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BMW 635 CSI Group A: Showpiece of the Week

Well you could spend Β£200k on a road going track car, or you could buy a bonafide tin top racer...

By Matt Bird / Monday, February 18, 2019

If you're a fan of BMW - goodness knows there seem to be quite a few on PH - how and when did that fascination begin? Chances are it's either going to involve touring cars or straight sixes, or a combination of the two. The success of various 6 Series, 3 Series and M3s in tin top racing - plus the incredible way they often looked - must have secured a few impressionable young minds way back when. Then, with the equivalent road cars powered by sweet, sonorous straight sixes, it's easy to see how, for many decades, young boys and girls with petrol in the veins were drawn to BMW.

Today it's probably harder for the link to be made, what with changing motorsport rules, manufacturer line ups and, let's be honest, tastes in cars. BMW is still an admired brand, just perhaps now for different reasons.

And so to today's Showpiece, a step back to a simpler time, for both BMW and motorsport. This, as you're probably aware, is an E24 BMW 6 Series. Specifically it's a 1983 630, sold originally in Sweden and converted that year by AC Schnitzer to Group A 635 spec. Soon after it was treated to BMW Motorsport axles and a new gearbox. It then enjoyed five years of success in Scandinavian touring car racing - see the advert for a full list of results - and also had its engine rebuilt by Alpina.

Oddly given the car's success, the 6 Series was then parked up in Sweden for more than two decades. Having since been rescued and restored, it's ready to race with a new shell, cage, paint job and FIA Historic Technical Passport. That legendary M88 straight six was rebuilt as well, now producing 313hp and driving rear Avon slicks. Sounds pretty good, right?

That combination of lusty straight six, rear-wheel drive and manual gearbox would surely be desirable in any body; put it in an E24 6 Series, with those centre-lock wheels and a livery that harks back to BMW's glory days, and it looks like absolute touring car nirvana. This really was a golden era for BMW road and race cars.

And now's your chance to relive it! While £200,000 is very far from a bargain race car, it's simply a fact of the market that cars of this provenance, performance and heritage are now commanding the big bucks. It's hard, therefore, to imagine an example like this ever struggling to find a home, particularly as classic motorsport only seems to grow in popularity. Could it be that the appeal of modern touring cars is waning? An interesting one to ponder. Though don't cogitate too long; this could be sold by then.

 

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