We Can't Unsee This E39 M5's Awkward E60 Bodywork Conversion

This heavily modified E39 BMW M5 used to be a lovely car, but then someone tried to make it look like an E60 and everything went wrong...

Remind me later
BMW - We Can't Unsee This E39 M5's Awkward E60 Bodywork Conversion - Used Cars

If you’re using a phone right now and can’t immediately see what’s wrong with this Munich-shaped picture, you’re looking at an E39 BMW M5 that has been dressed up to look sort of like an E60.

We found this classified ad on German eBay. To be fair, from the front the conversion is quite convincing. It looks pretty good thanks to a deep front skirt and arches that wrap tightly around the huge five-twin-spoke wheels nicked from an M6. But then from other front three-quarter angles you can see there’s definitely something not right about the rear wheel arches.

BMW - We Can't Unsee This E39 M5's Awkward E60 Bodywork Conversion - Used Cars

It’s probably best not to look at the back. In this configuration the long, flat boot lid and C-pillars remind us as much of a late Toyota Soarer as an E60 M5. From this angle it’s like one of those Toyota MR2s that get bashed into the vague shape of a Ferrari 355. The shape and cut just isn’t right, like you’re looking at it through a wonky piece of glass.

The first question we have to ask is: why? The E39 is a charming, rapid, delicately nuanced and deeply, deeply lovable super-saloon, not to mention the fact that it’s damn handsome. Converting it to E60-style bodywork with such mixed results seems like a playing a losing hand. The worst thing? Apparently the conversion cost around €25,000…

BMW - We Can't Unsee This E39 M5's Awkward E60 Bodywork Conversion - Used Cars

The E39’s 394bhp V8 has been tweaked to about 435bhp, the seller says, €6000 Airride suspension gives adjustable ride height and all the key documentation is present and correct. It’s covered 136,500km according to the clocks, which is only about 85,000 miles.

Other mods include an Eisenmann exhaust with four tips, a strut brace and truly horrible seat covers over the front two chairs. All in all, the seller’s assurance that this Frankenstein’s Monster of a car would be “perfect for collectors” seems wide of the mark, much like awful multi-M hybrid build we brought to you a few months ago. At least the seat covers could come out easily enough.

BMW - We Can't Unsee This E39 M5's Awkward E60 Bodywork Conversion - Used Cars

If you’re interested, the car is based in Stadtallendorf in central Germany, close to a Ferrero confectionery factory so it’s probably worth a trip for the smell alone. The asking price? Well, it was always going to be too much, and sure enough, it’s €34,750. Converted to pounds sterling, it’s more than double what a tidy 90,000-mile E39 M5 goes for in the UK. Madness.