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

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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  •   Robb Pritchard reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    BMW Art Cars Ernst-Fuchs : #BMW-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #1982 / #BMW-635CSi-E24-Ernst-Fuchs / #BMW-Art-Cars / #BMW / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 /

    The fifth of BMW’s Art Cars was the first machine in the series not to have been based on a race car

    The fifth machine in BMW’s Art Car collection was quite a departure from what had come before for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was the first of the five cars that wasn’t a competition car – it never raced at Le Mans, which had been the main drive behind the four previous cars – and secondly, the artist, Ernst Fuchs, was the first one who wasn’t an American.

    Ernst Fuchs, born in Vienna in 1930, studied sculpture and painting between 1943 and 1950. In the late 1940s he founded the ‘Vienna School of Fantastic Realism’ along with other young artists. Until 1961 Fuchs lived and worked mainly in Paris together with his fellow countryman Friedensreich Hundertwasser. From 1974 he devoted himself to music theatre as well as the design of scenery and costumes. With his increasing interest in poetry and music, his paintings became more intense in colour. As Fuchs was mainly known for his monumental paintings of saints, BMW had no idea what he was going to do with one of its vehicles. The answer was something completely different to what had come before as Cornelia Eibl, former director of the Ernst Fuchs museum in Vienna said: “With the Art Car he entered a new creative period. Painting this car gave a new drive to his pictures which can still be seen today and the BMW is the highlight from this time.”

    Commenting on the 635CSi that he painted, Fuchs said: “A machine should not be made to look better. It has its own aesthetics. I call this car ‘Fire Fox on a Hare Hunt’. I see a hare at night running across the autobahn and leaping over a burning car – a primeval fear and a bold dream of surmounting a dimension in which we live. It shows me its colours, I read them in its lines, in its contours, I hear its voice calling out emphatically and see that beautiful hare leaping through the flames of love, averting all fears.”

    In painting the car Fuchs drew very much on his own personal experience: “Leaving a burning car at the very last moment has happened to me before,” he said. “It is a very cathartic matter, so that is the incantation – nothing of that sort should happen.”

    The car itself was a standard 1982 635CSi complete with its 218hp 3430cc #BMW-M30 / #M30 straight-six and it was never registered, driven on the road, or intended for use on track.
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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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  •   Robb Pritchard reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Gloriously original Schnitzer 635CSi racer

    A True Original Squirrelled away down in Australia you’ll find perhaps the most original Schnitzer E24 635CSi race car in existence – it’s an absolute peach!

    ‘It came second in every major race it entered’ – hardly a claim to fame, especially when it comes to a race car’s value post-retirement. Thankfully it’s not the only deciding factor, as this ex-Schnitzer 635CSi proves. Words and photography: Chris Nicholls.

    A TRUE ORIGINAL


    As with many things in life, originality is key. Whether it’s the arts, sciences, or even consumer goods, a truly unique idea or product will stand out. It doesn’t even have to be the best in its class. It just has to be one of a kind. The same can be said of racing cars. Tyrell’s six-wheeler was hardly the most successful F1 car of all time, but it’s still revered today because it tried something new. Similarly, this #Group-A 635CSi never won a single race in its life but its remarkable career, despite the lack of wins, and originality (being possibly the most complete Schnitzer Group A E24 in existence) means it truly is a standout car.

    Now sitting in the Bowden Collection warehouse in Queensland, Australia, we decided our trip up there earlier this year would be a great opportunity to both shoot and delve into the history of this amazing machine. And thanks to the generous assistance of the Bowden clan, we were able to do just that. Looking into the car’s past, it’s perhaps remarkable such a storied machine could have started its career so badly. Entered into the 1985 European Touring Car Championship as the factory Schnitzer / #BMW #M-Technic car, chassis RA2-55 didn’t even finish its first three 500km endurance races at Monza, Vallelunga and Brno due to mechanical problems. And it only managed sixth and seventh at the Salzburgring and Nürburgring events respectively. And that was despite having drivers like Emanuelle Pirro, Dieter Quester and Johnny Cecotto at the wheel. A huge effort from both the team and drivers Quester, Oestreich and Cecotto did yield a second behind its sister car at the Spa 24-hours that year, but that was as good as it got in its European run.

    Thankfully, the late-season pick-up in fortune meant British team manager John Siddle still decided to bring the car Down Under for the Bathurst 1000 later that year. Originally, he wanted the Spa winner, but given it ran the famous ‘parts car’ livery, one that would have cost around AU$10,000 to replace when it returned to Europe, Siddle settled on buying its sister car outright instead and had it painted in ‘Bob Jane T-Marts’ orange. After a complete rebuild by Schnitzer and testing by Quester, it ended up on a boat to Australia.

