1984 BMW 628 CSiView vehicle description
Has BMW ever really bettered the original 6 Series? Not really. 21st Century offerings have been bulky, awkwardly styled and ultimately unsatisfying to drive. No wonder the company hesitated to replace the E24 back in 1989.
Sometimes a car is so good that when it comes to the end of its production run the manufacturer can come a cropper when it comes to replacing it. Take the E Type Jaguar, for example. Nowadays its successor, the XJS, is considered a classic in its own right – as it obviously should be – but when it was launched to replace the beloved E, reaction ranged from somewhat muted enthusiasm to outwardly hostile criticism.
Maybe, from across the English Channel, BMW watched the Jaguar psycho-drama play out and decided they didn’t want any part of such a scenario. Either way, they waited an incredible 16 years before finally sticking their heads above the parapet and launching a replacement for the E24 6 Series coupé.
Despite the shark-nose era at BMW covering all models – from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s – it was the E24 6 Series that really manifested Munich’s ocean-predator look. Long and lean, the 6 Series was a striking grand tourer that frankly needed to impress, replacing as it did, the timelessly beautiful E9.
While we’re talking BMW royalty, the model that truly superseded the mighty 3-litre CSL Batmobile, both on racetracks and in showrooms, was the 635CSi. BMW knew it had some pretty big boots to fill – thankfully though, there was no Jaguar-esque calamity. The 6 Series was an instant hit.
The 6-Series started life in 1976 as BMW's flagship coupé. Unlike the CS, it was a larger 2+2. The rear seats were big enough to carry teenagers or shorter adults, while the boot was huge by coupé standards. The interior was stylish (thanks to a driver-oriented console) and high-quality.
BMW’s longest running production model (with the fewest built) was based on the underpinnings of the E12 5 Series, and powered by the largest of the stalwart big straight six engines. It was typically German of the period – no pretence at radical design but an extremely well executed contemporary package that evolved with BMW, despite little outward signs of change.
Excellent ergonomics and visibility made it a good daily car, and it remained in production for 13 years, until 1989. As we’ve said, BMW produced no replacement for it until 2003.
Despite being slightly lower on the pecking order of the 6 Series hierarchy back in the day, this 628 is actually a much rarer beast than its larger engined sibling, and with 181bhp and 177lb-ft torque, it’s hardly the economy model. Not only that, with just 700cc less than the top of the tree 635, it’s a far more cost efficient buy, and more economical to boot.
BMW’s M30 straight six is one of the best engineered and sweetest sounding engines from the latter parts of the last century. It’s reliable, pulls strongly from low revs and sounds wonderful at full chat, while remaining silky smooth at all times. Contemporary BMW advertising campaigns used to picture a coin balancing on the cam cover of a running engine, such is its legendary smoothness.
This car has had attention lavished on it by a recent owner, who spent around £20,000 getting the car into the fantastic condition it’s in today, and it’s still only covered 55,000 miles since it was built in 1984 – that’s an average of less than 1500 miles a year. All the evidence points to this car having led a charmed life.
On the Outside
Ask any paint sprayer which colour is hardest to get right and they’ll say black. Black shows up every tiny surface imperfection so a car needs to be straight and true before you can apply it. Luckily this one is.
It’s hard to find any marks on the finish, which is in excellent condition, and the original BMW alloy wheels are also in great shape. The car presents very well and the only slight detractions we could find were some slight degradation on the surface of the rubber boot mounted spoiler. We think this would probably respond well to a product such as Back to Black.
There are a few areas of the bodywork that would benefit from a machine polish to make the finish even better, something the new owner could do at their leisure.
But fundamentally this car looks fabulous and is just waiting for a new enthusiastic owner to continue cherishing it.
On the Inside
The Recaro seats have been retrimmed in black leather with cream piping, replacing what was very likely a cream interior. The leather on the driver’s seat upright is slightly wrinkled and could do with being retensioned to tidy it up slightly, but otherwise the hide is all in fine order.
The cream piping is slightly grubby on the driver’s seat, which is a bit of an occupational hazard with cream piping on black leather. It should clean up easily enough though.
A wire is hanging down in the cubby hole storage area in front of the gear selector, but it just needs tucking back up out of sight. Other than that this 6 Series’ interior is in lovely condition and ready for intercontinental cruising.
The BMW M30 2.8-litre straight six sits under the forward opening bonnet, the six tuned lengths of its inlet manifold snaking from the passenger side of the engine bay and joining the single throttle body and air mass meter on top of the cam cover.
And what a pretty engine bay it is too. Previous owners have clearly been hard at work making the under bonnet area as well presented as the exterior and interior. Aside from some minor tarnishing of a few plated parts, the engine bay is in exceptional order for a car of this vintage and, of course, at this low mileage the beautifully engineered powerplant will be in rude health.
The BMW tool kit in the boot is complete and looks untroubled by any use, and the car’s underside is also in excellent shape. There’s surface corrosion on some suspension parts but we saw absolutely nothing that troubled us at all, and couldn’t see any evidence that the car has ever been near a welding torch either.
This 6 Series comes with its original BMW wallet, containing all the original handbooks. There’s also a fully stamped service book, a large pile of old tax discs, lots of old MoT certificates and a spare set of keys.
On top of this is a huge pile of invoices, highlights of which include:
1984. Servicing work – £337.
1984. Servicing work and new washer jet – £41.
1984. New steering linkage parts – £216.
1984. Major service – £1163.
1998. Major service – £536.
1998. Carpet mats and chrome wheel arches – £105.
1998. New wheel cap and wiper parts – £189.
1998. New door seals, dashboard parts and servicing work – £1043
1999. New manifold gaskets and handbrake adjustment – £266.
1999. New custom made floor mats – £132.
2000. Servicing work – £83
2000. New battery – £55.
2001. New track rod ends and washer pump – £266.
2003. Servicing and inspection – £184.
2003. New fuel pump fitted – £139.
2005. Servicing work – £47.
2006. Servicing and MoT work – £131.
2007. Servicing and MoT work – £156.
2008. Servicing work – £85.
The owner says:
‘This is possibly the best 628 CSi currently on the market anywhere in the world. It’s a very rare model – especially in the UK – with very low mileage. It’s in amazing condition and comes in a great colour combination.
‘There’s a massive and comprehensive chronological A4 history folder with the car. A previous custodian spent over £20k on this car in his three year ownership., and there are receipts of over £8000 spent with a Porsche Specialist in last the last three years alone. It has a very recent MoT, upgraded black leather Recaro seats with cream piping, and is a stunning car from top to toe.’
What We Think
A similarly specced 635CSi in this kind of condition could easily cost you double the upper estimate for this car. Is an extra 700cc really worth all those thousands of pounds? We’re not convinced they are. Plus, a black car with a black leather interior is a rarity – special order only back in the day, but someone has spent a lot of money having this car retrimmed.
We estimate this car to be valued between £12,000 - £16,000.
We think it’s a bargain at this price point, and expect interest to be very high. And of course, a car like this only becomes more valuable as time passes.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 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’.
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- Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: listings/auction-view.Trade
- Odometer Reading: 55,000
- Chassis Number: As per V5
- Engine: 2788
- Gearbox: Auto
- Steering position: Right-hand drive
- Color: Black
- Interior: Black Leather
- Estimated Price: £12,000 - £16,000