Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Alpina B8 4.0

While Ruf and AMG grab most of the big tuner headlines from Germany, Alpina quietly and competently produced some of the wildest and best executed BMWs ever made. Simply put, Alpina made already good BMWs better – and arguably still do today. One of the most interesting aspects of the company is the close working relationship they have with the factory; a partnership which results in truly special treatment. Take the Alpina B8 for example; any normal tuner might have simply enlarged the inline-6 under the hood of the already potent M3. Or, in the tradition of the 1980s Alpinas, they could have turbocharged the engine. But instead Alpina asked BMW to make them a special V8. And, somewhat surprisingly, BMW did – a new block was designed for Alpina since the normal 4.0 couldn’t be bored out. The result was a 4.6 liter motor which was fit to the B8 4.6 and B10 as well. The motor was so large in the E36 that a special oil pan had to be designed, and neatly a German camera maker had to be employed to design and build a special oil pump to run it. Yet in true Alpina tradition, the fit and finish was factory and accompanied a host of suspension, interior and aerodynamic tweaks. Capped off by special Alpina paint, these B8s are truly special E36s. While the B8 4.6 is the headline grabber, Alpina built a short run of 5…or perhaps 6….4 liter models that were sold in Japan:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Alpina B8 on Bimmerforums

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How rare? 2003 and 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed

We talk at length about the rarity of various cars, and when it comes to the W8 Passat 6-speeds, that’s more than just lip service. Only a bit over 450 6-speeds were imported to North America in sedan and Variant form, making them quite rare amongst any measure of car. But when you break down the color combinations that were available and especially factor in the wagon, you can get production numbers down to single digits in some configurations. Considering the sedan outnumbered the wagon over three to one, you’re more likely to find a 6-speed sedan than wagon, but today we’ve got one of each to look at. Which is the rarest of the rare?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed on eBay

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Motorsport Mondays: Unconventional Updates – V8 E30 M3 and 944 3.0 16V

The Porsche 944 and BMW E30 are two of the most popular chassis to use in drivers events and club racing. Cheap, plentiful and effective, they’re usually turned up with race suspension, cages, and once you’ve run out of gusto, it’s not uncommon to see them get greater motivation. Generally for the 944, this means looking towards the turbocharged variant of the 2.5 liter inline-4 that was available from Porsche themselves; similarly, E30s receive a great swath of later Munich-based motors including the S50, S52 and even S54 if you’re really racey. But today there are two lesser-used mills powering this pair of perennial favorites. Which is the one for your sporting needs? Let’s start with the 944:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 on eBay

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10K Friday: Grand Tour Ready – 1993 Porsche 968 v. 1994 BMW 840Ci

You don’t have to despair if you’ve missed out on the E30 M3 and Porsche 911 market – there are still plenty of alternatives that make great occasional vehicles with enough sport to have fun with and enough presence to make you feel really special. Two of the best coupes from the early 1990s are often overlooked and are still very affordable – the Porsche 968 and the BMW 8 series. Now, truth be told most 968s are out of the “10K” price range, and 850i/Cis are often close in disrepair if they’re at or below $10,000. But if you’re willing to take higher miles on the well-built 968 chassis and opt for the smaller motor in the E31, you can find examples of either that fit a budget. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Porsche 968 on eBay

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2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

As the 997’s model run slowly wound down Porsche released a variety of special models that showcased both its history and also its engineering and racing prowess. One of those cars is the car we see here: a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. The GT3 RS went through a constant evolution during the life of the 997, debuting with the 3.6 liter flat-six found in the standard Carrera and GT3, then enlarged to 3.8 liters with modified suspension, and finally the 4.0 liter 500 hp flat-six of the car we see here that featured further modifications to the body and suspension in an effort to reduce weight and improve overall performance. Needless to say, these were serious cars designed to showcase the limits Porsche could push the 997 chassis, without being a full-on race car. Only 600 were produced and with a price approaching $200K they weren’t cheap. But as a final send-off for the 997 the GT3 RS 4.0 was a fantastic display!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 on Autotrader

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1986 BMW 325es M60 swap

Motor swaps are always a lot of fun, especially when someone else has done the heavy lifting. In the case of the E30 platform, it seems there is no end to the different motors that get swapped in. We’ve seen S14 retrofits into 325s, plenty of S50, S52 and even a few S54s pop up. But let’s say you really like torque. And aluminum. What’s an E30 enthusiast to do? Well, of course you could swap a M60 4.0 V8 out of the E34 540i into a 325es. In its original form, the 325es was a bit of a slowpoke good handler looking for more power. The E34 540i was a great motor toting around a fair amount of weight. Couple the two together, and Viola! You make the folks at the local tire depot quite happy. Take a look at this tuned 325:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW 325es on eBay

