Not a week goes by it seems that we don’t feature an E39 BMW 5 series of some sort. Generally we like to hone in on the V8 engined fast Fives, but the bread and butter E39s in the US market were the ones equipped with the inline-6 under the hood. This 2003 530i represents the last year for the E39 and the sunset on this particular chapter in BMW design language. Equipped with the sports package and a 5-speed manual gearbox, it is sort of junior version of the M5 for those who may be scared off by the running costs and thirst of the Motorsports beast.
All posts tagged 5 series
Some pristine examples of the standard 535i have cropped up recently, and today’s is a shining example of why these were such popular sports sedans in the 80s. With black on chrome, it’s not quite as sinister as the M5, but what I would give for my E28 to be as clean as this! With just 114k miles, the M30 has barely reached puberty, ensuring that you can buy this 535i and have years of looking classy ahead of you. With a starting bid of just $5k and this kind of condition, this could be a great classic value for the right buyer.
Click for details: 1986 BMW 535i on eBay
I’d like to consider myself a practical person. This could partly be the reasoning behind my aversion to the SUV. Sure, these vehicles can go anywhere, but how much of the time do you really need a car like that? Then we have the crossover. Don’t want the whole hog when it comes to four-wheel drive capability? Cool. We’ll slap some plastic fender flares in a contrasting color on an otherwise decent looking estate vehicle, jack it up a bit, add all-wheel drive and call it a day. A car like this might be a bit more fuel efficient and realistic for everyday use than a purpose built truck, but let’s face it, wouldn’t a regular estate vehicle suffice for most? Looking over this low mileage 2001 BMW 325i Touring for sale in Florida brings that question to the forefront.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 325i Touring on eBay
Tavarish’s recent Jalopnik post regarding the performance bargain available in the E39 540i solidified many of my car-brain’s transient thoughts. The 540i is a serious looker, with the E39’s grace and nearly all of the M5’s aggression. They are plentiful around the interwebs, but this example caught my eye with a host of Dinan upgrades, low mileage, and a 6-speed transmission. The Dinan supercharger pushes power slightly above the S62’s with plenty of drivetrain and chassis modifications to keep up. It may not quite trigger that special ///M response, but it will get you 99% of the way there while costing half of what a similar M5 would. At just over $10k, you’ll be hard pressed to find more performance per dollar, let alone in a car that looks this good.
Click for details: 1998 BMW 540i Dinan on Craigslist SF Bay Area
We try to refrain from writing up total dumpster dives here on GCFSB, but sometimes it’s worth it to examine a car with potential – even if that potential ends up being parting out. This particular ruffian hits close to home, as my E28 M5 isn’t perfect but I will turn in my car-guy card if it ever gets anywhere close to this condition. The worst bits are the paint, lurking rust, and awful trunk that is minus one spare wheel/tire and carpet set but plus one hideous subwoofer. The seller claims it starts and runs cleanly, which is promising but not enough to dive in head first. I bought my 200k+ mile M5 to have a solid base that I could feel good about keeping on the road. If you are a BMW mechanic, this could be a cheap M5 for a long term project. Otherwise, it may end up as nothing more than a moneypit or a parts car.