2003 BMW Alpina V8 Roadster

2003 BMW Alpina V8 Roadster
Courtesy of Bonhams

In 1956, BMW released the 507, a stunning two-seat roadster that delivered exhilarating performance, luxury and rarity and that remains one of the most coveted BMW models ever produced. At the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show, BMW displayed a stylish retro-inspired concept car, the Z07. The Henrik Fisker-designed concept was initially intended to merely exist as a sole concept, however the incredible reception and overwhelmingly positive acclaim spurred the decision to put it into limited serial production in 1999.

The resulting Z8 remained remarkably faithful to the Z07 concept, with the 507-like twin-nostril front grille and distinctive front-wing vents. A period-style interior had been one of the Z07’s most remarked-upon features, and that, too, made it into the Z8, including a banjo-style steering wheel. The sleek and taut bodywork was all wrought in aluminum, as was the space-frame chassis. The V8 engine was aluminum as well, with massive torque and horsepower figures. Needless to say, the Z8 was fitted with all the luxury appointments befitting a flagship model: traction control, stability control, front and side air bags, GPS navigation, climate control and power operation of the seats, steering wheel and convertible top.

Along with being a stunning, hand-built, limited-production roadster, BMW further enhanced the Z8’s appeal to collectors by announcing that a 50-year stockpile of Z8 parts would be maintained. Despite a hefty launch price, initial demand was so high that a bidding war broke out, with many Z8s selling for well in excess of MSRP. By the time production ceased in 2002, 5,703 of these fabulous cars had been built.

With production of the Z8 completed by November 2002, for 2003 the Z8 was replaced by the limited-edition Alpina V8 Roadster. A new, softer grade of Nappa leather replaced the Z8’s less-supple specification, and special Alpina gauges were featured on the dash cluster. An Alpina steering wheel with three solid spokes replaced the original, and larger Alpina wheels were fitted.

In the United States, this special-edition Z8 was sold directly through BMW dealerships, marking a first for Alpina, whose cars had never been sold through retail channels in the U.S. Only 555 of these Alpinas were built.

This Alpina V8 Roadster, one of just 555 examples produced worldwide, landed on U.S. shores on March 4, 2003. Two months later, the first owner took delivery of this sporty roadster in Knoxville, TN. During the first owner’s brief 15 months with the car, this Alpina covered nearly half of its overall miles. The car then ventured west to San Francisco, where its second and current owner acquired it. The consignor has covered just over 8,000 miles in this stunning V8-engined Alpina and showed the car occasionally, including several appearances at the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance. It has been serviced regularly and used sparingly over the past 11 years.

Having covered such low miles since new, this two-seater remains in excellent original condition. The Silver Metallic paintwork, complemented by the unmistakable 20-inch Alpina multi-spoke wheels, is in excellent condition and accentuates the sleek BMW 507-inspired bodywork. The interior, swathed in black and red leather, is in similarly great condition with no discernible wear. This car has undergone several services within the past year, including new tires, gaskets, and a new starter motor. The Alpina-tuned V8 engine runs admirably, and the Steptronic automatic transmission shifts without incident. This rare German convertible is ready to be driven and enjoyed by its third owner. Included with the sale are the original books, toolkit, extensive service records, and the matching factory hard top and stand.

Stephen Serio

SCM Contributor

Stephen is the president and owner of Aston Martin of New England / Lotus Motorsports Inc. in Waltham, MA, although for the most part, vintage European cars are where his heart is. His need to over-indulge in vintage European cars of the 1950s and 1960s inevitably leads to coveting one more car. Recent garage inhabitants include a Porsche 356A Speedster and 356A European coupe, Ferrari 275 GTS and 246GT, BMW 2002 and a Hudson Hornet. HIs vintage-Porsche-driving wife, Amanda, tolerates this all nicely.

Posted in German