    Remarkably (at least when viewed through the lens of 2016), this was fairly normal for the time. The team’s driver line-up for ‘the great race’ originally consisted of Nelson Piquet (whom Siddle managed) and Nikki Lauda, but a date clash with a Brands Hatch F1 race meant Johnny Cecotto and Roberto Ravaglia had to be flown in instead. To help ensure the best possible result, Siddle also brought in two Schnitzer mechanics and a BMW factory engineer to bolster the local crew.

    Qualifying eighth, the bright orange 635 suffered a terrible start due to the kind of engine trouble Siddle had spent so much time and money trying to avoid. Thankfully it cleared by lap three, only to be replaced by a computer wiring fault on lap 17, which left the car down on power for the remainder of the race.

    Despite this, after two hours in the car was up to fourth and eventually moved up to third behind the TWR Jaguars. At one stage it even snatched second place before a charging Peter Brock went past in his Commodore. Thankfully for the BMW fans, though, Brock’s timing chain later broke and chassis RA2-55 took its second consecutive number two spot in a major race. Rather frustratingly, a post-race inspection by the team revealed the wiring problem probably cost them a second a lap and therefore the win, but such is Bathurst.

    After Australia’s biggest enduro, the Bob Jane car competed in an F1 support race at Adelaide, driven by none other than Gerhard Berger, before a brief retirement until the tail end of the 1986 Australian season. There, thanks to Garry Rogers (who now runs the Volvo V8 Supercars team) destroying his ex-JPS 635CSi at Oran Park, it was pressed back into service to run with Charlie O’Brien as the second driver at the Calder Park South Pacific 300 (where it finished seventh), the Sandown 500 (where it finished 11th) and once again at the Bathurst 1000, where sadly it DNF’d. Finally, the CSi finished off its racing career by being shipped to Japan to compete at the Fuji InterTec 500, piloted by O’Brien and Pirro, where it finished (yet again) in second.

    Upon returning to Bob Jane’s ownership, the former racer and tyre magnate changed the vinyl numbers to replicate the 1985 Bathurst livery and left it at that, using it as a promotional vehicle at his various tyre and wheel stores around Australia. Indeed, it seems he thought little more about the car until he showed it at the 2012 Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. There, a chance encounter with some Red Bull mechanics made him realise what a special piece of history he had on his hands.

    According to current custodian Chris Bowden, these Red Bull mechanics were ex-Schnitzer and, after examining it, said to Bob they used to work on the car and they couldn’t believe how original it was. “They told Bob that it was the only one left of the original (Schnitzer) 635CSis,” says Chris.

    Having realised quite how valuable it was, Bob decided to find some caretakers who could look after it better than he could, and thanks to being friends with the Bowden family, chatted to them first.

    “Bob called us after that event and said, ‘I’ve just found out this car’s a lot more special than what I thought it was, and I think you should have it,” Chris explains. “So we started talking from that point onwards and a deal was struck not that long after.

    Obviously it was Bob Jane [a man renowned for his business nous], so we had to pay – we had to pay well – but let’s just say all parties were happy and, to date, I’m yet to have seen another 635 like it. It’s just a time-warp, and its fantastic race history backing it up is really cool, too.”


    Chris’s description of the car as a ‘time warp’ is apt. Looking over the car, you can see every little detail from its racing career remains intact. Outside, the completely original paint is chipped and worn, as are the wheel centres, and the aluminium fuel tank still has dirt streaks running down it. The windscreen even has a crack in it from its last race in Japan. Lift up the bonnet and bootlid and you’ll see every mechanical component remains untouched and the rubber seals are long past their use-by-dates. Even the tyres are the original Pirelli P7 slicks it last raced with back in 1986. Inside, the time capsule feel continues. The original Recaro carbon bucket is now completely yellowed by the ageing resin, while the kick marks on the doorcards and aluminium roll-cage, as well as the partly-faded plastics surrounding the switchgear behind the gear knob and shiny leather on the wheel itself, all further reinforce how old and well-used the car was. (On a separate note, the completely stock road-car gear knob, door panels and dashboard are a bit of a throwback, aren’t they? It’d be impossible to think about seeing such items on a modern race car).

