Jack De La Vega’s E39 | Corn Fed & German Bred



It’s 2 years since Y2K, the Bavarian Motor Works is reluctant to let up their gem, the e39 5 series.  10 years ago, Jack’s e39 had essentially been taken from it’s womb and shipped over seas where it would see its final destination; Florida.  It’s original owner, a woman in her 60’s would purchase the 4 door, 5 speed manual transmission, Atlantic Blue goddess.  It’s upholstered in black leather that persuades it’s drivers to shift another gear and keep going.  It’s a car that should be driven.


Still in 2013 with less than 50,000, yes 50, this car has barely seen the road in its mere decade of existence.  Jack originally found this car up off a tip from a friend who spotted it sitting for sale in a drive way while walking his pup.  So in 2007 Jack would become a proud owner of the Atlantic Blue 3.0 Liter goddess.


From the beginning, the E39 would forgo transformation’s that is rarely seen in the world of the 5.  First jack’s eyes set on the engine, so he quickly acquired a custom air intake and it quickly evolved into something unthinkable. Unthinkable you say?  Engine is too finicky and BMW is just simply too much to repair?  Jack begs to differ.  Rarely seen before, the 3 liter found itself adding a long list of features.  From being on Bimmerfest.com, bimmerboard.com5series.com there hadn’t seemed to be an e85 tuned, turbo powered 5 series around anywhere.  Skeptical users gladly held back their temptation to doing such a weird, Frankenstein-esk build but not Jack.

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PhiladelphiaAutomotivePhotography-JackE39-(7) Goonies

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Jack had the faith, determination and hands to help prove to the e39 lovers that ANYTHING is possible. The e39 went under the knife.  First it would get a complete overhaul of it’s fuel system to accommodate the new liquid that would be burned so that compression’s could be set to an unprecedented level in this generation 5.  E85 Ethanol.  Many parts would be changed out, stitched together, added and removed with parts from other cars to help make the build possible and at the end, there’s a world class machine staring everyone in the eyes…a 400whp e85 e39 beast that sings like the mythological Greek Sirens.  It lures it’s prey to open the doors and experience a world class, methodically thought out build.  With the end result in sight and with much help from his father who is an aeronautical technician, Jack’s Atlantic Blue 5 series fits her Hamann Motorsports slippers on to show everyone what’s about to go down.

Road Carnage.

Engine: Stock M54B30


Turbo hardware:

Precision 6262 T4

SPA Cast manifold

Tial MVS wastegate

Tial 50mm BOV(black)

eBay intercooler

2.5″ hot side pipe

3″ cold side pipe

3″ turbo intake pipe

custom catch can set up with fume re-circulation

stainless hardware for mostly everything

3″ stainless exhaust with borla xr1 muffler

M50 throttle body with Turner adaptor

Fuel hardware/fuel:

E85 fuel

Denso 1020 fuel pump(340lph)

Bosch 1000cc injectors

Aeromotive FPR

KRC fuel filter

-8an feed lines(all stainless braided)

-6 return(all stainless braided)

OEM rail modified with stainless 8an weld bungs


GripForce F1 stage 4 sprung with billet steel flywheel

Urethane trans mounts

Cooling and oil cooling:

E46 aluminum rad(custom modified outlets & mounts)

Custom fan shroud and 2700CFM electric fan

modified M52 528i aftermarket thermostat housing with 80deg C thermostat

19 row oil cooler

S54(E46 M3 engine) oil filter housing with 10an oil cooler lines

Engine Management:

MegaSquirt 3X using OEM BMW harness, retaining all OEM functions including fuel tank valve venting, rpm functions, dsc and traction control) FULL standalone not piggy backed


Autometer gauges

Interior: Recaro Seats, M3 Alcantara Steering wheel, black pillars

Exterior: Front and rear M Tech bumpers, DTM FiberWerks diffuser, ACS splitters, black grills.

Suspension/Wheels: Megan Racing Coil Overs, Eibach Sway bars, urethane bushings.

Photography and Words by Cary Smith Photography

Instagram – @csmp

Facebook – @CarySmith

Website – @CarySmithPhoto

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