Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Alpina B11 3.5/1 – REVISIT

The 1989 E32 Alpina B11 3.5/1 from January is back! After failing to sell in a reserve auction, the seller has moved to a no reserve format and with about two days to go, this rare 7 has crested $10,000. Last time around I guessed that the car would struggle to break past $12,000 – around where I thought the reserve was set. Where do you think it will end up?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Alpina B11 3.5/1 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site January 27, 2015:

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1991 BMW 735i with 24,600 Miles

I hold out a small amount of hope that somewhere, floating around the U.S., there is a pristine, low mileage and mechanically perfect Audi V8 quattro. Honestly, even though I prefer to find a 3.6 5-speed, I wouldn’t even be bothered if it was an automatic as long as it was the later 4.2. As with all the large luxury sedans from Audi, there are precious few that remain in good original shape with lower miles. A similar situation occurs with the same generation BMW 7-series; the E32. Like the V8 quattro, it was a big step forward in the sporting executive market for the company, yet crumbling residual values and expensive repairs on the V12 models have left precious few in good shape. In fact, the E32 almost seems to disappear in the realm of classic BMWs, such is the concentration on early models or the bargain performance of the E38 and newer examples. So when a lower mile, pristine condition E32 pops up, we take notice:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 735i on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Alpina B11 3.5/1

Another week, another Alpina treat from our favorite new tuner seller from Japan. This time, unlike the mostly 5-series based models that have popped up for sale there is a E32 model on offer. The E32 was a big step up in terms of luxury and driving dynamics from the E23, fully modernizing the high end lineup for BMW. As they had with previous models, Alpina immediately had their hand with the new model and breathed their normal aftermarket life into the large executive sedan. That meant a turned up engine good for 250 horsepower (261 without catalyst) although that engine – from the E28 B10 and E30 B6 – was replaced with a 254 horsepower version in 1988 which was shared with the E34 B10 3.5/1. In addition, the normal suspension, wheel and interior treatments were complimented by some minor aerodynamic tweaks and exhaust upgrades to create a decidedly more performance oriented luxury car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Alpina B11 3.5/1 on eBay

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1987 BMW 735i 5-speed Euro-Spec

Much like the E23 that it replaced, we just don’t seem to see a lot of good condition E32s cruising around these days. In comparison to the E34 that was launched at the same time and shared much of the technology, it’s interesting that this is the case; is it that 7-series owners just didn’t care for their cars as well, or expected something different from them? Certainly the German ultra-luxury market witnesses the greatest depreciation this side of a Nissan product, resulting in expensive cars in the hands of those who sometimes can’t afford or aren’t willing to maintain them. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of 750iL wrecks, for example – cars that just could never be brought back from the brink. But it still surprises me that we don’t see more of the 735i, especially the fairly rare 5-speed variants. We’ve listed them before, and I think one of the comments was “does a 7 series really fit with a manual?” Having grown up with one in the household, I can say it’s an emphatic yes. It may not have been the preferred transmission for the E32, but it transformed it from a sedate luxury car to a sports sedan with a luxury bias. It felt much quicker than it probably should have and drove more of less just like a heavier version of the 5 series – which is to say, quite well. But they’re very rare to see, so when this 1987 European-spec model popped up I was sure excited:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 735i 5-speed Euro-spec on eBay

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1989 BMW 750iL – REVISIT

After two months on the market, this clean and low mile 1989 750iL remains for sale. The “Buy It Now” price has been lowered to $9,750 – while these E32 V12s are known for expensive repairs, this one looks to be one of the best that’s been for sale lately and offers the buyer a lot of car for the money.

The below post originally appeared on our site January 24, 2014:

-Nate

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1989 BMW 750il

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I’m not alone in my preference for the E38 7-series; its minor updates over the E32 seemed to really take the design to a new level of cleanliness and aggression. Relative to the well cared for E38s that still roam the streets looking amazing, most E32s look beat up, frumpy, ridden hard and put away wet. All that changes today though, as this is hands down the best E32 I have ever seen. Rocking lowering springs, M-Parallels, and a nice front lip, this black V12 beauty is the business. It’s not just a pretty face, either; it’s covered just 37k miles in its life and has had tiny issues tended to. It takes a really nice E23 for me to be more attracted than pretty much any E38; this is the first E32 that’s really ever required a second, third, and fourth glance.

Click for more details: 1989 BMW 750il for sale on eBay

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1988 Alpina B11 3.5

Back in June, we featured an E32 Alpina B11 for sale from our friends at North Shore Autosport. Only 332 of these were produced and here comes yet another for sale in Germany. However, if you weren’t keen on the automatic gearbox in the one featured in June, then you’re in luck. This one has three pedals.

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Year: 1988
Model: Alpina B11 3.5
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 125,000 km (~ 77,671 mi)
Price: €29,950 (~ $40,300 USD)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Alpina B11 3.5 on AutoScout24

Original Alpina B11
Original 125000 km
One owner
Full leather interior
Heated seats
el.SSD
RC
Power
ZV
ABS
el.FH
Dimming interior mirror
Burlwood trim
MAL
German vehicle
Trade-in and Financing Available!

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The ’89 Alpina B11 that was for sale at North Shore Autosport was up for sale at $23,800. While dear for an E32, that’s at least a more believable figure than what is being asked for this example, manual transmission or not. It’s hard to place a value on rare machines like this, but it would take a special person to bite on this B11 at this price. In a few years times, these may start pulling big dollars, but if other performance oriented BMWs are any indicator, it will be the smaller 3 and 5 series Alpinas that will bring the big money, with the larger, more luxurious models slightly lagging behind.

