The market for old-school Alpina models is really a niche one. You can barely find one in Europe, let alone in the US, where such cars had to be imported back in the day and you had to go through a grueling process to do so. Today. E12 Alpina B7 Turbo models are being sold for six figures if they are in perfect condition but you can still find some diamonds in the rough if you look far and wide and aren’t afraid to put in some good old-fashioned work. This particular 1981 Alpina is asking for $42,250 at the time of writing and it might be worth your time.
The car was apparently owned by three people up until now and it’s proudly wearing the #209 plaque on its dash and inside the engine bay, telling you this is a limited edition model. The car here has some issues as it is nearly 40 years old. The instrument cluster shows 144,000 km (90,000 miles) on it and you can tell that it was properly driven, as previous owners admit. There’s some rust here and there, some lights don’t work right and maybe you need to check the turbo as well as there’s some oil leaking but all in all, considering the price and age, this is one good deal for a B7 Turbo.
As for the B7 itself, it was one of the best driving cars of the 1970s and 1980s. These days, a 3-liter straight six engine with 300 HP doesn’t seem like such a big deal but back in 1981 this would’ve been a rocket. The Alpina B7 Turbo, as the name suggests, uses a turbocharger to get 462 Nm of torque out of the engine, a feat you rarely saw back in those days. The forced induction allows it to be quite elastic in terms of acceleration, the turbo spooling up at about 2,500 RPM and offering a proper kick in the back, a rather addictive feeling if you ask me.
With a top speed of 258 km/h (just over 160 mph) the Alpina B7 Turbo could hang with Ferraris, Maseratis and Porsches of that era, making it the fastest sedan on sale for a couple of years. The dogleg 5-speed manual transmission was ultimately the limiting factor here as the engine could’ve pushed the E12 body even further.