1980 Alpina B7 Turbo (E12)

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Vehicle Summary

Mitch's writeup:

Hello all you E12 fans, This is my 1980 Alpina B7 Turbo. It is one of only 149 built and arguably three that exist in the USA that run. I have been reluctant to submit any photos since I really didn't think anybody cared much about the car but Adam Wilson has persistantly persuaded me to send in some shots so here it goes...

I purchased my first BMW, an E12, back in 1987. The gray market was at its peak at that time and I purchased a one-off Alpina B2 built by Mike Dietel from a guy in Laguna Beach. The car had an Alpina spoiler and rear emblem and I had seen Alpina cars around Newport Beach but really had no idea what they were. This first introduction to BMW Alpina had a tremendous impact and I was hooked. For those of you who may have owned an Alpina or driven a car with the triple Weber six it is just a blast. If the car is equipped with a free-flow exhaust and headers it sounds like a race car and with the right suspension drives like one too. I just fell in love with that car and because it was an Alpina one-off it sparked my interest to learn what Alpina was. I bought a book that was a compilation of Road and Track articles and in it was an article about the Alpina B7 Turbo (not available in the USA). I learned about all the special parts that Alpina put in the B7 and went to Dietel often to see if he knew of any B7s for sale but he was not an importer, he modified US cars with Alpina parts. Eventually I could no longer smog the B2 and had to break the car down (1993) but I commited myself to finding the E12 Alpina B7 someday.

I have always owned E12s since that day and rebuilt several, always equipping each project with the best parts available and I had a pretty nice 1979 M535 replica with all the electronics, 218 hp "L" block motor, L/S 307 final drive and C/R tranny when I was reading Roundel one day and found this E12 B7 for sale in El Paso Texas. I immediately flew back to inspect the car, bought it and drove it home hitting 135 mph along the way no problem!

This Alpina B7 is one of only 149 built and maybe one of only three running examples in the United States. It has every goodie Alpina ever bestowed on the car including the crazy wide stiped interior and deko kit. If you have ever read the old articles this car is a perfect example with 300 hp Pierburg fuel injected engine, Alpina brakes, suspension, wheels, guages, C/R sports box, 2.93 final drive w/cooler, fuel cell, sunroof and air conditioning. When I went back to Munich and checked in at Mobile Traditions they told me the day it was delivered to Buchloe for modifications. It was originally purchased by a dentist in Switzerland who cracked the head in 1984. It was repaired at Heddegar and sold shortly there after. The car was then imported to the United States and delivered to a gentleman in the Boston area. He sold it to another fellow who then sold it to Al Melton in El Paso. I purchased the car in October of 2000.

There were several problems and I have slowly worked through them. It has alway ran well but I wanted to completely go through the car and restore it to a concourse level and garage it for use on the weekends. It is the crowning example of the E12 and fewer and fewer of these hand built specials are maintained or restored. Alpina, the Company is little help since they do not stock parts for these older models and want to charge stupid prices for replacement parts. Pierburg fuel injection is completely foreign to every mechanic I have come across and I have had to learn about it myself. I should write a book. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos and keep your first fives running.