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BMW 6er Showdown: 2 Coupes for $2K


Barn Finds reader Olaf E. must have ESP, since he spotted a BMW 6-Series coupe on craigslist that looked like a good deal – just mere minutes after I had flagged one in North Carolina for the same reason. Olaf’s find is in Las Vegas and can be found here on craigslist, a 1984 633CSI with an automatic for $2,500. My car is also an ’84, albeit with a 5-speed. It’s pictured above and also here on craigslist. 


Right off the bat, the manual transmission gives the Carolina car the edge. But this E24 coupe in Las Vegas appears to have a straight body and much better paint than the other car, which is suffering from clear coat failure. But this automatic example has a few issues of its own that the seller doesn’t elaborate on; what exactly, we don’t know, but I can already see signs of sun damage to the interior. I know it’s not exactly for sale at the price I referenced in the headline, but I’m confident you can get him down to $2K (or less).


The Carolina car has a desirable cardinal red interior and remains in good overall shape. Both cars retain their early OEM sport steering wheels, but the gray car goes a bit further since it still sports original BMW floormats and is more intact, as the Vegas car is lacking a radio and has a broken door handle. Mechanically, these big coupes are fairly stout, but both of them will require at least some deferred maintenance. The automatic is certain to require more upkeep to maintain.


The seller of the Vegas car thinks there’s lot of potential upside in his vehicle, but I can already tell there isn’t. The transmission is undesirable and the warped rear speaker covers really knock the interior down a peg or two. When you factor in that the Carolina example is running, driving car with a better interior, late-model wheels and a rear spoiler that’s worth a few bucks on its own, it’s clear which BMW 6er I would pick as my chariot.


  1. Mike H. Mike H.

    An E24 has long been on my radar and I’ve recently looked at some very nice examples. While something like this is tempting, I had my heart broken by a bargain priced E30 (1989 325i) and swore that – if I ever did it again – I’d spend the money and start with a nicer car.

    Either of these cars would be fun to toy with but they’ll likely never be reliable occasional drivers. Ultimately, that’s what I’m hoping to find, and the going rate on a “good” E24 is still $15k +.

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  2. Dolphin Member

    The manual car from Carolina would be the best one for many reasons in addition to the std transmission, which would appeal far more to the enthusiast buyers who would consider buying a big coupe down the road. The Carolina car has fewer miles, better interior, and it’s cheaper. The trouble with both listings is that there’s almost no useful information about the cars’ past, and with so few bad cellphone pictures it’s hard to tell if they look as good as they seem to look in the bad pictures. No info on rust, altho neither car looks like it has any. And be sure they don’t have TRX wheels.

    But as usual with these, you have to be prepared to fix some complicated problems if problems crop up. And both cars have high mileage, so there’s likely some mechanical work in their future. One car has been sitting “a while” and the owner of the other hasn’t had the money to put into his car, so….be prepared to pump some money into either car. The big question is how much.

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  3. redwagon

    never seen a cardinal red interior. still because its only the seats, not the seats and floor and door cards and steering wheel etc it doesnt look garish.

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  4. seth

    had a 86 735 with probably the same automatic transmission. cooked it at 42k miles.
    Found out that if you did not do a fluid change every 15k miles it was not happy. Luckily had an extended warranty that covered the replacment. If closer I might have considered it

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  5. Barry

    I have owned 8 e24’s from 79-89 untill i moved on to the 8 series. They are very reliable, and you do not need to spend 15 grand for a good one. 6,000 will buy you a very nice one. 88/89 is the more desirable for the world bumpers and bigger engine, and the Euros also. Any 633 is down on the list because you will most likely want the 85-up front spoiler and the sport seats and steering wheel. Also 86-up had the rear a/c. they are moving up in price, but there is still a lot of great buys out there.

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  6. Mr. TKD

    The Carolina Bimmer has been removed.

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  7. Luke Fitzgerald

    House money new – house money to fix now

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  8. Rob

    You guys can have all the Coupes you want, at any price that you may consider it reasonable, but no thank-you, I’ve a 2001 750iL with its 12 cyl beating heart. To boot, it’s the Sport model with the cold weather pkg, updated ’02 Nav unit, ‘n all the optional BMW goodies too. At 90K miles, it’ll run circles ’round most, even with its auto trans, ‘n cruises comfortably at 90+ miles per hr, whilst getting 18 miles per gal doing so :)

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    • Rob

      ..and how’s this for a 15 yr old interior?, with power front and rear seats, etc.

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      • Jeff Staff

        Rob, the later 7s are a very good deal right now if you find one that has been maintained. Unfortunately, finding such a car is difficult given how many have fallen down the slippery slope of deferred maintenance.

        I was just flipping through an old issue of Roundel when they did a feature on the E38’s swan song. Very pretty car.

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