Alpina B6 3.5 #0179
utting pen to paper, writing this advert was a test of one’s emotional strength. Trawling through photographs, browsing the document file and talking to the owner’s son brought the memories flooding back. It was 30 years ago that this Alpina B6 3.5 rolled in to my carpark. It was the start of a friendship with a fascinating man and his beloved one owner Alpina. Peter passed away at the age of 96 still with his beloved B6 parked in the same garage that had been its home for the last 37 years.
In the early 90s, the German motoring enthusiast was very well aware just how special hand-built Alpina’s were. They fully understood the close relationship between BMW and Alpina. This flourishing relationship was primarily forged through motorsport, having achieved multiple race wins in the European Touring Car Championship, Spa and Nurburgring 24 Hour motor races and outright championship successes. Alpina’s achievements over the previous two decades with 2002’s, 3.0 CSL’s, 635 CSI’s, E30 325’s and the E30 M3 gave them the experience to put that engineering excellence into its very special tuned road cars.
The Alpina brand was now fully recognised and supported by BMW through the official dealer network. However, here in the United Kingdom, the Alpina brand and cars were still niche and only fully understood by the well-read, hardcore motoring enthusiast. Only two dealers in the United Kingdom were authorised and trusted to sell and maintain Alpina models.
It was 1992 and the first Alpina B6 3.5 we had laid our eyes on. It was then explained that he had personally collected the car brand new from Alpina in Buchloe in 1985. Peter was born in Germany in 1924 and this helped bridge the language barrier and fear of personally importing cars from Germany. I remember how much form filling and bureaucracy one had to deal with.
He was already the owner of an Alpina C1 323i that he had personally imported from a German main agent he had built a relationship with. This C1 was the beginning of a love affair, not just with the BMW 3-Series but also Alpina. The launch of the E30 Alpina B6 2.8 in 1984 immediately led Peter to place an order. This new model was to incorporate the highly modified M30 motor which had previously only been seen in the 5,6 and 7 series models. Although negotiated through the German dealer who agreed to take the C1 in part exchange, the specification and actual order of the B6 was dealt with directly by the Alpina factory.
The E30 B6 was an extremely special car to come out of the Alpina factory at a time when an Alpina was still a hand-built car and arguably at the height of Alpina’s engineering excellence and build quality. The big 6-cylinder M30 motor was already thoroughly developed by Alpina both in race and road cars. Built with Alpina crankshaft, Alpina con-rods, Mahle Alpina high compression pistons, Alpina modified cylinder head, larger inlet and exhaust valves, Alpina camshaft and carefully balanced and blue printed. Alpina inlet and exhaust manifolds, Alpina sump, Alpina mapped Bosch Motronic, Alpina lightened and balanced flywheel and Alpina Exhaust. This 3.5 litre Alpina engine produced 261 BHP and 346 Nm of torque. Alpina then used a Sachs heavy duty clutch, Getrag 265 close-ratio gearbox, the 3.5 B6 was fitted with a 2.79 - 1, 25% limited slip differential. Modified Alpina cooling system with aluminium Alpina radiator. The suspension and brakes were uprated to Alpina Spec with 16” Alpina wheels. The exterior saw Alpina front and rear spoilers, Alpina rear wheel arch spats, Alpina stripes and badges. Even the interior saw a high level of Alpina upgrades. Alpina Recaro seats, Alpina mats, Alpina gear knob, Alpina steering wheel, Alpina driver’s footrest, Alpina instruments and the very special Alpina digital display incorporating the centre heater vent.
Driving a B6 today still amazes. A true Jekyll and Hyde. Power to weight ratio packing mind blowing performance with high levels of mechanical grip. The torque of this big six motor pulls the 2 door, 3 series body-shell along at 1,100 rpm in top gear.
As expected of one owner cars, the file contains documents showing this cars history from the point the order was placed to arriving in the UK. The original order and estimate for the car, the original sales invoice for the B6 2.8 dated 24/9/1985, letters between Peter and Alpina, copies of bank transfers, the original Fahrzeubrief, Original Alpina B6 2.8 press pack, export certificates, green card, business cards, the original invoice for the 3.5 litre conversion and still in the history file is the original dash plaque showing B6 2.8 swapped for the B6 3.5 in 1986.
1986 saw the announcement from Alpina of a revised and updated B6 which was to feature the more powerful 3.5 litre B10, M30 motor. Peter was left feeling a bit miffed having only just parted with DM 67,086 for his B6 2.8 with no word of warning from the factory that a revised version was so close to being launched. A few conversations took place over the next few months with senior management at Alpina in Buchloe and a deal was agreed at a very favourable rate. A price of DM 12,946 was agreed on the understanding Alpina would take all the 2.8 components in part exchange.
The B6 2.8 was booked in to the factory for full conversion to the later 3.5 litre specification. I remember Peter telling me that this was carried out with the usual German/Alpina efficiency. Peter and his wife drove the car to Buchloe and arrived on a Friday night in April 1986. They were met by Burkard Bovensiepen himself who handed over the keys to his personal Alpina 7-Series to use for the weekend. The car was driven strait in to the workshop and there, laid out on the floor in front of them, was the full, brand new 3.5 litre kit. B10 engine, Bosch Motronic, loom, differential, exhaust, rear spats, badges, digital display and the all-important dashboard plaque now displaying Alpina B6 3.5 # 0179. Over two days a team carried out the conversion ready for Peter and his wife to collect on the Monday morning.
Prior to heading back to the UK in the now 3.5 litre B6, the 7-series was handed back to Bovensiepen. In return he handed Peter and his wife two Alpina ski jackets, scarf and cap which to this day still remain unworn and will be handed over to the new owner with the car.
History & Specification:
1985 Alpina B6 2.8 # 0179
1 Owner from new
Returned to Alpina 23/4/1986 for factory upgrade to full B6 3.5 Specification
Rear opening side windows
Alpina floor mats
Anthracite Alpina cloth interior with Recaro seats.
The car will pass through the workshop for detailed inspection and fully prepared for the next owner. The B6 will benefit from a full service, new MOT, new wiper blades and mechanical future proofing ensuring the correct age-related maintenance before leaving Classic Heroes.
This Alpina will be handed over with original manuals, handbooks, document file, build sheet and original sales brochure.
Please enquire with Barney for further details of this extraordinary, one owner from new Alpina B6 3.5.
Please call Barney for full details of this car