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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

Year: 1987
Model: B7 Turbo/3
Engine: 3.5 liter turbocharged inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 60,724 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

sale is the most rare version of the BMW E28 body style ever built. After Alpina built the exclusive E12 and E24 B7S Turbos in ’81 & ’82, the E28 B7 Turbo that came out in ’84 with 300 horsepower that the rest of the world received was just not good enough for Alpina buyers in Japan. They demanded an E28 with the same 330 horsepower of the B7S, and this model–the B7 Turbo/3–was built to answer their demand, just for their market. Alpina made only 30 of them, 4 with manual transmissions and 26 with automatic transmissions. This car is 1 of those 4 cars with manual transmissions, so in reality it is 1 of only 4 cars built in this model with this spec in the world. The transmission is a 5-speed overdrive transmission, which Alpina chose for these 4 cars; it has a limited-slip differential, Alpina sports suspension, Alpina big brakes, a special digital gauge on the dash to provide boost, temp, and other readings, an extended-range fuel tank in the trunk, a new muffler, all of the Alpina signature interior and exterior features that Alpina installed on their cars at the time, and it has only 60,724 mi (97,158 km) on the clock. Selling for $170,000 when new in 1987, it is in as excellent condition as a 30 year old car can be, and it is totally original. It has never been modified or restored in any way. With just 2 owners since new, the current owner purchased it with only 6,500 km on it, and has kept it original, maintained it fastidiously, and garaged it the entire time he has owned it. The car will be sold with service records, the original manuals, and the original brochures that came with the car when new. The VIN of this car does not show in the listing above due it being a Euro-version. The actual VIN is WAPB7TL016B730254. We have included photos of this shown both stamped on the body and on the VIN plate in the engine bay. Note that this car is currently at our facility in Japan, but we will assist the buyer with importing it to the port of their choice, and we will sell the car to any country in the world. Shipping charges are extra, and their cost depends on how the car is imported. You can get an ocean freight shipping quote from the port of Tokyo on the shipping link in this listing, or on one of many on-line sites providing these estimates. Feel free to e-mail us via eBay with any questions you might have.

The seller’s claim is that 30 catalyst-equipped B7s were produced, but the Alpina Archive lists 42 as the number. Either way, rarity is ensured. The Alpina-specific VIN corresponds to #254 in the Alpina Archive, which correctly identifies the colors on this car and the location of California (where the auction’s claimed to originate, anyway). Unlike the previous C2 example, this B7 is heavy in the proper Alpina details; the wheels, body kit, striping, and interior are all correct. Indeed, it appears only the exhaust is not the original unit – but after 30 years, that’s not surprising, nor is the aftermarket Sony CD player. If there is anything at all that’s a bit strange in the listing, it’s that the seller claims the car is currently located in Japan while the Archive lists the car in California. Perhaps, though, that’s just a clerical error on the latter’s website. Otherwise, it’s surprising that there aren’t better photographs for such a limited and high-dollar BMW. However, the seller’s website has slight better resolution (though no more information) and indicates the number of Alpina examples they’re currently selling, including several Turbo/3 models that they’ve sold.

Value? Your guess is as good as mine. Currently, Number 36 of the B7 Turbo/1s is for sale in Germany at 49,840 Euros ($54,000). Mileage is about double what is seen here, but otherwise the two are quite similar. And earlier E12 B7 with lower mileage is for sale in the Netherlands at 99,950 Euros ($108,400) which really shows the range on these cars. Bidding on this car sits well below those two at $45,000 with the reserve on. Which is the one to have? A lot of that depends on your personal style and budget, but I’d expect that the seller of this example is looking for more than the German black one. $50,000 – $60,000 seems to be about the right ballpark in today’s market, but depends a lot on the people in the room willing to bid on a rare bit of Buchloe and BMW history.


One Comment

  1. John
    John March 29, 2017

    ebay ad says: Note that this car is currently at our facility in Japan, but we will assist the buyer with importing it to the port of their choice, and we will sell the car to any country in the world. Shipping charges are extra, and their cost depends on how the car is imported.

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