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    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. HowevWe 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:, 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?
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    ADS ON TEST #1987-BMW-M635CSi-E24
    COST NEW £32,195
    PRICE £29,995

    Big mileage but with prices for these on the up, Nathan finds out if this one’s worth the risk.

    / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-M635CSi / #BMW-M635CSi-E24 / #BMW-M6-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW-M6 / #M88 / #BMW-M88 /

    his year’s big #BMW M635 CSi E24 auction result (£100k) has seen many E24 Sixers hit the scene, all of varying quality. The consistent theme is that you’re looking at north of £50k for a low-mileage example.

    This isn’t one of those, but it is up for a smidge under £30,000. It could be one of the last remaining chances to get into one for this money that isn’t already home to livestock in a barn somewhere.

    The good news is that this example is a genuine get-in-and-drive car and it holds up to scrutiny. The Salmon Silver Metallic paintwork is largely good, with only a light smattering of stonechips to the front of the car, and a mark on one wheelarch. There is bubbling around the front bumper, and the window chrome has marks and smudges. However, the alloy wheels are absolutely perfect and they wear period-correct Michelin TRX tyres. At around £350 a corner you’ll be glad there’s plenty of tread left.

    Inside there’s creasing and marks to the oh-so-comfortable leather chairs, and the headlining has a few minor marks. The driver’s seat bolster is showing a fair amount of wear, but this is discolouration rather than rips or missing thread. The only real sign of major wear is the wellthumbed steering wheel; we like the patina though.

    The engine bay is largely clean with no signs of corrosion. All the fluids were up to the maximum marks and none wanted to burrow their way back to Munich. The paperwork file is enormous, and points to diligent, loving care. The book’s stamped up to 185,776 miles at a mixture of BMW main dealers and specialists, with receipts for work done. Recent examples of that fettling include a 2016 service at a cost of £1009, which involved a little welding. Further back, a 2015 going-over cost £4147 including new paint.

    Behind the wheel the M635 CSi is a fabulous GT cruiser; a flick of the wrist down the evenly-spaced if slightly long five-speed manual gearbox and a hefty prod of the accelerator elicits a zinging snarl from the M88/1 powerplant. There’s plenty of torque and a deeply addictive howl as you reach the upper echelons of the BMW M1 E26 supercar-derived unit. It handles well too, with plenty of feel and immersive responses to your inputs. This car drove very well, without any drivetrain, steering, brake or suspension faults.

    CHOOSE YOUR M635 CSi E24

    The M635CSi was launched in 1983 with a modified M88/1 engine, which had first seen life in the M1 E26 supercar. It also received a ZF five-speed gearbox. The M cars have the larger front air dam, rear spoiler, BBS alloys and colour-matched side mirrors.

    BMW chose to limit all its cars to 155mph in the late 1980s, but the M635CSi sneaked out before. Its 158mph velocity still makes it the second-fastest BMW after the M1 E26.

    Production ended in 1989, with 5859 sold – of which just 524 were right-hand drive.

    BMW M635CSi E24
    Year #1987
    Mileage 185,778
    On sale at 4Star Classics


    Engine 3454cc, 6-cyl, DOHC #BMW-M88/1 / #BMW-M88 / #BMW / #M88
    Transmission RWD, 5-speed manual
    Power 282bhp @ 6500rpm / DIN
    Torque 251lb-ft @ 4500rpm / DIN
    Weight 1505kg
    0-60mph 6.3sec
    Top speed 158mph
    Economy 29mpg

    INSURANCE QUOTE Policy £200, with £250 excess. Legal cover and agreed value included. Quote based on a 39-year-old self-employed male, no points on his licence, living in Peterborough. Car is garaged, 3000 miles per year and with comprehensive cover. Call 0800 085 5000 for your quote.
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    CAR: #BMW-E24 / #BMW-M635CSi / #BMW-M635CSi-E24 / #BMW-M6-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW-M6 / #M88 / #BMW-M88 /
    YEAR: #1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 164,021
    TOTAL COST: £148 (battery)

    ‘And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain,’ so sung the great Frank Sinatra, and indeed the end has arrived, the M635CSi is no longer with me. I’ve bored you all senseless with the news that I’m going to be leaving the magazine and pursuing a freelance career and one of the most upsetting upshots of this was the realisation that the M6 was going to have to go. Without a fixed monthly income and worries about who is likely to employ someone who know lots about BMWs but not a lot about anything else I just couldn’t justify keeping what was effectively a toy, especially as it was costing the best part of £100 each month just to keep it garaged. The possibility of something going bang in a major way and not having the funds to fix it was not one I wanted to ponder.

    I’ve never been all that good at selling cars – I think the bottom line is that I’m too honest and I’m likely to blurt out any known faults on a car. Having heard horror stories recently about people getting ripped off when selling cars and the amount of no shows combined with the inevitable low-ball offers chancers make I decided the best way to achieve a decent amount of money for the car with the least amount of hassle was to put it up for sale at a classic auction. I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with the cars that come up for sale at Anglia Car Auctions and as luck would have it the date of its sale in April dovetailed very well with when I wanted to sell the car.

    First things first though… before it would sell I needed to wash it and get it up and running. After dormant months of winter the battery was flat (surprise, surprise) so I whipped the battery off the car and gave it a thorough overnight charge. Popping it back on the car saw the interior lights glowing brightly but when I turned the key there was nothing. A big fat lack of M88 music reverberating around the garage. It felt a bit like when the starter motor had gone bad, but I thought I’d try and jump it from the trusty Passat so I walked home to get the jump leads. Now with the Six being bum in to the garage Halfords’ finest heavy-duty leads wouldn’t reach to the boot in the battery and when the M6 was manufactured #BMW had yet to pop a jump-start point under the bonnet. So I pushed the M6 out, connected everything up and hoorah, a running M6.

    I drove it round for half an hour or so and then parked it up at my house so I could go and get the Passat which can’t be left where I’d hastily parked it up… and yes, you guessed it by the time I got back home with the Passat there was no longer enough charge in the M6’s battery to get it going again. So… jump leads out again etc… and a quick call to the ever helpful BM Sport saying I was coming down with the M6 saw me cruising to Bexley with my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t stall it and that the range on the OBC was vaguely correct as I didn’t want to do a splash and dash with a car that would have to be left running on the forecourt. The chaps at BM Sport got it straight in the workshop, wired it up to its battery tester, and yes, the virtually brand new Halfords Yuasa battery was duff.

    A quick phone round for some quotes threw up the odd situation that the official BMW battery was actually the cheapest option so one was ordered and fitted and I could be on my way. The cruise up to Kings Lynn where Anglia Auctions are located was very pleasant and I let the M88 off the leash a couple of times before waving a tearful goodbye to ‘POW, POW, as it had become affectionately known. For some reason I had the romantic notion that it would be bought by a like-minded enthusiast, preferably one with some money, who would lovingly bring the M6 back to its former glory. Errr, no. It was purchased by an outfit called Eclipse Car Sales with the hammer falling at £15,500 – about what I thought it would sell for – which means that I got back around £14,500 after commission and fees which means I more or less broke even on the car in the 30 months I owned it. With the buyer’s premium Eclipse paid £16,275 for it… so it was a little bit of a surprise to see it advertised on eBay and its website a scant six days later for £30,000! At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. Personally I don’t think they have a hope in hell of achieving that sort of return on it as there’s just too much work that needs doing, but it has left a rather sour taste in my mouth which is a shame as I really did enjoy owning and driving the car. Such is life, onwards and upwards, live and learn etc…
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    E24 M635CSi

    I think I left things last month on the verge of taking the plunge on buying another shark-nose classic and part of me really wishes I had. The E28 I had my eye on came up on eBay and was being sold by James at JFI Classic Cars who I’ve met on several occasions when we’ve been featuring some of the cars he’s produced. You might remember an E28 Five running an E36 M3 engine or a 2000 Touring which he’d fully restored and having chatted to James he reckoned this E28 would be ideal. It was Dolphin grey with a tan leather sport interior and it really did look rather pretty. We agreed I would sleep on it and I’d get back to him the following day.

    However, in the ensuing 12 hours there were some fairly seismic shifts going on in the background that I’ll be able to tell you about next month, and the upshot was that it would not be financially prudent not to drop several thousands of pounds on a car that I really don’t need, especially as I’d then be pulling it apart and spending several more thousands trying to install a V8 into it. Especially when I’ve still got an M635CSi to look after too. Mrs H is pretty understanding, but it’s best not to push too far!

