Coffee table book, available now
BMW E34 M5

Related Stories

The BMW E34 M5 shoot

Never miss a new car review!

There is a road I used to drive with my E92 M3 in my old home town. It’s a long switchback, mostly empty, and no one knows about it. But for this shoot with an E34 M5, the client said “rural”. Time to break out the secret road!

A little back story on this one. Meet Parth. He’s an awesome videographer and friend, and when he called up offering an E34 M5, the most rare of all M5s, I had to tag along.

Parth M5 shoot
Parth prepares for some closeups of the car.

He and I go way back, and if you have the chance to shoot with friends, I highly recommend it. It offers another perspective, and an able body to help rig shots. In this case, it also offered the ability to do rollers with his Toyota 4Runner.

Picking the location

Parth’s client wanted rural, and though it’s a bit of a drive, I suggested Washington, NJ. That’s 07882, not the more famous town in Bergen County.

It’s a quiet little town in Warren County that’s full of farms and, uncharacteristic of NJ, mountain terrain. If you’d ever like to use it, it’s here:

Even if just for a drive, it’s probably my favorite stretch of road ever.

The second spot is Spruce Run Park, very quiet in the winter months. It overlooks a lake and has a boat launch from which to stage pics.

E34 M5
Just like the MINI shoot last week, the car was not as close as it looked. But it looked close!
E34 M5
A river flows alongside the road for a bit.
E34 M5
Empty back roads with a setting sun are the perfect recipe.
E34 M5
Spruce Run state park offered a lake view, and optional flock of birds.

The E34 M5

Set against this rural spot would be a 1991 E34 M5, one of the more rare M cars made. I’ve only been close to a few of them. Hearing it roar down the back roads, it’s not hard to see the greatness that would be the E39 coming soon after it. This one was in particularly good shape, and it was hard not to love the aftermarket chrome wheels against the jet black paint of the car. Plus, the hood had a clamshell hinge, something you’d never see on a modern M car.

This car is currently for sale, so please reach out to me if you’d like more information.

E34 M5 badge
A badge that ‘s never changed.
E34 M5 badge
Classic nose.
E34 M5 wheel
Aftermarket chrome wheels fit the personality of the car.
E34 M5
Ultra clean for a 30 year old car.
E34 M5
A unique clam shell hood creates a wow factor.

Shooting video with stills

Learning to work around videographers is something I’ve become accustomed to. It’s simply sharing the subject and taking turns. I’d drive for Parth as he hung out the back to shoot, and then he did the same for me.

Just keep in mind that you’ll have less sunlight to do the shots you want, and for video guys, once the sun goes down, they’re all done.

Here’s the final piece:

Special thanks to Parth for bringing me out!

Commissions may be received for product links on this site, so help out if you can. I only write about products I use and believe in.

I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.

Email me at with any questions.

Follow along on Instagram @machineswithsouls


Due to factors beyond the control of Machines With Souls LLC and Mike D’Ambrosio, I cannot guarantee against improper use or unauthorized modifications of this information. Machines With Souls LLC and Mike D’Ambrosio assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this post. Use this information at your own risk. Machines With Souls LLC and Mike D’Ambrosio recommends safe practices when working on vehicles and or with tools seen or implied in this post.

Due to factors beyond the control of Machines With Souls LLC and Mike D’Ambrosio, no information contained in this post shall create any expressed or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result. Any injury, damage, or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or from the information contained in this post is the sole responsibility of the user and not Machines With Souls LLC or Mike D’Ambrosio.