1994 ALPINA B10 4.0 E34View vehicle description
Alpina, or Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH & Co. KG to give the company its full title, is a factory endorsed manufacturer of high-performance BMWs. In fact, the quality of its work is so high that, in contrast to more tuning automotive firms, Alpina has been known to build its cars alongside regular production models on the BMW assembly line.
The B10 E34 you’re looking at here was designed and built for the customer for whom an M5 was a bit too common, a bit too mainstream; Alpina customers have always preferred to plough their own furrow, and the sort of person that would have chosen one of these over the (admittedly very, very good) production M5 is one of us. We at Patina understand why they did what they did when choosing their intercontinental bahnstormer, and we suspect you do too .
If BMW trusts Alpina to build high-performance versions of its cars, we’re pretty darn sure you can – as long as they’re good ‘uns, that is. Which is where this particular car comes in: built in 1994 and registered in Japan in August of that year, this Alpina B10 E34 is an outstanding example of the breed.
Hand-selected and imported into the United Kingdom from Japan in April 2017, it’s number 41 of only 46 ever made. Showing only 105,000kms (or approximately 65,000 miles), this is a collection-quality, weapons-grade, high-performance, Old School sporting saloon still capable of embarrassing much more expensive machinery.
On the Outside
Cosmosschwarz Metallic, or Cosmos Black Metallic, is a stunning colour and while there are few shades we would rather see an E34 finished in, it is an unforgiving colour that highlights ripples, imperfections and flaws faster than Simon Cowell when he can’t find his ciggies.
Yet, in this case, it’s a good thing because it enables us to post high-resolution images for you to click on and scroll through, confident that you’ll be as impressed by the coachwork as we are. That we’re convinced the paintwork is original too, rather than a respray, adds a charm all its own.
The gold Alpina pinstripes and deep front dam lend the car an air of menace that slips seamlessly into modern-retro in our eyes; there’s the merest hint of the cad about the car, which we love. If James Hunt were still alive he’d be tooling around London in one of these, looking for someone else’s wife to seduce.
As you can see from the photographs, the underneath is as clean as the bodywork with no evidence of rust, rot or general bodgery. The alloy wheels are original and in exceedingly good condition, free of dings and kerb-rash, but they do have some minor staining, and their lacquer has crazed – something that can be seen, but cannot be felt when closely inspected, they are smooth to touch. It will be left to the new owner to leave original or perfect.
Downsides are pretty much limited to a mild scuff on the offside front bumper and a few small stone chips on the front of the vehicle. These problems are very minor and while they could be rectified, they in no way detract from the appearance of the rest of the car and the current owner has left them untreated as he’d rather preserve the originality of the vehicle’s paintwork.
On the Inside
The interior of this left-hand-drive example is original and in nigh-on perfect condition with only very gentle creasing on the driver’s seat. The Alpina badging is all present and correct, as is the original cassette player and the bi-coloured stitching on the gear knob. There are no extraneous holes, additional gauges, or ill-judged modifications either, so the interior is as clean and original as the day Alpina signed it off.
All the electrics work, including the electrically adjustable leather seats and the air-conditioning blows ice cold, having just been recharged.
The engine bay is beautifully detailed, as is the boot. These things matter, and we’re delighted to see that the owner understands this as well as you and I.
The initial MOT showed only the need for two antiroll bar links and the Alpina B10 4.0-litre V8 engine is in rude good health, having just been subject to the ministrations of Mark Purcell Ltd., the well-known BMW specialist.
Mark’s team gave the car a comprehensive service and also fixed an intermittent misfire caused by a malfunctioning coil on number eight cylinder, a minor issue that was more of an irritant than a problem. The car now goes as well as it’s ever done, which is saying something…
Unusually for an imported car, this Alpina B10 comes with a comprehensive paper history, which has been neatly transcribed into English for those of you that aren’t fluent in Japanese. As you can see, the mileage appears to be genuine; the bi-annual ‘Shakken’ (the Japanese equivalent of the MOT but much tougher and more expensive) records the mileage shown on the odometer, and the figures rise consistently.
The car also comes with its original handbooks, old Shakken paperwork, bills and invoices, and the importation documentation.
Please visit the ‘Records’ section of this listing where you will find a number of invoices and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has an impressively comprehensive service history.
What We Think
With the price of good BMW E34 M5s rising, the canny car enthusiast is looking for a cleverer way to enjoy an eight-pot E34, and the Alpina B10 is one of the better ways of doing so.
With a guide price of £20-25,000, this is not a cheap Alpina B10 but it is a very good one; remember, price is what you pay and value is what you remember and we are confident that no one is ever going to look back and regret buying this car. Values can only continue to rise and this is a much more interesting way of investing than any number of ISAs, shares or fixed-rate bonds…
Viewing is always encouraged, and this car can be seen here at Patina HQ in Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car, AnyVan for transporting it, and Footman James for classic car insurance.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
Want to know how The Market auctions work? Take a look at our FAQ'sView FAQ's