Before BMW created the M5, if you wanted a hot 5-Series, you had to go to Alpina. Believe me—this was no hardship. The longtime BMW tuner has been turning out powerful, effortlessly cool cars based on BMWs for a some time, and this 1983 B9 3.5 is a perfect example. It’s for sale on Bring a Trailer right now, and we think you should pick it up, if you value style and speed.
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Being a 1983, this B9 is based on the then-contemporary E28-chassis 5-Series. The E28 is one of the all-time greats, and Alpina’s touches make it even better. Its 3.5-liter inline-six is based on the unit in the BMW 528i, but a number of revisions brought it up from 218 horsepower to 245 hp. It’s paired here to a five-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential.
The color is Burgundrot (Burgundy Red), which is offset perfectly by the gold Alpina decals throughout the car. Looks are polished off by a classic set of Alpina multi-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels, plus a subtle trunk spoiler and front air dam.
Alpina is known for giving BMWs beautiful interior trimmings, but this car is rather paired back. It’s got manually adjustable cloth sports seats plus a simple four-spoke Momo steering wheel and a wood Alpina shift knob. Less is definitely more in this case.
This car was originally sold in France, and still wears the requisite white-on-black registration plate and yellow headlights. Whoever buys this car shouldn’t change either of those things. It lived most of its life in the south of France before ending up in the Netherlands with the current owner. It has 155,000 km (around 99,000 miles) on its odometer, and a ton of service records.
The paintwork isn’t perfect, but we’d leave it as-is. It just shows the car has been driven. Otherwise, it looks quite clean.
Earlier this year, a cleaner 1983 Alpina B9 sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction for €60,375 (around $68,000), which gives us an idea of what this one will ultimately sell for. But really, can you put a price on cool?
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