Feature Listing: 1981 Alpina B7 Turbo

Feature Listing: 1981 Alpina B7 Turbo

“If you’re looking at this ad, you know what it is. Yes, this is the real deal.”

It was a simple, straightforward solution – but its effect was profound. By adding a KKK K27 turbocharger to BMW’s M30 inline-6, Alpina made quite a splash and firmly cemented its name in the hallowed halls of the ‘World’s Best Tuners’. The result of that marriage coupled with adjustable boost, an intercooler and special injection was 300 horsepower and 340 lb.ft of torque – in 1978! Even the much lauded and celebrated Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera had less power from more displacement; the 3.3 turbo flat-6 produced 265 horsepower and 291 lb.ft of torque. If the Porsche 911 Turbo was a supercar killer, the B7 Turbo was a 4-door 911 assassin. The Alpina was the real deal, and ever since then they’ve been at the sharp end of the world’s fastest sedans.

Beyond just looks, the Buchloe firm of course added signature deep chin and pronounced trunk spoilers. Large (for the period) 16″ alloy wheels wore 225 section tires in the rear to help transfer that power, while specially specified Bilstein shocks were mated with stiffened and lowered Alpina-spec springs and sway bars. Inside, Sheel seats were outfit with Alpina’s beautiful striping, while extra gauge pods read out critical engine performance measures.

A total of 149 of these sedans were produced, each in a slightly different and unique specification with numbered dash plaques. This example, #209, was specified in Sapphire Blue Metallic with Alpina’s bespoke cloth:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Alpina B7 Turbo on Seattle Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Alpina B7 Turbo/3

Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Alpina B7 Turbo/3

For me, the perfect counterpoint to the questionably presented C2 from a few days ago is today’s B7 Turbo. Just about everything in the B7 was taken up a few notches over a standard E28 (or even an M5), and this example exemplifies that perfectly in comparison to that E30.

The B7 Turbo models were, quite simply, some of the fastest BMWs made to that point. More to the point, they were some of the fastest cars in the world in the 1980s; Alpina claimed the E12 B7 Turbo was the fastest sedan in the world, for example. The B7S had bumped up to the 3.5 liter M30. Strapping their special injection system along with a KKK turbocharger and a host of internal modifications, the B7S produced 911 Turbo levels of power which made it (unsurprisingly) 911 Turbo fast. The model continued after the changeover to E28 model, but with some differences. Instead of the bespoke injection on the early model, Alpina instead reprogrammed the Motronic in the E28 to work with the turbocharged M30. The B7 was available in both catalyst (/3) and non-catalyst (/1), both producing 300 or more horsepower. Alpina claims they ultimately made 236 of these beasts by the end of production, but the catalyst version – a large chuck of which ended up in Japan – was the more rare of the two. Today, one of these mega sedans is available, and while a high percentage of the Japanese-destined B7s ended up with automatics, this one has a manual:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Alpina B7 Turbo/3 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo

While I’ve recently covered quite a string of impressive Alpina models, the reality is that all of them leave me a bit wanting. It’s not that they aren’t lovely, or full of incredible and beautiful detail. It’s not that they’re in bad condition, misused or abused. It’s not salvage titles, accident history or even poorly presented advertisement. No, for me, it’s what you get for your money. I understand the nature of exclusivity and certainly the Alpinas offer that. They, for the most part, also back up that exclusivity with well-engineered increased performance, so while the appearance package helps to set them apart, few Alpinas are posers. But when the asking prices for aftermarket E30s are $50,000, $60,000 – even $90,000 dollars, for you not to question the sanity of the market would be seriously worrysome. That’s especially true since you can get Alpina’s arguably most impressive product from the same period for less:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Alpina B10 BiTurbo on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Alpina B6 2.7

Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Alpina B6 2.7

$65,000 for an E36?Bullsh*t!“, most of you are probably saying. That money should be reserved for true classics or brand new models. Heck, you can get a perfect condition, lightly used M4 for $65,000 even in a cool color. But anyone can walk down to a dealer and get a brand new car. You’re an enthusiast, which means you enjoy the purgatory of older car ownership. Few of your non-automobile related friends understand why you like old, smelly, slow, uncomfortable, often in need of repair hunks of metal and plastic. “It’s just a car”, they say. But it’s not just a car to you – it’s an identity, a feeling, a Joie de vivre those who don’t know will never have. It doesn’t matter that they don’t understand, because you understand. So you take that $65,000 that you could have spent on a brand new, ultra-flash and ultra-fast M4 but you don’t spend it on an ultra-obscure two decade-old E36, because they’re not worth that much – obviously. No, you instead spend it on a sure thing, a car that isn’t a flash in the pan, a recession-proof investment-grade BMW like….an E30?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina B6 2.7 on eBay

1991 BMW M5 Euro-Spec with 12,500 Miles

1991 BMW M5 Euro-Spec with 12,500 Miles

In the 1980s, especially in the early 1980s, if you wanted a hot BMW your best bet was to look for a “gray market” car. Equipped with stronger motors and unequipped with emissions equipment and bumper-car bumpers, they were the more pure versions of the original designs. But as the 80s drew to a close, the flood of Euro-spec cars into the U.S. dried up. It became harder to import and Federalize them, and the differentiation between U.S. and Euro versions became smaller. True, there were cars that still had a pretty big gulf; the E36 M3 is a great example of this. And it’s still not usual to see fans of a specific model from any of the marques interested in what was available in Europe – or rather, what wasn’t available to U.S. customers. Take the E34 M5, for example. There were a number of colors and interiors that U.S. fans didn’t have the chance to partake in, but it’s usually the later run 3.8 motor that raises eyebrows for U.S. fans. That, and of course the Touring model of the M5 that debuted with the E34 and wasn’t brought here. But this particular E34 M5 doesn’t have any of those things. It’s an early run car without the larger motor, so the S38B36 is essentially the same one you’d get in the U.S. model. Interestingly, the HD93 U.S. spec car is much more rare than the HD91 European version – 1,678 produced versus 5,877. Rarity also isn’t on the side of the color, as Jet Black 668 with 0318 / L7SW Black Nappa Leather isn’t an outrageous combination. It is more rare to see the four post seat setup which this car has, but the real kicker is the mileage and condition with a scant 500 miles a year covered:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 Euro on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1983 Alpina C1 2.3

Tuner Tuesday: 1983 Alpina C1 2.3

The E21 generally remains the affordable classic in the 1970s to 1980s BMW range, being undervalued when compared to many of the E10s and E30s. It has all the right ingredients for the BMW faithful, too – especially in little six European trim. The 323i looked like a scaled down 6-series and it effectively was, but that doesn’t make it in any way unattractive. Alpina, too, had their had in this model, producing no less than seven variants in a short run. The most popular is the bad boy B6 2.8, but there was a lesser known M20 powered C1 2.3, too. With 170 horsepower and all the right Alpina details, it’s begging for the attention that it deserves:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Alpina C1 2.3 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1982 Alpina B7 Turbo

Tuner Tuesday: 1982 Alpina B7 Turbo

It is with some eager anticipation I open my browser every week and search for the next interesting tuner car for today’s signature feature. Because of the explosion of the internet and the shrinking of the world coupled with trends in classic 1980s cars, the playing field has become littered with interesting period examples of cutting edge tuning technology. And for that it seems we have to thank Japan, since a majority of the classic AMG, Alpina and even Ruf cars are rolling back through Europe and into America from the land of the rising sun. Today’s star draft pick is one of the best players to emerge from the 1980s – the Alpina B7 Turbo. It was, for some time, the fastest sedan in the world, besting even BMW’s own Motorsport division entrants. With adjustable boost trimmed to 300 horsepower, only cars like Porsche’s 930 or some exotics could keep up. Today’s B7 – number 251 – has traveled around the world and back but is set to make the next leg of the journey:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Alpina B7 Turbo on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 – REVISIT

Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 – REVISIT

Back on the market in a reserve auction, the neat to see but slightly questionable 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 from last fall is a great 80s reminder of styling trends. See the post below for some items that look a bit off or out of place. Bidding has been pretty slow and is just over $20,000 – some $12,500 short of the asking price in September. Will it see a new buyer this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 15, 2015:

1973 BMW 1600 Touring

1973 BMW 1600 Touring

A few weeks ago I looked at a quite rare 2002tii Touring that was available for import from Europe. Uniquely styled and a very late production tii Touring, the seller was looking for around $35,000 plus importation fees – which, truth told, can get pricey. So, what about a resto-mod 1600 Touring that has been thoroughly upgraded with a 2 liter motor, 5-speed transmission, air conditioning and a helping of Alpina details for a few thousand dollars less?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 BMW 1600 Touring on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Mega Tuner Showdown: Dinan v. AMG v. Treser v. Alpina v. Ruf

