2003 BMW 540i M-Sport Dinan

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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

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Alpina-off: E34 v. E39 B10s

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

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup

While to me the E39 isn’t the prettiest 5 series BMW produced, what they did manage to accumulate was perhaps one of the best wheel lineups they ever fitted. Most ended up on the sport models, but from the Style 5 to Style 66, all of them looked great. I especially love the relatively unloved two-piece BBS made Style 19s that were fitted to early 540i sports, but the Style 5, 66 and 32 wheels that made it to other sport models are equally good. Of course, I had to throw in a set of Style 37 “M-Parallels” even though they’re most often associated with other models – and truth told, the Style 32 wheels here are actually optional E38 wheels. Nevertheless, they’re all awesome – which are your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW Style 42 17×8,5×120 Wheels on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 2000 BMW M5

I’ll start this post with the bad news; our reader Z sent in an awesome Dinan S3 spec E39 M5 that was supposed to run in this slot. Unfortunately, although the auction was slated to still be running it ended early, meaning we don’t get to look at that car. Now the good news; because Dinan is a factory-backed tuner and the M5 is one awfully popular machine, here’s another to fill the void! This particular example isn’t quite as wild – without the supercharger, you’ll have to make due with only around 450 horsepower from the naturally aspirated S62 with a host of Dinan upgrades:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M5 on eBay

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2003 BMW M5

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If the BMW 530i we featured over the weekend didn’t satisfy your horsepower needs, then here is another example of the real deal, the M5. These sedans almost perfected the formula of combining supercar performance with four-door practicality. A decade on since production halted, they are still revered as much as they were when they were new. This M5 for sale in North Carolina looks downright immaculate for a car with over 80,000 miles on the clock, certainly the product of a fastidious owner.

Click for details: 2003 BMW M5 on eBay

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2003 BMW 530i

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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.

Click for details: 2003 BMW 530i on eBay

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10K Friday: Practical Performance Edition – S4 Avant v. 944 Turbo v. S600 v. Passat TDi Variant v. M5

One of the things I love most about these 10K posts is the breadth of selections and ideas that I dream up to try to pull together. Today’s thought was about practical performance – what’s the most your can buy for $10,000? As a result, we have quite a diverse selection to make it through today, ranging from a 2.0 TDi gas sipper through a 5.5 liter, twin-turbocharged V12 torque monster. In their respective ways, each is a great car (at least, in premise) and probably defines its category. What’s your favorite of this group?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 quattro Avant on eBay

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Double Take: 2001 BMW 325i Touring vs. 2000 BMW 528i Touring

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

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1998 BMW 540i Dinan

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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

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1997 BMW 525tds Touring

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We’re raised in the US to think that all BMWs are all full-leather, optioned-out, powerful luxury machines. Then we ‘Mericans set one foot in Europe and see BMW cabs and dented city cars running around on steel wheels and get thoroughly confused. Unfortunately for us, BMWs standard of engineering and handling extends much further than just catering to yuppies. Fortunately for us, some zealous souls bring these oddities over, like today’s diesel E39 wagon. Sure, I’d love a 540iT or even a 528iT, but wouldn’t it be sweet to get Prius gas mileage with the good looks and handling of the E39 longroof? Today’s your chance with this double-import, first to Canada and then officially to the US. Cloth seats and celsius temperature readings mean this is no American Bimmer, and that makes it an interesting proposition indeed.

Click for details: 1997 BMW 525tds Touring on eBay

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