The JPS BMW 635 CSi is one of those touring icons everyone has heard of – if they’re motorsport fans. It first took to the track back in 1981 in Australia, where it reigned undefeated for years.
The model first appeared in Group C, then went to Group A in 1985 to secure seven of 10 rounds of the Australian Touring Car Championship, while at the same time being undefeated in the AMSCAR series. Now the classic racer is being given a new lease of life, taking to the track for the first time in more than three decades. The classic racer wears the traditional and original black and gold JPS livery, and will appear for the first time in front of the European audience during the Silverstone Classic next month. Nicknamed “Black Beauty,” the BMW will tear the track tarmac with Kiwi racing legend Jim Richards at the controls, going against models such as the Group C Ford Sierra RS500 during the annual heritage race.
The model’s retirement landed it in the possession of New Zealand collector Peter Sturgeon, who decided for a like-new condition – including the return from Group A to Group C spec, a process that took almost 18 months and also included the complete restoration of the original straight-six engine. “The sound of the straight six, twin-cam engine revving at more than 8000rpm is something all petrol heads should hear,” said Sturgeon. “In Group C form, this is the one and only 24-valve engined BMW 635 ever raced and to have Jim back driving it is very, very special.” The Silverstone Classis is set to run from July 28 through 30 at the Silverstone Circuit in the U.K.