Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

There presently isn't a CSI Atlanta edition, however it's inevitable that every city in the U.S. get its own spin-off of that crime drama. Should that be the case, today's Georgia-based Nice Price or Crack Pipe 635CSi could certainly star, but only if its price proves a key piece of evidence.

Many consider BMW's first 6-series to be one of the Bavarian maker's all-time best, but not everybody is aware that the iconic two-door rode on two different platforms during its life. Introduced in November of 1975, and in replacement of the similarly proportioned E9, the earliest 6-series rode on the E12 platform of the precedent 5-series. Half-way through its life, the 6 transitioned to the improved E28 5-series platform, gaining better suspension geometry, a revised dash, and a spate of other mechanical and interior changes. Externally however, the differences between years were more subtle. Even earlier that that switch there was a change in body production location from Karmann to in-house due to the special K's unfortunate inclusion of predestined death by rust in every car they built.

Today's 1979 635CSi is one of the Munich-built cars, and hence has not lost much of its 3,400-lb original weight to the rust fairy. Sure, there are some bubbles here, and angry looking spots there, but over all it appears pretty intact. The U.S. didn't get the 635 until 1984, and then they were saddled with heavy, ugly bumpers and a horsepower drop in the name of clean air. That makes this '79 a grey market car, and one whose 3,453-cc Bosch L-Jetronic-fed six puts out 215-bhp. In the Euro 635CSi, that M30 is mated to a close-ratio dog leg 5-speed, which here gets a kinky zip-up hide boot around its shift lever.


The rest of the interior is also heavily into the leather and presents itself well, there being only some minor wear on the seats and a couple of small cracks in the driver-oriented dash. This being originally a German-destined car, everything on that dash is labeled in words that have lots of extra vowels with umlauts over them. That means you may need to fire up Google Translate on your smart phone should you forget what that flashing BREMSBELAG light means. It means brake lining, by the way.


In back, the cool rear buckets look nearly new, and are some of the most comfortable car seats you'll ever have the pleasure of planting your butt in, despite their relative lack of room for your legs. A true grand tourer, the Six seats only four.

Outside, this 101,000-mile 6-series still looks damn good, although time and age have taken their toll on certain elements. As noted, there is some rust starting to gain a flaky toe hold, but nothing that should keep a prospective buyer away. The paint is iffy, what with the strange scuffed stripe fading half-way down the driver's door and entirely missing on the not-quite the same color passenger side. Most sadly, the mod '70s-style BMW decal just aft of Mr. Hofmeister's kink is today but a ghostly outline. Out back the rubber duck spoiler that denotes this as a 635CSi does still remain intact, thankfully. A sill extension on the rockers is bookended by a set of radial-style alloys with Alpina badges on their caps, something the seller says is worth two grand alone.


What's wrong with the car? Well, the seller says that the headlights aren't all functioning, although it might just be the bulbs, and he's been running it on a single high-beam when driving. There's also the need to remember your DMV test as all turn signally must be done manually due to what he claims is a dead relay. As you might expect, the A/C is enfeebled, and then there's the strange claim that while the car doesn't smoke, it still gets a little fumy sometimes. What exactly that means is open to conjecture, but brings to mind more a bad fart than a gute Fahrt.

Whatever the source, he doesn't seem to be overcome by any noxious gasses in any of his demonstration videos, although he is constantly opening windows and the sunroof in this one so maybe the car does have a tendency to become a rolling dutch oven:

This is a grey market car, but it's one with more than 25 years under its beltline. That means that registration shouldn't be too much a hassle anywhere outside of California where even cars of this age are still looked upon as persona non grata. So those of you living in the Golden State will just have to either left cheek sneak this one in, or move yourself to a more smog-friendly locale.


For those conniving Californians, and everybody else, having unprotected Six will take $4,400, or so asks this Bimmer's very motivated seller. What's your take on that price, is it low enough to make this grey market Six a sexy beast? Or, does make this big German nicht eine gute Fahrt?

Sie entscheiden!


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