I probably put less emphasis on looks than you do. I deal with technology and I am impressed by performance.
The E24 and E31 body are in fact beautiful but the E24 and all the others with 4 and 6 cylinders leave me unimpressed. The M version might stretch its legs on the interstate, but without v8 torque it has no performance for the street. The suspensions on E24, E28, E32, E34 are crude compared to MB. With 18 inch tires a comfortable ride at a hundred is inconcievable.
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician