When did the BMW tuning crowd become the new Volkswagen tuning crowd? I must have missed the memo, but it appears that it certainly went out. In my search for modified cars, I come across quite a few; it seems that for every well modified car, though, there are a few examples that leave you wanting for more. More attention to detail, more refined taste, and in some cases more money spent. That money doesn’t have to be spent poorly – we’ve seen, for example, cars which aren’t the best examples but have great photographs somehow be more desirable than good examples with bad photos. Heck, in one Volkswagen post I even pointed out how the seller was at a car wash (and photographed the car there being washed – a new, and also completely pointless, Volkswagen tuning crowd trend) but then failed to vacuum the car out. Well, it would seem that some of the hallmarks of the Volkswagen crowd are spilling out into the all-too-popular 1980s BMW bandwagon. List out loud the details of this E28 and you’ll have the enthusiasts drooling; Zinnoberrot 535is with black leather, Brembo brakes, M-System II throwing stars, Bilstein and Racing Dynamics suspension, Alpina cam and cluster, and a custom 400 horsepower M30 under the hood. But in this case, I don’t think the result is greater than the sum of the parts:
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Following up on last week’s Alpina B6 2.8 Touring, I have another post of the boutique manufacturer’s cars. It goes without saying that Alpinas are pretty special cars and quite limited production; however, a few sub-models are notable as being especially rare. Going above and beyond, these cars will really set you apart from the typical crowd – get specific about the configuration, and you can usually count on one hand the number of models that are the same as the one you’re looking at. That’s especially true when you see today’s Alpina twofer – two lesser seen models from a lesser seen manufacturer. Today I have, thanks to a great spot from our reader John, the #2 produced B10 Allrad Touring and the #123 B12 5.7. Which would be your flavor? Let’s start with the Touring first:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Alpina B10 Allrad on mobile.de
One of the great things about personalizing a car is the variety of ways that it can be carried out. Some people choose to return their car to near original showroom shape while others wildly modify the car with a total lack of regard for originality. The 2002 has traditionally been one of the favorite modification platforms as BMWs go; out of the box, it was blessed with good handling and balance, distinctive looks and it’s a car that’s easy to work on. Most that are in a condition that need or warrant modifications can be had fairly inexpensively, and the myriad of directions you can take means that possible permutations and combinations of parts rarely leave two looking identical. Today is such a case – two fairly similar platforms that take two very different directions – which is your favorite and why?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 BMW 2002 on eBay
While some other aftermarket tuners such as Ruf and Renntech offer turned up versions of the already potent cars, Alpina operates slightly differently – filling in the voids of models not offered by the manufacturer. There are plenty of examples of this, and if often seems to be misunderstood; Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the Alpina Roadster is probably the most notable case. A slower, softer, automatic version of the hardcore roadster certainly doesn’t make a lot of sense at first glance. But what Alpina does is give enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the performance that BMW offered in a slightly different package that sometimes outperforms the original platform car – Chris Harris recently found the B3 Biturbo to be nearly “the perfect car“. One of the notable missing gaps in the BMW lineup was a faster version of the E36 Touring; building off the earlier B6 – effectively, Alpina’s 4-door M3 challenger built between 1992 and 1993 with a bespoke engine and typical Alpina upgrades, the company later launched the Japanese-only market B6 2.8 Touring. Produced between 1996 and 1998, only 136 of these small wagons were produced, again utilizing the 240 horsepower bespoke Alpina motor, special wheels and interiors, Alpina’s own body kit, exhaust and suspension. They were available in 3 colors only; red, silver, and green:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Alpina B6 2.8 Touring on eBay
When BMW upped its game in the E36 chassis with the introduction of the M3, specialty tuner Alpina answered with the B3 3.0 and later 3.2 in step with BMW. The successor of the slightly less powerful B6 model, the B3 kept many of the same improvements to the E36 chassis – unique stabilizers, springs and shocks, and larger brakes. Inside the B3 received the normal Alpina-style shift knob, steering wheel and seats, and in their typical style Alpina provided unique front and rear spoilers along with their own badging. Of course, the package was rounded out by some of the best looking wheels ever fitted to a BMW. While the B3 was down on power to the European M3 3.2, it wasn’t really much slower – again in typical Alpina fashion, the car was tuned to make the most of the power that was available rather than just provide a shockingly high output number. A reported 1,000 of these ultra-exclusive B3s were produced, with about 2/3rds of those being the earlier 3.0 model. With only 342 of the 3.2 produced, the pool is already very exclusive on these. Add a manual transmission when most are automatic, special order Dakar Yellow paint and a cabriolet model, and this is among the most exclusive Alpinas ever made.