-Paul

1988 BMW 735i 5-speed manual

It always seems that whenever I come across an uncommon car to feature on GCFSB, another one follows shortly thereafter. We featured an BMW 735i in May with a rare manual transmission. It was a quite clean example even though it was closing in on 200,000 miles. Now here comes another 735i 5-speed manual for sale in Tennessee with slightly less miles but looking just as mint as the one featured two months ago.

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Year: 1988
Model: 735i
Engine: 3.5 liter inline six
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 173,000 miles
Price: $6,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735i 5-speed Manual on eBay

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Excellent condition. Engine runs strong. Clutch is strong and transmission shifts smooth. New BMW OE wheels and new tires. Manual 5-speed transmission is factory original. Only about 1,200 manual 735i models made. Upholstery is good and leather seats are perfect. Dash is perfect and no cracks. All gauges and switches working and air is cold. After market stereo with Bluetooth. (Original radio is available) Many new parts. Paint is good and no rust. Any questions call 423-584-1689. More pictures available upon request.

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The 735i 5-speed we featured previously was for sale at $4,800. While this car has less miles, it isn’t a whole lot less. These E32s can test both your patience and your budget, so $6,500 for a big luxury sedan with a third pedal and limited market in this country is probably a big ask. But, similar to the one we featured back in May, the exterior and interior look quite tidy. Like the 300SE featured last Tuesday, a big saloon with a manual transmission like this is exactly what I would want for those long haul trips.

-Paul

1989 Alpina B11 3.5

BMW M cars are some of the most sought after performance machines on the road today. But with the proliferation of the Motorsports badge across the entire lineup, what if you want something a little bit more exclusive? Something just a bit more special? Alpina is a good place to start. Not just any other tuner, Alpina works closely with BMW to maintain the integrity of their vehicles which they seek to modify, something they have been in the business of doing since the late 1960s. Unlike many other tuners, they have earned the recognition as an official vehicle manufacturer by the TÜV in Germany, or Technical Inspection Association.

This 1989 B11 3.2, based on the E32 7 series, is for sale from our friends at North Shore Autosport in Chicago. It’s one of 332 built, having been imported to Canada via Japan about a decade ago. It has since been federalized upon arriving in the US.

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Year: 1989
Model: Alpina B11 3.5
Engine: 3.5 liter inline six
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 84,261 miles
Price: $23,800

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Alpina B11 3.5 at North Shore Autosport

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Originally a Japanese spec Alpina and then imported to Canada in the mid 2000s. This is B11 is owned by me, (Frank), personally. I hired a US approved importer from Washington State to federalize this B11, as they were near to Alberta, Canada where I found this unmolested Alpina. It was EPA exempt due to the year, but was still subject to some lighting, gauges and side impact requirements to be in accordance with NHTSA and DOT. This was a painstaking process and was quite expensive. Nevertheless, it is a completely street legal vintage Alpina with low original miles and unaltered original condition.

All original Alpina components are intact and nicely preserved. It does have some paintwork as many BMW’s of this vintage were plagued with lackluster paint quality. The hood, roof and deck lid had clearcoat damage and were refinished in the original diamond schwarz metallic. A new Alpina deco set was also installed to replace the aging original pieces. The wheels have also been refinished and are like new. The interior is completely original and well intact. All leather, door panels, dash and headliner are virtually flawless. No rips, tears, sagging or fading. The stereo was removed at some point for a Sony unit & Changer. The wood is real and in good shape, free of any cracking. It has a few spots that are not perfect, but mainly due to the clear finish.

The B11 3.5 boasted a higher performance version of BMW’s venerable 3.5-liter inline six-cylinder. Alpina hand built this engine, starting with polished and balanced internals, larger valves, ported cylinder heads, camshaft profile changes, fuel injection recalibration, engine management reprogramming and ultimately a higher compression ratio of 10.4:1, making a healthy 260hp (DIN) @ 5700 rpm. Finally, a free flowing stainless exhaust and a shorter drive ratio of 3.73 make this B11 a much more spirited luxury cruiser than the standard 735i. Unique 17×8.5 & 17×10 staggered Alpina wheels, stiffened & slightly lowered Bilstein suspension help transform this 7-series to an agile sports car, all while maintaining a pleasant ride.

This is a truly unique vehicle and would be an excellent addition to any BMW/Alpina enthusiast’s collection. Appointments can be made by appointment and third party inspections can be arranged by calling Frank @ 312.884.1149 or via email: frank@northshoreautosport.com

We do offer financing and can arrange shipping worldwide. Please go to our finance tab above for a complete online application or contact Frank for a shipping quote.

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It’s no secret that these E32s can be a handful to maintain as they get older, but if there was ever an E32 to preserve, it’s one of these Alpinas. Then again, this car doesn’t need much more preservation, as the condition and mileage reveal. Alpina made a B12, featuring the 5.0 liter V12 engine, but this B11 with the 3.5 liter inline six offers relatively cheaper running costs and a bit less mass hanging over the front axle. With a bump in horsepower over the standard 3.5 liter BMW lump, it should make for a lively cruiser. These B11s were available with a 5-speed manual transmission, which is about the only thing that would improve the desirability of this car for me.

-Paul