The first of the BMW Z1s to roll off the production line are now eligible for legal importation to the US, given they’ve crossed the 25 year old mark. None of the 8,000 produced over three years made their way stateside, but these roadsters with their funky downward retracting doors do have a cult following. Famed BMW tuner Alpina tried their hand at modifying the Z1, the result being the vehicle you see here: the RLE, or Roadster Limited Edition. Only 66 of these special Z1s were ever made, half going to Japan and half allocated for Europe.
Amongst the modifications was an inline-6 enlarged to 2.7 liters that bumped power to around 200 bhp, shorter front springs and trademark 17″ Alpina wheels. Along with the original 66 produced, a handful were also converted to Alpina spec from original Z1s. This RLE for sale at 4Star Classics is one of the original 66 and produced. It’s hard to imagine a Z1 being thought of as common, but this RLE takes exclusivity to another level.
These days, I think you could slap an E30 badge on just about anything and the cult of the small sedan would perk up and pay attention. If the E30 was the natural choice for a sporting executive in the 1980s, it’s become the defacto way to instant street credentials in the European scene. “Sure bro, you might have a 2JZ-GTE Supra, but I got an E30 dawg!” you might overhear being conversed with a heavy beat from Ludacris pumping in the background and scantily clad women draping themselves over your Claus Luthe designed hood, for example. Is that not what happens? Well, the appeal of the E30 is such that you could easily believe that might be the outcome of turning the key in one. As an Audi fan from the same period, I have to admit a certain amount of jealousy; not so much in the design, but in the plethora of choices of what’s available in the market and the amount of manufacturer and aftermarket support. It’s something you just don’t really see in the Audi camp, for example. That means that you can have some mild to wild examples of E30s to choose from each and every day of the week. They’ve also hit importation status on some later models, so the flood gates have quite literally opened and a steady stream of Euro market cars is popping up for sale, trying hard to capitalize on the car made popular by the success of capitalism. As such, today for Tuner Tuesday I have two E30s to consider; a wild Alpina B6 3.5 from 1986, and a 1990 325i right hooker with a host of Hartge upgrades. Who wins the tune-off?
As Paul said, “It’s back!” The awesome BBS and Callaway modded GTi is back just in time to fulfill your Christmas wishes! I know I’d certainly love to have it under my tree. Bidding reached into the $20,000 range with the reserve still on last time around, failing to sell. It’s already hit $10,000 this time with 4 days to go. What will it take to buy this incredible Mk.2?
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a turbocharged night!
After failing to sell at auction for the estimated $600,000 – $800,000 projection, the AHG Studie modified M1 is back and now on eBay. Bidding as of writing is sitting around $300,000 – a steal for even a poor condition M1 these days. While it’s not likely to remain there or meet reserve, it will be interesting to see where the pricing ends up!
The below post originally appeared on our site July 29, 2014:
In the world of Porsche tuners, Gemballa is one of the wilder companies. Starting out in 1981, Uwe Gemballa’s first creation was the Avalanche, based on the 911 3.2 Slantnose. Wider fenders, side strakes akin to what was seen on the Ferrari Testarossa and a host of interior upgrades were the order of the day. The wild excess of the 1980s led to a bit more subtle aftermarket kits in the 1990s and greater performance. For a time, a 600 bhp Gemballa 911 held a lap record at the Nürburgring before being surpassed by a Carrera GT. The company’s fortunes took a sad turn in 2010. Uwe Gemballa suddenly went missing in February of that year, only to be found murdered several months later. The CEO, Andreas Schwarz, along with an investor was able to buy the brand rights and in August 2010 Gemballa GmbH was formed.
The car we see here for sale in Phoenix, Arizona is a 993-based Turbo Cabriolet. After the 3.3 liter Turbo Cabriolet of the 1980s, Porsche would never again offer an air-cooled Turbo Cabriolet. So what should have been a no brainer in the product portfolio turns out to be rather special in this case. It’s an interesting mix of 1980s styling cues with more current 911 underpinnings.