    The car’s originality and condition makes it all the more amazing that, far from leaving it as a museum piece, Chris has had it out for a test run at Queensland Raceway. Admittedly it was just one test, and the original ’80s tyres and safety gear meant it was hardly flat-out, but after getting his mechanics to ensure it all still worked, he did indeed drive it. And to prove that age never wearies a great car, Chris says it was still a peach and rather friendlier than his other Group A 635CSi – a JPS car we’ll also be featuring. “The JPS car is very much set up for sprint racing – it’s got a huge cam in it,” Chris says. “There’s literally nothing going on below 4000rpm. Getting it out of the pits is an absolute nightmare. And the JPS car (like all Group A 635s) runs a huge amount of caster and the gearbox ratios are extremely tight. It’s a real purpose-built sprint car. Whereas in the Schnitzer the clutch in it is quite friendly, the gear ratios are spread a little bit wider and it’s got power steering. It does run a pretty big cam, but nothing like the JPS car. It generates power from about 3000rpm; you could take the Schnitzer car to the shops.”

    Of course, Chris says this doesn’t mean the car isn’t utterly vice-free, as it’s still “a little bit cranky” at low speeds, but for a purpose-built race car, he says it’s a nice drive and very clearly one set up for endurance racing, where outright speed is less important than ensuring the driver isn’t exhausted by lap ten.


    Thankfully for race fans, Chris even says he plans to drive the car at future events, too, if only for demonstration runs: “This particular 635, given I’ve never seen another one like it – as original – I don’t think racing is what should be done with the car. I’d love to but I don’t think I’d be doing a favour to mankind by giving it a big rub or blowing up the engine or doing those things that happen when you decide to enter a race with a car. The JPS car, definitely, there’ll be a time in the future when we do race that, but the Bob Jane car, no. It’s a time-capsule – it’s something that should be kept for future generations so that in 30, 50, 100 years from now, when they talk about the early Group A cars, and the ones that ruled the roost and what they were really like, this car should be an example of that.”

    Wise words indeed. We look forward to seeing the car on track at future events, where no doubt it will wow people with its originality, history and bewitching M30 song.

    Above: The ‘Bob Jane’ 635CSi as it was when campaigned by Schnitzer in European events – this is it finishing second at Spa in 1985.

    Looking over the car, you can see every little detail from its racing career remains intact.


    TECHNICAL DATA Bob Jane #Schnitzer #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-Schnitzer / #BMW-635CSi-Schnitzer-E24 / #BMW / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-Schnitzer / #Bob-Jane / #Getrag / #BBS / #AP-Racing /

    ENGINE: 3475cc SOHC #M30 / #BMW-M30 straight-six, cast iron block, 12-valve alloy head, #Bosch injection, 310hp @ 6900rpm
    GEAR BOX: Getrag five-speed gearbox
    CHASSIS: Steel monocoque
    SUSPENSION: McPherson struts, coil springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars (front), semi-trailing arms, coil springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars (rear)
    BRAKES: AP-Racing four-piston callipers (f) and Lockheed two-piston callipers (r) with 297x26mm two-piece discs
    WHEELS AND TYRES: 8x17-inch (f&r) BBS centre lock mesh wheels with 285/630 (f&r) Pirelli P7 racing slicks


    For a purpose-built race car, it’s a nice drive and very clearly one set up for endurance racing.
    The Bob Jane 635CSi that now resides in the Bowden collection retains a wonderful patina – it’s probably the most original E24 race car anywhere in the world.
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  •   Robb Pritchard reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    BASKING SHARK

    The E24 6 Series is a masterpiece of classic design and one that with a just a few mods becomes something special. This classic CSi isn’t the sort of shark that’ll rip your leg off without hesitation or warning – it’s a mellow, low-and-slow cruiser. Although with 200hp-odd from the factory, you’d still do well to keep an eye on it… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Henry Phull.

    “BMWs are in my blood,” says Henry Phull, as he nonchalantly rumbles to a halt before the photographer’s lens in his shimmering retro sharknose. This, of course, sets alarm bells ringing – you know what happens when you mix sharks with the suggestion of blood, you’ve seen Jaws. We step back cautiously and allow him to elaborate: “My dad had numerous Beemers when I was growing up, the most notable being an E24 M635CSi in red – that was his favourite car, and I’ve wanted a sharknose of my own ever since.”

    It’s a story oft-told, the my-dad-had-one-of- those aspiration, and it’s played beautifully into Henry’s hands as he strategised the long game. Starting out his driving career in an Audi runabout before graduating to an E34 525i, the stepping stones were inexorably leading him toward an old-skool 6 Series… although when it happened, it came out of left-field, as it turned out that the lure of the E34 5 Series distracted him somewhat. “I just fell in love with the noise and the leather of the 525i,” he grins, “and after that I had a V8 530i, with both cars receiving Throwing Stars, coilovers and M5 interiors. I was then on the hunt for a 540i – and I test drove a few which turned out to be lemons – when a 635CSi turned up at the right price, in the right place at the right time…”

    This move of celestial serendipity was enough to jolt Henry’s childhood dreams back on track. Receiving a message from a friend saying that a mate of theirs in the motor trade had just taken in an E24 in partexchange was enough to prick Henry’s ears up. He called the seller in question, who turned out to be vague on the details and sent over some low-quality photos of the car. Not a lot to go on, there – but it had one key hook: “It was white!” says Henry, triumphantly. “A white 635CSi is an uncommon sight, so I was interested.”

