Alpina's story began in 1962 when Burkard Bovensiepen developed a Weber dual carburetor for the BMW 1500. This carburetor was well received by the automotive press, as well as BMW's own sales boss Paul G. Hahnemann. In 1964, BMW certified the quality of this Alpina product by awarding BMW vehicles fitted with the Alpina system the full factory guarantee.
Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen KG was established on 1 of January, 1965 in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria. The company had eight employees.
Although Alpina started by producing typewriters, the original Alpina ceased to exist at the end of the 1960s in their attempt to move into the textile industry. In 1965, Burkard established a BMW tuning business, following his success with investments in the stock market. He started the tuning business in an outbuilding of the original Alpina typewriter factory. The company worked on carburetors and revised cylinder heads. By 1970, with seventy employees, the original facility changed locations from Kaufbeuren to Buchloe.
In its first years, Alpina established its core competency tuning carburetors and crankshafts to extract more power from BMW engines, elements that eventually defined the company's logo, which came into being in 1967.
Between 1968 and 1977, Alpina cars did very well in competition. The highlight was in 1970, when the team's cars won the European Touring Car Championship, the German Hillclimb Championship, rally and track racing championships and the prestigious Spa 24 Hours.
Alpina officially withdrew from racing in 1988 because of capacity limitations and restrictions. Tied to this was the decision to begin production of a new set of BMW Alpina automobiles, Since 1983 Alpina has been recognized by the German Federal Ministry of Transport as an automobile manufacturer, thus Alpina-built cars are branded and registered as Alpina instead of BMW, although an Alpina can be bought and serviced at some BMW dealerships, and covered if there is a warranty issue.