Klasse & Kaffee I

Photography by Dan Wagener @dan_wagener

This was our first Klasse & Kaffee event that also kicked off the first Open House of the new Kassel Performance & Coyne Performance facility. We are going to try and do one of these events each month (weather permitting) and possibly spread these to other regions with friends and partner companies. Follow us on IG @klasse_and_kaffee to stay up to date.


MPACT 2018


Jim Herrold's E39 M5

Photography by Dan Wagener @dan_wagener

When you think of the BMW M5, what do you think of? I think of the greatest sports sedan to come out of Germany. I think of sophistication blended with luxury and performance. It's the vehicle that embodies everything someone could ask for. Four door convenience, check. Creature comforts, check. Seductive sounds, check. Exhilarating performance, check.

It's the best of the best to be expected from BMW. It all started in 1984 with the first generation M5, known as the E28. Due to the demand for a vehicle with the carrying capacity of a sedan, but the appearance of a sports car. At the time of its launch, the E28 M5 was the fastest production sedan in the world. They were all built by hand and are still one of the rarest regular production BMW Motorsport cars with a total production of 2,191 units.

The next generation M5, the E34 had stepped up the game even more. New luxurious features and better performance was created. I believe this was the most motorsport inspired generation for the M5. More time and thought seemed to be spent on engineering this thing to be able to perform like a true race car on the street. It was the last M car to be hand-built, as well as the last M5 to use a BMW Motorsport racing engine.

Now this is just my opinion, but with the exception of the 1980's for their motorsport period, I think the late 90's / early 00's was the pinnacle of BMW's car production. Perhaps it's because that's the time when I grew up that I have a bias towards them. But I still think that's when BMW hit their stride with delivering what their enthusiasts truly wanted out of a production car. The E39 M5 checked every box and then some you didn't even know about. I don't even know where to start with this car... I love the look of it, the interior, the motor; it's just perfect.

I guess I'll start with the heart of it. The 4.9L S62 V8 is the high-performance version of the M62 V8 engine that came on the non-M 5 series. It was BMW's first V8 to have variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts (double-VANOS). Producing 394 hp at 6600 rpm and 369 lb·ft at 3800 rpm with redline at 7000rpm and capable of achieving 0-60 in under 5 seconds. It remains to be one of the top 10 greatest sounding BMW engines (in my opinion). One of my favorite things about the E39 M5 was that they all came equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. They forced drivers to experience the car how it was meant to be.

Jim of Kassel Performance picked up this 2002 Le Mans Blue with 48k miles. After a detail from Urban Werks it almost felt like we traveled back in time, driving around a brand new $70k+ car straight out of the showroom. I don't know, when I see most of the new M cars of today they don't feel quite as prestige as this for some reason. When we pulled up to the country club during this photoshoot, the car turned heads like it was an exotic car. A few older gentlemen couldn't help but come over and share their stories of admiration or lust for the car remembering when it first came out. I noticed the same thing happened with 3 original E39 M5's at The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The BMW E39 M5 simply gets respect from all age groups. You know it's something special at first glance even if you're not a car enthusiast.

Although the M5's developed after the E39 are far superior on paper, this chassis will always be the one to beat in my book.


Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2017


Mike Ashcraft's E39 528i

Photography by Dan Wagener / @dan_wagener

First glance at Mike Ashcraft's 1997 E39 528i and you would never suspect that it has close to 305,000 miles on it. Mike's dad had bought it in 2006 from North Carolina as his new daily to replace his 1983 Mercedes Benz 380 SEL. The car had 113,000 miles on it at that time. His dad put 130,000 more miles on it in about 3 years due to traveling for business. Eventually it got to the point where it became too costly for him to keep piling the miles on it and Mike conveniently had just gotten his license. Since the car wasn’t worth much anyway it became his. His dad ended up buying an E46 330xi to replace it as his new daily.  

Over the last 8 years Mike's attended to a lot of maintenance on this car, so much to the point that he can’t even keep track anymore. Most notably though was the top end rebuild that was done at 275k miles due to a leaking head gasket. At the time the head gasket was replaced, all seals in top end were done, S52 cams, new radiator/water pump, and Raceland headers were installed. It has an automatic transmission and as far as Mike knows, the trans/fluid is still original and going strong. The M52 engine is the original as well. 

Mike's done quite a bit of modding to this car to make it his own during his ownership. Performance wise as previously mentioned were the S52 cams and headers. This winter he's going to install a Supersprint resonator delete and a Vibrant muffler.  Being that it's a high-mileage automatic 528i performance wasn't the highest priority of this car.

Mike focused more on enhancing the aesthetics, and that's what really caught my attention. The E39 M5 front and rear bumpers were swapped on. A Slimmbones carbon fiber front lip and carbon fiber rear diffuser were also added for a little more personalization. Some other minor upgrades included gloss black shadowline trim, DJ auto headlights, clear sidemarkers, euro Hella Celis tail lights, OEM facelift kidney grills, and a trunk lip spoiler.

My favorite thing on Mike's car is probably the wheels. A custom set of 18x9" / 18x10" 3-piece OZ Mito's. Originally being an 18x8.5" 2-piece set, he bought new lips and barrels to fit them exactly how he wanted. The wheel faces are a hand-brushed finish done by Mike himself.

The car is sitting on Broadway Static coilovers with 12k front and 10k rear springs, along with Powergrid adjustable front sway bar endlinks and a 540i RSB w/Beastpower brackets. The stance is low and aggressive without excessive negative camber, dangerous tire stretch, or destroyed fenders.

Mike just finished up the interior makeover this past year. The interior was originally grey and slowly converted to black with ultrasuede headliner, OEM suede sunvisors, black door panels, black carpet, and black lower dash. The rest of the interior upgrades include titanium trim, sunroof delete, silver gauge rings, M5 leather center console, euro M5 leather armrest, M5 dead pedal, Hamann e-brake handle, re-wrapped sport steering wheel, self-dimming rear view mirror, homelink retrofit, Pioneer touch screen headunit, Bav sound speakers, Sound Ordinance subwoofer and a rear view camera. Last but not least, custom dyed Cinnamon seats that compliment the Montreal Blue exterior perfectly.