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Features

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.

Features

Jim Herrold's 2000 Touring

Photography by Dan Wagener @dan_wagener

 

1972 BMW 2000 Touring

Exterior

  • OE mudflaps

Suspension/Wheels

  • E21 wheels

Features

Justin Good's E30 340i

Photography by Dan Wagener & Kielan Prince

We asked Justin to tell us a little about the history of his car for this feature, so he did, but after writing everything he realized that he actually wrote a lot. We were so moved by the story exactly how it was and felt that we wouldn’t be able to tell it better. So here it is in his own words. – U.K.

The story of this car technically begins in 1984, when my step-aunt’s father ordered it brand new from BMW. I bought the car from her in 2000, when I was 15 years old and along with it came every documented receipt since the purchase date all the way up to the last headlight replacement in the year I took ownership.  The car was in mint condition, but the Beige on Beige, automatic configuration wasn’t exactly desirable; however it was a BMW and it was mine.

I slowly modified it, swapping in a black leather sport interior, 5 speed transmission, suspension, wheels and exterior parts. I was later t-boned, which took out my entire rear quarter panel and effectively totaled the car. I couldn’t let my baby die or be re-titled, so I didn’t report it to insurance, and asked the guy who hit me to give me whatever he could… which was $700. The damage was in the ballpark of $3-$4k at the time. In hindsight this was not the best decision especially considering I knew nothing about body work. My uncle knew a bit, so we tore into it and replaced the damaged panels. We painted the car in his garage, but the paint didn’t match at all and eventually the body work that we had done failed and rust swelled through. We made the most of what we could with that $700 and the car was back on the road, looking decent. 

In 2008, I went with an M50 swap. At this point in time, I had the car pretty well sorted for a couple of years. It was in 2011, with the chassis at 295k miles, I found something catastrophically wrong with the car. When I pulled the front suspension to replace a few bushings, I had discovered some rust on the front wheel well. With some further poking, I found that the whole shock tower was falling apart and that the car was barely being held together in the front end. It was at that point that I realized the car was no longer road worthy, and basically either needed scrapped or a very extensive and expensive restoration that I didn’t think I was capable of at the time. So I figured my journey with the car was over. I don’t admit this to many people, but that crushed me so badly I could have probably cried. This car, over the past 10 years and 200k miles, has led me to meet so many great people, people that I consider my best friends. Most people don’t understand this kind of connection with a pile of metal and plastic, but this E30 is family to me. 

October of 2011, I decided to tear the car apart and try to fix it, knowing very well that I’d spend enough time and money to probably buy three good condition E30′s. I ended up buying a whole new shock tower from BMW, and tore the car down to a bare shell. I started this project without even knowing how to weld. I went out and bought all the tools that I needed and went to work.  Realizing the car would need to be repainted with the work that I was doing, I figured that I might as well fix that rear quarter panel too. There was absolutely no reason to go with the same beige color again, so I started my search for a metallic root beer color, and landed on BMW’s rare Marrakesh Brown Metallic, from the new X1′s. 

While doing this repair work, I met a local guy named Garey who was building an insane E30 M3 replica with an M60 in it.  I took one look at the engine in the bay and immediately knew I needed to do that swap. So I picked up an engine and began to work on that on top of correcting the E30’s body.  He helped me so much through my engine swap, I can’t thank him enough. 

My good friend Walt helped me with the body work, as he had some experience, and he is a perfectionist. I had to tell him 100 times to stop making the car perfect; I wanted to daily drive it, not have it sit at a car show with ropes around it.  Nevertheless, it turned out damn near perfect. He did all of the work, teaching me as we went, and allowing me to do a bit of it too. I can’t thank him enough either, he has as much blood, sweat, and tears into it as I do. 

We built a paint booth in my garage: a framed out 20×10 area with plastic sheeting, fans and filters – totally sealed. It was awesome, and worked amazingly. He laid down the paint, and did a pretty damn good job. It was better than some professional body shop paint jobs I’ve seen. 

I finished up the V8 swap, and got the car running in June of 2012. For the nine months of Oct ’11 to June ’12, I did nothing but work on the car, go to work, and sometimes sleep; I literally did nothing else. I was drained by the end of it, but the first time I drove it, I had the biggest smile on my face ever.  Tearing up and down the street in an E30 missing the bumpers, glass and lights, with the E32 V8 and open headers. As drained as I was, I was so excited it kept me up at night. 