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2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed

A few weeks ago during wagon week, I wrote up an unloved pair in the German cars enthusiast world; a 6-speed Passat W8 sedan and automatic W8 Variant. While in general most would prefer the manual, in this case throwing the versatility of the Variant into the mix confused matters. Ultimately, though, it seemed like no one really liked either of these complicated Volkswagens. That’s a shame, because unfortunately companies like Volkswagen and Audi at least in part determine which of their elite models to bring over to the U.S. based upon sales, and in that regard models like the W8 Passat and Phaeton are examples of why the niche cars aren’t brought over here. When they’ve been available to us, we simply haven’t bought them in great number.

Today is another example of the neat W8 platform, this time a darker Silverstone Metallic sedan that also has the desirable 6-speed manual transmission:

Year: 2003
Model: Passat W8 4motion
Engine: 4.0 liter W8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 73,000 mi
Price: $8,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion 6-speed on eBay

We are selling a 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4motion with only 73k miles. It comes with the VERY RARE 6-speed manual transmission and full BBS sport package options. It is super clean and runs excellent. Very smooth and powerful car. Please see all the pictures for exact condition. Warranty options are available up to 3 years. We finance and accept credit cards for full/partial payment. We also take trade-ins and can arrange shipping if needed (ask for a quote). Feel free to call us with any questions at 516-543-4600. Thank you

This is a great looking sedan in very good shape; the wheels on the W8 are usually the tell-tale if the car has been well maintained. Those great-looking 2-piece BBS Madras wheels corrode heavily along the polished lip when curbed and not cleaned. The original condition of these wheels would seem to indicate that this car was at least in part well loved. The headlights also show little of the clouding typical in the B5.5 chassis, so either they were well polished (something that doesn’t seem to jibe with the rest of the car’s presentation) or the car was likely garaged, thereby avoiding sun damage.

Silverstone is a pretty, understated color on this performance machine. With lower miles and in good overall condition, as these go this seems to be well presented. However, the car lacks any detailed mechanical history which I would really like when purchasing a car such as this. The last W8 6-speed I wrote up hammered for $5,800 – probably close to the ceiling for the sedan version of this car right now. Considering the slightly lower miles on this car, perhaps $6,500 – $7,000 would be the maximum value for the right person – well short of the $8,500 Buy It Now.

-Carter

Motorsport Mondays: BMW E92 M3 World Challenge

So you want to go the the race track, eh? I don’t blame you; I’ve been tracking cars for 15 years and went to the track with my father for years before that. It’s a fantastic experience, and addictive for most that are involved. It always seems to start off the same way, too – people come to the track with their daily driver, which is soon replaced by a much faster daily driver, which is then completely ruined as a road car in an effort to get the best lap times possible. Loud exhaust, uncomfortable seats, concrete suspension, ridiculous splitters that you leave on the curbs trying to get drive-up coffee, lots of attention from the local law enforcement who refer to you as “Mario”; if it hasn’t already happened to you, it surely will if you go to the track. This is, of course, not to even mention the expense of building a car to be a track weapon – if you don’t double your initial purchase price or more in modifications, you probably weren’t trying hard enough. That’s why it’s so appealing to buy a track car or – if you have the means – race car that someone else has already built and taken the depreciation bath on! But you don’t have to go all out and buy a full race team of championship winning cars – there are plenty of examples of “also rans” which would make a suitable track weapon for the weekend warriors. Such is the case with today’s example – an already fast car made much faster in the form of an BMW E92 World Challenge M3:

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Year: 2009
Model: M3
Engine: 4.0 liter V8
Transmission: 7-speed DCT automatic
Mileage: N/A mi
Price: $49,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 E92 M3 World Challenge on Racingjunk.com

