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UPDATE April 28, 2012 - the home stretch!
My dad was foolish enough to volunteer to help with the front suspension rebuild. New struts, tie rods, control arms, etc. addressed the problem with the front suspension shimmy that the car had about 50mph. That was followed by a trip to the alignment shop, and then back to the same shop to mount the new tires on the new wheels. On the 29th, I charged the a/c and was pleased to find it would produce cool air, although I do not think the system is as cold as it should be. A quick run down the interstate confirmed that the front suspension fix had eliminated the nasty shimmy. It was a long weekend, but well worth it.

Although some cold start and idle problems remain, the car now seems to be reasonably driveable. I'll address those and see what is next.

Here is where the story begins...
This M635 sat outside at a local BMW shop for 5 years. After much pleading, the shop owner brokered a deal with the owner and I was able to buy the car. This is the way the car looked when it came home. The black 'funk' is mold or mildrew on top of (formerly) silver paint with the texture of sandpaper.
We did a fluid change, some oil in the cylinders, flush the fuel lines, new battery, and looked everything over. The car didn't start right away, it took a lot of fiddling and two new fuel pumps for it to run. Here is the exterior after a wash job done with comet cleanser to remove the black mildrew.
The interior here looks better than it was. The front seat leather was like cardboard, and the dash is badly cracked. The rear speaker covers had received direct sun for many years, and their blue vinyl covers were cracked and separating.
The engine is clean and dry, and idles quietly. The car has less than 100k miles, and the timing chain was done less than 30k ago.