    Truth be told, the M6 has seen very little exercise this month. It’s generally been dark and murky both on my way to and from the office and combined with a fair amount of moisture in the air and the fact that I don’t really like putting the car away in its garage wet it means that it’s been slumbering for most of the month. I did fit a set of Osram bulbs to try and improve the headlights but to be honest the jury’s still out as I’ve yet to take it out of town and on to darker country roads with them fitted.

    What I have been doing this month is keeping a keen eye on how much #BMW M635CSis are selling for at auction as this may well be a route that I take in the new year should some additional funding be acquired. What I’ve found to be most interesting is where cars end up after some of these auctions. I’d spotted a black B-reg M6 at Classic Car Auctions’ sale in early December with 117k miles and a large history folder. Being a nosey parker I did a quick check on its MoT history and was somewhat surprised to see that it had failed recently on several counts, mainly corrosion to both the offside and nearside subframe mountings as well as both the offside and nearside front suspension component mountings, along with a few other odds and sods. What was a little odd was that it then passed an MoT a little under a month later with two advisories – an oil leak and ‘underside corrosion’. Maybe the work was done, or maybe a different MoT tester felt the corrosion wasn’t quite so severe but either way it sold for just under £16k including buyer’s premium.

    I was somewhat gobsmacked to see the same car back up for sale at a non-franchised dealer two weeks later for £24,995! That’s some profit margin. It’s always been the way I suppose, but to see what could be a really nice car if it had the money lavished on it being sold with glib statements such as ‘you will struggle to find another M635 that represents such good value for money’ does stick in one’s craw somewhat.

    Deadlines being what they are this issue was put together before the Christmas break, but I’ll do my best to give the Six some exercise while I’m away from the office.

    CAR: #BMW-E24 / #BMW-M635CSi / #BMW-M635CSi-E24 / #BMW-M6-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW-M6 / #M88 / #BMW-M88 /

    YEAR: #1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 163,925
    TOTAL COST: £18 (bulbs)
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    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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    Well that was another Christmas and I hope you had a good one, opened presents, had a family argument (#standard), ate and drank your fill, and perhaps are now trying to counteract the guilt with a series of hastily hashed together resolutions. My advice: don’t bother. Just keep eating, it’ll be fine. Probably. And so now we stand at the edge of the precipice of the unknown that is #2017 . You can guarantee that the next 12 months will flash past in the blink of an eye but, if you break it down, 12 months is actually a pretty long time and anything can happen. Nothing to do but close your eyes, leap off the edge and hope for the best.

    One thing you don’t have to hope for is 12 issues of PBMW delivering a heap of modified BMW goodness every month, because that’s what we do. And we can tell you straight up that #2017 is shaping up to be a cracking year, with some awesome and seriously exciting feature cars lined-up. If you like your BMWs modified, you’re going to love the next 12 months of #PBMW / #BMW / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / .

    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves; what about this issue that you’re holding in your hands right now? Well, our cover star is a car that’s been doing the rounds at the UK shows all through 2016 and has never failed to impress or draw a crowd wherever it’s appeared. It’s certainly not the purest or most original E24 about but it’s most definitely one of the most dramatic. It’s not a car you’ll forget in a hurry. We’ve also got a couple of killer builds from the States that you’ll no doubt be familiar with but which are so awesome we couldn’t not feature them – namely Carl Taylor’s wild green machine and Stan Chen’s F31 Touring and classic motorbike combo. We’ve also managed to cram in a pair of incredible Art Car replicas, a ferocious turbo E36, and a stunning blue E92 from the UK. And that’s just scratching the surface!

    So, sit back and worry about the only resolution you need to make for 2017: that you will read every issue of PBMW this year! We’ll see you next month.
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    First up this month, I’m happy to report that the M6 is back on the road and feeling much fitter after the latest ministrations from the good chaps at #BM-Sport (, 020 8304 9797). Thanks to the refurbished starter motor it now starts on the button first time, every time, which is, after all, the most important aspect of car ownership… there is nothing that puts you off driving a car as much as the possibility that it’s not going to start.

    Once it’s running the good news is that it’s actually a much sweeter drive than it used to be thanks to the thorough cleaning of the throttle butterflies that were severely gummed up which was spotted when the plenum was off for the starter motor to be replaced. As far as I know the last major work that was carried out on the engine was the replacement of the timing chain around 15k miles ago, but I can only conclude that when the plenum was removed for this job no one thought it a good idea to clean up the throttle bodies. They were so dirty that it seems impossible that this build up of crud had occurred in the last 15,000 miles. The upside is that it now idles beautifully – it was always somewhat lumpy and a ticked over too low previously, but it now seems to be running like a dream. It pulls more cleanly from low revs in higher gears now and it may be a placebo effect but it seems faster than it was before.

