There are few pieces of automotive design that exude performance and luxury. Sure, almost everyone will associate Rolls Royce’s Silver Lady with the pinnacle of motoring, but if you’re thinking aggressive performance and comfortable cruising, you’ve probably let BMW’s ‘Shark Nose’ cross your mind.
BMW launched the E24 6-Series model back in 1976 but it wasn’t until 1984, after the production of the M1 Supercar, that some clever spark thought it would be a good idea to slot the aforementioned’s 3.5 litre, 286bhp M88 engine, into the sleek and sharp 6-Series engine bay.
Iconic BBS cross-spoke alloys, amber indicators and 4 headlamp fascia complete the package to make the M635CSi an ’80s hero. Over 5,000 were built between 1984-89 but only 524 were produced in RHD, and even fewer remain in quite as nice condition as the example featured above.
Alpine White accentuates the E24’s fierce body lines, and when you fire up the engine you’re greeted with a sound that has now become synonymous with 6-cylinder BMWs. A combination of intoxicating induction roar and gratifying exhaust burbles from its offset centre exit exhaust. Another piece of iconic BMW design language.
Inside is luxurious, yet simple. There’s no Burr walnut here, just leather sports seats, three pedals and BMW’s excellent thin-rimmed steering wheel, charmed with the BMW Motorsport colours. There is less BMW M badging on this whole car than one side of a modern 1-Series diesel!
The M635CSI wasn’t just an exercise in badge engineering, it was highly successful in motorsport. In 1983, ‘85 and ‘86, it celebrated victories in the 24hr of Spa-Francorchamps. As well as winning the 1984 German Production Car Championship, a forerunner to the DTM series.
The BMW M635 CSI we’ve featured here is listed for sale with just 53,000 miles on the clock, 21 services have been documented, of which except for three have all been completed at a BMW dealership. It’s optioned with air conditioning and an electric sunroof and still has it’s original tool kit, first aid kit and Blaupunkt stereo.
The E24 is a staple of BMW design, from a time where angular lines and perfect proportions were the order of the day, not ludicrously large front grilles. It’s also one of those classics that manages to be effortlessly cool. And who doesn’t like to be effortlessly cool?