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BMW E30 Club - Thirtieth series BMW - was the second generation of cars of middle class automotive brand from Bavaria. T...
BMW E30 Club - Thirtieth series BMW - was the second generation of cars of middle class automotive brand from Bavaria. These machines have a wide range of engines and body styles. Even during the life of the conveyor this machine has earned the title of the cult. And now having passed the test of time and has a huge range of kilometers and miles fans and avid owners. Our club dedicated to everything that is connected with this model and its numerous modifications. Namely operation, test drives, repair and tuning of course. Tuning E30 is now a whole industry, even say more - it's a real industry and enthusiasm of thousands of fans of the famous thirty. Our community brings together owners and enthusiastic amateur trio of second generation all continents and countries. All communication in our outdoor club is in English as a universal means of communication.

Welcome - E30 with love and forever!

Like the E28 5 Series, the second-generation 3 Series E30 concentrated on the consistent improvement of a successful concept. With improved styling, technology and equipment levels, the 3 Series offered a wide range of engines for all customer demands. From 1983 all models were also available with four doors. In 1988 the 324td introduced the first-ever electronic diesel injection system, and newly developed four-cylinder units replaced the engines that had proven their merits millions of times over 26 years.

1982 – 1991 E30 3 Series Saloon 2 doors and 4 doors

BMW 316, 1982 – 1988 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc 66 kW (90 hp)
BMW 316i, 1988 – 1991 4-cyl. ohc 1596 cc Cat. 74 kW (100 hp)
BMW 316i, 1987 – 1988 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc Cat. 75 kW (102 hp)
BMW 318i, 1982 – 1987 4-cyl. ohc 1766 cc 77 kW (105 hp) Cat. 75 kW (102 hp)
BMW 318i, 1987 – 1991 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc Cat. 83 kW (113 hp)
BMW 318is, 1989 – M42 1991 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc Cat. 100 kW (136 hp)
BMW 320i, 1982 – 1991 M20B20 6-cyl. ohc 1990 cc 92 kW (125 hp) Cat. 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 323i, 1982 – 1986 M20B23 6-cyl. ohc 2316 cc 102 kW (139 hp) 110 kW (150 hp)
BMW 325e, 1983 – 1988 M20B27 6-cyl. ohc 2693 cc Cat. 90 kW (122 hp) Cat. 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 324d, 1985 – 1990 M21 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc 63 kW (86 hp)
BMW 324td, 1987 – 1990 M21B24 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc 85 kW (115 hp)
BMW 325i, 1985 – 1991 M20B25 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc 126 kW (171 hp) Cat.125 kW (170 hp)

1985 – 1991 E30 325iX Permanent four-wheel drive, central power divider, viscous locks.
BMW 325iX 1990 – 98 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc Cat. 125 kW (170 hp) 126 kW (171 hp)

1982 – 1990 E30 3 Series Baur Top-Convertible
With the introduction of the new 3 Series, Baur again offered a Convertible model with rollover bar. Then, in 1986, BMW themselves introduced a brand-new fourseater Convertible. The elaborately constructed roof was easy to operate and disappeared completely into a com - partment behind the rear seats.

1986 – 1993 E30 3 Series Convertible
BMW 318i Convertible
1990 – 1993 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc 83 kW (113 hp)
BMW 325i Convertible 1986 – 1993 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc Cat. 125 kW (170 hp) 126 kW (171 hp)
BMW 320i Convertible 1986 – 1993 6-cyl. ohc 1990 cc 95 kW (129 hp)


1988 – 1994 E30 3 Series touring

Another variant in the E30 3 Series was the dynamic and luxurious Touring with the same wheelbase but a completely different rear end. This car came with petrol and diesel engines as well as four-wheel drive.

BMW 316i touring, 1991 – 1994 4-cyl. ohc 1596 cc 74 kW (100 hp)
BMW 320i touring, 1988 – 91 6-cyl. ohc 1990 cc 95 kW (129 hp)
BMW 318i touring, 1989 – 1994 4-cyl. ohc 1796 cc 83 kW (113 hp)
BMW 325i touring, 1988 – 1993 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc 125 kW (170 hp)
BMW 325iX touring, 1988 – 1993 M20B25 6-cyl. ohc 2494 cc 125 kW (170 hp)
BMW 324td touring, 1988 – 1993 M21 6-cyl. ohc 2443 cc 85 kW (115 hp)
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  •   Graham Leigh reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    Daniel 1982 uploaded a new video
    RX Automotive S50 E30 BMW Hill Climb
    Fibreglass front bumper created using a mould of a B&H-sponsored Australian Touring Car E30, custom aluminium front splitter, BMW 2002 Turbo-style fibreglass wheel arch flares over the original guards after 70mm had been cut away, taped over and...
    Fibreglass front bumper created using a mould of a B&H-sponsored Australian Touring Car E30, custom aluminium front splitter, BMW 2002 Turbo-style fibreglass wheel arch flares over the original guards after 70mm had been cut away, taped over and colour-coded chrome rear bumper, carbon fibre bonnet and bootlid with pins (replaced by standard steel items for Improved Production racing), Toyota Rukus Voodoo blue paint by Jo Seeger Smash Repairs, colour-coded kidney-grille surround, black plastic wrap over headlight lenses with custom painted chrome rings clipped on, E30 DTM mirrors
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    First time lucky – #BMW #E30 2-doors #M20B25 engine boost. For a first project car, the E30 makes sense. To Karel Silha, so did 726bhp. Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Lars Sikhammar.

    Take a second and try to picture the very first car you modified. For me, that car was a #VW Mk2 Golf Driver. It may have had a measly 1.3-litre lump under the bonnet, the steering was heavier than death metal and the interior looked like a duvet cover stolen from a ’70s swingers party, but it did nothing to deter me. This was my first motor and as such I wanted to personalise it. It wasn’t great but I think I can be forgiven; it takes time and rather a lot of practice to get things right.

