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.…
I find it pretty interesting that while the E30 and E28 market have really heated up, for whatever reason the E24 market seems to be relatively stagnant. For some time the big coupes held a price advantage over their siblings, but look in the right spot now and you can find a pretty good deal on a nice one. Case in point is today’s late run 633CSi. Now, I’ll admit that at least on paper the 633CSi might be the least appealing of the E24 lineup; the earlier 628 and 630 models were a bit prettier in their simplicity and 1970s style, the later 635 and L6 models were quicker, sportier and more luxurious and the M6 has the name and motor you want. But bear with me, because there’s actually quite a lot to like here:
The “Honorable Mention” post from last week seemed to be a popular choice, so I’m back this week with another selection of cars we didn’t get a chance to get to. We’ve got one from each major manufacturer this time around which makes for an interesting and diverse group. Which is the one that deserved a better look this time around?
It’s a day for storied 1970s modified BMWs apparently, and from one very expensive but tastefully modified BMW we travel on to one very expensive but…well, let’s just call it period piece and be done with it. Widebody cars were the rage of the 1980s, especially amongst top-flight German cars. Built to mimic their racing counterparts, everything from 560SELs to Porsche 928s got the treatment. There were several manufacturers who were notable for widebody conversions; Strosek and Konig are probably two of the most famous, but not to be outdone a small tuning firm from Bonn – ABC Exclusive – also got into the 1980s cliches. Did you want a glitzy, over the top 6-series? ABC could deliver, replete with color coordinated dashboards ripped straight from the Space Shuttle and champagne flutes hidden in the refrigerated seat section in the rear. Have you ever ridden the rear of an E24? I have, many times. Let me tell you, not many people capable of drinking champagne are capable of sitting back there comfortably. Perhaps that explains the champagne, then. But ABC wouldn’t just end there, because if you wanted a different sort of over the top 6-series, they had two more options; you could chop the top off and get a flexible-flier CSi for your trips to the Riviera, or you could opt for the outrageously flared widebody conversion:
As the 2002we featured yesterday was getting ready to ride into the sunset, another two-door BMW chapter was just beginning: the E24 6 series. Today we’ll look at a trio of E24sm beginning with this early 630CSi for sale in Texas. While I generally am a fan of the later E24s, early models such as this one in a decidedly period metallic green have a strange way of drawing me in.
I still remember when my father purchased his first German car. It was a 1982 BMW 633CSi in metallic grey with tan leather and a 5-speed manual, with the original BBS Mahle wheels. It was otherworldly to me; long, lean and low compared to the Toyotas I was used to being carried around in, the BMW had a feel of quality that the other cars I had been in couldn’t match. It snarled with a wonderfully raspy exhaust note and I felt invincible inside. The 633 was also the first car I displayed at a show myself; in that case, I proudly spent hours cleaning it and getting it ready for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in 1993. At that point, the 6 was still a pretty new car – but even then, it was rare to see 6 series and since then it’s even more rare to find them. The best of the bunch are arguably the ones that came after my father’s car was made and got the post 1983 E28 chassis updates. Although considered the lesser model due to the lower displacement motor, in fact the 633CSi was only 1 horsepower short of the 3.4 that made its way into the 635CSi replacement for the United States in 1985. Today, there are three lower mile examples of these clean coupes up for sale – which would you choose?
For a bit of a twist on the normal 10K Friday, today we’ve got 10K Black Friday – and while the deals are good it’s more the color I’m speaking of. The last time we have a 633CSi in the “Big Coupe-off” it lost pretty resoundingly to the 560SEC. Will today be the same as it comes up against a Porsche with half the engine of the 928 it faced last time? Time for you to decide who will win this showdown. Let’s start with the 1985 944:
Engine: 2.5 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 109,000 mi
Price: $ 9,000 Buy It Now
1985 ½ Porsche 944 former show car. Multi-time Porsche Club of America Street Class Concours winner. Beautiful black on black. Outfitted with Porsche 911 C2 three piece chrome wheels, 245 x 18 front and 255 x 18 rear tires. Alpine 175 watt stereo system. Leather sport seats. 109,000 Babied miles. Service history includes water pump, clutch, fly wheel, all seals, all belts, battery, brakes and rotors, restored rear upholstery, upgraded AC (requires charge). This is just a partial list. Service records available (meticulously serviced by PSH Ltd.). Consider the others then bid seriously for this one.
