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    Best Germans. A mild evening in late May - the economy is booming and it will soon be storming around Ebbe Carlsson. Then meet West Germany's most advanced cars for a duel in the middle of Stockholm. We follow the board professional.

    The two cars leave the Grand Hotel for an assessment tour of the quiet early summer evening.


    BMW 730 against MB 300SE The technical specification is similar. But the cars could not be more different.

    Two sedans pass the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Leading car, Mercedes-Benz 300SE V126 SWB, flashing left and steer towards Blasieholmen. BMW 730iA E32 SWB follow. The duo creep run up the little Arsenalsgatan and passes Society, Mr club where leading businessmen and politicians have met and spent time undisturbed for nearly 200 years.

    It lies a kind of exclusive correctness of the Society, not unlike a sand-colored Mercedes 300SE. The model with the internal code W126 presented at the Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1979 but the first pen features were already in autumn 1971. The aim was that the final product would be absolute Mercedes flagship model for ten years, why was the level of ambition of max. To rein in runaway fuel consumption was high on the priority list right from the beginning and became even more important with the oil crisis of 1973. A tricky equation as security, comfort and luxury accessories rather made the car heavier. You had to compensate with extensive aerodynamic work and weight-saving measures alloy steel and body parts in aluminum.

    The first W126-cars, six-cylinder ones, rolled out the brand new factory in Sindelfingen spring 1979 and got a safe and other Puritans of choking. The chrome bumpers were replaced with practical and US-friendly protective polyurethane where the front was also designed to reduce lift trends in high speed. Even the wheels sticking out through a modern aerodynamic design. Although the car was filled with accessories like ABS brakes and airbags stayed wave of below 1600 kg. And wind tunnel work had paid off, the new S-class could boast the lowest drag coefficient of any size sedans at the time (0.36 Cd).

    Nine years later, in spring #1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SE V126 SWB is perceived as much more traditional than the newly launched rival BMW 730iA. It is more than Café Opera Society. Hipper and loaded with exciting technology that electronically adjustable shocks and innovations that reveal what the 90s will accommodate.

    With the ability to choose the V12 engine marks BMW more Mercedes place at the top is threatened. And the equipment list is as long as the stock market pages of Dagens Industri - accessories such as telephone, fax machine and wine cooler in the back seat cauldrons for extra vague sense decade.

    But being innovative is not necessarily a positive trait. The goal of this German luxury car duo is to give Charlie decision making to choose any of them. It is a man of refined taste and high demands on function and quality. He is traditionally Mercedes-owners although he with respect to shareholders drove the Volvo 760 GLE for some years. He has by virtue of his position could command hit two representatives of BMW and Mercedes. The duo is now swinging left and confronted him outside the Grand Hotel, where he set time ladders from a late meeting with a group of investors.

    Charlie, among friends known as Callis, greets short on brand representatives and go one lap around the cars. Goes one. Nodding approvingly at the L-shaped rear lights on the BMW, he remembers the resurrection, when the model was presented. Opens and closes the door once extra, grunts something before he sits down in the bucket BMW seat. He starts up six cylinders, put in the D position and watching in amazement of the modern instrumentation. He provides gas and Mercedes driver following closely behind. The two cars leave the Grand Hotel for an assessment tour of the quiet early summer evening.

    After training at the School of Colleges School in Stockholm Charlie worked more or less around the clock through the sixties and seventies. Thanks to a series of smart investments (and if truth be told, a huge amount of initial capital) he has in the 80s could wind down and today sits just two boards. A form of comfortable and very deliberate risk diversification as one of the companies operating in the telecom and the other belongs to the backbone of Swedish industry, pulp.

    The mission of the latter includes a lot of traveling by car to the north. Yes, and weekend trips to summer pleasure out of Smadalaro. The experience of these two German spearhead locomotives different large letters Callis quickly. BMW charms with unexpected revving in the sixth grade, the 182 horsepower feels downright a nimble. And the footwork is clearly faster than the Mercedes, yes Callis smiles in front of the small three-spoke steering wheel and go almost to the cord in right on the promenade. Mercedes is not visible in the rear-view mirror - and that BMW offers driving pleasure even in the luxury class is obvious.

    Second generation BMW 7 Series with internal code E32 still feels hyper-modern, it was presented after just over two years earlier, in July, 1986.

