Thought it was probably about time I introduced myself, so here goes...
I'll be 40 quite soon, and some time ago I pretty much decided to get myself a nice car for my 40th, and pretty much settled on getting a manual E60 530d. I joined the forum a while ago, to confirm my decision, and to see what the options and pitfalls are.
Just under 3 weeks ago, I found a car that seemed to be a good compromise between what I wanted and what i wanted to pay - a blue 2004/04 530d with style 116 wheels, manual gearbox, pro satnav and leather seats, from a dealer for £6,500. The leather is mushroom grey - would have preferred cream/beige, it has a Nokia bluetooth kit rather than OEM, and it had done about 168,000 miles, but particularly as my previous car was making increasingly worrying noises, I decided that this one ticked enough boxes.
4 days after I got my Bimmer, before I had had chance to rack up more than 60 miles or work out how all the toys work, my parents were involved in a serious RTA in France, and I had to go and sort various things out, visit my dad in hospital, etc. Not the ideal circumstances for a road trip, but at least I had the right car for it. You don't realise just how comfortable the seats are until you get out after a 450 mile drive (with well over 100 miles left in the tank*) and don't have to stretch before you can walk upright. 15 miles in my previous car (Ford Cougar) had me looking like I'd misplaced my zimmer frame (albeit the seat was probably reclined further than was ideal).
I live in Reading, and have an unhealthy interest in road traffic law
[*Yes, I know I should be able to get a lot more miles from a tank on a run, yes I have checked the coolant temperature - hasn't gone above 76 degC - so will be getting the stats changed as soon as I get the chance]