A BMW NOT A BEEMER Launched to replace the old CS strain (which are becoming hugely sought after), the 6 Series E24 w...

Launched to replace the old CS strain (which are becoming hugely sought after), the 6 Series E24 was bang in tune with the mid 1970s in terms of styling and driving, although it’s said that these later cars lack the sporting edge of the original coupés. What you get as compensation are lusty straight-six engines (2.8-3.2-litre), a less skittish chassis for more secure handling, a roomier cabin and strong value for money. Top model is motorsport-aimed 635CSi but all are worth buying so long as rampant rust hasn’t got there first.

A brief history of the E-24 6-series coupe

A high-end two-door luxury sports coupe dubbed the 'Bavarian Ferrari,' the 6-series is considered by many to be the most aesthetically pleasing BMW of all time. Just 86,219 units were built between November 1975 and April 1989. About half of those came to the United States.

During it's production, many changes were made internally and externally,though to the untrained eye, the outward appearance of the E-24 coupe remained constant.

Initially the bodies were based on the E-12 5-series platform, the earliest being built at the Karman factory and shipped by train to BMW for assembly. This quickly became a problem and by 1977 everything was done in Munich. The original 630CS was carbureted and had a 4-speed gear box which remained until 1978 when the 5-speed replaced it.

1979 brought the end of the non-injected fuel system and indtrodued the first computer management system. Also available at this time was the 'economy' version 628 CSi and the introduction of the ABS braking system as an option.

The E-12 platform remained until mid-1982 when the change to the E-28 5-series platform was indroduced. With a much improved suspension, engine, interior and a computer-based engine management system, the new 6-series also got subtle body changes: the front fender flairs were increased and the antenna moved from driver's front fender to passenger rear.

A 4-speed automatic was an option in 1983 and this was also the last year of production of the 633 CSi.

The BMW ///M cars were first introduced in 1984, available only in the European models. It wouldn't be until 1987 that a US version M6 was produced for the American market. Also in 1984 airdams became standard equipment with recessed, rectangular fog lamps.

1987 was the only year for the US-specific L6 model. A 'luxury' 6-series that had all leather interior including headliner and dashpad, rear A/C with cooler and was available only as an automatic.

In 1988, the world-wide bumpers replaced the euo and US bumpers and made all the cars look the same. Airdams now had flush curve-edged fog lights as well.

April 6, 1989, the last E-24 coupe rolled off the assembly line.

During it's production, there were several 'specialty' models built. German tuners Alpina, Hartge, and Schintzer made high-performance models adding their own engine parts, suspension, wheels, interiors and more. Some of these were turbo-charged.

In addition, many dealers offered a convertible conversion as an option at purchase (or after) and though there is no number as to how many of these were made, several still survive.

More information on the history and numbers of cars can be found through the links above.
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  •   MaxNew reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Glen Christie with his smartlooking 635CSi in New Zealand


    / #1989-BMW-635CSi-E24 / #1989-BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #1989 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW

    I’m looking for some help in the form of a referral. I’m a long-time reader of BMW Car and have it ordered through my local magazine agent in Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand.

    I have a one-owner (plus me) 1989 BMW 635CSi, and I need to order new moulded carpets for it; it’s a right-hand drive car. I understand the carpet can be purchased in a pre-made kit-type format, but I’m completely unsure where to go?¬ Thanks for a great magazine and it’s good to see that Bob Harper is still a contributor; I always enjoyed hearing about his, since-sold, M635CSi, although I’m not a camping fan! (That’s the latest I’ve read from him).
    • We haven’t had any direct experience with specialists making vehicle carpet sets, Glenn, so it’s difficult for us to make a firm recommendation.We haven’t had any direct experience with specialists making vehicle carpet sets, Glenn, so it’s difficult for us to make a firm recommendation. However, one wellestablished company that we came across, and which lists your 635CSi among the vehicles it caters for, is Wigan-based Coverdale (UK) Ltd (tel: 01942 255535, email: [email protected], website:

      The set for your car is listed as costing £266 (NZD507) but you’d need to add a delivery charge to that price which, to New Zealand, isn’t going to be cheap. It may be more cost-effective for you to find a specialist supplier closer to home although, having said that, we didn’t have any luck with a search on Google. There are a number of moulded carpet set suppliers in Australia, but BMW coverage seems very limited with them all. Maybe our readers will be able to recommend a supplier in your area?
        More ...
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  •   Robb Pritchard reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    SOLD FOR: £6820 / #1989 / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW

    This example was one of the last of the Highlines and had covered 111k miles. It came from a deceased estate, and had been put away in 2003 where it had remained unused since. A fine covering of dust obscured the #Zinnober red paintwork which looks like it would respond well to a good cut and polish and the black leather interior looks to be in good order. The lusty #M30 six-cylinder had been coaxed into life with some fresh petrol and idled smoothly while on site at Brightwells, although the car has yet to be driven and would obviously require recommissioning and a new set of rubber before use.
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  •   Shane O’Donoghue reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Longtermers #1988 #BMW #E24 #M635CSi . Another busy month for the fleet with the M5 and 320d requiring some dealership fettling. And the editor goes mad and buys an M635CSi …

