Regan-Man: 1979 BMW “645 CSi Turbo”

I really love how these cars sometimes send you down the rabbit hole. What attracted me initially to this E24 was that it was a European-spec car and it had a pretty high asking price at nearly $23,000. Alone that wouldn’t be enough to warrant a post, especially given that from the first photo I glanced at, it doesn’t look spectacular.

But there’s a lot more than meets the eye when considering this car, and it has a lot more to do with the personality behind it than the current condition.

The name Albert Mardikian probably doesn’t mean much to you. Mr. Mardikian is a partner and the Chief Technology Officer behind ReGreen Organics, a company which deals with a lot of shit, for lack of a better term. I’m not being flippant. They’re an organic solid waste management company.

And it is in this capacity that Mr. Mardikian’s philosophy is particularly interesting when considering this car. He proclaims that he has a “passion for bettering our world”, yet his past would seem to have little to do with environmental improvement. That’s because in a past life Mr. Mardikian was also the proprietor of Trend Imports. Ring a bell? If not, perhaps a perusing of the Tom Cruise movie Rain Man would help you out. Mr. Cruise’s character’s subplot – an importer of exotic cars held up by the EPA – is based upon Mr. Mardikian. Because if you were in L.A. in the early 1980s and you wanted a gray market car, Trend Imports was where you went. And just like the main character in the movie, Mardikian got in quite a bit of trouble for the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Rolls Royce and other models he imported by skirting EPA emissions laws.

Though his troubles with emissions laws dated back to 1981, Mardikian continued to be the turn-to source for ultra-exotics in the early days of importation.…

2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe

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For my first BMW post, I wanted to go with something a little more unique than a run-of-the-mill M3 or M5. I can’t imagine that many people are aware that BMW offers their M6 Gran Coupe with an option for a manual transmission. This makes it one of very few high-end, performance oriented luxury sedans still available with a third pedal. There is no such option available on the Porsche Panamera or the Audi RS7, and certainly not on the Mercedes CLS63 AMG. So I decided to go with a very striking Sakhir Orange Metallic M6 Gran Coupe with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Searching through various BMW forums, I couldn’t find anything on a manual M6 Gran Coupe. However, I did come across a thread on m5post where a consumer was recently contemplating whether to order their new M5 with a DCT or a manual (6MT), and asking for guidance on what to order. Surprisingly for a car enthusiast forum, the vast majority of votes went for DCT. Commenters said that the F10 M5 was not designed for a manual, and that the DCT was much better suited to the car. In the end, the original poster decided to go with the DCT. Bummer, but I guess that makes the manual that much rarer. Anyhow, given the unpopularity of the 6MT on the current M5, I can only imagine that it’s even less common on the M6 Gran Coupe.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe on Car Gurus

1988 BMW M6

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The coupe is a no compromise automobile. In a world that demands convenience at every turn, I’m surprised vehicles that make you twist and turn into the backseat are still a part of the automotive landscape. Being single with no kids, practicality isn’t something that enters into the equation for me when it comes to vehicle purchases, so a coupe with a usable backseat is all the better. This 1988 BMW M6 is the car I dreamed about upgrading to when I was driving my 1988 325is. The original M3 was, while ultra popular now, was a relatively obscure option at first. But for me, the draw of the silky smooth power of a BMW inline-6 trumps the race-derived inline-4. So being the contrarian I am, this M6 lets me have my inline-6 cake and eat it too. This Alpine White M6 for sale in New York is served up with some attractive BBS alloys in a contrasting dark gray that is pleasing to the eye.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M6 on eBay

1989 BMW 635CSi

Having featured one final year model earlier today, let’s take a look at another. The BMW E24 6 series coupe didn’t make it into the 1990s, making way for the radically different E31 8 series coupe. In my opinion, these were two very different beasts. The 6 series was based around evolutionary styling, whereas the 8 series was more revolutionary with its concealed headlamps and wedge shape. While I like both of these BMWs, the 6 series always had a way of making me lust after it. That raked front end was just too irresistible and by the end of the production run, we even saw two special versions in the US, the potent M6 and leather-clad L6. This 635CSi for sale in Oklahoma apes a bit of that M look, sitting on later model Style 5 alloys and looking all the more aggressive for it. It also has the five-speed manual gearbox to get the most out of the 3.5 liter inline-6.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 635CSi on eBay

