Junkyard Gem: 1982 BMW 633CSi

This big, evil-looking coupe was the best way to flash your cash in the early 1980s.

  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
The E24 6 Series was one of the best-looking cars ever to grace a BMW showroom, and it was the car for successful Californians with a sense of style— whether boardroom heroes or purveyors of not-so-legal substances— to show off their wealth and taste. The E24 is quite collectible now, but the cost of restoration for a worn-out one is so high that many solid examples end up here. I spotted this '82 in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard last week.

1982 BMW E24 in California wrecking yard

The 3.2-liter straight-six engine in this car was rated at 181 horsepower, which was quite a bit in a year when a new Cadillac Eldorado had just 120hp and a Datsun 280ZX Turbo a mere 180.

1982 BMW E24 in California wrecking yard

There wasn't much serious competition in 1982 for a powerful imported luxury coupe with gangsterish overtones. If you were a bent banker treating your savings-and-loan as a personal cash machine in 1982, your mainstream choices were limited to this car, a Mercedes-Benz 380SLC, or a Jaguar XJ-S. For those who hit the big time, the Ferrari 400i and Rolls-Royce Camargue were available... but you'd see a hundred 633CSis for each of those in the wild.

1982 BMW E24 in California wrecking yard

What time is it? Time for The Crusher!

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