The Best Looking BMW Ever. You'll Probably Agree.
We started a discussion about what we thought was the best looking (pre air-bag) BMW ever. This was like being asked to pick your favorite child, or last meal before the electric chair. We based our vote strictly on visual appeal and didn't consider performance, common issues, cost, etc. There were many different opinions, but this was our final pick. If you haven't read our last blog about lowering springs, check it out. Also be sure to visit our website to sign up for email notifications for future blog posts.
Our pick for the best looking BMW ever is the 1976-1989 E24. Replacing the E9 coupes, this is the first 6 series generation of BMW. It was made as a 2-door coupe only.
We love the straight lines and the huge glass panels. The proportions of the car are perfect and tasteful. The fact that its a 2-door coupe make it look fast and fun. The E24 looks great in stock form, but also lends itself perfectly to a lower stance and modern, larger diameter wheels. Aero revisions were made to the car over the years giving it better performance and looks.
The E24 6-series was designed by Paul Bracq, with the main difference between the previous E9 being that the new E24 had B-pillars. These beauties starting rolling down the production line in January of 1976 as the 630CS, and the 630CSi began the following month in February. 86,216 E24 coupes were manufactured before the run ended in 1989. The only issue new buyers had was choosing which color to go with. I personally like it in red.
The interior of the E24 is classic BMW beauty, with function and ergonomics being the goal. The seats are thick and comfortable in the front, and made for small children in the rear. The steering wheel has a simple look that is both sporty and elegant. Aftermarket wood steering wheels and sheepskin seat covers were popular "upgrades" at the time also. During this time the biggest option was the car phone! Driving one today is refreshing as the lack of crazy electronics and the mechanical dials make it a real drivers grand touring car.
The 6 series suspension system had the dependable Macpherson strut setup in the front and independent semi-trailing arms in the rear. If you need German car performance suspension parts look here.
The E24 was powered by different versions of the longest running engine platform for BMW to date. The 6 cylinder M30 engine was used from the start and the first M6 model used the m88/3 powerplant. Both engines look like works of engineering art when the hood is opened.
Transmissions were available as 4 and 5 speed manuals and 3 speed automatics. In 1983 the automatic was upgraded to a 4 speed unit.
We prefer the look of the euro-spec cars as they have tighter, smaller bumpers that didn't need to meet U.S. crash test standards. Beautiful elements of the car like the wedge mirrors, single piece rear trunk spoiler, and A-pillar water drains were results of aerodynamic testing and improvements. The perfect meeting of function and form. Timeless BMW kidney grill inserts and a dual headlight setup will always look great.
Aggressive flared wheel arches allowed for wider wheels and tires and gave the E24 a wonderful look and stance. Up front the long flat hood drops at the perfect angle to meet a beautiful grill. Newly designed wheel options made the 6 series even more appealing. The taller glass offered great visibility and gave the car a lower belt line that made it look long and elegant.
We know BMW has made a lot of beautiful cars, and it was very difficult to pick a favorite. But on looks alone the E24 was our choice. Whats yours? Let us know by leaving your vote in the comments. MGC Suspensions offers great products for the E24.