End of an Era: The last 1989 BMW 635CSi

I always get excited when I come across a car that is the final example of a production run. These cars tend to have all the bugs worked out that may have existed when the model first started rolling off the assembly line. My 2006 MINI Cooper S hardtop is one of the final R53 hardtops produced. The car I drove before that, a 2007 Mercedes-Benz C230, was built in the last four months of W203 production and one of a few painted in Granite Gray Metallic. Even the 1998 Volkswagen GTI 2.0 I had years ago was one of the last Mk3 GTIs, fitted with special interior trim and polished aluminum wheels specific to that model year. This 1989 BMW 635CSi in Bronzit Beige is claimed to be the last of its kind built, with a letter from the President of BMW to back it up. Those looking for a late E24 won’t want to miss this.

Click for details: 1989 BMW 635CSi on Hemmings Motor News

1988 BMW 635CSi

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Our intrepid editor here at GCFSB sent over this listing when the 968 I was going to write up sold. Though it’s an entirely different style of vehicle, the purpose of the E24 is quite similar to that of the last four cylinder Porsche. Both were geared towards upwardly mobile citizens who wanted to spice up their lives and make a statement with what they drove. Make no mistake, the E24 is a statement vehicle, from the 628 CSi all the way up the M6. It has mountains of curb appeal from any angle, which is what makes it one of the prettiest cars of all time. The spacious cabin has a airy greenhouse feel, something sorely missed in modern car design, which has become a study in minimizing blindspots while raising belt lines. Everything about the E24 is balanced, it’s just the right amount of luxury, just the right amount of sporty, it’s BMW at their best. While the current 6 Series is a brutish grand tourer that I admittedly have a soft spot for, especially in Gran Coupe form, it doesn’t come close to matching the beauty of the original 6. It’s incredibly difficult to produce a car that manages to draw all the right kinds of attention. The 968 is a fun car, but in its heyday it was seen as a car for those seeking attention.  The E24 on the other hand was for those folks who just wanted to go about their business, but wanted to look damn good while doing so.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 635CSi on eBAY

1989 BMW M635CSi Motorsports Edition

Closing out this week of our seven year anniversary, we decided to give you all something special as you ride into your weekend. Another E24, albeit one even a bit more special than the 5-speed manual 635CSi we saw on Monday. This one is so special that I was unaware of its existence until now, which led me to do some digging. Apparently this was a special model for the UK market, with only 21 cars produced. The Motorsports Edition was available only in three colors, Nogaro Silver, Macau Blue and the Misano Red that you see here from this example on offer from one of our favorite dealers, 4Star Classics.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 635CSi Motorsports Edition at 4Star Classics

2012 BMW 650i Coupe

The BMW 635CSi we just saw a few hours ago was rare due to the fact it had a third pedal. It’s rather amazing, then, that you can still spec a 6 series coupe these days with a manual transmission. I had mistakenly called an M6 Gran Coupe a 650i Gran Coupe a few weeks back. Chalk it up to a moment of delusion and the fact that the BMW product portfolio has extended further than the bailout talks for Greece. But here we have a good old two-door 6 series coupe, in a striking shade of red with the 6-speed gearshift sprouting up from the center console for all you die hard purists out there.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 650i Coupe on eBay

1989 BMW 635CSi

All good things come to an end. As the 1980s came to a close, a few legendary German vehicles exited stage right. Along with the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL and Audi Coupe GT, the BMW E24 6 series took its last breath in 1989, to be replaced by the 8 series at the dawn of the 1990s. This 635CSi for sale in California represents the last of the breed for the E24, and comes equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox, a rarity outside of the Motorsports version of this venerable coupe, with only 61 imported for the 1989 model year.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 635CSi on eBay