1987 BMW 535is

Following up on the few neat 5-series that Nate posted yesterday, let’s ponder the E28 535is. In many ways this was like the later 540i M-Sport; you got a sports suspension, interior and the look of the M5, but with a more mainstream and affordable motor. Is that a bad thing? The best part of three decades on, no – in fact, it makes ownership of an E28 a reality for many more people. As M5 prices head understandably up and towards where many have argued they should be since their inception, the 535is is still an affordable slice of 1980s BMW goodness:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 535is on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1982 Alpina B7 Turbo

It is with some eager anticipation I open my browser every week and search for the next interesting tuner car for today’s signature feature. Because of the explosion of the internet and the shrinking of the world coupled with trends in classic 1980s cars, the playing field has become littered with interesting period examples of cutting edge tuning technology. And for that it seems we have to thank Japan, since a majority of the classic AMG, Alpina and even Ruf cars are rolling back through Europe and into America from the land of the rising sun. Today’s star draft pick is one of the best players to emerge from the 1980s – the Alpina B7 Turbo. It was, for some time, the fastest sedan in the world, besting even BMW’s own Motorsport division entrants. With adjustable boost trimmed to 300 horsepower, only cars like Porsche’s 930 or some exotics could keep up. Today’s B7 – number 251 – has traveled around the world and back but is set to make the next leg of the journey:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Alpina B7 Turbo on eBay

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1984 Alpina B10 3.5

We’ve covered a lot of Alpina models on these pages, but today’s example was a new one to me. In fact, it may be a new one to you, too – because this might be the most rare Alpina model produced. Alpina didn’t have a lot to do with the early 7 series for a few reasons; one, they didn’t sell in big numbers and most of Alpina’s work was concentrated on the smaller and sportier 3,5 and 6 series. But BMW offered a factory hotrod itself in the turbocharged 745i in 1981, and at that point Alpina seemed to give up the ghost on development of the E23 – or did it? The problem was that in Great Britain, the 745i wasn’t available, so Alpina dealer Sytner had the company develop a specific U.K market model. Based upon the 735i, the B10 3.5 featured a 261 horsepower Alpina 3.5 liter motor, normal Alpina suspension upgrades and wheels and some subtle exterior and interior changes. Although these cars were not built in Germany, they are nonetheless considered real Alpinas. Only a scant 22 were built, and one is for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Alpina B10 3.5 on eBay

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1987 BMW M535i

There’s been a fair amount of talk on these pages about M branding, as BMW has moved towards slapping badges on seemingly every single model regardless of their sporting potential. Can you blame them? Perhaps, but obviously they’ve done their market research and just as Audi and Mercedes-Benz have similarly increased the breadth and scope of their limited run production, BMW has offered the public an ever increasing and diverse range of M badged products. It’s as if these three are cowboys on the range, fearful of each other’s steeds and stoking the fire to brandish their labels on the rear ends of their flock in a futile attempt to establish dominance and feign individuality. But, in all honesty this isn’t a new trend. As far back as the mid 1980s, BMW was offering badge engineering on some of its finest products, and the M535i is the best example of this. Essentially this was a 535i with a M Technic body kit and no real performance changes outside of an optional suspension package. Does that make it less desirable?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M535i on eBay

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1989 535i Euro

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As Santa streaked across the sky last night, so too this 535i sailed from Germany to America, ready to bestow a lovely present upon some good boy or girl. It’s a nice early example of the E34 with the 3.4 liter M30B35, updated from the E28 generation with newer fuel injection an a higher compression ratio to yield 208hp, a 26hp improvement over the B34. This example appears to have been a continuing project for its owners and now sports additions on the exterior, interior, and engine bay to make it more than your average E34. An M5’s steering wheel and leather seats look great and are complimented by Schmidmann bit and short shifter, while the same company provided a subtly aggressive bodykit and racing headers. Classic 3-piece, 17″ BBS Style 5s bring the Motorsports feel as well. It’s no M5 or M540i, but it is a nicely-styled and unique European E34.

