E12 M535i Vin and Serial Number Information

The Serial Number on BMW VIN's are the last 7 digits. On newer models they are letters and numbers, but for older models such as the E12 and E28 they're usually just numbers.

E12 Serial Numbers
M535i LHD, model code 4701 (some were DG01), model year 1980:
4 145 001 - 4 145 408
Model year 1981:
4 145 409 - 4 145 960

M535i RHD, model code 4702 (some were DG02), model year 1981:
4 148 001 - 4 148 450

Total: 1,410

DG01 and DG02 were more prevalent in later production dates than early. People usually say DG's were used in 1981 and 47's were used in 1980. BMW officially labels the VIN's 47xx.

The South African '535i'

Note that South African (RHD) 535i's were produced from Feb 1982 to Feb 1984 535i (e12). The model type was 4709. Production was 600 in 1982, 404 in 1983 and 4 units in 1984. The South African 535i had an overdrive gearbox and the front spoiler & bumper were not like the combination plastic unit common to the German built M535i. A unique thing to all South African e12 cars built from 1982 to 1984, regardless of engine & version, is that they had E28 interiors, carpet, door panels, dashboard and the check control system. Note, that these are NOT offically M535i's, but South African 535i's. That is the official designation.

Pre-Production Prototype M535i's

Pre-production E12 M535i prototypes can still come up from time to time (there are two in the United States actually). It is harder to verify authenticity of these cars because the vin #'s will usually come back as a carburated E12 525 or 528 (usually a 525). One owner in the US, Dave Spencer (verified by the former owner of the car, Jeff Campbell), states that there is a plaque or sticker hidden above the instrument cluster if you pull it out. This is one possible area to check, but an original build sheet is an even more unique item if it comes with the car! Click HERE for a picture of Dave's E12 M535i prototype's original build sheet from BMW Motorsport. This is a very rare piece of documentation and history for his car.

These cars are more likely to have a 3.25 LSD rear end rather than the 3.07 LSD in a normal production M535i. But they should still have all the rest of the components of an M535i including the 3453cc engine, close-ratio transmission (usually), Recaro seats (or even the Motorsport cloth ASS seats that Dave Spencer's car has), and the M535i airdam and/or rear spoiler. They're a unique piece of history that should prove to be very nearly on parr with the value of a standard production E12 M535i.

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