Tuner Tuesday: 1977 BMW 633CSi ABC Exclusive Widebody

It’s a day for storied 1970s modified BMWs apparently, and from one very expensive but tastefully modified BMW we travel on to one very expensive but…well, let’s just call it period piece and be done with it. Widebody cars were the rage of the 1980s, especially amongst top-flight German cars. Built to mimic their racing counterparts, everything from 560SELs to Porsche 928s got the treatment. There were several manufacturers who were notable for widebody conversions; Strosek and Konig are probably two of the most famous, but not to be outdone a small tuning firm from Bonn – ABC Exclusive – also got into the 1980s cliches. Did you want a glitzy, over the top 6-series? ABC could deliver, replete with color coordinated dashboards ripped straight from the Space Shuttle and champagne flutes hidden in the refrigerated seat section in the rear. Have you ever ridden the rear of an E24? I have, many times. Let me tell you, not many people capable of drinking champagne are capable of sitting back there comfortably. Perhaps that explains the champagne, then. But ABC wouldn’t just end there, because if you wanted a different sort of over the top 6-series, they had two more options; you could chop the top off and get a flexible-flier CSi for your trips to the Riviera, or you could opt for the outrageously flared widebody conversion:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 BMW 633CSi ABC on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Alpina C2 2.5

It’s somewhat amazing that a small tuner like Alpina managed to turn out nearly as many variants of the venerable E30 chassis as the factory did. Alpina developed a total of 11 variants of the 3 series that I can figure out, and with the Japanese specials there may have been even more. The C2 was the top-tier model of the small Alpinas until the introduction of the M3, which effectively negated the entire point of the C2. It was a bit quicker and cost less than the Alpina, and consequently the small tuner upped the ante by slotting in the larger M30 motors to really take performance to the next level. But the early cars are still quite potent; in 2.3, 2.5 or 2.7 form, the C1 and C2 had between 170 and 190 horsepower, and with only a reported 160 built between all the “C” models, they’re certainly much more exclusive than the M3. The same seller as earlier’s AMG has turned up with a late C2 2.5 from Japan; wearing gold Alpina decor over the Alpine White exterior, this is one shining gem of an E30:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina C2 2.5 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger

Which came first; the Mk.1 or the modified Mk.1? Of course it’s a rhetorical question, but it points to the popularity of the first water-cooled Volkswagens. Affordable, practical and plentiful, the aftermarket community thrived on providing all sorts of options to modify your Golf/Rabbit to all sorts of levels. With everything from body kits to performance modifications and interiors, there was seemingly no end to the possible permutations of combinations of parts to make your mass-produced hot hatch a bit hotter and different from everyone else. But weed through the plethora of upstarts, and perhaps the most respected name in the Mk.1 community is Oettinger. Though somewhat out of vogue today, we should not forget that Oettinger pioneered the twin cam, 16 valve engine for Volkswagen – in production as early as 1980, a full 7 model years before Volkswagen’s own 16V would enter service. They competed in motorsport as well, developing rally engines and everything from turbocharged diesels to a full 2 liter 16V motor developing 170 horsepower in 1984; Oettinger-equipped Golfs were quick enough to accelerate on par with production Porsche 928s of the period. Today, their legendary status in the Mk.1 community means that fully built, period models demand a premium even if they’re rare to come by:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: Built To Euro-Spec 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit “GTi”

I was at my mechanic’s just the other day picking up my Passat when he asked me to give him a hand pushing a Mini Cooper S with a blown motor out of the way. He laughed as it rolled to a stop and remarked how heavy it was for such a small car. Of course, BMW made up for this by upping the power and the first of the new Minis is still a hoot to drive in S form, but he said to me “I’d rather have an original GTi”. I concurred; a legend even in its own time, the A1 GTi’s magic has never really been replicated by even Volkswagen themselves. Sure, there are faster, better built and better looking hatchbacks, but there’s something magical about the original – right down to the crazy stories both of us had about 11/10ths driving, flinging the small hatch at corners, overpasses, underpasses, small pets and occasionally pedestrians with abandon. Has all of that nostalgia turned into dollar signs in today’s market, though?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Axis Power: BMW Skyline v. Supra Power

