In case you’re unfamiliar with YouTuber M539 Restorations, he made a name for himself by bringing back to life old BMWs in need of some serious TLC. He’s worked on virtually any modern classic you can think of, including a first-generation 8 Series, an M5 E60 V10, and even on oldtimers such as the E21 323i. We could go on forever, mentioning Alpina models and V12 7 Series sedans. Suffice it to say, he knows his way around a BMW, having owned more than 25 models so far.

Timo, one of his nearly 290,000 subscribers on YouTube and a supporter on Patreon, decided to surprise him by handing out the keys to a 1998 E39 528i Touring without asking something in exchange. Yes, the BMW restorer got the car for free after traveling to Leidingen in Germany to pick it up. It’s a rather substantial present considering the car is not only fully registered but also runs and drives. In fact, upon taking delivery of the 23-year-old wagon, Sreten from M539 Restorations drove it back home.

Not the actual car

It’s not just any E39 Touring, but a high-spec Individual model finished in Orient Blue with a lovely interior also predominantly in blue with partial cream leather and wood trim. The only major concern regarding the body is the tailgate devoured by rust, which needs to be replaced. It even has the original Nokia phone kit, rear sunshades, auxiliary heating, but as you can see, the car needs some work.

The aftermarket headlights are not to Sreten’s liking and the M52 straight-six gasoline engine has some issues that have to be ironed out. That said, hitting 124 mph (200 km/h) at night while driving the wagon back home was not an issue for the old 528i. The car already looks better after taking a bath and will receive different wheels, a windshield seal, along with taking care of the body dents and paint issues.

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Looking underneath the car, the BMW technician noticed some rear suspension problems and brake lines that need some attention, not to mention the rust issues. In addition, the oil pan is leaking and the wagon needs new struts at the front axle along with a fresh head gasket. Overall, the E39 has only minor defects that can be fixed, save for the rust, which is more than likely to return in a couple of years.

First order of business? Smashing the custom headlights using a trusty hammer before switching to a more professional tool…

[Source: M539 Restorations / YouTube]