German automaker ALPINA celebrates its 50th birthday this year. The company was founded in 1965 by Burkard Bovensiepen, a member of the Bovensiepen family of industrialists.
The beginnings of Alpina found its roots in 1962 as the Weber dual carburetor was developed for the new BMW 1500. The company would not be officially founded until a few years later as the Weber dual carburetor came to completion and was certified around 1964 by BMW, receiving praise from the chief of sales, Paul Hahnemann.
Alpina was founded by Burkard Bovensiepen (b. 1936) in 1965 as Burkard Bovensiepen KG in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria in southern Germany. The original name can be traced to Dr. Rudolf Bovensiepen, his father, whose company produced office machinery.
In 1965, Burkard established a BMW tuning business, following his success with investments in the stock market. He started the tuning business in an outbuilding of the original Alpina typewriter factory.
Since 1983 Alpina has been recognized by the German Federal Ministry of Transport as an automobile manufacturer, thus Alpina-built cars are branded and registered as Alpina instead of BMW, although an Alpina can be bought and serviced at local BMW dealerships, and covered if there is a warranty issue.
ALPINA just released a video highlighting their history and cars: