BMW / German / Rust in peace

Rust in peace: BMW 635CSi (E24)

bmw-635-csi-e24-11There is certainly no shortage of classic BMW sedans in self-service junkyards. E30s, E34s, E28s and even E21s are a common sight. Most of them have been gradually drive into the ground by a number of owners and they show up at the junkyard gates in absolutely terrible shape.

Classic BMW coupes are a different story. Because they hold their value relatively well, they tend to escape the junkyard and even the rough and worn-out ones end their lives either in enthusiasts’ driveways as parts cars or, occasionally, as purpose-built track cars.

With that in mind, we were a little surprised to find a 635CSi in a Utah self-service junkyard last fall. The 635 was remarkably rust-free but dead leaves and pine needles between the body panels tell us that it spent a considerable amount of time sitting before finally being toward away to the junkyard. All signs point to a car that was parked following a mechanical failure.

The 635CSi was complete when it showed up on the lot but it quickly suffered the same fate as 95 percent of the classic BMWs that we come across in junkyards: its trunk was pried open by someone after whatever wrenches and screw drivers were left in the original tool kit.

7 thoughts on “Rust in peace: BMW 635CSi (E24)

  1. Its E12 based, pre-1982. Pull the front bumper and manual box out of it and chuck the rest away. The early cars were dreadful.

      • I’ve owned both early & late versions, and I feel the E12-based models get a bad rap. Admittedly, they are slightly heavier and have sloppier handling. The biggest handicap with the early cars is finding parts, particularly bodywork and interior trim bits. However…a higher percentage of early models were fitted with manual transmissions. The electronics are simpler than the later models and they have superior brakes. They also don’t suffer from the infamous front-end shimmy of the later models, and are typically light on unreliable & heavy options like SLS and the rear seat HVAC system.

        They’re also cheap!

  2. Pingback: Post-production: The week in review | Ran When Parked

  3. I know this post is over a year old, but I just found your blog. Excellent work – I’ve really enjoyed reading through it.

    I’ve been messing with old BMWs for a while and figured I’d add my two cents. That Euro-spec E24 is a rare find in a self-service yard. There are many good parts left on that car. The Euro-spec bumpers and BMW-spec Recaro seats are a rare find. The bumpers don’t look too far gone and are definitely worth saving. I can’t believe that someone would destroy a $200 trunk spoiler to grab $20 worth of crappy tools.

    If you know what to look for, one of these cars can be an absolute blast. Many Euro E24s were fitted with the superb M90 motor, Getrag 265 gearbox and a limited slip differential. It’s an excellent combination.

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