Not to be confused with the Renault Alpine
ALPINA typewriters were hugely successful, however the original Alpina ceased to exist at the end of the 1960's in their attempt to move into the textile industry. Then, 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. He took on the name of his father’s business - ALPINA the legend was born.
By 1967 there were six determined employees the company working on carburetors and now revising cylinder heads. By 1970, with seventy employees and with high demand for ALPINA products, the original facility was too small and changed locations from Kaufbeuren to Buchloe.
Between 1968 and 1977, ALPINA cars did very well in competition. The highlight was in 1970, when ALPINA-developed cars won the European Touring Car Championship, the German hill-climb, rally and track racing championships and the prestigious Spa-Francorchamps 24 hour endurance race.
1973 was the start of the oil crisis and many tuners fell victim to it. At this time Burkard’s foresight was to put emphasis on fuel consumption. ALPINA cars of the time used up no more petrol than the same series of factory BMW cars. In fact the ALPINA B2 3.0S was even lower in consumption than the factory BMW series. Such that through the oil crisis there remained a loyal following to ALPINA, making ALPINA the largest tuning business in 1973 with 85 employees and now was in front as the largest tuning company in Europe, ahead of Abarth of Italy.
Distinctive features of ALPINA vehicles are 20 spoke alloy wheels, "ALPINA Blue" patented metallic paint, in addition to expensive interior materials used to fabricate the exclusive interior appointments. A typical blue and green pattern (same as in the logo) is often used on interior parts such as stitchings on leather and different fabrics used in the upholstery.
Also a thin, almost pinstripe like outside body decor set in gold or silver is also a trademark of ALPINA cars.
An ALPINA metal plate inside also proves the heritage and the serial number of the car.
Most recently ALPINA have produced a version of the current BMW E60 5-Series called the B5, which rivals the BMW M5. The B5 offers a different take on performance and how to get it: unlike the V10 M5, the ALPINA B5 uses a supercharged V8 which produces similar power but has far greater torque.