I know that, amongst the authors that grace these pages, I seem to do a lot of comparisons of cars, some of which are extremely unlikely comparisons. One of our readers termed my picks a “Cheese and Chalk” competition; in many ways, he was right. After all, how can you really compare cars that are in completely different demographic categories? To be fair to me, I don’t always do such, but in that case that’s the appeal of the “10K Friday” series – taking a fixed budget and looking at the wild variety of cars that’s available simply because they’re similarly priced. However, I also like to compare similar vehicles and that’s the case today. I have two rare examples of Dinan-modded BMW 5-series. On the surface, they’re quite similar – both grey metallic, both with light grey interiors, both with normally aspirated motors, both have silver multi-spoke wheels with polished lips, and both have 6-speeds. But the level with which Dinan has breathed on them is quite different; consequently, one has double the power of the other, more technology and more complexity. That model also has one tenth the mileage of the other, and unsurprisingly is on offer at ten times the price making these seemingly very similar 5s very different. Which is the winner in your mind?
All posts tagged e39
Lets get this out of the way right off the bat. The E39 BMW 5 series is the best looking sedan ever made. It is the pinnacle of balanced design and it’s beauty is only accentuated by the garish abomination that succeeded it. Show me someone who says they love their “Bangle Butt” 5 series and I’ll show you a person in serious denial. BMW tired to scale back the ugly on the F10 but it’s still a bloated boat compared to the clean, svelte E39.
Growing up I was obsessed with the hottest version of this beautifully thought out machine, the E39 M5. One of my favorite pro skateboarders had two of them and could be seen thoroughly enjoying them in his video parts. At age 15 a blacked out M5 with “peanut butter” interior was THE car and it remains a vehicle that I am still in lust with. However I’m a bit more educated than I was back then and I know that while the M5 is the lead, there is an equally impressive supporting player in the cast, the 540i M-Sport.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW 540i M-Tech on USE
Over the past couple months, we’ve featured a few E34 and E39 540i sedans with the M-Sport package. While the E34 540i M-Sport was an extremely limited edition model that was akin to the late model M5 we didn’t get, the E39 540i M-Sport was kind of an M5-light. You were down about 100 horsepower versus the M5, but if you wanted a sporty V8 5 series with an automatic, this was your only ticket. Thankfully, this Dinan tuned 540i M-Sport for sale from our reader Hunter is equipped with the 6-speed manual, giving the new owner a lot of the same pleasures of the infamous super sedan from this era.
Click for details: 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport on BMW CCA Classifieds
I’ve recently had the pleasure of writing up a few very cool Alpinas thanks to a new seller who seems to be flooding the market. Today, unlike the Japanese seller on eBay, there are two B10s that are already located in the Americas – Canada, to be specific, where it’s a bit easier to get these European market cars imported. So here we have two iterations of Alpina’s vision of the 5-series; in the E34, it’s a 1991 3.5/1 that was very similar in many regards to the B11 3.5/1 I featured Tuesday. On the newer end of the spectrum is the 1998 B10 V8; a huge jump in power to accompany the newer chassis. Which is your flavor? Let’s break down what you’d get with each:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Alpina B10 3.5/1 on eBay
E39 wagons are about as classy as you can get, and while they may not have the AWD prowess originally offered by Audi and now available on most German cars, recent studies (and by studies I mean YouTube videos) have shown that RWD can be quite capable when equipped with snow tires. Today’s 525iTA may not have the sporting ability of a 6-speed 540i, but it would make an eminently practical family car. Good looks, warm seats, and great cruising provided by an automatic and an inline-6 makes me want to get a winter wheel and tire set and head to the mountains.