World Challenge E92 M3 (DCT)
Engine-
-Fully Rebuilt World challenge spec engine built by Sunbelt.
-Around 4 Hr of race time on motor.
Cooling-
-C&R radiator/ Oil Cooler
-Setrab Trans Cooler
-Setrab Power steering Cooler
Breaks-
-4 piston Stoptech Front breaks w 355mm Floating rotors
-Custom Front break ducts
– HP Carbon Cooling backing plate ducts
Suspension-
-2 way Ohlins (Front/Rear)
– Upgraded mono ball
-multiple Ebich springs
Exaust-
-custom headdress
-Full custom Exhaust
-upgraded Front and rear sway bars
Safety-
– Full SCCA pro racing approved roll cage
– Recently updated Safe craft fire system
– new Safcraft hans seat belts w/cam lock
– SCCA approved footwell protector
-Carbon fiber Recaro hans seat
Aero-
-Carbon fiber hood
-Carbon fiber doors / factory BMW
-Carbon Fiber trunk
-Costom carbon fiber splitter made by prototype composites
-Lexon windows Front/rear/sides
-Aero Motions Carbon Rear Wing
Wheels-
-2 sets of apex
-3 wheels bbs
Data-
-Aim Evo 4 with dash
Mic-
-Cool Suite. With out shirt.
-Works paddle shifters
-Momo steering wheel, non quick disconnect.
-custom dash relocation.
-Scca approved Kill switch.
-Pre wired safety light com
-Scca Approved safety nets Driver/Center
Spares-
-2 trans
-1 trunk
-other mic parts

Seller Phone Number: (303) 929-3304
Seller Phone Number2: (720) 839-9348
This item is USED

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I’ll save you some calculator time; adding up the modifications and spares listed will exceed the purchase price of this car. Heck, as I’ve said with multiple other race cars I’ve written up, getting a proper engine built will set you back half of the purchase amount. This car is certain to be fast at the track, and is really ideally set up for racing though you could utilize it for DE events. In that case you’d likely need to add a passenger seat which would throw off your corner balancing, so keep that in mind. Being that this car came from World Challenge, it’s probably had some or lots of body damage, so it’s best to check the car for frame twist prior to purchase, but at the advertised price it’s hard to see how you could go wrong. At around half the going rate for a Porsche 997 Cup Car, this car offers most of the same performance and certainly more than enough for any given driver unless your name ends in Said or Auberlen. Keep it long enough, and it will even be eligible for some vintage events in the distant future. If you have the room (and a trailer) to make this happen, there’s no cheaper way to go this fast.

-Carter

2011 Porsche 911 GT3RS 4.0

It’s not a secret that the next Porsche 911 GT3 will be equipped exclusively with Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch gearbox. While the PDK is more efficient and faster than a normal manual transmission, the purists have already been voicing their discontent. First, it was the disappearance of the air-cooled engine. Then came the introduction of an SUV wearing the Porsche badge. And now, no more three pedal option in what is arguably the ultimate 911? What is the world coming to?

The swansong for the 997 was the car we see here, the 911 GT3RS 4.0. This 911 borrowed the engine from the track ready GT3R and RSR, which bumped horsepower in this version to 500. This is the largfest capacity, naturally aspirated flat six that has ever seen duty in a Porsche. The hood, front fenders and seats are crafted from carbon fiber. Plexiglass replaced the regular glass in the rear windows for further weight savings, except for US market vehicles were this material is not compliant with regulations. Only 600 of these cars were made at the end of the production run, assuring instant classic status. This one for sale in Southern California has traveled under 10,000 miles and offers a unique opportunity to experience where 50 years of constant development and evolution will take you.

Year: 2011
Model: 911 GT3RS 4.0
Engine: 4.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 8,500 mi
Price: $250,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3RS 4.0 on Rennlist

My Dear Friends,

I no longer have the time to drive this beauty…feels kind of blasphemous talking wildly like that haha. Can’t even count the compliments and nods from toddlers to grandmothers for this unicorn. But I would rather sell and see it go to a loving owner then sit in my garage. The only change I’ve made to it is tinting the windows as I can’t stand being a goldfish (dark enough to keep the heat and light out but still light enough to see the roll bars and silhouette of the driver Family and friends have tried to persuade me to hold onto it or allow one of them to make monthly payments (bahaha) but I feel this is the right decision. Maybe I will slap myself when this beast is no longer in my possession. Some of us prefer and appreciate the feel of driving a manual transmission while others enjoy the technological advances of PDK. Not to say that one is better than the other but that there is clearly a passionate following for each. I don’t think I need to tell you that this girl can dance. I’ll just say that I felt like the Korean world breakdancing champion at a middle school slow dance when moving on the highway. Only 600 produced. Creme de la creme. Truly last of a dying breed. May she bring you as much happiness and joy as she brought me. No no no…my wife (!!!) has nothing to do with it.

