We last got to look at a modified E30 through the disappointing realization that finally after years of trying to sell with different dealers, the car listed as an Alpina C2 2.5 was just a very convincing replica. But as noted, the car was clean and wore a lot of really expensive Alpina bits – so while the price tag of $22,800 seemed high for a replica, it was in some ways amazingly justified.
So what happens when the car in question is a real Alpina? We find out when we look at an actual Alpina C2. The asking price in that case was nearly double at $39,500. And when you factor in that the C2 is one of the less desirable E30 Alpinas out there, that’s drawn into sharper contrast.
So here we are again with another Alpina to consider, but it’s not alone. One of our readers spotted a Hartge H26 – an even more rare to see variant of modified 1980s E30. And to kick the rarity up a few notches, both are 4-doors instead of the usual 2-door sedans. So how do they compare in terms of pricing, and are these cars all that they seem?
Well, GCFSB faithful, “ExoticCarsJapan” has provided us with a bit of a headscratcher today. I’m continually mystified by the seemingly endless amount of original and perfect condition Alpina, Hartge, AMG and Ruf cars that come out of Japan. It’s as if they were all bought and stuck in a storage container, awaiting their certain increase in value. And right now, it doesn’t get much hotter than the E30 market is in terms of number of people interested and number of cars coming to the market. Like some of the rare Alpina models we’ve previously covered, here’s a real-deal Hartge. The strange part, from what I can tell however, is the badge which matches the VIN plate – it reads H26 SP. What’s strange about that is that this car appears to be slightly different than most of the H26s – and I can’t find any actual information on the H26 SP:
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?
The Hartge/Weismann modified European market 1987 325i convertible is back up on eBay with a reasonable price drop from $20,000 to $16,900. It’s still expensive, but considering the clean build with rare parts the price seems more in line now.
The below post originally appeared on our site July 22, 2014:
I was joking around with our editor, Paul, saying that I was pretty sure we could just feature E30s all day long and everyone would be happy. There’s a seemingly endless supply of examples that come to the market every week. There are the normal S50/S52 swaps, some crazy turbo editions, mint condition original examples, tired daily drivers and everything in between. But occasionally something special pops up that really makes you take notice. Much like earlier’s H26 modified 325i, here is a 325i that was apparently originally modified by Hartge in Germany. Sporting some of the really tasty Hartge bits but not a full H26 conversion, the Coup de gras has to be the Weismann hardtop:
The Euro-spec 1987 BMW 325i with period Hartge H26 modifications and M-Tech pieces is back up for sale on eBay. It’s not a huge surprise given the original quite high and optimistic asking price, but the new price is down 15% to $22,000. That’s still a lot of money for a non-M3 E30, but what price would you pay for this neat piece of kit?
The below post originally appeared on our site June 25, 2014:
As with earlier’s AMG clone 300CE, this 1987 BMW 325i presents a bit of a problem. This particular car also visited a tuning shop in Germany, one that like Ruf and Alpina can be considered to produce its own cars. In this case, this car – had it been fully built and titled – would be considered a Hartge H26. But, also in this case, the car is not fully built and consequently not fully titled a Hartge. What you have, then, is a very good looking 325i sporting one of the less usual engines to see – the 2.6 inline-6 rated at about the same 190 horsepower as the early M3s. Now, perhaps it doesn’t matter to you that it’s not a full Hartge car – but it matters to the market:
Update 12.6.2011: Back on eBay, links updated. Previously listed in November. -dc
The Hartge wheels on a local 325is caught my eye, and while I’m usually more of an Alpina fan, I’m starting to really dig the rare Hartge models of 80s Bimmers. With only 113k miles, today’s beefed-up 325i is beautifully clean inside and out. It has obviously been well taken care of, with the pinstripes and spoilers still looking great, the interior nice enough to eat off (if you allowed food inside), and the underside looking close to new. I can’t see paying the premium on these unless you’re a serious enthusiast, but those who do will get a great looking E30 with as much power as the M3.
A nice recounting of provenance and recent care:
1989 BMW E30 Hartge H26
Bronzit/nature tan leather – shadow line trim & mirrors – Hartge logo’s front & back.
· US Spec. 325ia car prepared by Hartge in Germany – delivered through the “Fly & Drive” program that began in 1987 – a very, very rare car. Build sheet code #0841.
· Low mileage 113K – 5200 miles/year – always adult owned/driven.
· Recent mechanical & restoration.
The vehicle was purchased new by Mr. Jung through Vasek Polak BMW in Hermosa Beach, Ca. The original service booklet & manual verify. My Jung picked out his options & order/pay for the car.The German plant would send the vehicle to Hartge Mfg. to have the options installed. Being in the “Fly & Drive” program (started by Porsche). The buyer would fly over to Germany, take delivery at the plant, drive around Europe for a time, drop the car back at the plant, where the manufacturer would ship the car to the US dealer.
It would also explain how Vasek Polak BMW ended up delivering the car as they could handle all the paperwork & arrangements for the Hartge without being an authorized distributor-they never took possession of the car, floored it, or took it into their inventory.