1987 BMW M6 coupe

At the 2021 Mecum Indy, a Cinnabar Red 1987 BMW M6 coupe with tan leather front bucket seats sold for $50,000.

“For the zealots.”

For the 1987 model year, BMW finally brought the European M635CSi (available since 1983) to North America, but rebadged it as the M6. This rebadging meant that the “civilian” 6-series (previously the 633CSi) was redesignated as the L6. Specific M6 details included front and rear M badging, a larger front air dam and rear spoiler, and matching color side mirrors.

The M6’s engine was an S38B35 256 bhp 3.5 liter/211 ci inline six with Bosch Motronic fuel injection. With an 18.5-gallon gas tank, the fuel economy rating of 10 city/19 highway mpg meant a range of between 215 and 240 miles with a 10% fuel reserve. 0-60 mph came in a little over six seconds.

The M6’s base price was $58,970—about $143,300 in today’s dollars, and about 10% more than a 2021 M8 coupe starts at. Standard exterior and mechanical equipment included metallic paint, halogen headlights, speed-related power steering, four-wheel power anti-lock disc brakes, and Michelin TRX 240/45VR-415 tires on 7.7-by-16.3-inch BBS alloy wheels.

1987 BMW M advertisement

Inside the very well-equipped M6, BMW paired leather reclining front bucket seats with memory with leather rear bucket seats. Other interior accouterments included front and rear air conditioning, power heated side mirrors, power door locks, a three-spoke leather-covered steering wheel, a trip computer, and a digital clock. Audio entertainment was provided by a BMW Sound System with an AM/FM stereo radio, a cassette player, eight speakers, and a power antenna.

Production Numbers and Period Reviews

The 1987 M6 had no factory options—buyers chose the exterior and interior colors, and that was it.

BMW produced a total of 1,767 M6 coupes for North America between September 1986 and September 1988. Reviews were excellent, with the only complaints being the price and the fuel mileage (“drinks gas like a fiend”). Car and Driver stated that the M6 was “one of those wild, wonderful cars that throw the scales of automotive justice totally off balance.”

The View From 2021

Like many BMWs, the M6 attracts collector interest, and there is series-specific club support along with that of the bigger BMW car clubs. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1987 M6 in #1/Concours condition is $101,000, with a far more normal #3/Good condition version going for $32,700.

M6’s are often available in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors, and they sometimes show up at auction. As I write this post, a Black 1987 M6 with lotus white leather front bucket seats and 42,000 miles is for sale on Hemmings for $94,900. Bring A Trailer auctioned a Royalblau Metallic 1987 M6 with a five-speed manual and lotus white leather front bucket seats for $62,000 in May 2021.

Make mine Silver, please.

Other BMWs I have written about include the 1983 633CSi coupe, the 1984 325e coupe, the 1988 M3 coupe, and the 1988 750iL sedan.


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