1995 E34 M5 Touring: Lance White
1995 BMW E34 M5 Touring #BL01839
3.8-liter S38 inline six-cylinder, 340 hp/266 lb-ft
Oxford Green metallic
Lance and Diane White (since 2002)
For high performance in a practical package, it’s hard to beat the M5 sedan…unless you happen to have an M5 Touring. Never offered in the US, the M5 Touring packs the M5 sedan’s race-bred underpinnings into the station wagon body style that has provided family transportation for generations. The result is a genuine cult car.
Hand-built by Motorsport technicians at Garching using body shells built at Dingolfing, the E34 M5 Touring you see here is powered by the catalyst-equipped 3.8-liter S38 six-cylinder, which puts out 340 hp at 6,900 rpm and 266 lb-ft at 4,750 rpm. The chassis was tuned by Motorsport, and the car has M-designed aerodynamics. Inside, the cars received an instrument panel with red needles, an oil temperature gauge, and sport seats—the full M treatment in an unassuming package.
Sales were relatively unassuming, as well. Motorsport produced just 891 M5 Tourings, and only 209 with the six-speed manual transmission that replaced the five-speed in May 1994. Later cars also got 18-inch M Parallel Spoke wheels, larger 13.6-inch brake rotors with floating front calipers, and Adaptive M Suspension with the discontinued Nürburgring option’s 20mm rear anti-roll bar and dashboard switch to lock the dampers into their stiffest setting.
The car you see here, #BL01839, was built in February 1995. It was imported from Germany by Will Zaraska for Lance White, who’d already built an ersatz M5 wagon of his own by putting an E34 M5 drivetrain into a 525i Touring chassis.
Federalization took nearly two years, but White says it was worth the wait.
“It’s my favorite car for long drives. Unless I have a compelling reason to drive something else, I’m taking the M5 Touring,” White says. “It’s got so much torque, and that wonderful suspension. It also gets 25-26 mpg at 80 mph…just stick it in sixth and go! The cargo hold is huge, especially with the rear seat folded down. When I first got it, I used it to transport tires, boxes, everything, just like a regular wagon.”
Regular wagons don’t have an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, however, nor can they scoot from zero to 60 in just over six seconds. Most lack the sheer presence of an M5 Touring, too, especially one encountered outside its native Germany.
“Maybe I have a twisted sense of aesthetics, but I love looking at wagons, and I love knowing what this one is capable of,” White says. “If I had to go down to just one car, it would be the M5 Touring. I think it’s my coolest car.”