Introducing The New Federmobile: 1991 BMW M5

The wait is finally over, and I am happy to announce there is a new Federmobile roaming the streets of…Portland. After months of debating what to buy and looking at numerous vehicles, yesterday I purchased a 1991 BMW M5 near Seattle.

I could go on and on about many things right about now, but there is a black M5 calling my name in the garage. So I will keep this as short as possible. We all know how well this’ll work.

It started in the middle of last week when I found this particular M5 listed on Craigslist in Seattle. I called the seller and learned he was the third owner.  The second owner lived in Seattle, and he believed the first owner lived in Flordia. To his knowledge the car has never seen salt or snow. This car was his toy and never his daily driver. The reason for selling, merely to buy either an E39 M5 or newer M3.

I arranged for a friend who knows much more about this particular car than I, to see it in person and drive it. Friday night I received a call that went something like this:

Friend: “If you don’t come buy this car…I am.”

Me: “Don’t even think about it. I’ll be there in the morning.”

And so it was written. I called the owner and arranged to meet him at his house at 9 AM on Saturday. This was at 10 PM on Friday evening.

Let me take a break to tell you all what a trooper my wife truly is. She loves me. Way more than any of us ever thought. She got up at 4 AM so we could leave the house at 5 AM to go buy this car. Even Otto was wondering what the heck we were doing up so early, as he was less than pleased.

We arrived at the owners house and the car hadn’t been started for the day. The car fired right up and he backed it out for my inspection. The paintwork is all original and the car is in great condition for its age. It definitely needs a detailing and small minor things inside the cabin, but nothing that is completely outrageous.

Karen and I hopped in and took it for a drive. It took three blocks for me to know I was buying this car. When Karen offered to just turn back and let me buy it, I said absolutely not. I wanted to go for a quick drive.

After a short stint on the highway and then on some suburb streets, we were back in the sellers driveway. I confirmed on the agreed upon price, and he handed me a folder. This folder contained not only ever service record from him, but also every service record from the previous owners. Along with all this, the folder had the cards from the BMW factory with the original key and radio key codes. The cherry on top: the original window sticker.

I know you want details, so without further delay:

  • 1991 M5 black on silver/gray
  • 140,000 miles
  • Most every major wear item has been replaced with OEM parts, including but not limited to the water pump, timing belt, most rubber in the engine bay, brake pads and rotors, suspension bits, and much more.
  • Dinan stage one suspension
  • Only major flaw, (if you’d call it that) is the A/C doesn’t work. I’m still not sure if I’ll have this fixed as I’m not sure how necessary it’ll be in Portland.
  • Front leather seats are cracked, but no tears or holes. Leather is still soft.
  • Has an E36 steering wheel (slightly smaller diameter than the original steering wheel).
  • Factory tinted windows.
  • Pulls hard.

Last night I followed Karen on the way back to Portland (a terrific idea since there turned out be way more cops out than I would have ever anticipated) and averaged 24.3 mpg while cruising slightly above the speed limit. I was pleasantly surprised and more than happy with this.

The pictures in this post and in the below gallery were taken this morning without even washing her. The road grime from the drive back and anything else on her has not been cleaned.

I look forward to spending many many rewarding miles in the newest member of the Feder family. While she hasn’t been named anything beyond M5 yet, I can already tell she’ll fit right in.

While I won’t name names, there are specifically five people who literally helped to make this happen. I want to thank you all for helping with this. You know who you are.

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5 Responses to “Introducing The New Federmobile: 1991 BMW M5”

  1. Christopher Baccus #

    My son Theo is looking over my shoulder and says, “that really is a wow!”

    11/06/2011 at 7:54 pm Reply
  2. E34 M5? All I can say is OH YEAH!

    The only thing that could have been better: E34 M5 touring.

    11/07/2011 at 2:24 am Reply
  3. Hannah #

    Love it bro! So weird to see the Washington plates on your car. Can’t wait for you to take me for a spin in a couple of weeks…

    11/07/2011 at 1:52 pm Reply
  4. You’ll put your eye out Joel.

    Seriously though… nice ride.

    04/10/2012 at 9:56 am Reply


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