BMW M635CSI

In the mid 80s, the bench­mark car for Tour­ing Car rac­ing was the BMW 635CSI. The M6 road go­ing ver­sion is very rare and to find a 100% orig­i­nal one, rarer still. Here is one which could be the clas­sic su­per­car buy of the year

Classic Driver - - FEATURES - STORY TONY HAY­COCK • PHO­TOS ALEX MITCHELL

Some shapes seem time­less and the BMW 6-se­ries coupe is one of them. Even now when one drives past (an un­usual oc­cur­rence) it war­rants more than a sec­ond glance. For a body which was first on the streets in 1976 as the 633 CSi and at the time built by Kar­mann, it is hard to be­lieve that the de­sign re­ally is al­most 40 years old.

When BMW de­cided to go Group A rac­ing, the M88 24 valve twin-cam six from the mid-en­gined M1 was dropped into the hole up front and the 635 grew horns, 282 hp, a stronger 5-speed Ge­trag gear­box and a limited slip diff. to han­dle the ex­tra power and torque. This was 1983 and the M6 was a se­ri­ously quick car. Zero to 60 mph took 6.1 sec­onds and the top speed was 255 km/h (155 mph). Com­pare this with the Porsche 911, which in 3.2 litre form was only mak­ing a “mere” 234 hp and was flat-out at 152 mph.

When Paul Frere, Bel­gian sports car racer and cor­re­spon­dent to Road and Track tried one of the first of the M6 coupes he was im­pressed.

“This is much bet­ter than any BMW I’ve driven be­fore. It’s fast, civ­i­lized and the en­gine is beau­ti­fully smooth. And the car feels quite sta­ble at high speeds.

“It is an ex­cel­lent high-speed tour­ing car and I very much like the prompt re­spon­sive­ness of the nor­mally as­pi­rated en­gine. In ad­di­tion, the ride char­ac­ter­is­tics are not at all harsh, while the han­dling is the best of all the BMWs we had here for this test.”

His­toric tour­ing car fans will prob­a­bly be aware of the stun­ning black and gold JPS liv­er­ied Grp. A BMW 635, the ex- Jim Richards ATCC car which is a reg­u­lar sight on both sides of the Tas­man, of­ten in the hands of Jim him­self, or some­times driven by proud owner, Peter Stur­geon. What most do not know is that in the back of Pete’s garage lurks a com­pletely orig­i­nal 1985 M6. Pete wanted one to go along­side the Group A car but he also was fussy. There are not many out there and even fewer which have not been “im­proved” in some way by wellmean­ing pre­vi­ous own­ers. Then, four years ago he struck gold! This 1985 M6 was sold new to a doc­tor in the UK. A Kiwi liv­ing in Lon­don at the time then bought it and when he moved back to New Zealand, the BMW coupe came with him. It then changed hands again and Pete bought it from the sec­ond New Zealand owner af­ter mak­ing sure it was the orig­i­nal car he wanted.

It still wears the cor­rect BBS al­loy wheels, on a new set of met­ric Miche­lin TRX tyres and comes with a spare set of wheels as well. The ex­haust is still the proper BMW M-spec item and hasn’t been played with at all. In­side it is ex­actly as it left the fac­tory, right down to the Blaupunkt ra­dio cas­sette unit and trip com­puter, a very ex­pen­sive item in 1985. The brown buf­falo leather seats don’t look to have aged at all and the car­pets and hood lin­ing are in equally good con­di­tion.

The speedo reads 90,000 miles and Pete has ev­ery re­ceipt for ev­ery bit of main­te­nance ever done on the car. In the four years Pete has owed the car, he has barely done 4000km in it and prob­a­bly the long­est run in it was ac­tu­ally done by Alex Mitchell and me when we “stole” it in Fe­bru­ary of last year and took it down to Tere­tonga for the clas­sic rac­ing. We both came back ab­so­lutely im­pressed with the car. It drove, han­dled and sounded like a su­per­car, yet had the lug­gage space and ride qual­ity of a sedan. And it cer­tainly turned heads when we drove through the Tere­tonga pits in it.

While Pete is still smit­ten with the car, he just has too many now and he doesn’t get the op­por­tu­nity to drive it of­ten enough to jus­tify own­ing it, so he has de­cided to pass it on to some­one who will equally en­joy and cher­ish what is a spec­tac­u­larly orig­i­nal ex­am­ple of one of the 80s great­est cars. While I should re­main un­bi­ased, as Pete men­tioned, I have ac­tu­ally done al­most as many miles in the car as he has so I am pretty well qual­i­fied to talk of the con­di­tion of it. Pete is ask­ing in the re­gion of $45 000.00 for the BMW and can be reached on 021 222 6680. If it is 1980s prac­ti­cal­ity and power you want, here it is.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Alex and I took this car to the end of the earth last year. We didn’t want to give it back

The dash fea­tures the orig­i­nal trip com­puter and Blaupunkt ra­dio-cas­sette unit

The buf­falo leather in­te­rior is in an amaz­ing con­di­tion

BMW M-Power and plenty of it! 282 horse­power

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