For $17,000, Will This 2001 BMW 540i Get Your Goat?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The last time BMW put a pushrod V8 in a car was in the 1965 3200 CS. Here we are half a century later and today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 5-series brings them back - by way of GM. That’s pretty crazy, but will its price push all your right buttons?

Well, it didn’t take long to get back to crack. Yesterday’s RHD 1989 Mitsubishi Pajero wasn’t anything anybody wanted, especially not at its asking, which was almost twice what it sold for at Japanese Classics (thanks, Blaine) not too long ago. Twice ain’t nice and 77% of you sent that Mitsu packing with a Crack Pipe loss.


Oh well, as Rocky and Bullwinkle used to say; and now here’s something we hope you really like.

What we have here is a 2001 BMW E39 5-series, a 540i in fact. It’s appropriately black on black, rocks the sport package - seats, steering wheel, Axe body spray, etc. - and according to the ad it comes with an integrated garage door opener.

Oh yeah, and the 4.4-litre, all-alloy 291-bhp V8 has been replaced by an LQ4 mill which is aided and abetted by a T56 six-speed manual transmission.


Not only is the 6-litre GM engine a simpler/cheaper route to the same destination as the Bimmer’s original eight, but this one is 4,000-miles fresh and seems to have been professionally built using an amalgamation of better, faster, stronger parts.


The installation looks fully-assed too, and you can see that it’s not this E39’s first rodeo when it comes to pushrod V8s by the seller’s build thread. Interestingly, the engine is mated to the BMW’s stock exhaust and cats, although the cutouts should make it seem rowdy. It also has GTO beauty caps bracketing the intake which is kind of hilarious.

The body looks to be in excellent shape and the ad claims it to be accident-free although that’s a bit of semantics as apparently it did have minor run-ins with an errant parking lot backer, and on another occasion an unlucky deer. The entire front clip has seemingly been resprayed to address all of that plus any stone chips and other boogers.


Other than that, it’s your typical 5-series Sport, with Shadowline trim, faux Parallels, and a lip spoiler on the boot to boot. If the new buyer happens to live in NY, perhaps even the awesome license plates will go along with it.


On the inside, its pretty much what you might expect, and in decent shape too. The only things to really note here are some window shade fiddly bits, some minor wear, and the fact that the Navona burl has been wrapped in “brushed stainless steel” vinyl. Oh, and the cue ball shifter pretty much stands out.


The seller says he’s ready for something new and that’s why the car is on the block. He’s pretty descriptive in the ad as to the car’s foibles as well as its fun factor.

It may be sacrilege to eschew one of the BMW’s greatest features - its fantastically engineered engine - for so blue collar a replacement, but then I’ve never been all that religious. The tithe to the alter of horsepower here is $17,000, and yes that’s for someone else’s project. Perhaps you could match this build for less in parts, but then what’s your time worth?


What’s your take on this LS-rocking E39 and that $17,000 price? Does that push your rods? Or, is this mad amalgamation of Bimmer and iron block just not worth its asking?

You decide!


Buffalo Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Nick in Portlandia for the hookup!

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