To round up what has been an excellent week for the S38 motor here at GCFSB, I thought we’d take a look at the Euro version of this car. The M88 is a legendary motor for BMW; powering the M1, it was slightly modified with Motronic fuel injection for the M5 and M635 – where, amazingly, it produced more power than the M1 had. For a long time discarded in favor of the later M6 on U.S. shores, the grey market examples of the M635CSi offer a better power to weight ratio and cleaner European styling. Optional were then-giant 415MM TRX BBS Wheels, along with the requisite Euro-market wipers. Awesome? You bet, and one has popped up on our self-service classifieds:
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:
If you want a grand coupe, room for 4 in a pinch, looks to melt hearts and minds and a race car soundtrack, the E24 M6 and M635CSi are one of the few options for you. A supreme autobahn blitzer capable of hanging with sports cars on back roads, the M6 has a pretty unique skill set hidden beneath that flowing exterior. Right now, there are five great condition Ms up on Ebay, so I thought it was time to do a roundup of what was available and take a look at the options. The first is probably the best one money can buy, and not a stranger to these pages. We saw this ultra-low mile museum piece as part of the 1980s BMW M “Holy Trinity” post I did last fall, and while the location and seller has changed, the condition hasn’t:
If the classic 911 market has scared you, the Mercedes-Benz SECs are a little too soft and you worry about a foray into 928 ownership costs, M6 and M635CSi are a great alternative for a high-speed weekend transport for two. The U.S. received the quite potent and catalyst-equipped S38 motor, while the original daddy M635CSi got the full-fat M88 motor right out of the M1. With nearly 300 horsepower on tap, the M88 and those beautiful headers was a healthy upgrade from the U.S. version. If that wasn’t enough, you also got the much cleaner looking bumpers to go along with the extra ponies. Many M635s made it here thanks to the grey market, and occasionally one pops up for sale, such as today’s silver example:
I’m just going to keep rolling with the exceptional examples of older BMW M-cars I’ve been finding. Though my personal tastes tend towards the hotted-up sedans and wagons (fast coupes are just so predictable), few grand tourers, 80s or not, match the sexiness of the E24 M6, aka M635CSi, aka landshark. 286 bhp from a race-bred inline-6 sounds pretty damn good today, let alone a quarter-century ago. A private collection has decided to sell this immaculate, 27k-mile example on MunichEvo, ready to turn some lucky buyer into the coolest German gangster around.
There’s a few nitpicky styling things I’d examine, i.e. immediate removal of the windshield banner if it’s still there, but overall this car is amazing. White, notably the national racing color of Germany, makes 80s Bimmers seem even more proud. 27k miles is just mind-blowing, and I love that it has a carphone still. It is the epitome of what the M6 can be, and shames the modern E63/4 version. The main drawback is the price: $38,995 is a ton of money. Yes, these cars are rare, and this is perhaps the best example out there, but it’d be much more attractive and reasonable closer to $30k, not 40. And thus, it’s mostly just a fun reminder of how awesome BMW styling, especially on the M cars, used to be.
R.B. emailed me his fantastic looking M635CSi to post on the blog. Check it out:
quote from the eBay listing:
1985 BMW M635csi, VIN WBAEE310201050476, 112K miles. Dinan Stage IV, Haltech, Racing Dynamics RGR’s with new Falkens. Diamond Black over Schwarz. Originally Polaris Silber. Original Options…415mm cross-spoke alloy wheels, green-tinted glass, power sunroof, warning triangle, power front comfort (non-sport) seats, interior headlight adjustment, air conditioning, Becker radio with power antenna. Engine M88 Engine Replaced about 30K miles ago with a rebuilt S38 by a previous owner I was able to track down. Engine Compartment stripped and completely refinished in KBS RustSeal Gloss Black. New heater valve. All new Belts – factory BMW. New fan and new fan shroud. New Coil, Distributor, Plugs and Wires All new fluids, brakes just flushed. Haltech Platinum Sport 1000 ECU with Datalogging, custom wiring harness, 60-2 M30B35 trigger wheel and Cherry Hall Sensor, so no more Reference Sensors :). New High Impedance 440cc injectors from five-o motorsport. Innovate LC-1 Wideband O2. Engine retained SS bundle of snakes headers from M88 and M88 throttles. Cone filter attached to professionally refinished plenum, refinished valve cover. Dinan air sock. Interior Nice interior, I installed a dash cap due to cracked dash, looks great. New M6 floormats. Carpet in good shape, Custom package shelf in black vinyl. Repaired sunroof header with epoxy and new clips. SI Lights fully functional, all gauges and lights working properly. Installed Nakamichi CD-400 with Bostons all the way around including perfect late model pods in the rear. Brand new Bosch wipers. Drivers seat missing some piping, passenger seat excellent. Comforts were RARE on the M635csi. AC Just finished conversion to R134A, new receiver dryer, all fan speeds and settings work, (replaced transistors), new heater valve. Suspension Has the E24 shimmy I have not addresed yet. Sits on a verified Dinan Stage IV suspension (Front Camber, Rear Camber, Sway Bars and Bilsteins). Needs the usual bushings replaced. Body Repainted Diamond Schwarz by a PO (originally a desireable Polaris car). Some chipping on the repaint, but very nice considering the age. Car looks great. Absolutely no rust anywhere. Solid, clean underbody. Car is a SOLID TEXAS car has been in MO since 2001. Always garaged at my house while the E46 M3 convertible sits outside crying. Rear bumper, slight bend due to a mailbox, looks fine, no structural damage. Rear rubber spoiler in good shape. FRONT – SLIGHT damage to kidney metal. WILL NOT require anything other than minor bodywork. New factory roundels, new factory kidney grills. New OEM Euro turnsignals converted back from DOT. No ugly front side reflectors, somehow this one escaped. Tires and Wheels New 16″ Falken Ziex, Italian made Racing Dynamics RGRs in fantastic shape. Exhaust Excellent condition, no CAT, Innovate Wideband 02 installed.
Clearly this car has had loving owners and the $12k asking sounds very reasonable! Good luck with the sale R.B.!
There are lots of BMW e24 635CSi’s available in North America. However this example is European specification, which is rare to begin with, but the M model was exclusive to Europe until introduced as the M6 in North America in 1987. The only significant differences between the M635CSi and the M6 are the bigger (and uglier) bumpers and emissions controls. Otherwise, this 85 M635csi should be thought of an M6 with the right body work and easier breathing intake and exhaust. Long story short, a bargain with such low miles and an asking of $18k!
quote from seller after I emailed and inquired about pictures and listing the car on this site:
I am second owner, CA car has 81,500 miles, 5 speed manual trans, pearl leather interior in excellent condition, including dash and speaker pods on rear deck- no cracks. Original paint, diamond black. Original BBS wheels, Dinan chip and Dinan triple gauge cluster installed forward of shifter (see photos), Frank Fahey crank nut lock and cam crank hub upgrades, synthetic oil, 10.5:1 compression, sunroof, A/C, stereo upgrade “Eclipse” with CD/MP3, antitheft, alarm, all keys, drop down tool kit in trunk and trunk lid/liner all intact and like new, with all tools included in the drop down tool kit. All weather seals in very good condition, no leaks. Original crosshatch rubber floor mats. Original carpeting in excellent like new condition and all very clean.
What a fantastic car! If you’re interested and would like to inquire further, please click on his ad on Roadfly.
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