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						Alpina B6 2 8 16

3.8-Liter Swapped Alpina B6 2.8

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

In business since 1965, Alpina has spent the last 56 years making BMWs faster, more comfortable and more unique. The company actually traces its roots back to a twin-Weber conversion kit that company founder Burkard Bovensiepen designed for the new BMW 1500 in 1962, and the rest they say, is history. Proving its meddle on the track throughout the 1970s, Alpina developed three redesigned BMW models in 1978 for street use, kicking off a 40-plus-year dynasty of making the ultimate driving machine even better. One of those three introductory models was the Alpina B6 2.8, which was based on the E21 323i. One of just 533 built, this 3.8-liter swapped Alpina B6 on BringaTrailer.com is a drivable version of this exclusive classic Euro.

The theory behind the Alpina B6 was to give customers a car that BMW wouldn’t build, that being a two-door 323i with the 2.8-liter six-cylinder from the 525i. While the top 323i’s M20B23 six was good for 141 hp, the 2.8-liter engine from the 528i made 177 hp — before Alpina reworked it entirely with forged Mahle pistons, improved combustion chambers and an all-new fuel injection system manufactured by Zenith Pierburg-DL. Power was now up to 200 hp, and increased to 218 hp for 1981, matching the output of BMW’s larger 3.5-liter.

To support the bump in horsepower and accommodate spirited driving, Alpina armed the B6 2.8 with shorter and stiffer springs from Ahle, along with Bilstein gas shocks and vented discs up front. Alpina’s signature wheel design comes by way of a staggered set of 15-inch alloys, 6 inches wide up front, and 7 in the rear. The driver is met with a leather-wrapped Momo steering wheel and modified gauges in the interior, along with more supportive Recaro seats. All sorts of visual effects complete the B6 2.8’s transformation into its own model, including front and rear spoilers, special badging and unique Alpina graphics. Just 533 examples of the B6 2.8 were built from March 1978 to January 1983 before Alpina adopted the new E30 platform.

These cars remained under the radar for a long time, and it wasn’t uncommon for them to trade hands for less than $30,000 in the early 2000s. But from the few sold examples out there, these cars have catapulted in value over the past decade and a half, and can be worth as much as $80.000 today. Basically, if you’re in procession of a really nice Alpina B6 2.8 in the states, you’re probably looking at a solid payday if you chose to sell. But all that doesn’t bode for simple driving pleasures, which brings up this car, number 66 of 533.

To get the cons settled right away, you’ll want to account for the fact that the car has been engine swapped and repainted in a different shade. Its Alpina-tuned 2.8-liter is long gone, and in its place is a 3.8-liter inline-six, which I would assume is a bored M30 of some kind. In terms of its paintwork, the car was delivered in Topaz Brown, but was repainted in a dark blue metallic shade by a previous owner.

While these factors are definitely going to hold down the value some, this machine is red-hot in my eyes, and it goes like stink too according to the seller’s driving video. That also means that you could put a few miles on this car without feeling too bad, and consider returning it to factory-original sometime in the future. Or just continue enjoying it as the hot-rodded 3-series it is forever — your call.

Find the Alpina B6 2.8 here on BringaTrailer.com, where the current high bid is $11,250 with six days remaining in the sale.

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BMW German