Update 8/30/2018: As , this M5 sold for $176,000. We've updated this story, originally published before the auction, to reflect.
The E39-generation BMW M5 is now, definitively, a modern classic, and values for clean examples are climbing. This is just ridiculous, though. Next week, Gooding & Company just auctioned at its Monterey event, where it fetched $176,000. No joke.
So, uh, why? It's virtually brand-new. Gooding & Company says the car was originally purchased by BMW collector Glen Konkle, who bought two of every car, "one to drive and one to preserve." This car was one of the latter group, and it has just 437 miles on its odometer. It even comes with the original introductory VHS BMW supplied with every E39-generation 5-Series.
Amazingly, $180,000 might not be the upper limit for low-mile E39 M5s. Before the auction, , who owns , a dealer that specializes in low-mile BMW M cars like this. "If it was alpine white on black, it would sell for $220,000; if it was blue on caramel, it would sell for $200,000," Keller said.
When considering the relative rarity of E39 M5s—which is increasing, as these things often get beat up—and their status as one of the last old-school M cars, prices like this start to make sense, at least from a collector's perspective. It's still absurd when a quick eBay search turns up . Spend some time looking, and ratty examples can be had for well under $20,000.