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  • 1981 B7 turbo

Some little things and a big one, too

There haven’t been many updates on this blog lately. Most my car energy for many months has been in Sacramento working on my other Alpina, which has been in pieces for the past 5 years or so (www.alpinac1.com). But I’ve taken care of a few little details—and the little details can sometimes be pretty meaningful!


The first little thing was the few spots of rust and a sub-optimal prior body repair.



I didn’t fix these myself and repairs were not perfect. But, since all these spots were inside the engine compartment or trunk, perfect wasn’t my goal.


I took the car to Bart at The Resto Shop and he was able to do some excellent rust mitigation and restoring the texture on the side wall of the trunk. Because he isn’t a full bodyshop, he wasn’t able to color match the paint perfectly—the only flaw I could see in his work. (He got the paint from BMW, using the paint code for the exterior color—Sapphire Blue—but the paint he was given had more blue than the mostly silver look on the exterior paint.



Bart also treated a tin-worm hole in the hood with rust inhibiting paint and then the BMW paint.



Finally, Bart refinished the side wall of the trunk, which had been repaired badly in the past. The texture and work is top-notch. Alas, as before the paint is slightly too blue. But overall I’m really pleased.



My favorite “little” repair was small in size but large in annoyance. One of the previous owners, for some unknown reason, decided to texturize the Alpina-specific auxiliary gauge holder that sits on the dash. I looked high and low for a new one but could not find it anywhere. It’s a good thing because I was willing to pay a lot of money for that little piece of plastic (or was it fiberglass?) and the solution was …. wait for it … free. And performed by a professional, not a hack job by yours truly!



While snooping around for a new one, someone suggested I contact Al Hafner, who used to run BMP Design in Southern California. As you oldsters like me may recall, BMP made auxiliary gauge holders (among other things). Al sold BMP, moved to Texas and had a repair shop there. And he still makes auxiliary gauge holders. I emailed him and asked if he made the one I was looking for and sent him a picture of mine. No, he said, but he could make some if I sent him mine to use as a template. And he’d clean mine up, making it look good as new, and give me one of his versions of it for my troubles. He fixed the original one so well that, instead of getting a second e12 Alpina holder, I got a 2002 gauge holder for the Inka touring that I’m also restoring.


The only less than perfect part of the project was that instead of taking a few weeks like we originally planned, it was a few months until I had the gauge holder back. The car wasn’t going anywhere during that time because of other repairs (the brakes and suspension if I recall correctly). So the delay didn’t really matter, other than me being somewhere between curious and nervous about what I was going to get back. Once I saw the beautiful work, I couldn’t be more pleased.


Since I’ve been focusing on my e21 Alpina C1 2.3, the B7 has been sitting in storage and, after going back and forth, I’ve decided to sell it. I’m hoping to have it on Bring a Trailer over car week at Monterey. To accomplish that, I went to take it out of storage and photograph it for BaT. I started it up and drove it out of the garage. As I was backing out I noticed a wet spot on the floor of the garage. Kneeling to look under the car, I saw fuel leaking from around the fuel pump. Back up on the lift where she was being stored and sure enough, fuel was coming out from around the pump. I hoped it was the hose but a quick hose change solved nothing.


I put in a new pump and, since I was in there, fuel filter. With the car was on the lift, I changed the oil too.



So, why am I selling it? As alluded above, I have two other restoration projects going (the C1 2.3 and Inka 2002 touring). I’m also a serial buyer-restorer-seller. I’ve done pretty much everything I can for this car, enjoyed driving it, and need the garage space for the C1 2.3 when it’s ready to come home from Sacramento. When I bought the B7 three years ago it was to drive a genuine Alpina while getting the C1 together. And I need to pay for my new daily driver, my first M car: a 1993 BMW M5 Touring. I’ve always loved hot rod wagons and my aging back and hips are complaining regularly about getting in and out of my (soon to be prior) daily driver, a 2014 Porsche Cayman S. Both the B7 and Cayman are great cars, in very different ways, and I’m lucky to be able to have owned such wonderful cars. But it is time for them to find new homes…..


Hopefully, I’ll see you at Legends of the Autobahn in Monterey.



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