E39 M5 with 400,000 Miles: Is it 12-hour Road Trip Worthy?

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This might just be the world’s highest mileage running M5 and its awesome. 

The E39 M5 is a special car that has been coveted by enthusiast since its release in the late ’90s. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest sport sedans of all time, birthed in a period that could only be described as the golden era of BMW. Powered by the smooth and silky S62 V8, revving to sweet 7000 RPM redline making 400 HP, it really was a special motor.

However, it is a rare sight on today’s roads to even see a E39 M5 cruising around, especially one in great condition. This is due to the fact that they aren’t exactly cheap cars to maintain and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears need to go into keeping them roadworthy. Did we mention a lot of money too? Well, what if we told you that somehow, somebody managed to keep one of these German beasts on the road for over 400,000 miles? Thanks to VinWiki’s YouTube channel, we get to see exactly how this miraculous feat came to be.

E39 M5 400k

First, think any car you have owned that has 400,000 miles on the odometer. Better yet, think of any car you have that even has half of that. Maybe a friend’s car, somebody you might know in your area? I, personally, can’t think of a single car, let alone a M-car. This in itself really impresses me, because calling the occurrence “rare” would simply not be a sufficient description.

E39 M5 400k

Alex Palmeri, a popular automotive YouTuber and AMG master tech, managed to purchase an 2000 E39 M5 for $8,000 with 407,000 miles without even as much as seeing the car in person. Interestingly, before this purchase, Alex had never even owned a BMW, had hadn’t even sat inside of one. Rather he had been loyal for many years to Mercedes-AMG and he decided that it was time to “branch out” (we are glad that he did).

E39 M5 400k

He decided that he was going to either decided between an E60 M5 or a E39 M5 and after hearing too many maintainability issues associated with the S85 V10, he decided that the E39 was the choice for him. However, he wasn’t going to settle for any old M5, rather he needed it to be interesting because the car was for all intents meant to stir up his YouTube audience.

E39 M5 400k

The point of Alex’s channel is buy, modify, and race cars, so a “perfect” M5 wasn’t going to cut it. He decided this crazy example was exactly what he needed. So, what is the car’s backstory? Well, the original owner managed to put 360,000 miles on the car who then sold the car to his son at a ripe 18 years old. As you might imagine, the son was unable to keep up with the maintenance cost, thus, sold it to the shop that has been repairing the car since day one.

M5 400k

This shop then decides to strip the car down to bare metal and paint a beautiful Carbon Black it from the bare chassis. It had been maintained to a high standard up until Alex bought it. Thus, Alex was ready, although slightly dubious, of getting ready to drive the car 12 hours to his native Chicago. Long story short, the car survived and he’s been happy with it since. This goes to show that if really love a car and you really give it the maintenance it deserves, it might just love you back. We tip our hats to both BMW and Alex, for making good cars last and not go to the scrapyard without a fight.

M5 400k

Photos: Screenshots

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Daud Gonzalez is a lifelong car enthusiast, and automotive writer with a specialty in modified and race-ready rides. Gonzalez is a regular contributor to the Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, 6SpeedOnline, and Honda-tech, among others.

He spends most of his time modifying his cars, and ruining them in the process. He is the owner of a track build BMW 335i, a semi-off road spec 1981 Toyota Hilux, a drift-ready 1990 Nissan 240sx and a 1990 BMW K75 motorcycle.

Most of his free-time is dedicated to making sure his vehicles survive to see the next day. You are likely to catch him at one of Southern California's race tracks on the weekends.

Daud can be reached at [email protected]

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