As even 3-series models of real, full-blooded Alpinas go for big money, they pull up the wide range of tributes as well. Today’s E12 533i is more than just a sticker job, as it brings with it one of those cool, “back in the day this guy was the MAN!” stories. Here, BMW importer Mike Dietel is the hero with a magical line on Alpina parts who built up this 533i with Euro and Alpina parts when it was fresh from the dealership. On top of the unique provenance, a respected enthusiast spent a good amount of time and energy restoring it, yielding a gorgeous and unique 80s tuner car. It may not be straight from the Alpina shop, but that won’t stop the seller from asking for very serious money.
When I was a younger lad, my father was looking for an upgrade to his BMW 635CSi for a track car, and we were scouting out E28 M5s. He finally picked one up, and we headed to the track – these were the days when, short of a modified 930, there wasn’t much faster on track than an E28 M5. We were at Lime Rock park, and I excitedly waited for him to come blowing down the front straight, decimating his competition in a wave of speed, power and sound. Yet, when he did appear on the front straight, his arm was out the window – pointing by what appeared to be a fairly unassuming 535i. My 15 year old self couldn’t really contemplate what had happened; how could a 535i possibly be faster than an M5? The answer was under the hood, where a Dinan Turbo kit subtly hid; with a reported 400 horsepower on tap at full boost, the M5 was no match for this supercar slayer. That power figure may well have been exaggerated by the owner, but it was no slouch, so I was excited to see a similar 533i 3.5 Dinan Turbo pop up in our Self-Service Classifieds:
I very much like BMW’s Style 32s, especially as an OEM+ retrofit on E28s. Today’s 533i is pretty far on the looks-over-function side of the scale, but it does it pretty well when it’s not grinding on the ground. With rally lights and roof rack rounding out the hipster look, it’s dedicated to style but seems like the owner has taken time to make it a good runner too. If I were a couple years younger and a few Bay Area towns hipper, I’d be very into this 5er.
Never thought this day would come…
I have my eyes on other obsession.
I am selling my 1984 533i with 5 speed.
Delphin Grey over Sand Beige.
Sunroof, A/C, Factory Cassette radio
59k original miles !
NO RUST !
Never wrecked. #’s matching motor, tranny, body panels, etc…
I believe I am the 3rd owner. I have original owners manual with records from 1984. Most of the paperwork is from 1999 to current.
My friends call the car “no rain” because I will drive the wife’s car on inclement weather days…
Always Professionally serviced by Tony at Buckhead Motor Works and was in Bobby Thrash’s shop (Strictly German) for the body work and initial tuneup.
Maintenance Work done over the past 1.5 years as follows:
New US headlights
Full Tune Up
All fluids flushed
Oil Pan Gasket
All New Fuses
All New Relays
Oil changed every 4k miles
(2) airfilter changes in the past 15k miles
Upgrades to the car:
750i brake Master Cylinder
Bilstein Sports all around
Ireland Engineering 25mm front / 19mm rear adjustable sway bars installed with custom fabricated & welded brackets.
e34 Aluminum control arms with 750i bushings pressed in
All New BMW Suspension parts thruout-dogbones, bushings, etc…
Euro issue only Rondell Rims-
Front 18 X 8.5 et 13 with 235/40 70% tread
Rear 18 X 10 et 19 with 265/35 70% tread
Rims completely refurbished (it took the best shops in Atlanta 4X to get them to my satisfaction…) Hyper Silver Powder Coated & Clear Coated centers with Polished lips
Euro / Rally car body mod’s—
Front- US valance metal spliced, seam sealed, painted front & back
Rear- All holes filled with metal, seam sealed, undercoated 4 X, painted
I did have a retread hit the front valance…it cracked the paint in 2 places and put a small bend in the lower panel. Both cracks have been sealed so no moisture would get under the paint. It would cost $350-$450 to respray and i have priced the car accordingly.
Door handles & lower side valances also Delphin Grey
Interior is a SOLID 9 out of 10 !
