SOLD – 1989 BMW 635 CSi Highline

  • 1989 BMW 635 CSi Highline
  • Fewer than 50,000 miles from new
  • In current ownership for 25 years
  • Recent €26,000 recommissioning by BMW Group Classic

This late-model E24 BMW 635 CSi is from the final year of production and was first registered in the UK on 20 February 1990. Presented in stunning condition throughout, its type 5382 designation marks it out as being an original right-hand-drive European-spec car with the M30 straight-six engine.

It has been in the current ownership for 25 years, and in 2016 was treated to an extensive recommissioning at BMW Group Classic in Munich. Meticulously documented in the history file, the total bill for that work came to more than €26,000 and incorporated improvements to the entire car. BMW rectified worn or damaged areas of the bodywork and carried out a complete respray. The front spoiler was renewed, as were the trim strips in the front bumper.

The rear bumper was replaced and a new exhaust system fitted, while five new alloy wheels were supplied and shod with 225/60 R15 Continental Premium Contact 2 tyres. Full wheel alignment was carried out, and the engine bay and underbody were steam-cleaned. An Inspection II service was carried out on the engine, which included checking and adjusting the valves.

Inside, the Highline specification means the extensive use of leather throughout. Part of the work at BMW Group Classic involved renewing the side bolsters for the driver’s seat and fitting new door seals, and the cabin is now in immaculate condition with a fully operational trip computer.

A huge part of the BMW 635 CSi’s appeal is in its ability to be a comfortable and long-legged cruiser as well as offering serious cross-country performance – all accompanied by the cultured engine note from the 3.5-litre straight-six. That dual-purpose character is emphasised in this particular car by the switchable four-speed automatic gearbox that features both Sport and Economy modes.

Between 2013 and 2017 – a period that included its time at BMW Group Classic – this E24 BMW 635 CSi covered only 3,000 miles and is still showing fewer than 50,000 miles from new. Now presented in concours-ready condition and offered for sale at The Classic Motor Hub, it is a fast and stylish coupé from a period in which BMW could do little wrong.

Model history

Production of the distinctive Paul Bracq-designed E24 6 Series began in early 1976, with body assembly originally being handled by Karmann before BMW’s Dingolfing plant took over. Its basis was initially the E12 5 Series saloon, and in 1978 the 635CSi was added to the range with a 215bhp M90 straight-six engine.

The E24 range was heavily revised in 1982, when the platform was updated to that of the recently introduced E28 5 Series. The switch led to improvements throughout the 6 Series, from revised styling to upgraded electronics and suspension.

Engine options were regularly updated, too, with the 635 CSi gaining the smaller-bore, longer-stroke M30B34, and then the high-compression M30B35, which produced 217bhp in non-catalytic converter form. The choice of transmissions included a four- or five-speed Getrag manual, or a three-speed ZF automatic that in 1983 was upgraded to a four-speeder.

The range-topping, 282bhp M635 CSi was introduced in 1984, and the final major revisions came in 1987. The front and rear spoilers were redesigned, ellipsoidal headlamps fitted, and a more luxurious leather interior fitted for the Highline models.

Not only was the E24 6 Series a comfortable and fast road car, it was successful on the track. During the 1980s, BMW built World Championship-winning Formula One engines plus the E30 3 Series for domestic Touring Car racing, and the 6 Series added to that legacy with three titles in the European Touring Car Championship thanks to drivers such as Gerhard Berger, Emanuele Pirro and Roberto Ravaglia. A 635CSi also won the prestigious Tourist Trophy in both 1980 and 1984.

Production ran until 1989 and the E24 wasn’t directly replaced in BMW’s line-up. Now increasingly sought-after, these stylish coupés exude presence and performance, and have rightly gained a strong following.

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