1985 BMW 528i (E28)
Believed to be No. 5 of 539 Alpina B9 3.5/1 models, and just 18 UK RHD manual examples from a deceased estate that's been hidden away for at least 4 years; for recommissioning - very exciting indeed
First registered in January 1985 but built in late 1984, this BMW E28 5-series is an unusual one.
It has come to us from a deceased estate via the executor and with no close family to ask and unfortunately no documentation at all bar a handbook for the 5-series (linked to a different car, a 525 Vin#) because the Council cleared the property and threw it all in the bin. Doh.
So, here we have a conundrum - is this, as it appears, No. 5 of 539 Alpina B9 3.5/1 E28’s built, and therefore one of just 64 right hand drive examples, and just 18 manual variants, or is it a 528 that’s been dressed up to look like a B9?
We believe it might well be No. 5 of the 539 cars for various reasons – it has the correct 3.5 litre (3430cc) straight six engine, the correct 16” 20-spoke Alpina alloy wheels, the correct front air dam, the correct graphics, the correct Recaro seats, correct leather rimmed four-spoke Alpina steering wheel, correct timber Alpina gear knob, the correct Alpina dials on the dash and correct numbered plaque on the dash.
Unfortunately there is no real documentation, bar an owner's manual for the E28 and a hand-written note entitled "summary of the fuse boxes" which refers to the car as a B9 dated 06/99. We have been unable to locate the chassis number given the way the owner has covered everything under the bonnet with black gunk and insulation padding. We have contacted Alpina, Sytner UK but their records only date back to 1987 so we have reached out to Alpina Historic in Germany for some help - no reply as yet.
The car shows on Experian as a 528i SE but with 3500cc engine with just one former keeper to the current of 28 years (now deceased). The MOT history check also shows the car as a BMW 528 with the last MOT recorded in 2017 at 126,387 miles (after the husband had died c.4 years ago the wife had it MOT’d each year until she went into a care home).
The odometer currently shows 127,359 miles. We have not yet attempted to start the car given the risks after standing for c.5 years. Lot 159 also came from the same source.
The car sits well, but has clearly had many things done to it by the long term owner, some rather odd including the black paint, insulation tape and tar like substance applied to many areas under the bonnet, the 12v socket on the lower front valance corner, and some of the additions inside the cabin as pictured including the random Land Rover lights and unknown switches on the dash giving the impression it was used for road rallies, perhaps?
There is much potential though, if it is what we think it is, and there is considerable scope to strip back and restore the car to how it should be - you decide.
Very exciting and potentially worth restoring, the car is on offer at No Reserve so the highest bid takes it away.
Info on the B9 –
Production of the Alpina B9 3.5 began in November of 1981, and this would be Alpina’s first car to utilize the new E28 5-Series as its underlying platform in 528i SE form.
Using BMW’s 3.5-litre inline six-cylinder engine as a starting point, Alpina was able to coax out some extra performance by fitting high-compression Mahle pistons in addition to fitting a new camshaft and reprogramming its Motronic ignition system, raising overall output from 218 bhp in the 528i to 245 bhp. Torque was also increased to 320 nm.
Over the course of six years of production, 539 examples were produced of which just 64 were believed to be RHD and of that, just 18 had manual transmission.
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