The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5


My dad and the previous owner agreed to meet at our bank in town the following Tuesday to exchange a cashier’s check for a set of keys, extra front style 65 wheels, and a thick folder of service history.  8:00AM was our meeting time, which is the middle of the night for a teenager on summer break.  I told my best friend, Kennan, of the news.  He was nearly as excited as I was to come with us to pick it up!  After the finances were taken care of, we walked out to the car to bring it home.  I remember electing to ride in the back seat, and let Kennan take the passenger seat.  My ride home was very comfortable, the car felt so tight and solid in comparison to anything I had ever ridden in before.

Once the car was at home, Kennan and I set to giving it a good wash.  We removed the license plate, and found tons of grime.  This was not acceptable.  The rest of the car wasn’t at all filthy, but being as anal as I am, it had to be cleaned by me.  Washing the M5 gave me the opportunity to look over the entire car, and learn more about it.  I remember how Kennan and I couldn’t figure out how to open the fuel filler door to dry the water out from behind it.  On any other car I had washed, there was a button to release the door from inside the car.  This was not the case with the M5.  We later found out that with the doors unlocked, all you have to do is push the door in.  A few hours later, the car met my stringent cleaning standards.  My dad got in and tried to start it to move it back over to the far side of the garage.  Click, click, click.  Shit.  Day 1, the battery is dead.  We didn’t even have the radio on while we washed the car.  My dad jumped it from his car, and put a charger on it for the night.  We decided a few days later just to replace the battery, and get a fresh start with that part of the car under our ownership.

Now that I had a car, I had motivation to get my license, and to learn how to drive a manual transmission.  I knew that I wanted a 3-pedal car, due to the more enhanced and connected driving experience.  I always dreamed of this being an E36 325/238, so this M5 exceeded even my wildest of dreams.

In all of my feverish research on the car, I noticed that mine looked different.  The sticker on the inside of the driver’s door said mine was 02/00 production model, dating it as pre-facelift.  My headlights, tail lights, and interior trim was slightly different.  Slightly… not as nice.  My first bad decision was with the headlights, I bought the infamous cheapo-Depo lights from Ebay.  They looked vastly better, but were nothing compared to the real OEM Hella lights.  I now had halos, but with 5 very-noticible LEDs in each ring.  Regardless, it was an improvement.  The front plate came off, it got some nice wax, and my driving with 3 pedals was coming along very smoothly.

2010 Summary:

    • Acquired M5
    • BMW valve stem caps
    • License plate frames
    • Cabin air filters
    • Learned to drive manual
    • Depo Halo headlights
    • BMW winter floor matts

July 27th, 2010

Home.  In my garage, all cleaned up.  Gracefully sleeping with a Rossa Corsa Ferrari.

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 July, 2010

First Documented Mileage.  Only miles since we got it had been driving it home, and to the pool once.  147,478.

Back Camera August, 2010

 Photo-shoot before any real work was done with the car, just a new battery and a good wash at this point in time.

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  October, 2010

New headlights.  ‘Upgraded’ from OEM pre-facelift Hella lights Cheapo Depo Halos.

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2000 BMW E39 M5, Silverstone Metallic. 2002 BMW E46 330xi, Topaz Blue Metallic. BA Business Management, Kent State University. E39Source Owner.

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128 thoughts on “The Story: Ryan’s 2000 BMW E39 M5

    • I love driving it on long drives, but I rarely do. The stone chips to the front end cost thousands to repair and one trip to the east coast can cost you a headlight(s), bumper, windshield, and hood re-spray.

      • Do the sport seats & suspension make it better or worse for long drives? Some owners say that they hardly get fatigue driving it long distance. Do your think that’s where the car shines?

        • The sport seats are way more comfortable and supportive than the standard/luxury seats. There’s no comparison there. And the suspension on the highway is perfectly fine, it’s really a fantastic long distance car. It shines in most everything it does!

          • I assume the suspension increases the car’s high speed stability, which even if you do the speed limit for a long drive decreases driver fatigue because its easier to keep an M5 straight at those speeds than a boat like a 7 series.

            • It sounds like that’s what the M5 is about. I used to & many M5 owners think of the M5 as a sports car but its way to heavy to lap a track for it to be a sports car but it seems like a car that you can drive at high speeds without worrying about losing control of the car.

      • Have you ever considered getting a clear bra put on? A lot of people with expensive cars do that so they can minimize rock chips and other damage.

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