All posts in Alpina

1984 Alpina B10 3.5

We’ve covered a lot of Alpina models on these pages, but today’s example was a new one to me. In fact, it may be a new one to you, too – because this might be the most rare Alpina model produced. Alpina didn’t have a lot to do with the early 7 series for a few reasons; one, they didn’t sell in big numbers and most of Alpina’s work was concentrated on the smaller and sportier 3,5 and 6 series. But BMW offered a factory hotrod itself in the turbocharged 745i in 1981, and at that point Alpina seemed to give up the ghost on development of the E23 – or did it? The problem was that in Great Britain, the 745i wasn’t available, so Alpina dealer Sytner had the company develop a specific U.K market model. Based upon the 735i, the B10 3.5 featured a 261 horsepower Alpina 3.5 liter motor, normal Alpina suspension upgrades and wheels and some subtle exterior and interior changes. Although these cars were not built in Germany, they are nonetheless considered real Alpinas. Only a scant 22 were built, and one is for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Alpina B10 3.5 on eBay

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1974 BMW 2002 Turbo

What was the first M car? Many would instantly say the M1 – first to carry the magical badge of engineering prowess. But of course BMW Motorsport existed before the M1 came to be, and indeed had already tipped their hat to the market with two now legendary cars in their own right. The first was the 3.0CSL a stripped out and lightened racer for the road. The next capitalized on BMW’s early turbocharged technology. Though the inline-6 would be the staple of the road-going lineup until fairly recently, the performance side of BMW took their inline-4 racing virtually everywhere, from Le Mans to Formula 1. And they won virtually everywhere, too – thanks to adjustable boost, in qualifying configuration the development M12 was reportedly capable of 1,400 horsepower – from 1.6 liters. In the 2002, the more pedestrian M10 was turbocharged, resulting in 170 horsepower. That may not sound like a lot, but consider for a moment that small performance sedans up to that point had considerably less. Take the Lotus Cortina, for example, which only a few years earlier was the hot shoe with 105 horsepower. The 2002 Turbo was really a revelation in performance, then, and BMW never looked back. Produced only in Polaris Silver Metallic or Chamonix White like this one, a scant 1,672 were made and are very collectable today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: Alpina Roadster V8 Roundup

Part of the appeal of cheap(ish) cars to me is that when they get older they’re so infrequently seen. It’s not that exotics are daily drivers around me, but once a generation of car’s usefulness has been eclipsed they all but disappear from the roadways, replaced by the newest model. Do you really want a clean Audi 5000CS quattro Avant, for example, or an impeccable BMW 630CS? They can be found, but few and far between best describes the frequency with which they come to market. But as the price goes up, so rises the number of examples that are available at any given time. They may still be classified as “rare”, but they’re rare not because they’re hard to find – just hard to afford. There is nothing particularly rare, for example, about most of the Porsche 911 model range from any generation – they were all effectively mass produced sports cars. But because they were highly priced and treasured, the number of good examples that are on the market today exceeds the actually rare 924 Turbo and late 944 Turbo, for example. Looking in another direction, I marveled that on eBay this week there was not one, not two, not even three – but no less than six Z8s tuned by Alpina. That represents just over one out of every 100 that was produced, all for sale at the same time, all in perfect shape, all with low miles and high prices. In fact, this pool gives us a chance to check out exactly how much mileage changes perceived value – or at least, asking price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Alpina Z8 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1994 Alpina B12 5.7 Coupe

Almost exactly a month ago, I took a look at “The One” – the single yellow Alpina B12 5.7 produced. With little information and a staggering price, it was hard to conceptualize how it would reasonably trade hands. But if that was the package you exactly desired, that was about as good as it got. Alpina produced only 57 of the 5.7 Coupes, after all. About half of those produced were opted with an early form of semi-automatic transmission. Dubbed the “Shift-Tronic”, Alpina offered this electronically controlled clutch as an option only of the 5.7 models, and a reported 32 were so equipped. Though not so wildly optioned with color, today’s 5.7 is claimed to be number 30 of the run:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Alpina B12 5.7 Coupe on Classic Driver

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Tuner Tuesday: 1995 Alpina B12 5.7 Coupe

Bold. It’s a word not often associated with Alpina. In fact, if anything traditionally Alpinas have been anything but bold. Tasteful, certainly, but they seem to almost blend into the BMW lineup as if they were originally part of it. Indeed, today they are – offered through your local BMW dealership almost as a factory option like floor mats, you can get a monster Alpina tuned version of your car. But if bold is loosely defined as being striking or vivid, few Alpinas would really capture the attention of the general public as anything more than a normal production BMW. But the design of the E31 was bold with the wedge shape redefining production series BMWs. And this particular version of the E31 – the Alpina B12 5.7 – is pretty striking too, with giant wheels filling out the design nicely. The drivetrain of the B12 5.7 was pretty bold too, with a over 400 horsepower from a naturally aspirated V12. But it’s this singular example of the B12 that is perhaps the most bold. Painted Giallo, it’s arguably the most eye catching color to coat a E31, yet somehow suits it well with the black striping. Bold also is the strategy of trying to sell the car with only one photo and no description outside of a telephone number and some very basic details of the car. But perhaps the most bold thing about this E31 is the asking price, which despite the 90,000 miles on the clock is advertised at a stunning $221,000:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Alpina B12 5.7 Coupe on eBay

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