1977 BMW 630CSi

1977 BMW 630CSi

Recently I looked at the one-year only BMW 630CSi. With only 17,000 miles on the odometer and in period correct Reseda Green with slightly updated BBS Mahle wheels, it looked like a great example. Unfortunately, it had three strikes against it; the photography and presentation wasn’t outstanding for the mileage, it was an automatic and the asking price was a steep $20,000.

1977 BMW 630CSi with 17,000 Miles

630s are infrequently seen in today’s market, so it was with some surprise that another 1977 popped up for sale in such short order. This time in Rubinrot Metallic and wearing again updated BBS Mahle wheels with a more aggressive fitment, this E24 is a no reserve auction and, importantly, a 5-speed manual. Is this the one to get?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 BMW 630CSi on eBay

1977 BMW 630CSi with 17,000 Miles

1977 BMW 630CSi with 17,000 Miles

A decade on from the takeover of Hans Glas GmbH, BMW put the Dingolfing production line and engineers to work on their new big coupe. This allowed them to build the design in-house, instead of subcontracting construction of the 2-door as they had with the E9 to Karmann. The E24 was released in 1976, and compared to the Glas V8 they had borrowed for their premium product in the late 1960s it was thoroughly modern. Paul Bracq penned the lines as he did for all BMWs of the period, and but while there was a strong family resemblance between the 3- ,5- ,6- and 7-series cars, the E24 was where the long, low lines and sweeping greenhouse worked the best.

While initially the car was introduced to the world with many of the items from the E9 carried over, the U.S. got a special one-off for its introduction year. The 630CSi was brought in 1977 with a D-Jetronic fuel injected version of the M30B30 which itself had also seen duty in the E9. With slightly lower compression and emissions equipment fitted, it produced 176 horsepower and was shared with the contemporary 530i until 1978. But in late 1977, BMW yanked the 630 from the U.S., replacing it with the more powerful 633CSi.

While BMW’s sales between 1970 and 1977 had doubled (14,574 total vehicles to 28,766), the number of early 6s that made the journey was still relatively small. Couple that with thermal reactor failure that was a demise of many of the early U.S.-bound 3.0s, and of course the big nemesis of the 70s BMW – rust – and finding a lovely example of the early E24 here in the U.S. is quite difficult:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 BMW 630CSi on eBay

1988 BMW M6 with 12,000 Miles

1988 BMW M6 with 12,000 Miles

We would be remiss if, during Shark Week, we failed to present an E24.

Well, here it is. And, frankly outside of the museum, I’m not sure that it gets better than this one.

First, it’s a late M6. They’re automatically better looking than the early M6s to me because of the color-matched bumper covers if nothing else. Second, this one is the perfect color combination of Royalblau Metallic (198) with Silver leather (201). Truth told, I’d prefer Lotus White Nappa (199), but I’m being quite picky. That’s because of the third item; with only 12,100 miles since new, this M6 is as close to showroom fresh as one can get it would seem. GREAT! I’ve found perfection! But, what price does that translate into.

Well, we have some comparable models to look at, amazingly. I featured a 36,000 mile 1987 reached $54,700 in bids this past April. The equally impressive 1988 Schwarz model with 32,000 miles asked $80,000. But this one? This one bats the asking price right out of the park at $135,000.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M6 on eBay

Litmus Test Double Take: 1988 BMW M5 and M6

Litmus Test Double Take: 1988 BMW M5 and M6

Neither the E24 M6 nor the E28 M5 need an introduction on these pages. Legendary even when new, they both captured the imagination of generations of German car enthusiasts and established the benchmarks for sedan and GT performance in period. Both went through a relatively long downturn in value, as well. And today, as each has moved firmly into classic status and the market ///Madness continues, each has increased in value considerably over where they stood a few years ago.

But with so many shared components, which is the one to get? While a lot of that boils down to personal preference, more so than ever it’s also dependent on your budget. We’ve seen asking prices for nice examples of each chassis hovering between $50,000 and $80,000 depending on mileage and condition, and with a hot market there’s no letup of good ones to choose from.

But what I have today is not the best examples of each. Both are higher mileage and neither is pristine. However, the real draw here in both cases is a no reserve auction format, giving us the opportunity to really see what’s what in the M market today.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

BMW 635CSi Face-off: High mileage US-Spec vs. Low mileage Euro

BMW 635CSi Face-off: High mileage US-Spec vs. Low mileage Euro

With its sharply raked front fascia, long hood and tapering rear end, the E24 6-series is arguably one of the most beautiful BMWs ever made. The grand tourer first arrived in the US in 1977 as the 630, powered by a 3.0 liter M30 engine that produced a not-terribly-impressive 176 hp. While a series of improvements and changes to the lineup would improve things little by little – the 630 was replaced by the 633 in 1978, then the 635 in 1985, and an M6 would arrive in 1987 – the American models would remain saddled with performance-sapping emissions equipment and engines with lower compression ratios than their European counterparts. It wasn’t the end of the world: the E24 was not really about out-and-out performance anyway. Instead, it was for loping across vast stretches of road in comfort and style while conspicuously showing off your wealth. The US-spec 635CSi appeared 1985, bringing with it the 3.4 liter version of the M30 engine and Motronic engine management. Still underpowered in comparison with its European cousin, it was at least significantly torquier than the 633 it replaced. And the performance gap would close almost entirely by 1987 when power output on US-models was bumped to 208 hp. For today’s post, I’ve selected two lovely looking examples of the 635. Both wear Bronzitbeige Metallic paint and come equipped with manual gearboxes. One is a high-milage US-spec example, the other is a low-mileage Euro-spec car with a significant price premium attached.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 635CSi on Hemmings.com

End of the Shark Era: 1988 BMW 635CSi

End of the Shark Era: 1988 BMW 635CSi

We have not written up an E24 in the past few months.