    Besides amazing modern and sporty model features stack up with the first German V12 engine in fifty years in the 750i. A daring mark to overtake Mercedes - both mental and on the Autobahn. This jaw got knocked BMW to introduce an electronic speed limiter at 250 kmh in response to the German discussion of, woe and horror, speed limits on the Autobahn. BMW 750i was aiming directly at the recently presented Mercedes-Benz 560SEL W126 with a V8. Daimler-Benz is working on a V12 to the next generation W140 S-Class is not known yet.

    The journey continues through the evening quiet town, there will be car outside the castle. Inside the burgundy interior of the Mercedes 300SE are more passengers than drivers materials and aromas are of another kind. The ride quality is world class realizes Callis over the cobblestones in the Old Town, the back end is completely unaffected even if one sits more than in the big chairs with openwork leather. Callis relaxes behind the big steering wheel. The controls, even anger, feels older but also more substantial than in the BMW. The journey continues through the evening quiet town, there will be car outside the castle. Inside the burgundy interior of the Mercedes 300SE are more passengers than drivers materials and aromas are of another kind.

    Callis notes that Mercedes rolls heavily and feels more stable, throttle response is calmer - properties in line with his habitual Mercedes-driving style.

    When it starts to obscure the test run over. Charlie has decided its next car is nothing he reveals the smallest mine, moreover, he would keep the matter for deliberation with his wife before lifting the handset - to the United Car. For although he felt powerful in the back seat of the Mercedes, he experienced a new feeling behind the wheel of the BMW 730iA. On the verge of forbidden excitement - both when he lapped the BMW sixth grade and soon after got looks from two girls in tight stonewashed jeans that almost caressed BMW nose when they crossed a crosswalk. Callis trips with light rose to its soon replaced Mercedes. Throw a glance at his reflection in a shop window. Feel young and fresh. He is, after all, still only fifty-nine ...

    Power windows were standard - trip computer and cruise control some of the many options in the BMW. Reach for the stars is more aim with the star of Mercedes 300SE.

    BMW destabilize the Mercedes before, given first place. Mercedes rims with low profile tires was one of the updates in the revision to the 1986 model.

    Postmodernist Claes Luthe who in 1976 took on the role of chief designer for BMW Paul Bracq is behind the design of the E32 that would characterize BMW for many years to come.
    Total ten different engines were available to choose 7-Series model cycle - four sixes, four V8s and two V12's.
    Mercedes unloads 375-liters, compared to 475 in the entire BMW. BMW has utility in the door, the Mercedes a warning triangle.


    / #BMW-730iA-E32 / #BMW-730iA / #BMW-730i-E32 / #BMW-E32 / #1988 / #BMW / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-SWB / #BMW-7-series-E32 /


    "When I saw the ad I did not believe it was true. It was only BMW 730iA 1988 1500 mil, broken board computer ... "This was 2014, and Fabian Granath went and bought the car in the crash. It had been shut down since the first owner passed away in 1996. Since the purchase Fabian has provided it with new oils and tires - and fixed the broken board computer. The car is in an almost painful untouched top condition and has now gone over 1,800 mil.

    "The direction is very stable even at high speeds," says Fabian. "It's a really nice touring car, you sense that it was at least ten years ahead of its time.

    Total sold 770 pieces of the BMW 7 Series cars in Sweden in 1988 (of which 267 pieces 750i), while sales were plummeting to 550 the following year. Generation E32 was produced until 1994, a total of 311,015 copies.

    / #Mercedes-Benz-300SE-V126 / #Mercedes-Benz-300SE / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes-Benz-V126 / #Mercedes-Benz-W126 / #Mercedes-Benz-S-Class-126 /


    "These cars is aging so damn good, I wanted the feeling of quality and elegance rather than horsepower - 300's the sensible choice economically compared with 500 and 560 versions. This has all the equipment and is well on price - I am convinced that fine specimens are a good investment says Jonas who does not have any plans to sell.

    On the contrary, Jonas had marinated Mercedes dream long and well, and recently bought the car story of a childhood friend who owned it for 15 years.

    Mercedes S-Class was considerably more expensive than the BMW 7 Series but that did not stop 292 Swedes from hitting to 1988. The model was originally launched in three versions, 280SE, 380SE and 500SE - but overall was twenty versions offered for twelve years until 1991 . From plush 280S with four-speed manual transmission to the armored 560SEL W126 - production figure stayed at 818,105 cars.
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    Fancy an Alpina B7 but don’t have the £115,000 required for a new one? Then how about a used E65? It’s a great car for a very reasonable amount of money… Words: Matt Robinson. Photography: Chris Wallbank.

    Old School Rules

    We look back at one of Alpina’s ultimate executive expresses, the stunning E65 B7.