    From there on in the whole thing was inevitable, really. The cherry on the cake was that the vendor was planning to put it into his bodyshop to freshen up the front wings and sort out any rust the car may have, and this – combined with the low, low price (undisclosed here, but undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime deal) – was enough to twist Henry’s arm. Although to be fair, it was already pretty much twisted. The chance to own the car of his childhood dreams? Yeah, you’d have been right in there too.


    “I told him I would go up and view the car as soon as it was out of the paint shop,” he recalls. “A week later I made my way to Basingstoke to take a closer look. On first inspection the car was dirty and tatty, like it was in the photos I’d seen previously, but the paint was decent and they’d done a good job on the wings. It needed a few niggly things sorting; the floor was wet, the windows didn’t work properly, the indicators didn’t work, the engine had a couple of oil leaks and sounded tappy… but I decided that the car was being sold to me so cheap, it was worth the risk, and I could break it for more than I paid for it if the car turned out to be bad.” With no prior experience of owning M30-engined cars, this was something of a step into the unknown for Henry, but it represented more of the good sort of fear that you get from, say, rollercoasters than the bad fear you associate with axe murderers and PPI cold calls. And so a deal was struck.

    Such was the thrall in which the E24 held Henry that he kept it completely bone-stock for a year before any thoughts of modifying crossed his bows. But inevitably the dark thoughts crept in, as they’re always prone to do, and he found himself bolting on a set of Throwing Stars (hey, stick with what you know…) and chopping a few coils off the springs. Appearances at a few shows yielded universal praise, although at this stage he was focusing more on maintenance than modification. But with the car mechanically tip-top and aesthetically up-to-scratch, it was time to do things properly.


    “I’d always fancied split-rims, and this was the car that finally pushed me to do it,” he says. “I’d always gone with OEM+ wheels before, but I found myself scanning the internet, looking for the right splits.” He’d already decided that they had to be 17s or 18s, and initially favoured a mesh design that would evoke the CSi’s original metric wheels. But then a set of OZ Futuras popped up on Stanceworks and changed all of that.


    “They were up for sale in Germany, and it was a bit of a scary purchase as they were used and I would never know the true condition of them until they arrived,” he recalls with a grimace. “I wasn’t even after this sort of wheel design but this set had gold centres; gold on a white car was what I wanted. It’s just so period-correct. A quick photoshop later and it was clear that they would look amazing!”


    The specs were aggressive and Henry found that the judicious use of spacers would push them right into the arch lips in fine style. The next inevitable quandary, of course, was how to lower the thing…

    This was a weighty decision indeed, with Henry having recently devoted himself full time to Slam Sanctuary, the site he founded to showcase badass low-down rides. He had to walk the walk, right? But at the same time there was a tight budget to consider – going it alone employment-wise is a financial tightrope. This was the initial impetus that swayed him away from air-ride and toward rolling static, although we all know that this is more than a cost-based decision; air vs coilies is a lifestyle thing. They both have their merits, but it’s down to how you use your car and what sort of character you want to give it.

    A long chat with SS Autowerks resulted in a set of well-priced BC Racing coilovers winging their way to him, in drool-worthy Extra Low flavour with custom spring rates. To complement this new attitude to altitude, SSA also threw some engine raisers to get the M30 20mm further from the Tarmac which, brilliantly, raise the base of the sump above the subframe, so the car doesn’t even need a sump guard. Who says static rides are all oily heartache and tow trucks?


    The vagaries and mechanical complexities of the E24 (shall we just call it quality engineering?) meant that the fitment of coilovers wasn’t a walk in the park, so Henry entrusted the job to the irrepressible Paul of Coltech Classics, who set about ripping out the MacPherson strut setup and welding the Extra Low units to the hubs.

    “Paul said the BCs were a dream to work with,” Henry enthuses. “We couldn’t believe how low they allowed the car to run while maintaining drivability, I’d recommend them to anyone with an E24.”

    The nature of Henry’s sloped driveway meant that the centre exhaust box was catching with these new-found lows, which gave him the excuse to rip the thing off and replace it with straight-through pipes – a nifty little fringe benefit – while some trimming of the rear arches was the final job Paul needed to carry out in order to make the thing day-to-day streetable.

