Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) is a big guy who often dresses with class. Similarly, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bimmer is an M5 dressed in 7-series clothes. You’ll need to decide if its price puts this mad mashup in a class of its own.
Yesterday we had a 1999 VW Beetle that had some Audi TT thrown in for good measure. Or for bad. That was the more likely result, seeing as you lot threw a big bag of nopes at that freaky retro combo meal. To ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again you also threw an overwhelming 90-percent Crack Pipe loss at its $7,200 price tag.
Combo cars don’t always have to suck. The compromises of melding models never originally intended to live as one sometimes creates beautiful outcomes, ones that demand a slap of the forehead and a “why didn’t I think of that?” upon their unveiling.
I think this 2000 BMW 740i/M5 is one of those kind of combo cars.
If you recall the movie Tommy Boy—wait, what’s that, you’ve never seen it? That’s okay, the rest of us will wait. Hmm, hmm, hmm. Okay, that’s long enough. In Tommy Boy, one of Chris Farley’s best bits was when he put on tiny tot David Spade’s jacket and sang “fat guy in a little coat…” I know, classic, right?
This E38 is sort of the opposite of that—it’s a phat mill in an even bigger coat. In this case that mill is an S62B50 4.9-litre V8 out of an E39 M5. In fact, there’s a whole bunch more of that M5 sprinkled liberally throughout this big executive sedan.
First off, the base car was a Canadian-market SWB M-sport edition of the 7-series, and it rocks 95,000 miles. The donor M5 was a 2001 E39 with 131K on the clock when it was unceremoniously stripped to the bone so its sexy bits could be bolted into their new, bigger 740i home.
Those parts include the M5 six-speed manual, M5 LSD in back, and even an M5 guibo in between. There’s an M5 exhaust, M5 fuel system, M5 clutch, M5 Cooling system, and… well, you get the picture. When they were done that donor M5 must have been a sight.
The resulting M5-imbued 7-series is pretty easy on the eyes though. It comes in silver over black, and riding on huge OZ wheels with Michelin rubber bands in place of tires. Bilstein struts keep everything on the up and up. An Alpina air dam dresses the nose, while out back all the badging, less the Roundel, has all been removed. The only issues here look to be some speckling above the headlights, and a cracked fog light lens.
Inside, there are sport seats, an M5 tiller, and apparently even an M5 rearview mirror. The leather in here looks a bit worn on the bolsters, but is otherwise very serviceable. The ad notes that all the functional stuff fully functions.
The car was built to sell, and the ad notes that an inordinate amount of effort was put into making all the E39 stuff fit and work in its older big brother’s body. It claims it all to be a success. Quite remarkably, the car comes with a clean title too.
The BMW E38 is arguably the last attractive 7-series produced, at least to date. They were built in substantial numbers making parts readily available. Still, their prices are generally depressed as supply currently exceeds demand. This one—like Forrest Gump—is special. That means that it can command a premium over its lesser brethren. How much so however, we’ll just have to see.
The asking price is a cool $21,000, or about ten-times what you might reasonably expect to pay for a stock 740i of this era, at least in reasonable shape. Of course you’re not just getting an E38, you’re also getting an E39 M5 as part of the deal, and almost all the performance that might imply.
What’s your take on this crazy mixed up kid of a Bimmer? Does that $21,000 price seem like a fair deal seeing what’s all gone into it, and the promise that it’s all working? Or, is this a 7-series that’s been irrevocably wrecked?
H/T to Jeff for the hookup!
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