If you aren't looking for a long story, check out the Vehicle Summary, that just about sums it up. For those of you who'd like a little more reading material on your lunch break, here is the full story on The Dad Car. I work at a BMW Dealership as a Product Specialist called the BMW Genius. Yep, much like an Apple Genius, but for anything BMW makes on four wheels. Anyway, I see many cars come and go. Trade-ins, lease returns, and hoopties people are looking to unload for a quick check. I've been able to check out many great and exciting vehicles, as well as ones that would probably be better off burned in the central valley for the insurance money, but I digress. My 2003 BMW 540i, which was not mine at the time, came in as a trade in from a particularily good client of ours in January of 2016. This car was sold as a lease in December of 2002 and, I believe, bought by the original owner after the lease term was up. The car was always a bay area car, a modern day equivilant of a "one town car". Overall it was (and still is) in good shape for the age and, at the time, had 97K miles and a few issues. I wanted it right then and there, but the rules of the business prohibit employees from just buying anything that comes in. So it sat as management decided it's fate. It sat for months. I thought it had already been sent to auction, honestly. Then one day I'm walking down from employee parking and BOOM, there she is, sitting on the front line. I almost couldn't believe it. This was mid-October 2016. Unreal! Since picking it up in October last year, I have done a few things, really just to modernize the already award-winning E39 chassis. I also replaced the fuel pump as it had 100K miles on it and I didn't feel like gambling on it. The list of mods are in the other section, feel free to read through them if you'd like, but I have been able to get a small bump in HP and a very small bump in TQ, as well as dress her up with a little carbon fiber here and a little wheel spacer there. This car is not going to be made into a race car, nor is it in good enough shape to be what I call "showroom". She does show signs of some repaint on the front passenger door and a smattering of small stone chips on the front of the hood from the years of 580/680 driving. She's what I call a 5 foot car. Get any closer and you start to see the crows feet. Most recently I have put on 10mm spacers up front and 12mm spacers in rear, as well as new rubber after our adventures at Thunder Hill Raceway on Oct. 29th. I planned on toasting those old tires and getting new ones anyway (not like you have a choice at a track day), so it was all in the plan. Biggest bang for the buck on this car was by far putting the SuperSprint Cat-Back Exhaust on. The factory system was very heavy and muffled so well you could barely tell there was a 4.4L M62TU V8 under the hood. The SuperSprint system gives great sound and performance enhancement. Second best was the brake overhaul. StopTech cryo-treated and slotted rotors, sport pads, and stainless brake lines FTW. Helped out very much with a heavy BMW 5er at the track. As we go from here, it's really about daily driving, maintaining, and enjoying The Dad Car. I don't have any plans to do anything extra with this car from here on out. I think it's to the point where I'm going to get the best of what it has left to offer me. Any more money spent on it for "performance" benefits are going to be all $$$ and hardly any HP to show for it. If something breaks and there is something better than OEM out there, I may replace with the better aftermarket part, but I have no intentions of going out of my way to replace things that work. In my mind, it's a perfect daily driver as it rolls. She is how she will be, and I'll see you on the streets SF Bay Area Enthusiasts!

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[]Frank Perez

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