1985 BMW 635 CSi


The first model in the lineage of 6-Series vehicles, the E24 was introduced in 1976, and remained in production for a total of 13 years, finally bowing out in 1989 with no direct successor, much to the disdain of enthusiasts.

Available only in two-door coupé body style and with all models boasting either an M30, M88/3, M90 or S38 inline-six petrol engine at their heart (in various states of tune depending on the trim level selected, naturally) the 6-Series was designed with long-distance GT use in mind.

Initially developed upon the E12 5-Series platform, post-1982 vehicles were subsequently built upon the E28 platform, giving further enhancements to their road-going capabilities and comfort. These upgrades also included double-linked front suspension struts, a new rear axle, improved rust protection (vital in European winters) and revised exterior styling.

Specifically, the 635 CSI engine was also updated during the 1982 facelift, with an upgraded M30B34 engine replacing the previous M90 item, with a similar horsepower figure but improved torque and longevity.

Naturally, the E24 also scored well in the motorsports realm, with numerous titles such as the European Touring Car Championship (3x), the DTM title (1x) and various endurance championships and titles all around the world being attributed to the venerable 6-Series.

The Vehicle

Finished in Zinnobar Red over a black interior, this post-facelift 635 CSI boasts not only a strong factory specification, but also benefits from the numerous upgrades employed post-1982, and as a result offers arguably one of the best GT driving experiences of the era, short of an M-badged BMW.

Purchased by our vendor in 2015 with a view to using, enjoying and fettling this ‘shark nose’ icon, the reality is that shortly after purchasing the vehicle, a job opportunity came about which the current owner simply couldn’t pass up, and as a result the vehicle has seen only limited use during its current ownership tenure.

Despite this lack of use, the car has been well-kept and pampered, having been professionally dry-stored since 2017, and garaged at the vendor’s home in the years prior to this.

Evidently, this is a true enthusiast owner, and the love for the 635 was evident during our conversation with him:

“I think this particular 635 has the best seats, best bumpers, the right wheels and one of the best colour combinations offered. The styling is attractively understated, though the correct specification and options (as seen here) show it in its best light. The character of the car suits the automatic transmission, and makes it a fantastic distance driver with plenty of ‘pull’ especially at motorway speeds!”

Sadly, despite having plentiful enthusiasm for the car, an extended overseas job posting means that this 635 CSI wouldn’t see any further use for a number of years yet, and so the decision has been made to let it go to another enthusiast to use, enjoy and continue to cherish this delightful E24 635 CSI.

On the Outside

Resplendent in Zinnobarrot, this 635 CSI was purchased by the current owner with investment potential in mind, and evidently some fastidious hunting has paid off, as this is one of the best examples we’ve seen for a very, very long time indeed.

The bodywork is straight and true throughout, with no mis-aligned panels, mis-matched paintwork or impact damage that we could see, though it is worth noting that the vehicle has seemingly been re-sprayed at some point during its lifetime, as the paintwork in the engine bay is significantly more faded than that of the exterior.

Naturally, there are a few imperfections here and there, such as small marks, dulling to the chrome details in places, slight scratches to the paintwork and the typical commensurate wear expected from a cherished, yet still near 40-year-old car.

There are also a couple of slightly more noticeable blemishes (though this is relative to the rest of the vehicle’s condition, as these marks are somewhat imperceptible until up-close) which are visible below the rear windscreen on the nearside corner, above the nearside corner of the windscreen, and on the offside rear wing.

We also noticed some overspray on the various rubber trims (giving support to the notion that the car has been sprayed) though this should, theoretically, be able to be removed by a professional detailer.

All four wheels are in excellent condition, with only a few light marks here and there to be noted.

On the Inside

Inside, the good news continues for this E24, as the luxuriously-appointed cabin (by 1980’s standards, that is) remains a lovely place to soak up the miles to this day, and presents in excellent condition overall.

The leather seats, for example, show only some light patina, wear and creasing to the bases and back supports, with the typical light scuffs to the outer bolsters up front giving evidence to the fact the car has been used and enjoyed over the years.

In the rear, the seats are of equally fantastic condition, whilst all of the trims, fixtures and fittings are present-and-correct throughout the interior.

Elsewhere in the cabin, the high-traffic areas such as the steering wheel, shifter and door cards all wear some signs of life, but nothing that is not consistent with a cherished example such as this.

All four of the BMW-branded over mats remain with the vehicle, and the carpets underneath are in great shape still, as is the headliner up above. The sunroof is in full working order, and as far as we can see the channels and aperture for the panel is in good shape with no signs of any corrosion or concerns that we noted during our photo shoot.

In the rear, the boot presents equally well, though the fold-down tool kit is only part-complete.

Whilst the on-board computer is working, the vendor notes that the central locking only works when actuated through the boot lock, and the windscreen wipers have recently packed up. Otherwise, all systems are working as they should be, to the best of both our knowledge and that of the vendor.


In the engine bay, the M30B34 engine is in rude health, starting with ease and driving without fault or fuss during our photo shoot, with the engine coming up to temperature and maintaining it, despite the outside temperature being comfortably in the mid-20s on the day. Out on the road, we noticed no strange noises from the suspension, nor any untoward behaviours from the engine or transmission.

Visually, the engine bay would benefit from a thorough detailing and perhaps a ‘dress up’ with some new graphics, but there were no signs of any major oil or fluid leaks that we could see, nor any obviously missing or broken parts.

Underneath, the chassis looks nice and solid as far as we can see, with only some light ‘bloom’ visible on suspension components being of any note.

Being super picky, the exhaust appears to hang slightly to one side at the rear, so perhaps some adjustment of the hangers is required.

The most recent MoT, dated 26 August 2021, shows a pass with advisories for both rear axle swivel pins / bushes being worn/soft.

In terms of servicing, the latest service took place in August 2021 at 59,564 miles including an oil and filter change, new spark plugs, new battery, new rear arms and a new air filter.

History Highlights

Included with the vehicle is the V5 registered keepers document showing six former keepers, a partially-stamped service record showing extensive BMW OE maintenance for a number of years, two sets of keys, old tax discs and MoT certificates, service invoices from various BMW specialist garages, and a plethora of older documentation.

As always, we’ve photographed all of the paperwork supplied to us with the vehicle, and this is available to view at your leisure in the gallery below.

What We Think

Remarkably well-preserved, in original condition throughout and fastidiously kept, this is a fantastic example of the post-facelift 635 CSI in excellent condition, ready for the next owner to simply jump in, turn the key and enjoy.

Offered for sale with an estimate of £18,000 to £23,000 this is an opportunity not to be overlooked by any BMW or German car enthusiast with an eye for a high-quality classic.

Viewing is always encouraged. This particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays between 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

Video Review

Want to know how The Market auctions work? Take a look at our FAQ's

View FAQ's


  • Location: The Market HQ Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 60000
  • Chassis Number: WBAEC820608186635
  • Engine: 3430
  • Gearbox: auto
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Zinnober red
  • Interior: Black leather
  • Estimated Price: £18,000 - £23,000

Live auctions View more