Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cold blooded assassin in wolfs clothing

I was on a much needed coffee run in Gowanus, Brooklyn recently when a combination of the Jaws theme and Al Jarreau started playing in my head. I looked to my left and there it was!
Let's get this out of the way first for the uninitiated: this car is AWESOME. Yeah yeah yeah it looks like any old Bimmer but it's actually a legit luxury supercar from the go-go '80s.
What we have here is a 1983-1989 BMW M6 in Lapis Blue.
This little badge lets the public know that this is more than your standard 635. The M stands for Motorsport which is an abbreviation of the specialty racing division of BMW that produces the M cars (the full name is BMW Motorsport GmbH). This division was established in 1972 to ramp up the racing presence of the company. The first M-Series car in its own right was the legendary 1978 M1. The M1 was a true supercar; more a race car with a passenger seat and heater than an everyday auto.
In 1983 the M6 was released to worldwide acclaim. The motor from the M1 was fitted into a 6-Series coupe, and upgrades were made to every facet of performance such as suspension, brakes, transmission, etc. To me this is the best of all worlds: a big comfortable car that performs like a race-prepped rally winner.
This forward-leaning aggressive schnoz gave way for the nickname of the Shark for this era. The BBS wheels are original to the M-Series, as is the front spoiler.
 Bruce Willis drove an '80s BMW 6-Series in the show Moonlighting. Here is the theme song by Al Jarreau in the most '80s show opener ever.
A mere 1,767 of these first generation 6-Series M cars were sold new in all of North America between '83 and '89 which makes this a seriously rare bird.
This little wing is another detail specific to the M6. In non-performance trim this car is the E24, or 635CSi. It is the evolution of the elegant and beautiful 3.0 from the '70s.
Each of the engines for the M-Series were hand built to exacting performance standards. Not only that, but each and every M was tested at the Nürburgring race track complex. This is arguably the greatest complex of racing tracks in the world, the largest of which boasts a 16+ mile meandering loop that has over 1,000 feet in elevation change.

As befitting the performance ethos this car was only available with a 5 speed manual.
It wasn't the sort of setting where I could really lean in and snap the interior but even from this distance you can see the nice leather seats. Overall this interior is extremely well appointed with a full compliment of creature comforts such as air conditioning, stereo, and power windows.
When this car came out it was an exercise in subtlety. The previous generation of muscle cars sported massive decals, garish colors, hood scoops, and other calling cards that said "LOOK HOW FAST I CAN GO" before they were even turned on. Then the M6 comes along with only tiny identifying features visible, yet this ride was able to achieve a governed 155mph without issue. Rally driver Rug Cunningham got his 1989 M6 up to a recorded 176mph while running the Mexican La Carrera Classic. We're talking top speeds within 10mph of the Lamborghini Countach in a totally reliable comfortable package complete with rear seats!
I've loved these cars since I was a kid and always had a fascination for the M6 specifically. I remember a car magazine featuring a company called Dinan that made ultra high performance upgrades for BMW back in the '80s (and up to this day). They featured an M6 with the full compliment of Dinan upgrades including a turbocharger. They called it one of the fastest cars they ever tested, and I've wanted one ever since. To find one a block and a half from the Gowanus Canal just about blew my mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment