind of mid-life crisis Darren?
Darren Spratt:Â Maybe it is. Â Very probably!
Let me get this straight. Â I am not a car fanatic â€“ in the general sense. Â I use a garage to fix these old classics and the limit of my personal investment in their upkeep is a bit of elbow grease in the polishing process.
I think it is a combination of factors. Â The drive is fantastic â€“ a wonderful smooth automatic transmission and a 6-cylinder engine which contains some power. Â These cars look fantastic too. Â A big square, yet streamlined profile â€“ complete with a wonderful shark nose. Â The chrome looks great too.
You know, there is an argument that they were slightly old fashioned when new in terms of appearance. Â Mercedes were already sporting moulded light clusters when the E28 shone itâ€™s big round headlamps for the first time. Â The model followed its predecessorâ€™s (E12) shape pretty closely â€“ something BMW were criticised for at the time.
But you drive a brand new Mercedes for work â€“ why would you want to jump into a 25 year old car at the weekend?
Darren Spratt:Â I know, I know. Â Itâ€™s an emotional thing too. Â I acquired my first E28 back in the early 90s. Â It was meant to be a stop-gap car when I moved from employment into self-employment. Â But I did fall in love. Â It was 11 years old at the time and it felt more like a proper car to me! Â I even went on my honeymoon in it. Â I later sold that car because of my then wife. Â She thought it was too big for her. Â What a sense of regret I have about that. Â I should have got rid of her then instead â€“ I did that later!
Some years on, I found the car was on my mind, so I started to do some research. Â I found a great website http://forum.bmw5.co.uk and within this site I found a large number of enthusiasts for the E28. Â Naturally, it wasnâ€™t long before I purchased my second E28.
So, these old Beamers are about 25 years old now â€“ must be cheap to buy?
Darren Spratt:Â Oh yes! Â You can pick one up on ebay for a couple of hundred pounds! Â But take a look at the specialist sites and youâ€™ll see the good ones are appreciating. Â Take a look at www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk and www.carandclassic.co.uk and you will often find models going for Â£3,000 to Â£4000 now. Â One member of http://forum.bmw5.co.uk specialises in detailing and has sold a couple of cleaned up versions for circa Â£7,500.
Well thanks for sharing your enthusiasm â€“ as a final point, is there a particular model of the E28 for you?
Darren Spratt:Â For me, itâ€™s the 528iSE â€“ automatic, of course. Â Iâ€™ve currently got 2 of them…
American fans can find out more at www.mye28.com
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