If your motto has always been “go big or go home” then you’ll love today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe “big coupe” Bimmer. Let’s find out if this Teutonic two-door’s price tag is also kind of a big deal.
Working on cars can be fun. I mean, if it’s not raining. Yesterday’s 1968 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser needed some work and hence should be a ton of fun. That kind of fun was qualified, however by its condition and price. In fact, many of you argued that at its $7,450 asking, much of that FJ’s fun should rightly have already been enjoyed.
At issue were its brakes, steering and some rust. Seeing as those are all pretty important, and in some instances no fun to actually work on, the truck’s project in process nature failed to overcome its heady asking and the Toyota fell in a 66 percent Crack Pipe loss. For its seller, that’s no fun at all.
Hey, let me ask you to exercise your brain a bit here—how many currently offered two-doors can you think of that have rear side glass that goes up and down? Hell, let’s make this easier—how many currently offered two-doors can you think of?
The Germans seem to still hold some value in the Coupé category since both Mercedes and BMW still offer a selection of models fitting that designation. To be fair, both companies also offer cars with four-doors that they call coupés but we’re going to table discussion of that inappropriate behavior, at least for the moment.
Why, you ask? Well, because we have this 1985 BMW 635CSi to ogle and discuss. This is a true coupé and one of the loveliest bodies ever to wear BMW’s Roundel badge. Oh, and to put things into perspective, its rear glass goes up and down.
Just to make sure we’re all up to speed, remember that BMW’s shark-nosed E24 was really two cars under the skin over the course of its life. The ’76 though ’82 cars were based on the older E12 5-series platform, while the later, visually almost identical cars shared suspension bits with the more modern E28 sedan.
The easy way to discern the difference is by gauging the distance between the shadow line and front wheel arch which is tighter on the revision models.
This being an ’85 635, it rocks a 182 horsepower M30B34 SOHC straight six. That sips its precious dead dinos though a Bosch-sourced Motronic EFI system and was originally paired here with a four-speed ZF automatic. The ZF box has been unceremoniously dismissed, and seemingly replaced by a Getrag 265 five-speed manual. That’s not a crazy switch since it’s pretty much a bolt-in job.
Seeing as most of us wear our stick shift capabilities as a badge of honor, it’s also a change that ups this car’s appeal greatly. Let’s see what else it has going for it.
The bodywork here looks reasonably tidy with no major flaws evident in either metal or paint. The ad does note that the paint is a respray and that shows cracking in places. The worst of the problems seems to be in the aftermarket body kit the car is wearing. The fiberglass looks wavy as these things tend to do, and there’s obvious orange peel on the broader surfaces. There’s also some loose rubber trim and a cracked tail lamp lens that could stand addressing.
On the plus side, check out those sweet BBS wheels. The interior looks serviceable as well, with handsome Recaro sport seats up front and a double deep scoop for the back seat passengers. Everything is covered in black leather and seems without issue. The dash on the other hand wears a crack-hiding rug, and as you can imagine those things never look good.
The seller claims the car was a barn find but under his ownership has been revitalized and properly maintained. The engine runs an aftermarket chip and is said to be without problem. The clutch and gearbox are likewise claimed to be in decent shape. One negative is a failed A/C condenser which the seller says will cost about $160 to replace. Other finicky elements are a failed passenger side window motor and the interior light rheostat that’s given up on its dimmer duty.
There’s 107,000 miles on the clock and a clean title in the glovebox.
The E24 has gone from common to rare on the roads, and today you’re likely to find them in middle of the road shape like this one, or pristine examples that are wildly more expensive than this car’s $7,000 asking. That’s also middle of the road for a 635CSi and we now need to determine just how middle this one is.
What do you think, is this big Bimmer coupé worth its $7,000 asking as it’s described? Or, do the cosmetic and mechanical issues simply not add up to so much?
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