Shark Stick: 1984 BMW E24 633CSi 5-Speed Original Owner – Sold!

Feb 2020 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

February 24th Update: a four-hour trip this past Saturday with trailer in tow to pick-up this BMW ended in disappointment for everyone involved as this 633CSi ended up being in much worse condition in person than the several nice pictures of the original post revealed.  While a camp fire-smelling packed exhaust system, a loudly squeaking alternator belt, and interior in need of total restoration are not reasons to walk away, hidden rust in the factory-undercoated rocker panels, as well as areas of an older repaint, had three of us climbing back into the truck for a fruitless four-hour ride home.  The moral of this story is two-fold. 

First, this is the latest example of why one should never buy a car sight-unseen based on a few pictures posted on the internet.  A reliable post contains at least one hundred focused and well-lit pictures to build a buyer’s confidence.  Second, regardless of whether you are able to inspect the car yourself, either you or the seller should obtain an unbiased pre-purchase inspection. For about $300, the assessment it provides not only gives you some piece of mind of what you’re getting into, but it also can be used as a bargaining chip to confirm what the right selling price should be.

There’s an old saying:  the most expensive car you can buy is a cheap <insert your favorite German car brand here>.  In this case, unless you’re an ardent 633CSi enthusiast looking to complete an “I-don’t-care-what-it-costs” restoration who will then keep and enjoy the car, this BMW was a money pit in the making and it was good to see Lou, a very experienced classic car collector, know when to fold ’em on this example.

Here’s a video of our trip from our adventure this past Saturday:

February 16th Update: we’re pleased to report Reader Lou S. called the seller immediately after seeing this Classifind in our newsletter Friday morning. We struck a deal over the phone and will pick up the car on Saturday.  We will be there to catch the sale – stay tuned!

The BMW E24 633CSi was a rare site when new.  Even rarer, at least in the U.S., was finding a stick-shift version as typical buyers opted for the automatic in their Grand Touring coupe.  To top that a bit more, imagine our surprise when we came across this 5-speed equipped, white over red leather example was offered for sale by the original owner’s son in Westerly, Rhode Island for the asking price of $9,700. A check of NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool validates the original owner’s son has his Shark nose priced within the “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $6,650, $10,900, and $15,100, respectively.

Produced for thirteen model years from 1976 through 1989, BMW’s E24 was the company’s first generation of 6-series Grand Touring coupes.  Produced solely as a two-door coupe during its entire production run, the original 6-Series relied on a variety of BMW inline-six engines for power.  The 1982 U.S. spec example featured here is a bit of a unicorn as it is the last year to rely on the E12 5-series suspension while outside of North America BMW introduced an updated model featuring updated E28 5 Series, underpinnings. In on of the early examples of BMW fiddling with the labeling of their models, the 633 featured here sports the M30B32 line six displacing only 3,210 cubic centimeters (195.9 cubic inches).  While prior versions relied on Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, this example likely features that firm’s more modern Motronic system introduced in the U.S. in mid-1981.

We love a great story, especially any time the original owner can tell you the entire history of their car. While in need of some work, this appears to have great bones and provenance to make it a nice addition to any BMW enthusiast’s garage.  Unfortunately the seller promises pictures of the interior once the weather turns better, so we will update this post as soon as he does that.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Hard to find, a good-condition original owner 633csi with a strong engine and excellent body. Original owner, original paint and wheels and everything else. Was my daily driver a few years back. 5-speed manual, red leather interior, Blaupunkt, power sunroof, cruise control. Approximately 120k miles. Odometer inconsistently works.
Car has been garaged or carported its whole life. Seats have a couple rips which are repairable. I will get some more photos posted when the weather allows. Car needs a new SI board ($200 part). Right now there is a squeal that sounds like rubbing coming from the serpentine belt, so I believe she needs new engine mounts and transmission mounts, not expensive and normal for this vehicle. Shifter vibrates inconsistently (mounts needed).
These are hard to price. With a restoration, vehicle can easily be a proud daily driver or sell for much more.
Please contact me through Craigslist by email. Westerly, RI, available immediately. Title in hand.

Do you have a E24 Shark story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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