At the suggestion of Huff I'm creating a thread on its own - my BMW 530i Sport is being rescued from the dead.
It's a 530i sport petrol automatic, one of the "Champagne" run out editions - I believe the first series because it still has all the electrics on the seats. It has a few "M" things on it (e.g. steering wheel, wheels), and is officially listed as a "M-Sport" - that said I have no interest in the argument that ignites from the "M" letter, I didn't want an M, I would have bought one if I did - tried one and it wasn't for me. What I actually wanted was an exec style again (is it SE?) but there weren't any for sale in black, and I just wanted another black BMW.
History and Purchase
This car was a one owner from new - apparently a local Vietnamese "business man". He was good at keeping it fully serviced (full dealer records verified by a helpful BMW dealership), and bad at parking / kerbing the alloys all the times he pulled up to see his roadside "clients" - the front skirting was a replacement missing lots of bits.
The year was 2009, I had just written off my nice big 530 exec model (SE?) - it was lovely, but the clutch was a bit cumbersome. I switched my daily drive habits to knocking about in a Fiat Sciecento, keeping the posh car just for business meetings (sick of it getting scratched and dented parked at railway stations and in town). So when I wrote off the car I needed a stop gap - money was short following a marriage break up 2 years earlier, and the credit crunch was still making life a bit risky. I set my budget low.
A garage in London had this black 530i Sport - and as luck would have it it was the week before Christmas and they were about to go bust. After some intense acting I managed to grab the car for 4k cash 2 days before Christmas, I now had something presentable for business for a couple of years until things got better for me.
The next 7 years
Life returned to normal over time, and I eventually reached a point where I could start finding a more permanent car. What followed was a lot of test drives of lots of different cars, none of them came close to being the whole all round deal, plus you're looking at some 12 - 18k to get anything in that league even as a 5or 6 yr old car. My clients thought my BMW was a bid baddass / cool, it was turning out to be a cheap bit of window dressing.
Had an interesting journey with a Manager from JLR - he said my car drove better than anything they made (modern car regs stopping cars being that good / heavy etc), then told me how his cousin in Sweden bought a new BMW every 3 years, but having bought one of these she kept it indefinitely for summer use, while still buying and selling the other BMWs every 3 years - she just liked it.
Eventually I decided there was no point wasting money on anything that wasn't as good, so booked it into my garage for a gasket change to stop the recent oil leak.
The Long Storage
The worst thing you can do in life is give a vehicle needing more than a few hours work to someone who is disorganised. The second worst thing you can do is say "no rush". If he's your mate too you're properly screwed.
Car had done 130k miles. My mate said rather than change one gasket, lets do the lot, every seal, gasket etc so its good for a few more years with no issues, because he didn't want to be lifting the engine out every time a gasket or seal needed changing. All made sense, I was keeping the car for a good 5 more years.
Because I was now married again I was using the car a lot more - the wife didn't like running around in a battered old Seicento.
I dropped the car off early 2016 just after I secured an immaculate bonnet and boot lid from a breakers (mine had the usual rot setting in), also picket up a toolkit and an immaculate boot floor.
Then everything started changing.
2016 - local contract ended, suddenly I'm having to do a 220 mile round trip each day on the new project - BMW 530i too thirsty. Did the first weekend away with the baby - I'm going to need a bigger boot! Before I knew it a Passat Estate was my daily drive - brilliant piece of kit to be fair, and will be kept for a million years more.
2017 - finally got a 10 yr old XKR Jaguar - my dream sports car. With this and the Passat the BMW now totally surplus to requirements.
2019 - finally we found a house that fitted what is now 6 of us (now 2 kids plus the step kid, plus the Mother-in-law!) - with it comes a big driveway. The XKR was never going to do more than the drive to Le Mans each year, and be looked at. It didn't replace the 530i like I expected it to.
2020 - I decide the BMW needs to be finished - it will make a great back up car, and on paper its not the most irresponsible way to spend money considering I keep cars for years anyway buying them after all the depreciation is gone, and these things seem to be nudging slightly up in price - classics?!? I find my mechanic, guy I've known a long time setting up on his own in 2021 - I can wait.
2021 - the car has left the garage that did no work on it (5 years, ridiculous), and its been brought home.
The scope is to bring this car back up to mint standard so I can use it for business or pleasure, and I shall just keep it.
1. Engine: So right now we have an engine out on a stand. First job assess parts bought previously, order everything we are going to need. Mechanic is stripping the engine and I'm cleaning all the parts with him (I'm the labourer, great job, normally I'm doing the restoration, but on this car I'll leave it to the expert).
2. Body: I've recently got involved with a body shop, so they're going to make it look a million dollars like they did with the XKR - once we've had the car on test for a few weeks
3. Interior: needs nothing more than a good clean. The champagne leather is Italian fine I believe that doesn't wear well without a lot of tlc, so I've bought some stuff to do it, plus dye for scratches - however I've now learned there are 3 shades so I'll have to do some research
Pictures to follow as we progress