For $9,900, This 1999 BMW 540i Lets You Stick It To The Man

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

Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW has just about everything a true Jalop could want: a longroof body; V8 engine; 6-speed stick; and the potential chance to get a new insurer. Let's see if we can add its price to that list as well.

As you will recall, last week we had an Audi S8 that had been converted to stick. The comments on it were filled with consternation over just how bad-ass it was, however tempered by the fact that - owing to its salvage title, and general poor rep that old Audis have - its ownership would totally be a Sisyphean task.


Well, here we go again… sort of.

We're starting out this week, and the month, with another bad-ass German that has gone to six speeds, all of them requiring manual labor. And not only that, but this 1999 BMW 540i ALSO has a salvage title. Cue Groundhog Day references and a sad trombone.

The seller isn't the one who made the gearbox switcheroo but he has replaced the water pump. He also has a couple of horrific pictures of the car that show why its insurer wrote it off. That was apparently 60K ago, and now, sporting a little over 100K and a fresh new look, it's said to show no enduring symptoms of its front-end crash, with the notable exception of that scarlet letter on its title.


To some insurers a car with a rebuilt title is like an anti-vaxxer's kid at Disneyland; to be avoided at all costs. Taking a look at this red over biscuit longroof however, I'd say it may be time to find a new insurance company. But seriously, stay away from that kid with sniffles and the mom wearing hemp.


When equipped with the 4.4-litre M62 the '99 E39 brought 291-bhp and 340 lb-ft of torque to the party. The six speed stick on this wagon adds naked Twister to that party, while the M5 nose, extroverted paint, and backout trim on the car will have the cops banging on the door at 3-am, and then joining in.

The damage the car took in its front-end shunt looks in the provided pic to be pretty bad for the first foot or so. Both frame tubes were bent pretty seriously, although the engine looks to have come through unscathed.


It's amazing what a competent body man can do with a dedicated bench these days, but I'd still want to have a good look at things like tire wear, and perhaps follow the car while someone else drives it to see if it crabs down the road. If it all checks out, well, the original damage was probably more expensive than safety-related.


The rest of the car seems to be in fine shape, and the seller notes a number of small maintenance and repair efforts - door handles, gauge repairs, etc - that have been done to keep this E39 from feeling trashy. The M62 has also seen some professional work, mostly gaskets and radiator, which are some of the engine's common bugaboos.


They say that in space no one can hear you scream, and on the road, no one will know this BMW has a rebuilt title except for you. If you can get over that hump, then the next question is, does this 540i - as described in the ad - feel like it's worth $9,900?

You decide!


Greenville NC Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Terry Tsandilis for the hookup!

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