I was the proud owner of a bone-stock all-original 1993 BMW M5. It was my pride and joy, and I’d spent a not insignificant amount of time searching for just the right E34 M5 to purchase before I pulled the trigger on this car. Perfect body with nary a speck of rust. All original drivetrain that had been well maintained, and had a 3" thick binder of receipts to show for it. The IDEAL M5 color combo - alpine white with dove gray leather.

Now, these wonderful (and I DO mean ‘wonderful’ in the positive sense of the word..) cars require one of two things from their owners:
1. A large pool of money that’s continually replenished so that the car can drain it through parts and labor costs.
2. Strong mechanical skill and a great set of wacky BMW specific tools, along with a moderate pool of money that’s continually replenished, for the parts.

I, in no way, had #1. I did have half of #2 - the skillset - which when coupled with a high credit limit brought old M5 ownership within reach. So onward I went, enjoying the song of the S38 and its individual throttle bodies at full-chat, as God intended.

Maintenance time came. Along with the synchronization of the throttle bodies and the inspection of each and every rubber bit underhood, part of the routine maintenance was setting valve lash. This could be done by using the BMW - branded valve shims, which were apparently crafted from dragon scales and dark-magic, since this is the only way BMW can justify the price of the shim-pack... OR you can get crafty and use shims meant for an old Volvo, which cost about as much as a 6 pack of Coke.

I pull my cherished car into the garage and pop open the suicide hood. I get out and flip the hood up so I can assess the job, and decide to get the car into the air a bit so that I don’t destroy my back bending over the fender while doing the lash. Out comes the hydraulic 4 ton jack and I start cranking away, with the intention of shoving a jackstand underneath the appropriate points on the car.

After a half-dozen pumps or so, the car either tapped into a gravity vortex or my jack starts dying. The pumps get harder and harder. And yet harder still with each successive pump - and the wheel is barely off the ground. I give it one final heave-ho - and I hear a weird crunch above me.

I turn to the source of the noise and see where my hood has folded over due to being rammed into the low garage ceiling, and then pressed into the underside of the roof trusses with 4 tons of force.

I cried that day. And I drank.