CC Outtake: The Eclectic Garage, And A Closer Look At The BMW

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I had to stop walking when I got to this house. I’d seen the Cutlass there before, but the garage was always closed. Not today, as the owner was just about to leave. That gave me a chance to hear about his cars.

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The Suburban (’66, I think) has had a 292 six transplanted, which the owner says makes it pretty lively. The Cutlass was his dad’s car, and its vinyl roof is developing a particularly nice case of vinyl-patina. But his daily driver is this fine BMW 530i, a ’78, the last year before it became a 528i.

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I think he said he’s had it for almost thirty years, and it still gets driven plenty, including a recent road trip down to California.

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This is of course the first 5 Series, and was a very acclaimed and desirable car in its time. But the 530i used a thermal reactor to help clean its exhaust. That led to excessive heat in the cylinder head and resulatant cracking; BMW had to replace a lot of heads as a consequence. This engine has been modified with Euro-style exhaust manifolds, and runs cool and strong.

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Its exhaust gave a lovely and delicate six-cylinder snarl as it drove off. This is the only E12 I know of in Eugene still on the road. Long may it grace our streets!