The BMW 6 Series, available from 1976 through 1989, was a grand touring coupe with a long, pointy nose and crisp styling, resulting in a vehicle that was handsome and classy. The Polish tuner Carlex Design now takes on the project of giving this beautiful BMW an opulent cabin far nicer than what Bimmer could offer from the factory at the time. Carlex is building seven of these cars.
The first completed example (see gallery below) is a 1986 635 CSi with an inky black body and a set of multi-spoke wheels. Carlex doesn’t alter the classic coupe’s sharp exterior styling. The only items of note are the company’s badges and emblems affixed to the outside.
The sole mechanical change is a revised suspension. Carlex doesn’t provide details about the changes but says the setup is sporty yet soft. In Europe, an ’86 635 CSi would have a 3.5-liter inline-six, making 215 horsepower or 182 hp for the version with a catalytic converter. This one has the four-speed automatic gearbox.
The cabin is where Carlex places most of its focus. The company uses a patination process for the brown leather that gives the upholstery the deep appearance of naturally aged hides. The material covers portions of the seats, center console, dashboard, door panels, and rear chairs.
Patinated leather even appears on the instrument dials. Carlex makes the numerals and needles out of hand-polished steel.
The seats use the original frames, but Carlex uses a firmer, more compact foam for the cushions. The company claims that the chairs are more ergonomic than the pieces from the factory.
Carlex uses the Blaupunkt Bremen SQR 46 DAB radio that looks like a classic stereo with a cassette player but actually has a USB connection under a cover. It also supports Bluetooth. The unit keeps the center stack looking like the car is from the 1980s while offering modern amenities.
Each one of these updated 6 Series requires 1,200 hours of work to complete. A lot of that time goes into patinating the leather. For comparison, Carlex says one of its usual builds takes around 340 hours.