Once a by-word for 1980s soft coupe blandness, ideal look-at-me transport for lazy plutocrats, the BMW 6 Series - E24 in the company's internal nomenclature, Sharknose to everyone else - is suddenly looking very desirable indeed. Particularly when equipped with the mighty M88 engine as used in the original M1 supercar, which competed in a dedicated race series on Grand Prix weekends. That immense power plant gives these lithe, slender BMWs unexpected power with a rumbling soundtrack to match. No longer will driving one equate to jumping the shark. These sharks are very much of the moment.
First things first: there aren't many of these. Just 524 right hand drive M-division fettled 6 Series coupes were made, and they’re the ones with that extraordinary engine. You're unlikely to park next to another when out supermarket shopping. This example is in subtle Polaris Silver and it's a real Q-car. Only the enthusiast will spot that this is more than a luxo-barge. The front spoiler is unique to the M6, as it was also known, and there is dedicated badging front and rear. Fire it up, though, and the entire neighbourhood will take notice. These race-derived engines aren't renowned for their subtlety.
Inside, the factory-fitted black leather Recaro chairs are unmarked. You may be able to fold two passengers into the rear bucket seats, too. The unique-to-this-model speedometer is marked up to 170 mph, handy for a car that will reach a genuine 158 mph, when track or autobahn allows. The key to choosing an M6 is not only superficial condition - excellent in this case - but, more than usually, an extensive history, to ensure the specialist engine is in tip-top shape. This car boasts just the one owner and has always been garaged - with enough paperwork to keep even the most demanding buyer happy.
What more could you possibly add to the M6? Celebrity, perhaps? Enter the Dolphin Grey example you see here, with just over 80,000 pampered miles on the clock. The interior is best described as off-black, or Anthracite Buffalo as BMW have it, and the car has the desirable uprated Brembo front brakes. More to the point, one of its previous keepers was photographer to the royal family Godfrey Argent who, once he’d finished capturing the Queen on horseback, also snapped portraits of scientists Francis Crick and Stephen Hawking. The large boot would easily have accommodated his photographic gear.
There’s a satisfactorily bulging history file and as you'd expect from such a carefully looked-after M6, the immaculate paintwork is as-new. If celebrity ownership doesn't move you sufficiently, you might be impressed by professional endorsement, because this car has graced the pages of 'Classic Car' magazine. Keen drivers will revel in the opportunity to use the Getrag six-speed gearbox on the way to their next photoshoot. This M6 is very much ready for its close-up.
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