1981 BMW 533i Dietel Alpina Conversion

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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.

Click for details: 1981 BMW 533i Alpina Conversion on eBay

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1982 BMW 345i Dietel Alpina Widebody

Editor’s note: Another encore performance car, we posted this one before shortly after it sold at Barrett Jackson Scotsdale. See the old write up here, https://germancarsforsaleblog.com/one-of-a-kind-1982-bmw-345i-dietelalpina/. ~Evan

Jon Voight got a bad rap for allegedly owning a Chrysler LeBaron on Seinfeld. It appears that Christopher Cross had better taste. Continuing on with the tuned BMW theme of late, here we have a very special Alpina E21, developed by Alpina’s US distributor, Dietel Enterprises.

The seller states:

You are bidding on a one-of-a-kind, 26,000 mile, 1982 BMW 345i Dietel/Alpina widebody (VIN # WBAAH310XC7454911). This special vehicle is well documented, and has a unique place in BMW/Alpina history. I have all of the documentation, which is organized in a custom made Alpina briefcase. I also have original copies of the magazines that this car has appeared in, which have been signed by Mike Dietel (Additionally I have two posters which have also been signed). The car is in very good condition, and I have not had any problems with it since I purchased it in January. Since I know you will ask, I am selling the car because I have purchased an Audi S5, and cannot afford to have both cars.

There are no problems that I am aware of, and the car looks and drives like you would expect of a 1980’s era car. I have listed, in detail, the history and specs on this car below. I have also copied the text from the 1984 Petersen Magazine article, which does a better job explaining the car than I could.

Car History

Dietel Enterprises was the sole Alpina distributor in the US during the 1980’s, and this particular car was specially built for popular singer Christopher Cross. Additionally, this car represents the final car built by Dietel Enterprises. Starting with a Euro spec 323, Dietel spent over $70,000 to create this unique 745i turbo powered E21.

Car Highlights

Magazine Appearances
1984 – Peterson’s Sports Car Graphic – Cover car 1984
2004 – Appeared in Roundel Magazine – July, 2004
2005 – Appeared in Total BMW Magazine – January, 2005

Special Features
– One off custom widebody fiberglass body work
– Chrome moly chassis reinforcements
– 3.3 liter 6-cylinder, KKK intercooled Turbo, Alpina adjustable boost
– 310 horsepower, 367 ft.lbs
– Euro 5 speed, 75% limited slip racing differential with special cooler, pump and filtration system
– 0-60 in 5.5 seconds, 0-100 in 14 seconds
– Fully adjustable Bilstein/Alpina coil over suspension
– Variable rate springs
– Adjustable custom strut rod and swivel drop link front sway bar system
– Adjustable rear sway bar
– M1 front brake rotors, with Lockheed Martin magnesium 4 piston calipers
– Vintage BBS 3 piece (restored) racing wheels
– Customized 6 series rear subframe
– Braided stainless lines throughout
– Full gauges
– Turbo heat shields and exhaust from cats back to large stainless steel Magna Flow mufflers with stainless steel chrome tips
– Very rare reconditioned Beige suede pigskin interior, ASS German seats

Vehicle Specs

General
BMW 345i
Vehicle Manufacturer BMW / Dietel Enterprises
Vehicle type: Front-engine, rear-drive, 4-passenger sedan
Curb Weight: 2,980 lbs
Price: $70,000 (est.)

Engine
Type: Inline 6-cylinder
Displacement (ci/cc): 3210/1958
Compression ratio: 7.5:1
Induction: L-Jetronic fuel injection
Valve gear: Singe overhead cam
Max. horsepower (SAE net): 310 hp @ 6000 rpm
Maximum torque (SAE net): 367 lbs/f ft @ 2600-4000 rpm
Redline: 6350 rpm
Emission control: Lambda sensor / 3-way catalytic converter
Fuel requirement: Unleaded premium

Drivetrain
Transmission: Alpine close-ration 5-speed
Transmission ratios:
1st 3.42:1
2nd 2.07:1
3rd 1.47:1
4th 1.1.6:1
5th 1.00:1
Axle ratio: 3.07:1

Dimensions and Capacities
Wheelbase (in): 100
Length (in): 171
Width (in): 68
Height (in): 52.5
Track, F/R (in): 55/56.5
Minimum ground clearance (in): 4.6
Curb weight (lb): 2980
Weight distribution, F/R (%): 57/43
Oil capacity (qt): 6
Water capacity (qt): 11
Fuel capacity (gal): 13

Body and Frame
Chassis Unibody: Body Welded steel
Suspension: Front Independent, lower arms, strut/rod adjustable swaybar
Rear Independent (6-series), trailing arms, gas shocks, adjustable swaybar
Steering
Type: Power-assisted rack and pinion
Overall ratio: 21.2:1
Turns, lock-to-lock: 3.5
Turning radius (ft): 15.6

Brakes
Front: 11.8-inch power-assisted vented disc
Rear: 10.5-inch power-assisted vented disc
Swept area (sq in): 473.88
Swept area per ton (sq in): 318.04

Wheels and Tires
Wheel type: 3-piece alloy
Wheel size (in): 15×9 front; 15×11 rear
Tire manufacturer & model: BFGoodrich Comp T/A
Tire construction & size: 225/50VR-15 front; 285/40VR-15 rear

Acceleration
0-30 (sec) 1.95
0-40 (sec) 3.00
0-50 (sec) 4.42
0-60 (sec) 5.50
0-70 (sec) 8.00
0-80 (sec) 10.02
Standing ¼-mile 13.75 sec @ 99.5 mph

Skidpad
Lateral acceleration (g): 0.85
Stopping Distances:
30-0 (ft/sec): 34/1.43
60-0 (ft/sec): 141/3.30

Fuel Economy
EPA estimate (mpg): N/A
Actual (mpg): 18 combined

Usually the first generation of a vehicle overshadows its successors, but the E21 3er is outshone by the legendary E30 3er that followed. This particular E21, however, has me looking at the first generation 3er in a whole new light. If you would run into this car on the street and happen to glance at it from the side, you might mistake it for a garden variety E21, especially with its sublime color. Look a little more closely, however, and it draws you in. That is, until it, it takes off and shows you those wide rear tires and dual exhaust.

-Paul