Originally from Spain, this Titan Silver M5 was imported into the Netherlands with 98 747km, by an M enthusiast looking into owning his first E39 M5.

In rough condition, but with so much potential underneath, this M5 was a project car, ready to finally receive the love it merits.

This detail was focused on thoroughly cleaning the interior, an area that was in dire need of attention and the beginning point of detailing in this M5's life.

engine: S62 4.9l naturally aspirated V8
power: 400hp @ 6600rpm
torque: 500nm @ 3800rpm
max speed: 300km/h (unrestricted)
0-100km/h: 5.1 s
0-200km/h: 16.9 s
transmission: 6 speed manual
powertrain layout: front engine / rear wheel drive.
weight: 1720kg
year: 2001

the initial condition

This was not a cared for M5. The neglect was everywhere: Mechanically troublesome, grinding 3rd gear and plenty of maintenance to catch up on.

The interior condition can only be described as filthy, as if the car on its first 12 years was never cleaned on the inside: there was a thick fatty grime all over the controls, dust and dirt ingrained on every surface and stains on the leather and carpets.

The original steering wheel was missing leather on the bottom half - new one had to be bought and installed.

This was going to be a very interesting turnaround.

Despite the low mileage, this M5 was very grimy.

the cleaning

After an extensive vacuum cleaning session, the whole interior was ready for some attention.

The first area to attack were the grimy seat rails. They were degreased and cleaned patiently with a Q-tip. The plastic rail covers were washed before installation.

All control surfaces were washed, removing the finger fat that covered them. Even the seam of the indicator stalks was covered with grime and was cleansed with a toothpick.

Every small corner of this E39 M5 interior was washed and detailed to almost as new, deeply transforming the ambiance and the smell of the car.

Cleaning the driver's seat rail. 

the leather

With a clean interior, the last step for the interior was to clean and protect the leather.

All stains and ingrained muck were first gently removed with a soft brush. Afterwards, all the leather surface was washed using a sponge and the foaming shampoo.

Clear form all dirt, the leather finish was protected and reconditioned, sealing the renewed natural sheen of the leather.

 

Leather Shampoo, soft brush and sponge, ready for cleaning.

the engine bay and exterior

Using a stronger mix of All Purpose Cleaner, the engine bay was degreased, washed and dried.

To help reduce the smells inside the car, the cabin filter boxes were opened and cleaned from old decomposing leaves and dirt. The drain plugs were unclogged and the enclosure washed and dried before filter reinstallation.

Using a hog hair brush, all doom jambs were cleaned, before washing the M5 with dual bucket mode and a lambswool mitt.

To finish, the exhausts were polished and the windows degreased and cleaned.

 

the results

Despite the short time spent on this M5 and it being a very basic detail focused mostly on the interior, the difference was staggering: the interior was transformed as soon as it was cleaned... and with the new steering wheel it looked like new.

Overall a very gratifying result, specially with the subsequent mechanical work this car had. It is now in a condition that could only be a dream when it was acquired and imported.

I'm very happy to see that this M5 now is in the hands of someone who cares for it and loves it. This future classic is here to stay!

How a properly clean driving cockpit should look.