BMW M5: Bavaria’s Bathurst-blitzing grand tourer
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BMW M5: Bavaria’s Bathurst-blitzing grand tourer

By MarkOastler - 17 May 2019
This factory-entered E34 M5 starred in the 1992 James Hardie 12 Hour. Apart from minor tweaks required for racing like a roll cage, fire extinguisher, stiffer suspension settings etc, this car was effectively straight off the showroom floor.

There’s no better way to prove a road car’s performance credentials than motor sport, particularly in long races for cars in stock standard, showroom trim. BMW Australia did just that with its E34 M5 in the 1992 James Hardie 12 Hour at Bathurst, blitzing its class rivals and finishing second outright in a memorable display of speed and reliability.

The luxurious Bavarian heavyweight won its class by a staggering margin of 30 laps - or more than 186km! And it was only beaten in outright terms by a twin-turbocharged FD Mazda RX-7 supercar, which would prove so dominant in future years it would hasten the premature demise of this much-loved event.