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"How would you like to drive a 1988 M5 up Highway 1?"

That wasn't a call I was expecting, especially in the late summer of 2010. As far as I was concerned, any car from the 1980s still on the road was sure to be showing a few hundred thousand miles, springs coming through the seats and air conditioning blowing warm.
We all have a short list of favorite vehicles that most will never see, let alone drive.

However, BMW North America was on the other end of the phone, and the vehicle we were discussing had been pulled out of a factory museum on the East Coast and shipped to California in a covered truck. Not only did it have low miles, but this unique model was in near-mint condition.

The 1988 BMW M5 is special in more ways than one. In addition to being the first-generation M5, its production was extremely limited and each and every copy sold in North America was jet black with blacked-out trim. And there was the powerplant... BMW had essentially dropped the M1's 24-valve 3.5-liter racing engine under the hood.

You can guess what my answer was.

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