    If you read my farewell to the E34 #M5 in last month’s issue you could be forgiven for thinking that the last thing I was going to do once the #E34 had departed was to sink a whole load of money that I don’t really have into another classic BMW. As you can see from the accompanying pictures that’s exactly what I’ve done! I really shouldn’t be let out on my own or be allowed unsupervised access to the internet…

    Long time readers will know that I absolutely love the E24 6 Series and once the proceeds of the M5’s sale were burning a hole in my bank account I couldn’t help but have a little surf to see how much a #635CSi was going for these days. Safe to say that the bottom end of the 6 Series market is fraught with danger – there are plenty of machines out there that look pretty decent in the pictures but are actually complete and utter hounds. Hidden somewhere in this pack of dogs is the occasional gem but these are the ones that sell within a few hours of being advertised and I kept arriving far too late to secure a purchase. And at the back of my mind there was a nagging doubt that I simply wouldn’t be happy with a 635CSi.

    My past history includes a #1983 635CSi that had been unusually spec’d with pukka Recaro seats, a dogleg ‘box and a limited-slip differential and once I had finished removing all the tin worm and attending to a few mechanical maladies it really was an absolute peach. This rather fine machine was exchanged for what was, in essence, a rather ropey M635CSi and having sampled them both in the past I knew that if I were to purchase even a good 635 the call of the #M88 twin-cam in the M car would always be too strong to resist. So I put the idea of buying a Six on the back burner – much to Mrs H’s satisfaction.

    And then somehow I found myself on a train heading for Coventry to look at an #M635CSi that I’d spotted on eBay. The mileage was high, but it looked pretty good in the pictures… Against it was the fact that it was a Highline and I actually prefer the look of the earlier chrome bumper machines but it was Lachs silver (like my previous #M6 ) and had the added bonus of a fairly recent timing chain replacement which needs doing every 100k miles in these. The guy selling it was nice too…

    So a deal was struck, we visited the bank for some complicated transferral of monies, I added it to my insurance and headed off down the M1! Truth be told I was sold from the moment he opened the lock-up but the initial road test sealed the deal as it did drive very nicely indeed. Fearing the worst I set off with a full tank of super unleaded cursing that I hadn’t had a chance to transfer my RAC cover over to the ’Six. I needn’t have worried though as the M ran like clockwork down to Sevenoaks with the sonorous straight-six making itself heard over the radio as I experimented with how much performance was still on offer. It’s obviously not modern day fast but it still seems like it retains the vast majority of its 286hp.

    BMW made just 524 right-hand drive M635CSis between March #1984 and February #1989 and of that number just 102 were the later Highline model that I’ve just invested my children’s university fund in to. My car was built in September 1988 and like many of these cars was used extensively by its first owners who added the vast majority of the 161,000 miles that it has covered. Old MoTs reveal that it’s generally covered around a 1000 miles a year for the past five years which I’m hoping is enough to have kept everything in decent working order.

    It’s not perfect of course, they never are once they’ve done this many miles, but it seems to be fairly free of any life-threatening corrosion and apart from a slight tendency to run hot in traffic, mechanically it seems spot on. The headlamp wash doesn’t work – do they ever? – and neither do the headlamp height adjusters or the aircon but everything else seems to function as it’s meant to. The interior in particular is in pretty fine order and bar a slightly creaky driver’s seat there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount that needs doing in there.

    At some point someone has replaced the standard exhaust with the monstrosity that’s now poking our from the rear valance – if they had opted for a twin-pipe exit it wouldn’t have been nearly so bad as the system itself is quite tuneful but to my mind it’s a complete eyesore and needs replacing.

    It’ll be off to BM Sport shortly for a good going over with a fine tooth comb and hopefully the verdict won’t be that it’s a complete and utter hound! Fingers crossed.

    Bob Harper LONGTERMERS
    YEAR: 1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 161,124
    MPG THIS MONTH: 21.4
    TOTAL COST: My wife reads this!
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  •   Shane O’Donoghue reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    A #BMW-E24 ‘6-series’ Bee-Emm actually makes an appearance in Back To The Future Part II, as a grossly modified convertible hovercraft driven belligerently in 2015 by Griff Tannen. This was actually an ordinary #BMW 633CSi that the special effects guys set to work on. In the real world, meanwhile, the exotic #BMW-M635CSi-E24 was one of the most exciting new cars of 1985, the ultimate 6, with 286bhp (an increase of 68bhp on the standard engine), a close-ratio five-speed manual gearbox, an #M-Technic body kit with front and rear spoilers, and a leather-lined interior with electric front seats. It was an oldfashioned autobahn-stormer in character, but no bad thing for that.

    ENGINE 3453cc/straight 6-cylinder/DOHC #M88/3 #M88
    POWER [email protected]
    TORQUE 251lb [email protected]
    MAX SPEED 156mph
    0-60MPH 6.0sec
    FUEL CONS 17mpg

    TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed man
    The #1985 - #1989 #BMW-M635CSi #E24
    Concours £20,000
    Good £15,000
    Usable £10,000
    Project £5500
    PRICE WHEN NEW £37,000 (1985-89)
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