E38 B12s - how many?

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Drew
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E38 B12s - how many?

Post by Drew » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:17 pm

Hi All,
Having previously owned a very nice B10 V8S, and having sold it a few years back, I am looking to get back into the club, but this time with a 7er.

I really like the E38, so that's the way I'm looking to go.

Some questions:
how many E38 B12s were built in RHD, and how many in 5.7 and 6.0 forms?
Other than displacement, is there any difference between the 5.7 and the 6.0?
Do they tend to be short or long wheel-base?
How often do these cars come up for sale? (I imagine they're a good bet for long term ownership and so may not come for sale that often?)
What price range should I be looking at?

On the last Q, cooking E38s sell for anything from £500 upwards. £4-5k seems to buy a average-low mileage 740i/750i. Is £10k realistic for a E38 B12? (I know E31 B12s are a different price proposition!)

cheers
Drew
1998 B12 5.7 ekat
1972 3.0 CSL
2002 B10 V8S Touring (sold)
1981 635CSi (sold)

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Mike Pitt
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B12s

Post by Mike Pitt » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:59 pm

You've set yourself a tough task.

According to the Alpina Register in RHD there were 8 5.7l (all SWB), and 7 6.0l ( including 1 LWB, but this list doesn't include Kevin's 5.7l LWB, so may not be complete. According to Kevin only 2 or 3 are on the road (including his and mine), so finding a good running example is not going to be easy.

The LWBs are the rare ones, but even the SWBs do not come up for sale very often - it took me 4 years to find the one I wanted (13+ years ago).

Gee can give you an update on purchase prices, having bought the most recent example, I think, but he's famed for his negotiating skills and probably bought it well under it's true value. :wink:

10k would be a real bargain, in my opinion - probably at that price would need work. Mine cost it's original owner £112k back in 1998, so it's a lot of car!:shock:

My B12 has been really cheap to own and run, low tax, cheap insurance, and few major maintenance bills.

I've heard that the 6.0l have had engine issues due to the overboring to increase the capacity, but that may be just a rumour. The 5.7l has more than enough power, the 6.0l even more.

The pleasure and satisfaction of owning and running one of these extremely rare beasts makes your search well worth it.

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Post by PhillV8S » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:34 pm

As a quick aside, I saw a VW golf last week in Malvern with the reg B12 WOW
And thought it would be appropriate for you B12 guys.
E39 B10 V8S #037 Saloon SOLD
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Post by E24man » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:08 pm

It rather depends on whether you mean rhd UK supplied or rhd in total, as some rhd cars were supplied to Japan and at least one of them was imported to the UK.

As far as I know there were 8 swb E38 5.7's suppled to the UK, 6 swb E38 6.0's supplied to the UK and just two lwb UK cars, both 5.7's.

Of those 6.0 cars just two are known to be MoT'd; the 6.0 car sold by GMS cars to a forum member and one other; three are known to be off the road for a significant time with two known to be in very poor shape, and the Estoril car's fate is still unknown following its sale by the insurance company many years ago.

Of the 5.7 swb cars, Mike's car and the 5.7 recently sold by GMS cars to a forum member are known to be MoT'd, three others are known to not have MoT's are the fate of the other three is unknown.

Of the two lwb cars, mine is MoT'd and the other has 235,000 miles on it and a lengthy MoT fail sheet, including bodywork damage, from a couple of years ago.

Of all the 14 UK supplied cars I believe just mine and Mikes are in daily use.

I know of 4 other rhd cars, all of which ordered for Japan and one of those was imported back to these shores but its fate is presently unknown. There could well be other rhd E38 Alpina's out there as well.

There are a good number of fake E38 Alpina B12's out there, from simple registrations to fully badged up and striped examples.

Like Mike, it took me 4 years to find the car I wanted and like Mike :wink: I am unwilling to part with it.
E24man

2001 Alpina B10 V8 Touring (1 of 12 rhd)
1997 Alpina B12 5.7 L (1 of 2 rhd)
1995 Alpina B10 4.6 Touring (1 of 1 rhd)
1985 BMW M635CSi (1 of 524 rhd made, but less than half left now)
1982 BMW 635CSiA (1 of only hundreds left from the thousands made and still valiantly fighting a rusty grave)

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Post by E24man » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:46 pm

To address your other questions OP;

The 5.7 and 6.0 engines are very different sharing just head gaskets with each other and very few parts with the 750's they are based upon. Exhausts, ECU's, air intakes, gearboxes etc are each different again; some 5.7's share brakes with 6.0's, some are different, some 6.0 cars have different gearboxes from other 6.0 cars, 6.0 cars have a bespoke engine loom.

