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Tale #1:  Rebirth of My Dream 

July 2007


Having just returned from a three year tour in Japan, I was rudely faced with the reality of living in Hawaii once again.  Life as we became accustomed to in Japan was no longer.  Sticker shock for every aspect of living back in the US, but exponentially in HawaiiThe need for vehicular transportation is critical in Hawaii, no mass transit system.  The real shock came when comparing the clean and low mileage used Toyotas we purchased for $3,000 in Japan, with the same Hawaii cars that sell for $13,000+.  I nearly passed out.  So much for the good life.  Knowing that I was looking for a car, my father-in-law came to our rescue by signing over the ownership papers for his car (BMW 535is).  A little rough and beaten, but hey, it beats spending another $12,000 for a used car.  After a wash and some minor cleaning, the idea of fixing the 5-Series became my very first car project.  A couple weeks after, I woke up one morning, looking forward to stomping around town with my best friend (BMW Enthusiast) to try and see if I could bring back to life my father-in-laws 535is.  After picking my friend up, we discussed some options to fix the 535is and also began discussions about his newly acquired custom built BMW 3-Series that was being shipped directly from Germany.  While discussing BMW subject matter, one thing led to another and of course I start ranting and raving about my dream to someday own a BMW 635csi. 

My friend turned to me with a BMW Entusiast nodding approval, “That’s a Classic”.  We both started raving about the timeless shape, clean straight lines, simple but classy interiors that even today looks good amongst the current curvatious E-Styles.  Anyway, first stop was the mechanic shop (another BMW Enthusiast).  After a few moans and groans, it was determined that although the interior of the car was super clean, the exterior rust, dents and engine condition was something other than satisfactory.  It would cost more to fix than the car was worth.  Point taken.  After the disappointing news about the 535is, I started roaming the yard and wouldn’t you know it, I found that 635csi we were talking about so enthusiastically.  It was a customers car (Blue 1985 Automatic) that had just been serviced.  I pawed at it like it was a toy mouse.  My friend knowing that I was still looking for a car, asked the mechanic if he had any cars for sale.  The mechanic thought for a moment and then replied loudly, “Yeah, just one.”  “Low mileage, great working engine, excellent AC, no rust, etc. etc. The mechanic called out, “It’s a 635csi.”  My eyes and ears perk up with 100% attention.  My friend begins to laugh hysterically.  I respond with “A 635csi?”.  “Yup, a white one, I can sell to you for $2900.”  At that point, my mind is racing at 300+mph.  When I finally come back to my senses, I realize that my so called “dream car” is not only attainable, but now affordable.  The rest is history.  From that point on, obtaining a 6-Series was all I could think about, let the craziness begin, the hunt for my very own six started that afternoon.  THE DREAM IS STILL ALIVE!

It all started with this 1988 635CSiA
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My search began right after

Yume-san 1985 635csi
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My First BMW and E24

A quote from a very wise E24 Enthusiast .

"If you are only thinking about getting a 6-Series, it is too late, you have already bought one."

 

Tale #2:  First Drive

August 2008


My first drive around town (Honolulu/Hawaii Kai) was something to remember.  Having never been a real car enthusiast, I had no expectations when driving around town in my new "Classic" Euro-6.  After a quick wipe-down, Yume and I were off to experience the pavement and the awesome Hawaii sunshine.  There was not a cloud in the clear blue sky.  Upon entering onto the Highway, I suddenly noticed another fellow sixer (White '88) also out for a drive after a wash and nice detail job.  Wanting to get a much better look at such a fine specimen, I quickly caught up and got behind the white 6er to fully admired her super straight and clean lines.  Looking into the car to get a glimpse of the owner, I noticed a distinguished elderly gent in his late 60's or maybe even early 70's with shiny silver hair.  Pulling along side the white 6er, we gave each other a polite nod of appreciation as we both eye balled each others 6er ride and then simply parted amongst the other cars on the highway and drove off our merry way.  Strangely enough, being considerably much younger than the older gentlemen, I started thinking if I should be in a car of this stature.  Am I deserving of this "Classic Beauty"?  Am I too young to want/like/love these BMW 6-Series cars?  Little did I know, that for most of the time that I was contemplating if I was estute enough to drive around in a 6-Series, there was a youngster in a nice 2007 dark grey 350Z, dancing his car around me and my '85 Polaris 635.  He was doing the same thing I was doing to the nice white 6er just a few moments before.  The only difference is, this time, this young gun was looking into my car and seeing an older guy (me) not silver headed, but definitely a little salt and pepper.  I laughed to myself as I watched the Z come to my right, then the left, and then the rear again.  Again as drivers acknowledge each others nice rides, the young gunner rolls down his window and flashes me a thumbs up just before racing off in-between cars on the highway.  I never really knew what it meant to be able to appreciate and be proud of owning a distinguishable car until that very moment.  As simple and childish as it seemed to me, it made me feel even more fortunate to be able to have such a classic car in my possession.  I'll never forget the picture of the younger car enthusiast flashing me the thumbs up sign. What a great first drive...

