All posts tagged Alpina

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Alpina RLE

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The first of the BMW Z1s to roll off the production line are now eligible for legal importation to the US, given they’ve crossed the 25 year old mark. None of the 8,000 produced over three years made their way stateside, but these roadsters with their funky downward retracting doors do have a cult following. Famed BMW tuner Alpina tried their hand at modifying the Z1, the result being the vehicle you see here: the RLE, or Roadster Limited Edition. Only 66 of these special Z1s were ever made, half going to Japan and half allocated for Europe.

Amongst the modifications was an inline-6 enlarged to 2.7 liters that bumped power to around 200 bhp, shorter front springs and trademark 17″ Alpina wheels. Along with the original 66 produced, a handful were also converted to Alpina spec from original Z1s. This RLE for sale at 4Star Classics is one of the original 66 and produced. It’s hard to imagine a Z1 being thought of as common, but this RLE takes exclusivity to another level.

Click for details: 1991 Alpina RLE at 4Star Classics

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1974 BMW 3.0CS

Ah, the internet. As I often say to my history students, back in the ancient times people actually had to go to a library to look up facts. Take production data, for example. Let’s say you wanted to know how many of a particular model were made. Well, you could phone the manufacturer, which probably wouldn’t get you anywhere. You might head to a knowledgeable dealer, but they’d probably lose interest as soon as it became clear you weren’t there to actually buy anything. You could write the manufacturer and hope for a correspondence back – probably in a few months. Or, if you were quite rich, you could hop on a plane and head to the company’s headquarters, hoping to be allowed in to the archives. But now, on a seemingly daily basis, more information is added to the nebula which is the internet. Some of it is true, some of it is false, and some is misinterpreted. As I say to my students, know your source. If you’re relying on the NBC Nightly News for your facts, for example, you might find that Brian Williams hand-built this E9 himself. Too soon?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 3.0CS on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday E30s: 1986 Alpina B6 3.5 and 1990 325i Hartge

These days, I think you could slap an E30 badge on just about anything and the cult of the small sedan would perk up and pay attention. If the E30 was the natural choice for a sporting executive in the 1980s, it’s become the defacto way to instant street credentials in the European scene. “Sure bro, you might have a 2JZ-GTE Supra, but I got an E30 dawg!” you might overhear being conversed with a heavy beat from Ludacris pumping in the background and scantily clad women draping themselves over your Claus Luthe designed hood, for example. Is that not what happens? Well, the appeal of the E30 is such that you could easily believe that might be the outcome of turning the key in one. As an Audi fan from the same period, I have to admit a certain amount of jealousy; not so much in the design, but in the plethora of choices of what’s available in the market and the amount of manufacturer and aftermarket support. It’s something you just don’t really see in the Audi camp, for example. That means that you can have some mild to wild examples of E30s to choose from each and every day of the week. They’ve also hit importation status on some later models, so the flood gates have quite literally opened and a steady stream of Euro market cars is popping up for sale, trying hard to capitalize on the car made popular by the success of capitalism. As such, today for Tuner Tuesday I have two E30s to consider; a wild Alpina B6 3.5 from 1986, and a 1990 325i right hooker with a host of Hartge upgrades. Who wins the tune-off?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina B6 3.5 on eBay

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Coupe Week Tuner Tuesday: Alpina B2S 3.0CSL and 3.0CS Alpina Tribute

They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and when it comes to Alpina cars there certainly have been a lot of enthusiasts who are eager to copy the legends. Part of that is the great look that Alpina achieved, but also worth considering that Alpina models – especially early ones – command a premium that rivals some of the most exclusive models put out by the factory. Today, then, in honor of Coupe Week I have two E9 models. The first is a real-deal and rare 3.0CSL, but even then a special CSL; this one is an early carburetor model which was modified in period by Alpina to B2S spec. I then have an end-of-run U.S. spec 3.0CS that tries to imitate that look. These two cars obviously aren’t in contention with each other – but is the imitation good enough to warrant looking at?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW 3.0 CSL Alpina B2S on classicheros.co.uk

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Alpina-off: E34 v. E39 B10s

I’ve recently had the pleasure of writing up a few very cool Alpinas thanks to a new seller who seems to be flooding the market. Today, unlike the Japanese seller on eBay, there are two B10s that are already located in the Americas – Canada, to be specific, where it’s a bit easier to get these European market cars imported. So here we have two iterations of Alpina’s vision of the 5-series; in the E34, it’s a 1991 3.5/1 that was very similar in many regards to the B11 3.5/1 I featured Tuesday. On the newer end of the spectrum is the 1998 B10 V8; a huge jump in power to accompany the newer chassis. Which is your flavor? Let’s break down what you’d get with each:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Alpina B10 3.5/1 on eBay

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