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Pick Up an E39 BMW M5 for Cheap While You Still Can

In a few years, I think it’ll be totally reasonable to see E39 BMW M5 models selling for $70,000 or more. That’s the M5 that was made from 2000 to 2003, and a 2002 model with just 437 miles recently sold at auction for $176,000. That’s an insane figure, but of course that car had insane mileage — but I really think that soon, it won’t be so far outside the norm.

The reason for this is that the E39 M5 is just so beloved among car enthusiasts. It was the last real “driver’s” M5, with clean, simple styling and no BMW I-Drive infotainment system to mess things up. It was also a simple manual transmission, V8-powered car, and it was truly one of the most special BMW M cars of all time. And it’s only going to gain more of a following as it ages.

And right now, you can still pick up one that’s cheap.

No, I’m not talking about an ultra-low mileage example, as those are all selling for big money. But the E39 M5 has to be one of the most desirable cars you can still get for under $10,000 if you buy a rough one, or under $20,000 if you buy an average one. With nice ones selling for $70,000 or $80,000 — or $176,000, apparently — it’s hard to believe really rough E39 M5 models will stay in the $10,000 to $20,000 range forever.

With that in mind, I highly suggest going forth soon and picking up an E39 M5, while you still can. Sure, a $10,000 one will have some issues you’ll need to address — and a $20,000 one may, too. But I remember back when E30 M3 models were $10,000 to $15,000, and I wish I had bought one then. And I highly suggest you don’t make the same mistake of inaction. Find a BMW M5 for sale

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  1. There will always be cheap E39 M5’s, as collectors and people with money avoid the 2000 models like the plague. EAG and BaT have really pumped up the values of the 01+ cars, particularly the 02-03 cars. With the 2000 models, you get a little more oil consumption and some older looking headlights/taillights, along with an uglier steering wheel and 4:3 nav unit. All of the cosmetic stuff can be easily remedied for under $2k, and it all more or less bolts right up. That’s the approach I did with my last M5, I bought it for $7k, rebuilt the bottom end of the engine (it needed rod bearings), facelifted it, drove the hell out of it, and then sold it for $13k.

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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