1978 BMW 633CSi
Story and History
Originally purchased from the BMW dealer in Monterey, CA in 1978, this 633CSi has called California “home” for the past 42 years. Showing only 37k miles on the odometer, all things indicate that it has been in “good hands” throughout its life. The Anthracite Grey paint meters out 4 to 5.5 all around and the red leather interior appears to be original and “gently used” as well as preserving the unmistakable BMW leather scent. The tried-and-true 3.2-liter straight six-cylinder engine starts right up and idles smoothly making it a great choice for a daily driver or just a gear shifting weekend driver.
Before the “M” badge appeared on the M1 in 1978, BMW was luring performance and luxury seekers into the marque with the E9 3.0CS and 3.0CSL coupes during the late 60’s and early 70’s. In 1976, BMW needed to replace the E9 models because of looming safety regulations. The E24, a.k.a. the “Shark,” was created by designer Paul Bracq and because of those safety requirements, it introduced a B-Pillar, unlike its predecessor. Seldom has a mandatory structural element looked so good. Production began at Karosserie Karmann. They manufactured 630CS and the 633CS and CSI bodies until BMW took production inhouse by the time the 635CI and CSI models arrived.
Inline six-cylinder engines have always been BMW’s bread and butter. The M30 B32 engine was the chosen powerplant for the 633CSI’s in 1978. It may not sound like much per today’s standards but the almost 200hp and 210 ft-lbs of torque made the e24 one of the quickest sport luxury cars produced at the time.
We do not claim to be BMW experts but we certainly are enthusiasts. We can’t help but think that this is one of those “get it before it’s hot” sleepers. The miles and condition have positioned this one as one of the best 633CSI on the market (at the time we write this). There are even a few of us in the shop who are scratching our heads thinking of ways to get this one home.