1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute

We’ve certainly seen our fair share of fake Alpinas come across these pages, but this one makes no claim to be authentic. Instead, it’s inspired by Alpina but takes its own route and character. I originally looked at this car back in 2014 and it’s been on and off the market since. Now showing “8,800” kilometers, the side Alpina decals gone and with a $10,000 increase in asking price since the last time we saw it, will the market appreciate this custom-built E28 this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute on eBay

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1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute – Revisit


“This is not the greatest E28 in the world, no –
This is just a tribute.”

Yet again, the “Manofied Racing” Alpina tribute – a well thought-out and thorough interpretation – is back on eBay. It popped up twice a couple of years ago, a few months apart, but obviously had no bites at $32,500. Two years on it has received a respray but lost its Alpina stripes on everything but the front and rear flight decks. Despite the impressive boom in the ’80s BMW market, this one apparently didn’t get to set whatever price the seller deemed more than generous. It’s down to $25k now, but I’m guessing a low-$20ks offer might get a serious discussion started.

-NR

The below post originally appeared on our site April 15, 2014:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute on eBay

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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

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Perfect or Project? 1982 and 1983 Alpina B9 3.5s

A few weeks back I looked at a Japanese market 1987 M535i automatic. It was a really neat car in many ways; all original, lower miles, great condition and a good color combination – plus, it was a rare to see model. Well, today the same import company is back and upped the ante with matching 1982 and 1983 Alpina B9 3.5s. These are much more desirable than the M535i; both are manuals and these were about as close as you could get to a M5 without actually buying a M5. They’re ultra-limited production models – only around 570 B9 and later B10 models were produced. They were very close to U.S. spec M5 power numbers, with nearly 250 horsepower on tap from the Alpina-modified 3.5 engine. Coupled with upgraded suspension, brakes and bespoke interiors and exterior spoilers – and those all-important Alpina contrasting stripes – they made one heck of a package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Alpina B9 3.5 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute

About a month ago, I wrote up a 2002 M20 Turbo built by a company called Manofied. Well, the Manofied folks have been at it again, this time with a 535i. They’ve fully built the car in the style of the Alpina B9, replete with plenty of Alpina parts, some Euro bits, and what appears to be a fantastic individual throttle body engine. The downside? As with the 2002, the price for this build is quite high for a non-original car. But before you jump to conclusions, take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute on eBay

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1986 BMW Alpina B9 3.5/1 for sale

My descent into E28 ownership has come with ups and downs, but a central theme has been learning new and obscure things about the car that normal people, and even car enthusiasts, would never have imagined. Did you know that the foam sunroof surround is simply for air buffeting, not keeping out water? There are internal gutters from the sunroof down the pillars, which, when clogged, can cause pools of water in your footwells. Not a fun result, but a better answer than thinking you have a hole in your floor.

It’s also caused me to be more appreciative of rarities, such as today’s Alpina B9. I posted an E24 B9 Coupe in my early days at GCFSB, and today’s is essentially the same car in the E28 body. Alpina massaged the 3.5L M30 to nearly M5-levels of power and torque, just 15 shy at 241hp. Identical to the M5’s 6.7s 0-60 time demonstrates the Alpina’s serious performance, especially considering the M5 didn’t come out until 2 years after the B9. To get that sweet bodykit and stripes, however, you’re going to have to shell out $26k, nearly twice as much as a similar M5. With prices reaching upward more quickly than the M5, this is the perfect E28 for the serious collector.

1986 BMW Alpina B9 for sale on eBay


Barebones description for a car that is anything but:

1986 BMW Alpina B9 European Sports Car, 3.5 engine with a manual 5 speed transmission. Features an Alpina front and rear spoiler, Alpina tuned exhaust headers, Recaro sport shell seats, leather covered steering wheel, Alpina gear shift knob, Alpina instruments, Logo fabric throughout, Alpina tuned springs and struts, 205/55 R-16 tires, rear deck spoiler, body decal kit, racing brakes, A/C, power windows, locks and mirrors.

Just 75k miles and bigtime German car-nerd cache mean the seller can probably wait to get his price. If you just wanted a fast E28, you’d buy an M5, so at some point an Alpina-loving collector will come along. It must be nice to be able to drop that kind of coin for those awesome stripes and wheels!
-NR

1986 Alpina B9 3.5 Coupe for sale

What happens when you take a BMW tuner that turns all BMWs into shark-nosed road monsters and unleash it upon the sharkiest of all BMWs?

