We have 15 years of archives. Links older than a year may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.
The other day an Alpine White M2 briskly blew past me. It’s amazing how much presence that car has rolling down the road; it’s nearly square-looking and quite mean. Unlike the 1M that preceded it, the M2 hasn’t maintained its pricing on the used market in quite the same way. Right now, the M2 Competition (your only option) stickers at nearly $60,000 with no options but also has a derivative of the S55 from the M3/4. The earlier M2s aren’t quite as mean, and like the 1M they had a turned up version of the normal production motor rather than a “S” motor. In this case, it’s a 370 horsepower version of the N55 and they weigh a bit less than the M3/4 (though, only a bit), so performance is on par with similar acceleration numbers. Equipped in lovely Long Beach Blue Metallic with matching contrasting stitching, this particular example also has the ‘slower’ but preferable long-term 6-speed manual. And to make it a bit more sweet, it’s got a few Dinan mods tacked on:
Following up on the recent Callaway Stage IIs, the other best-known American turbocharger of German products in the 1980s was Steve Dinan. Equally highly regarded, Dinan’s products have made their way from a small independent to being offered in BMW dealerships across the country, and the quality of his work is on par with the best independent tuners from Germany – Hartge and Alpina. Dinan has taken on tough projects – turbocharging the S38, BMW’s first V12, and punching out their V10 to 5.8 liters – and come away smiling.
Today, one of his less-exotic historical products is on the market. In this case it’s a 1989 535i that was turbocharged, lowered and stiffened, and given a big set of wheels. It’s the classic recipe, and sure enough, the outcome looks nice. But what makes this car notable is that it was reportedly Steve Dinan’s personal car, and is presented as the poster pinup probably more than a few of us reading about in Car & Driver when new:
Are you a ‘want your cake and eat it too’ kind of person? If so, you probably appreciate performance wagons. And why not? They offer practicality, are (generally) much more affordable than sports cars, and can literally fly under the radar. With their numbers dwindling in the open market, it’s always a great time to look at one from our past. Enter the E39 Touring.
There were several configurations that the 5-series Touring was available in over the years, but the ‘big stick’ was the 540i with its 286 horsepower M62. Sure, the N54-equipped E61 was faster and available as a manual. But if you wanted a really classic BMW setup, the 540iT was about as good as it got for US-bound BMW wagons. As a result, many have been turned up by their owners and drafted into M5 clones. Such is the case here, with this Sienna Red Metallic E39 sporting a host of Dinan bits, E39 M5 bits, and a 6-speed manual swap for good measure.