    I put the new-found performance to the test when I ran it down to Munich Legends for a book signing by Tony Lewin. His latest tome, The #BMW Century, is a good read and while it probably doesn’t go into as much depth as a real hardcore BMW aficionado might be looking for it’s a fantastic introduction to the marque and cover BMW’s first century from the aero engine days right up to the latest Project i machinery with everything in between.

    If I’m popping down to Munich Legends I like to try and take the Six as bowling up in a dirty VW Passat company car doesn’t really seem the right image for the editor of a BMW magazine. The run down to Sussex was a very pleasant drive along the back roads with the #M88 singing its tunes and the chassis providing plenty of entertainment on the slightly damp and greasy Tarmac. The Falkens that came on the Style 5 wheels that I fitted to the car a while ago probably aren’t the grippiest tyres in the world but they do hang on quite well and when they do break away they’re nice and progressive, giving you plenty of time to catch the rear end before it gets too out of shape. I did enough miles in my previously owned E24s to know that the factory OE-fit Michelin TRXs would have been a far worse proposition on these roads.

    Once I’d chewed the fat with several other BMW owners at the Munich Legends event and spent some time poring over a very original 2002 that’s ripe for restoration, it was time to head home for a late supper and conscious that I’d been rather longer than intended I needed to press on if Mrs H wasn’t to end up serving my dinner to the dog. And that’s when I discovered the limitations of running a classic, or perhaps this particular classic, the headlights are absolutely atrocious. Never mind the fact that they’d just been realigned and are deemed fine to pass the MoT, the level of illumination they provide on dipped beam is utterly laughable – I would probably have done just as well by gaffer taping a couple of candles to the front bumper.

    It’s slightly odd really as on main beam it’s absolutely fine with the quad lamps illuminating things rather well, but as soon as you need to dip the lights because someone’s coming in the opposite direction you feel like you’ve been plunged into darkness and you need to weigh anchor pretty rapidly if you’re not going to be involved in an E24 shaped hedge interface. That’s reminded me actually, and sorry to depart on a tangent, but the brakes are now similarly much better than they were before. You get used to how the brake pedal feels in your car and really don’t notice the deterioration over time that occurs as your brake fluid slowly degrades. Having just had mine replaced the M6 has a much better feel through the pedal and is far more reassuring when you jump on the anchors. If you’ve not had your fluid replaced for a couple of years I really would recommend you have it done. Returning to the headlights though, it’s something I really will have to look into sorting – I’ve bought some upgraded bulbs – and once I’ve mustered up the energy to fit them I’m hoping things will have improved somewhat. If I can bring myself to stand out in the cold I might also see about removing the headlight washers – they’re currently seized up – as the wiper isn’t completely parked properly on the nearside light unit which must be obstructing the light somewhat.

    Last month I think I mentioned I was having a bit of a daydream about fitting a larger engine to another 6 Series and I have gone so far as to have a look at a couple of potential donor cars, but both were too crusty to be viable for what I want to do. It does seem that people have an overinflated view of what an old and rusty 6 Series is worth – both the cars I looked at were high mileage 628s in really not very fine fettle – just because it’s a 1980s BMW it doesn’t automatically mean it’s worth a lot of money. I saw another 635CSi on eBay that looked promising until I did an MoT history check on it… it was evidently rustier than the Titanic underneath and had failed its last MoT on ‘excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings’ on ten counts! Currently I’m looking at E28 Fives as prices don’t seem to be quite so ridiculous and as I type a rather nice looking example has popped up on eBay… guess where I’m going this weekend…

    CAR: #BMW-E24 / #BMW-M635CSi / #BMW-M635CSi-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW-M6 / #BMW-M6-E24 / #BMW-6-Series-M6 / #BMW-6-Series-M6-E24 / #BMW

    YEAR: #1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 163,902
    MPG THIS MONTH: 23.2
    TOTAL COST: £398 (MoT, starter motor, throttle body clean up, brake fluid)
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    E24 M635CSi

    I’m afraid to say I’ve been dilly-dallying and prevaricating this month… how unlike me! I simply can’t quite decide what to do with the M6 – do I keep it and get all the bodywork refreshed and have a bit of a mechanical makeover to turn it from a perfectly usable but slightly rough around the edges machine into an absolute show stopper, or do I sell it and move on to something else?

