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1991 BMW 525i

Filtering by Category: Rides and Drives

Arctic Explorer

Classic Velocity

Unfortunately, the fiver has been pressed into hazardous duty as the mercury has plummeted, and we have been impersonating a Siberian village. The original battery has been flawless following multiple days and now weeks of temps below freezing. I am duly impressed, while acknowledging that this is pushing my luck a bit. Winter tires have been thoroughly tested, to say the least, and continue to pass with flying colors. Lots of Subarus and big 4x4 trucks are in the parking spaces next to this car.......

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Winter Wear

Classic Velocity

On a relatively warm weekend, I changed the wheels on the 525i back to the winter wheel/tire combination, and within a day it snowed ! I am not sure of the exact cause/effect linkage, but it is suspicious.....Handling and grip are dramtically worse in the dry, but this combination absolutely loves precipitation. The more the merrier. A deluge, no problem. Inches of snow, ok.  Confidence, better.

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Above Average

Classic Velocity

Sometimes,you have one of those runs where the speed is way above average. It seems like everyone is just travelling faster than they normally would. That was the case on this 200 mile sprint. It may not seem that impressive unless you know the route, which is not all interstate. It involves divided highway, some two-lane road, and two mile long construction sections where one of two lanes is closed. Even more amazing is that I was passed twice like I was standing still by police cruisers on this trip while doing around 75mph in the right lane. This makes it all the more impressive. It is normally a full 10mph slower !  

The fiver made it seem like no big deal. Brilliant. 

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Commuting Blind

Classic Velocity

The fiver is piling on the miles as it now exists as a daily driver. And it is handling that duty very well. It is very comfortable at 80MPH and above, but mileage becomes dismal in the low 20s. The BBS wheels and all-season tires are back on the car, and they transform the handling. The interior needs a little bit of attention as the headliner adhesive has dried out in key places like the sunroof and the rear pillars. Despite this, it has seen sun, rain, fog, etc and handles them all with ease. ..In particular, on the day of the image below, there was super thick fog for about 10 miles. Visibility was about 100ft at best !

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Commander Commuter

Classic Velocity

The Fiver has been converted into a daily driver, and it does about 400 miles per week in this fashion. It has been averaging just under 25 mpg, which is not bad but that of course is premium juice which has gotten quite spends once again. Other niggles include a trim panel on the driver side rear door where the glue dried out and it came loose. It is surprising how difficult it is to apply pressure to that particular spot so that the adhesive dries properly. That may have something to do with why it became loose in the first place. These are minor issues though as the car is an excellent mileage muncher.

First Miles

Classic Velocity

Finally, the weather and work, and a host of other things were aligned and I could take the Fiver out for some miles. I ended up driving it to work, which is a 150 mile roundtrip of almost all highway driving. A typical workday this time of year starts in the dark and ends in the dark, so you get to exercise the lighting system. It is also rather chilly, so you get to exercise the heating system. It was the dawn of a beautiful if cold day, so to begin the test, I fully opened the sunroof, and turned up the heat. The last sunroof car that I had was another BMW, a 320i (see moonbathing). It was a nice sensation to have the roof open in the dark. The heat more than compensated for the cool air.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the car was new-car flawless. The only dissapointment was that it seems rather thirsty. According to the onboard computer, it averaged 23.8 MPG for the trip. Pretty low for highway mileage, so I checked the specs and the forums. The EPA highway number was 25mpg, so it is not far off the mark given my heavy right foot. In the forums, real world mileage is frequently cited as in the teens, so I guess I should be pleased !! The mileage however, does not tell you anything about the experience. The car is smooth and quiet, and you have to pay attention to the speedo or you will get into license-confiscation territory very quickly.