I’ve shown in several recent Alpina posts that you really need to watch what you’re buying. As it’s still possible to get all of the parts from Alpinas and even replica dash plaques can be forged, it’s the details that help to establish that you’re barking up the right tree.
The last E32 Alpina we looked at was the replica B12 5.0. While it looked the part and featured correct Alpina parts, it was not an original build – something that makes a difference in the pricing. Yet that didn’t slow down bids the second time around, as a slick picture gallery and glaring omission that it was a later build from parts netted a $23,600 sale. For a non-original E32, that was seriously strong bidding. For example, we had featured a real B12 5.0 with very low mileage in pristine condition for $29,900 in 2016.
Today we have another E32, but this time it’s the lower-spec B11 with the M30-derived 3.5 liter inline-6. Looks wise, there’s little to differentiate these two models. While the E30, E28 and E34 models usually steal the headlines, I absolutely love the brutish look of the even larger 7 adorned with the signature Alpina treatment. So is this B11 the real deal, and is it a better deal?
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:
The 1989 E32 Alpina B11 3.5/1 from January is back! After failing to sell in a reserve auction, the seller has moved to a no reserve format and with about two days to go, this rare 7 has crested $10,000. Last time around I guessed that the car would struggle to break past $12,000 – around where I thought the reserve was set. Where do you think it will end up?
The below post originally appeared on our site January 27, 2015:
Another week, another Alpina treat from our favorite new tuner seller from Japan. This time, unlike the mostly 5-series based models that have popped up for sale there is a E32 model on offer. The E32 was a big step up in terms of luxury and driving dynamics from the E23, fully modernizing the high end lineup for BMW. As they had with previous models, Alpina immediately had their hand with the new model and breathed their normal aftermarket life into the large executive sedan. That meant a turned up engine good for 250 horsepower (261 without catalyst) although that engine – from the E28 B10 and E30 B6 – was replaced with a 254 horsepower version in 1988 which was shared with the E34 B10 3.5/1. In addition, the normal suspension, wheel and interior treatments were complimented by some minor aerodynamic tweaks and exhaust upgrades to create a decidedly more performance oriented luxury car:
Back in June, we featured an E32 Alpina B11 for sale from our friends at North Shore Autosport. Only 332 of these were produced and here comes yet another for sale in Germany. However, if you weren’t keen on the automatic gearbox in the one featured in June, then you’re in luck. This one has three pedals.
Model: Alpina B11 3.5
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 125,000 km (~ 77,671 mi)
Price: €29,950 (~ $40,300 USD)
Original Alpina B11
Original 125000 km
Full leather interior
Dimming interior mirror
Trade-in and Financing Available!
The ’89 Alpina B11 that was for sale at North Shore Autosport was up for sale at $23,800. While dear for an E32, that’s at least a more believable figure than what is being asked for this example, manual transmission or not. It’s hard to place a value on rare machines like this, but it would take a special person to bite on this B11 at this price. In a few years times, these may start pulling big dollars, but if other performance oriented BMWs are any indicator, it will be the smaller 3 and 5 series Alpinas that will bring the big money, with the larger, more luxurious models slightly lagging behind.
BMW M cars are some of the most sought after performance machines on the road today. But with the proliferation of the Motorsports badge across the entire lineup, what if you want something a little bit more exclusive? Something just a bit more special? Alpina is a good place to start. Not just any other tuner, Alpina works closely with BMW to maintain the integrity of their vehicles which they seek to modify, something they have been in the business of doing since the late 1960s. Unlike many other tuners, they have earned the recognition as an official vehicle manufacturer by the TÜV in Germany, or Technical Inspection Association.
This 1989 B11 3.2, based on the E32 7 series, is for sale from our friends at North Shore Autosport in Chicago. It’s one of 332 built, having been imported to Canada via Japan about a decade ago. It has since been federalized upon arriving in the US.
Model: Alpina B11 3.5
Engine: 3.5 liter inline six
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 84,261 miles
Originally a Japanese spec Alpina and then imported to Canada in the mid 2000s. This is B11 is owned by me, (Frank), personally. I hired a US approved importer from Washington State to federalize this B11, as they were near to Alberta, Canada where I found this unmolested Alpina. It was EPA exempt due to the year, but was still subject to some lighting, gauges and side impact requirements to be in accordance with NHTSA and DOT. This was a painstaking process and was quite expensive. Nevertheless, it is a completely street legal vintage Alpina with low original miles and unaltered original condition.
All original Alpina components are intact and nicely preserved.
The word on the street is this 1990 Alpina that was offered by a Canadian seller on eBay back in 2006 is back on the market. The below photos are from back in 2006. I have no link, but perhaps the current owner can post a comment below with more details about the vehicles status. If you are interested post a comment and we’ll see if we can get some more info.