Car of the Month - December 2007

Cars of the Month

The Car of the Month for December belongs to:
Philippe Jeanneau

  • Model: E12 M535i

  • Date: January 1981

  • Exterior Color: Polaris

  • Interior C/olor: Marine Blue velour

  • Comments:

  • Manual sunroof, central locking system, headlamp washer/wipers, BMW Bavaria cassette radio, factory spoilers, rear headrests, 2kg fire extinguisher, Alpina wheels.

    The car's history includes ownership by a mother, her daughter and by novelist author James Munro of Darmstadt (Germany).

    A British automotive magazine did a write-up; here it is:

    Owner: Philippe Jeanneau
    Country: USA
    Colour:Polaris Silver (060)


    After dreaming of owning an E12 M535i for 11 years, Philippe was alerted to this one by fellow forum member Adam Wilson in Summer 2004. The car was situated in Darmstadt (Germany) but after seeing the photos and e-mailing the current owner, (James Munro/who had taken excellent care of the car) Philippe felt it was the one for him. Five weeks later he was flying to Germany to collect the car, it had 110,000km on the clock and was totally original, (minus the radio) having never been modified or painted, Philippe could not have asked for more, and the next 2 weeks were spent with a huge grin on his face driving to and around Germany and Vienna.

    The 2 weeks of pleasure were unfortunately to be followed by almost 19 months of hell. Due to US Regulations any car imported into the country that is less than 25 years old, must be "Federalized", this involves all manner of emission control devices, and body and bumper modifications. Not wishing to compromise the originality of the car, nor wishing to having to pay to have this work carried out, Philippe decided to leave the car at a friendís farmhouse outside Vienna (Nickelsdorf) until Early 2006, when the car would celebrate its 25th birthday. Philippe likened this experience to "Getting married, going on honeymoon and then leaving your new wife over there for the next year and a half".

    The wait was over on March 2nd 2006, having spent over 2 weeks being shipped across the ocean, the car arrived in port of Brunswick (Georgia USA) it was in a filthy state, and someone had attempted to steal the rear boot spoiler (previously mint), fortunately the boot lid and paintwork survived the attack, but the spoiler was split in two and left in the car. Reunited at last, the 4 hour drive back to Florida brought back all the happy honeymoon memories. A few months later, a couple of mechanical issues (including a new radiator and head gasket) were dealt with, the boot spoiler was glued back together, and Philippe has spent the last 11 months and 22,000 km loving and enjoying it.

    Believed to be one of only 10 of these cars currently is the US and in a totally original condition, Philippe aims to source and fit every option that was available on these cars when it was new in 1981. This so far has included, original radio, rear badges, headlamp washing system, fire extinguisher, (he has a period piece coming soon) original rubber floor mats and rear headrests.

    The Motorsport stripes were also one of Philippe's additions. Philippe spent a few months and several hundred dollars researching and getting his first test set made; however the final and perfected complete set will be fitted soon.

    The Future :

    Philippe believes these cars were made to be driven, and future plans include just that, and with a beauty like that who can blame him.

    Oh and try to find that ever elusive replacement rear spoiler

    © 2007, ™ edited by John Savage