The Sixth Sense six appeal
The perfect two car garage? M635CSi meets M6 Gran Coupé… 6 Series – BMW M6 in all its forms is a pretty rare beast but we meet a man with classic BMW M635CSi E24 and an BMW M6 Gran Coupé F06 who’s clearly very much in love with his M cars…
Are modern cars becoming boring, simply a commodity to transport us from A to B? Has the romance gone from the current automotive landscape? Where are the affordable cars to whet the appetites of younger enthusiasts? It seems as if manufacturers are obsessed with sustainability, hybridisation, emissions, batteries and connectivity and as a result many younger people these days just aren’t so interested in cars as the generations who came before them. We’re already seeing quite a marked decline in the number of younger people who have a driving licence which must be worrying for manufacturers but will also be a concern for the classic car community – who will care for the icons of the past if folk aren’t interested in cars anymore?
“The 1989 BMW M635CSi E24 just puts a smile on your face for every journey”
All is not lost though, there are plenty of younger enthusiasts out there who will keep the flame burning for future generations, and one of these is 22-year-old Tahmid Haque who, along with his father Kiron, owns these two gorgeous M6s. Their interest in older BMWs and other classics doesn’t end there though as they’ve assembled a nice collection of classic Bavarians and are constantly looking to add to the collection.
“Over the last couple of years we’ve assembled a nice collection of old BMWs, along with some other makes, mainly ‘80s and ‘90s cars, and we’ve now got about 20 BMWs,” says Tahmid. “I actually went to have a look at one today, an E28 M5 – I’ve always loved BMWs, probably as when I was growing up my dad always owned BMWs and I have fond memories of travelling in cars like E30s and E34s.”
Tahmid’s owned the E24 M635CSi for just about two years now, and it was one of the first BMWs to join the collection. “They’re pretty rare and I think this one was the first E24 M6 we’d come across in the flesh. We had a Porsche 944 and a Jaguar XJ-S before but what we really wanted was a 635CSi – I just love the shape. We’d been looked for eight months or so for the right car and we’d been to see seven or eight cars but none of them were quite right, but then one night we saw an advert for an M635 which looked stunning. We went to see it the next day and bought it,” says Tahmid with a laugh. He hadn’t originally been looking for an M6 as they were more expensive than the M30-engined examples, but this one came along and was a good deal so he went for it.
The M635CSi was the pinnacle of the E24 range, but it didn’t arrive until relatively late into the car’s lifecycle. The regular E24 was on sale from 1976 all the way through to 1989 making it the BMW with the longest production run ever, and during that time BMW manufactured over 85,000 examples. The M635CSi didn’t arrive until 1984 and it was an entirely different animal with its M88 DOHC M1-derived engine that developed 286hp and 251lb ft of torque endowing it with the performance to match its sultry looks.
Just about every facet of the car was upgraded and finely-honed by M’s technicians to create one of the ‘80s ultimate super coupés. Where the normal E24 was a relatively common sight the M version was a much rarer beast with just 5855 being produced, and of that number just 524 were equipped with right-hand drive. And of those 524 RHD models just 102 of those were the post-1987 facelift models that are known as the Highline. So, whichever way you look at it Tahmid’s example is a very rare beast as being a 1989 model it’s one of the very last produced – number 508 of the RHD models and the very last M635CSi produced in Diamond Black.
“We’ve been quite lucky with it” says Tahmid, “and haven’t had to do too much to it. The previous owner had an issue with the engine and he had Classic Heroes investigate the problem and the outcome was that it needed a complete rebuild which was carried out at Classic Heroes and along with some other items that were attended to the final bill was in the region of £15,000. Sadly the owner had a change in circumstances and had to sell it so we snapped it up.”
Since Tahmid’s had the M6 he’s not really had to do anything to the car other than routine servicing and protecting the paintwork. It’s been fully detailed, machine polished and ceramic coated so it stays in great condition – Rob and his team at R&R Detailing, located near Lingfield work on all Tahmid’s cars and do a great job he says. Complimenting the Diamond Black paint is a grey leather interior – the Highline models came with swathes of hide inside with just about every surface being adorned in leather – and it still looks in superb condition. Tahmid says he thinks it’s had some re-Connollising in the past but other than that it’s as it left the factory. As with all his cars he had it fully detailed – and depending on the car he may even take all the seats and carpets out to bring it back to perfect, but with this one it really didn’t make much difference as it was so good to start with.
The M6 is virtually as standard although as with many E24s the metric wheels have been dropped in favour of Imperial rims, in this case a set of 17-inch BBS RC090 that really suit the car but he has just bought a set of BBS 092/093 alloys in an 18-inch staggered set up which will be going on the car once they’ve been refurbished. Under the skin the only departure is a full manifold from Fritz Bits and stainless exhaust system fitted by a previous owner which he says sounds fantastic and really suits the car.
To ensure it stays in tip top condition and is mechanically perfect Tahmid has carried out regular maintenance on the E24 and had the car serviced in August last year which he thought would come in at around £600- £700, but in the end it came to about £1500, proving that M6s aren’t cheap to run. But as he says with a sigh, “You can’t skimp on servicing, it’s got to be done properly to keep it running perfectly.”
