Tow Yard Find: 1977 BMW 630 CSI

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

BMW’s E24-series two-doors, affectionately known by its fans as the big coupe, is a sensible starter classic. The engine is long-lived and durable and the styling puts examples like this 1977 630 CSI among the top of the pile for an affordable entry into vintage BMW ownership. However, this example is a bit of a mixed bag as it’s saddled with an automatic and unknown history – but it’s cheap! Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $1,599.

The car seen here apparently came from a tow yard in the Bronx, and is now parked in a driveway in Ft. Lauderdale. The seller claims he needs to sell the car to free up cash for a down payment on a house. Those stories are always a tad odd when the car in question could at most sell for under $2K, which doesn’t make much of a dent in a house down payment. Aside from that, the 6-Series’ interior is in fair condition with desirable cherry leather that is unfortunately looking quite tired. The kick panel underneath the steering column is missing as well.

Out back, the car comes with the rare and desirable rear headrests, which were an optional feature that not many U.S. cars came spec’d with. The backseat is in nice shape, along with the door panels. Outside the car, the paint is quite rough and the front valence is nearly ripped off. It’s hard to tell, but there does appear to be some rust bubbling beneath the taillights, and the seller doesn’t elaborate at all as to whether car runs or drives well. Assuming it does, there’s a fair number of parts here that makes this car a potential part-out target.

That’s certainly not what we want to see happen to the 6-Series, but the transmission could be what sinks it. These cars are not impossible to find today, especially in earlier model form like this ’77. Since many of them were ordered with manual transmissions, you don’t have to spend months hoping one turns up. The BMW turbine wheels, interior components, drivetrain and tool kit in the trunk are all desirable pieces that fetch good money, making this 630 CSI’s future iffy at best.

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    “Yep, it’s a barn find. We actually got quite a few barns in The Bronx.”

    “I love the car and I do not want to part with it.”
    But I’m parting with it anyway.

    “needs someone to give it the proper TLC it deserves.”
    Right, lots of TLC and a whole lot more, probably like maintenance and repairs. Hey, I wonder if it runs…or has a key…or…

    “The red interior is very hard to find.”
    Well, I guess since it’s so dried out and torn, it could need replacing.

    “The tow company never sent me the title…..”
    I figured it was stolen anyway, so I couldn’t be bothered calling the tow company.

    Hmmm… I wonder whether the owner didn’t bother to retrieve his car because…..

    Nah, it’s has to be worth retrieving, right?

    4+
  2. Scot

    ~ Today’s news has me wondering if it could be a Sandy victim.

    4+
    • Doyler

      That’s actually a really good point.

      Buyer beware, as always

      3+
  3. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Ignoring the questionable condition, value, and provenance of this specimen for a moment, I’m struck by how the styling (inside and out) would hold its own against any late ’80s or early ’90s “big coupe,” say a Thunderbird, Monte Carlo, or Lincoln Mark VII. Thanks for the good write-up and bringing this to our attention,Jeff.

    2+
  4. Rabbit

    Always loved the big Coupes, Particularly the later 635Csi. Got to drive a few in my youth, & fell in love. I’d take one over a comparable Benz any day.

    1+
  5. Luke Fitzgerald

    There’s a reason these things are worth nothing when they’re like this

    1+
  6. healeydays

    Here’s a wealth of parts to someone doing a restoration. The parts for these cars are tough to find. When done right, these cars are great drivers…

    2+
  7. Michael thomas

    A good hood and front panel will almost bring the price of the car. A 5 speed swap is super easy and cheap. All the parts can be found ,most out of a 5 series

    0
  8. Bob

    I have owned 5 big coupes, and still have a 633CSI and an 88 635CSI. They are a fantastic car in terms of drive-ability and styling. I have lots of parts for someone wanting to do a restoration.
    I will never get tired of this body style. I drove an M6 around Frankfurt, and that is a different beast (wonderful beast). The ride is noticeably stiffer than the standard coupes, but the acceleration is fantastic.

    1+
  9. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Maybe contrary to appearances from my comment earlier today, I really like the Big Coupes…just not this particular one, or I should say, just not the way this one has been treated.

    For those interested, the current SCM (October) has a feature on a 1988 M6, followed by a design commentary by Bob Cumberford—a great read. I thought I knew BMWs but I learned that this car, and the Big Coupes up to 1981 were built on the E12 platform. From ’82-on they were built on the E28 platform, a more sophisticated base than the E12.

    So this car, even if it was in good condition, would have disadvantages. It would also have a smaller, less powerful and sophisticated engine. And many of the parts you would need to R&R it would likely be tougher to find in good condition, unless BMW Classic stocks what you need, and that would not be inexpensive

    0
  10. Wayne

    Being a former BMW service manager. I learned a lot about these cars. Almost without fail the rear suspension/differential mount bushings are shot. And a 50/50 chance that the front suspension bushings are shot also. Having driven many BMWs. A hot hopped up Euro. Gray Market M6 was the second fastest BMW that I ever drove. (the fastest was a twin turbo 650) It was a real treat. The customer that brought it in. Was contemplating purchasing the car. (it had been sitting for a while) After the test drive that literally blue out the carbon. The customer stated that he would not consider purchasing the car as it was too fast for him. I guess 135MPH and climbing on US 395 through the middle of Reno was enough for him. (He was as pale as a corpse.)
    I love the cars. But most have been neglected or just plain worn out. I would always buy a nice one that was priced right .

    2+
  11. wuzjeepnowsaab

    These are great cars. That said, if there is rust in the front shock towers the car is toast. Buyer Beware

    0
  12. AMXSTEVE

    I loved my “Shark” and am looking for a new one.This one however is shot

    0

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