M6 Wannabe? 1985 BMW 635 CSI

As a BMW enthusiast, I’m accustomed to seeing cars emblazoned with badges that make false claims about what is under the hood. As is often the case, “M” badges – short for Motorsport – are often attached to cars like this 1985 BMW 635CSI despite being a plain-jane, garden-variety E24-chassis BMW. However, a few cosmetic details indicate that this 6-Series coupe may still be worth snagging at a bargain basement price. Find it here on eBay with a $1,800 Buy-It-Now and the option to make an offer.

See that rear bumper? This is a European-market 635, which means it has the attractive European-style chrome bumpers. In addition, it retains side marker signal lamps in the fenders and the cool trunk lid lip spoiler. If it hasn’t been federalized, it should also have fewer emissions nannies and safety bars in the doors (resulting in lighter weight). A quick VIN check seems to confirm that this was never intended as a U.S. market vehicle.

The interior doesn’t tell you much about the car, other than it’s unfortunately saddled with an automatic transmission. Manual swaps are not impossible, and if this car isn’t terminally rusty, it may be worth doing if the purchase price stays cheap. There is rust in the rear quarter panel near where it meets the trunk lid, but the seller doesn’t elaborate as to where other spots of corrosion may exist other than to say “…needs bodywork in some small spots.”

These side markers were never stuck on U.S. cars, so this is another good indication of this 6er’s gray market status. The BBS Bugatti wheels are highlighted in the listing as being worth $2K when restored, a number I find a bit optimistic (hell, they came standard on MK3 VR6 VW Jettas for a time). Anyhow, there’s certainly some solid parts value in this example, but it might be worth restoring if the pictured rust is limited to that rear quarter section.

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  1. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Europe got the M635 CSI and it was fitted with the engine from the M1 supercar! I don’t typically like the 6 series cars, but I’d take one of those.

    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      That is true Jesse, but the ho-hum M30 inline-six is the giveaway here….still, likely a bit more fun to drive than the U.S. version.

  2. HBChris

    This is a plain old M30b34 motor, not an M88/3 M635CSi, but still has more HP than a US motor.

  3. Skippy

    This car is doomed. I collect BMWs and the 635CSI, especially with an automatic, is still at the very bottom of its value curve. No title? You can find decent low-rust runners (with a clear title) in the $5k range or nice ones that need very little or nothing in the $10-15k range….far less than it would cost to put this car back on the road. Sorry. And the wheels? Good gauge of how crazy the seller is. $600 minimum to restore them if you can find the centers. There are a few sets of PERFECT Bugatti BBS wheels, at a price of $1200 or so, that have been on the market for over a year. The only way for something to have value is if somebody actually wants it. This guy has a $1200 yard find and a $2000 set of wheels that nobody wants. ….Somebody will probably buy the car eventually though. The wheels will sit for a long time.

  4. Maestro1 Member

    I’m agreeing with Skippy. The car is $1000.00 with the assumption that you can federalize it in your State (not in California). Register the thing in Nevada. The whole wheel thing is ridiculous. The Seller either is not knowledgable or has bad information. Having said that, if you can get it registered with a minimum of cost,
    by all means; at $1000.00 fix it and drive it. Very sexy daily driver.

  5. Michael Ridley

    wheels worth 2000 and car for 1800. restore the wheels take them back and get the car and 200 from the guy. not a bad deal. You know how many craigslist cars I have seen ,part needed to fix is 100$ and then its worth 500$ more. I cannot understand why they don’t just put the 100$ part on and make 400?

  6. Chebby Member

    Abandoned BMW yard car on the east coast. Run away.

  7. Fiete T.

    Use to see an L6 all the time…nice cruiser, but not worth much I imagine. It was funny because I had dragged an L7 (w/62k miles) out of a guys basement garage for $1500, so seeing those two cars sidea-by-side was unusual.

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