The band of misfits from Petrolicious have set their lenses on something truly delectable: Randy Balingit-Hartmann's 1989 BMW M5. The car is spotlessly clean, but it hasn't been sealed away in a garage somewhere for posterity. Balingit-Hartmann bought his M5 brand new, and it was one of the first models in Southern California.

Since then, he's piled over 400,000 miles on the machine bombing through the canyons and hills around San Diego. It's still running the original transmission and rear differential, though the engine has been given a substantial freshening. There's also been a bit of suspension and exhaust work to keep the car quick over all these years.

Originally, Balingit-Hartmann purchased the car in his early 20s, and had to have his father come to the dealership with him to get the salesman to take him seriously. Since then, he's kept the car through life's highs and lows and a full passel of jobs, but the M5 remained a constant. Cheers to that. You can check out the beautifully told story below, and you can check out all the videos we've covered from Petrolicious here.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Back in the 1980s BMW (and Benz) were building bullet proof cars with quality components. I wish they would revisit that formula instead of making big road hogs with dubious reliability & durability.
      Nickerson
      • 1 Year Ago
      This guy knows how to own a car.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Nickerson
        And/ or he has enough money to throw at an old one to keep it running forever
      NJ M
      • 1 Year Ago
      Adjusting the valves with those M spacers was a pain on those motors!
      wafflesnfalafel
      • 1 Year Ago
      My neighbor up the street has one - drives her kids to school in it. Still sounds awesome - that slightly sewingmachine mechanical high performance six. Her daily driver.
      rmkensington
      • 1 Year Ago
      Amazing story that anyone kept a car for that long. While reliable, those older M5 engines arent exactly cheap to fix. I gotta give him props for buying this car as a young kid and keeping it.
      ocbrad1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ahhh, my hometown. Perfect setting for Darth Vader's M5!
      ffelix422
      • 1 Year Ago
      he reminds me of me. whatever kind of day- just go to the garage and forget everything behind the wheel.
      ilovepartygirls
      • 1 Year Ago
      great video
      DJ Manila aka SP
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am sure that there has been maintenance and work done to the engine with 400k, he even mentioned the car was modified a bit. It is a great video and also considering the E28 M5 is one of the rarest BMWs, only about 2,100 produced, this looks like a great example.
      adam1keith1980
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder how much money and man-hour did it take to keep this car on the road for so long. Actually, it would be interesting to see how much it would cost to keep a E60 M5 on the road for 400,000 miles lol.
        550PlusX5
        • 1 Year Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        It will be much much more difficult to keep most modern cars for extended periods of time then older cars...simply because of all the electronics that is being put into these cars. Your average weekend hobby mechanic won't be able to service them when those electronics start flaking out. And that's not just with BMW's, it's with just about every car that is produced these days with an info-tainment/computer cockpit these days.... Cars these days are simply not designed to last a very long time...
          550PlusX5
          • 1 Year Ago
          @550PlusX5
          @Shiftright. The problem use to be exclusively with higher end cars, but it's moving more and more into your regular run of the mill car these days. Most cars these day have way too much electronics. Just look at your typical standard fords, toyotas, hondas, GM, etc... Most of them have nav systems/infotain systems tied to climate control to everything else. Furthermore, a lot of the communications within components inside the car happens over an electronic communications bus... And even relatively inexpensive cars are using lighting housing, composite material that makes it incredibly expensive to fix/repair in the event of a colliision. We're getting to a point in which cars are more and more becoming disposable similiar to consumer electronics..The cost of repair and upkeep after warranty will get increasingly ridiculously high that only your skilled weekend mechanic will be able to tackle. I have 4 german cars and 1 japanese non-road car...Two are still under warranty the other two germans I service myself simply because I wouldn't be able to keep them if I counted on mechanic to repair..The parts themselves are not expensive. It's the labor involved in ripping things apart and putting things back together. The non-road car is a japanese simply because I can flog that and it's dirt cheap to repair....I've kept some of my cars for the past 10-15 years....
          Shiftright
          • 1 Year Ago
          @550PlusX5
          Somewhat true, but unfortunately high end cars suffer the most from this as they use electronic tech to distance themselves from 'lesser' cars, and this is why they depreciate much much faster than mid level cars.
        MikeInNC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        I had an '88 e28 M5 just like this one. I bought it with about 72k on it, drove it for two to three years and it was exceedingly reliable and solid. I just maintained the fluids and drove the wheels off of it. I wish I had kept it but maybe again someday. Great car though and VERY reliable to be hand built.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        Just eeping a modern BMW on the road for 80,000 miles gets expensive without a warranty.
      Myself
      • 1 Year Ago
      Are we going to have articles about all 400k miles cars? That have engine rebuilt? There's plenty of those and I see no reason to feature just this Beemer. There's absolutely nothing special about this car. Or the mileage.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Myself
        Come on - 400k on a high performance car like the M5 is unusual and worth celebrating. Also, a 400k car looking as nice as this one is something worth celebrating too.
          Shiftright
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          I agree with Myself. Yes, i applaud that he kept this car going, but the fact remains, even if it lasted that long with all original parts, a 400k mile car would suck to drive. Things wear out, period. If you keep restoring, replacing and throwing money at any car you can keep it driving forever.
      kgardnez
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be nice if the video didn't start off at 0:45 with him crossing the double yellow in order to hit the apex on a public road.
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