BF Classified: 1981 BMW 635CSi


Seller’s Description: This Euro-spec 1981 BMW 635CSi is missing the front and rear bumpers, but is otherwise complete. The previous owner started a renovation that reportedly included replacing the floor pans, and interior disassembly. It’s ready for a new owner to take it to the next level, or part it out to keep your classic e24 BMW on the road. The car will come with one key and a green Oklahoma title.

A video of me cranking the engine can be seen here:

Because it was built to European spec before being imported as a gray market car, the placards on the dash are all in German. It retains the original 4-speed manual transmission and desirable Euro-spec M90 engine that does not require a catalytic converter or the dreaded thermal reactor that plagued the early US-spec e24 models.

This is an e12-based car, so it sports metal interior door release handles, and the dash and interior components of the early cars.

While I haven’t spent much time with this car, I can tell you a little bit about what I know:

The engine turns over freely with the starter when you turn the key. The transmission lever shifts into all positions, although it has not been tested beyond that. The glass is in good condition except the windshield, which has a crack.

The body has minimal rust for cars of this vintage, with some rust noted in front of the rear wheels at the bottom of the wheel arch. As mentioned, the previous owner replaced the floor pans several years ago, reportedly at a cost of $1700. The Behr radiator appears to have been recently replaced. The original paint color is graphite metallic, according to the engine bay sticker and the underside of the hood.

The interior pieces are in good condition and are stored in the trunk, along with a factory spare wheel and most of the original tool kit. The car will come with blue left and right front power sport seats, both need the recline hinges replaced.

The windshield wipers move, albeit slowly. All 4 tires hold air, and roll on later BMW Style 5 wheels. The air conditioning blower works.

There is a crack in the windshield, the previous owner disconnected most of the fuel lines and belts. The heater blower does not come on. A battery will not be included.

The European destination e12-based 635CSi models included a 3.5L M90 engine good for 219 hp when new with its 9.3:1 compression ratio, where the US-spec cars of this era made do with a lower compression 3.2L M30 engine that produced 47 less horsepower and were plagued with thermal reactor issues.

This would be a great platform for restoration or the perfect donor car for a drivetrain swap for your early 1980s BMW.


Price: $1,950
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Mileage: 127,000
Title Status: Clean
VIN: WBAEC3109B5591526

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