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Hagerty Employee

E39 M5s may be even hotter than we thought | Hagerty Media

The digital ink reading "NEW ARRIVAL" on the 2003 BMW M5's online listing was barely dry when a "SOLD" banner took its place. Someone out there clicked on the 3157-mile M5, one from the final year of production for the vaunted E39 generation, and shelled out $199,990 to become its second owner.
Pit Crew

Having owned and thoroughly enjoyed a 2000 e39 M5 for 12 years I can definitively say...maybe! If you want an e39 M5 to drive there are a lot of reasonably priced good ones out there to choose from. They made a lot of e39 M5s so they are not rare in say the same way an 850Csi is rare. On the other hand if you have millions in the bank and want the best, lowest mileage M5 to grace your car collection, why not $200k?
Advanced Driver

Wow, my personal opinion would be that resto-modding one could be fun for 1/2 or 1/3 this kind of money, of course with LS power and a 6 speed manual (said 1/2 jokingly).

This was the car that pretty much every car enthusiast I knew was shopping for twenty-one years ago. The ones who bought them had short honeymoons. It's amazing how fast, 'I'm going to keep this car forever!' turned into, 'I went back to Mercedes-Benz(or Lexus).' A guy in my office bought one over a Ferrari thinking it would be a more practical choice only to have the clutch, differential, and then gearbox need replacement before the first oil change. His previous car was a 6-speed, twin-turbo 3000GT or Stealth; so it wasn't a matter of not knowing how to drive a stick. Another friend went from planning on buying a second one for his country home to deciding not to keep the one that he had in a few months. E39s were beautiful cars that drove brilliantly, but they aged like milk. I can't conceive of the proper level of humidity and combination of protectants that would keep the engineered biodegradation of the materials used in these cars from occurring.

Pit Crew

That's a very different and outlier experience from what I have seen in the e39 M5 community.  My car was quite reliable, in reality the engine is under-stressed at 400hp for a 5L motor.  I really only had two kind of failures over 12 years and about 80k miles.  One was the instrument cluster lost a couple pixels, it was replaced under warranty.  The other was a MAF sensor that went bad, but I bought a VW equivalent and solved the problem.  Other than regular wear items like tires, wiper blade kind of things it was an extremely reliable car.... surprisingly unlike my wife's Honda Accord with overheating problems, CV join issues etc... 

New Driver

Same with me, but at 10 years had to do Vanos.
Pit Crew

On the other hand a 3100 mile car probably sitting for 17 years mostly undriven could have hidden problems for sure.

New Driver

I never had a problem with mine until I replaced the Vanos 2 years ago. Always serviced by BMW and it's still like new...

Pit Crew

I remember well the frenzy when these cars were announced and then first hit the dealerships. I got an early “sneak peek“ test drive through an automotive journalist that lived down the street and remember my disappointment.

In many ways the car was amazing, but coming from two E28 M5’s and some miles in my friend’s E34 M5, I really missed the driving dynamics of the lighter and (to me) more nimble cars.

So for me, the answer to the question posed in the article is an easy “no,“ at least until I get to the “have millions in the bank and want the best possible example“ status— and I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon. 🙂
New Driver

I have a 2000 M5 with 44,000 miles and in mint condition. 2 years ago, I replaced the Vanos (the only major work ever done on the car); the car runs like new. Silver with a black leather interior. I keep getting offers but I haven't been interested. I am getting older and am starting to wonder. Should I sell and what's the right way to go about it?
Community Manager

That's a very desirable car. If you take good photos and videos (or can pay someone to do it) I'd recommend selling it on Bring a Trailer or eBay. I would also try E39 M5 forums and Facebook groups, which might find you a good buyer without the hassle and expensive auction fees.