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  • Barney

80s icon for a very special 80th birthday surprise

All the cars that visit Classic Heroes are special for many different reasons, but this E12 M535 was one of those cars that caused and enormous amount of excitement and pulled at our heart strings.

Everybody that knows me, knows I have a soft spot for these early Super-saloons. So, when our transport guys delivered this one owner, 11,000 mile example to the workshop, it caused quite a stir.

The last time she saw the light of day was 25 years ago when she was put in to long term storage. During the first 11 years of her life she was only used for very special occasions and visits to BMW Car Club Events and Concourse meets. She remains to this day 100% original and untouched except for the odd routine service. Every document is with the car including the original sales invoice, all handbooks, wallet, service book, original radio, supplying dealer number plates and rear window sticker. The car is “as new” throughout and untouched. The underside was as exciting to see as the top and the interior. All car enthusiasts know that as new smell one gets from an interior when a car door is opened. This “as new smell” has survived 37 years.

Following a detailed health check of the car and inspection of the bores with a scope, working with the customer, a programme of work was drawn up to make this unique E12 M535i turnkey. All the preventive maintenance then carried out to ensure she is preserved for another generation.

The following work was carried out:-

Carry out full appraisal of car

Drain old fuel and fluids

Replace fuel pump

Replace all rear fuel hoses and clips around fuel pump Remove gearbox and bell housing as clutch seized and replace clutch Carry out Inspection II service Change brake fluid and coolant Replace air bellows Investigate slight miss-fire and replace plug cap Replace engine mounts Replace drive belts and adjust Replace wiper blades Adjust washer jets Replace all tyres Replace wheel centres Fit new exhaust trims Remove exhaust and replace middle box and rear box with new joiners.

Replace exhaust rubbers

Replace propshaft coupling and bearing

Replace rear gearbox oil seals

Replace all differential oil seals and O ring Replace water pump and thermostat Replace viscous fan coupling Replace all coolant hoses, heater hoses and clips Replace all under bonnet fuel hoses Replace header tank cap Replace bleed nipple covers Remove brake servos. Prime and paint blue area Remove clutch master cylinder and rebuild Remove clutch slave cylinder and rebuild Replace brake master cylinder Replace front and rear brake hoses Replace front brake discs, pads and sensor Replace rear brake discs, pads, sensor and handbrake shoes Adjust and balance handbrake Re-glue small area of bonnet sound deadening Remove all brake calipers, Re-assemble calipers with all new seals.

Replace Bilstein shocks front and rear and spring pan rubbers Gently clean front to rear fuel lines Replace front to rear fuel line to floor clips Replace front roll bar dive link nuts, bolts, spacers and cups Replace rear roll bar dive link, nuts, bolts, spacers, cups Investigate faulty radio and clean antenna connection Road test and MOT car.

Very carefully clean underside of car as required ensuring no original transit wax is removed or product. Gently clean slight surface corrosion from all suspension, steering and drive-line components. Treat all these parts with Tectyl ML. Repair Replace rear spoiler stripe.

The final phase was a full valet with paint correction and ceramic coat to ensure long-term paint protection.

So why has it been decided to carry out this work now? Well, our customers Dad, who bought the car new, turns 80 this October. He has not seen his car for many, many years and retired to Spain. A family party has been arranged for his 80th and the plan is that his son will surprise Dad by collecting him in his car. Wow! We can't wait to hear all about the party and Dad's reaction.

I rather hope my son Zak is reading this story and will be looking after me that well when I turn 80 !

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