Low Mileage Landshark: 1988 BMW M6

For years, BMW’s Motorsport-tuned 3-Series – the ubiqutous E30 M3 – has been spiraling upwards in value. The M6, however, has lagged behind, and seemingly for no good reason. That’s why it’s no surprise to see time capsule examples like this one finally getting its due, although the price may still be outpacing the market by a bit. With only 23,600 miles from new, I suppose it’s no surprise see a nearly $90K ask. Find it here on eBay with the option to submit a best offer. 

The M6 has all sorts of visual cues as to its enhanced performance, from a lower ride height to a specially carpeted trunk partition, as seen here at the right side of the trunk (for the purist, an OEM warning triangle would sit atop the partition). The rear spoiler was also a standard M6 feature, along with a front air dam with integrated fog lights. Despite this car’s low mileage, someone has already messed with the standard U.S. bumpers by performing a fairly common mod called a “bumper tuck,” wherein the bumpers are pushed in. This drives me nuts – leave ’em alone or go straight to the slim European-spec bumpers.

The interior remains in stock condition, and I like that it’s not the common Pearl Beige color code – the silver leather and interior treatments is way better looking and far less common. The thickly-bolstered sport seats were another M6 staple, and the driver’s seat in this car sports far more wear than I’d expect for such a low mileage car (check out the eBay gallery – the bolster closest to the door), but I guess that’s possible over the years. Still, it’s not appropriate in a car with a $90K asking price. As a later model, this car got the driver’s side airbag, which is one the more unattractive BMW steering wheels made.

The U.S.-spec cars, of course, received a less powerful version of the S38 motor (catalyzed versus non-catalyzed in Euro-spec cars), but it was still a formidable performer with 256 b.h.p. on tap. This example has been repainted, which is a disappointment – but the seller does claim it was a “barn find” car, so perhaps the paint was tired after years of languishing in a retirees’ garage in South Florida. The trouble is, for the money, you’d expect this to be a perfectly preserved car considering the time capsule mileage – but with the repaint, I’m just not sure.

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Comments

  1. SebastianX1/9

    These are radically over-priced compared to the 635csi, which go for $15K nice, and can be tuned to higher hp than stock, costs $70K cheaper, and practically identical. You can add M stuff as you need it. A nice 1979 Ferrari 308 GTB can be had for $60K. Asking price is simply absurd. Same for E30 M3 obsession.

    Like 1
    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      I agree 100%. Find me a Euro-spec 633 / 635 and I’m a happy guy all day long.

      Like 1
  2. Ronald G Bajorek jr

    wow, too many cookies

  3. Lawyer George

    $90K supersized me me and sent me back to the drawing board (bed for the afternoon) to regroup or maybe re coupe is the better word. Zounds!

  4. Dolphin Member

    A nice M6, but agree with Sebastian that it’s overpriced. These have been selling for less than half the asking for this car at major auctions recently (median of $42.5K). It seems pretty nice, but you would be paying up bigtime for those low miles.

    It’s been repainted, so can’t claim original paint. The driver’s seat bolster does suffer like this one has, but if you are careful getting in / out that dosen’t happen, so suggests some carelesness by former owner(s).

    Has new TRX tires, which are not the best tires to have in terms of performance, and they are scarce & expensive. If you want to use modern tires you have to buy different wheels.

    Then there’s the S38 engine, which is essentially a detuned racing engine and costs $$$ to R&R.

    A special car to be sure, but at a price.

    Nice writeup Jeff. You can run as many vintage BMW M cars as you want, I’ll read them all.

    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Thanks Dolphin – glad to have you as a reader.

  5. Joe Haska

    Love the car not the price, it seems everyone else feels the same. I had no idea these were over double a 635. For that reason, I am out!

  6. Bob

    I love the M6s, the one I drove was a European model and it was an excellent car in both performance and handling. I will never get tired of the styling of these beautiful coupes. Because of the price, I think I will stick with my 635csi.
    Bob

  7. Buick Fan

    Makes the 840/850 look like a bargain….

  8. scottymac

    Always thought Ford had the 6 series in mind when they styled the 1989-97 Thunderbird.

    • mlm

      I thought that too when I first seen them.

  9. Alan

    I am Not a fan of BMWs in general but as vintage and collector cars this 80s M6 survivor is beautiful!

  10. Michael thomas

    I really was in the market for one of these a few years back. the 12-15K cars needed 10K to really make them nice .The nice ones were 25-30K and I did not have that much. Bought an M5 and a 635 with a Korman stage 3 m90 3 webers , headers, 5 speed all the good suspension pieces and all for 10K I have spent a few dollars over the last couple of years on it but it wll outrun anM6 in a heart beat.
    Now I want an 840 or 850 and they need 10-15k to make them nice the good ones are out of my budget so here we go again. May just build me a nice e30

  11. Gregg

    Jeff,

    Good description of this M6 – however the bumpers have not been tucked. All 1988 and later 6 series cars changed to “world bumpers” which were shorter and better integrated to the body compared to the earlier US “diving board” bumpers.

    Regards

  12. Mike

    I agree with everyone else that the price is absolutely absurd but there’s always room for one of these in my fantasy garage. Black on black though.

  13. Rabbit

    Always loved the big coupes. Got to drive a few 633/635’s in my post-AMC, working for a sleazy wholesaler days. My ride home from Friday’s auction was typically mine for the weekend, & I remember falling head over heels for the first year M635CSi (I want to say…86?). Sweet to say the least, & far outshadowed anything from Benz.

  14. Fiete T.

    Had an ’87 L7 I bought with 66k miles out of a basement in West Seattle for $1500. Had been down the for 7-ish years. Full servicing, new radiator, IAS motor, brakes, and tires….drove it for a year, sold it for $6500. Not a fast car, but comfy highway cruiser and classy. BMW geeks always gave me “Thumbs” with that one

  15. mlm

    Yikes! 90K, I think I will hold on to my ’85 635CSI.

  16. Shane Lilley

    I have a 2002 325i ci m sport. Love the sound it produces 😁😁😁

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