Scratched out VIN numbers - is this normal?

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jezza
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Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:54 pm

I am going to see a B10 V8 tomorrow morning, the current owner has mentioned that the original VIN under the bonnet has been scratched out and replaced with an Alpina one. This sounds rather alarming, although it makes sense. Can anyone confirm please that this is normal practice for Alpinas? I assume the Alpina VIN will then match with the VIN on the reg document.
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Charles
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Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:34 pm

Hi Jezza,

Alpina's have a rather special place in the world of VIN's because they effectively have two.

Firstly, there is the original BMW chassis number which relates to the donor car - in my case a 330i Touring.

Once the car is received by Alpina they make a very careful crossing out of that number with a simple elongated cross. They then punch their own chassis number beside the crossed out original. This is the VIN that goes on the V5 document.

In terms of tracking the car it does make life a little bit interesting. For example, some people use the original BMW chassis number for their records - like Tracker for example. Others prefer the Alpina version - like my insurance company. When it comes to my local BMW dealer, they use the BMW number but their system cross references this to the Alpina number. This is important because you can check through a BMW dealership that the car really is what it claims to be.

The reason for all of this - well, Alpina are recognised as a manufacturer in their own right and as such they have to stamp their own VIN on every one of their vehicles. Because they receive a donor vehicle from another recognised manufacturer (BMW,who have by law to stamp their own VIN on the vehicle) this requires Alpina to cross the old one out and put the new one on.

You should be able to see the BMW VIN in the front windscreen and compare that to the crossed out number under the bonnet. This should be your first check for whether the car is a "good un".

Hope that this helps

Take care and good luck

Charles
Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order ;)
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:00 pm

Hi All
Only Just found your site & hope you don't mind me joining you even though I've just had to sell my 3rd Alpina (E46 B3 Coupe) to finance a Housing project I’ve undertaken.
On the subject of VIN numbers both my B3s (E36 & E46) had not had the VIN numbers crossed out on the Windscreen and the Alpina VIN was stamped/Punched in the Engine bay on the Offside Suspension Strut bodywork (The last 3 Numbers Corresponding with the Plague number inside) As well as the other numbers & letters telling you the model & Engine size,
1 problem I encountered with having 2 VIN numbers is that the testing station that carried out the MOT put the BMW VIN number on the certificate instead of the Alpina Number causing a problem when Taxing the Car.
Also when I was looking at purchasing a 98 B10 a while back I noticed the V5 had the Manufacturer as BMW whereas most now show Alpina, on contacting Sytner’s at Nottingham they were able to give me the full Car details as well as advising me to contact them with the V5 if I went ahead with the purchase and they would add a letter with it to get the details changed by the DVLC.
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Real Thing
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Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:37 pm

Sorry forgot to login and let you know who I am
(Vin Message above)
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Alpina Jim
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Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:05 pm

Real Thing

My 98 B10 is registered as an Alpina on the V5 document.
I always "sweat" when I tax my car as the MOT certificate is shown as a BMW but so far I have managed to get away with it.
I asked my main dealer to put Alpina on the MOT but they refused saying it had to be BMW as this was the base model for the car.
I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the local Post Office refuses to give me a tax disc due to the mismatch in information on the documents.


Jezza

I too was confused when I first saw two chassis numbers on the suspension turret with the BMW one crossed out, friends and relatives tried to convince me that I had been conned when they first saw it.
The only time 2 chassis numbers has caused any confusion was with a BMW warranty claim. My main dealer was trying to claim against the BMW one but my car was warranted against the Alpina number.
No problem for me but it did worry my dealer when they had trouble claiming for the work carried out under warranty. :lol: Perhaps they should have checked the details first.

Regards
Jim
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'98 B10 3.2 #174 in Alpina Blue owned since 13th Sept 2002 :D
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Charles
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Mon Feb 07, 2005 9:35 am

Just checked my V5 and it shows the "Make" as Alpina and the chassis number is the Alpina number.

Having not yet reached the point where I need an MOT I have yet to face this potential problem, but I am about to arrange for an extended warranty (which I am told is provided by BMW and not Alpina) and so we shall see what numbers they put and where.

Just to clarify a point raised by "Real Thing", the VIN in the windscreen of my car is the BMW number and it is unadulterated, not crossed out or whatever. The only "crossing out" is the BMW VIN on the offside front suspension strut housing where the Alpina VIN is punched just below.

Despite all the problems this all causes, it is great to see the look on faces when you casually drop into conversation the fact that "my car has two chassis numbers". The words "ringer" and "cut and shut" immediately are mentioned and the ensuing conversation is always amusing - particularlyas I am completely confident about the reasons why. Generally it ends up with a trip to the car park and group inspection of the "offending" numbers until we retire to the bar and start chatting about BHP and girls (not necessarily in that order).

Interesting thread BTW

Take care all

C
Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order ;)
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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Real Thing
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Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:03 am

Sorry If I'm repeating something here but another check on the ALPINA VIN number is to make sure it corresponds with the Car details eg: WAPB635S08BA50011
Reveals the model B6 in the fourth & firth digits, the engine size, 3.5, in the sixth & seventh digits while the last three digits tell you that it’s B6 car number 011 (Which is the same as the plaque)
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Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:53 am

VIN: WAPB635S08BA50011

* Identification number: WAPB635S08BA50011
! VIN....................NOT CORRECT!
* Vehicle code...........HA51
* Model..................BMW 524td
* Body...................E34
* Engine.................M21
* Gearbox................Mechanic
* Body style.............Limousine
* Rear wheel drive
* Manufactured for.......ECE
* Year...................1989
* Month..................4
link: http://www.golgofa.ru/bmw_id.shtml

this is probably mistake...

so can anyone explain how can I be sure that the car match the alpina No. and BMW VIN?
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