I made a mistake – I went to see the Alpina

I love photographic memoirs of my cars. I have tens of thousands of photos of my cars, but I can never get close to the artistry of a professional photographer.

Stephen Hall, from www.stevehallphotography.net, is a friend who has done a number of jobs for me in the past. He did an awesome job with our three GT3s back in 2007 and also the 550 shoot back in 2004 (jesus 10 years ago!).

I called him up recently and he’s mentioned the possibility of being featured in a magazine. Given the car’s on sale, I thought it would be a great opportunity regardless to have some memoirs about this awesome car.

Everything was going well right up until Steve says “OK excellent, see you at 5.30am at Ivinghoe Beacon”. Sweet lord mother of Mary.

But Steve wasn’t wrong. At one point where there was a dull, cloudy sky, suddenly the most fantastic sunrise graced the entire Dunstable Downs with this soft, warm light. Bathing the immaculately detailed Alpina, it really did look like something out of Photoshop and we hadn’t even taken a photo yet.

Stephen’s a consummate professional displaying levels of patience that would have otherwise driven someone like me mad. But this patience is rewarded as the results show below.

After many hours worth of clicking and pointing, Stephen asked for some action shots. Except he wouldn’t leave the car for me to drive. Prying the keys from his hands, I took over.

I’ve not really ever driven this car in anger before as I’ve always felt it would be fragile, given its age. How mistaken was I. With surprising levels of stamina and endurance I enjoyed the best drive I’ve ever had with the car.

The bilstein suspension set up is soft, lending itself to the handling characteristics of that period. It has a little lean in the body which provides it with fantastic grip, but push past that with either aggressive steering input or a sudden heavy use of that unique 2.7 block, the Alpina C2 rewards with a wonderfully progressive slide that is so easy to balance with that thin spoked Alpina steering wheel.

Spending the whole day with this car was a real shame as I’m genuinely considering keeping it.

Anyway, the car should feature some day soon in a car mag. For now, please enjoy the photos.

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