Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

BMW E24 6-Series (1976-1990)

Published: 22nd Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

BMW E24 6-Series  (1976-1990)

Fast Facts

  • Engine: 3453cc/6-cyl
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 218/5200
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 224/4000
  • Top speed: 140mph
  • 0-60mph: 8.5sec
  • Fuel consumption: 24mpg
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Length: 15ft 7in (4.76m)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 15ft 7in (4.76m)
  • Weight: 3447lb (1565kg)
  • Books: Bmw 6-Series enthusiasts’ companion by Jeremy Walton.ISBN 000-0-8376-0193-2; Bmw 6-Series ultimate portfolio 1976-1989 by Brooklands Books. ISBN 000-1-85520-644-7
  • Clubs:;;
  • Websites: BMW Car Club. 01225 709009,

Magazine Subscription

The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Cars For Sale Magazine and save over 25%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith

Fast, stylish, svelte, understated, affordable and Teutonic – it could be only a big BMW coupé, and when it comes to the original 6 Series, there’s plenty more to appeal too. Beautifully built and impeccably designed, the original 6-Series can cover massive distances at high speed, while cossetting its occupants at the same time. Two decades after production ended, these cars are already recognised as highly desirable classics. There are some superb examples out there, but you need to be very careful before jumping in.

What to look for?

Corrosion is likely, even on cherished cars. Open the bonnet and check the state of the inner wings; rust where the front lower corners meets the front panel means big bills as this area is structural. Fatigue in the front subframe allows the steering box to break away while the rear suspension mounts can also corrode spectacularly – with catastrophic results. The straight-six is long-lived if the oil has been changed regularly; without this the camshaft wears quickly. Even if cherised a fresh shaft is usually needed between 130,000 and 150,000 miles, but it can be done on a DIY basis. Don’t worry about rattly timing chains as they last forever, and if the cooling fan has made contact with the radiator, the engine mounts have worn. Gearboxes are tough but the suspension wears because the car is so heavy; so check for wandering at speed. Finally, check that all the electrics are working. The 6-Series came with lots of kit and poor electrical connections can – and does –
cause havoc.


Pre-1982 cars are rare, and even rarer still in good condition, so these are best avoided. If you do fi nd a minter pay no more than £4000 for it as most buyers opt for the earlier E9 CSi coupé instead. Post-1982 cars are more common in good condition, but don’t bother with anything other than a 635; there are enough of these to warrant choosing nothing else. Anything less than £2000 bags a liability, while £4-5000 gets something half decent. Really nice 635s are £8-10,000 from a reputable specialist; for something exceptional you could pay a bit more, while Highlines carry a £2-3000 premium. M635s are the ultimate; good ones start at £8000 with really nice cars fetching twice as much. The key thing to remember is that poor cars massively outnumber really good ones.

Driving one

It’s a BMW, so you can expect great things in the dynamics department. Even the 628CSi can manage 130mph, while the M635 can manage nearly 160mph. It’s not just about performance though; the chassis set up is every bit as fabulous as you’d expect, with oversteer available on demand – in the wet it’s easy to get the car out of line even when you don’t want to. The steering has just the right weighting and feedback, the controls are perfectly placed and it’s simplicity itself fi nding a supremely comfortable driving position. aren’t helped by those enclosed front wheels; the turning circle is 37 feet, which doesn’t help much with the manouevrability!



The 6-Series debuts, in 630CSi and 633CSi forms only; the former gets carbs and the latter is fuel-injected, but the 630 isn’t imported into the UK offi cially. Built by Karmann, there’s no rear spoiler and up front is a 3210cc 200bhp straight-six.


The 635CSi arrives, with spoilers, stripes and lots of luxuries. Power is courtesy of a 3453cc engine.


The entry-level 628CSi appears, with a 184bhp 2788cc powerplant.


The 635 gets headlamp washers and heated door mirrors as standard, plus a new engine management system.


The 6-Series is now based on the E28 5-Series fl oorpan, which means better handling thanks to new suspension. There’s also a new interior and the 635CSi gets a 3430cc engine, still producing 220bhp.


The M635CSi debuts, with a 286bhp version of the 3453cc six. The 628CSi also gets ABS as standard.


There’s now self-levelling suspension along with redesigned headlights and climate control.


The 6-Series goes out of production.

Share This Article

Share with Facebook Share with Facebook

Share with Twitter Tweet this article

Share bookmark with Delicious Share bookmark with Delicious

Share with Digg Digg this article

Share with Email Share by email

User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Subscribe Today

Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Cars For Sale Magazine and save over 25%