    Chris Bangle – a genius ahead of his time or the man who wreaked the most stylistic havoc on the BMW canon in the marque’s storied history? It’s a debate that continues to rage to this day, seven years after the controversial, bearded American left Munich for design pastures new. It’s an argument in which we’re not going to try and convince you one way or the other if your mind is already made up but we will at least pin our colours to the mast and say we think he was definitely onto something good with his work. His era of flame-surfaced BMWs remain classy and elegant today, with the subsequent models that followed not exuding quite the same crisp lines or distinctive appearance. For instance, the original Z4, with the pre-facelift round rear light clusters, could be argued to be the prettiest #BMW roadster of the lot.

    The E60/61 5 Series, in M Sport guise and on big wheels, can even to this day still elicit a ‘phwoar’ from us when it drifts past on a motorway. And the E63/64 6 Series? That’s surely Bangle’s finest hour… Perhaps his most controversial design, though, was the fourth-generation 7 Series, known as the E65 in short-wheelbase form and E66 as the stretched variant. It really was a shock to the system when it launched in 2001 with its ‘eyebrow’ front lights and a very, very American rear. However, it was dramatically face-lifted in 2005 into a model that was perhaps more widely acceptable, if a little less idiosyncratic. And it’s that post-facelift E65 that we’re looking at here, in its ultimate guise as the storming Alpina B7.

    Developed in the era when Buchloe went from a confusing mishmash of letters and numbers for its cars (C2? A1? B12?) to simply designating the letter ‘B’ and then the series number of the BMW it was based on, the mighty B7 took the then-biggest Munich V8 in the form of the 4.4-litre M62 and slapped a mechanically-driven radial supercharger onto the side of it to liberate massive numbers of 500hp and 516lb ft of torque.

    That compares well to the recently launched current B7, based on the sixth-gen G11 7 Series, which also has a forced induction 4.4-litre V8 – albeit a twin-turbo unit – rated at 608hp and 590lb ft, all for £115,000. It’ll do 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 205mph, numbers that aren’t a huge step above the old 2006 model’s 4.9-second time and 187mph. And you can bag this particular example, in trademark Alpina ‘Dunkelsaphirblaumetallic’ paint, resplendent in side stripes and sitting on a 21-inch set of 20-spoke ‘cotton reels’, for less than half the price of the new car. It’s on sale at Kahn Design in Bradford, a specialist in rare exotica including Alpinas; it was here where we recently sampled the ultra-limited V8 Roadster based on the Z8. At the time of writing, Kahn actually has two B7s on the stock sheets: this 2006 car that began life in Japan that’s on sale for £49,995; and a left-hand drive pre-facelift model with a black interior up at £39,975. So, if you can stomach the challenging looks and sitting on the wrong side of the car, you could save even more cash on the older Alpina.

    However, it’s car No.111 out of a global build run of just 141 units that we think represents all that is good about the Bovensiepen family’s concern. There’s a lack of ostentatiousness (big lip spoiler on the bootlid notwithstanding) about this executive express that truly appeals. No quad exhausts, no overtly loud soundtrack on start-up – it’s just a cultured saloon car that happens to have a really, really potent engine.

    It’s also as close to a new one as you’ll get if you want an E65 B7. It has covered just 36,000km, or around 22,500 miles, and the bodywork looks pristine, free from rust and dings and generally in what you could accurately call showroom condition. The same goes for the interior, which is finished in cream and is free from rips, tears, squeaks and rattles. Everything works as it should, and there’s a lot of technology on the E65 that could go wrong, while the Alpina logo is present and correct on the dashboard trim, with Buchloe’s rhoms and roundels on the seats and the armrests on the doors. It’s a classic look for an Alpina.

    There’s nothing classic about the driving experience, though, because this is a modern enough performance car that still feels epically quick on the road. When the E65 B7 first appeared in 2004, the story went that while it was testing on the Nürburgring, it was going at such pace along the main straight that the E46 M3 CSLs, also undergoing factory shakedown, were receiving aerodynamic tows from the big barge to cut their lap times. Astonishing.

    And this example feels every bit as strong as that claim. The B7 burbles out of Bradford in an exquisite display of luxury limo comfort, the ride supple, the throttle beautifully judged and the V8 motor quiet and hushed. Bizarrely, the sat nav hasn’t been updated for European spec as yet, so the car thinks we’re in a prefecture of Japan, just outside Tokyo; such a cutting-edge place is a world away from the faded woollen mills and Victorian industrial buildings of this particular area of West Yorkshire.

