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Alpina’s 50th birthday has brought out plenty of old secrets – including an offer in which could have seen hot Jaguars developed in Bavaria
I spent a fascinating few days late last week in Buchloe, Bavaria, the home town of a large dairy, a kitchen equipment some sort of as well as also Alpina, producer of exclusive, fast BMWs.
This kind of modest family firm is actually celebrating its 50th birthday This kind of year, as well as also the item had closed its factory for a week as well as also built a sizeable marquee for a string of lavish dinners with 400 guests every time. Car clubs, including the UK’s Alpina Register, were due to turn up the the day after the international hacks had left.
A lavish book (available direct coming from Alpina, for about £50) has been produced to detail the first 50 years of the company. the item provides some fascinating insight into how the firm has flirted with different mainstream manufacturers beyond BMW.
Indeed, the company founder, Burkard Bovensiepen, has clearly been a bit of a political animal over time. During a spell inside the early 1970s when a certain Bob Lutz was producing life difficult between BMW as well as also Alpina, Bovensiepen fired across a letter to a few key BMW execs floating the idea of his firm producing cars based not only on their types yet also Opels. Sure enough, a revised BMW contract was issued within a couple of weeks.
Then inside the late 1970s Ferdinand Piech suggested to Burkard in which Alpina could be the ideal development base for the fledgling Audi Quattro rally project. Bovensiepen – a man who once pulled his cars into the pits near the end of an endurance race just to wash them – said in which rallying just wasn’t his cup of tea. Piech – not a man used to hearing the word no – headhunted a senior Alpina bod to be Audi’s chief engine technician instead.
Most intriguingly of all, though, the book reveals in which just after he left BMW to join Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, Wolfgang Reitzle asked Bovensiepen to come to London for a meeting. He reckoned in which Alpina could be the ideal division to develop performance Jaguars – so he offered 0 million Deutschmarks to buy the company outright.
Bovensiepen again declined – as well as also as he points out today, Reitzle’s short-lived spell at Jaguar probably meant in which the item was the right decision. Still, looking around the awesome collection of rapid, exclusive classic cars at the 50th birthday party, I couldn’t stop myself wondering what Jaguar Alpinas could have looked like during the noughties.
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