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For Your Consideration:
The ’88-’89 BMW E24

April 26, 2013 by Matt

BMW E24 M635 M6 1989 1988 Gray

I realize some of you will always be partial to beauties such as the delectable E9 coupe, the exquisitely-proportioned E31 8-Series or the swoopy 507 roadster, but to me, BMW hasn’t made a better-looking car than the E24 6-Series. They just nailed it.

BMW E24 M635 M6 1989 1988 Gray

Frankly, the bumpers make or break the styling. Up until the final two years of the car’s long 13-year model run, the E24s bound for the US were fitted with hideous, protruding “diving board” crash bumpers—functional to be sure, but an order of magnitude worse to look at than the lovely, discreet Euro-spec pieces. But in 1988, BMW standardized the design across all markets with their so-called “world bumpers,” fitted to the E24 seen here. They still don’t complement the car’s lines quite as well as the Euro bumpers, but if the example seen in these photos is any indication, they do a fine job in their own right.

BMW E24 M635 M6 1989 1988 Gray

As an aspirational car, fit center caps to the 17″ wheels and position the badges correctly, and wouldn’t be ashamed in the least to be seen behind the wheel of this machine. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The rest of this photo collection can be viewed on the boards.

Image credits: Gregory Markarian

Filed under: Aesthetics, BMW


  1. So that’s what those are.

    I had always thought they were “tucked” diving boards. Didn’t know they came like that from the factory!

    • Matt says:

      Yessir. For the record it is possible to tuck the diving boards, but it looks terrible. I did a considerable amount of research on this subject during the time I owned my E24.

      Educate thyself on the various flavors of E24:

      • Interesting. Of course I agree with you that the Euro bumpers are the way to go. These “world bumpers” are a close-but-no-cigar for me (not that I’d kick one out of the garage..).

        Now here’s the all-important question: chrome or shadowline?

        • Matt says:

          Depends on the year and color of the car. :) On an early E24, I’d leave the chrome as it accents the classic feel of the car, but on a later example (mid-’80s on), I’d consider shadowlining if it were already a darker color. I wouldn’t shadowline Alpine White or Polaris, for example.

          Of course it’s understood that we’re discussing proper shadowlining, which involves leaving the kidneys alone (no blacked-out kidneys, please) whilst blacking out the rest of the trim.

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