Alpina was founded by Burkard Bovensiepen, (b. 1936) who is still the CEO, started in 1965 with the foundation of Burkard Bovensiepen KG at Kaufbeuren in the southern German province of Bavaria. The original name can be traced to Dr. Rudolf Bovensiepen, his father, whose company's purpose was to make office machinery.
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.
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.