Options:

Carrera White

Leather Interior in Black/Red

Seats Full Leather/Alcantara Red Inserts

Lightweight Lithium-Ion Battery

Wheels Painted Black

PCCB – Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes

Front Axle Lifting System

Fire Extinguisher

Cupholders

Bluetooth Phone Interface

Sport Chrono Package

Floor Mats in Interior Color

Steering Wheel in Smooth Black Leather

Universal Audio Interface

Adaptive Sport Seats w/Memory

Foot Rest in Aluminum

RS 4.0 Logo in Red on Rear Lid

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One wonders if the GT3RS 4.0 will be viewed in similar light to the air-cooled 993 that preceded it, that is, as sort of a last of its breed kind of vehicle. How many more companies will phase manual transmissions out of not just sports cars but vehicles overall remains to be seen. You can’t deny that technology has closed the gap and there’s no real performance or economy benefit to having a manual gearbox, but there still is a certain continent that still likes to row their own, including yours truly. As such, a car like this GT3RS 4.0 will always have that lust factor behind it.

-Paul

Double take: Two 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8s

The Volkswagen Passat W8 is revered and reviled for its unique power plant, but I think everyone can agree that it was a neat and unique idea if nothing else. Smooth, powerful enough, comfortable and roomy, these cars are often passed over but make a great alternative to a used Audi Allroad, for example. Volkswagen put some nicer features in the W8 than were found in the normal Passats, but for most buyers it wasn’t enough to set them apart and VW sold many more 1.8T and 2.8s than the 4.0 W8. While future maintenance on higher mileage examples is enough to scare away most owners, today there are two lower-mile cars from the same seller on Ebay. I’ll start with the lower mile Reflex Silver Metallic model, which shows in near-perfect condition:

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Year: 2004
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 67,509 mi
Price: $11,750 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant on Ebay

Condition: Used: A vehicle is considered used if it has been registered and issued a title. Used vehicles have had at … Read moreabout the condition
VIN: WVWZK63BX4E018631 | See the full History Report

Year: 2004 Vehicle Title: Clear
Make: Volkswagen For Sale By: Dealer
Model: Passat Disability Equipped: No
Trim: W8 Wagon 4-Door Doors: 4
Engine: 4.0L 3998CC 244Cu. In. W8 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated Cab Type: Other
Drive Type: AWD Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
Mileage: 67,509 Body Type: Wagon
Exterior Color: Silver Number of Cylinders: 8
Interior Color: Black Fuel Type: GAS
Transmission: Automatic

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The second W8 on offer from this seller is a Silverstone Grey Metallic edition with grey leather, with more miles and wear showing.

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Year: 2004
Model: Passat W8 4Motion Variant
Engine: 4.0 liter W-8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 98,141 mi
Price: $9,750 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant on Ebay

Condition: Used: A vehicle is considered used if it has been registered and issued a title. Used vehicles have had at … Read moreabout the condition
VIN: WVWZK63B34E118005 | See the full History Report

Year: 2004 Transmission: Automatic
Make: Volkswagen Vehicle Title: Clear
Model: Passat For Sale By: Dealer
Trim: W8 Wagon 4-Door Disability Equipped: No
Engine: 4.0L 3998CC 244Cu. In. W8 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated Doors: 4
Drive Type: AWD Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
Mileage: 98,141 Body Type: Wagon
Sub Model: W8 Number of Cylinders: 8
Exterior Color: Gray Fuel Type: GAS
Interior Color: Gray

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As others have noted with Ebay dealers, it bothers me when dealers ask top dollar for cars but fail to fix pretty simple details. Case in point, the Silverstone car is missing a $11 center cap from one of the wheels. This is something I’d expect from a private owner, but from a dealer asking top dollar it’s a tad bit annoying. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find good condition W8s for sale, but both of these cars appear to be in good shape overall. Many of the cars sporting the BBS made “Madras” wheels have serious lip damage or corrosion, but both cars seem to have clean wheels – and they’re the more desirable of the two stock wheels. I wish you could combine these two cars; I appreciate the condition of the Reflex car (I’ve spent at least 15 hours trying to get my headlights to look like this car) but prefer the lighter leather in the Silverstone car.

Having driven a Passat 1.8T Variant past 200,000 miles myself, I can say that they’re solid cars that are fun to drive and capable machines – so much so, that I bought another when I got the chance. The 4Motion system adds some all-weather stability for those who need it. Granted, the W8 engine and all wheel drive will add to repair costs down the road, but if you’re seriously in the Allroad market, the repair costs on these cars will if anything be lower than the Audi but you would get a machine of very similar capability that few others would own. While not for everyone, these W8s are a bit of a hidden gem. Considering that 2.8 4Motions in good condition trade at or above $8,000 still, the asking price on these cars isn’t too far out of line, although I think both are high – to be expected from a dealer. Offer $10,500 on the Reflex Silver lower mile one, and enjoy a unique, fun and capable family hauler for years to come!

-Carter