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First of all, let me say I'm very happy to be here. This is my first posting as an M5 owner.

I thought I'd introduce myself by giving you a quick account of my purchase (my story, if you will), and a few reasons why (if you own an e39 M5) I think you should be a very very proud owner.

I've spent over 6 months intellectualising over what 'the perfect car' is, I had a £50 000GBP budget (which goes quite far, even in the UK)...Now here's the funny bit (maybe I'm a little OCD): I tested a staggering 26 makes and models...

..I won't talk about everything I tested, but my shortlist was as follows:

Porsche 996 C4S
Audi RS4 (new)
E60 M5 (that's got your attention)
Audi RS6
Maserati Gransport 4200gt
E46 M3 cab
355 GTS
E55 AMG

This purchase was as much about finding out who I am as it was buying a new car, so without further ado, I crossed off the 355, the m3 and the porsche, siting the following reasons:

The 355 is far too fragile and I wanted a daily driver (in all honesty it had a bit too much 'look at me dad' factor about it too).
The M3 felt a bit 'boyish'...It was also quite 'squeaky', in the way that you don't want a £28 000 to be.
The Porsche was an excellent car, but IMO, it's a 'sensible' choice, that lacks a bit of imagination, there's a bit too much badge going on and they are owned by a lot of affluent people who really don't know much about cars...Just my opinion, not meant as a generic statement :dunno:

So it was starting to look like I wanted something 'grown up'.

The problem with the E55 was 'it was trying to do everything for me'...Driving itself and not letting me have any fun...It had also been styled for a middle aged, pipe smoking financier yuch!...Didn't like it at all...Very quick in 2nd/3rd gear though...The RS6 was just sterile. I can't explain why I didn't like it, I guess it felt more like a modified car and not a car that was designed to fit any other purpose than to provide good 'on paper' performance figures: "An A6 with turbos, springs and 19's"...That's it...It didn't give me the confidence to drive it fast.

Strangely the Maserati ticked a lot of the proverbial 'boxes' for me, it was stylish without being outlandish, it was refined, spacious, mature, quick and a lovely place to be...It suffers from a terrible identity crisis though. I think the designers at Bertone (until now ie: the new Gran Tourismo) have always buckled to Masearti and played a bit safe...The end result was always a car that could be jap, american, english etc. So, they have always felt the need to have MASERATI adorn the back of their vehicles in the largest font size available in their letraset catalogue, just so people know that it's special...Doesn't shout confidence does it?...A car that want's to be taken as seriously as a Ferrari, but is trying to please far too many people.

I actually visited my local BMW garage (Woods of Bournemouth) as an act of desperation. I've had 3 beemers to date and enjoyed them. I had an e30 M3, a Hartge H28 5 series and an e30 Motorsport cab..all fun, but all old and all suffering head gasket issues.

I made the fatal mistake of telling the rep my budget. he tried to suss me out and walked me straight to a 630 coupe...How wrong could he be?

After a quick briefing it wasn't long before I was behind the wheel of the E60 (1 year old)...Wow!!! Quick is not the word - the gear changes are brutal (I guess a lot of you already know that). Here's the thing: I've always been a huge fan of the M5, I remember seeing David Gilmour's (Pink Floyd Guitarist - One of my all time heroes) e34 on ebay a couple of years ago, for the auction to end a week before i could afford it (gutted)...I knew then that I had developed an irrational love for a car I had no experience of (If it's good enough for 'Dave', it's good enough for me LOL). The thing that attracted me to the M5 was it's pure discretion...Not built for the 'viewing public' or the 'new money brigade', but for the driver who was considerate enough to offer comfort to his passengers as well as address his own dirty agenda:M5launch:

..Now I know the E60 has a massive following on here, so I'm stepping carefully. It's an awesome tool there's no denying it, but it just seemed to go against the ethos that I'd come to respect the marque for. It has immense road presence, in other words you can't miss it...It seems to want to share itself with everybody, whereas in the past, it was a secret between man (driver) and machine. Even the dashboard points down the middle of the car now. In previous models it favoured the driver ever so slightly giving that 'cockpit' feel I'm sure all of you are crazy about...It was too radical for me, but then again I've never really been in the zeitgeist.

So, ergonomically it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I also felt that iDRIVE was going to be a problem. I like to drive my cars, not program them. Sorry guys but IMO this car was built to be discussed in the golf club car park. An M5 that makes a social statement? Not for me I'm afraid.

James (the BMW rep), who was now trying harder than ever to be my friend, was tiring of me for the same reasons my missus was three weeks ago, when she threatened to walk out!

We walked past a BMW approved (Carbon Black) 2003 M5 on the way back into the showroom. I nearly missed it initially, and that's exactly what made it such an attractive proposition.

I got behind the wheel immediately. What made this rare was the fact that it had an upgraded exhaust, a remap and a re-profiled VANOS, giving an extra 30 (ish) BHP, but was still covered by an extended warranty, albeit 'black horse' NOT BMW..Althouh, in all fairness I did get a 6 month 'parts and labour' in the end, for taking the screen price.

You all know how great these cars are, so I won't tell you how it 'won me over', but I will leave you with a couple of thoughts as to the reason (IMO) why the e39 M5 is the best car ever made.

If the owners of every car I tested (above) were in a line, and you had to choose one to go out for a beer with...I'd pick the guy who spent twenty six thousand pounds on all of that anonymity.

