Cars

BMW: The mysterious Alpina by actor Blacky Fuchsberger

When Harald Koller strolled through a vintage car market in southern Germany four years ago, he was taken aback. There is a black Alpina with a hand-painted sale sign (“If you are interested, insert a note”). All around a small crowd of people. “The owner argued for his life,” says Koller today.
Because people doubt what the elderly gentleman is selling there: a BMW Alpina from 1974, an alleged one-off. First owner Alpina founder Burkard Bovensiepen. Second owner TV star Joachim “Blacky” Fuchsberger. Third owner is the elderly gentleman who cared for and cared for it for 42 years – and now wants to give it to a lover due to age.
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Alpina founder Burkard Bovensiepen (born 1936) presented the car to Blacky Fuchsberger (1927–2014) in 1975.


Koller grabs it. And researched. Today, the BMW fan from near Salzburg knows that he has something very special in his classic car garage. And not an Alpina B2S, as it says on the back and as it was sold as a standard export model at the time. But a prototype, only built once. Once equipped with a secret engine.

BMW delivers the car in 1974

“The car was a test vehicle from Bovensiepen,” says Koller. And it happened like this: BMW delivered the car to Bovensiepen in December 1974. As an ordinary 525 of the E12 series, the first five and successor of the “New Class”. Koller still has the delivery note. 145 hp, 2.5-liter six-cylinder, belted tires, two-stage windscreen wipers – and “cigar lighter”, that’s what it was called back then. Hardly any special accessories (automatic seat belts in the rear, first aid kit, warning triangle). Paint color black, black upholstery, all very discreet.

But then Bovensiepen takes care of the car. Modifies all possible parts, builds spoilers and a test engine. “Probably a forerunner of the Turbo,” says Koller.

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The rear spoiler is part of the B2S trim. The current owner had the original made by Alpina.


A short time later “Blacky” Fuchsberger would like to order an Alpina. But because Bovensiepen cannot deliver, he sells his test vehicle to the TV star. “Used as seen with no warranty” is written on the delivery note. And as a type: BMW 525 Alpina. Back then, Bovensiepen was still a tuner, and he only became a manufacturer himself in 1978.

Handover takes time, probably due to engine replacement

Fuchsberger passed the car on as early as 1976. To the third party owner, a gas station leaseholder from Munich. Alpina boss Bovensiepen establishes the contact. He knows the gas station man.

Fuchsberger does not allow the buyer to take a test drive. And “Blacky” says it will take a few more days before he can hand over the car. The presumed reason for both: First of all, a new, standard engine has to come in.

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At that time, the BMW 525 delivered 145 hp ex works. With Alpina tuning, it now has 249 hp.


To this day, Harald Koller does not know exactly what was in it beforehand. “Alpina didn’t tell me that,” he says. From now on, the prototype is powered by a three-liter engine with officially 230 hp, the production engine of the Alpina B2. However, in this case there are still countless design changes.

“The car is not a classic conversion of that time,” says Koller. And gets enthusiastic: “He has a reinforced clutch from the BMW E3 3.0 Si, the Alpina sports gearbox with five gears, the first gear is in the back, you see?” He starts the engine, it rumbles.

Rear axle from the E9

“The racing forged pistons are loud when cold and become quieter at operating temperature.” Koller could also tell you something about the extended cooler package with the multi-blade fan wheel, the Solex racing twin carburettors or the height-adjustable chassis – and he does it while his eyes light up.

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Harald Koller has owned the car since 2018. The steering wheel comes from the Alpina program.


“The rear axle comes from the E9, so the drive shafts have been shortened.” The Alpina manifold, the Alpina downpipe and the Alpina exhaust system should also be mentioned.

146000 km on the odometer

In any case, the car has only covered 146,000 kilometers to date. “Including the approximately 50,000 kilometers that Fuchsberger drove with the first engine,” says Koller.

He is currently considering restoring the car to its original condition. So not the engine, but purely on the outside. The gas station operator subsequently tuned it optically. “First he had it painted black metallic. Then the rear and front spoilers from the B7 were added.” At the time, Alpina promised a speed increase of 5 km/h. And lower fuel consumption. Koller can only smile about the latter. “If you drive it really fast, it consumes 30 liters.”
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The Alpina stands warm and dry alongside other rarities: BMW E9 3.0 CSi (1972 model), Swiss Army Willys Jeep (1958), Bertone Freeclimber Series 1 (1989)


The B2S lettering was also added later. And the third-party owner even had other decorative strips glued on. “Cut out by hand, you can see it on the edges,” says Koller, pointing to the imperfect foiling. “But everything was done at Alpina.”
Alpina has meanwhile sent him the original front spoiler, a custom-made product.

Now the Alpina makes 249 hp

Koller has already exchanged the modern radio for a contemporary BMW Bavaria S. And he installed an optimized air box in the engine compartment. The car now has 249 hp, according to the test bench measurements. The ashtray is still in its uncleaned original condition. “The remains of Fuchsberger’s cigarette ash are probably still in there,” says Koller.

Joachim Karl “Blacky” Fuchsberger died in 2014 at the age of 87 in Munich-Grünwald. His widow Gundula lives to this day. Koller wrote to her, but has not yet received a reply.

PS: By the way, Harald Koller dismantled a tuning part himself right after the purchase. “The previous owner had installed a horseshoe on the grille.” Probably from a racehorse.

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