Mike is correct about the over-bored and stroked 6.0 engines, as nearly half of all the B12 6.0 engines have suffered some kind of engine rebuild when Alpina specified an oil that was too thin for the short-skirted pistons; use only 10/60 on any Alpina V12 engine. Anecdotally, the 6.0 cars have also suffered more gearbox issues as well, perhaps due to the greater power or perhaps due to how they are sometimes driven.

5.7's and 6.0's share suspension, wheels and Alpina bodywork components.

Every E38 Alpina was bespoke and very often BMW Individual or Alpina bespoke interiors were ordered so hardly any cars are the same.

They very rarely come up for sale, chiefly either because they're own owners keep them in great condition and can't part with them (Mike), or, because despite being in poor and sometimes dreadful condition their owners are deluded as to what they are worth and how much it costs to actually make them nice again.

As for E38 values, the prices of decent V12's has nearly doubled in the past five years as E65/66 cars become too costly and complicated to fix in comparison to their predecessors. I would suggest £4k-£5k would get an average condition 750i/iL with the nicest cars near or just over £10k now.

The V8 and straight six E38's will be less than that purely because they invariably have significantly less equipment; the V12's were pretty much packed out as 'standard', but with E38's, there was almost always something else to put on the car; flag posts, gun-boxes, fridges, radar sensing cruise-control, etc, never-ending etc.

The weight difference between the V12 swb cars and lwb cars is minimal, just a 55kg weight increase from 2055kg to 2110kg, but the super long L7 added another 105kg again to take it to 2215kg. All these weights are based on the 'standard' specification but as above, 'standard' was a variable feast depending principally on the depth of your pockets.

Every E38 every made has the same achilles heel, the petrol tank. Check it thoroughly and get it filled it right up before you buy the car.

HTH
E24man

2001 Alpina B10 V8 Touring (1 of 12 rhd)
1997 Alpina B12 5.7 L (1 of 2 rhd)
1995 Alpina B10 4.6 Touring (1 of 1 rhd)
1985 BMW M635CSi (1 of 524 rhd made, but less than half left now)
1982 BMW 635CSiA (1 of only hundreds left from the thousands made and still valiantly fighting a rusty grave)

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Post by Drew » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:15 am

thanks guys

one for Mike and Kevin, with 16 UK cars, and perhaps some overseas RHD cars arriving since, how come it took 4 years to find the right car? Assuming an average ownership stint of 8 years (say) then two E38 B12s should come up for sale per year. Does that imply that over your 4 year search cars came up but were not right for you?

Thanks for all the detail on the cars Kevin. It was you who got me into Alpina ownership in the first place when you put me in contact with my V8S Touring back in 2010. At the time I was looking for an E38 740, so the hunt is back on, although this time with an additional Alpina requirement. Sorry to hear of your recent B10 woes (I assume you still have the stable of 12 E24 cars, 34 B10s, etc :wink: )

On the topic of coupes I've recently purchased an E9 CSL, which is lovely but too delicate for daily duties, hence the search for a B12
1998 B12 5.7 ekat
1972 3.0 CSL
2002 B10 V8S Touring (sold)
1981 635CSi (sold)

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Post by E24man » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:31 am

Drew wrote:thanks guys

one for Mike and Kevin, with 16 UK cars, and perhaps some overseas RHD cars arriving since, how come it took 4 years to find the right car? Assuming an average ownership stint of 8 years (say) then two E38 B12s should come up for sale per year. Does that imply that over your 4 year search cars came up but were not right for you?
I think your maths might be a little out Drew. Mike has had his car for 13 years, the PO of mine slightly longer and I think this is a better representation. This rings true for six of the 14 cars which have not been seen, pictured or heard of in the last 10 years I've been into Alpinas and not even mentioned in historic threads running back to about year 2000.

If you remember my E34 Touring it had never been pictured, spotted or mentioned in any thread for 15 years except the aptly named 'E34 B10 4.6 Touring -does it exist? where an examination of the chassis numbers revealed one rhd car had been made, but not where it went or presently was.