 

Tale #3:  A Great Day

October 2008


After a great 20 minute scenic drive around the Southern shores of Hawaii Kai on Oahu, I decided to go drive around my neighborhood to look  for a presumed fellow E24 enthusiast.  Driving around my neighborhood culdesac by culdesac, I was finally able to come across the infamous Black 1985 Euro 635csi.  It was actually parked outside on the street curb.  I ended up parking right behind it with my Polaris 635csi.  After a minute or so I got up enough nerve to jump out of my car and go knock on the owners door.  A middle aged gentleman popped his head through the open door and I introduces myself.   I appologized for banging on his door unannounced, but when he saw my 6er behind his on the street, he knew I just wanted to talk story for a little while (while looking at his 6er). Very nice gentleman who actually has owned many BMW in his lifetime.  M5s, 3.0CS, E28s, 135 and his E24.  He was very clear of his favorite Bimmer that he would never sell....the E24.  I understood him clearly..."timeless" was the word he used. Absolutely!

The whole car is in great condition with original paint and interiors. I have never seen a E24 with his darker burgundy brown interiors, really rich and classy. Apparently, he used to live in Germany and brought it back with him to Hawaii. He is the original owner and actually paid the full shark price of admission back in the 1980's Ouch!... Looking at his car
made me a little jealous. Two items that his Euro had that mine didn't have...the back seat headrests and even had working headlight wipers...so cool 

I'm glad I barged in to say hello to a fellow sharkhead.

 

Tale #4:  Night Time Cruise

September 2009


After a busy day out with the family, I decided to take my 635CSi out for a night time roll around town.  It was a nice clear and cool night and I hadn't taken her out for at least two weeks.  I decided to travel my normal route in my neighborhood then on the highway and then through some strip malls close by looking for some attention.  Hehehe.  It was an especially nice comfortable night and I had the windows down so I decided to extend my rought to the next nearby shopping complex.  A complex with Costco, City Mill, Ross's, and a number of restaurants.  I was expecting this shopping complex to be on the empty side because most stores at 8:30 pm are closed.  Just as I turned in, I noticed two 1960-something Camaros, a yellow one and a black one (show car like).  WOW!


I proceed another 50 feet into the parking lot area and I am rudely greeted with a sleu at least 80-90+ Classic American Muscle and Vintage cars.  My jaw literally dropped to the floor.  Crisp and shiny paint and chrome was gleaming everywhere in the low lit parking lot.  And I am driving right through the parking lot idling (making exhaust growling noises) cruising in 1st gear and trying to make my way through the crowds of people walking around while still trying to get a glimpse of all these cars parked in succession.  I wanted to park my car so I could go walk through the classics, but was to scared to park my baby in the mess of people hanging out on the open sides (hooligans).   So, I proceeded to calmly try and get out of the traffic jambed parking lot, slowly making my way through the other cars and onlooking crowd saying "thank you" everytime somebody complimented the 6er.  It was a nice feeling to have other people appreciate a car that I truly love and love to own.  The 6er really turned a lot of heads and got more attention then I would have expected being amongst all the great American classics at the show.  It was a truly great night for a cruise.