‘For shame!’ you should be shouting at your screen, and you’d be right. Quintessentially an 80s car (though designed in the 1970s), the BMW 6-series offered performance, elegance, presence and practicality to the 2-door luxury market. While the Mercedes-Benz SEC might have enjoyed a better reputation and the Audi Quattro was technically more exciting, the E24’s resilient staying power has meant that some 28 years after production wrapped these lovely coupes are still eye catching.

This particular car caught my eye because of a unique combination of factors; the Cirrus Blue Metallic exterior mated with the later bumpers is a rare sight, but inside was a 5-speed manual. How rare is this combination? Well, prepare yourself for one of the most exhaustive (and entertaining) listings we’ve seen in a while:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 635CSi on eBay

1988 BMW M6

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

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

1986 BMW M635CSi Euro

1986 BMW M635CSi Euro

The other day my wife texted me a picture of an E24 she’d spotted while biking home from work. “It’s gorgeous!” she wrote. I went to have a look at it for myself; you can see the picture I took of it here. It was a 635CSi, parked a few blocks away from the White House with a license plate that read “1LADY.” I can only hope that this means Michelle Obama surreptitiously drives a shark nose when not traveling in the official motorcade. While that particular car was a little worn when seen from close up, with broken bits of trim and some scuffs on the front bumper, even in less than stellar condition it reminded me of just how beautiful these elegant grand tourers are. I haven’t seen or thought of an old 6-series for a while, and that put me on the hunt for a nice one to write up for today.

While I toyed with the idea of featuring a lesser, cheaper model – there are certainly a few knocking around on Craigslist and eBay right now –  ultimately I opted for a car that’s a bit special. This utterly gorgeous, low mileage and mint condition European-spec M635CSi is listed on US eBay, but it’s actually located in Portugal. I’m guessing that anyone who can afford to bid on this car will have no trouble paying for the associated costs of bringing it over.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW M635CSi on eBay

1984 BMW 633CSi

1984 BMW 633CSi

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 633CSi on eBay

1987 BMW M6

1987 BMW M6

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The shark-nosed E24 looks good in just about any color, but red always seems extra appropriate. From more than a few angles the Paul Bracq design cuts some Ferrari-worthy lines, and the S38 engine helped it streak down the roads with similar power and performance to the contemporary Italian 328. Thanks to the good looks, considerable speed, and increasing coveting of early M models, we’ve seen prices for these fast and luxurious GTs start chasing the E30 M3.

This red example has just 54k miles, making it one of the nicest on the market. We should expect nothing less from Hemmings, one of the most reputable names in classic cars. It has all of the documentation from new, but isn’t quite all-original. The self-leveling rear suspension has been replaced with conventional shocks, a reasonable update for longevity and maintenance. OEM+ BBS wheels are the other update, giving a little deeper dish and allowing for more modern tire sizes while looking almost identical. The original shocks are included in the sale in case you want to go old-school, but the original wheels are not. The Lotus White interior is very nice, but not the most attractive color. Low miles and nearly perfect condition mean the seller is shooting high and looking for almost $50k.

Click for details: 1987 BMW M6 on Hemmings Classifieds

End of an Era: The last 1989 BMW 635CSi

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

1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-Spec

1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-Spec

It’s been a good week for European specification BMWs here at GCFSB, with the ultra-clean and original E28 and unique E34 the other day. Today is a more desirable model to many, because beyond offering the slimmer bumpers the rest of the world enjoyed, through the mid 1980s if you wanted any real performance from your BMW the Euro versions offered a substantial bump. Through 1984, the top of the heap on U.S. shores was the 633CSi – power had steadily improved since launch, but only slightly – from 176 horsepower in the 630CSi to 181 in the 633. Running concurrently in Europe, however, was a hotter 635CSi. With 218 horsepower on tap from the enlarged 3.4 liter displacement, coupled with a lower weight, these sharks offered much better performance than the U.S. bound models and it was quite popular in the early 1980s to import them. However, in 1985 BMW brought it’s own semi-neutered version of the 635CSi to the North American market, meaning the flood of European models slowed to a trickle and it’s fairly rare to find any post 1985. Today’s example is from that changeover year, and looks splendid in black over tan with BBS wheels:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 635CSi on eBay

1987 BMW M6

1987 BMW M6

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As cool as I think the sharknose E24 M6 is, it never quite grabbed ahold of me the way the E28 M5 does (hence my purchase of the latter). Despite sharing the heavenly S38B35, something about the way most E24s sit comes across just a little too soft, more Lexus SC400 than Ferrari 550. Well, today’s beautiful red M6 changes all that with a lower stance and beautiful – if very 80s – gold BBS 3-piece wheels. Something about the red, chrome, and black bits seem to all come together perfectly on this car, pulling me in like no E24 before it.

Click for details: 1987 BMW M6 on eBay