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Alpina Double Take: 1976 520i and 1983 B9 3.5

We’ve had the pleasure of looking at some pretty cool European and Japanese market Alpinas lately, and another two popped up that were worth considering. One is a B9 3.5; we’ve seen a few of these from the same seller, and this one looks as exceptional as the seller’s previous offerings. Interestingly, where the seller previously had listed the cars on reserve, this time they give us an entry price. The second example is a bit more of a mystery; an Alpina liveried E12, it looks more like an assemblage of parts than an actual original Alpina car. Let’s start there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 BMW 520i on eBay

Year: 1976
Model: 520i
Engine: 2.0 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 130,000 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction

This 1976 BMW 520i was imported through California, lived in Salt Lake City for several years after California, then I purchased it when I lived in Des Moines 6 years ago and brought it to Austin 2 years ago. These “Bavarian Bastards” were set up and ready to go to be Alpina specials from 1973 – 1976. This car had all the trim components added (seats, steering wheel, vinyl decals, body trim) but I don’t think it ever received the A4/A4S/A5 Alpina tuning kit – which among other things would have added dual Weber carbs to the engine. This one is outfitted with a single Weber.

It came from the factory with an M10 4-cylinder and a 4-speed manual, a set-up never offered in the USA. It is also an original Golf Yellow car with very few options as is typical of Euro market examples. (NOTE: No air conditioning). The Alpina front air dam and stripes are aggressive but almost blend in considering the loud aesthetic dictated by the factory color. Great looking Enkei wheels. Black turbine alloys are nicely matched and the dainty non-USA bumpers give improved proportions. H&R springs and Bilstein dampeners give it a gentle rake, and the engine is fed by a Weber 32/36 carb. It needs some cosmetics but is a solid runner. It was the perfect charity rally car for me – I could drive long distances for hours on end and the car wouldn’t hesitate a bit. The seats fit like a glove and really made long drives pretty easy. I’ve driven this car from Utah to Iowa, Iowa to northern Wisconsin, Iowa to Kansas, and Iowa to Texas. No issues except had to replace the alternator on the Kansas trip.

I’ve entered it into many charity rallies over the past 6 years. It has an aftermarket fuel cell in the trunk and a nice aftermarket stereo. There are typical issues of a 40-year old car, and it’s going to take a little love to bring it up to mint (or drive it as it is) but it’s solid. Perfect candidate for a, in my opinion, pretty easy restoration (restore while you drive). I just have too many projects and a new family. Going to miss this one but really want to get it into someone’s hands that is going to love this car as much as I have.

This car is in Austin, Texas. You’ll need to plan on getting it picked up as soon as possible, my storage is coming to an end. If you need some time I may be able to be flexible, but you’ll need to message me before the end of the auction. Otherwise, I’m assuming the buyer will be able to make arrangements to pick up the car pretty quickly.

Check out BMWISM dot com and /all_bmw_alpina_cars.htm

Reselling do to a nonpayment/no show buyer. Very reasonable reserve price, but please don’t ask what it is. Some questions I’ve answered thus far:

1.Is it a true Alpina? I think I’ve described to the best of my ability what is Alpina about this car and what isn’t. Do your research. This is a pretty amazing BMW, likely the only one like it in the United States. But I’m not sure of it’s exact pedigree.
2.The engine bay shows “cracks.” This is not the body. It has a dampener/firewall material installed. My belief is it is factory installed. This material is cracking a bit and looks more dramatic in the photos than it really is. This has nothing to do with the metal underneath.
3.Is there rust? Yes there is some surface rust. I think it is contained to surface areas at this point. The BMW is a solid runner and will continue to drive while you figure out what you want to do. The car looks nearly exactly as it did 6 years ago when I bought it, so I don’t think it has gotten much worse. As they say, it’s a 10-footer (looks great from 10 feet).
4.Is there any official stamping/tagging on the car and/or in the engine bay from Alpina? No.

Is it really an Alpina? Not likely. It looks more like a previous owner outfit the car with a few correct details, but it’s missing some important ones. The Golf Yellow is pretty fetching and the stripes and deep chin spoiler help to set it apart from your run of the mill E12. Not that you often see E12s these days anyway, but it’s quite unique. Even more unique is the drivetrain; the M10 520i/4-speed never made it to these shores, and coupled with the bigger body likely makes this car pretty anemic. Alpina did modify E12s starting around 1978, with the early B2 3.0s and later B7 and B7 turbo. But this isn’t one of those cars from what I can tell, so you’re buying a slightly rusty, fairly slow and unusual colored E12 with some neatish Alpina details. It should remain pretty cheap, but it’s also a bit of a project.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Alpina B9 3.5 on eBay

Year: 1983
Model: B9 3.5
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 83,125 mi
Price: $31,900 Buy It Now

â—¾Make: BMW
â—¾Model: Alpina B9 3.5 E28 #166
â—¾Year: 1983
â—¾Body Type: Standard Car
â—¾Doors: 4
â—¾Seats: 4
â—¾Steering Position: LHD
â—¾Owners: unknown
â—¾VIN Number: WBADA7103D8465849
â—¾Body Stamp Number: WBADA7103D8465849
â—¾82,642 miles, 133,000 km

exterior, electric

â—¾Exterior Color: Blue

Original D blue exterior All original Alpina equipment are there
Alpina line is later version (You can put original ver)
all original dry panels. very streight. no dent or damage. no rust at all.
F Strut towner bar
All working order less SR

interior, suspension

â—¾Interior Color: Black

All original Alpina interior less Alpina original Steering wheel
even Dash has no cracks very clean interior. The car kept inside gurage all the time. past 6 years 100km each 2years driving records.
Original Alpina wheels suspenssion etc… handring so smooth and tight

engine, equipments

â—¾Engine Size: 3430 cc
â—¾Cylinders: 6
â—¾Power: 241 Bhp (180 kW)