    On the one hand the thought of having a nigh-on perfect M6 is something I’d love to have, but on the other I know it will be a wallet-wilting experience. And as it’s already done almost 165k miles it’s never going to be one of the really valuable ones.

    Having said that I’ve seen some examples advertised recently for E30 M3 money… but one always wonders what they’re actually selling for?! At the back of my mind there’s also the performance aspect to consider.

    Back in the day when I first owned one of these beasts it was a real performance powerhouse, but as I’ve mentioned before these days 286hp in a hefty coupé does not equate to hot hatch humbling performance – quite the opposite in fact! Which does beg the question whether it’s worth me owning the M6. After all I could sell the M635 and buy a better non-M 635CSi and still enjoy the car. Or I could buy something that doesn’t have any pretensions to being quick… I saw an absolutely lovely Neue Klasse saloon advertised the other day for really not a lot of money and was sorely tempted! Alternatively I could try to extract some more performance from the M6, but this would entail non-original modifications that would detract from its value. Our tech guru Andy Everett did suggest to me that the later M635CSis did struggle to make all of their 286 horses and wondered if I’d had the car on a dyno to see what it’s producing, but I must admit that putting such a high-mileage machine through the stress of a dyno session fills me with fear – seeing the M88 go bang is not on my ‘to do’ list!

    At the back of my mind is a vague plan to sell the M6 and buy another E24 into which I could insert a more modern and more powerful M engine which would give me the performance I hanker nicely wrapped up in the shape that I love. It’s just a pipe dream at the moment, but if anyone knows of an E28-based E24 with a relatively rust-free shell and a knackered engine then do get in touch!

    All these musings are all very well, but more pressing was the need to get a fresh MoT on the car. While it was in with BM Sport (020 8304 9797, I also asked the chaps to have a look at an intermittent non-start issue. This had only happened a couple of times but I’d turn the key in the ignition only to be greeted by a big fat ‘click’ and nothing else.

    My initial reaction was that the battery was flat, but twisting the key a second time would bring the reassuring starter motor whine followed by the M88 erupting into life. A dodgy starter motor, a relay problem or a wiring malady?

    As far as the MoT was concerned BM Sport reckoned it would be okay once it’d realigned the headlights and secured the passenger seat that was working itself loose, and sure enough F570 returned from the testing station with a fresh MoT and the same advisories that it had last year; slight corrosion on all brake hose ferrules, slight corrosion to offside front floor pan, rear beam axle bushes starting to perish… and a new one – slight corrosion on outer body sills.

    The starting problem was diagnosed as a duff starter motor and while the chaps were poking around in the engine bay they decided the brake fluid was looking a little bit second-hand and as I don’t know when it was last replaced we decided to change the brake fluid too. Sadly the starter that was ordered for the car turned out not to fit so the old starter has been sent off to be repaired. Having removed the plenum to access the starter motor the throttle bodies looked pretty mucky and gummed up so these are being cleaned as I type. Hopefully it’ll return in fine fettle.

    Just before I sign off I’d like to thank Michael from Athens (a fellow M635CSi owner) who wrote in with a couple of possible reasons for my car running rich – hopefully I’ll be able to let you know next month if your tips were correct Michael!

    In the mean time I’ll continue to cogitate the M6’s future…

    / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-M635CSi / #M88 / #BMW-M88 / #BMW-M635CSi-E24 / #BMW / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW

    YEAR: #1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 163,721
    MPG THIS MONTH: 19.2
    TOTAL COST: Rising rapidly!

    Above right: duff starter and dirty throttle bodies. Above: throttle butterflies nicely cleaned.
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    / #BMW / #1977 / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-633CSi / #BMW-633CSi-E24 / ESTIMATE £8000-£10,000 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 /

    Early E12-based Sixes are certainly getting rather thin on the ground so it’s nice to see one of the earlier machines coming to auction at H&H. This example has an indicated 112k miles showing and it’s nice to see one in period bronze with a nice tan interior. For the purist the car shouldn’t be sporting the spoilers it’s wearing – the front spoiler appears to be from a later M635CSi and the rear one is from a later E28-based car. Other than that it looks pretty good, and the most important question to ask is when will you see another coming up for sale?
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