While engine swaps on BMWs seem downright commonplace, there are the normal engine swaps (the well played out S50/52 comes to mind) and then there’s Hartge. The history between the two premier BMW tuning firms in Germany – Alpina and Hartge – is interesting. They’ve vied for the top spot for several decades with slightly different design philosophies. During that time, they’ve also seemingly flip-flopped; originally, Hartge took a more conservative route than Alpina, whose wild turbocharged creations challenged BMW’s own offerings. But after they were granted full manufacturer status in Germany in 1985, Hartge really came into its own and hasn’t looked back since. While like many firms they offer a line of aerodynamic tweats, wheels, exhausts and engine management chips, their party-piece is taking motors from the larger BMWs and popping them into the 3-series models. None of these conversions is more notable than the E90 H50 though. While the E46 H50 took the V8 out of the 5 series, the E90 had a V8 available in the lineup in the M3. Hartge therefore moved up the food chain to the E60 M5’s S85 V10. With a staggering 500 horspower out of the box and even 50 more with Hartge’s tuning, they transformed the rather mundane small executive sedan into a supercar:
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We always want what we can’t have and so it goes in the automotive realm. So many great foreign cars have been forbidden to US customers over the years that you could write a book. Last week we featured a tastefully modified 1981 BMW 323i and now hot on its heels comes another 1981 323i, one which was treated to an impressive restoration. For sale in Wisconsin, I could spend all day pouring over the details on this one, from the headlamp wipers to the houndstooth fabric. This is one well executed refurbishment.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 BMW 323i on eBay
The Hartge/Weismann modified European market 1987 325i convertible is back up on eBay with a reasonable price drop from $20,000 to $16,900. It’s still expensive, but considering the clean build with rare parts the price seems more in line now.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325i Euro-Spec Hartge/Weismann on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site July 22, 2014:
Another week of wheels, this time some more rarities. I love the polished look of narrow Fuchs wheels on early 911s. MOMO 5-spoke wheels were some of the best in the early 1980s, and these would be a nice alternative to the normal ATS/Ronal “Penta” wheels that often adorn early 80s Benz models. How about those great Hartge wheels, seeing that we’ve had two Hartge cars this week? Rather have something a bit more stock? How about the Audi Coupe-spec 15″ Speedline wheels complete with track rubber? Or if you’re into Volkswagens, we have a nice set of the early Corrado “Sebring” wheels too – what’s your favorite?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Porsche Fuchs 15×5.5 5×130 Wheels on eBay
I was joking around with our editor, Paul, saying that I was pretty sure we could just feature E30s all day long and everyone would be happy. There’s a seemingly endless supply of examples that come to the market every week. There are the normal S50/S52 swaps, some crazy turbo editions, mint condition original examples, tired daily drivers and everything in between. But occasionally something special pops up that really makes you take notice. Much like earlier’s H26 modified 325i, here is a 325i that was apparently originally modified by Hartge in Germany. Sporting some of the really tasty Hartge bits but not a full H26 conversion, the Coup de gras has to be the Weismann hardtop: