Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH started turning BMW's 3-series into their own hot-rod corner-carver back in the 1970s with the E21. Technically, the Alpina conversions generate their own VIN number (similar to US based Saleen) and Alpina is considered an auto manufacturer, but they use a basic high volume donor car to create something special...consider them a less shady version of your common tuner. Find this 1982 Alpina C1 2.3 found here on eBay current bidding for $7,100 reserve-not-met with 4 days to go, located in Yokohama, Japan.
Today, Alpina is more than just your local speed shop run by that big sweaty guy, but back in the day it was a small operation. According to bmwism.com they only produced 462 examples of the C1 2.3 cars for the 1980-1983 model years.
Power in the C1 2.3 comes from an Alpina juiced 2.3 liter version of BMWs M20 inline-6, that was rated at 168 horsepower and 150 ft-lbs of torque. The standard BMW M20 only put out 137 horsepower, so the C1 was the closest thing to an ///M car you could find before the E30 factory M3.
The sporty steering wheel and clown seats can be easily adapted to, but the slushbox has got to go -- luckily there are plenty of BMW 5-speed gearboxes ripe for picking from your local junkyard that will bolt right up to this engine. Don't forget the clutch pedal, smaller brake pedal, and associated hydraulic clutch parts as well.
See another limited edition classic that just needs to be imported and federalized for US roads? email@example.com