By the mid-nineties, BMW had firmly established themselves as leaders in the super-saloon market, with two successful generations of M5 under their belt. The scene was therefore set for the next generation to take the world by storm, and in 1998, the E39 M5 did exactly that. A complete departure from the previous E34 model, the new M5 moved from a – by then fairly elderly – 6-cylinder 3.8 engine to an all-new 4 litre V8, giving the E39 a completely new level of performance, driveability, and feel. The new M5 was, and still is, a simply beautiful drive – the chassis is supple and gives a wonderful feeling of control, the interior is perfectly proportioned, light and relaxing, the controls are smooth and the car feels responsive and purposeful. Think ‘American-style muscle-meets German engineering’, and you’ll get the idea.
The use of a whole new generation of tech, such as fly-by-wire throttle and a plethora of electronic control and monitoring systems, meant that the E39 M5 really did feel like a whole new era for BMW, and they made the very most of it. They knew they’d made something really special, and to stay within new legislation forbidding fast driving in TV adverts, whilst telling the world what they’d achieved, BMW commissioned a series of adverts for dissemination via the new ‘Youtube’ and nascent social media, starring Clive Owen, Madonna, James Brown and many more (see the videos). ‘The Fastest Saloon Car in the World’ became the strap line – quite a claim – and the pure joy of what most E39 M5 owners considered the Ultimate Driving Machine meant many struggled to move on to the next version – the all new V10 powered E60, when the E39 eventually ceased production in 2002, despite a five-year wait for the successor. The E39 M5 cemented BMW’s reputation as the outright winners in the super-saloon race, finding pride of place as the Nürburgring Ring Taxi, and fixing itself in the minds of anyone who drove one – many of whom have come back to the model more than two decades after the E39 was officially retired.
The down side is that most owners held on to their beloved E39 M5s, and racked up high mileage. The production run was relatively low too (2595 in RHD), meaning that today, decent, low miles examples are tricky to find in good condition.
This E39 M5 is well known to us and is well below average mileage, having been with the same owner for twenty years. Although the log book shows a total of three owners (two previous), it is believed that the first registration was by BMW UK, as the record shows the second owner purchasing the vehicle three months after the first owner (the usual pattern for BMW registered cars). The extensive history file – including Munich Legends invoices dated 2004, covers the M5s entire life, and includes pretty well every invoice, MOT and, of course, a fully stamped service book and original document wallet. Well looked after and properly serviced, this particular car now requires some cosmetic refreshment, but is very much a car worth the trouble.
The engine feels strong and pulls incredibly well, with that wonderful V8 grunt matched by the beautiful noise, the car feels firm and stable on the road – just as such a low mileage example should – with a crisp, precise gear change and strong, effective brakes. The heritage black nappa leather is remarkably good for a car of this age and mileage, with almost no wear, and the interior trims are unmarked. This M5 is the perfect example of what a wonderful driver’s car the E39 is and always was – the interior is such a great place to be, it really is a hugely rewarding all-round machine. Priced extremely competitively, the owner is looking for a quick, trouble free sale, and interested parties are urged to get in touch quickly to avoid disappointment. E39 M5s with these miles and with this history – at this price – only come along once in a blue moon.
Viewing is highly recommended – although strictly by appointment only. To find out any further information, or to arrange to come and view the car, please contact a member of the sales team on 01825 740456.