I don’t want to think about. Under the carpet is by far the best place for it. The idea that the “Family Bus” might not always be with me is a nagging, unpleasant yet strangely persistant thought. It was purchased as a compromise to our growing family. I never thought I’d drive a four door saloon and when buying it I consoled myself with the notion that it was a temporary blip in what was to be a life of two and three door cars. However it has truly inveigled itself into my affections. Despite (yet) another unexpected 1k repair bill (the viscous coupling of the cooling fan was no longer correctly coupling which resulted in the fan blades going all Samurai and doing terrible things to the coolant expansion tank, the water pump and various hoses) the love continues to be strong.
In the back of my mind I always felt a 6 series (F13) might soften the blow if I ever had to suffer the loss of the E38. Two door version naturally. In 2018/19 a nice well kept seven year old model might just hit the spot. Except now I’m not quite so sure. After the bloated, unpleasant looking E63 anything (even a Ssang Yong Rodius) would have looked good and I fell for the sleek looks of the coupe instantly. Two years later the reactionary, petulant side of me didn’t give the Gran Coupe the proper attention it deserved. “Two doors too many” I said to myself and pretty much left it at that.
Time passed and I began to see more and more of these sleek saloons on the road. I’m a sucker for frameless windows and guess what the Gran Sport has four of? Then I really started to look at the two door. The chrome at the Hofmeister kink was just too fat. The car actually looked a little too plain. The proportions and tail lights were way nicer on the four door and I began to think of the Gran Coupe as the spiritual successor to my gorgeous Siebener-it surely has little in common with Bangle’s E60. This was a sleek, fast and very stylish way to travel.
It seems that others agree with me. Sales of the 2 door 6 series (coupe and cabrio) started to head south in 2013 while the Gran Coupe was doing a pretty good impersonation of hot cakes. It’s likely that the extremely well flagged arrival of the new 8 series must have had something to do with this but surely can’t be the only reason. Now you can’t even buy a six series coupe. They kept that one pretty quiet. Right here, right now if you have €100k+ to spend on a nice 2 door Beemer you’ll end up with at least two 2 series on your driveway. Or a serious pocketful of change. (Don’t mention the 4 series, please)
You can still get your hands on a 4 door though, and here’s the thing, I would. I really would. You all know about my ridiculously positive disposition towards the second last truly beautiful BMW. Now though, finally, the mantle has been passed. It’s certainly not safe to say that the era of truly horrible Beemers has passed (where do I start? Ah yes, the “Active Tourer”). However now it is possible to walk into a showroom and drive out in a really beautiful brand new BMW, something that couldn’t be said for the first decade of the 21st century. As always though the ointment has a fly or two. Currently even the earliest Gran Coupes (still €40k) are financially out of my reach. I can wait two years or more. No problem. Many have no electric sun blind. Not an issue. No proper fifth seat? I couldn’t care less. Most don’t have extending thigh supports? Never use it on my car. Not enough buttons? Now this is getting serious but I could just about live with the iDrive business. The real problem resides under the bonnet. I looked at one of Ireland’s biggest car sales websites and typed in “BMW 2011 onwards”. 2076 cars popped up for perusal. Only 31 are petrol. That’s not a misprint, only 1.5% of modern BMWs for sale in Ireland today are petrol. They are almost all M cars and not ONE of them is a six series of any description. Not one. Enough to make you puke. Please please please, someone, somewhere in Ireland, buy a petrol Gran Coupe. Look after it well. I want to buy it from you in 5 years time.