    And that, in a nutshell, was the realisation of Henry’s boyhood dream. You’ll note that the car’s exterior remains resolutely unmodified – “Why alter the body of an already beautiful car?” he reasons – and much the same is true of the factory interior, save from the addition of an MTech I steering wheel. This is textbook ‘stop, drop and roll’ stuff, and it’s all the better for it.

    “The first show I took it to with the new look was the Players Classic, and the attention it received was just on another level,” he grins. “And then the BMW Festival at Gaydon… people were constantly asking me if it was bagged, which just goes to show what the right sort of coilovers can achieve.” Such is the menace of the bona fide shark; you don’t need to be flash – you just have to bare your teeth.

    DATA FILE #BMW-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW / #OZ

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #BMW-M30 / #M30 , engine raisers, centre exhaust silencer removed, four-speed auto / #ZF4HP / #ZF

    CHASSIS 8.5x17” ET13 (front) and 10x17” ET19 (rear) #OZ-Futura wheels with 25mm (front) and 30mm (rear) spacers and 205/45 (front) and 245/35 (rear) tyres, #BC-Racing Extra Low Type RA coilovers with custom spring rates

    EXTERIOR Stock

    INTERIOR Stock with full factory leather, M Tech 1 steering wheel

    THANKS Paul at Coltech Classics for going the extra mile to lower the car, Nick and Alex at SS Autowerks for supplying BC coilovers and engine raisers, Tom Etheridge for servicing and helping to maintain the car in his spare time, Paul at MVT Poole for general maintenance and always sorting me out at the last minute whenever there’s an issue, Simon and Nathan at The Wheel Specialist Bournemouth for assisting with fitment and tyres. Last but not least, my parents for letting me park the car in their garage!

    “The attention it received was on another level!”
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  •   Robb Pritchard reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    JAWS 2 Ten years ago we featured this E24 in its original incarnation but now it’s back and meaner than ever. We’re going to need a bigger magazine… Words and photos: Andy ‘Sharkey’ Starkey

    / #JAWS-2 UK air-ride E24 #BMW-635CSi-JAWS-2 / #BMW-635CSi-Highline-E24

    The iconic Spielberg movie, Jaws, put a whole new spin on suspense and horror, and we have never looked back. This movie was responsible for making an entire generation of film fans squeal, hide behind their popcorn and give them involuntary bowel movements. It was such a success and a landmark in cinema history that it spawned several sequels. Now, I have a problem with the whole sequel thing. If you have made something good, I guess it’s a given that you want to continue the success and do it all again.

    That’s all well and good if the subject matter can cope with the return, and if the public want it. The big difficulty for the moviemakers is that we’ve already seen the shark, the villain, the hero or whatever in the first one; we’ve had the shocks, the cheers and the laughs. This usually results in a very loose link to the first instalment which develops into almost the same story but with more blood, scares, laughs, bangs or car chases; all a bit disappointing really.

    There are exceptions of course: Indiana Jones, Jason Bourne, Austin Powers and naturally Mr Bond – all have had continual success with their ongoing escapades and adventures, and that’s all because the key character has what it takes for audiences to keep coming back for more. They all have charisma, attitude and presence, which is exactly what this E24 has in abundance and this too is something of a sequel.

    We think you’ll agree that this particular 6 Series possesses the kind of credentials that any movie icon would give their right arm for. That’s because this #BMW-635CSi-Highline is a continuing story of ownership and development. It even graced the pages of this very magazine some ten years ago and was dubbed ‘Jaws’ by us at the time. For once, this is where a sequel really has paid off, although maybe sequel isn’t the right word, a ‘continuation’ is probably better…

    Way back when, this 635 was owned by a certain Kabir Miah and both he and his brother Lala had a very particular idea for this car in mind. The shark theme was to be played out by having the original paintwork in a two-tone scheme; grey on top graduating into a much paler off-white towards the sills, just like the skin of a shark. The front wings also got the ‘big fish’ look by having a large, striking set of gill slits added. These were not just a stick on adornment, either, these gills were actually pressed through the wings and the finishing touch was the addition of the Jaws number plate.

    That was then, but what about now? To start with, the car now belongs to Lala himself. It may have been Kabir’s car but Lala was the one to make the transformation happen both ten years ago and now. This is wholly because he’s a fully trained painter. In fact he co-owns and runs a Birminghambased styling business, LA Modz, specialising in window tints and wraps, so he’s going to know a thing or two about making cars look good. He still does some bodywork but, as he told me: “Tints and wraps are so much cleaner to work with.”