The car appears to look nice from the outside, but little detail is offered for the interior. Despite this, it’s clear it’s probably not currently a show car – but that’s okay with me, I think I’d prefer a driver anyway. With service records available and claimed recent maintenance, this could be a reasonable deal though I think the price is probably high. I’m also not a fan of the wheels, which are claimed to be C2 wheels but look to me to be RH Cup replicas.…
In a world of $40,000 E30 M3s and $20,000 E28 M5s, where is one to turn when it comes to vintage BMWs that offer affordable thrills. One car to scope out is the E24 6 series coupe. This car is a bit of a curiosity, as they are well loved and praised for their shark nosed styling, yet prices have yet to skyrocket. Is it only a matter of time? This 633CSi for sale in Arizona is a two owner car with the 5-speed manual gearbox.
Engine: 3.3 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 105,300 mi
Price: $9,800 Buy It Now
In Spring of 1977 BMW introduced a replacement for the aging 3.0CS and 3.0S models. The introduction of the all new E24 chassis 6-Series and 7-Series models marked a turning point for the company. A very contemporary and handsome styled Coupe’ and Sedan were offered to the public which was more in line with offerings from Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. The 6-Series was a handsome business man’s Coupe’ and was offered in automatic or manual transmission mated to a very strong and reliable 6-cylinder BMW built engine. By 1980 the engine management saw improvements to the heating and the overall running of the system, it was more efficient and more powerful now offering 194hp. By the 1980’s, cars became more about consumer comforts and ease of driving and the 6-Series became more of a GT car as opposed to a sports car. Most of the 6-Series of the 1980’s had automatic transmission leaving the 5-Speed a very rare and desirable option for the 6-Series enthusiast.
European Motor Studio is very proud to offer this exceptional 2 owner Lapis Blue over Parchment leather 1982 BMW 633CSi 5-Speed Coupe’.
Shark Week gave us all a chance to look back in appreciation at the various iterations of the E24 6 series coupe. These luxury coupes of the late-70s and 80s remain excellent opportunities for buyers to experience a combination of performance and refinement for pretty reasonable costs. Here we have an early example of the series that appears very well maintained and in an unusual color: Topaz Brown. In 1979 the 633CSi replaced the 630CSi as the entry level 6 series in the US market and featured a 3.2 liter engine that produced 181 hp.
Engine: 3.2 liter straight-6
Mileage: 71,199 mi
Price: Reserve auction (Buy It Now $13,500)
1979 BMW 633 CSi
Up for sale is my 1979 BMW 633 CSi. Simply elegant. Imagine the smell of supple leather and the warm breeze as you drive with the roof and all four windows open. A magnificent touring coupe.
It has just over 71,000 original pampered California miles. This car has been a lifelong “garage queen” which was originally ordered and purchased in Beverly Hills in the extremely rare color of Topasbraun, or, Topaz Brown, which is a bit of a misnomer, given that the color is really a metallic orange. The paint is mostly original, with the exception of the hood and roof which I had expertly matched and painted by the highest quality autobody shop in Rhode Island, AutoPaintRI. For whatever reason the hoods and roofs of these cars (I owned a low mile 1989 model once, same thing) are prone to fading.
This car has four new Michelins mounted on the original 14″ crosslace pattern BMW Mahle alloy wheels.
Its engine compartment is immaculate as you can see.
Here we have an example of one of the early sharks, the 633CSi. For 1983, the sun was setting on this model in favor of the more powerful 635CSi, which progressively gave buyers more luxury features over the years until this coupe would be discontinued. This 633CSi for sale in Washington state has been a West Coast car all its life and looks sharp in metallic gray with the contrasting black center BBS rims.
Engine: 3.3 liter inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 191,793 mi
Price: $7,000 Buy It Now
This is the last year of the classic BMW 6-series dubbed “Long Nose.” I am a BMW enthusiast. Previously I owned a 1980 320 is and a 1981 733 csi. This is the 3rd BMW I have owned. I purchased this car in 1990, when it was 7 years old from another BMW enthusiast in San Diego whose children had outgrown the back seat – he moved into a new BMW 745. The car is CLEAN; no snow, no rust, no accidents.
What is damaged? (left turn signal return tab, small [3/16”] tear in headliner at edge of sunroof, small rock chip [paint fill] in front of hood, and a very small [hard to find] door ding [no chipped paint])
Everything on this car works – except as noted on this page. The car was 1st sold in Southern California ($42,000) and has accumulated most of its 191,793 miles during many trips between San Diego and Washington State. When I bought the car it was 7 years old with 90,000 miles on it. Over the next 5 years the car was driven often between San Diego and LA’s San Gabriel Valley via Interstate 15.