2001 BMW M5

About halfway through production of the E39 M5, BMW released a series of films from notable directors highlighting their model range. They all starred Clive Owen as the ubiquitous Driver character as the wheelman of a particular model. Some were dark, some were mysterious, but my favorite – and, I believe the favorite of most people – was Guy Ritchie’s Star. For me, it was neither the famous director nor his power-couple wife Madonna that was the star of that particular film, but the Driver‘s M5. Indeed, rewatching the film I found myself comparing the character’s introduction monologue, which ostensibly was about the female character played by Madonna, to the car. The characteristics shared of the dual nature of the iconic singer somehow work juxtaposed onto the M5. That was brought into sharper focus as the film progressed and Blur’s Song 2 – a song that somehow perfectly summed up the M5’s character. A deep base line, rhythmic speed and shouts of “Woo Hooo!” seem to somehow follow the M5 wherever it goes. Over the top? Absolutely, but it seemed that the whole plot line of Star is how most M5 drivers think their daily commute goes.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW M5 on Hartford Craigslist

Year: 2001
Model: M5
Engine: 4.9 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 98,500 mi
Price: $21,750

This is my 2nd BMW M5 (prior 1991 E34 M5). I am a German car enthusiast & collector. My 2001 M5 is primarily used as a family, weekend & business vehicle. Everything works as it should, car is fast and solid. Current odometer: 98,500 miles . Purchased in 2008 w/ 68,500 miles (Florida car shipped). Driven roughly 4200miles annually since then. Garaged 24x7x365, never driven in snow, leather treated w/ Lexol 4x / year,exterior hand washed only with 7th generation bio degradable soap Rare Oxford Green w/ Tan interior New items: battery, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires, diff and pinion seals, windshield, thermostat, valve cover seal & breather hoses. Recent tune up including: new OEM NGK spark plugs, BMW grade transmission& rear diff fluid flush, camshaft position sensor, new K&N air filters. No other mods Castrol Synthetic oil changes every 3500 miles 23+mpg highway. Thank you. Listed at $21,750

I appreciate a careful owner. I’d like to think I’m a careful owner. But I always get a chuckle when I read “careful owner” ad copy, which includes parking the car on a bed of roses every night. All I can think of is the bit from Top Gear where Clarkson is talking to the insurance company posing as a parent, announcing that their child will only “very,… very rarely” use the car. But this M5 certainly does seem to have been loved and I personally find the Oxford/Tan color combination in perfect fitting with the E39 shape. It’s not shouty, but it looks great to me. The careful ownership has included the right maintenance too, and with below average mileage you should be in good shape. In my search for a “perfect” E46 these E39 M5s kept coming up and taunting me. For about the same price as a clean M3, they certainly seem like a lot of performance sedan for the money.


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  1. Gorgeous color combo, price seems a bit steep, but still so appealing!

  2. Looks like all the lights on the dash work. Love the e39 M, what a great sedan, BMW got this one right.

  3. Nice color combo. That being said, the condition and appearance of the driver’s side seat leaves something to be desired.

  4. nice car…not a fan of oxford green but that is my taste..
    car has the extended leather which is nice..
    the drivers side bolsters on many cars are what show their age first…a caramel interior just highlights it more…nothing that a good leather treatment can’t fix…it doesn’t look to be torn..
    if the car stands up to a solid PPI and with steady maintenance it really isn’t a bad ask..

  5. At the risk of diverting the discussion from the car itself (which is quite nice, but I’m a sucker for clean e39 Ms, period), what would you recommend using on the leather at this point? He claims to use Lexok 4x per yr.

  6. I don’t have any first hand experience with leather treatment products but have read some good reviews of leatherique. You might google research it.

  7. I’ve used Leatherique Pristine Clean and Rejuvenator for many years and it is fine. That being said, I think the seats on this M5 need professional help. Perhaps a redye, etc. – not ideal.

  8. as far as the leather personally I’d bring it to a very good detail shop…
    start with the simple…IMHO unless you are well versed, this is not an at-home leather treatment issue..
    but the more I look at it the more I agree w/@pm….you will probably need to bring this to a shop to do a re-dye OR spring for new skins altogether…just my take

  9. Best color combo on the e39 M5!

  10. I’m really not seeing the horrible seats you guys are talking about. There are 2 pictures of the seats, 1 is of the drivers seat the other is of the rear seats and a 3rd picture that shows a glimpse of the front passenger seat. The drivers seat looks to have some wear on the bolster, which is so common on every BMW that has 100k miles on it. The rear seats look fine. Please enlighten me as to what part of these seats need all new leather or to be dyed.

  11. @Jack – I am not sure anyone is saying the seats are horrible. But it seems tough to argue the driver’s seat looks fine. The seller states they treat the leather 4x per year. Given that, you’d think they’d look their best. If that is their best, then that is concerning. The seat appears dirty, dull, and worn. Not horrible, but not good, either.

    It would seem, if you were interested in the car and the seats mattered, the next steps would be to hand it over to a professional: first a good detailing. If that doesn’t do it, next would be a minor dye job, etc. Up to potentially new leather. Who knows what it will take to get this looking up to par? But that is the concern. Again, it may not matter to everyone.

    I spent 1 minute on eBay looking for a reasonable comparison and found this:

    Those seats look much better. Is that a result of better photography? Maybe. Cheap redye? Possibly. But it shows better for sure.

  12. @Bryan…umm actually Carbon Black/Caramel…best color combo and also recognized as the fastest color E39 M5.. 🙂

  13. @Mdriver… duh how could I forget. lol

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