    As you have probably noticed the, two- tone paint job has gone this time around in favour of clean, bright Nogaro silver with a fabulously deep gloss. The trademark gills and numberplate still identify the car as the original Jaws but now a lovely set of rims highlight the new look.

    Lala does have an eye for detail so the choice of wheel that was to achieve the desired effect had to be right, and boy, are they right. They started out life as a set of M System II Style 21 ‘Throwing Stars’ but they’ve been made into a special set of bespoke three-piece splits by CR Customs in Poland. The guys there have added extra diameter and width, taking them from lowly 17s to a whopping 19”, with the fronts measuring 9.5” wide while the rears are now a massive 11”. The hardware has also been plated in 18ct gold and the wheel nuts had nifty covers made for them from 12 bore shotgun cartridges.


    The interior has been redesigned this time around too; the tired black has now been replaced with luscious terracotta leather. Lala has taken the lead from an M5 he’d seen with a Fox red interior and rather liked the contrast. The style and choice of covering carries on with modified and decluttered doorcards and centre console. The craftsmanship of the interior is something to behold and the stark difference between some of the retained interior scheme and the new is striking. Hats off to Autotrims UK for a sterling job. The whole interior theme has been topped off by the addition of an MTech 2 steering wheel and the all-important shark tooth hanging from the mirror.

    Ten years ago most suspension setups comprised springs and shocks but today air is where it’s at and it’s all about getting your car so low that sometimes you think you could sneak under a snake’s belly wearing a top hat. With its low roof and sleek look, the CSi is the perfect candidate for air and dropping it to the ground accentuates those long, low lines. Lala’s done something very smart here too; sure the air-ride gets the car down low but the clever bit is the use of a specially made M3-style chin spoiler and the fitment of, would you believe, Volvo 850 side skirts.

    These additions make the whole profile look even lower and very sleek. As Lala explains: “The idea with the spoiler was really to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth, but it does lengthen his nose.”

    His nose, did you say? “Definitely,” Lala says. “Jaws was certainly male, so this car must be a bloke too.” Looking at the car now after that statement, you have to agree it does look masculine. It has a sharp, angular feel to it and we’re sure that’s pure testosterone coming out of the exhaust…

    Having a wrap expert on-hand would make you think that this car would be littered with the stuff but on initial scrutiny you’d say there wasn’t any wrapping going on at all. Well, you’d be wrong. Look a little closer and you’ll find something very subtle, but very nicely done: the window surrounds. It may not look much but, while all the glass was out for the paint job, Lala took all the mouldings that fit between the glass and bodywork, and wrapped them in a fabulously deep gloss black wrap. Not only does this look really neat, but you just have to think of how much of a nightmare it must have been to do.

    Externally the look gets further enhancements with the fitment of American side marker lights, smoked headlamps, taillights and badges. The window glass has been replaced with some from a pre-1985 model, purely because the glass had a tasteful bronze tint to it (unlike this 1989 version). This was then made deeper by adding another layer of tint, thus creating a totally unique shade.

    How many times do you feel a tad disappointed when you’ve read all the interesting guff about the fancy bodywork and the trick bits only to be told that the engine has been left totally standard? Well, brace yourself, because this motor is pretty standard too but, before you go all ‘I told you so’ on us, remember one thing, this is a 635CSi which has the lusty 3.4-litre ‘Big Six’ under the bonnet. That’s over 200 feisty ponies in there wanting to get out so – why mess with something that good? Lala has added an induction kit, though, and a bespoke exhaust, making the tuneful straight-six sound even better, from air going in to exhaust gases coming out. To top off the whole package the standard 635 brakes up front have been swapped for the beefier ones from an 840.

    With the subtle changes, bespoke additions and attention to detail, Lala has given us a worthy sequel to his original Jaws, and just when you thought it was safe to go back on the road… This is real proof that sequels can work and work well, providing the main character has what it takes, of course, and this 635 has exactly that.

