There’s no mountain too tall that today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Alpina probably couldn’t climb. That’s because this rare tuner BMW rocks some serious performance bonafides. Hopefully its price won’t demand a mountain pass.
It didn’t take a mountain of evidence - only a thoughtful ad and a link to a cornucopia of pictures - to lock up a 74% Nice Price win for last Friday’s tidy 1976 Fiat X1/9. That little sports car came from a nation just south of the major European mountain range known as the Alps, and today we’ve got a special car named for them.
Edelweiss is a flowering plant that grows at high altitudes across those Alps as well as the Carpathians. It was at one time seen as a symbol of nationalism in the Germanic nations, much as is the Maple Leaf in Canada, or the Hot Dog in the U.S.. Edelweiss also has been used as a symbol of mountaineering in many of those countries, or as they say Alpinism.
There’s another form of Alpinism of which you might be interested, and that’s the following of the rare and desirable products created by Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH, more easily referred to as just Alpina.
Alpina was founded by the titular Burkard Bovensiepen in 1965 and took its name from a defunct maker of typewriters. The company began as a tuning business, enjoying a modicum of success and recognition with their race-prepped BMWs through the late ‘60s and ‘70s. In 1983 the company was granted full manufacturer status owing to the depth of modification their cars exhibited over the base models.
This 1989 Alpina B10 3.5/1 is just such a car, although it has seen some additional tuning since, in the form of a five-speed manual replacing the factory automatic. That gearbox came from a wrecked 535i, and the installation is claimed to have been a bolt-in. All the original parts, including the automatic box come with the car.
That seems to be the only change from when it left Alpina’s Buchloe factory. These cars were originally pulled off the line at BMW’s shop and then were sent to Alpina for completion. That included the adoption of a custom Bilstein suspension, Alpina exhaust system, Alpina wheels, upgraded brakes, body mods, and a Recaro-rich interior capped by a sweet Momo wheel.
The star of the car however, is a special Alpina-modded edition of the M30 mill. That 3,430-cc straight six received Mahle pistons, a better breathing head, and remapped Motronic brains, all of which conspired to achieve 254-bhp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The ad doesn’t note whether the move to manual action for the transmission monkeys with the engine controls.
Aesthetically the car looks to be in fine shape inside and out. The ad notes 71,000 miles and that there is no rust or major issues. It does say that there has been a partial respray on the rear quarter (hmmmm), which is a sign that something went on over the course of those miles. A good idea would be to pull the trunk liner and check the bodywork from the backside. You might even want to put it on an alignment table and ensure that it all points in the same direction.
The car is said to have come from Japan, and the owner’s manual and other factory fare is all in Japanese. Despite that, it is LHD. It’s claimed to have a clear title and, being over the 25-year hurdle, probably safe to take to your friendly local DMV office for plates and tags.
That is of course as long as you don’t live in California, where, lacking BAR-approved updates, this car will remain persona non grata for… well, forever.
The rest of you however can all dream about owning this #51 out of 572 built Alpina as it sits. The question is, would that dream turn into a nightmare at the car’s $25,000 asking price? What do you think about this Alpina for that kind of scratch? Is that too steep a price? Or, is that a fair deal for a car that will keep you in tune?
H/T to WindAdvisory for the hookup!
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