With its modest-displacement six and five-speed stick, today’s Nice Price or No Dice E39 should prove an adequate and enjoyable cruiser. That is if its price and title status don’t get in the way of the fun.
Is there any more American a car than one from American Motors? If your answer to that compelling question is “yeah, probably,” then you were likely among those who conspired to give last Friday’s 1982 AMC Eagle SX4 a 70 percent No Dice loss due to its $5,000 price tag.
If there’s one thing I think we can almost all agree upon, however, it’s that the E39 is to date BMW’s last seriously good-looking 5 Series. The following F60 edition, while more capable in almost every way, suffered from being Bangled beyond belief. Those that followed since have offered styling that was less polarizing but contrastingly more anonymous. All of the models that followed the E39 also featured a slew of mechanical and electronic gadgetry that can make visiting a used car lot full of them somewhat akin to traipsing through a minefield.
Not only does this 1999 BMW 528i Touring offer that top-of-its-game styling, but it also brings to the table a five-speed manual behind its smooth 192 horsepower straight-six as well as a handsome set of basketweaves, claimed to be straight outa’ BBS.
Those wheels are mounted with Michelin All-Season tires and fill the wheel arches of what looks to be a reasonably straight and rot-free body. Admittedly, the Titan Silver metallic paint does show a few nicks and chips here and there, as well as what appears to be a wave in the rear passenger door rocker. Other than that, it all looks solid and the factory black trim avoids the typical brightwork wear older Bimmers can suffer. Along the same lines, the headlight covers look clear and un-yellowed.
A similar experience awaits in the cabin. There’s no appreciable wear evident here, with just minimal rubbing showing on the driver’s off-side bolster belying the car’s age and 141,000 miles. The piano black trim is a nice choice for all those offended by wood in their cars.
According to the ad, the car has seen a tremendous amount of mechanical work and updates over the past 13 months, with nearly everything on the car fixed or renewed. The list is too long to include here, but suffice to say it’s an impressive read in the ad. There’s also a list in the ad of additional parts not actually on the car but that will join it in the sale. Most notable among those is a carbon fiber and leather M5 steering wheel that the seller claims cost $3,500 to acquire. To be honest, that looks a little over the top for so stately an estate, but you wouldn’t want to turn it down if it’s part of the deal.
Sadly, not everything is peaches and herb with this 5 Series. According to the seller, the car, unfortunately, comes with a rebuilt title. The ad explains that a CarFax report shows sub-frame damage occurring in 2018. That has seemingly been repaired and the seller offers an under-car shot looking forward that shows straight frame rails and no obvious evidence of scarring aft of the engine.
Obviously, for a few of you, a tainted title puts the kibosh on contemplating this Bimmer’s purchase since many insurers won’t touch the car with a 10-foot actuarial. Accommodations can be made, however, and if a deal can be worked out for acceptable insurance coverage, there doesn’t seem to be any other reason not to overlook that rebuilt title status. After all, it worked out so well for that Dr. Frankenstein character about whom Mary Shelley had so many nice things to say.
One benefit of a rebuilt title is that, as pretty much everyone knows, it affects value in the negative. It’s sort of the scarlet A of the automotive world. In the case of this BMW, that has resulted in an asking price of $8,500, and it’s now your solemn duty to decide if that’s low enough asking considering the title status.
What do you think, is this rebuilt but seemingly nicely kitted 528i wagon worth that $8,500 asking as presented in the ad? Or, does that price make this the end of the tour?
H/T to Jerry Cleveland for the hookup!
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