Tuner Tuesday E30 Showdown: 1986 Alpina C2 2.5 v. 1987 Hartge H26

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?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina C2 2.5 on eBay

2000 BMW Z3 Coupe

So much attention has been levied upon the BMW M Coupe that it’s easy to forget there was a non-M version of the E36/8. Equipped with the grunty, 190 horsepower dual-VANOS 24 valve M52/TU in front, a manual gearbox in the middle, and a standard sport differential in the rear, the Z3 Coupe offered high fun factor that wasn’t really present at the original launch of the model. The M52/TU lightened the load as well, swapping the M50 iron block for an aluminum one also seen in the contemporary E46 model. That was coupled with the dynamic shape of the “Clownshoe”; polarizing in looks, but hardly forgettable no matter your opinion. These have become niche cars that buck the traditional SUV-laden commute, yet are reasonably affordable and eminently practical as a daily driver:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW Z3 Coupe on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 BMW 535i Dinan Turbo – REVISIT

Here at GCFSB, we feature a lot of cars. Since I started writing for this site, I’ve composed some 1,773 articles, a fair amount of which cover more than one car. So it would be easy to forget that you’d already seen a car. That would especially be the case if a fair amount of time had passed since you last saw it and it was a relatively plain-jane looking model.

Enter this 1989 535i in Cirrus Blue Metallic. Outside of Hartge wheels, it’s pretty unassuming. That is, except for the “Dinan” badge on the left side of the trunk.

It’s that Dinan badge which unlocks a world of performance that otherwise is the domain of M models, and this sleeper package with low reported miles seems to be a pretty compelling alternative. Immediately, I recognized this car but knew it had been a bit since I last saw it. Since it was originally featured in March of 2014, very little has changed – the seller utilized the same photos and much of the same description from the original ad, disappointingly. He reports about 500 more miles in two and a half years, and unsurprisingly the price has dropped little. The auction is no reserve with an $11,250 starting bid – only about $750 less than the original ask. As the market on E34s really hasn’t improved greatly since then outside of some exceptional M5s, I’d wager this automatic 535i – even with the Dinan provenance – will have trouble this time around, too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 535i Dinan Turbo on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site March 11, 2014:

1989 BMW 325is

$_57 (5)

We’ve seen some great full-on Hartge automobiles here, and they’ve always struck me as an interesting (if not quite as desirable) alternative to Alpina. This 325is has no real Hartge provenance, but has had enough hard-to-find and period-correct pieces retrofitted to warrant mentioning. The factory original M-Tech II bodykit and cloth interior are nearly as desirable as the Hartge pieces, painting a picture of an owner who has spent a ton of time and effort sourcing parts to put together his perfect 325is. No doubt this is a gorgeous and carefully-composed love letter to the E30, but $21k is a lot of money for a 325is with 166k miles!

Click for details: 1989 BMW 325is on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 2008 BMW 135i Hartge

In my ongoing quest to get into a newer BMW, one car that keeps popping up is the 1 series E82 Coupe. The reason why is pretty simple; value. I love cars with the M badge, but it’s sometimes hard to justify the premium, and looking through the E46 market is a bit like one of those Sarah McLachlin-soundtracked mistreated animal commercials. Too many have suffered heavy modifications, mistreatment, and the number of salvage titles must exceed any other specific model – it’s simply amazing. In contrast, many of the 135is are just leaving their first owners as they begin to head into the used car market, meaning there are plenty of examples in good shape, with good owner history and with lower miles. Still, the E82 doesn’t really get me warm and fuzzy; I once described it as a E46 M3 that was in the middle of a 3-car pileup and then repaired by a high-school autobody shop as a project. It just doesn’t look quite right to my eyes, with the bending rocker accentuating the short wheelbase, while the “I’m somewhat surprised” look of the too-large and too-upright headlights begs for some internet meme action. However, once in a while one catches my eye and strikes me as a compelling alternative to a M3. With the twin-turbocharged N54 under the hood coupled to a manual transmission, you got the same feel as the E46 M. Couple that with some attractive visual changes from BMW specialist Hartge along with a bump in power, and suddenly you have a much neater package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 135i Hartge on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 2006 Hartge H50 – REVISIT

Two S85 V10 swapped 3 series in a week? Sure, we can do that! The crazy Hartge-modified H50 built on a base 325 is back and now for sale on eBay. The “Buy It Now” is the same $105,000 asking price as last winter, and with no new photos still this one is still a bit of a head scratcher in a few ways – especially since you can grab a S85 V10 M5 in the $20K range now. But it’s rare, it’s fast, and I’m sure there are still a host of people who’d like it – I’m just not sure at this price, though.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Hartge H50 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 14, 2014:

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Hartge H5SP

Hartge has never really enjoyed the popularity of Alpina, just as the E34 doesn’t enjoy the popularity of the bookends to its production run – the E28 and E39. There are a myriad of reasons for both occurrences, but the result is that for the discerning individual who would like a potential future classic on an affordable budget, the E34 is a great chassis to consider. Solid build quality, good looks and plenty of luxury combined for a genuinely lovely experience. Even in the small motored 525i, the E34 was an entertaining drive when coupled with a manual transmission – I spent many hours at the wheel of the 1995 example my family owned for several years, and while a few times I wished it was an M5, I never was really left disappointed. Move to the bigger brother 535i and you’ve got more go under your right foot – and if you introduce a host of Hartge bits coupled with a Japanese build from famed tuner Tommykaira, you’ve got one interesting and future collectable driver’s car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Hartge H5SP on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: Unusual E30-off

Okay, if the Brabus-off from earlier was a bit…well, odd, I have another pairing that’s a bit unusual too; though, to be fair, only 50% of this duo is really unusual. I’m guessing it won’t take much much imagination to guess which of these cars is the odd man out. Today we have a Hartge modified 323icamino, and to compare in the unusual tuner world, a Japan-only model of the E30 built by Alpina – the B6 2.7. Let’s start with the RanchE30o:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 323i Pickup on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1978 BMW 635CS Hartge

From the same collector as last week’s 2002Ti Alpina comes an equal rarity this week. As with early Alpina and AMG information, details on early Hartge cars are sparse at best. Though Hartge was around as early as 1971, there just isn’t much information on how many cars they built or the exact details. That makes today’s E24 pretty interesting; what should likely be labeled a “H6” isn’t, instead being referred to as a “635CS”. It appears to originally be a 1978 635CSi which had the injection undone. Instead triple Webers adorn the M30, a setup reportedly good for 290 horsepower. But while Hartge badges adorn the car, there are odd details that seem to question the authenticity:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 BMW 635CS Hartge on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Hartge H26 SP

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Hartge H26 on eBay