    “The idea of the chin spoiler was to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth”

    DATA FILE #Air-ride / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #M-System / #BMW-E24-Air-ride / #BMW-635CSi-Air-ride / #BMW-635CSi-Air-ride-E24 / #BMW /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #M30 / #BMW-M30 , induction kit, stainless steel exhaust system, four-speed auto gearbox #ZF-4HP / #ZF

    CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 11x19” (rear) custom three-piece #M5-M-System-II-Style-21 ‘Throwing Stars’ with 3.5” (front) and 4” (rear) polished lips and 18ct gold-plated hardware, 235/35 (front) and 255/30 (rear) tyres, Air Lift Performance air suspension, 840Ci brakes (front)

    EXTERIOR Full respray in BMW Nogaro silver, gloss black wrapped window surrounds, pressed metal gills in front wings, custom E30 M3 chin spoiler, Volvo 850 side skirts, pre-1985 bronze window glass with additional tint, American side marker lights, smoked headlights and tail-lights

    INTERIOR Re-trim in terracotta leather, modified doorcards and centre console, #M-Tech 2 steering wheel, custommounted #AutoPilot-V2 digital air-ride controller, single #ViAir compressor, single air tank, 2x #Pioneer Champion Series 12” subs

    “The idea of the chin spoiler was to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth”

    The craftsmanship of the interior is something to behold…

    “Jaws was certainly male, so this car must be a bloke too”
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  •   Shane O’Donoghue reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    SHARKNADO #BMW-E24 #BMW

    Rampant in VW Tornado red, this Hungarian E24 6 Series is one seriously sexy animal, boasting air-ride and custom 18s. Finished in VW Tornado red, sitting on bags and a truly unique set of wheels, this classic Six is coming on strong. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: #Si-Gray .

    Sometimes we come across a car that stops us in our tracks and that’s exactly what happened when Máté Szőcs’ red E24 popped up on the PBMW Instagram feed. When that picture appeared on our iPhone, we knew the car in question was destined for the pages of this magazine, though Máté was blissfully unaware of this at the time. He was sitting at home in Hungary over 1000 miles away from the PBMW headquarters, possibly staring out of the window at his sexy E24, though we can’t be sure. But we reached out to him, and by a stroke of good fortune both he and the car were heading to annual car-fest Wörthersee in Austria, putting him within shooting distance of a gaggle of photographers and suddenly we had a feature on our hands.

    A feature of what, exactly? Well, it’s an awesome, shiny red 6 Series and the first interesting thing is that this is an early 635 (from 1979), which aren’t very common. This makes it E12-based, which means it’s got the square E12 instrument binnacle. However, it also means it’s got the E12’s cool rotary heater controls, and if you can’t get excited about a BMW’s heating controls, you’re not a true enthusiast…

    The other, more striking and arguably more exciting thing is the wheels. Yes, they’re gold but you might well be looking at them and thinking that they look pretty big. And they are, because they’re 18s, and that’s definitely not something you see on a 6 Series of this vintage very often. 18s on an #E24 is brave, tucking 18s on a bagged E24 is impressive. But what the hell are they? Well, first of all our UK readers will have to educate themselves on the Chrysler LHS, a rather bland American saloon sold both in its home country and Europe in the late ’90s. If you Google said sedan, you will see that the first generation cars often came fitted with some intricate if rather uninspiring 16” wheels. But Máté didn’t see small wheels from an American car, he saw potential and was struck by inspiration.

    Previously he’d already managed to squeeze a set 18s on his Six (a stupidly wide complement of #OZ-Futuras , measuring 10” up front and 11.5” at the rear), so he’d already done the research and hard work required to get a set of 18s squeezed under the arches. The Futuras were subsequently sold, meaning the 6 Series needed a new set of rims and after a wheel like the Futura you don’t want to downgrade, which would be all too easy.

    A set of 16s might not seem like the greatest place to start from when you’ve got dreams of show-stopping wheels in mind, but Máté knew where he was going to take these, and that involved turning them into three-piece splits, stepping them up to 18s before polishing the lips to within an inch of their lives and painting the centres gold. The end result is nothing short of stunning – the wheels definitely look big on the classic Six, but not stupidly so and the complex spiral centres look like they were designed using a Spirograph (turns out you can still buy them!). Compared with the OZs, the fronts here are a slightly more modest 9.65” while the rears are once again an arch-busting 11” wide. Not only are they a proper showstopping set of wheels, they are absolutely unique and that in itself is a massive achievement, so hats off to Máté for nailing it so comprehensively.

    Of course there’s more to this car than its wheels and the bodywork that surrounds them is no less impressive. From the sound of things this E24 was less than mint when Máté got his mitts on it, which is unsurprising considering how badly they can rust when not looked after. It had spent ten years in a garage so there were a lot of parts that needed changing in order to make it driveable once more and then it was a case of Máté putting his own stamp on it.

    The front wings have been widened by a surprisingly modest 15mm, just enough to help those front wheels tuck up into the arches, while the rear wings were replaced altogether and the arches rolled. With all that bodywork going on a respray was required and Máté fancied a fresh new look for his freshly finished Six: “Picking a colour was not easy,” he says, “I knew I did not want a metallic colour and in the end the colour I liked the most was VW Tornado red.” This is the colour you see before you now and it looks perfect on the 6 Series.

