Burkard Bovensiepen, Alpina Founder, Passes Away Aged 87

Visionary BMW Tuner Dies After Illness

Burkard Bovensiepen, the renowned figure responsible for the esteemed Alpina mark, has passed away. At 87 years of age, he was taken from us.

Alpina Belgium took to Facebook to post a short tribute, commemorating the life of the founder of one of the most sought-after BMW modifiers in history. The late Mr Bovensiepen first gained renown in the 1960’s when he developed a Weber double carburetor for the BMW 1500 model.

As stated by Alpina Archives, Bovensiepen recognized a need for increased electric power when BMW presented the 1800 version, therefore confirming the disappointment of proprietors of the 1500. This opened the prospect to create augmentation, which was a huge success, generating admiration from not only automotive writers but also Paul G. Hahnemann, BMW’s retail manager.

Indeed, Hahnemann was so surprised that in 1965 BMW declared their commitment to honor guarantees of all automobiles equipped with Bovensiepen’s innovative Alpina mechanism.

That same year, Bovensiepen set up Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen KG in Kaufbeuren. Subsequent success investing on the stock market allowed him to fund a fresh tuning outfit initially specializing in improved cylinder heads and higher-performance carburetors.

After a period of five years, the number of workers employed by Alpina swelled to seventy, and their headquarters shifted to Buchloe – the present site of their base. Subsequently, the firm gained fame for their particular expertise with carburettors and crankshafts, which are represented in Alpina’s trademark.

Alpina garnered tremendous triumph in motorsport, claiming sphere at the Spa 24 Hours and the European Touring Car Championship, amongst other contests.

In 1983, Alpina accomplished the acclaimed distinction of acquiring the highest possible honour that could be given out by the German government: The Federal Ministry of Transport declared it to be regarded as a legitimate automobile manufacturer. This allowed Alpinas to have a distinctive Vehicle Identification Number and to become registered as Alpinas instead of BMWs.

In 1988, Alpina stopped their involvement in motorsport and instead shifted their focus towards crafting luxurious road-worthy BMW cars. Despite M’s being present on the scene for a while already, it didn’t faze Alpina.

Bovensiepen’s cars crafted for the road were not solely intended to possess leading performance. Regardless, Alpina’s vehicles are quite agile and brisk; nonetheless, the focal point is on extravagant looks as well as high-level luxury. Alpina automobiles can easily be discerned due to their unique body Kits, multi-spoke wheel rims, and marked Alpine Blue and Alpina Green paint jobs. Most classic models display the trademark pinstripe design.

Through the decades, BMW has stayed in close association with Alpina. For example, customers who know quality can buy either an Alpina XB7 or B8 Gran Coupe straight from a BMW salesroom.

A year ago, the BMW Group took over Alpina. The organization will remain efficient in running its operations (for the present) but there could be a shift where BMW repositions Alpina as an exclusive sub-brand bridging the gap between BMW and Rolls-Royce. Whatever transpires, it wouldn’t have been doable without Burkard Bovensiepen.

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