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RESERVE LOWERED: 1997 BMW ALPINA (E39) B10 V8 4.6

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This striking enthusiast-owned Alpina B10 has been thoroughly maintained throughout its life, and it currently resides with an engineer who has lavished it with care and attention. A subtle and classy high-performance take on the E39-generation BMW 540i, it is powered by a 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine with around 340bhp. The odometer shows 156,869 miles from new.

First registered in January 1998, this car has been with its current owner for two years. DVLA data shows the car was previously registered overseas, and the pre-delivery stamp is from Alpina GmbH in December 1997, so it is assumed that this car was a factory collection initially registered in Germany for the drive home.

The exterior is in good condition, and the car looks resplendent in its special order Alpina Blue paintwork. There are some stone chips around the front end and a larger chip on the rear spoiler, while the driver’s side front wheel arch has started to bubble around the edge. The vendor is including 2.5 litres of paint from a German Alpina specialist in the sale, should the next owner wish to have a bodyshop attend to this. There is no record of any prior panel damage, though there are receipts from a Winchester-based specialist for replacing both sills and the jacking points, which are a common corrosion area on the E39.

The wheels appear to be in good order and have been powder coated and sealed to reduce the build-up of dirt, while the sunroof has been subject to a meticulous 30-hour rebuild after some plastic parts had broken. The cassette for the glass panel has been replaced with a facelift version, but the glass panel itself is original.

Inside, the black leather upholstery is original and presents in good order, showing only wear and marks you would expect given the age and mileage. The leather has recently been cleaned, sealed and treated. The steering wheel has been re-trimmed, and the vendor has sourced a replacement set of floor mats at great expense. Some minor cracks are visible in the wood veneer inlays, but in general this E39 still looks very smart.

The trademark blue dials are present and correct, along with a period-perfect car phone and Alpina production plaque marking this car out as number 267 of the B10 model. The car comes with the post-facelift model’s infotainment system, and the navigation maps were updated in 2015. The seller says everything works as it should – not always the case with a high specification E39 – with the only flag on a diagnostic check being the 740d model thermostat, which was deliberately fitted by the seller to lower the running temperature.

A huge amount of work has been done to this vehicle, with the most recent service carried out by the owner – a qualified engineer – in April 2020, when the car had covered around 155,000 miles. That service included an engine oil and filter change, new cabin filters and coolant hoses, as well as fresh wipers and a new set of spark plugs. The car has also had the new lower-temperature thermostat fitted, though the stock thermostat will be included in the sale if the next owner wishes to replace it. The brake hoses have also been replaced with braided items.

Other work carried out includes new braided fuel hoses and fresh fittings, while a service in December 2019 by the seller saw the rear differential oil swapped, new front arms and new track rods, plus a four-wheel alignment. The car also had a new timing chain tensioner, fresh brake discs and pads around 5,000 miles ago. The seller states that the rear jacking points are rust-free, but he has left them without underseal on so that the next owner can inspect and check them before covering with an application of sealant.

Notably, the car also had a full engine rebuild at around 90,000 miles at a cost of approximately £8,500, and the current owner has fitted new valve cover gaskets, a serpentine belt and pulley, and new intake manifold gaskets. A new fuel pump has been fitted too, while the power-fold door mirrors have been rebuilt.

The most recent MOT test was on 13 January 2020 at 156,378 miles, which resulted in a pass with a handful of issues to monitor. The tester noted some corrosion on the coil springs and rear sills, wear to both rear tyres, slightly deteriorated brake hoses – which were subsequently replaced – and deterioration of the front number plate. The front tyres are almost new, having covered around 1,000 miles, and the rear tyres are down to 4mm-5mm in the centre and closer to 3mm on the inner edge.

This car comes with a comprehensive stamped service record up to 119,000 miles in 2011, after which it was self-serviced annually by an enthusiast owner before being acquired by the vendor two years ago. The original service book is included with the sale, as is the owner’s manual, a large folder of maintenance paperwork, along with two master keys and two hub cap keys.

With significant work carried out and plenty of money invested in its mechanical condition in particular, this Alpina B10 V8 is a smart example of the breed. While there are a few small areas of improvement that the next owner can focus on if they wish, this is a car that looks great and runs and drives well, and which deserves to continue being enjoyed on the road.

Summary of service history:

  • 17/12/1997 – Pre-delivery (Alpina GmbH)
  • 11/02/1998 – 2,776 miles
  • 09/09/1998 – 7,704 miles
  • 07/06/1999 – 16,185 miles
  • 26/11/1999 – 25,250 miles
  • 25/05/2000 – 34,806 miles
  • 19/11/2000 – 45,022 miles
  • 24/05/2002 – 58,139 miles
  • 28/04/2003 – 67,729 miles
  • 16/06/2004 – 76,832 miles
  • 27/09/2005 – 84,424 miles
  • 04/05/2007 – 92,035 miles
  • 10/05/2008 – 100,794 miles
  • 02/03/2010 – 109,938 miles
  • 31/08/2011 – 119,317 miles
  • [Annual services during this period carried out by owner]
  • xx/12/2019 – 152,000 miles
  • 14/04/2020 – 155,000 miles

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence through HPI checks and MOT history. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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£5,750Bid placed by Good_Game

£5,600Bid placed by Mike_Wootton

£5,500Bid placed by DP34

£5,400Bid placed by Mike_Wootton

£3,500Bid placed by Sh0cker1

£3,200Bid placed by mohammed2020

£3,000Bid placed by Battenberg

£2,500Bid placed by Ben_P

£100Bid placed by Richard_Bromley

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