Would you drop $140K on this 437-mile E39 BMW M5?

2002 m5 front 3/4 other angle

Score! An impossibly distant, impossibly rich relative took a shine to your average-Joe predicament and wrote you a fat check for $140,000. With that many Benjamins you could have a brand-new BMW M6, Porsche 911, or even a Z06 Corvette and a ZL1 Camaro. Hell, you could even have two new BMW M3s if you wanted, or here’s a head-scratcher—a 16-year-old M5 with 437 miles. Huh?

That’s right, a 2002 example of the E39-generation M5 in Titanium Silver over Black is headed to auction at Pebble Beach, and Gooding & Company put the pre-sale estimate at $140,000–$180,000. Basically, now’s your chance to buy the exquisite V-8 executive missile that passed you by back when Ja Rule was barking over radio waves across America. It even comes with all its original tools and books, including a VHS tape entitled Enjoying your new 5 Series. Cool.

2002 m5 engine
2002 bmw m5 side

Gooding & Company says the M5 is “essentially brand-new in the wrapper. There is already an established value for exceptional examples of these cars, and this will sell for a large premium over a more average example.”

Built from 1998–2003, the E39 M5 was the model’s third generation, and the super-sedan offered a 5.0-liter V-8 with VANOS variable valve timing and 394 horsepower that could get you from 0–60 in 4.6 seconds. For reference, a 2018 M5 has 600 hp and does 0–60 in the low-3-second range.

The 2002 M5 had an MSRP of just under $70,000 when new, and that’s quite the unexpected appreciation in just 16 years, especially for a car that was so widely produced.

2002 M5 rear 3/4 passenger
Gooding & Company / James Lipman

Even adjusted for inflation, this car’s original price only would have been around $100K. Some BMWs like the E30 M3 have certainly been on a tear in recent years in terms of value growth, but it hasn’t been quite the same for later high-performance Bimmers. Aside from a handful of low-mile E39 M5s asking around $100K at dealerships, nobody is asking anywhere near the low estimate placed on this this Pebble Beach car.

There aren’t any recent transactions anywhere close to that, either. Then again, low-mileage examples are hard to find, let alone like-new delivery-mile unicorns such as this car. And like-new cars command huge premiums among serious collectors.

Twice the MSRP in less than 20 years seems a little premature, but then again this could be the kind of breakout sale that brings other like-new M cars out of hiding.