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:
All posts tagged BMW
It would be easy to credit the BMW M5 as the first super sedan, and in many ways, it is. With a motorsport-derived twin cam 24V inline-6 under the hood good for over 280 horsepower in Europe, the E28 M535i and M5 were nothing to trifle with. However, well before the Motorsports division of BMW had their way with the E28, they built the prototype for what would become the definitive sports sedan in the E12 M535i. Granted, the E12 didn’t have the super M1 motor under the hood. However, like the later M5 would, the E12 had upgraded brakes, a re-tuned suspension featuring unique springs and Bilstein shocks, a deep front air dam and rear spoiler and BBS mesh wheels. Because this was basically still the 1970s, they also received some spectacular Motorsports stripes outside to help differentiate them as something special. Inside you got special Recaro seats with a unique corduroy fabric and an M1 steering wheel – not a bad touch. All of that was coupled with the uncatalyst M30B34 seen in several other BMWs, good for 218 horsepower. It was in just about every way the stepping stone to creating the M5. They were even produced in similar numbers to the M5, with only around 1,400 made – 450 of them being right drive like this 1980 example for sale today:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW M535i on eBay
The search for the elusive, clean E30 continues, and this Schwarz example appears well cared-for with only minor cosmetic modifications that are fully reversible. The look is very lippy and very low, and I think with the ///M badge removed and some slightly more subtle wheels, this would be a very clean daily driver. The price is right but the transmission is unfortunately wrong, making this more beauty queen than canyon carver. Maybe it should keep the oversized BBS wheels after all?
Click for details: 1987 BMW 325i on eBay
I hold out a small amount of hope that somewhere, floating around the U.S., there is a pristine, low mileage and mechanically perfect Audi V8 quattro. Honestly, even though I prefer to find a 3.6 5-speed, I wouldn’t even be bothered if it was an automatic as long as it was the later 4.2. As with all the large luxury sedans from Audi, there are precious few that remain in good original shape with lower miles. A similar situation occurs with the same generation BMW 7-series; the E32. Like the V8 quattro, it was a big step forward in the sporting executive market for the company, yet crumbling residual values and expensive repairs on the V12 models have left precious few in good shape. In fact, the E32 almost seems to disappear in the realm of classic BMWs, such is the concentration on early models or the bargain performance of the E38 and newer examples. So when a lower mile, pristine condition E32 pops up, we take notice:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 735i on eBay
I have a few more rare sets of wheels to check out this week to help you set your ride apart. While the Mugen wheels are really intended for Hondas, the look of this particular set of wheels would really set apart an early Volkswagen or BMW. The BBS RA Mahle wheels are much more usual to see on older BMWs, but this set looks awesome and would really suit a 2002 or E21 nicely. The MK Motorsports wheels are much newer but would be a nice addition to an E30 or Mk.2/3 Volkswagen. Melber mesh wheels are another rarity but period for the W123/W126 Mercedes-Benzs, or even an R107 SL. Then there are some great Hart 759 3-piece wheels that would really stand out on a newer Boxster, Cayman or 911. Which is your favorite?