For Sale: Drool-worthy 1988 BMW 535i Alpina conversion

Few sedans are more iconic than BMW’s E28 5 Series. Hell, none may actually be so. Even thirty years later, the E28 M5 is still a lust-inducing saloon. It makes enthusiasts swoon, and rightfully so. The car might not have been responsible for BMW’s success in America, but its legacy lives on as one of the brand’s defining cars.

Which brings us to the car for sale here. A dealership down in Miami is offering this Alpina-inspired 535i which, while not an M5, gets you a well-built motor, drivetrain, cooling system, suspension, and so on. It’s also got individual throttle bodies, which are spectacular in every usage but look especially appropriate atop the straight six-cylinder engine.

With its Alpina paint scheme, this car is also a stunner. The E28’s angles, proportions, and greenhouse help it stand out as one of the best sedan designs to date. And the tasteful modifications — yes, Alpina wheels included — only do the shape favors. Even the interior is perfect.

Just look at it.

1988 BMW E28 535i Alpina conversion

This BMW also sounds incredible as well, as the seller demonstrates in this video. Say what you will about modern cars being safer, no modern BMW sounds like this. They also don’t look like this. Alright, let’s be real: modern BMWs aren’t as good as this.

Back in 1988, my father bought a 535i and has forever told of how magnificent it was. He still regrets not going for the M5, but it stands out in his mind as one of his all-time favorite cars. If I won the lottery and had the cash, this would soon be in his garage.

If I didn’t first claim it as my own, of course.

[Source: Craiglist]

About Ross Ballot

Host of the Off the Road Again Podcast. 4WD and four-wheeling enthusiast and expert. Formula 1 fanatic. Contributor to Hooniverse,,, and Everyday Driver. Usually found getting a vehicle stuck in the mud or on the rocks and loving every second of it.


    1. I’ve been converted by Turbo Yoda’s arguments when the Mighty Car Mods guys were swapping the RB26 into their Fairlady/240Z that having 6 idle control circuits etc is not worth it and are you going to notice a hundredth of a second difference in the throttle response?

      The E34 was new around the time I was paying attention to cars so the E28 looked terribly old-fashioned by comparison, but I can see the virtues of lighter weight and snalles dimensions.

        1. Need tuned-length intakes I suppose. Airbox/filters make a big difference too, taking mine out for drag racing made the intake louder than the exhaust.

  1. Wow. That is seriously sweet, and makes me strongly reconsider my thoughts of selling my 535i. Mine’s running a 2.5″ Magnaflow, but without the headers and all the engine mods, my stock engine doesn’t breathe well enough to make such awesome sounds.

    Consider me inspired.

  2. So is this a Real Alpina B9 or just a clone? The ad is a little confusing “ALPINA B9 Inspired” and “put together BY MANOFIED RACING Serial # 012” not Alpina. It is a great car, just not sure it is almost $40k great if it isn’t a real Alpina B9. The one picture appears to show an Alpina dash plaque, but I’m no Alpina expert.

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