I had a '98 540i/6 and loved it for over 3 years before I bought my '02 M5 in 2004 which to little surprise I loved even more. I have never owned a car as long as this one and even though I have test driven other cars, I have never found anything I liked as well allowing me to replace it. Knocking on wood, it has even been the most reliable car I have ever had even better than the 540 and that's probably saying a lot considering everything I've done in the car. Knocking on wood again!
My wife has a newer fancier car with all the Bluetooth, ipod, and phone gadgetry in it and I will admit to a little jealousy in the newer bells and whistles.
Soooooo, I did some reading on the various Bluetooth/ipod adaptors out there and decided on the Dice Mediabridge setup. It allows me to play music from my Ipod or even a USB memory stick which is controlled by steering wheel buttons and displays song information over the BMW navigation display. It allows me to answer my phone via the BMW steering wheel controls and hang up as well. It also auto mutes the playing of my ipod when receiving an incoming call which my navigation screen displays the caller information on. It doesn't let me call out via steering wheel but I can still call out with the actual phone and it will automatically go over the Bluetooth system. I don't dial out much so this wasn't an issue for me. It took me about an hour to install since I had to run a wire from the trunk mounted CD changer up to near the glove box. It did render my CD changer useless but why burn CD's when I can just connect and use my Ipod that has all my music. Plus, my changer liked to skip and sometimes would lock when changing from different CD slots. Win Win I think. The system will also stream music from my internet phone over the Bluetooth but I doubt I use that feature. Now I have nearly all the features I was previously jealous of and not for a lot of money either.
AND while I was searching for e39 toys, I couldn't resist the temptation to finally SHARK my car. You know, flashing the computer with Jim Conforti's tweaks to utilize 93 octane. I always put Premium in anyway so why not. This took about 45 minutes to complete but was super simple and reversible if desired. Anyone that has driven an electronic throttled M5 will understand the tendency they have to "buck" occasionally because of the throttle response and sensitivity especially with new drivers. Well, they have straightened out the throttle curve making it much easier to drive. I actually had to relearn the throttle a bit because I was used to the old way. I opted for the "Euro" throttle response, 93 octane, and very slight redline adjustment. On their paper it shows a gain of 23 HP. I don't have any proof of this same gain but I will tell you I am again getting goose bumps on full acceleration in 2nd and 3rd gear in the 3k rpm range. I feel like I know the performance of my car pretty well and WOW this was the easiest and cheapest most bang for the buck upgrade I have ever done in my life.
AND I've known about the crappy cupholders in the e39 ever since owning the 540. I also knew about the Ultimate Cupholders that a guy started making himself back then. I never did buy any. Well now I did and I splurged and bought two, one for the passenger too. I am kicking myself now for not buying them earlier. I can' t count how many times I've gotten my pants wet trying to keep a soda cup between my legs while driving. These things work really well.
Well, I hope this wasn't too much to write. I feel like I have a new car with all the creature comforts of a new car but still in my comfortable seat and wanted to share my joy.
Now I will get to see if I make it another 8 years with it or at least until I can buy a 2 year old 2013 M5.