2007 BMW M5

The ultimate gentlemanís racer

by LOUIS CORDONY

Itís tempting

IF YOU were given the task of building a tarmac racer, you wouldnít start your search with retired luxury rockets.

Thatís why this E60 M5 Targa car caught our eye.

First of all, being a big bruiser in charge of hauling five persons around at pace, the M5 has always had Munichís finest engines in its nose.

And as BMW had been participating in Formula One when the third-gen model was under development, the 2007 car received a 5.0-litre V10 with 373kW and 520Nm.

Handling was decent from the factory, too. And, thankfully, without the need for any luxurious niceties, this example has been lightened to the tune of ďaround 300kgĒ Ė according to the seller Ė which should not only transform the handling, but increase the potency of its 373kW.

With a roll-cage and harness also installed, itís ready-torace.

How many other cars at your track day, or hillclimb, would howl the song of a F1-inspired V10? Not many.

NEW $124,650

1994 BMW M3

Nostalgic purity

NOW $13,500

IF 373kW crammed in a 1500kg-odd sedan is a little too hardcore for your needs, thereís always this E36 M3.

Arguably less of an M legend, but this is a car that captured our Performance Car of the Year crown in 1997.

While its power ticket isnít as hot as the M5ís, its 210kW and 320Nm still has sting, and its sonorous inline-six on its own is close to being enough of a thrill.

With an LSD bolstering a sweet, balanced BMW chassis, itís a great timestamp on a period where electronics were yet to sink their claws into the driving experience.

This oneís a bargain at $13,500 but, as always, exercise due diligence under buyer-beware protocol.