With BMW investing heavily in crossovers, electrics, and autonomous cars it’s heartening to remember that they’re also responsible for cars like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe E39 M5. Let’s see what this history lesson might be worth.
This past Friday we looked at an unsung hero of the Miata line—a 2008 MX-5 PRHT which had an easy to erect hard top and a Flyin’ Miata supercharger under its hood. The top made for a more secure and quiet car than the soft top version, while the supercharger made the car faster than any stock Miata would likely claim. When you matched those admirable attributes with the car’s $13,500 asking price you got a laudable 80 percent Nice Price win.
Strangely enough, that Miata remains on the market. We on the other hand, are moving on. To where? Why to this Silverstone over black leather 2000 BMW M5, of course.
The E39 edition of the M5 was the third in succession, and the first to say “see ya” to the straight six with its alternate announcement that “eight is great.” The 4.9-litre S62 in this version of the M5 works as two interconnected four-pots with individually controlled throttle bodies for each bank and VANOS variable valve timing. The all-alloy engine also offered a dry sump lubrication system so you wouldn’t have to worry about flexing its 394 horses when things got extra twisty.
The E39 M5 proved pretty capable through those corners too. That was made possible by its multi-link rear end, which debuted on this iteration. Quite remarkably, the M5 eschewed the lesser cars’ rack & pinion steering for a recirculating ball box. That did come with a substantially quicker ratio though.
All that was wrapped in a body that, while arguably not as handsome as its E34 predecessor, was far more attractive than its freaky Dame Edna-looking E60 successor.
This one is described by its seller as “gorgeous” and is being made available because it’s apparently part of a fleet that needs culling. Yeah, I think that’s just bragging too. The car is kitted as most of us would desire, in a light color that shows off the M5-specific bits and works well with the deep dish parallel wheels, and with a six-speed stick.
Those factory alloy wheels are claimed to be wrapped in new Sumitomo HTR Z III tires. On the downside, the one closeup we get shows significant curb rash present. I for one advocate that we all go back to fitting curb feelers to our cars to avoid such egregious injuries.
The car has done a remarkable 175,000 miles. That’s admittedly less than 10K per year and it’s no where near what’s apparently possible.
Remember however, this is still a somewhat finicky super sedan from a company not shy about complex engineering solutions or ensuring that their factory-certified mechanics can send their kids to good colleges.
That being said, there’s been a lot of work done here already. That’s mostly consumable replacement and normal wear and tear work, including a new clutch and flywheel, brake and clutch hydraulics, subframe bushings in back, and a change of lubes.
Speaking of lube, which I often do, the ad claims an “Oil Dialisis done for ROD BEARINGS (still in good condition!)” This is not the correct usage of that term, but I think we can glean what it means. An Oil Dialysis is the cleaning of used oil rather than changing it—not a common practice. The attempted description here is of an oil analysis, which is a practice in which you send off a sample of your oil to a lab and they check it for metal particulates and contaminants. Whatever the case, it’s good to know that the big ends are in satisfactory shape.
One update that’s perhaps not a plus is the custom exhaust that’s been added to the car. That includes the removal of the catalytic convertors and an ECU flash to let the engine know it’s not seeing anything amiss in their absence.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m all about pairing my performance with passable air quality so that last car hack is not okay in my book. It also makes the car persona non grata in my humble home state of California.
Not everybody sees cast-off cats as reason to clutch at their pearls however, and admittedly, the rest of this car looks to be a pretty compelling package. The interior appears all stock, however the odd adoption of carbon fiber-esque trim on the dash leading into wood on the doors is a bit jarring. The wood shift knob for the six-speed stick adds to the mystery. The leather on the seats appears to be in fine shape, likely because the brunt of the wear from egress has been borne by the door’s weatherstripping which is in rough shape and in need of replacement.
That seems to be about all this car needs. Well, one other thing is a check in the amount of $9,500 since that is the asking price. That’s on the low end for a clean title M5 from this year, and while it’s obviously driven by the high miles, the litany of (mostly expensive) replacement parts and maintenance seem to ameliorate that.
What do you think, is this mileage master M5 worth that $9,500 asking? Or, is this silver bullet’s price a misfire?
Portland, OR Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Linda P for the hookup!
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