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Say hello to the £1000 E60 BMW 530i…

We bought an E60 BMW 530i SE for £1,000. This can only go well.

Yep, we have a new motor. Picked it up yesterday in fact. And yes, the car you’re seeing here. The 2003 E60 530i SE auto, with MOT, in generally pretty damn good condition, with more paperwork on history than your local library, with a ‘mere’ 140k on the clock and with sat nav and leather cost us… wait for it… £1,000.

It’s easy to hate us right now. We know.

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How? Just… how?

Well, we were debating selling our Saab 93 cabrio because it was getting to the point where we had to fold the children in half to get them into the back of it. And apparently the NSPCC takes a dim view on that kind of thing. I offered £2 a month in return for human childigami, but no dice.

We had no plan as such, other than buying Project 800 of course, but on closer inspection Project 800 is a bit, well, minging. So we’re going a different direction with that. A direction that will probably result in tears and a con-rod sticking out of the block. But we digress.

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You’ve still not explained how?

Sorry, yes, getting to that now. Remember when we were chatting about a tall man who likes cars and a shorter man who likes cars and also likes old wardrobes? Well, the tall one is our mate, Paul and he runs the very busy, and very retro and classic car-friendly, Nottingham-based Landspeed. On the old Twitter he mentioned he had this E60 and he’s let it go cheap. The word cheap is to us what a picnic is to ants, so we slid into Paul’s DMs.

We worked out that if we sold the Saab, we could afford the £1000 E60, but in the meantime the wages from the day job would cover it. So we said yes, and booked a train ticket to Nottingham. As simple as that, really.

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Okay, so why was it £1000?

Well, as much as we think Paul likes us, we doubt he’d knock off, what, £1,500 market value for the fun of it? The 530i, while already put into daily use, has been sold to us with ‘spares or repairs’ bold and proud on the invoice. And here’s why.

The centre prop bearing has died, meaning that at motorway speeds it feels like all four tyres are out of balance. It is very, very annoying. And it’s a bit of a sod of a job. Then there’s the airbag system, or the lack thereof. It’s still in the car, but if we drove into a wall/building/hippopotamus/your mum they wouldn’t fire. We need to change a control unit. And again, that’s a pain of a job. We have the part though.

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Anything else?

Um, yeah. The tyre pressure monitoring system is about as much use as Labrador in a toboggan race, which again is annoying. We’ll clean what needs cleaning and see if that makes any difference.

The bonnet has suffered over the years from stone impacts, the badges are all shot, the wipers are as effective as a roll of Bounty in a hurricane, the cigarette lighter seems to have reduced itself to its component parts (but it still works) and, um, that’s about it.

Oh, and the cup holder doesn’t work. That was very nearly a deal-breaker.

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So what now?

Now we plod on and give the old Beemer the love she needs. Even with the faults, we can and are using it daily. And when pay day rolls around in a few weeks, we’ll get the two big jobs done, and then we’ll look at the rest and get all that buttoned up, too.

Then we can start tweaking and changing. We have plans in mind, but nothing garish or untoward. We just want to make it ours. You see, that’s the beauty of bargain motoring – you can do what you like with your car. First of all we will enjoy the satisfaction that comes from fixing all the niggly bits, then we’ll build this 530i in to something truly special. And all for way, way less than £2,000.

H/T to Paul himself for these pictures

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