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

1975 BMW 530i

3The E12 was the first sedan from BMW to wear the 5-series badge. Available in the US only as a six cylinder model, it was sold here in two guises: the 530i (1975-1978) and the 528i (1979-1981). The classic, Paul Bracq-styled design was, and remains, a winner. However, the E12 is mostly remembered for its numerous flaws. Like a lot of European imports from the time, US market cars were burdened by less powerful, emissions-restricted engines and ugly, 5mph crash resistant bumpers. The 528 incorporated thermal reactors as part of its emissions control system and these had a tendency to overheat the engine bay, causing cracking or warping of the cylinder heads. The air conditioning was rubbish. The handling could be twitchy. The gas mileage was pretty awful. The bodies were particularly susceptible to rust, which is why most of them ended up in junkyards long ago. Still, I have a lot of time for these cars mostly because they are so handsome. Since there are so few of them left it’s always a pleasant surprise to find a nice looking survivor like this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 BMW 530i on eBay

Shark Week: 1977 BMW 630CS

The BMW E9 chassis was a tough act to follow; gorgeous simplicity, solid performance in street trim and a world contender and winner in the European Touring Car Championship. The E9 was also the basis for the first two BMW “Art Cars”, bringing the maker to a new medium and market. Clearly, Paul Bracq had his work cut out for him designing a replacement, but if he hadn’t already, he would prove himself more than worthy. The E24 launched in 1976, and like the Porsche 928, the design would prove to be advanced for the time.

Initially available in Europe as the carbureted 3.0 630CS, over its production run the E24 gained horsepower, luxury, sprouted spoilers and larger wheels, and became a serious performance machine in M6 guise. Few U.S. enthusiasts even remember the 633CSi, never mind the fuel injected version of the 3.0 that introduced the U.S. to the E24 in 630CSi form. Perhaps that’s because the emissions equipment that was fitted robbed the car of performance, but to me, the prettiest of the E24s are the early, simple cars without the all the spoilers. Thanks to the grey market, a few of the carbureted 3.0 CSs made it to the U.S.. Even fewer survive today thanks mostly to rust and depreciation, but occasionally one of the original sharks surface, like today’s very rare 630CS:

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Year: 1977
Model: 630CS
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 42,000 mi
Price: $9,900

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 BMW 630CS on Classiccar.com

BMW 630 CS Coupe, Black, for sale in Griffin, Georgia, for $15,900. Exterior paint finished in Schwarz Black complemented by a Saddle leather interior. It is truly in mint, pristene condition, both mechanically & cosmetically with just 42,000 miles. Features 4-speed manual transmission, factory a/c, chrome alloy wheels, power antenna, rear power windows, Clarion am-fm cassette radio, coco mats.