Cars from the 1980s and 90s have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity as reflected by events such as RadWood and market prices of vehicles from the era. Evidence of such popularity can be found in the pristine Toyota Supra Mark IV that recently sold for $121,000.
The increase in demand and prices for cars from the era has recently brought forth some amazing examples. Once such car is the BMW e28 restomod contained herein.
Inspired by the legendary Alpina B9 and built from a BMW 535i, this car may not be to everyone’s liking. However, I love the stance, the look, the exhaust note, and how it drives.
A brief history of the Alpina B9
Alpina is to BMW what RUF is to Porsche and Brabus is to Mercedes Benz. They have been building very fast and powerful BMWs since the late 1970s.
Alpina is best known for their B7 Turbo based on the BMW e28. Using a turbocharged BMW 3.5 liter M30 engine, the Alpina B7 Turbo put out 300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm. This was good for a 0 to 62 mile per hour launch of six seconds.
Lesser known was the Alpina B9. It ran a heavily massaged normally aspirated 3.5 liter m30 engine that produced 245 horsepower. Since Alpina’s at that time were largely bespoke, they were often made to the client’s exact specifications.
A BMW e28 restomod inspired by the Alpina B9
This particular vehicle started life as a BMW e28 535i and was built by Manofied Racing. The odometer currently shows 8,800 km since the completion of the build.
While not an original Alpina, it has many original Alpina parts including front and rear air dams, staggered 21-fin Alpina wheels, a steering wheel, instrument cluster, dead pedal and floor mats. The upholstery on the front and rear seats are reproductions of the interior used by Alpina at the time.
Additional modifications to the vehicle include front and rear European bumpers in addition to a euro front valence.
The engine powering the vehicle is a 3.5 liter m30b35 engine. This same engine powered the 1989 through 1992 BMW e34 and e32. They were also found in the 1989 BMW 635CSi.
The BMW e28 was powered by a 3.4 liter m30b34 engine that produced 181 horsepower in stock form. In contrast, the m30b35 produced 211 horsepower. As a result, it was a cheap and effective engine swap for many BMW e28 owners.
The BMW m30b35 engine in this e28 has been extensively modified starting with the internals. It has been blueprinted and balanced and is running Rossy pistons running a 10.3 to 1 compression ratio. It features stronger H-Beam rods and ARP headware.
The head of the m30b35 has been ported and polished. It is running stainless steel valves with titanium retainers and Iski dual valve springs with a 292 cam.
The fuel and electrical system of the engine has also been extensively modified. It features e28 M5 individual throttle bodies, custom billet velocity stacks with filters, individual coil packs and a distributor delete kit. Topping everything off is a custom stand-alone plug and play ECU.
Conservatively speaking, I would estimate output to be in excess of 250 horsepower, if not more.
The drivetrain and brakes were also modified to handle the additional output of the engine. The vehicle is running a 5 speed manual transmission with an aluminum flywheel, race clutch kit and a 3.73 differential.
Suspension and brake mods
Stopping everything are BMW 735i front calipers and rotors with steel braided brake lines. This is popular cheap and effective ‘big brake’ upgrade for the e28. A second popular brake modification not done here is the use of a master cylinder from a BMW 750i.
The suspension system consists of custom coilovers with billet top plates and adjustable camber and fixed caster plates up front. In back is an adjustable toe and rear camber kit with all-urethane bushings. Topping off the suspension are 25mm sway bars in front and 19mm sway bars in back.
Producing the sweet exhaust note is a magnaflow high-flow exhaust system.
Wrapping it all up
If you are interested, the car is available for sale at RMC in Miami.
I remember seeing this car for sale in California two or three years ago. Even then, I was impressed with the quality and workmanship.
As the BMW e28 continues to experience a resurgence in popularity and hopefully prices, this is definitely the best BMW e28 restomod I have seen.