Sorry I haven't been able to update the thread much. I have four kids 5 and under so that automatically = not a whole lot of time to do anything else. I might want to start a whole new journal to document everything but here are some updates:
- I replaced the stock struts/shock to Koni Yellow's on stock springs. Extremely comfortable but it gives it an OEM+ feel. I might want to do a Dinan Stage 3 upgrade (I know it's not as sharp as a good C/O but it'll suit my street needs). But I'm a fan of Koni's on this platform. I also added a Dinan RSB set to the middle holes. Nice upgrades for sure.
- I added a Corsa exhaust. It's not a super loud "look at me" exhaust, but it definitely gives the car more character and a more refined V8 wail. I'd say it's as loud as the Dinan exhaust, quieter than a muffler delete.
- I had a minor incident where I cracked my bumper and dented my fender. After some assessment (and a lot of conversations with my wife), I ended up having Precision Collision in Raleigh, NC do a total makeover. And I mean, total. makeover. They have an incredible reputation here and they're probably the best body shop I've ever come across. It being a rare color E39, I didn't want to cut any corners and paid to have it done to the highest level of perfection. They used Glasurit paint, put on 3 coats of clear, and the Alpine just looks super incredible with no signs of paintwork. Let's just say it cost me in the 5 digits... O_O
- I got a set of four brand new Style 65's back in March-ish when they were still able to be had.
and I might've purchased some of the last ones in the country as they're NLA. I ceramic coated and put a fresh set of Michelin AS3+'s on. I think they're the ultimate all around tire. If you haven't tried a set, don't overlook them b/c they're all-season's! Even though a PS4S would be much better in the dry, these tires outperform many summer tires, last longer, and give good cold weather performance (never tried in snow, of course). I also don't drive hard enough on the street to find the limits on these tires so they're great for my usage. (Some of you guys drive these cars like you're qualifying =P)
Ever since that Griot E39 M5 sold for $176k, I've given a lot of thought to my car and its usage. My car just crossed 80k miles and I'm all for adding fun miles to it, but I can't ignore the increasing values. I decided to retire it from any DD duties.
(I picked up an E39 528iT that I've been daily-ing. It's a 2000 with 207k miles in alpine/beige. This thing is an absolute tank. I love love me some E39 Touring action. I'm planning some fun mods on this car, including stripping a Euro M Sport, Carbon Black/Cinnamon touring and doing an engine/transmission swap. (Not an S62 but something else exciting))
For "fun miles," I made a small bucket list of things that my family and I can enjoy together. Here's what I've done so far:
- Cars & Coffee - Now you guys might laugh... but I've never been to a Cars & Coffee before. I was born and raised in NYC, in the ghettos of Flushing, Queens. What that means is that, things like "car culture" and "car enthusiasm" were seen as "far away," distant concepts you only read about in magazines. As a "real NYer" (product of immigration and cultural ghettos- AKA not-a-Manhattanite-or-Brooklyn-Hipster), car culture was so inaccessible. It wasn't until I moved to Raleigh that I realized how simple it was to enjoy this hobby. I went to a C&C in Wake Forest and got to meet some fun people. Cool experience. I appreciate the car culture here in NC.
- VIR Charity Lap - I always wanted to bring my M5 on a track to see what it could do, but ever since investing thousands and thousands of dollars into improving it, I just couldn't stomach the idea of putting my car at risk. The solution? VIR Charity Laps! I'm a motorsport newb so it was very fun for me to bring it on track and go through the parade line. On a Charity Lap, you don't push your car hard, but you're also not at a snail speed. I think I hit 100-110 on the back straight of VIR and got to enjoy some of those turns. The M5 is def a heavy beast with a ponderous front end! But it's also incredible how talented this 4000lb car is.
- Michelin Wet Skid Pad Event - BMW CCA's Sandlapper Chapter offers a wet skid pad event at the Michelin Proving Grounds in SC.
sent me the info and boy was that a blast! They put you on a 1/2 mile long skidpad (big enough for 3 cars to be running 50mph at the same time) and the goal was to learn how to drift your car and control it at the limit. The event was well organized, intimate (12 drivers only), and a huge learning experience. I also got to meet some fun people- Andy (something), founder of Alpina, was at the event. He brought a rental Challenger to drift around in, hah. I also met THE Randy Pobst (he was providing coaching for this very lucky young girl, who I assume, was pursuing a racing career). I totally let him drive my car around the skidpad. It was a blast.
What made me really enjoy the experience was that I was able to enjoy it with my wife. Let's just say I've been maturing on my perspective on life. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and today is all what we have so I just appreciated being able to share my car enthusiasm with my wife- it makes it THAT much better. She was inspired to do some HPDE events (and I think she'd rock it if she tried). Yah, she's a keeper ;-)
The second cool thing was being able to experience the M5's duality. The E39M5 has its weaknesses and is not a master of any one thing- but it's freaking darn good at many many things. My wife and I drove 10hrs that day in extreme comfort and was able to take it onto a skidpad event and experience the car at its limits- and it was *very* enjoyable. Our cars are amazing and, if I sell this car, I'd be darn sad to see it leave.
Okay so I think that's all for now. My photo-attachment game is lacking so I'll just attach a few photos. (One of the photos is of the cinnamon interior I'll be putting in my E39 touring. Brian
), who runs the local Fibrenew franchise did a restoration on the seats and doorcard. I can't recommend him enough to anyone looking for leather/vinyl restoration. (Just take a look at