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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to import an E60 B5 into the US as a "gray market" car.


Anybody know if this has been done before?

Jean-Luc
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jldf3045 said:
I'm looking to import an E60 B5 into the US as a "gray market" car.


Anybody know if this has been done before?

Jean-Luc
LA

Welcome to the messageboard!

As the first deliveries are only taking place since 1 or 2 months, noone has done this before.

The chances of importing a B5 into the USA are very slim. Both EPA & DOT will cost major hassle and money. Your best shot at getting a B5 onto the street in the US is to buy a crashed B5 in Europe, part it out and rebuild it on a US E60 bodyshell.
 

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kees said:
Welcome to the messageboard!

As the first deliveries are only taking place since 1 or 2 months, noone has done this before.

The chances of importing a B5 into the USA are very slim. Both EPA & DOT will cost major hassle and money. Your best shot at getting a B5 onto the street in the US is to buy a crashed B5 in Europe, part it out and rebuild it on a US E60 bodyshell.

if you are able to do this and do get the car cali legal please keep us posted on this one. I would love to do the same. I think Kees is correct on all this, it will not be easy.
 

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Yup, been trying to get a B3 over. Gave up.

During my quest, I did come across a importer in So Cal that listed B3 as one of the cars they can import. Can remember the name of that importer though.

Then again there are other things to consider. Remember, bringing a B5 over is just a pixel of the bigger picture.

1. Who is going to work on it? It's a supercharged 4.4L and I doubt dealerships here will want to touch it, unless they are properly trained by Alpina or you are a trained tech who likes the challenges.

2. Alpina parts have to be ordered through Alpina directly or KSK Distributing (which mark up the price).

3. Color-matching. If you get into a fender-bender and you have one of those Alpina colors, it might be a headache to match the paint at a the bodyshop. Maybe, just maybe, one finds a REALLY good shop to do it. Still, it's not the same.

But down the road, I may reinitiate my quest again. I am totally obssessed with the B3 model. And I know I will own it one day. :wroom:
 

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As a last option;if the alpina can't come to you....... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I know it's going to be difficult, but I like the challenge. I was told of someone who has brought a few Alpinas over to Canada and Florida. Of Course, California is another story.

Since 2002 many manufacturers are making world platforms that basically satidf the US safety and emission standards (door reinforcements, airbags, seatbelts, OBDII computer etc). This is why it is pretty straightforward to import euro versions a say a Ferrari 360 or a Porsche GT2. I am doing research to see if the E60 platform works the same way.

I'll keep posting what I find out.

jldf3045
 

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jldf3045 said:
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I know it's going to be difficult, but I like the challenge. I was told of someone who has brought a few Alpinas over to Canada and Florida. Of Course, California is another story.
Don't get your hopes up. Canada as you might recall is a different country and thus has totally different rules on the import of used cars. Basically anything older than 15 years can be imported. This doesn't apply in the US - I believe there is a rule in the making to allow special vehicles older than 25 years to be imported. You could always go for "Show&Display" but then you wouldn't be allowed to drive the car more than a few thousand miles a year.

The B10 BiTurbo you may have heard of in Florida is not EPA and DOT registered. It's not allowed to be driven in the US.
 

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I can't see why this is going to be difficult. The B5 is built on the same BMW production line as all 5 series. It only goes to Alpina to have the special radiator fitted, spoliers and any special leather. Alpina now send their parts to the factory rather than the other, traditional, way round. So I reckon if you were to order a US spec 5 series with the Alpina 'option' it would be pretty straightforward (you may wish to delete the badges temporarily). Servicing can be done by any BMW dealer - no need for special training. Try contacting Kris Odwarka (he is a US citizen) at Alpina Buckloe and have a chat. The people at Alpina are remarkably friendly and flexible.

Good Luck
 

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As I understand it, the main problem is that, for legal purposes, the B5 is NOT a BMW E60/61. It is a BMW-Alpina B5. Legally, it's a different manufacturer, so all the tests for the BMW E60 do not apply.

I believe this is why the 555 BMW-Alpina V8 Roadsters had BMW VINs only - i.e. they were Alpina-modified BMWs, for legal purposes, rather than true BMW-Alpinas. Thus enabling them to be homologated as Z8s in the US.

Someone with a V8 Roadster will surely correct me on this, now...
 

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So jldf3045 is only a VIN away from getting his car? Worth making that call to Buchloe!
 

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hythe said:
Someone with a V8 Roadster will surely correct me on this, now...
No your explanation is spot on. I actually do know of a E34 B10 3.5/1 that was built in the USA this exact way.
 

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I had deliberated about something like this in Ireland where there are currently no alpina dealerships, but more from a saving money point of view with the dreaded vrt tax rates here, the idea was that you buy a well equipped 545i yourself and then have it shipped to alpina for their turbo & suspension modifications and upgrades.

I'm not sure how extensive their mods go, somebody mentioned forged pistons and reinforced crankshaft etc. so it could probably take a while but im sure they'd do it.
 

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About 60% of the engine is modified, suspension, exhaust, wheels, tyres, gearbox, differential, instruments, steering wheel, re-programmed ECU, DSC, ABD. Don't think Alpina will do mods on standard cars, you could always ask but it will be very expensive.
 

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Heuer said:
About 60% of the engine is modified, suspension, exhaust, wheels, tyres, gearbox, differential, instruments, steering wheel, re-programmed ECU, DSC, ABD. Don't think Alpina will do mods on standard cars, you could always ask but it will be very expensive.
Allegedly, only about a third of the total components of a B5 are common to a 545i. Am pretty sure it's a non-starter.

Much more practical on the early (up to 1980s) cars to modify a standard car to Alpina spec.
 

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The US customer base needs to put pressure on Penski - he is very influencial with BMW who could help pressure and sell the idea to Alpina..but the emmissions/certifications will be a issue
 

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Discussion Starter #16
GaAlpinaowner said:
The US customer base needs to put pressure on Penski - he is very influencial with BMW who could help pressure and sell the idea to Alpina..but the emmissions/certifications will be a issue
I'll remember that next time I see Mr. Penske. I see some of you drive Alpinas in the US. Kees, how did you build your B10? GaAlpinaowner, how did you bring the B7 over?

Any experience is helpful.
 
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