Alpina C1 2.3 were the very best e21s you could buy
Originally starting with textiles and typewriters over 40 year ago, Alpina gone on to become one of the most esteemed tuners of BMW motorcars. Comparable with RUF and Porsche and what used to be AMG, Alpina is the top tuner of BMWs in a league of their own.
First starting in the 1960s, their cars from the late seventies and early eighties were very fast for the time. They were also as impressive then as they are today.
The car featured here is a 1983 Alpina C1 2.3, a very rare and collectable car. According to the Alpina Register, it is one of less than two dozen or 24 remaining in the World.
The legendary BMW 2002 basically created the sports sedan category. It revitalized the brand making it what it is today. The BMW e21 was the replacement for the 2002.
Available in a variety of engine configurations, the 323I was the top of the line German bahnstormer. With a 2.3-liter inline-six cylinder M20 engine, it produced 140 horsepower, which was quite fast for the time.
Around the same time, a larger displacement of the same engine powered the new BMW 528i which was just being released in the new e28 body style. The new 528i was powered by a 2.8-liter inline six cylinder M20 engine putting out 200 horsepower at the time. In a car the size of the e21, that was a considerable upgrade.
Alpina took a modified version of the 2.8-liter and put it into the e21 chassis, calling it the Alpina B6 2.8. For the time, the vehicle was a monster.
The middle-of-the-road Alpina is what you see here. It has a modified version of the 2.3 liter inline six cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower. Both the C1 and B6 were available from stateside tuners who could assemble the car using imported parts.
What makes the Alpina unique is not just the engine, rather the entire character of the vehicle. The German tuner works on not only the engine but also the interior, suspension, exterior of the vehicle.
As a company with experience in textiles, Alpina will add their trademark interior changes to the Recaro seats giving the seats their own unique look and feel.
For the suspension system, Alpina worked with Bilstein to create its own unique system. This was the case with the upper end models such as the B10 but also took place with the smaller BMW vehicles as well.
On the outside of the vehicle, the vehicle was updated with a wheel style that has come to define the company and their cars. Front and rear spoilers were added as well that were of Alpina’s own design.
The final transformation was the decal kit that like the wheels, have come to define an Alpina.
Alpinas then, like now were special vehicles. The modifications they underwent completely changed the character of the vehicle from one of an ultimate driving machine to the absolute best driving machine. Some of their cars were absolute beasts.
The car you see here is very rare and another one like it is unlikely to come up for sale anytime soon. For that reason, if you want to own a very rare and special car, you may want to put your bid in now. Bidding is running in the low $30s.