Double Take Period-Correct-Off: 1978 and 1979 BMW 528is

While pristine, all-original examples of classic and collector cars certainly have a cadre of devotees, there’s a slightly smaller and equally evangelical group of “period correct” piece lovers. From aftermarket wheels, body bits, seats and gauges right through to stickers, even if the car isn’t the most desirable model it can be brought up to snuff with some appropriate modifications. Today’s duo of E12s are good examples. Both start as 528i models; by themselves, certainly not the prettiest or most desirable BMW even within the period of the late 1970s. But both have gone through some modifications which make them desirable, though they take very different paths. Which one would you like?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 BMW 528i on eBay

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe

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The W111 coupe is a hell of a design. But it’s one thing just to be a good design. Lots of cars over the years have looked great but when it comes to putting the rubber to the road, well, it’s better off sitting quietly in the Denny’s parking lot on Friday night ‘Cruise Nights’ in small town, USA. Not true of the W111 coupe, and especially not the 3.5. Launched in 1970 to wrap up production of the W111 and make way for the R107/C107, the 280SE 3.5 coupe was the 230 horsepower V8 version to the regular 280SE with the straight-6 M130. Strikingly handsome in almost any color combo, 3.5 coupe values have more than doubled in the last few years. This 1970 located in New York City checks all the boxes if you are looking for the almost perfect classic Mercedes coupe.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe on Hemmings

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

1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 3.5

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend one of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s June Jamboree shows at the Mercedes-Benz Headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey. The car I was driving at the time, a 1998 C230, won a popular choice award, mainly down to condition and originality. Across the parking lot, a car caught my eye that is still haunting me to this day. It was a 1967 250S sedan finished in Arabian Grey with a red MBTex interior. It also had a 4-speed manual gearbox, with floor shift. With the simple dog dish hubcaps over steel wheels, there was something refreshingly honest about this car. This 300SEL 3.5 for sale in Portugal reminds me a lot of that particular Mercedes from years past, albeit this one has the 3.5 liter V8 residing under the bonnet, with leather seating in place of the MBTex.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 3.5 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8

Edit 7/11/2017 – This car is back on the market from the same seller with a reserve auction

Vuarnet shirt, stone-washed high-wasted jeans, neon Wayfarers, legwarmers, Wham!‘s “Make It Big” album playing on your Walkman, a tennis lesson scheduled for later in the day with someone named Chad, Tad or Chaz, and a BMW 3-series; they’re immediately identifiable as a product of the 1980s, even if in this case they were made in the late 1970s. Take a moment to consider the seats in this Alpina; made by Recaro, they’d look as at home on Bill Cosby’s back as he lectured Theo as they would on the race track. But just as those trends from the 80s have been revisited by the “Hipsters” of today, there’s another class I’ve dubbed “Yupsters”, wishing to relive the glory of Wall Street and every club from the Breakfast to the Country. They’re interested in the BMW 3 series, and the major resurgence of the small executive sedan has become ironic in its own right, from the “Respect Your Elders” stickers plastered on cars not much older than the creatures driving them (who, even more ironically, typically don’t know much about history), to the hypocrisy of everyone being different by all owning E30s. The only things missing from the entirely predictable plotline are a Harold Faltermeyer soundtrack and a cameo at the local show by Steve Guttenberg. To me, the 3 series that comes out of all of this smelling like roses is the E21; relatively forgotten and overlooked due to less availability, sport and cliche, a turned up E21 is nonetheless a beautiful thing when properly done:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 on eBay

Alpina Double Take: 1976 520i and 1983 B9 3.5

We’ve had the pleasure of looking at some pretty cool European and Japanese market Alpinas lately, and another two popped up that were worth considering. One is a B9 3.5; we’ve seen a few of these from the same seller, and this one looks as exceptional as the seller’s previous offerings. Interestingly, where the seller previously had listed the cars on reserve, this time they give us an entry price. The second example is a bit more of a mystery; an Alpina liveried E12, it looks more like an assemblage of parts than an actual original Alpina car. Let’s start there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 BMW 520i on eBay

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 4-speed manual – REVISIT

The 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe with the 4-speed manual gearbox we featured early this year is back up on offer, having been previously listed at $84,500. These cars were classics with a modern heart. With the manual gearbox, it’s quite the rare W111.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site January 25, 2015:

Tuner Tuesday: 1978 BMW 635CS Hartge

From the same collector as last week’s 2002Ti Alpina comes an equal rarity this week. As with early Alpina and AMG information, details on early Hartge cars are sparse at best. Though Hartge was around as early as 1971, there just isn’t much information on how many cars they built or the exact details. That makes today’s E24 pretty interesting; what should likely be labeled a “H6” isn’t, instead being referred to as a “635CS”. It appears to originally be a 1978 635CSi which had the injection undone. Instead triple Webers adorn the M30, a setup reportedly good for 290 horsepower. But while Hartge badges adorn the car, there are odd details that seem to question the authenticity:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 BMW 635CS Hartge on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Alpina B11 3.5

While many celebrate the E38 as the highpoint of 7-series design, I prefer the look of the E32. Perhaps that, in part, is because I was lucky enough to live with one for some time – one of the rare ’88 5-speeds, it was a car that I always enjoyed driving and especially enjoyed looking at. Granted, you could rightly claim that the E32 was stylistically not much more than a stretched E34. Is that such a bad thing, though? To me, the design language transferred really well and the E32 was well proportioned, modern looking and yet immediately identifiable as a large BMW,and yet muscular flares and a slight tick up in the body line towards the trunk was a built-in spoiler. The E38 took this design and refined it even more, with sleeker lines and a more dramatic drop in front – probably one of the main reasons, along with some killer wheels, that people prefer the later design. But outfit an E32 with lower suspension, a deeper air dam and some killer wheels, and the design is pretty awesome. The stripes don’t hurt, either – nor does the top-tier name Alpina painted all over:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Alpina B11 3.5 on eBay

1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 3.5

We like to speculate about “what ifs” here at GCFSB when it comes to models a particular manufacturer may have not offered. The Mercedes-Benz SL was in for a large change in the early 1970s with the introduction of the R107 SL. Mercedes’ roadster would be transformed into more of a cruiser than a sporting machine, with a myriad of V8 engines on offer throughout its lifespan. Some lamented the fact that the SL was taking a turn towards luxury and abandoning the “sport light” formula embodied by its predecessors. A V8 was never offered in the W113 SL, but a few intrepid enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to slot two extra cylinders under the hood of these drop tops, as we see with this restored 1968 280SL sporting a period 3.5 liter V8.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 3.5 on eBay