One of the first cars to use an engine derived from the magical M88/1 mill that powered the first ever M car, the M1, was the BMW 635CSi. Even though the car doesn’t really get the appreciation it should these days, it did come with a magical engine and, just like its M635CSi brother, it does have some racing pedigree in its DNA. The main reason why the 635CSi was so overlooked was not the competition as you may think, but another cult classic: the BMW E30 M3.
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The two are brilliant cars in their own way but today we’re turning our gaze away from the M3 and on to a proper race car hailing from Australia. This is an original 1980s BMW 635CSi in full racecar mode, showcased in the video below wearing its full Group C kit. That includes the massive aerodynamic bits all around it and the turbofan wheel covers – in case you were wondering what is up with those wheels.
The car is also wearing the John Player Special livery that made it famous back in the 1980s. Back then it was totally acceptable to have liveries on cars that advertised tobacco products – such as this one – or alcoholic beverages – like the Jagermeister M3 liveries we all know. While today such prints would be banned, they work flawlessly on older cars that keep their patina intact, basically taking us back to those iconic days every time we look at them.
In the Australian championship, the smaller straight six engine of the 635CSi was not exactly successful in front of Fords and Holdens powered by massive V8 engines but it was a different story in Europe. At the same time, that doesn’t take away any of the magical powers this car has over us today, with its individual throttle bodies and intoxicating sound. The footage below should, therefore, be watched only by those powerful enough to resist the urge to go online afterwards and spend their lifetime savings on a 1980s race car. You have been warned.