Tuner Tuesday Mega Tuner Showdown: Dinan v. AMG v. Treser v. Alpina v. Ruf

I’m always a fan of the showdown posts; no surprise, since I think I’m the only one who does them here! While it’s nice to highlight one car at a time, I’m just a fan of the opportunity costs; considering what my money could go towards otherwise. Plus, though we see comparisons of new cars in magazines and online fora, it’s not often that we have comparos including nearly 40 year old cars. While I usually highlight this type of comparison in my 10K Friday posts, today is a bit different and I believe the first time I have a showdown on Tuner Tuesday. I’ve rounded up a quintet of neat cars that are all modified from stock by some of the most famous tuners of the 1980s; which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8

Tuner Tuesday: 1979 Alpina B6 2.8

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

Tuner Tuesday: 1982 BMW 320i Alpina – REVISIT

Tuner Tuesday: 1982 BMW 320i Alpina – REVISIT

After a few months being listed for sale, it appears that the seller of the unique Alpina modified Euro-spec E21 320i has become a bit more realistic and the car’s asking price has dropped from $24,000 to $15,000. That seems more in line with top-of-the-market 320i sport models and makes it a much more compelling alternative to the more typical modified E30 crowd:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 320i Alpina on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site March 24, 2015:

Coupe Week: 1989 BMW 635CSi

Coupe Week: 1989 BMW 635CSi

There are few cars that stir my emotions the way the E24 does. It is far and away my favorite BMW coupe and arguably one of the greatest automotive designs of all time. Few vehicles capture the essence of the 80s the way this car does and I think it is for that reason that I am fascinated with it. One of my long time goals has been to buy a car from the year I was born, but in the instance of the 635CSi I’d be better off adjusting that two years forward in order to get the updated version of the “Senior Six” M30 engine, which sported an increased compression ratio and updated Bosch Motronic DME.

This particular CSi has a laundry list of attractive qualities that lead me to believe it’ll sell for it’s Buy It Now price of $15,900. Though the lister has done an exceptional job of photographing the car he’s left out a number of details I’d be sure to include were I the one with the car up for sale. The seller notes that the vehicle is a one owner example but fails to mention that this is a final year vehicle, a year that only 61 manual 635s made it to our fair shores. Adding to the rarity is the all leather interior on this particular vehicle though the story of how the original owner took delivery in Germany leads me to believe that its not one of the ultra rare “L6” or “Luxury 6” 635s. Those cars were outfitted with all available options, a full leather interior and then shipped from the factory as a 635 CSi to the US where they were rebuilt by BMW of North America. The full leather interior would be an absolute must have were I to get one of these cars as it maximizes the vibe of glorious excess, which is what this car is all about.…

Two turbos and eight doors: 2004 VW GLi v. 2006 VW GLi

Two turbos and eight doors: 2004 VW GLi v. 2006 VW GLi

509

Like all Volkswagen models, Jettas seem to draw a very different crowd than the quite similar Golf, and generally that crowd (among enthusiasts anyways) has a bit of a reputation for being….different. Personally, my favorite GLis are the 2.0 16Vs with big bumpers, but Volkswagen has listened to what you wanted over the years, and with age has come more options, bigger bodies and more power. Still it seems that the Jetta falls squarely in the shadow of it’s badonkadonakless brother, the GTi. That belies what a good car the Jetta has become since the original A1; it’s remained the sophisticated and sporty option amongst small sedans while others have come and gone. Today I want to look at two GLi options that are very popular amongst the tuner crowds. Let’s start with a Mk. 4 2004 GLi:

509

Year: 2004
Model: Jetta GLi
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 103,000 mi
Price: $6,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLi on eBay

2004 VW Jetta GLI, has 103k miles, 6sp. I drive the car daily so miles will go up slighty not much. Once car is sold I will stop driving it. I have a clean title in hand. There is a $250 NON-refundable deposit once offer is accepted. You have 48 hours to leave a deposit once offer is accepted. The rest of payment is in CASH when buyer picks the car up. You will have 7 days to pickup the car.

Runs and drives good everything works. No leaks of any kind. ABS light and ESP light is on. Trying to fix both light issues once I do I will update listing. There are a few spots were the headliner is sagging a little. Like new tires (tires installed Oct 2012), timing belt and water pump (installed last year), throw out bearing with slave cylinder installed last week.