Alpina B10 3.5 (E28)

Alpina B10 3.5 E28

Cost new: £19,995. Value now: £39,995

A lot rarer than an M5 and a useful amount cheaper, though we can't work out why...

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We’ve driven many an E28 5 Series here at Modern Classics and whether an M535i, M5 or a 528i, all provide a great drive. It’s the model’s six-cylinder charm and nimble yet playful chassis that sets it apart. 

With this in mind, we therefore needed very little encouragement to sample this Alpina B10 3.5, which is currently for sale at Rutland-based dealers, Car Iconics. 

Well known in Alpina circles, this particular car has won multiple concours awards. As we get up close to it, we can clearly see why. Its outer paint finish is stunning, having been very sympathetically restored in the early 2000s to keep some of its original patina. Under the bonnet, it has been just as carefully brought back to life; all brackets, pipework and exposed metal has been refurbished and zinc coated, plus the bonnet sound proofing is brand new. 

The interior has been subjected to a similar treatment. There are a few, very faint water stains just aft of the sunroof on the driver's side, for example. There's also the odd screw missing from the trim (top of the A-pillar) no doubt to make room for the aftermarket alarm sensors. These are mere trifles however, the overall cabin impression is one of superb refinement and exceptional condition. It has been personalised somewhat by its previous owner, who was clearly something of an audiophile. The Alpine DAB stereo is the most obvious addition, however there are also some additional speakers and a discreetly hidden amplifier to the top underside of the boot lining.

Once you've wrestled engine control from the slightly over-officious immobiliser, the motor spins into life with very little effort. Its stainless steel exhaust system gives vent to a wonderful burble. Given a decent set of pipes, this engine can really sing. 

It doesn't take long to realise that this is a lively thing to drive. There's a huge amount of power on tap and not a lot of weight, which adds up to fun! This chassis provides excellent grip when you want to be sensible and very little when you don’t. It can play the classic BMW tail-slide party piece with ease, but should you wish to settle into a sensible cruise, it'll happily oblige. This example has to be one of the best E28s out there and the added Alpina rarity merely adds to its already monumental appeal.  

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Alpina B10 3.5 (E28)

Year  1985
Mileage  90,000 miles
On sale at Car Iconics car-iconics.com

Specifications

Engine      3430cc, 6-cyl, SOHC
Transmission  RWD, 5-speed manual
Power  261bhp@5800rpm
Torque  255lb-ft@4000rpm
Weight 1330kg

Performance

0-60mph    6.4sec
Top speed   155mph
Economy     20mpg


Choose your Alpina B10 

In 1985, the E28 528i was used as the base for the new Alpina B10 (first eight cars). Taking the M30 'big six' from the 535i as a starting point, Alpina engineers extracted 261bhp via a new cylinder head, camshaft and exhaust manifold.

In 1986, as BMW itself was making a 535i factory model, so it took over from the 528i as the B10's foundation. 

In 1987, after a production run of just 77 cars built in two years, the last E28 B10 was completed at the end of the year.