Alpina has always struck me as one of the most thorough tuners in the world. Their research and development of engines, suspension and exhaust is second only to perhaps Ruf and AMG, thanks largely to their close associations with the factory. Inside the fit and finish of the cars is perhaps even better than they came originally; beautiful details that make the cars stand apart. And visually Alpinas have always been the best looking BMWs out there in my opinion; subtle aerodynamic tweaks, beautiful wheels and striking but tasteful “go faster” stripes that distinguish Munich’s best. But even amongst Alpinas there are special models, and the E34 B10 BiTurbo is one of them. Alpina took a normal 535i and made it’s own interpretation of what the M5 could be; instead of a high-revving twin cam S38, you got two turbochargers with enough torque to embarrass those boys from Affalterbach. Alpina achieved this through a full custom build; Mahle pistons, custom oil sprayers to cool the them, stronger connecting rods, sodium-filled valves and bespoke intake and exhaust systems – but then, Alpina’s never been shy about producing it’s own items. While all Alpinas are rare, the B10 BiTurbo was fairly popular; of the 1600-odd E34s Alpina built, a full 507 of them were B10s. There are quite a few kicking around Canada, but not many are in the U.S., making this 1993 example quite rare:
All posts tagged e34
When I come across clean E34 wagons like this one I always wonder what kind of life it has lived, what allowed it go all these years unscathed when so many of its siblings get destroyed by time. At 21 years old this 525iT has fewer miles on it than the majority of used cars from the past decade that we regularly feature. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no garage queen. 72,600 on the clock is a fair amount but compared to the majority of examples out there with more than double that figure under their belt, this is a very low mile car indeed. Aside from the attractive odometer reading the car appears to be in fantastic cosmetic condition inside and out. The Iceland Green Metallic paint over Parchment Leather is as classy as can be and quickly becoming my favorite combo for old Bimmers. Whomever this thing belonged to, they certainly babied it because the front seats show no sign of stress or wear. The rear seats and cargo area look like they’ve barely been used which is particularly unusual for these cars. I keep going back and clicking through all the pictures over and over again thinking I’m going to find something I missed. A tear in the carpet, a stain, a rip in the headliner, something that indicates that this car was used as intended over the past two decades. However there’s nothing there, no red flags, no catch. Just a damn fine example of a wonderfully designed wagon that is ready to serve for many years to come.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 525iT on AutoTrader
I still remember trips with my father to the track in the early 1990s. We were on a mission; he wanted to look at every single E28 M5 and was dead-set on getting one. 1993 would be the year he finally would; to me, the amount of money he forked over seemed to be pretty astonishing for a used car, but at that time it was the newest car the family owned. Still, it seemed dated already; hard to consider seemed that at that time it was only 5 years old! But this was the time when ever successive generation of car made huge leaps in terms of innovation; frankly, exterior design and interior design haven’t become nearly as revolutionary as they once were. If you step out of a E28 into an E34, certainly you can recognize the DNA; but one feels very surely designed in the late 1970s, and the other is much more modern. The same can be said outside; clearly the E28 is a great looking design, but by 1988 it was quite dated and the last of the German holdouts for non-integrated bumpers to my knowledge. Even Volkswagen did a better job of hiding and integrated the 5 m.p.h. bumpers! The E34 was really a modern revolution to the 5 series; aerodynamic, refined, luxurious and handsome, it once again reset the bar for the mid-sized luxury sedan. And as it had before, the M5 also set the bar for performance sedans, with the same S38 inline-6 under the hood. It was magical still, even if it felt a little less raw compared to the earlier editions. While the E28 long languished as the unappreciated M product from the 1980s, slowly but surely it has gained more appreciation. Today, it seems the of the original pre-E36 cars, the one remaining value is the E34 – ironically, the upscale replacement for the aging dinosaur E28:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 on eBay
At first glance this may appear to be nothing more than a very clean E34 525i, but look inside and you find out that this car is quite unique. It’s not the pristine cloth interior that I bet still smells good or the OEM tape deck. No, what makes this ultra low mileage E34 so unique is that it’s a import from the Land Of The Rising Sun. That’s right, this is a LHD BMW Japan E34 525i. I’m not an expert on BMW interior history but from what I’ve been able to find, the steering wheel in this vehicle is also unique to foreign markets as is the leather surrounding the shifter. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but so far as I can tell all the U.S. spec E34 5 series had a hard shifter surround, not padded leather which I think is a very nice touch.
Aside from those things the interior is the same low key environment you’ll find in any E34, simple ergonomic design that is focused on the driver. It’s always such a pleasure to see vehicles of this era with such sharp interiors because it really exemplifies how on point they were. I’ve been in a bunch of E34’s and never really appreciated the cabin as most of them had been well worn, sticky surfaces from spilled coffee, cracked leather, that stale smell of two decades worth of shutting people around. I hope that the person that takes this thing home realizes how special it is to break in 26 year old car and really enjoys the process of doing just that. It’s great that this 525i has such low mileage but I’d say it’s time for it to be somebody’s daily driver.