Tale #5:  Late Night Encounter

August 2010


I took 6er for a spin late one night when everyone was asleep and ended up at the Hawaii Kai Chevron at Koko Marina.  It was a clear and crisp night with a comforting trade wind that was off shore.  Pulling off the highway, I scoped what seemed to be the perfect spot to hangout for a while and appreciate my rare euro E24.  Doing a couple drive-by through the Chevron, I finally land in my chosen single parking stall.  Of course I leave the car idling as I get out of the car in my excitement to spend some quality time.

I proceed to climb out of the car and start wiping down and brightening up the chrome parts and glass.  After barely only one minute of starting, a police car parks in front of me blocking me in from a clear exit.  What the???  The officer stays in his car for a while.  I continue on with my cleaning business and make believe that he is not even there...Of course I'm checking my safety check and registration stickers while wiping down my nice shiny rear chrome of the car (hahaha). $#!+
 
Two minutes later another blue and white parks adjacent to the other police car.  Now, I have not means of escape.  Am I in trouble?  What did I do?  Then, out of the opposite side of the parking lot, a third blue and white shows up and parks behind the second officer.  WHAT the hell is going on here?  That's it, I walk around tot he rear of the car and pop the rear trunk and disappear for a few seconds or so.  Maybe they will ignor me and go away.  When I pop out of the back trunk area on the drivers side, one of the officers is in front of my 6er looking for me...
   
Okay here we go...lets get it on I think to myself....local stocky Japanese dude with some pidgin says "so what year this car?" .  It's a '85, I say.  Officer starts walking around the car on the passengers side and I'm on the rear drivers side, then the second officer takes the front side of the car.  Now I'm thinking they are trying to trap me (one in the front and one in the back).  I glimpse at the third officer and he is on the radio, chanting and chirping back and forth but I can't hear what he is saying.  I know I did nothing wrong and I seriously doubt that someone put out an APB on someone that looks like me driving a older and rare BMW at 12:30am in the morning.  So I walk to the front of the car and the officer in front starts walking around the car.  "Still good shape for an '85", "My son would love this car."  the first officer says.  How old is your son I ask.  Officer gives me a big smile and says "he's 11 and he loooooves classics".  After that the other two officers go into the convenience shop to get some coffee for the night and I end up talking story about old Bimmers with the officer until he went to grab his coffee from the other officers as they exited the shop.  After a few sips of his coffee, the officers last words to me were "Maybe when I'm rich, I can buy my son a classic like this?"  We both laugh and I tell him, you should buy him one now and let him grow into it, thats what I did? 
 
The officer gets in his car and moves out of my way, I take that as a "catch you guys later" moment.  I jump in and just vroooom off safe and sound back home.

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Search is over - Unicorn found

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1985 Euro 635csi

Tale #6: The Unicorn Surfaces

November 2011


I couldn't believe my eyes or my luck in late 2011.  Out of know where, and very quietly, a decent Schwartz / Buffalo Anthrazit Euro specimen came out of hiding.  It was quiet and unassuming in presentation.  It certainly didn't knock one out of the ballbark.  It didn't show very well and it had some issues.  But at least I found out that "they do exist!"  Now what?  In my reasonable unassuming fassion, I had to see how deep this rabbit hole was going to take me.  I couldn't very well just let this unicorn walk away without an attempt to acquire.  IMHO, this was my once in a lifetime moment in my new found hobby that I absolutely love.  This opportunity will NEVER happen again.  I don't think that there are too many enthusiast who get a shot at their very own Unicorn, it can take a lifetime to be able to have all the planets align for that one right moment.  They are certainly rare in any condition.   My hunt to capture begins...
 
