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Old 19 Jun 2006, 18:22 (Ref:1637374)   #1
chunterer
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Group A BMW 635 CSi - a popular, solid performer

For most touring car fans this particular model is arguably the most synonymous car associated with Group A touring car racing.

Our historians will be able to tell us how many races/titles the car won around the world ( a lot!) but its style, grace, performance and sound certainly made it one of the most popular cars of its 'genre' in the mid 80's.

This is an open thread and posts are encouraged on particular cars, teams, drivers and incidents.

If i was to think of this model several things spring instantly to mind:

1/ James Weaver, Trimoco BTCC, tailhappy, Silverstone 'trench'

2/ The Schnitzer 'skeleton' BMW Original Teile livery

3/ Eggenberger's excellent efforts running BMW Italia's entries for the likes of Gianfranco Brancatelli.

4/ The Frank Gardner run superb sinister looking JPS Australian entries.

5/ About 15 of them entered for Spa 24 hours races!

6/ A quite remarkable work over of the car by Charlie Lamn's boys to make it competitive again for it's ETC swansong in 1986.

Over to you....
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 08:40 (Ref:1637516)   #2
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the Bob Jane Schnitzer car

I understand a Jeremy Walton book claims there were 50 x GrA factory cars. My attempts to get this book have failed - can anyone shed some light on this?
Web site?

The Bob Jane car (my description) was 2nd at Spa, and at Bathurst & 2nd at Fuji - one other outing I know of was driven by Gerhard Berger at the 1st Adelaide F1 GP meet where it ended up in a gravel trap after ex - Bob Jane team driver John Harvey (in a Holden) punted him off the track.

The car remains to this day as it was raced.

PS Harveys explanation of punt/incident was 'who do you think you are, a F1 driver' ......nudge !!*#?

Last edited by cavvy; 20 Jun 2006 at 08:49.
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 08:50 (Ref:1637533)   #3
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cavvy, I have the book; what do you particularly wish to know? (I'm away for a couple days but will have a look upon my return).

It will come as no surprise that these cars are one of my favourites of that period. Lucky for the other manufacturers that as the 6 series was getting a bit long on the tooth, BMW decided not to homologate the 'M' version!
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 09:06 (Ref:1637546)   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunterer
For most touring car fans this particular model is arguably the most synonymous car associated with Group A touring car racing.

Our historians will be able to tell us how many races/titles the car won around the world ( a lot!) but its style, grace, performance and sound certainly made it one of the most popular cars of its 'genre' in the mid 80's.

This is an open thread and posts are encouraged on particular cars, teams, drivers and incidents.

If i was to think of this model several things spring instantly to mind:

1/ James Weaver, Trimoco BTCC, tailhappy, Silverstone 'trench'

2/ The Schnitzer 'skeleton' BMW Original Teile livery

3/ Eggenberger's excellent efforts running BMW Italia's entries for the likes of Gianfranco Brancatelli.

4/ The Frank Gardner run superb sinister looking JPS Australian entries.

5/ About 15 of them entered for Spa 24 hours races!

6/ A quite remarkable work over of the car by Charlie Lamn's boys to make it competitive again for it's ETC swansong in 1986.

Over to you....
I'd agree with most of these suggestions, but would add my most memorable (er) memory is also James Weaver in the Trimoco series, not at Silverstone, but Brands Hatch, Paddock Bend: Totally committed, sideways all the way down the hill, with smoke pouring off the rear tyres! Fantastic...
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 09:21 (Ref:1637557)   #5
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I just loved those cars...

Brands Hatch Grand Prix meeting 1984 I think - watching Weaver and Sytner in practice just nailing it through Paddock right on the edge...I'm getting goose bumps remembering it - it was a fabulous sight...

...and the beautiful noise they made...

And when they saloons were lining up on the hill in the paddock before their race (ready to go through the tunnel) a number of the drivers were wearing caps with what looked like fox tails attached - always wondered what that was about...

Tourist Trophy Silverstone 1987 or maybe '86 - just before the M3 'took over' - zillions of 635's from the Continent with lovely unfamiliar paint jobs - each and every one of them looked and sounded fantastic

Different era, different cars, different tracks - I'm not going to knock modern saloons but in those days it was difficult not to fall in love with the machinery...
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 09:50 (Ref:1637585)   #6
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Originally Posted by jonners
I just loved those cars...

Brands Hatch Grand Prix meeting 1984 I think - watching Weaver and Sytner in practice just nailing it through Paddock right on the edge...I'm getting goose bumps remembering it - it was a fabulous sight...

...and the beautiful noise they made...

And when they saloons were lining up on the hill in the paddock before their race (ready to go through the tunnel) a number of the drivers were wearing caps with what looked like fox tails attached - always wondered what that was about...

