BMW’s 635 CSi was one of the most successful touring cars that dominated the European Touring Car Championship in 1981, 1983 and 1986, while being highly successful almost ever-where else that it entered. The CSi’s success spanned across DTM, Belgian, Australian and New Zealand Touring Cars, while also winning multiple times at Endurance races such as the Spa 24 Hours (3 wins) and the 24 Hours Nurburgring (2 wins).
Constructed by BMW specialists Ted Grace International with help of tuners Alpina and Schnitzer Motorsport, the BMW 635 CSi, Chassis No. RA1-22 was prepared so that it could take on the onslaught of the Tom Walkingshaw-prepped Jaguar XJ-S in the 1983 season of the European Touring Car Championship and also the British Touring Car Championship.
In the BTCC, the BMW 635 CSi driven by Frank Sytner finished 3rd, while later promoted to a win at Silverstone and second at Donington park, where it was once again upgraded to win after the disqualification of the race-winning car.
Powered by one of the most iconic BMW engines that was in production for almost three decades, the BMW 635 CSi, Chassis No. RA1-22 repeated its competition season the following year in 1984 at the BTCC and ETCC events, where Silverstone circuit proved lucky yet again when the car secured three 3rd positions, before moving to Snetterton, where it would place second.
Post its touring car racing career in European championships, chassis no. RA1-22 headed off to New Zealand to compete in local events, including the Wellington 500 and the Pukekohe 500, off which it finished 2nd at the former competition. The 1983 BMW 635 CSi returned back to Europe in 2016, immaculately prepared and ready for historic racing and is heading to sale at RM Sotheby’s Monaco 2018 sale. Photos by Kevin Van Campenhout.