- A handbuilt rarity, this Alpina C2 is one in all simply 74 made.
- It’s a bit extra highly effective than a recent 325i, however the true story is in all of the little particulars and the acute care taken in constructing the engine.
- With 4 days to go till the public sale ends on Could 12, bidding is at $81,500 on the Convey a Trailer public sale web site.
If the Eighties had been a golden age for BMW, then Alpina was all about burnishing that gold to lustrous desirability. This week’s public sale choose at Convey a Trailer—which, like Automotive and Driver, is a part of Hearst Autos—is among the rarest E30-chassis 3-series BMWs ever made. Serial quantity 002 of 74 made, it’s clearly collectible, however additionally it is the form of automobile that simply begs to be pushed.
Starting in 1962 as a BMW tuning specialist, Alpina established itself on the racing circuit with the likes of the three.0CSL “Batmobile.” The corporate’s crest nonetheless wears a carburetor and a crankshaft insignia proudly, although fashionable Alpinas are extra luxurious oriented (and totally high-tech). For those who’re within the present B7, you are in search of a high-speed government tourer that is extra refined than a BMW M or Mercedes-AMG product.
Nonetheless, should you had been buying Alpinas in 1986, then you definitely in all probability saved a set of leather-based driving gloves useful. This C2 was emphatically not the buzzy homologation-special M3 that additionally debuted for the 1986 mannequin 12 months, however a handbuilt particular with an inline-six barking out an authoritative 182 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque.
An Alpina Is Particular
It is value noting right here that Alpina wasn’t simply within the enterprise of fine-tuning BMWs; it was acknowledged as an precise producer in its personal proper. The C2’s 2.5-liter inline-six makes extra energy and torque than the up to date 325i, however the numbers do not actually inform the entire story. An Alpina is a boutique merchandise, as tightly and punctiliously assembled as a Swiss watch, then sprinkled with some signature goodies.
The stripes are an acquired style, however they distinction superbly with the deep Lapis Blue paint. The 16-inch 20-spoke wheels are an Alpina icon. The material seats and cleanly executed inside are an all-business riposte to the touchscreen muddle of recent automobiles.
‘Appropriately European’ however Made for Japan
This instance was initially delivered to Japan, although it’s left-hand drive. It is a widespread function of German efficiency automobiles of the interval in Japan: regardless of driving on the left, Japanese prospects wished their automobiles to be “accurately European.” Just about each BMW M, AMG, and Audi RS bought in Japan was left-hand drive into the mid-2000s.
The E30 BMW 3-series continues to be beloved by fanatics younger and outdated, easy, sturdy, and devoted to BMW’s “Final Driving Machine” fame. That is nearly as good as a 3-series sedan ever received. It is the form of automobile you may park in a storage filled with Ferraris and Alfa Romeos and it might nonetheless be the one most frequently picked for a weekend drive. With 43,000 miles on the odometer, it will not harm the collector worth a lot to take action.
With simply 4 days to go, bidding is already at $81,500. That is fairly steep for a 3-series BMW from the Eighties. However then, that is no BMW. That is an Alpina.
Brendan McAleer is a contract author and photographer primarily based in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He grew up splitting his knuckles on British cars, got here of age within the golden period of Japanese sport-compact efficiency, and started writing about automobiles and folks in 2008. His specific curiosity is the intersection between humanity and equipment, whether or not it’s the racing profession of Walter Cronkite or Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s half-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He has taught each of his younger daughters tips on how to shift a handbook transmission and is grateful for the excuse they supply to be perpetually shopping for Scorching Wheels.