Tourist Trophy Silverstone 1987 or maybe '86 - just before the M3 'took over' - zillions of 635's from the Continent with lovely unfamiliar paint jobs - each and every one of them looked and sounded fantastic

Different era, different cars, different tracks - I'm not going to knock modern saloons but in those days it was difficult not to fall in love with the machinery...
Yes! The sound of that engine, fantastic wasn't it?

Dear me I'm having a nostalgia overload, I'd better go and do something distracting...
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 10:42 (Ref:1637627)   #7
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Hi! I would agree with everything being said to the extent that I tried to keep tabs on the history and race records of every car that raced.Some had as many as six different owners and became very difficult to trace.They raced in all the worlds major touring car series although they did not win many championships because of the class structures at the time plus they had some pretty strong opposition. I wonder if anyone out there has pictures of some of the rarer cars which maybe did not feature too well in races and therefore never made the 'comics'.I would be willing to help if anyone has a query about a particular car or race. Ian Beckett.
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 11:48 (Ref:1637682)   #8
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What a car

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Originally Posted by VIVA GT
Yes! The sound of that engine, fantastic wasn't it?
Sorry to go OT but I was so taken by their circuit stance and sound I went out and bought a second hand white 635CSI in 1987. I had so much fun in that car, with it's 'tired' mufflers - it sounded just like a race car.

Last edited by chunterer; 20 Jun 2006 at 12:01.
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 12:07 (Ref:1637703)   #9
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Ian, go on give us a few examples of the lesser known cars it'll be fascinating!

How about Peter Buxtorf's 1988 BTCC mount..was that the ex Cheylesmore/Grundig car? that was driven first by Stuck/Palmer then Kennedy then I think Barry Barnes had it for a bit....

Crikey I see what you mean about multiple ownerships!

That's why I thought it would be better to have an open free for all on the cars!!

BTW, I16, (and Mr Turner!) I seriously contemplated buying one too but it wouldn't have fitted in my garage!!! They're big cars after all!

I plumped for another of my fav Grp A road versions - an Alfetta GTV6 which I sadly had to offload just before xmas in 2004. (whimper...)

Still, I might get a nice 635 one day though
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 12:48 (Ref:1637736)   #10
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I had the very great pleasure of owning the ex JPS Team 635 that won the Australian Touring Car Champiopnship for a while and loved it. The wife unfortunately hated it and in order to keep her off my back and keep the JPS Team M3, I sold the 635.
We only took it to a couple of meetings but the crowd was always drawn to it. Fathers could be heard saying to their children, "I remember when....." or "I saw this thing win at...... when I was your age".
Jim Richards won every race in all 6 rounds of the Amscar series in 1985 in the car, such was it's dominance here. Jim actually rang me recently trying to buy the car back, too late. The car has now gone to a new home where the owner has the money to fully restore it, sadly something I couldn't afford to do.
A true classic in every sense of the word, I feel privelidged to have raced it.
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 14:11 (Ref:1637751)   #11
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I have just spent an hour putting down some of the main points regarding the cars history only to find that when I came to post my reply it said there had been a problem and I find my pearls of wisdom have disappeared into cyberspace!! Perhaps I will find some more time to recall what it was I had to say!! All for now Ian.
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 15:16 (Ref:1637794)   #12
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Yes Ian, I had the same thing with my entry post on the Rover SD1 thread a while back - by the time i'd finished writing, the time had expired and I had to log back in!

As a suggestion (and from experience!!) I think it's good to post one or two points at a time and then add more detail as the thead develops.

So, we'll await for some of what you wanted to mention with anticipation
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 16:41 (Ref:1637844)   #13
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Hi Guys.

I have been waiting for Chunterer to start this thread with anticipation.

Here are a couple of photos from the 1984 GP support practice to show just how hard Weaver & Sytner were trying.

James


Frank tried very hard.


And finally, who says the Germans don't have a sense of humour (courtesy Jeff Allam & Gerhard Berger



I loved the sight and sound of these cars and have plenty more photos from my travels to Spa, Zolder and Dijon in the ETCC days, if anyone wants to see some more photos go either to Frank de Jongs site or Racingsportscars, plenty more on show there.

Glyn
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 16:53 (Ref:1637850)   #14
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Mike Newman's Burlington one was one of my favourites... was he not the last person to race one in the BTCC ?

Somebody [who wanted to race one and couldn't] once told me that GrpA 635s suffered from cylinder head problems [cracking ??] and that replacements were not cheap... one of the reasons that made the 635 an expensive choice in Grp A. Truth or fiction ?
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Old 20 Jun 2006, 23:22 (Ref:1638108)   #15
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My first ever meeting as a spectator was ETCC Donington in '84. I recently found the photos I took to find about half of them were of the Yellow CiBiEmme cars. Lovely. To my mind it was the perfect Touring Car.
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