Beauty shot of the interior of a 1987 BMW 635CSi

6 Series

BMW 6-series coupe
In mid-2003, I had reached the end of my rope: after six years of living in and around the District, relying on Metro and cabs, I came to a realization — I needed a car. Searching long and hard for a safe, reliable, affordable car, I came across the BMW E24 6 series, which, as it turns out, met all three of my criteria… and just happens to be drop-dead gorgeous.

The 6 series was a difficult car for BMW to sell — retailing for upwards of $46,000 in the 1980’s, it was inaccesible to many outside the upper-middle class and weighing upwards of 3,800lbs it was hardly a true sports car. As a result, BMW manufactured only 86,216 E24 chassis between 1976 and 1989, of which around 46,000 628CS, 633CSi, 635CSi and M6 models made their way to U.S. shores. Due to the typical buyers’ preference for luxury over performance, relatively few of these Bavarian ‚Äėbahn-stormers were equipped with the Getrag-built five-speed transmission, making my car a relatively rare example of an already uncommon breed.

I was lucky to find my sharknose coupe through the National Capital Chapter of the BMWCCA after only a couple of weeks of looking. An ’87 model, it had only 138,000 miles under two owners and had meticulously looked-after, including a complete set of service records and receipts dating back to 1990.

After a few small repairs, including wipers that worked intermittently (which usually didn’t coincide with rain), a faulty starter and removing the flaky alarm system, the addiction took hold.

The car handles magnificently and pulls hard in the turns. According to the corner workers at my first few BMWCCA driving schools, it’s gorgeous in the turns.

Now that I’ve fed the addiction and bought an E30 coupe for track days, the E24 was immediately retired to Sunday driver status.

Current condition: For Sale

Garage kept-daily driver (8 miles each way) from July 2007 until April 2011, the car now has 174,145 miles on it.¬†The original paint still shines like practically, belying the fact that it rolled off the assembly line 25 years ago. Care with Zaino washes, Zymol waxes, WheelWax and GummiPfledge have certainly helped. The interior still looks fresh, though there is some wear on the driver’s seat bolster and pilling on the seat pan fabric. The front spoiler needs replacement (a very common issue with these cars) and the retaining clips in the front bumper trim endcaps have failed (again, a common issue.) No rust or major dents, dings, etc.

The distributor cap, rotor and plug wires have less than 1,000 miles on them. New Bosch AFM and fuel pressure regulator has fewer than 100 miles. Most recent oil change was at 173,500, on a 3,500 mile interval, using RedLine 15W50 and OEM filters. Interstate battery is less than 11 months old.

This car has been babied and is a great driver, try it, you‚Äôll love it! ¬†I bought it as a bachelor, but now that the family is growing, I need something more “practical,” i.e. an E39 540i. It’s won daily driver concours awards and constantly turns heads, getting purchase offers at stoplights. It breaks my heart to let it go.

$7,195 obo


Engine and Drivetrain
Jim Conforti chip (OEM chip on-hand)
3.73 limited slip differential from an E30 (originally equipped with a 3.46 LSD)
Metric Mechanic maximum cooling package (new Behr radiator in January 2006; spare water pump and hose kit)
Coolant expansion tank replaced in mid-2010

Suspension and Brakes
M6/Suspension Techniques springs and adjustable swaybars
Ireland Engineering front strut brace (via Turbocharging Dynamics)
Bilstein Sport struts
Machined E32 750 control arm bushings
ACT/Ronal LS 16×8.5 gold/silver polished wheels
Toyo Proxes 4 225/50WR16 (TRX spare still in trunk)
E32 750i front/E34 535i rear discs and calipers (Hawk Ceramic brake pads + spares)
E32 750i brake master cylinder
BMP Design stainless steel brake lines

Interior and Electrical
Period-correct Charcoal Sisal floor mats
Recaro LSM black cloth seats w/adjustable lumbar support
UUC short shift kit
Momo Super Anatomic leather shift knob
Alpine CDA-9835 (original BMW radio included; Alpine KCA-420i iPod adater – $100)
Period-correct 2 Precision Power Sedona APA100iX (2x50w channels) amps driving MB Quart front speakers and Infinity 6×9 bi-directional rear speakers
Hella E-Code H1 & H4 headlight upgrade
Custom-fitted MacNeil Weathertech heavy-duty trunk liner
Peake Service Indicator Reset Tool

Full service history from ~1990, onward
BMW Dealer Service Manual “Blue Book” original hard copy
2 x Bentley E28 Service Manuals (one for the house, one for the garage)

BMW color code image