I would suggest Alpina Seven series ownership is similar. How many E32 B11 or B12 owners post in the UK? For E38's there is Mike, Gee and I, and Norrie posts regularly about his E65. Those four posters are a small percentage of the two dozen E32 Alpinas, the 15 UK based E38 Alpinas and the eight (I think?) E65 cars, so probably just 10 per cent active owners out of all owners.... and Gee has half a dozen now doesn't he?

I reckon one E38 B12 pops up every 18 months to two years or so; you may get two or three together perhaps but then hear nothing for years, a bit like B10 Tourings.

As for price, I refer to Mikes comments about Gee's negotiating skills but I reckon for most sellers of a decent, MoT'd car I think your £10k might buy half a B12, a B6 if you like :lol:
E24man

2001 Alpina B10 V8 Touring (1 of 12 rhd)
1997 Alpina B12 5.7 L (1 of 2 rhd)
1995 Alpina B10 4.6 Touring (1 of 1 rhd)
1985 BMW M635CSi (1 of 524 rhd made, but less than half left now)
1982 BMW 635CSiA (1 of only hundreds left from the thousands made and still valiantly fighting a rusty grave)

Drew
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Post by Drew » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:51 pm

E24man wrote:
I think your maths might be a little out Drew.
Oh dear, not good for someone who tries to be an accountant :roll:

But yes, point taken, patience required. Overall I am happy to wait, 4 years if need be, but if one comes up sooner....

I want the Alpina take on the 750 though, I'm not sure a standard 750 cuts it. Perhaps a 740 whilst I'm waiting though, with heated contours and nav
1998 B12 5.7 ekat
1972 3.0 CSL
2002 B10 V8S Touring (sold)
1981 635CSi (sold)

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Post by E24man » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:20 pm

After years of looking at E38's I could advise you that finding heated Contours in anything other than a V12 is almost as rare as finding an E38 Alpina; loads of late V8's and 728's have Contour seats, but finding them with bum-warmers is pretty rare.

There are a lot of lovely 750i's and 750iL's out there, and the V12 engine is super smooth; I can confirm the lwb version is a consummate family motorcar.
E24man

2001 Alpina B10 V8 Touring (1 of 12 rhd)
1997 Alpina B12 5.7 L (1 of 2 rhd)
1995 Alpina B10 4.6 Touring (1 of 1 rhd)
1985 BMW M635CSi (1 of 524 rhd made, but less than half left now)
1982 BMW 635CSiA (1 of only hundreds left from the thousands made and still valiantly fighting a rusty grave)

simon13
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Post by simon13 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:41 pm

ive driven an e38 750i and its great, that V12 makes light work of its mass. Lots of torque, i can only imagine what a nice B12 6.0 is like they're supposed to be epic!
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hap
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Post by hap » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:40 pm

Wasnt a guy on here but the Oxford green one thAt was laid up? Don't think he posted back up after initially questions ?

ali
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Post by ali » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:42 am

My friend in Hamilton is a serial E38 aholic and has 4 for sale
One of each non Alpina though
728, 735, 740 and a 750
He also has a set of heated contour seats for sale for £750

Kevin if you are reading this he has a load of spare goodies from an iL model inc rear doors etc


https://www.gumtree.com/sellerads/1269872236?page=1
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Post by hap » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:59 pm


Drew
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Post by Drew » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:35 pm

LOL, for that money you have a lot of choices, all of them good!

(Looks nice though)
1998 B12 5.7 ekat
1972 3.0 CSL
2002 B10 V8S Touring (sold)
1981 635CSi (sold)

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Mike Pitt
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B12

Post by Mike Pitt » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:19 pm

It's a lot of money, but small change to some collectors, and reflects to some extent the growing interest in this rare and great model.

The best E30 M3s, 190SLs and UR Quattros are heading for 3 figures. Dinos were £50/60k ten years ago, now the best are over £200k. DB6s, air cooled 911s, NSXs - the list goes on. I sold my Z3M for £9k a couple of years ago, now probably worth twice that.

I've believed for some time that the B12 should be valued in a similar bracket to any of these - I think it's unmatched in the category of fast, comfortable limousines that handle really well - not that I'm at all biased in my opinion. :wink:

This is almost certainly the best SWB RHD, so if someone wants the best.....

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