    But then, as we emerge onto winding moorland roads, the chance to open the Alpina up presents itself and suddenly the absent-minded sheep ambling along the Tarmac are in very grave danger of becoming mutton, courtesy of a two-ton Bavarian missile. Wow, the 4.4 has absolutely monster pick-up. It’s connected to the six-speed Alpina Switchtronic transmission, which – during the city driving phase – is predicated to setting off in second gear, making the gearbox seem like a lazy, smooth five-speeder. But out here, with the throttle pushed to the bulkhead, the Switchtronic awakens, offering crisp downshifts out of bends and firing in the next ratio going up the transmission when accelerating rapidly along the straights.

    The B7’s rich, baritone voice is more pronounced, too, once the tacho gets past the 2500rpm point, but as this is an old school, torque-rich V8, there aren’t loads of revs to play with. No matter; make the best use of that 516lb ft midrange and the Alpina simply hurtles along. It’s incredible to think, when experiencing its military-grade firepower, that the B7 couldn’t usurp the iconic E34 B10 Biturbo (188mph) as the fastest Alpina of all time; it had to allow the E60-based B5 of 2005 that signal honour, the 195mph Five, of course, using precisely the same drivetrain as the B7.

    Also fitted to the Kahn Alpina is the optional Dynamic Drive active anti-roll system, which genuinely does allow the B7 to change direction with an alacrity that speaks more of the 3 Series, rather than a gigantic Seven. Shame, then, that the steering is rather too US-spec – light and lacking feel. It’s direct enough and the Alpina turns in keenly but if you’ve driven a lot of performance BMWs over the years this will feel like a woolly setup. You probably also won’t be using the Switchtronic plus and minus buttons, mounted on the back of the steering wheel, to change gear, because they’re not as intuitive as a good paddle-shift is nowadays and the six-speed autobox is fine left to its own devices in D.

    The rest of the Alpina B7’s dynamic make-up is excellent. Large 374mm front, 370mm rear discs lifted from the contemporary 7 Series do a fine job of hauling the saloon down from high speeds with little drama, while Buchloe also felt the standard suspension of the E65 was more than capable of dealing with the grunt of the supercharged engine. And for all those occasions when you can’t utilise the 4.4-litre’s massive reserves, then the doubleglazed windows and impressive aerodynamics make the B7 a near-silent cruiser. The only fly in the ointment is the early version of iDrive still fitted to the car, which does have the menu shortcut button, but which features the eight-way options click override. It’s nothing like as nice and simple to operate as BMW’s current software, but that’s the price you pay for a 500hp rarity like this.

    At almost £50,000, this is not a cheap example of the E65 7 Series; you could probably get yourself in a V12 760Li for less than half as much again. But, given Alpina sold just 11 of these E65 B7s in the UK during a three-year period, it is almost certainly an appreciating classic and the chance of getting behind the wheel of such a collector’s piece, that looks so stunning in this particular colour combination and which has clearly been very well looked after in its previous life, seems like too good an opportunity to miss. An utterly brilliant, super-scarce, 187mph super saloon for less than the price of a fully specified modern day hyper hatch? Seems like a no-brainer to us.

    CONTACT: Kahn Design / Tel: 01274 749999 / Web:

    Suddenly the sheep ambling along the Tarmac are in very grave danger of becoming mutton, courtesy of a two-ton Bavarian missile.

    TECHNICAL DATA #2006 / #BMW-Alpina-B7-E65 / #Alpina-B7-E65 / #Alpina-B7 / #Alpina-E65 / #BMW-E65 / #BMW / #Alpina / #BMW-E65-Alpina / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-E65 / #BMW-7-Series-SWB / #BMW-7-Series-Alpina /

    ENGINE: #V8 , 32-valve, #supercharged
    CAPACITY: 4398cc
    TRANSMISSION: Six-speed #Alpina-Switch-Tronic / #ZF6HP
    MAX POWER: 500hp @ 5500rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 516lb ft @ 4250rpm
    0-62MPH: 4.9 seconds
    STANDING KM: 22.9 seconds
    TOP SPEED: 187mph
    ECONOMY: 22.1mpg
    CO2 EMISSIONS: 306g/km
    WEIGHT: 1960kg
    PRICE (new): £78,950 (2005)
    PRICE (today): For car 111 of 141: £49,995

    The B7 features a wonderfully opulent cabin with swathes of leather and alcantara along with Alpina’s trademark wood trim.
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