Sunday, December 30, 2012

10k Flash: 1997 BMW 540i 6-spd

The BMW 5-series was well established as the upper end luxury/sports sedan to have when the e39 series was introduced in 1995.  Most were ordered with automatic transmissions but a few lucky individuals picked up the 540i V8 model mated to a 6-spd manual transmission - basically a poor man's M5.  These are still somewhat desirable today - although with prices of e39 M5s still dropping, its hard to justify the 540i-6spd unless it is in fantastic shape and a great deal.  This 1997 BMW 540i 6spd is for sale in the SF Bay area for $8500 via Craigslist (thanks to tip from Kaibeezy T)

This 540i is offered with 111k miles on the odometer and in good condition - cosmetically it looks better than most other e39s for sale.

 This 540i is powered by the M62B44 - a 4.4 liter all-alloy V8 pushing out 282 horsepower and mated to a slick 6 spd manual transmission. Unfortunately only the M5 was available with a limited slip differential - so you will have to live with a peg leg in this car, unless you swap in a diff from the M5 or optional 750iL diff.

 The inside looks decent condition - but the leather is showing some signs of fading/weather. We also aren't big fans of the wood trim, but its hard to avoid in the non-M e39 5-series.

Overall this car offers a lot of speed/luxury for the price tag and while it could cost some big bucks if you have major issues, we still think you could do a lot worse. 

See a better luxury sedan with 6spd?  email us:


  1. ~ excellent find, Kaibeezy. don't think wood trim is going to diminish the driving buzz much though it might be nice to cure the bum-leg. even the automatic is a superior car.

  2. One my short list of cars to own someday.


  3. A great car, we had a 2000 wagon (but auto). This one has the more reliable engine, the later V8's are notorious for eating timing chain guides eventually.

    No sport seats in this one, but upgraded lights and wheels. Looks like a decent buy for $8500, maybe a touch high.

  4. that's a great BMW. My father buy it that time. I learn riding on it.

    Run 3


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