Motivated by General Geekery

Ode to the e28 M5

Written By: der5er - Jul• 05•06

athomas at the M5 board has it all down in a nutshell.
Links to this post have made the rounds on most M5 related message boards this summer, and, like many readers have said, it nearly brings tears to my eyes. Mr. Thomas describes perfectly the experiences of driving a 20 year old car. Specifically a 20 year old BMW. I think his writing could explain to anyone why I drive my e28 as often as I can. You’ll want to read the entire post, but since it’s long, I’ll quote here where he starts and finishes. I think it’s a pretty good summary:

Hey, so I bought one of these things a few weeks ago, I?ve been driving it around a little bit, dropping in on the forums here and there and, along with my wife and my friends, asking myself ?what the hell am I thinking with this old car??

Because the BMW E28 M5 is a silly car. Perhaps it was superlative when it was new but now it is a machine that time has left behind. It has a motor that isn?t particularly strong, (our family grocery getter, an XC 90 has more ponies, as they like to say in the auto writing world) it doesn?t go very fast, (a new Toyota Camry can keep up), it isn?t particularly well built or appointed (again see the Camry example), it is loud and it rides like a forklift.

And so I found the car on-line, made sure it was what it said it was, bought it and flew to San Francisco to pick it up and take it back East. I wasn?t quite sure what to make of it initially but got my first hint of the future a day later on I-80 coming East out of Sacramento across the floor of the Central Valley just before dawn.

There were just a few cars on a butter smooth road and the cruise control was set to 80 when some kid in a Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX came weaving up traffic and ended up in front of me. He and the car in the right lane were running even at about ninety, no one in front of them. Hmmmm. I put the M5 in the left lane crept up on that GSX in 5th gear until I was 10 feet off his bumper. Then I did what I like to think the white-coated, short-haired, bespectacled, clip-board carrying Hun who created my machine wanted me to do ? I gave that GSX a long steady flash of my brights. GSX did as I expected, he accelerated, moved over to the right hand lane and kept accelerating. I gave him a few seconds to declare himself and then, heel-toe, at 90mph, I dropped into 4th and the 20 year old sleek machine pulled across 4500 to 6500 rpms, joyfully howling like a turbo jet, lunging forward until I put her in fifth and kept going rock steady until I was locked at 140 mph, the GSX disappearing in the rear view mirror as I hurled across the waking Central Valley into the riot of the coming sun.


a thomas

Yes, Mr Thomas, cheers.

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