The E39 M5, the car that says everything about you, by saying nothing, definitely for the fortunate few, who are genuinely comfortable in their own skin...I'm humbled and grateful to be one of them.

Looking forward to getting to know you all in the next couple of years

Mark
 

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Very well written story on your purchase decision ... are you a writer in "real" life?

The only difference between you and I is that I would have been looking for an E39 M5 FIRST! I currently own 3 BMWs, a Mini Cooper and a 1966 Porsche 911 Coupe. I guess I have loved BMWs since 1982 when I bought my first (first looked at them in 1973 though) and then drove it 300,000 miles plus before I gave it away ... It ran GREAT, just a little invaded by rust here and there.

Maybe you have to have had a 356 Porsche to be a real Porsche lover ... as I did. And, I have toyed with Masers, but they come and go and come and go, so I am concerned about dealer support.

Hope you got a good one ... most are, if properly maintained. (Mine is ... :M5thumbs: )

Welcome ...
 

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You made the right decision. In the BMW lineup, nothing offered today compares with the E39 M5. All others have gone away from driver focused design and towards this new direction that for the non-enthusiast. It took US customer uproar to even get a manual in the new design if that gets you any clue towards its direction.

You made the right decision. There will be no regrets. The E39 M5 is the best BMW ever
 

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My first post on here too. Well done on your purchase. I've had my 2002 e39 M5 for about 8 months and can't imagine life without it - what a car!
 

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Welcome along!

Nice short story there - I smiled the whole way through!

I have my car 2 years now, took it on it's first ever track day on Saturday and now I am even more in love.

Passed everything on the track (except for M3 CSLs) and drove home in silence - perfect car!

Enjoy :byee55amg
 

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Nice...of course you will not find a more perfect audience for your story than this community! Your story was a nice summary of some of the things we love about our cars. Welcome!
 

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Hi mate, good choice!

Neil
 

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...I like this guy already ! :cheers:

..well, the three main reasons - his name is Mark (usually wise fellas ;)) two, carbon black -a wonderful color for this car, three -he made the best choice by far. :hihi:

Way to go Mark ! :M5thumbs:

...your new friend, also driving a carbon black M5 -Mark
 

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Damn fine write up Mark. I enjoyed reading every word.

Welcome!!
:cheers:
Dave
 

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Welcome to the fold Mark :cheers: What exhaust do you have? I have just fitted a full Milltek system and it sounds great!
 

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Welcome to the fold Mark :cheers: What exhaust do you have? I have just fitted a full Milltek system and it sounds great!
Hi grahame...Sorry about the delay. I had to go through the receipts to find out.

The invoice states: Milltek exhaust system and high flow cat assembly, so, same as you...Sounds like a nascar.

PS: Thanks to you all for the warm welcome
 

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The Porsche was an excellent car, but IMO, it's a 'sensible' choice, that lacks a bit of imagination, there's a bit too much badge going on and they are owned by a lot of affluent people who really don't know much about cars...Just my opinion, not meant as a generic statement
Indeed, Porsche make very good cars but the factor you mention, plus the car's inferior practicality as compared to BMW keeps me from that marque. I had one some time ago when I was a bit of a young lad, but it wasn't long before family required something larger. Interestingly, the same "owned by a lot of affluent people who really don't know much about cars" factor almost kept me from getting a BMW at first. They were so identified with '80s Young Urban Professionals (the "I'm a YUPPY and know nothing about cars type") that I could almost throw up every time I saw a 3 series. That is, until I drove my first one with a six cylinder engine and manual gearbox. It was only a "regular" 3 series but it was sweet. But how to avoid that YUPPY moniker? I decided the only BMWs for me would be something from the M division. At least they mostly were owned by those who knew something about the cars and to whom "M" meant something. A great deal, in fact.

Alas, in the early days that meant an e30, which was too edgy for me with its somewhat rough four and that big wing on the boot. Why couldn't they build a 3 series with a smooth, but hot six in it? Then came the e36 M3 and I sold my P car for one in a heartbeat. I waited several long months until I could work my way through the wait list.

It was a sweet ride, and even though the e46 was a much better car in many ways, it wasn't enough to pry me from e36 M3. But then along came the e39 M5. To me, it was the epitome of all things BMW. No, it didn't have that sweet six under the bonnet, but it had monster torque, revved willingly and well, I really need not go on with this crowd.

But in many ways similar and some different, the e60 doesn't do much to pry me from my e39, like the e46 didn't pry me from my e36 (I'll admit that I've since become the lucky owner of an e46 M3 convertible, but that car fulfills something "different" and isn't a replacement for either my M5 or my e36 M3).

Mark, welcome to our enthusiast community. Yours is a well-written post, and one that is very timely, what with it being January of a new year and all, my '01 M5 soon to be on its seventh anniversary of ownership, and all the concerns about getting further and further beyond the warranty (even the extended one).

I thought long and hard about whether I should be getting something else, but decided against every other car (but didn't go drive all of them like you did). I did try the Aston Martin (not on your short list most likely because it's outside the price limit you set), but it was not any better than my M5 and in lots of ways inferior, certainly in terms of practicality. So now I'll just be saving my money for the inevitable repairs, and/or when the next 5 series generation comes along. :M5launch:
 

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Congrats! Very wise choice...long live the beast!!!!
 
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