2000 BMW ///M5 - IMOLA RED
It took me a while to decide which car would be best suited for this trip. I had recently acquired a very nice example of a 2003 BMW M-Sport 540i and it was one of the cars I was considering. However, let's be candid here. As BMW owners, and especially as owners of the older cars, we have a healthy fear of things like the cooling system.
The other car that was under consideration was the Garage Queen - my 2000 Imola Red M5. The M5 won the nomination. There were a number of reason for this which I will share with you. First, let's talk about the ole ///M5.
The ///M5 is one of BMW's most iconic cars. The first official M5 was the 1988 E28 M5. This car was pretty much revolutionary in the auto industry, turning things on their heads. It was the fastest production sedan capable of carrying 4 - 5 adults in comfort at dizzying speeds.
After the E28 generation of the M5 came the E34 M5 in 1989 and I believe it was available up till 1995 which was the end of the production of the E34 generation of the 5 series. Each generation of M5 has been unique and special and loved by car enthusiasts. All of us who own these cars of course think OUR generation of the ///M5 is the one to have. One thing that TRULY sets the E34 generation apart is that it also had the first run of the Touring or Wagon which is uBer rare to find. It should be noted that even though the E34 generation of BMWs were some of the first to get V8 power plants, the M5 got an Inline 6 Cylinder that ended it's run with a 3.8L engine.
In 1998, BMW came out with E39 generation ///M5 - the first M5 to have a V8 power plant pushing out 401 BHP and having 5.0L capacity. It was also the last of the hand built M5s. To me, of course being an E39 M5 owner, this was the ultimate M5. It was torquey with the V8 and left nothing behind on the top end. It came out of the factory with the ability to get up to 180 MPH in stock form. It handling amazingly well for the size it was, utilizing a chassis that was about 30% stiffer than the 540i of it's generation. It was truly an amazing sedan indeed.
The E39 is supposedly BMW's most successful car to date and if you had the pleasuire to drive an M5, you would surely agree. The boys at Dingolfing had their beans on this one, they were on their game. Approximately 10,000 M5's made it to North America (Including our Canadian cousins). This was between 2000 to 2003 which marked the end of the production run of the E39 model. Out of that run, there were onlyh about 400 Imola Red cars built an lesser than that had the Red Two Tone leather interior. Makes my wee lil ole car here a lil special.
So..... let's see what we have here. A very Iconic car, last of the hand built M's, and Imola Red example, and BMW's 100th Year ...... it was a no brainer. THE M5 WAS THE CHOICE !!!!!!
So, I picked the M5. I then decided to add some fun stuff to it for the trip to make it .... well.... more fun. Please join me as I share this adventure with you.