245ps Runs so smooth and strong. Very good mainteined car. No leaks No strange sounds at all.
Air cleaner box updated (not original) = you can buy this parts anywhere.
High range RPM runs so good. you can enjoy !!!
All Original Alpina equipment less steering wheel

E28 B9 is so rare and no chance to get good one

no more.

transmission, special features

â—¾Mission: Manual (5)

5 speed transmission Shift smooth. clutch hold ight. This is the last chance to have nice B9 Alpina E28 model Price is reasonable so Please make sure you have enough money to buy the car.

1983 BMW Alpina B9 3.5

history records
Newly imported to japan. Well mainteined car but last 6 years 100km each 2 years so only 300km for 6 years

maintenance records
many records
This car never lost registlation since the car importd to japan. Even this 6 years only 300km but the car even now still has current tag (registlation)

The last B9 3.5 I wrote up was number 21; the silver with blue stripes 1982 from the same seller. In nearly equal condition and with similar mileage to this car, it sold for a reported $27,000 – so it’s not much of a surprise to see this seller try to list this one for a few dollars more at $32,000 though it’s likely a bit of a reach. The dark blue is quite pretty and these B9s are fairly rare; at only around 500 made, you’re much more likely to find a M5 than one of these. Pricing is about on par with what an equal condition E28 M5 would bring these days, but the B9 isn’t quite as quick or menacing looking. It’s still a classic in the making, though, and if the documentation is in order (#166 doesn’t appear in the Alpina Archive, for what it’s worth, while the last two from this seller were) it’s a neat bit of BMW and Alpina history that will give you more thrills than a 535is and more exclusivity than nearly all the M cars.



  1. RPM
    RPM July 15, 2015

    Why doesn’t the 3.5 seller include a decent picture of the entire seats or the dashboard? Strange.

  2. Xray
    Xray July 16, 2015

    I’m actually the buyer of the B9 #21 which I imported to Hawaii from Japan earlier this year. Looking at the Picts of this car, it looks like mine is actually in a little bit better shape/more original. The upholstery isn’t as tired, mine came with the original Alpina steering wheel and no engine modifications. I do have lots of clear coat scratches, some old dried plastic parts and the front airdam was damaged in shipping but otherwise a pretty solid car. Pictures are never the same as inspecting in person. It has however been a thrill to drive and I don’t regret the purchase. I think 2016 may be the year of the e28. We will just have to wait and see!

  3. Carter
    Carter July 16, 2015

    @Xray – how did the purchase go for you, if you don’t mind me asking? I loved the silver/blue combination!

  4. Josh
    Josh July 16, 2015

    I owned that 520 for a few years. It now looks a little rougher than when I owned it. It was a really fun car for what it was.

  5. Carter
    Carter July 16, 2015

    @Josh – cool! Do you know any more of the history? I had many fun times in a E12 528i; it wasn’t fast, but it felt pretty special. I imagine this one was the same.

  6. Josh
    Josh July 16, 2015

    @Carter – I bought it from a guy in Salt Lake City who was getting rid of it in a divorce. He bought it from the person that imported it into Southern California a number of years ago. I believe that is when all of the Alpina parts and decals were added.

    It was a lot of fun to have. I loved that everything inside was in German and measured in kilometers. I ultimately got rid of it because I had so many cars at the time and was soon to be moving into a place that I didn’t have a garage. It was pretty rusty when I sold it and was hoping that someone would take it and do some body work to revive it back to its original condition. Even though it is just a 520 I still think it deserved it since there are probably only a handful of them over here in the states.

  7. Xray
    Xray July 16, 2015

    @Carter – the purchase went well I would say. There was somewhat of a language barrier in the emails (my Japanase friend helped with that) and I had special logistical issues with getting the car to Hawaii. You would think it would ship the shortest distance directly, but no it had to go to Long Beach first through customs then from San Diego to my island. The dealer in Japan did help find a company to get it through customs for me since I’m not in Caifornia and also included the shipping to CA in the purchase price ($2K). He does seem to have a revolving door of sweet cars as he has offered me to purchase other Alpina’s and Porsches after the first sale that have never made it to eBay. If you live on the mainland I would say it would be easier than what I had to go through. I love the silver/blue too but it has been hard to find stripes for my airdam as they all seem to be green, silver, gold or a combination type. Thanks for posting all the great finds. Keep up the good work. Aloha!

  8. Eurotrash
    Eurotrash July 17, 2015

    According to my info this car it had broken odometer (stripped gear likely) but Shaken looks to be 2015 if that is indeed a 26 so could be recent.
    ABS Lamp on cannot tell if seller addressed this.
    Sunroof non-op-Check with seller as well
    Wrinkle in core support-possible front end collision
    Big tear in headliner-check if fixed
    Car was not running on all 6 cylinders-again check with seller.

    Anyway-best of luck to the winning bidder but I suggest you get the seller to provide backup on the above issues. She is a beauty and is good otherwise from what I saw.

  9. Carter
    Carter July 18, 2015

    @Josh, @Xray, thanks for sharing your stories!

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