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1982 Dietel-Alpina 345i

Leading up to this car, Mike Dietel was importing European-spec BMWs for the west coast market. With a keen eye to create the most dramatic 3 series possible, he envisioned this car which was the last to come from Dietel Enterprises in Laguna Hills, California. Engineer Tom Coleman extensively reworked the entire car including engine, chassis and interior modifications.

The basis for this 345i was the 3.2-liter engine from the 745i with mild forced induction. Turbocharged to 7.5 pounds of boost, 310 to 340 bhp was available which was quite a bit in 1982. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a close-ratio Alpina five-speed transmission and limited-slip differential. Despite the bulk under the hood, Dietel still found room for the air conditioning system.

To deal with the increased power, Dietel significantly upgraded the chassis with triangulated chrome-moly tubing. Furthermore, the suspension components were upgraded with chrome-moly replacements including Bilstein/Alpina coilovers and drop link front sway bars. Brake rotors from the BMW M1 were also installed with Lockheed Martin 4-piston calipers.

The distinct wide-body kit was a new design which Dietel hoped to market. It was built from fiberglass by Wayne Hartman Fiberglass. The design predated the E30 M3 which effectively replaced this type of car. One major criticism of the design was the American-spec bumpers which were much larger than their European counterparts.

At their 2009 auction, Barrett-Jackson sold the only Dietel 345i for $30,800.00 USD.

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In Detail

type Professionally Tuned Car
built at Laguna Hills, California, USA
production 1
price $ $ 64,000
engine Inline-6
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Turbochargers w/Alpine/KKK Wastegate
fuel feed L-Jetronic Electronic Injection
displacement 3210 cc / 195.89 in³
compression 7.5:1
power 231.2 kw / 310 bhp @ 6000 rpm
specific output 96.57 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 229.13 bhp per tonne
torque 497.6 nm / 367 ft lbs @ 2600 rpm
redline 6350
body / frame Unitary Steel Monocoque
driven wheels RWD
wheel type BBS 3-piece Alloy
front tires 225/50VR-15 Pirelli P7
rear tires 285/40VR-15 Pirelli P7
front brakes BMW M1 Ventilated Discs w/Lockheed Martin 4-Piston Calipers
rear brakes BMW M1 Ventilated Discs w/Lockheed Martin 4-Piston Calipers
front wheels F 38.1 x 22.9 cm / 15 x 9 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 27.9 cm / 15 x 11 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist
f suspension MacPherson Struts w/Bilstein/Alpina Coil-Overs
r suspension Alpina Coil-Overs
curb weight 1352.92 kg / 2980 lbs
weight distro 57 % / 43 %
wheelbase 2540 mm / 100 in
front track 1397 mm / 55 in
rear track 1435.1 mm / 56.5 in
length 4343.4 mm / 171 in
width 1727.2 mm / 68 in
height 1333.5 mm / 52.5 in
transmission Alpina Close-Ratio 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.42:1, 2.07:1, 1.47:1, 1.16:1, 1:1
0 – 60 mph ~5.5 seconds
0 – 100 mph ~14 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~14 seconds
fuel capacity 49.20 litres or 13 gal.