This is a real treat. It's one of only three Alpina-branded E21 3-Series BMWs, which were given a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, instead of the familiar 2.3-liter straight-six.
They were made in the late 70s, when BMW was still deciding what engine to give its new 320. Sure, in the end, they took the classic approach and used the six-pot unit, but that only serves to make these prototypes even more interesting and sought-after.
However, the story of this particular car, now advertised on eBay for $24,990, is a bit different. Apparently, one of the head engineers of the project was an American, who purchased the car, then flew it back home to Colorado.
Before doing so, he added a slew of extras to the car, including a "Hi-Lux"package which featured front and rear fog lights, headlight washers, electric mirrors, windows, sunroof and door locks, as well as a flashlight in the glove compartment and a powerful Behr air-con compressor.
The car was owned by the same man for the best part of 20 years, and before he decided to sell it, the car was fully serviced and restored. The current owner of the Alpina 320i Turbo bought it in 2011 and he was the one who put the finishing touches on it - it is apparently pretty much perfect, except for some cracked plastic on the top part of the dash...
One thing is certain, though; this is truly a 3-Series BMW which we would be proud to have parked outside – it has a lot of history behind it, it's utterly unique, it's turbocharged, it comes packed with kit and costs $8,000 less than the latest F30 3-Series. I know where my money would go if I were to be given the choice...as I would honestly take one of these over even the latest Alpina, the B3.