Despite the bad looks, the Touring is not that bad. This was once a great car, formerly driven by a mayor in another island, and it had a beautiful original color too. But someone, somewhere along its history, decided it was a good idea to dip the entire car in a giant bucket of a very dubious white paint.

At least all the chrome trim and the interior were left untouched.

The front bumper was cracked in multiple places but with no signs of a major wreck, it was a good place to start. It is a fairly common part, not expensive and readily available anywhere online, so I went ahead and ordered a new M rep.

I also wanted the rear one, but it costs almost twice as much and despite the ugly finish, its still in one piece, so it will have to wait for now.

More important than that was the tailgate. When I opened the rear window, noticed a lot of rust all around the edge.

Luckily, I found right what I needed in Norsider website. Never ordered anything from them before and I was a bit worried because a naked tailgate is a big and heavy part, but everything surpassed my expectations!

It arrived quickly and even though its a used part, it came bubblewrapped and very nicely packed.

As soon as both parts arrived, it was then time to get ready for the job.

The bumper didn’t worry me, being very easy to remove/install on an E39, it was the first thing to tackle.

Two big screws near the license plate area, align and slide each side, ZERO annoying plastic clips. A 20-minutes job, no sweat, thats it.

It’s great to have the “Work in Progress” look once again. Usually I don’t give nicknames to cars, but my Touring will be called “The Panda” from now on.

With the front bumper in place, my attention turned to the tailgate, which presented its own set of challenges.

I was trying to ignore it, but deep down I was also a bit daunted by this next task, and if it wasn’t with the help of Nuno, it would have been much, much harder. I was underestimating this when made the decision to start unscrewing everything on sight without looking for a proper guide first. Obviously, it didn’t end so well…

We found ourselves with a heavy and completely loose tailgate on our hands, entangled with the fixed glass. What a mess!

But then, again, it was my fault not to read the instructions first…

After juggling for a while, we managed to take everything out and reverse the process to finally install the new tailgate in place.

This next photo is completely out of focus, but I assure you I was very focused on my mission here. Please just ignore the way I’m holding that screwdriver, I’m sure there was a good reason too…

There’s still a lot to do but this was a great start and now, at least, there is one less rusty part and a bit more contrast on this panda.

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