The E39 M5 has achieved modern classic status in the truest sense of the term. The youngest models are now sixteen years old, and although 2003 seems like yesterday for some, the E39 represents what is perhaps the pinnacle embodiment of the ultimate driving machine. Four doors, comfortable room for as many occupants, coupled with sports car performance and precise handling that no amount of money can buy in a new car today.
Prices have been going up, with the best, essentially untouched examples changing hands for truly breathtaking figures. For those of us who have been paying attention though, the E39 M5 has consistently ranked among the top cars offered by any manufacturer from the moment the first models were reviewed by automotive news media. In the twenty years since introduction, at least a few lucky individuals have spent a healthy portion of that time racking up serious mileage in their E39 M5. This was clearly the case with the example recently purchased by Alex Palmeri of LegitStreetCars on YouTube, which has an odometer reading north of 400,000.
The accumulation of very high mileage on certain cars, even a handful of BMW models, isn’t a new concept in the automotive world, but for a performance model with a high-strung V8, it’s another story. The 400,000 mile—409,000, to be exact—example here also came with a full maintenance history, which detailed the meticulous lengths the handful of previous owners went to keep it in order. As most vehicles age, peripheral problems and minor repairs are often ignored, but with this M5, according to its current owner and a thick stack of accompanying documents, when something broke, it was promptly addressed. This actually included the engine when the car had fewer than 100,000 miles on it, but a new long block doesn’t change this story much; while the chassis has over 400,000 miles on it, the current S62 V8 has been present for over 360,000 of those.
Like other vehicles in his fleet, Palmeri will be documenting the experience of living with and maintaining the M5 on his channel. In fact, since purchasing the car and posting the introductory video below, he’s already followed up with an initial installment in which an inspection reveals what parts have been replaced, and what’s lasted the better part of half a million miles. Perhaps even better, Palmeri, a former Mercedes-Benz technician with a YouTube channel focusing on the brand, unequivocally praises the handling of the M5. —Alex Tock
[Video via LegitStreetCars on YouTube.]