Click for details: 1989 535i Euro on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1982 BMW 628CSi Convertible with 11,000 Miles

While tuners like Ruf, Alpina and AMG captured the hearts and minds of performance-oriented enthusiasts in the 1980s, turning normal or even fast versions of standard cars into custom creations capable of supercar levels of performance, others took a very different route. The affluence of the 1980s coupled with the near extinction of convertibles between the mid to late 1970s meant that there was an active community of aftermarket companies ripping the tops off everything from Ferraris to Fords. Some of the companies are more notable; in the BMW world, for example, companies like Baur enjoyed a long history of converting coupes to convertibles for the firm, but there were new companies giving it a go, too – Oldenburg, RPM, ABC Exclusive, Schulz, and Lorenz & Rankl all made custom drop-top version of the E24. It was neither cheap nor pretty to remove the roof structure; look under this 628CSi and you’ll find giant steel girders welded to the floor for support. And while the mechanisms for the top varied by design, non of them every looked completely at home top up or down. The origin of this particular conversion isn’t clear from the listing; the seller mentions Euler but they were better known for a custom E23 Touring we previously featured. One thing is for sure; this convertible Euro-spec 628CSi is surely a rare bit of kit:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 628CSi Convertible on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Alpina B6 2.8

Alpina E30s have exploded onto eBay over the past year; I never remember seeing quite so many of these small tuned 3s for sale on a regular basis. In part that’s because so few were produced; with this B6 model for example, a scant 259 were produced, with just over 1,000 total E30s modified in all forms by the legendary company. The B6 wasn’t as wild as the later big-motored 3.5, but it was still much more than adequate with 210 horsepower from the M30 coupled with lower suspension, bigger wheels and brakes. Alpina, of course, added their personal flare of colors, stripes and awesome interiors, and the B6 is one attractive small sedan in such form. It’s easy to forget that there was a time before the M3, and in early 1984 this was the fastest small German 4-seater you could buy. That would change in mid ’84 with the introduction of the B6 3.5, but today it’s still a very desirable and rare to find package. That’s especially true when it’s presented in signature Alpina Blue with low miles and in pristine condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: “1984 Alpina B6 2.8 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW 535i Dinan 3.9

The E28 is a great chassis, no doubt, but often the normal 535i gets overlooked as a potential classic. We search out instead examples of the M5-look 535is or indeed the S38-motored legend itself, but today’s example will give those that dismiss the “normal” 535i a reason for pause. Upgraded with the full repertoire of Dinan bits and given a European specification makeover and repaint, this is one seriously good looking and well built 535i:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Dinan 3.9 on Craigslist

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Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Alpina B10 3.5/1

I have a business plan to suggest to the audience; go to Japan, find all of the low mileage AMGs, Rufs and Alpinas that businessmen snapped up in the late 80s and early 90s, buy them and a large number of containers, and bring them over here to eager fans who snap up anything late 80s-spectacular quicker than a cocaine line at a Charlie Sheen party. What’s that? Someone’s already thought of it? We’ve seen a few repeat sellers pop up with surprisingly mint, lower mile examples of some rare German metal – all of which spent time in the land of the rising sun. Again today, it’s another Japanese-import Alpina – this time, an E34 based B10 3.5/1 model:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Alpina B10 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1978 BMW 635CS Hartge

From the same collector as last week’s 2002Ti Alpina comes an equal rarity this week. As with early Alpina and AMG information, details on early Hartge cars are sparse at best. Though Hartge was around as early as 1971, there just isn’t much information on how many cars they built or the exact details. That makes today’s E24 pretty interesting; what should likely be labeled a “H6” isn’t, instead being referred to as a “635CS”. It appears to originally be a 1978 635CSi which had the injection undone. Instead triple Webers adorn the M30, a setup reportedly good for 290 horsepower. But while Hartge badges adorn the car, there are odd details that seem to question the authenticity:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 BMW 635CS Hartge on eBay

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