Way back when, when e39’s were new, when I was still riding motorbikes come rain or shine, I would see anything less than a 535i as light-weight. I used to say things like,
‘If I’m gonna have a 3-series it’s gotta be either a 330d or an M3.’
That would be it, no argument, no compromise. Today, as I write this, a poor and slightly desperate man, impoverished from five years of studenting and waitering and now staring down the barrel of getting a proper job (selling my soul) or writing (this plus a thousand other Things That Won’t Make Me Any Money) for a bit and hanging on, you find me trawling through the ads and the contacts looking for a bargain, but interesting car.
Now, as before mentioned these two things are not hard to come by. It’s just, well, I would like to sell said car on at the end of all of this, and I would like like at least a modicum of reliability.
I was contemplating making a rash decision, then something almost Answer-To-Prayer happened.
I feel I should take a tone of the anecdotal now:
I’m walking home after a lunch shift, up the road and round the ‘edge, step onto the slightly new aphalt that the neighbours complained about and there she is. An M-Sport body kitted e39.
I walk past, give a sideways glance, and find my keys in my pocket (not the front pocket, that’s got ‘oles) and who should come walkin’ out the door, but ‘ol Colin from up the stairs.
‘Like the new motor?’, ‘e says.
‘Yea, wasn’t sure who’s it was, thought you had a visitor’ I says to ‘im.
‘Well, it was meant to be my son’s. His girlfriends father wanted to sell it to him for £500..
Fuck me, I thought.
‘I’ll give you £500 next month, mate. Honestly.’
‘Really. What is it a 530? I’m already walking over.
‘I think so.’ Colin looks a little harrassed, but I press on. He offers to show me ’round later. He leaves. I go up the stairs to the flat, open the windows, shut the shutters and watch Iain Banks’ last interview. Sad stuff; did you know he had almost finished writing a novel about a character dying of cancer BEFORE he was diagnosed? Then I twiddle the mouse, find some forum stuff about the e39… Colin promised an hour, I can’t help it, I Just Want To Have It Now. I read for a bit and get lost in the first chapter of the Pale King, then the door speaks knocking.
I’m out the door following Colin down the two curl’s of stairs pulling my shoes on. We get outside and ‘e ‘ands me the keys. How many miles, HOW MANY MILES?
Shit the bed: 217,000.
That’s very nearly to the moon, or an ocean away from ten times around this muddy, spinning ball.
It has a Full Bavarian Motor Works history. It’s had one (ONE!) owner from new and holy, moly it looks good. I feel a little like I should have a chest rug or something, but this thing is cool.
I push the hedge it’s backed up against away…
It’s a 525i. Not terrible news, just slightly under engined. Still, a car of this state is not for throwing around. It is for cool.
And that’s where we are.
Colin says he might keep it for a month. In the mean time, I’m waiting…