8th August 2007, 00:33
Fellow Member (>400)
Sorry to hear about 077, a car with an unusual spec, too!
Unfortunately these cars are 20 or so years old and although they were better protected than most of their contemporaries, time is taking its toll.
The sills and toeboards (where the sill joins the floor and bulkhead) are usual. Jacking points tend to be the first sign of weakness. If the big drain hole in the bottom of the front wing is blocked (behind the front wheels - hard to find anyway if the car has the M-Technic kit) then expect trouble.
The rear floor around the big subframe mounts can also be expensive to fix properly. The rear arches can develop corrosion between the inner and outer - hidden by the plastic arch extensions on an M5, too - the lips are a mud trap.
As you might have gathered, I am collecting images for a forthcoming Buyers' Guide for the BMWCCGB website.
I can add that a friend had the sills done on an E28 some years ago by Jaymic in Norfolk. The job was expensive - four figures even back then - but it was photographed at various stages (35mm colour prints!) showing the care taken and when complete was indistinguishable from original.
Ten years ago the toeboards in my M535i cost about £400 at a well-known specialist (this was for both sides) - the sills were OK, fortunately, though one front jacking point needed attention as well. The work was done extremely neatly, cutting out all the rot. That was a low-mileage, low-owners '85 car, then 12 years old, so it was a case of catching it just about in time. I owned it for four years after that and it needed no further structural attention in that time.
What's the rest of the car like? If the interior is good then that's very much a positive. Some localised attention to the paint may be OK.
An M5 will always have some value as parts, not least because the major bits are unique to it (and the M635CSi). A set of wheels on ebay is £300 or so - I can't say what the other bits would fetch. A silver leather interior is very rare and may be sought-after.
There are a number of specialist dealers who will take these cars to break for the parts value whereas something like a 518i will just go in the crusher complete.
I suggest you don't rush this decision!
As you are a long way North then you might find it more difficult to get serious ebay bidders, especially as it would need transporting - I know of one vendor (not ebay though) selling a very original M5 with low miles and continuous history from new which is still for sale because he lives in a relatively remote area and people won't readily travel to view.