I don’t remember exactly when my M5 obsession had started. I’ve been into cars since my early childhood, and I was lucky enough to own some of my car heroes later. In 2003 I was watching Jeremy Clarkson’s DVD “Head to head”, when I was attracted to the part of a duel between Jaguar XJR and E39 M5. Jezza was driving the Jag, his Top Gear sparring partner – Tiff Needell – piloted the M5. And I know exactly, what made me love the M5. It was the sound.
The sound of the bavarian V8 shouting around 4000 rpm in a long drift transformed into a landing into the grass and then immediate launch back onto the track. This short part happens just around 5 minute mark of the video and it gets me even today. The video is hard to find on the internet but this piece seems stable.
Therefore I can estimate my M5 obssesion was in place since 2003. In my first article here I said it had taken me a long time before I even pushed myself to look for an M5. During my regular diesel based days back then I just forgot all about petrol cars and it was a quick drive in 1M Coupe in 2011, which reminded me of them. This set me thinking of the V8 supersedan and I went for it.
The first car I scouted was a 2001 M5 in the autumn 2011. The car had new paint, the engine was just through partial renovation, nice BBS rims, visually it was extremely good. The price was good back then (around 12.000€), the mileage was just nearing 298.000 kilometers. We went for a short drive but then I didn’t buy it because the circumstances weren’t right. I had however stayed all over the classified ads and the forums and community trading places. A year later I went to check out another M5, which seemed in a fairly good condition but had no history whatsoever, plus the sales representative wasn’t really convincing. I didn’t buy that car either but I still can remember the sales rep face expression when the engine pulled in second gear. He was silently screaming while holding up to a ceiling handle.
The last piece I checked was in 2014. Beautiful car after partial renovation, I was really thinking it through but then again, I passed on that. Still, the time just wasn’t right and I didn’t feel ready. Which obviously didn’t stop me from whining just few days later, regreting my decision.
The breakthrough came a month later. I took my wife to Barcelona for an extended weekend, when my friend sent me a text saying he knew about an M5 for me. A car owned by his friend. This message had two consequences. My Barcelona stay just started to feel unbearably long and my wife was furious because I wasn’t able to think or talk about anything else than the car, running all the checks I could remotely, calling my friends in BMW network, scanning the VIN number across all services available and all that stuff. Right after my arrival back home, we went out to see the car. It was raining that day so the visit was only indoor as the car wasn’t used to drive in rainy weather. The week after the visit, I wasn’t able to think of anything else than the car. However, just a month after I turned down the other car, I didn’t feel responsible enough to accept on another one. So I passed this one too.
No need to say I did regret my decision for the next 2 years. We had tried to ping the owner if he would sell the car but the response back was always the same – you had your chance and you missed it. Sorry.
When the right time had come and I knew it was entirely possible to purchase the car without having any sacrificies elsewhere, it was clear the last car was not available. So I went out and searched on the Internet for a piece that would at least remotely have most of the quality of the last car I passed on. After some time I found a blue 2002 piece in Sweden for 22.000€. The e-mail exchange with the owner was fine, he was very responsive and I almost sent out my ex-boss located in Stockholm for a basic check. By the time I was ready to pull the trigger, I just had to try the car from my friend for the last time. And guess what, it worked.
By the time we went to pickup the car I knew there was no way for me to leave the place without the actual car. Even though I’ve never driven it. Thinking of it, I’ve never properly driven any M5. I was about to buy a car based on my thoughts, dreams, reviews and impressions. A car I had no real experience with.
The deal was done quickly then and when a test ride was on schedule, I refused it, which made the owner a bit puzzled. My reasoning was simple: “I will buy the car anyway. And if there’s something wrong, I’ll fix it. I just want to enjoy the first ride and experience alone, all by myself.” The guy then didn’t say a thing, except he laughed. Half an hour later I started new era of my life with my very own M5. I had no habits for the car, I wasn’t used to it, there was some plastic rattle inside and the car was slightly shaking because of crappy tires. For the first ten minutes I caught myself thinking I may just have done a wrong decision, buying an 18 years old car.
It came to me just a few moments later, when the engine was warm and for the first time, I hit the accelerator just a bit more. The roar was there, the power delivered and my face just turned into a big grin. The sign of post-purchase regret/depression just faded away and was replaced with a total happiness.
In the following days I just kept learning how to handle the M5 and started exploring its characteristics. With new tires, all shaking was gone. There was some maintenance to be done, but hey.. And by that time I just found out the car was pretty much exactly like I always have been thinking and draming. And maybe even more.
I was happy.