Is this the ultimate retro-executive-performo-barge? (We reckon that term will catch on)
It’s a measure of how far executive saloon power outputs have come over the past couple of decades that for one to boast 350bhp nowadays isn’t really news.
There are a host of fast execs now with more than 500bhp, but back in 1990, when a regular BMW 750i was considered a lively performer, the 350bhp Alpina B12 version was one of the fastest big saloon cars you could get.
Sadly, the vast majority of executive performance machines reach a stage in their life when they become just a big, old car in the eyes of many. They become cheap to buy but are still expensive to run and maintain. It’s during these years their general condition deteriorates and servicing schedules become just a rough guideline at best.
This Alpina B12, however, has made it through the big-old-car years without ever having to suffer at the hands of the kind of impecunious fellow who preferred lowering springs and aftermarket alloys to correct maintenance.
The vendors describe it as being in ‘pristine’ condition, and all the pictures seem to back this up. The service record appears to be up to scratch and apparently there’s enough documentation to support the recorded mileage of 117,000.
At £11,995 it looks like top money, but does seem to be a top car. And rare. A quick scan through our classifieds turned up only this 1990 Alpina B11, which appears to be in very good order (although we’re not sure if the parking sensors are quite original).
It doesn’t appear to be in quite as good order as the B12 and, being a B11, it has half the cylinders of its bigger brother. But on the flip side it costs less than half that of the B12 and has a sight more than half the power...
Before we sign off, it would be unforgiveable of us not to point that there are a lot of other impressive machines in stock at the B12 vendor’s emporium, but to pick out just two how about this Batmobile and this Lister XJS for starters? The ‘lottery win’ list just got a little longer…
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That B11 is the car linked to in the article - and a very different kettle of fish. It's also been for sale here at that price since God was in short trousers. That said, the featured B12 has been around a fair while yet whilst a couple of others have come and gone in the wider market place.
I've been to see that car and it is in very good condition indeed and the guys down at 4 Star Classics are a pleasure to meet, genuine enthusiasts and run an impressive operation down there. No I have no affiliation to them beyond an unhealthy obsession with old BMWs and they do have a very fine selection of them, and some very appealing other things too.
The ALPINA Register only seems to have data for UK ALPINAs post 1993, so E32 B11s and B12s are not featured. As a guideline though, in the following generation of UK RHD E38 B12s, there were 8 5.7 saloons (all SWB) and 7 6.0 saloons (1 of which was a LWB) and a single B12 5.7 Coupé in 1995 (based on the E31 Eight Series). I know of a few other E32 B12s in this country at present (2 RHD, one LHD) and they mostly seem to change hands between around half a dozen individuals along with the E38s - it's a very small world when it comes to these cars.
As such, it's a very special thing to a few people, fewer still with both the means and inclination to add it to the stable - good luck to whomever does and I hope you're a PHer.