Daily Driven: 2000 BMW 540i – SOLD!

Jun 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

July 4, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this BMW 540i “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

June 7, 2021 Update – Just three days after we first featured this BMW 540, the private seller lowered the asking price from $6,500 to $5,800 in a clear sign they want this car gone.

While the temptation to get into a late model car or a new vehicle altogether is appealing for obvious reasons like reliability and manufacturer warranties, there are still plenty of options that offer slightly more risk but heaps more fun without the car payment. Take, for example, this 2000 BMW 540i originally listed in June 2021 on Craigslist in Jaffrey, New Hampshire with extensive maintenance records, an unused backseat, and some tasteful modifications for $6,500. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide confirms this private seller has his 540i priced slightly above the “High” retail valuation of $5,375, but that’s to be expected in a price guide that doesn’t always account for evolving collectability.

The E39 sedan and wagon are darlings of the BMW world, but this era of the 5-Series increasingly has appeal beyond tight-knit enthusiast circles. Unfortunately, for those not well-versed in BMWs of this vintage, there’s a good chance a gamble on a V8-powered sedan or SUV could end up being a costly one. BMW has long been known for its inline-six engines, but its eight cylinders have been less successful due to lingering reliability issues. The truth of the matter is that some well-documented issues end up being grossly enhanced due to second- and third-string owners not having nearly as much interest as the first caretaker did in maintaining it to a high standard at the hands of a local dealer or specialist shop. While you can buy a decent example for well under $10,000, you can also find a car like this that has seemingly been maintained.

The seller notes he purchased this car from the second caretaker, who owned it for a short period after purchasing it from the original owner following his transition to nursing home care. It was originally from California, and as such, it has no rust. E39s typically don’t have significant rust issues by this juncture, but plenty of snow belt vehicles have started bubbling in the fender arches. Though it doesn’t have the desirable factory sport package, the seller has certainly attempted to inject some additional performance courtesy of the aftermarket. This includes a coilover suspension system, upgraded lighting, resonator and muffler deletes, and more. Fortunately, all of the upgrades are largely reversible if a future owner prefers a bone-stock model. The list of recent maintenance items is quite long, and includes some big ticket fixes like a new water pump, oil pan gasket, tie rods, and more. It’s not perfect, and modifications can send the wrong message, but it’s a desirable 540i with a reasonable 117,000 miles and known history. Good luck with the purchase if you decide to take this V8-powered E39 home.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For sale is my 2000 BMW 540i with 117k miles. It has the 4.4L V8 w/ Auto trans.
(miles will go up as I pretty much daily the car)


The car runs and drives amazing. Pulls very hard!
NO RUST WHATSOEVER. The car was always garage kept and has never seen salt! It has been very well maintained it’s entire life and kept very clean.

Backstory: This car is originally from California. It was bought new by a retired guy and then came to New Hampshire in 2005 when he moved here. He owned it until around 2017 when he went into a nursing home and it was purchased by the guy I bought it off of.

The interior is immaculate. Backseats look like they have never even been sat in before and all of the electricals (including original GPS) work as they should. Even the electric rear window shade and side window shades work perfectly.

The cars paint is in great shape, it does have some small dings and paint chips here and there but it is a 21 year old car. Previous owner also tried to paint match the trim of the car and it’s peeling in places.

– New Achilles ATR Sport Tires (All 4)
– Fresh Alignment
– New Water Pump
– New Thermostat
– New Crankcase Vent Valve along with a few other vacuum related lines
– Fresh oil change w/ OEM BMW oil and Mahle filter
– Transmission fluid and filter has already been done
– New Drilled Rotors and Brake Pads up front
– New BMW Oil Pan Gasket (Checked the Chain Guides while I was in there and they looked great, no broken pieces or metal in the pan. Also re-torqued the Oil Pump Nut just to be sure.)
– New BMW Valve Cover Gaskets
– New Spark Plugs
– New Air Filter
– New Tie Rods
– New Cabin Filters
– New o2 Sensors (All 4)

– Solowerks Coilovers (rides just as good, if not better than stock!)
– Supersprint Resonator Delete
– Turner Muffler Delete
– M5 Headlights w/ LED Highbeams
– HID Foglights
– Black Kidney Grilles
– Smoked Taillights
– Tinted Windows
– LEDs throughout the car
– Hella Super Tone horns (x4)
– Black M5 Center Console
– Rear Roof Spoiler painted to match
– Black Trunk Lip
– Black Weathertech Floor Mats (front & back)
– Replica M Shift Knob
-“M” Logo Puddle Lights

Comes with:
– Extra Trans fluid
– Extra Engine Oil
– Stock bulbs for headlights
– Stock Taillights
– Stock Shift Knob
– License plate holder that screws into the tow hook hole
Any spare parts basically.

– Paint coming off of trim from previous owner
– Very slight transmission fluid leak from one of the lines going to the Cooler I believe
– Slight wobble in the front end at around 75mph but still glides right down the highway”

Do you have a BMW 540i story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *