As the founder of 5seriesparts.com, my personal values shape the company culture, and that affects the quality of the experience you have when you buy.
I used to be a contractor at the Hewlett-Packard company in the late 1990s, before the merger with Compaq, and when David Packard was still alive. I based much of my own company’s culture on “The HP Way” and Lamborghini’s company culture in the 1960s.
My first language was German, and I was raised German. My family has always been into German cars. I have been a BMW enthusiast ever since my mid-teens. The dad of my childhood best friend bought a 1977 BMW 3.0L and I came to appreciate how well-built these cars were.
One of the models I’ve always wanted to own was a 2800 CS, or 3.0 CS, or 3.0 CSi. In the late 1980s, my career as a software developer took off, and I could afford to buy a 1971 BMW 2800 CS. I loved that car.
Next, I bought a 1987 325, with all of its joys and challenges. One fine day, my mechanic announced that the 20-year old car would need a new steering rack. The price, as I recall, was $432. I had been muttering “I should be in the BMW parts business” whenever an event like this occurred, and for whatever reason, that event was the last straw. And so, I actually DID start a used car parts company in 2003, focused on 1980s BMWs. It was named OCLES, Inc. which is an acronym for Old Car Life Extension Systems (as in, keep ‘em on the road). 5SeriesParts is a division of that company.
In 2007, I flew to Europe, and I visited Munich and the BMW museum. While I was there, I bought a book on BMW company culture and how BMWs are built, so that I could appreciate them even more. With a focus on being methodical, the company has grown slowly, but well.
Several years ago, I used to drive a 1987 535i, a lovely car. I’m sort of a numbers geek, so I still remember that I bought it for $760.27. It had a cracked engine oil pan and a plastic sheet as its rear window, but even so, I loved how it drove right from the start. More recently, I bought a 1982 528e as my daily driver. I’m especially fond of the M20 and the M30 engines, and the ZF 4HP-22 transmissions.
If, like me, you like the simplicity and looks of the 1980s and early 1990s BMWs that were created when Claus Luthe was still the chief designer at BMW, you’ll want to keep your classic BMW reliable, fun and safe as long as you viably can.
I intend for my company to make your mission more viable.
~Tanya Charbury, Boss Lady