Monday, October 8, 2007

"Wall Poster Classics" 1985 BMW 635csi

The year was 1985... Tubbs & Crockett were all the rage... My Bedroom was riddled with posters and die-cast models of prancing horses and cars with doors that seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel. We all had our favorites... mine was the Ferrari 288 GTO... it's a car I still dream about to this day. Amidst all the over the top Italian Madness, the Germans managed to pump out Autobahn super coupes that in many ways alluded my wall as a kid. The Porsche 928, the Mercedes-Benz 560sec, the Audi Quattro and the BMW 635csi.

They didn't have doors that spun upside down and inside out. They didn't have more gills than a school of fish. And for the most part, they didn't have their own poster section at you favorite mall hangout. What they did have was powerful engines that actually worked without a $5,000 service every 1000 miles. Subtle but powerful bodies of solid German steel (and aluminum in some cases) that were built to last like a 1000 year old castle on the Rhine, not like a fragile Baroque piece sitting behind climate controlled, bullet proof glass in the Louvre. Tasteful and functional interiors. And the forefront of innovations we are just now starting to see as standard features on modern cars.

Looking back now I find myself asking.. Why didn't I have my walls plastered with 1980's German innovation? Why didn't I focus my boyhood car dreams on realistic executive coupes that the upper middle class business man could obtain? I look back on the cars now and lust after a big German coupe just as much as I did over Italian madness as a kid. These cars have proven themselves timeless. And many are still in top running order today!

The car I am going to focus on today is the infamous "Moonlighting" car. My good friends (and hopefully soon to be guest author) Beautiful 1985 BMW 635csi...

Originally introduced in 1978, the BMW 635csi was a more delicate and precise option over the brute and stiff Mercedes Coupes (another favorite.. we'll talk about them some other day). The 635csi was equipped with BMW's legendary 3.4L strait Six with 182hp and 214 lbs ft. torque. When you first slide into the taught purpose built leather sport seats, the BMW's 22 year old interior is still a fantastic place to sit. I am just amazed at some of the features that were available on this car. Central Locking, a pretty darn sophisticated computer, power seats the go pretty much every way but sideways.

Setting aside and the bells and whistles, as you crank over the silky smooth strait 6, you'll find one of the most unique exhaust notes I've ever heard. I have jokingly told the cars owner that it reminds me of a perfectly timed symphony of pots & pans. It is just precision engineering at its best! Once I got this old girl out on the road, I was immediately surprised at how light it actually feels. Every aspect of the car is scalpel precise. The suspension is notoriously BMW. Everything about this cars handling feels showroom new. I was very impressed with the breaks. They are sharp and responsive. In fact, I have driven modern cars with breaks not as good as this car.

Back to that silky smooth engine! I can imagine back in the day this car was one of the more powerful cars out there. By modern standards it isn't a screamer off the line, but mid range power is still impressive. You can tell this big coupe was built for the Autobahn. There was also the infamous M6 (again, another car for another day) which had performance on par with the supercars of the day.

This car is becoming a classic. I have watched these cars jump in value even over the past 5 years or so. That said, you can still find one of these in great shape for under $10,000. The BMW 635csi has always had a cult like following, and now more and more interest is being drawn to these old girls with the introduction of the new BMW 635. Maybe I should have put a poster of the BMW 635csi right next to my Ferrari and Lamborghini posters. It sure would have deserved that spot! A great car indeed... I can only sum this car up in two words..

"Sehr Gut!!!"

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