I’ve been working on it ever since then on and off, trying to tidy things up, make improvements here and there, just minor things. It’s 99.9% ”complete”, but as with any car project, there are constantly things to work on, and it will never truly be finished. I’m sure in a few months or years I’ll be doing something else to the car. I drive this car about 20k a year, so it will probably need re-rebuilt, eventually… 

Justin's Build Thread 

 


Features

Ed Ullom's Bullenstall Museum

Photography by Dan Wagener

In 1971 Ed Ullom established a BMW dealership known as Cumberland Valley Motors. Over the many years it grew adding Subaru, Dodge and Volkswagen to the mix. Eventually in 2003, Ed sold the BMW franchise to Sun Motors, but his love for BMW never changed. He has been heavily involved with the BMW CCA and BMW Vintage & Classic Car Club of America, and has built a truly inspiring Bimmer collection. I’m not going to name them all but a few of those cars include a 1600 Cabriolet, 2002tii, 2002 Turbo, 2000 Touring, 3.0CSi, E21 Baur, Z1, two Z8′s, E36 M3, M Roadster, E30 M3. I’ll be honest, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see his 1980 M1, but it was the first time that I’d seen an E21 Baur and 2000 Touring in person. Most of these cars were restored and modified purely to Ed’s liking… the only way to do it.

Because of his life-long passion and dedication to BMW, Ed was awarded the “Friend of the Marque” award. Never heard of it? Me neither. It’s because it is awarded to a small and exclusive group of people. On November 10th, Goetz Pfafflin of the BMW Vintage & Classic Car Club presented Ed with a certificate, plaque and a lapel pin from the BMW International Council. He also received a signed banner, a box of his favorite cigars, a specially engraved lighter, and some much deserved praise and applause from his friends in the Nittany Bimmers Chapter.

Congratulations Ed!

Features

Anthony Care's E36 M3

Photography by Dan Wagener & Kielan Prince

I remember the first time that I laid eyes on Anthony Care’s 1998 M3. I was abruptly stopped as I was scrolling through a thread with coverage of H2O ’10 on Bimmerforums. It was a panning shot of Anthony cruising the strip in Ocean City, MD. I found myself staring for a second and then searching for more photos of it. If I remember correctly, I even sent him a PM just to tell him how much that I loved his car.

Since then the car has become even more appealing. The car went much lower, the BBS RS received new lips and the stance was dialed in. Stock vaders were swapped out for Corbeaus with 4 pt. harnesses. FX-R Xenon Projectors and E46 shrouds were retrofitted. Many suspension, bushing, etc. upgrades were added and proper maintenance was addressed.

The aggressive stance of the car is definitely what gives it such character. I personally think that his has a bit of an OG Euro flair to it, like you would typically find on a German or Polish built BMW. You don’t usually see it pulled off just right like this here in the states.

This was actually slated to be our very first feature to launch the site with, but as we were getting everything ready to put it together, we got word from Anthony that he was getting some new wheels. Wheels worth waiting for.

A set of AC Schnitzer Rennsport Type Is in 17 x 9/10″. They’re dream wheels to many and a true work of art themselves.

For a short while Anthony also had a set of BBS RFs and RS Turbofans on the car, while they looked great, they just didn’t suit the car quite as well as the RS 212/197s. At the time, I was skeptical that the car could get any better. Oh, how I was wrong. The ACS took his car to a whole new level.

As we were driving around looking for a location to take photos I couldn’t help but notice how incredibly comfortable the ride was. That’s thanks to the Stanceworks Zero Clearance coilovers built by AST. I was shocked (pun intended) at how great the quality was, no rubbing, no harsh bumps, no bouncing… it was excellent.

And, in case you were wondering why a "stance car" has racing seats, a roll cage, etc. It’s because Anthony didn’t just build this car for looks. Actually the performance modifications were addressed before the aesthetics.

Under the hood is a full bolt-on Conforti tuned S52 motor with Schrick cams (as well as some other enhancements). A custom 3″ exhaust with vibrant res. and muffler with rare Eisenmann dual pipes was also added. Running a very respectable time of 13.1 at 108mph, I’d say this M3 stays true to its motorsport heritage. When the car is taken out to the strip or for an autocross, it’s as easy as spinning the coils up, bolting on the track wheels (SSRs with 245/255 tires) and it’s back to the “practical” state in 30 minutes.

The best of both worlds comes to mind. Improving on the looks and performance, Anthony has a built a well-rounded car that I think many can respect no matter their preference.