It’s now done around 150,000-miles and has a comprehensive history as Tahmid recalls; “I’ve been through all the history of mine – there are two huge folders full of invoices and receipts for everything that’s been done to the car – and I’m now starting on the third folder. I did sit down one night and went through absolutely everything and worked out how much has been spent on the car during its lifetime and it came to just over £51,000 on maintaining the car.”
The black M635CSi you see here isn’t the only E24 Tahmid owns, although the ownership experience for the second one has been a little different. “We’ve actually got another one, a white one, another Highline, but buying this one was completely different. Where the black one was virtually perfect when we bought it the white one was a very different story. We bought it blind through an online auction when we were out of the country and it was a real horror story. Firstly, it broke down when we were driving it back from buying it and had to have it recovered by the RAC.” But there was worse to come.
“It looked good on the face of it but we thought there were areas where the paint could be freshened up so we took it to our bodyshop and had a quote for £3000-£4000 which didn’t seem too bad but as soon as they took it apart it turned out the whole car was falling apart with rust everywhere and in the end the restoration cost over £12,000 and took about a year – trying to find parts was one of the reasons it took so long – if you need a sunroof panel for example, they’re not easy to find or when you do track one down they’re very expensive. Now it’s a very nice car, but if it’s taught us anything it’s to put the extra money in when you’re buying and buy the best you can – that’s the advice I’d give anyone buying a classic. We’ve seen M6 ownership from both ends of the spectrum and I can definitely say buying a good one in the first place is the way to go!”
Along with the two E24s Tahmid also owns the F06 M6 Gran Coupé you can see in the pictures here which he uses as his daily driver. “We had a 640d Gran Coupe” Tahmid explains, “A white one, which we owned from 2015 to 2018 but we sold that on and got the M6. We just fancied a change and while practicality wise and even money wise the 640d ticks all the boxes – quite good on fuel, plenty of power and looks amazing, the M6 is just the same but with a lot more power. It’s an M car and you’ve got to do it at least once I guess!”
“We’ve seen M6 ownership from both ends of the spectrum – buying a good one is the way to go!”
He’s owned his 64-plate example for coming up to a year and bought it privately after trying to decide which modern M car to buy as his daily transport. He looked at M3s, M4s and M5s but in the end he fell in love with the M6 GC, not just as he thinks it’s the best-looking of the modern M cars, but for its exclusivity. There tend to be far fewer M6 GCs than its contemporary M cousins and Tahmid reckons he’s only ever seen one or two on the road while he’s owned his. He decided to apply the same rules he uses when buying classics as buying something rare and exclusive always pays dividends in the end.
It’s a high specification car and looks great in its Singapore Grey with contrasting Silverstone interior with carbon fibre trim. It’s got the 20- inch alloys which was one of the things that Tahmid really liked and wanted on the 640d but could never really justify the cost – “I knew if I was getting the M that it had to have those 20s as I love the way they look,” he says with a smile. It also has the head-up display, surround camera, rear camera and heated front and rear seats – not many owners option the heated chairs for rear seat passengers. It also has the B&O sound system which sounds fantastic and is quite a step up from the Harman Kardon sound system.
It’s been fully detailed, machine polished and ceramic coated so it stays in great condition
So which generation of M6 does Tahmid prefer? “The M6 Gran Coupe is wholly different animal – it got just about double the power of the E24 thanks to its twin-turbo 4.4 V8 but if I were to be honest I’d pick the old car over the new car. The Gran Coupé is fun and so powerful, but it’s just not as enjoyable to drive as the older car – the M635CSi just puts a smile on your face for every journey and you feel much more engaged.” Interestingly Tahmid reckons the M635CSi is also far better on fuel than the M6 GC, even when he drives the older car in a spirited manner.
And that’s one of the things Tahmid likes to do with the E24 – it gets regularly exercised. “I like to use it as much as possible – classic cars don’t like sitting still and it needs to be regularly exercised. Last year I did three or four thousand miles in the M635 – weekends away, car shows, meets all over the country – they need to be driven,” he says.
It’s refreshing to meet a young owner who’s clearly thoroughly versed in the BMW classic scene and knows what’s best for the cars. He’s keen to share his passion with other like-minded people and regularly posts on Instagram (@M635BMW) where he has over 10,000 followers who are keen to share his classic BMW journey. With younger folk like Tahmid curating his collection of BMWs I think we can safely say that the future of BMW classics like his M635CSi E24 is in safe hands.
Both classic and modern BMW offered appealing exclusivity for Tahmid. Though very different, both 6 Series could be described as driver’s cars. Modern 560bhp V8 meets classic 286hp straight-six…
TECH DATA E24 M635CSi
ENGINE: M88 straight-six, DOHC, 24-valve
MAX POWER: 286bhp @ 6500rpm
MAX TORQUE: 251lb ft @ 4500rpm
TOP SPEED: 158mph
WEIGHT (DIN): 1500kg
PRICE (1989): £45,780
TECH DATA F06 M6 Gran Coupé
ENGINE: Twin-turbo 32-valve V8
MAX POWER: 560bhp @ 6000-7000rpm
MAX TORQUE: 502lb ft @ 1500-5750rpm
TOP SPEED: 155mph (190mph with M driver’s package)
WEIGHT (DIN): 1875kg
PRICE (NEW): £97,700