First contact with the owner is always important and it usually tells me if the current owner is an enthusiast or not.  Who am I kidding, anyone who is a first time owner of these E24s IS an enthusaist.  Check.  Condition of the car is primary and sharing of information was next.  Although not perfect, the 635csi checked out:  1985 Euro Model, factory 5-speed 265 CR transmission, rip-free (but faded) anthrazit buffalo interiors that needed work and pieces, original factory Schwartz single-stage paint (just like mom used to make), straight lines, euro headlight washing system, euro valence/air dam, euro rear headrest and on and on, even had the original TRX wheels and was rolling with 69K miles (which caught my eye).  Check.  It was all there in one shape or another.  The 6 lived a good life, kept inside for most of its life, but did live in snowy weather during its lifetime.  A few fixer-upper rust spots not on the body paint was a concern and a imperfection on the roof, but not a deal breaker.  Fighting with myself for several sleepless days and nights I knew I had to try.  I knew from the first time I got my first 635csi at age 41, that I was going to be a lifetime enthusiast (I really was since 1985) and have pledged to always have one in my garage. 
 
I've always wanted to paint my first E24 because although the paint looked good from 10 feet, the metallic paint was still aged and damaged under the clearcoat just like 80% of all old metallic paint BMWs (the paint is over 25 years old).  The cost for doing that paint job was really stopping me from going forward on making my Polaris E24 absolutely "Perfect".  It would make it a 10 in my book and anyone in this world would be proud to own it.  OR for less than the price of a new paint job, I could obtain my Unicorn which still had the factory signal-staged paint in very good condition, needing only some HEAVY professional detailing to bring her back to her glory days.  In any case, the thought of having multiple Classic BMWs was indeed a thing of pure beauty.  My addiction would most definitely be complete.  In any case, in the worst of times 5-10 years down the line, I could very easily get my $$$ back with the rare conditioned Euros that I would have (at least that is my thinking).  But better idea yet, in 6-7 years, my son will become of driving age and I'm wondering if the E24 bug will eventually bite him too?  Hmmm...the story continues.  Long story short, my addiction and love for this once in a lifetime E24 won me over and I know that I can't lose with the Euro E24s, it is a win-win for me...and maybe my son :)

 

Tale #7: Neighborhood Staulking

February 2013


It was going to happen sooner or later, but with my daily vehicle out of commission, I've had to bring out me garage queen and start giving her daily driver duties.  As much as it kills me to start putting on miles for my 70K mile Schwartz E24, it has been a real blast.  Turning heads and compliments EVERYWHERE I go.  Even my son is picking up on the Classic-ness of this vehicle.  He gives me the play by play for jaw dropping on-lookers.  He tells me..."Dad, that guy is staring at your car....again.....and again...."  I just laugh and I tell my son, no...he is watching you looking at him :)  I just hate that we have been having a spell of rainy weather this January-February.  Each trip to the gas station has been a blast.  From admirers, previous E24 & E28 owners and even the generation 2000s come by to ask it this is a real 635csi or ask, what kind of BMW is this?  Having my blushing moments of fun and pride of ownership. 
 
One day afterwork, I got home and the driveway was blocked up with other cars so I had to put my baby on the street for a little while until I could clear my driveway.  Went in my house and started to gather everyones keys to clear the driveway.  On my way out, I notice to guys peering into my car, one from the driver side and one from the passengers side.  I thought to myself, wow, they look much to interested in the vehicle not caring what others would think/say if someone was watching them approach and staulk my E24.  Hahaha.  Walking out, I give the usual "Wasaap!"  One of the gentleman, startled by my presenence now only 8 feet from the car now.  "Hooooooooo, is this a 635 or the 633?"  I then remember that I don't have any emblems on this car (and I love it that way).  I quickly announce "635csi of course!"  Then the other gentleman says, Wow, its a 5-speed too!"  "Oh yeah..." I say.  "Not too many of these around these days" he responds.  We all start talking about the old BMWs of old.  The 2002s, the 3.0s and E30s of the 1980s.  It was fun to watch the dude on the drivers side of the car because he kept walking to the front and the back standing and kneeling taking in almost every angle that you could possible view a car from.  Bobbing up an down, front and back (quite entertaining to me).  BUT, I KNOW exactly what he is going through because I still do the same thing today.  Second glimpse after parking the car, third and fourth glimpse from walking back to and around the car.  The E24 is just that beautiful and almost all would agree.  The visit lasted a good 20 minutes before I could jump in and tuck her away in her garage. 

 

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