    Initially, this Six was static but then Máté decided to go down the air-ride route, partly for the practical aspect but mainly, we suspect, because he reckons it looks great with the car. No-one makes an off-the-shelf air-ride kit for the E24 so this was very much a custom job, using bags with the original dampers. It definitely works on all fronts and what’s arguably most impressive is just how flipping low this car goes even sitting on 18s. Inside, where you might expect to find an all-singing, all-dancing high-tech air management system, Máté has kept things decidedly old school with a pair of simple switch and analogue gauges and their utilitarian look sits well with the rest of the interior… Hold on. Are those E46 Sport seats? Yes they are. Okay. That’s different. It also has a wooden gear knob and an original BBS steering wheel; well, it’s a bit of mix, then, but you know what? It works, it really does, despite the fact that it’s not the sort of combination most people would go for but then again this whole car is not your straight down-the line sort of build, really.

    As for the outside, well Máté has worked some serious magic out here too – all the mouldings have been removed and the whole car has been colour-coded in black and red. Where normally the E24 6 Series is sharp and angular, here it looks so very different, smooth and slippery and these subtle changes have made a big difference when it comes to the car’s appearance. The combination of super clean exterior and those big impact wheels is a heady one that really delivers a knockout visual blow. It’s a devastatingly good-looking car, pure automotive sex and quite unlike any other 6 Series we have seen, which makes it instantly both brave and brilliant and we love it.

    DATA FILE #BMW-635i-E24

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.4-litre straight-six #M30 #M30B34 , dual 2” exhaust system, five-speed manual gearbox, LSD.

    CHASSIS: 9.65x18” (front) and 11x18” (rear) #Chrysler-LHS16 ” wheels rebuilt as three-piece 18s with gold centres and polished lips with 215/35 (front) and 245/35 (rear) tyres, custom air-ride setup with air bags over original dampers.

    EXTERIOR: Resprayed in #VW-Tornado red, dechromed, side mouldings removed.

    INTERIOR: #BBS steering wheel, E46 Sport leather seats, wooden gear knob, manual air-ride controls with dual analogue gauges.
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  •   Shane O’Donoghue reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    IT ALWAYS TAKES THE 39 STAGES TO PAINT OF BMW AND SOMETIMES IT TAKES 40 / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-E24 / #BMW / #Promo / #1981

    The finishing touches to the BMWs on the right didn't come from #BMW , #Alexander-Calder , #Frank-Stella and Roy Lichtenstein made those final brush strokes.

    The result, however, as you might expect from BMW, is more than just a piece of modern art. For each of these cars have actually raced at tracks ranging from #Le-Mans to #Nurburgring .

    And in those races they were a moving demonstration of BMWs philosophy that, in an era of mass produced cars, there's still a place for the individualist.

    If you find the examples on the right a little too ostentatious, the philosophy is equally well reflected by the more sober example on the left: the BMW-635CSi-E24 . Individualism, after alt is never to be equated with exhibitionism.

    Rather, in the world of motoring, it concerns the ability to create a car that's an extension of the driver’s personality.

    And that means we won't start building a BMW 6 Series E24 for you until you've specified tow you'd like it built (a procedure which partly explains why we’ll only be able to build around 6.000 BMW 6 Series E24 for the entire world in 1981).

    So even without resorting to the 40th stage of the painting process, we still offer you the pick of 19 different colours.

    Each one can be co-ordinated with any of a dozen different upholsteries, seven of which are in the supplest of leathers.

    The attempt to create a precise match of machine with man goes well beyond the choice of creature comforts.

    The gearbox, for example, can be three speed automatic, five speed overdrive, or five speed sports close ratio.

    For though others may be prepared to make automatic transmission compulsory, to us it reveals an inflexibility that belongs more to the world of mass production Even the engine of the BMW 635CSi E24 is continually adapting to your driving style.

    Up to 100 times every second its computer re-tunes the engine to enable it to extract the maximum amount of power from the minimum amount of petrol.

    Which explains too surprising facts: First, that this 3.5 litre engine actually develops more power than the 4.5 litre engine of another sports coupe.

    Secondly, it uses up to 30% less petrol than sports coupes of similar performance.

    For not only does exhibitionism have no place in the BMW concept of individualism, neither does wanton extravagance Of course, constructing a car for individuals is more costly than building a vehicle for the masses.

    The BMW 6 Series starts at £16,635 for the new #M30B28 / #M30 2.8-litre #BMW-628CSi , and £18,950 for the #M30B34 #BMW-635CSi .

    Which is no more than cars that are still several stages away from being a BMW.

    THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE 1981
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