We return to a simpler era when the choice of an ultimate 6-series was limited to one
detach the driver as they deliver ever more impressive numbers. That and the two-tonne weight presumably...
It therefore seemed the perfect opportunity to feature a classic M-car, one of the models that forged its reputation as a builder of stunning driver's machinery and a rare classic to boot; the E24 M635 CSi.
As is the case now, the flagship 6 Series used the M5's engine and gearbox. For the M635 CSi and E28 M5, this was a 3,453cc straight-six based on the M1's unit but with a wet-sump and Bosch fuel injection. Its 286hp is around half the Competition Pack's 575hp, but it was capable of 150mph, much like the M6 (limited of course).
M3 GTS aside), the M635 was a subtle and restrained performance car. The front bumper was more aggressive, there's a couple of M badges and some different wheels but that really is it, with the vast majority of body panels carried over from the standard E24. It's discreet but still imposing; that shark-nose grille would still look pretty mean in any rear-view mirror!
The interior is much the same, with the M colours on the steering wheel and gearknob being the only giveaway that this isn't a boggo 635. There's no unnecessary trim, overly-bolstered seats or 'sports' steering wheel; it's just a 6 Series with a very potent engine and a manual gearbox.
This is a world away from the levels of M6 choice we have now. Would sir like his 4.4 V8 powering a coupe, convertible or four-door GranCoupe? How about that Competition Pack option for track use? You wonder what effect that's going to have on future values. This 1986 example of the M-badged 6-series (of course, not technically an M6) is perhaps able to command a strong £26,000 precisely because everyone knows this is the ultimate Six of its day.
struggle to make £10K indicates how covetable they've become. Of course, the manual helps given that most (but not all) the standard 6-series are automatics. For impressions on the driving experience, see Chris Harris's M5 video for some insight. We understand if you don't treat an M635CSi the same way...
Given the amount you now need for one of these, maybe a temptingly cheap V10 M6 is more your thing?
BMW M635 CSi
Engine: 3,453cc straight-six
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Power (hp): 286@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 251@4,500rpm
First registered: 1986
Recorded mileage: 77,675
Price new: £33,875 (1984)
Yours for: £26,000
See the original advert here