Ubershark.

Obviously based on the E24, Alpina applies their usual chunky front and rear spoilers, tron-graphics, and infinitely-spoked wheels to create the B9 3.5 Coupe.  A subtle but vast improvement on the NA 635CSi is the Euro bumpers.  All this combines for one mean looking package with some beef behind it, as the Alpina came with an improved 3.5L I6 pushing out 245hp, a healthy boost over the 635’s 215hp.  That power is nice, but really, you’re buying this car for the looks.  This example is in North Wales, GB and is far from perfect, but it’s only covered 56k miles and could be made great.

There are some things wrong with this car.  Some cracks here and there, notably the front splitter and the dash.  It’s in Wales, and though they offer a shipping option, you will may run into some federalization issues.  The biggest turn off for me about this car though is the chunky automatic gear selector in the middle.

Acknowledging those shortcomings, there’s a lot of awesomeness going on here, almost entirely in the looks department.  Holy cow.  Those lines, the spoilers, and the wheels that really tie the room together.  Notice how when the center caps are gone, it’s a totally different look?  Yeah, those wheels are the hotness.  Anyways.  It’s been posted before and it’s stuck at $4k on eBay now, so something in the “cons” section is keeping people away.  For me, it’s worth a chunk of money just to look at.

-NR

Aaron also came across this car and adds these thoughts.

1985 BMW 6-Series Alpina B9 for Sale
May 19, 2010 by Aaron

If you did not see my rant last week, I was going on and on (and on) about the rarity of real Alpina’s in the states. As if on cue a company by the name of Performance Legends in North Wales has listed three Alpina’s on eBay. All three of which look to be in good to excellent condition. Alpina’s are far more common in the UK, so the seller’s notion to offer these up to buyers in the states is a stroke of genius. Here is an example:

1985 BMW 6-Series Alpina B9 for Sale:

From the seller’s ad –

“Welcome to this listing for a very rare Alpina B9 3.5 Coupe that we recently imported from Japan. We are experienced importers and exporters of specialist performance cars and we can offer shipping of this car from the UK to the US East Coast for $2000. We would like you to be totally comfortable buying from us so if you would like more photos of the car or any particular areas of the car, please let us know and we will get them for you. The Alpina VIN is WAPB935C05B910557 and we have verified that the engine and head numbers are original and matching with the Alpina factory records. The car is number B9-557 according to the Alpina plaque on the centre console and was built in Buchloe in July 1985.

We can supply the car with either its original 16″ alloy wheels or the 17″ wheels also shown. If you would like both sets there will be an additional cost. This B9 is in good condition especially considering that it is nearly 25 years old, with both sound bodywork and mechanicals. The car is fully UK registered with all paperwork and all import taxes paid already. There is some minor cosmetic work required to make this car perfect, but nothing major and most importantly there is no rot in the bodywork.

In our opinion the mileage of the car is original, and it has never been accident damaged although we can not guarantee either of these things due to its age. The engine, gearbox and other mechanical parts are in excellent condition and we have just completed a full fluid service including spark plugs and filters. The interior is also in excellent condition with only a couple of minor faults. This Alpina drives very well indeed and I was very pleasantly surprised how nice it is when I recently completed 100 mile trip in it. Everything seems to work ok including the electrics etc. We are having a stock clear-out and as such we will listen to any sensible offers, however as it is a really nice car and deserves to go to a good home, we will not be giving it away.”

I chose the B9 as it is my favorite Alpina, while this one is not perfect it is a knockout as it sits. It is rare to find a seller so willing to export to the states, a starting bid of less than $13k and another $2k for shipping does not seem unreasonable. It would also take some cash to federalize this B9, however, the older these cars get the easier they are the federalize. There are several boutique dealers on the West Coast that will work with the seller to import the car and handle the necessary paperwork and needed changes to make the car US road ready.

If you did not see my rant last week, I was going on and on (and on) about the rarity of real Alpina’s in the states. As if on cue a company by the name of Performance Legends in North Wales has listed three Alpina’s on eBay. All three of which look to be in good to excellent condition. Alpina’s are far more common in the UK, so the seller’s notion to offer these up to buyers in the states is a stroke of genuis. Here is an example:
Is it worth it? Would it be easier to import one of these cars from Toronto which has become the Alpina capitol of North America? I have the feeling that Alpina fans are going to kick themleves in 20 years when they are even more scarce than they are now. What say you? Any Alpina owners out there who care to comment on these cars?

~Aaron.