Man Buys Abandoned BMW E24 That Has Been Sitting for 18 Years for One Single Reason

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Photo: Josh Gresswell | YouTube

He didn’t need this car, but he bought it anyway. He just wanted bits of it. He found the 1990 BMW E24 sitting in a yard, almost swallowed up by vegetation, with tree blocks obstructing the wheels and branches growing inside the cabin through the rotten floor. It had been sitting there since 2006.

There was no way the car was coming out of the entrapment it had been sitting in for almost two decades unless he dag it out. The tires were in pieces. The engine compartment had everything nature had given it: withered leaves, raccoon poop, and whatever else showed up in there over all these years.

Penned by the famous Paul Bracq, the 1990 BMW E24 635 CSi Highline was one of the last examples that rolled off the production line toward the end of the run as a four-seat, two-door grand tourer.

The E24 CSi Highline was powered by a smooth-as-silk inline-six 3.5-liter engine, mated to a four-speed automatic. The shark-nosed BMW was one of the most desirable cars of the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, the model would cost anywhere between $15,000 and $60,000, especially if it is a low-mileage, well-maintained example. But when it comes to this BMW, “well-maintained” is from some other dimension. This car has been mutilated by time and elements.

1990 BMW E24 635 CSi Highline

Photo: Josh Gresswell | YouTube

When Josh Gresswell’s team tried to tow it out of there, the front bumper snapped, revealing a big spot of rust. The new owner put his finger into a hole at the base of the rear window. That part of the body instantly disintegrated. The paint on the roof was eaten by rust as well.

The space was too tight for the car to actually be dragged out. One heavy foot on the accelerator and the Volkswagen that tried to pull it would have slammed into the wall of the house.

Hours later, the car is strapped to the trailer and on its way to the shop. But the BMW is leaking, leaving a trace of fluids behind. The exhaust pipe is duct-taped to the rear end of the vehicle so it does not fall off.

Luckily, when lifted inside the shop, the car does not come apart as expected. However, the front fender shatters to pieces the moment it is touched. The wheel wells and sills are not in a much better condition either.

1990 BMW E24 635 CSi Highline

Photo: Josh Gresswell | YouTube

A look underneath is enough for Josh Gresswell to label everything as “horrendous.” And which is even worse, the rust chewed up the chassis of the E24. Josh can simply pull out pieces of the car with his bare hands. There is almost nothing on this BMW that you can save, he concludes. So, why in the world did he buy it? “I wanted the bumpers,” he says. He’s got another E24 that he has been working on,

However, if you remember well, the front bumper snapped when he tried to pull the car out of the yard it had been sitting in for ages. Both front and rear bumpers are rotten. The trunk lock might still have a chance at life. Josh was also hoping to use the seal of the trunk, but that doesn’t really look salvageable. The toolbox in the trunk is also full of rust.

The running gear, frame, subframe, drive shaft, and lock differential can be used for a good cause, says Josh. He is just trying to recover part of the money he paid for the BMW. That was 1,700 pounds, which is the equivalent of $2,125, at the current exchange rates. It is more than half of what he paid for his red BMW E24. But that one runs and drives.

The previous owner had paid 7,000 pounds for the 1990 BMW 635 CSi E24 back in 2006. The took it home and parked it. The car has been sitting ever since. Josh believes he must have bought it for the window trims, because the BMW doesn’t have window trims anymore.

1990 BMW E24 635 CSi Highline

Photo: Josh Gresswell | YouTube

The original engine is still under the hood, which looks like a miracle. It most likely doesn’t run anymore, so he is going to use all the components he can save on his E24 project. However, his E24, an earlier version, rolled off the production line with a 3.4-liter engine.

He might also use the headlights. So he is going to tear this poor E24 apart, cut it in two, and use everything that can be used. He doesn’t even seem to need any tools, as the BMW comes apart by hand. Josh does admit that it was a slightly silly decision to buy the BMW. Most of it will end up in a scrapyard. The scrapyard is the place where it belongs. Entirely.

However, once he takes the BMW online, messages from people who want parts of it start pouring in. They are willing to pay whatever it takes for some components. They might, though, overestimate the condition of the 1990 BMW E24.

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