M5 E39 X-Continental Road Trip from LA to NYC to Europe

Last year (2014) I decided to quit my job and drive around the planet with the M5. First destination was Europe and Autobahn, but I got in some frustrating trouble, about which you can read here:


Anyway, I put everything on hold for a year and did it again in spring of 2015 on almost exact dates… and… success!
Parked the car for the (Californian) 2014/2015 winter in garage, and went to Europe anyway and came back in Spring 2015 to pick up the M5 and ship it to Europe.

Back in May 2015, busy with life and adventures, decided in last second that it’s time to do this trip attempt again and time is now & of the essence.
Ofcourse, road trip is significantly less fun without someone to share the memories with…. did my best to gather my friends to join in:

– I flew from Riga, Latvia to Los Angeles.
– Didzis flew in from Africa to LA. (While he was driving to airport, bought ticket for him, hit BUY just as he arrived at check-in.)
– Mona flew in from London to LA. (Convinced her 2 days before Road Trip starts to drop everything and come)
– Janis flew from Seattle to LA.
– Xenia (who I had met in Europe right before flying to LA) flew from Moscow to LA in last minute… Told her “Just get here, now, I’ll take care of the rest and everything”. She showed up ~20 hours later from Moscow.
– Thomas awaited us in LA; also wanted to ship his Volvo to Europe.

From no plan, in 5 days we had planned a trip and got a crew together.

So now we had 6 people, and 2 cars and 3000+ miles in front of us to NYC.
We had a big party in LA and headed out to NYC, and Europe.

Starting up the car after 7 months of hibernation, like it’s been parked since yesterday.

Installing 5x camera, full HD, microphone, security surveillance system in the M5, in order to document all of road trip in detail and record everything, from all angles.
Can connect through mobile app to security surveillance system and see what’s going on while driving, live.

Los Angeles / 405 Fwy traffic on way to Airport
Picking up Xenia
Los Angeles & Xenia
Continuing to install security system (couple days work).
Friend checking out the security system we’re installing.
Before departure picture
Heading towards Death Valley
Pit stops are made where gas is cheapest and toilets are readily visible.
Heading towards Death Valley through dirt roads in the desert. 48c / 120f temperature.
Yoga is important
Pit stopping at the sand dunes
Checking in at Badwater, Death Valley – hottest place on the planet.
I though the fan blades of the Aux fan will disintegrate, the fan was spinning so fast it sounded like a jet engine.
Heading towards Las Vegas
Heading into sunset towards Utah
Attempting to sit on a cactus
At Zion National Park
We drove a road called “Ridge Route”, and that is exactly what it is- cliffs on both sides.

50 Miles / 80KM without a single turn. No phone reception for last ~20 hours. I already blew out a tire on this road with the M5, in exact same spot, years ago. Triple digit speed.
The asphalt is very coarse and hot, highly risky to speed. Sides of road are littered with destroyed tires. Closest tire shop that carries something that fits M5 is 188 miles / 305km away.

Moab National Park
On the way to Denver, heading East.
Taking pictues outside the car, while driving.
Checking in at the Rocky Mountains; M5’s getting same fuel economy as Volvo while cruising at 75mph.
Got rolled by the Colorado Highway Patrol. Apparently someone’s outside the car and taking pictures, while driving.
Collecting plenty of bugs while moving through the mid-west. Nothing but farms as far as you can see.

We left with low thread on the back wheels, figured there’s enough for 3000 miles or so… but we didn’t count on Death Valley and the heat; the tires got soft at Death Valley where temps were at 49c / 120f in the “shade”. Thread was worn completely bald by time we got to Las Vegas, and the M5 has significant camber. Ended up driving from nowhere Kansas all the way to Des Moines, Iowa before I found a tire shop that carried something that fits the M5.

New & Old.
Chicago’s finest checking in. I knew what law I broke, and then saw them and pulled over 30 seconds before they arrived behind me. Told them I was waiting for them. Got off with a warning.
Chicago Skyline
Downtown Chicago
Xenia with Sears Tower in the background. Warm nice night. Full moon.
Somewhere in Nowhere, Pennyslavnia. Hill billies everywhere. Interesting.

At port in New Jersey, getting the car ready for shipment to Europe.
It was Saturday morning and we had to get there before noon- when the gates close. I was running out of fuel and last place I fueled up was Pennyslavnia. I decided to risk it and not fuel up, not knowing if I will make it. The car choked to stop right in front of the gates and we had to push it in at 11:59, literally. Ha ha. This means it was EXACTLY one full tank from the last place I filled up to the port.

Morning, chilling & breakfast before departure to Europe.
When I arrived in Europe, while waiting for the car, spent time biking around with people and enjoying the European summer. Everyone’s on bikes and moves quickly through the compact cities.
Stylized video of the whole trip.