This isn’t the first time I’ve written up sacrilegiously swapped cars, so it’s probably no surprise to see two Japanese-powered BMWs pop up. And in each of their own ways, neither is on the surface, at least, a car we’d typically cover. But before you judge a book by its cover, are either of these cars executed well enough to be a neat package?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325is on eBay

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:

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 BMW M3 Dinan 5.7 V10

The Great Schism was a time of religious crisis for Europe; between 1378 and 1417, there were two Popes. In the early 1300s, a French-born Pope moved the head of the church from Rome to Avignon in France. This was significant for many reasons; Rome had been the spiritual home of the aptly named Roman Catholic Church since the establishment of the 5 main churches by the first Council of Nicea under Roman Emperor Constantine; the first Christian Roman Emperor and the one mostly responsible for converting Europe to Christianity. There are many more stories wrapped up in the ensuing 1,000 years of religious history, but ultimately let’s just say it was a pretty big deal to move the Chair of St. Peter. Ultimately this period, sometimes known as the period of Babylonian Captivity (itself a reference to the actual Babylonians capturing and enslaving the Jewish population about 500 years before Christ was born, if you’re into that sort of thing), resulted in a poor reputation for the Papacy and the Church, as corruption ran rampant through the higher positions in religion. So, in an attempt to correct things, in 1378 the new Pope tried to undo this by returning to Rome. This, of course, pissed the French off. So, they simply claimed they had their own Pope. And since this was during the Hundred Years War, this ultimately split Europe into religious waring factions, each aligned with a different Pope. Not to be outdone, the trading city of Pisa (yes, that leaning tower one…) also briefly claimed they also had their own Pope. Though it ultimately was resolved in 1417 by Church-wide decree that the true Pope was indeed back in Rome, it was the beginning of the end of the omnipotence of the Catholic Church in Christianity, which 100 years later would experience the Protestant Reformation, completing the religious divide of Europe.…

Tuner Tuesday: 1975 BMW 2002

Akin to the modern day M3, the BMW 2002 has become a bit of a blank canvas for enthusiasts looking to try their hand at improving what already is an impressive package. BMW made their sport sedan bones with the 2002, helping the company emerge from financial crisis post World War II. The 2002 would also break new ground, becoming the first European turbocharged production car with the 2002 Turbo. With 170 horsepower and flared fenders, this car was all business and proved to be a popular template for tuners. This 2002 for sale in California is built in such a way for the new owner to enjoy it on the street or track, with turbo look flares, Momo seats and a worked over engine linked up to a 5-speed gearbox.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 BMW 2002 on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Alpina RLE

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The first of the BMW Z1s to roll off the production line are now eligible for legal importation to the US, given they’ve crossed the 25 year old mark. None of the 8,000 produced over three years made their way stateside, but these roadsters with their funky downward retracting doors do have a cult following. Famed BMW tuner Alpina tried their hand at modifying the Z1, the result being the vehicle you see here: the RLE, or Roadster Limited Edition. Only 66 of these special Z1s were ever made, half going to Japan and half allocated for Europe.

Amongst the modifications was an inline-6 enlarged to 2.7 liters that bumped power to around 200 bhp, shorter front springs and trademark 17″ Alpina wheels. Along with the original 66 produced, a handful were also converted to Alpina spec from original Z1s. This RLE for sale at 4Star Classics is one of the original 66 and produced. It’s hard to imagine a Z1 being thought of as common, but this RLE takes exclusivity to another level.

Click for details: 1991 Alpina RLE at 4Star Classics

Tuner Tuesday E30s: 1986 Alpina B6 3.5 and 1990 325i Hartge

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?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina B6 3.5 on eBay