This car has lived in a Garage! The seatbelt buttons are Bright Red…most of the time they are pink from age / sundamage
Black dash is Perfect
Lower dash / Console (Sand Beige) is Perfect
Door Panels (Sand Beige) are Perfect
EPROM dash conversion
A/C is R12 and blows Cold
Speedo & all other gauges operational except tach…it was working and one day it just stopped. I think it is the plastic gear behind the gauge…?
Electric windows, lock, side mirrors work great
Headliner is in great shape with nothing torn, no rips. Showing 27 years of color/patina at rear window
Rear Seat is perfect except one crack in topcoat/finish. easy repair if it bothers you…
Front seats are Manual “Comfort” style and in great shape with Driver Side showing only very minor bolster wear and one small crack in the piping
Carpet is exceptional
BMW factory issue floor mats are not worn and in great condition
Hood, roof, trunklid, & fenders appear to be in Original Paint
Front & Rear of car have been professionally sprayed to match
Weatherstripping is near perfect
All Windows / glass are near perfect
Chrome Trim is in very good condition
Rear BMW rubber spoiler is in very good condition and is not warped / deformed
Basically, its a 10′ car with normal rock chips and wear from 27 years
I do not Race, Autocross, or Abuse this car. Always Babied. Full cleaning every Saturday.
I drive it on nice days as a dependable Daily Driver and take it to the local car shows.
This car ALWAYS draws a crowd and receives compliments even in the grocery store parking lots…
If you want a car to drive across country without a problem..this is it! Very well sorted and always preventatively maintained.
Gary Beck, Mike Gray, John Graham, Scott, Josh, ATLe36 & Alpinass are some of the local forum members who have seen this car.
Thanks for the heads up Steve and good luck with the sale!
Critics will most certainly be abuzz with the introduction of a new 5 series this year, so let’s take a look back to where it all started, the E12 chassis. This particular example is a very complete, very mint condition example of the range topping 530i model.
The seller states:
Up for auction is our 1976 BMW 533I with 43k original documented miles! We have all the service records to back it up. This vintage bimmer has always been stored properly in a climate controlled garage. A few years back it had a mild make over, new paint, mild engine overhaul, as well as a transmission overhaul. The previous owner was very meticulous, and wanted keep this rare find up to standards. Everything was done professionally. The interior is all original, and is literally like new.
The seats, carpet, and dash are in great shape. The headliner has some discoloration, but is still in good shape. My favorite part of the car is the tool kit. It has the original German tools from day one, and they are in great shape as well. As you can see in the pictures, all the chrome is in great shape. This is a very well preserved piece of BMW history, and always the topic of conversation everywhere you go! The original steel wheels are included in this auction as well. The rims and tires that are on the car are in “like new” condition.
Clean E12s don’t come on the market often so this no reserve sale will give an indicator of where prices are for these sedans. The only thing holding this car back in the enthusiasts eye is the automatic transmission. This could possibly make this more attractive to a certain group of buyers, though.
Hooniverse led me to this eBay ad, selling a 1984 533i with a Dinan turbo system. I love E28s with their could-only-come-from-the-80s styling. Whether it’s the best looking 5 series is a matter of personal preference, but the negative rake on the front and rear and the pronounced Hofmeister kink reek of good times with 80s junk bond money and listening to Genesis. I can’t quite wrap my head around the Dinan work on this one… 400 hp out of a 533i? Terrifying. The bonus here is that if you bump into something, it comes with a running parts car! I like the 535is a lot with its M5ish body kit, and free is a great price, even if it has an automatic.
The Dinan car looks to be in good condition inside and out, though the body kit from the 535is/M5 would make it much sexier without losing much of its sleeper status. The engine bay is amazingly clean, though 183k miles on a turbo engine, even the solid M30, is a lot. The 535is looks fine if a little rough, also having worked its way pretty far up the odometer.
This is not going to be a work-free purchase. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad one; if you’re prepared/experienced for some E28 maintenance, this could be an awesome find. I can’t help thinking the Dinan car would be better served if it were advertised by itself, as I spent more time confused by the weird 2-for-1 deal than in awe of a 400hp E28. Also weird, though cool, is the option to choose what wheels come on the cars (go for the BBSs!). Weirdness aside, they’re cool cars that could give someone a fun time, though they sit on eBay at $8,000 at time of writing with no bids and 2 days remaining.
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