1983 BMW 528e

My recent coverage of the 5-series BMWs seems timely. Just last week, I looked at a 1982 BMW 528e. Since it’s been so short a time, I won’t reiterate the major highlights of the model again – click HERE if you’d like to read those details. So why look at what many consider the least excited E28 so quickly again?

Well, in part it’s because of what occurred this past weekend. If you weren’t paying attention, a stellar 1988 BMW 535i came up on Bring a Trailer. It was probably the most impressive older 5-series I’ve seen in a long time. So it was expected to bring pretty big numbers when the auction closed, and like looking through the picture gallery, it didn’t fail to disappoint. The final bid was $50,000 – unfathomable to this point for most of the E28 lineup.

Admittedly, the example I have today isn’t as nice. But it shares many things in common. First, it’s not a top-flight model, though again the Eta motor isn’t what many would prefer. So what does it have going for it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 528e on eBay

1986 BMW M635CSi

The M635CSi somehow gets lost among the other greats of the period from BMW. Perhaps, for U.S. fans, it’s the nomenclature that’s confusing. After all, there was a M1, an M3, and a M5, but when it came to the M version of the E24, BMW stuck with the moniker M635CSi in all markets but the United States and Japan. Confounding that decision was the launch of the E28 M535i. Like the M635CSi, it had additional body pieces, special interior trim and wheels from M-Technic. But while the M535i had a fairly normal M30 under the hood, the E24 received the full-fat M88/3 that was shared with the M5. Like the European M5 production started in 1984, well before they were available to U.S. customers. But while the M5 only sold in very sparse numbers over its short production cycle (about 775 sold in Europe between 1984 and 1987), the M635i was a relative hit, with just over 3,900 selling overall – far more than made it the U.S. market. Additionally, the European models were a slightly more pure form of the design; smaller bumpers, less weight, and about 30 more horsepower on tap without catalyst.

These European spec models were offered with some color combinations and interiors that never came to the U.S. market. A great example of the combination of these factors is today’s 1986 right hand drive model in the striking “Akaziengrün” – Acacia Green Metallic:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW M635CSi on Classic Driver

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

1987 BMW M6 with 36,800 Miles

While it’s easy to be a ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ and scoff at the prices for lightly used cars from the recent past, true time capsules like the Porsche Rob just wrote up are generally the domain of pure wonderment. How have owners been able to restrain themselves for decades without driving a car? This afternoon’s M6 is in a similar vein to the lineup we’ve been looking at; pristine, original condition, and low mileage. While the 36,800 accrued far outstrip those of the RS6, M3 and especially the 911 RSR, finding an all original M6 with below 40,000 miles in near perfect shape is certainly worth a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M6 on eBay

1982 BMW 745i Euro-spec

It’s been a good week for early 7 lovers here, but as Paul’s 1983 733i listing pointed out yesterday, some of them are neat to see but aren’t priced accurately. One such example of this is today’s 1982 745i. Now, off the bat it’s got several advantages over the 733i. It’s a much more attractive European specification model with slim bumpers, but those more interested in performance would rather see what the M102 produced sans catalyst – 252 horsepower, an otherworldly amount in 1983 in a sedan. Heck, that’s just shy of what the E28 M5 and M6 came to the U.S. with! So, what’s holding this one back?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 745i on eBay

1988 BMW M6

To me, part of the insanity regarding the E30 M3 pricing revolves around the other important BMW models that you can get for much less money. Take this M6 for example; the E24 was a landmark design for the company, making BMW even more popular in the refined personal luxury coupe market. If the argument is that the E30 shared race-bred DNA, so did the E24 M6; it was the car that replaced the legendary CSLs on the race track, flying the BMW colors in the European Touring Car Championship and FIA Group 2 (later Group A) competition. The motor was also race bred, having derived directly from the original M car, the M1’s legendary M88 mill. It rolled on race-inspired BBS wheels and, like all M-products back in the day, was manual only. The M6 also added a seriously healthy dose of luxury, with leather trimmed interiors, rear air conditioned compartments and fit and finish second to none. This was no buzzy entry-level, junior-executive ride – this was a car designed to grab headlines and attention. Why, then, hasn’t the market on these super coupes appreciated?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M6 on eBay

Shark Attack: BMW 635CSi Roundup

In my recent write up of two pretty overpriced 318ti M-Sports, I suggested that a vintage 635CSi would probably be a better option if you were looking for a collectable BMW for around the same ask of those two models. To put my theoretical money where my unfortunately quite real mouth is, here’s a lineup of the venerable E24 grand tourers. For a modest price you get a tremendous amount of style, sport, near bulletproof engine and drive train and a potential investment. I have five examples to look at; interestingly, four of them are the last of the run, rare to see mid-88 and up refresh models. Also interesting though less surprising is that none of them sits on their original wheels. That, and their birthplace may be the only thing that links them though, as they’re all quite different. Which would be the one you’d choose? Let’s take a look at the oldest:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 635CSi on eBay

1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-spec 5-Speed manual

Witness exhibit C in my anti-E30 M3 campaign. Like yesterday’s 1988 635CSi, this is another clean and tidy, well presented E24. But unlike yesterday’s end of the run car, this is a mid-year non-M spec car that I would generally consider the least appealing of the bunch. So what’s special about this one? Well, it’s a 5-speed car, always a plus amongst the big 6s. It’s got lower miles, too – only 68,000 in this case; that’s less than 2,500 on average if you’re counting. It’s all original, too – right down to the TRX wheels and tires. It has the unique Buffalo hide leather – an interior usually seen in the M cars but less frequently in normal production models. But in my mind I love it because it’s a Euro-spec car with a documented history, and an interesting one at that:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-spec 5-speed Manual on eBay

Heap of the Week 2: 1987 BMW M6

“It was a running driving car when parked” has to be one of the most pointless things that is put into a used car advertisement. First off, in order to park, most cars needed to run. They need to drive to where they were parked. But then, something happened. Something happened that made you not go start the car again. Sure, we hear the stories from time to time about an owner who died, left the country, suddenly became completely uninterested in the car. But usually, those cars are first generation Ford Tauruses or Jeep Wranglers; it’s not often that they’re a 1987 BMW M6. Well, we do get the typical ad lines – selling for a friend’s widow, car ran when parked, looks good when sprayed with water. But with the frenzy of activity in the M market these days, is it worth the risk to step into a legenary S38-powered M6 that’s been sitting for 15 years?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M6 on eBay

1985 BMW M635CSi

A about a month ago I wrote up a M6 roundup, covering the many nice examples for sale. They range greatly in price and condition these days, so it’s really best to do your homework, find the one you like and try to get one with a solid maintenance history over a few less miles. But occasionally one pops up that you just say “Wow!” to, and this one is pretty high up here. With a reported 40,000 miles, this European-spec 1985 M635CSi is just jaw-dropping:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW M635CSi on eBay