Back to wagons!
Today’s example is another fan-favorite model, of which it seems surprisingly hard to find a great example. The E39 continued and expanded the 5-series wagon’s popularity by bringing bigger wheels, more power and updated looks to the mid-range Audi-challenger. Like the first generation, these were only available in rear-wheel drive in the U.S., so matching the all-wheel drive variants available from…well, everyone else, required a very good looking and potent package. BMW pulled that off, with the Sport versions of both the 528i and 540i Tourings thoroughly encapsulating the ethos of the great Euro wagons.
But there was a catch.
If you wanted a manual gearbox, you had to select the lower output 528i model. For all its shouty V8-ness, the 282 horsepower 4.4 liter M62-equipped 540i only came with BMW’s Steptronic if you needed to haul ass and a family. Of course, that hasn’t stopped a few enterprising individuals from combining the manual from the sedan with the more desirable wagon:
The California-based tuning company Dinan has been providing performance upgrades for BMWs since 1979. There’s no shortage of newer cars on the market that purport to have some kind of mods from the firm; 20 cars come up in eBay right now under a search for Dinan, and Carter wrote up this neat ’08 550i M Sport Dinan the other day, for example. But it’s even more interesting to stumble upon an example of an older car with some Dinan components, like this ’95 540i.
While early M Coupes don’t grow on trees, they’re not hard to find for sale either. But this single owner and rare color combination example stands out. It’s not as aggressive as the typical black, silver, or blue examples, but in it’s own right it stands apart in a more reserved combination.
Check it out on San Francisco Craigslist for $17900 with 80k miles:
quote from the Craigslist post:
This has been my pride and joy for the past 10 years, due to family situation, I must move on to a 4 seater. The car has been garage kept all its life. The body, interior, and mechanical are in great condition. Without looking at the odometer, one would think it has about 30kmi. It has no dings but some small chips from normal driving. Considering the rarity, M Coupe’s are surprisingly inexpansive to maintain. It struck a fine balance of reliability and performance. It shares the same workhorse engine as the e36 M3’s. My ownership experience has been very positive. You can go to http://www.tarr.com/personal/mcoupe.htm for more info on this car. It also has other links to various discussion forums.
About the car:
mobile 1 synthetic every 7k mi
80% tires and brakes
owned by mature family man (no modifications what so ever except an upgrade Blaupunkt stereo)
Oxford green exterior with beige leather interior
Glass pop up roof
Thule rack with fairing and 2 bike attachments included
Clean title with all original sheet metals
I have owned it since 9-1-2000 with 4800 mile
By now you’ve figured out that I’m an M Coupe fanatic, or you’ve been a long time reader and know my history. But this looks like a good opportunity to own a modern classic that will stand out amongst it’s peers for the quality care and unique color combo.