    For my sins I popped to the local modding hut, which was like a cheaper version of Halfords (if you can imagine such a thing). Here I selected a set of 17” unbranded rims, a huge exhaust and one of the world’s loudest and perhaps poorest audio systems (complete with MiniDisc player). Not only did the ICE die after six months, in retrospect the wheels were chavvy and it’s safe to say that the 4” pipe out back was not yielding any additional power. I tell you this because, like most, I made mistakes. But for every thousand of me you may be lucky enough to find one Karel Silha.

    Like many of you, Karel picked the E30 #325i for its classic styling and appeal as a true driver’s car. He concurred that for a first attempt, an E30 made perfect sense. The parts are relatively cheap and much of the service and tuning work can be completed without specialist equipment.

    For most, one’s first modified car is generally a styling exercise. Initially, new wheels, bumpers and side skirts, lowering springs and an exhaust system are about as far as most are comfortable with, but Karel had vastly different concerns. Despite this E30 being his first project car, he knew what he was after, and styling just didn’t come into it. Although he was on a budget, for him modifying is about one thing. Power. What’s the point of having the sickest rims, the best suspension, the widest of body kits if, you only have a hairdryer to plough you along? For Karel this side of tuning is fake. A staged world of ‘look at me’s’ and flash idiots; a world he just didn’t want to be a part of.

    “I’ve always loved the E30 because it’s so much fun and it’s not expensive nor exclusive. I paid just £350 for this car and even though it was rusty and in need of some TLC I knew I could save it,” he explains.

    So, what exactly was Karel’s big plan? Amazingly, even from the outset his hopes were pretty out there. He explains: “The line of the attack from the beginning was to turbo it and keep the standard internals. I was told the M20 could handle around 400bhp at the crank in terms of rods and pistons and I felt that would be more than enough.” You don’t say!

    Karel was lucky enough to have a small workshop, something it seems all Swede’s have access to (I wonder if it’s the same one?). Over the next five months he would get to work, and with no prior knowledge of turbocharging, he would attempt to install and fabricate this entirely new setup. Before any of the real work could begin, the #M20 was sent to Engson Motors, which increased the bore to 2.7 litres and welded the head. This was one of the only areas of the entire build Karel did not do himself.

    With the engine back and ready to roll, a huge turbo was required, and you’ll never guess where it came from… The 61mm trim beast was removed from a Volvo truck, which gives us a clue to its capacity!

    As stated, Karel wanted to plumb this in with the minimum of fuss, to work out what could and what couldn’t cope. To this end he first needed to sort out the cooling and fuel delivery, so popped in larger 1260cc injectors, a front-mounted intercooler and got on with the long job of fabricating the required exhaust manifold and turbo tubing.

    With combustion increasing so abundantly, Karel also fitted a race fuel tank in the boot along with two new Bosch 044 fuel pumps capable of running E85 (or 98 grade octane fuel to you and me).

    With such a huge turbo it was essential for Karel to fit two Tial wastgates to keep boost pressure in check, while a decent sized 50mm Tial blow-off valve stopped pressure build-up and turbo surge, which can severely damage an engine. An Aeromotive regulator also made its way into the engine bay, helping him determine and direct boost and fuel pressures, as well as a Nuke Performance fuel rail for good measure. As Karel planned to keep the bottom end standard, he fitted Nuke Performance cam gear, enabling him to match cam timing by advancing or retarding the cam profile in one-degree increments. This meant he could keep his standard M20 cams.

    With the engine working, Karel got on with installing an #Alpina-B7 differential, involving customisation of the driveshaft to enable him to utilise the standard Getrag 260 five-speed gearbox. He also added a hydraulic handbrake so he could compete competitively in the drift events so popular in Scandinavia.

    The car was then gifted FK coilovers, the front end dropped as low as it could go, giving it a brutal dragster look. Finally a Brembo big brake kit featuring 302mm discs and four-piston calipers made their way behind the 18” ASA Pirate rims. These are wrapped in Pirelli P-Zeros, however as they are changed twice a month during the summer often anything goes!

    Karel, of course, stripped the entire cabin, installing a set of Radiopower fibreglass red buckets with Elite four-point rally harnesses, a grippy Momo drift wheel and a new custom-made aluminium instrument cluster.

    Karel then spent two weeks sanding and prepping the car for its new Army green paint job. The car’s only exterior modifications were made in order to reduce weight; although the bonnet and boot look original they are now manufactured from fibreglass. He also replaced the rear windows with Perspex to further reduce weight. Overall he has shaved off some 250kg from the original 1250kg, which makes one hell of a difference.

    So what to do? Test the damn thing! The car and driver were sent off to a street drag show, but not long after, something went bang. It was an ongoing issue; broken rocker cover and arms, which plagued Karel for some time. “Eventually we realised that we were producing far more power than we originally planned. I just had to strengthen the engine internally,” he explained.

    So Karel rebuilt the entire bottom end with the help of Pure Performance Factory, which provided him with race valves and springs, custom pistons and rods, a new heavy duty camshaft and, to quote, “bloody strong” heavy-duty rockers. To make sure history did not repeat itself, Karel also installed a fresh Haltech ECU, so parameters could be kept on check at all times.

    Since that day there have been no issues, with the car returning an awesome 650bhp at the wheels and 726bhp at the crank on E85 fuel at 29psi. With 654lb ft of stomachchurning torque, Karel laughs: “Any more power would be a waste of good rubber and 144 neck muscles. So far at just 21psi we ran a 10.28 at 138mph and that was on old tyres.” He’s even put some videos up, at youtube . com/karel021 .

    There is something so inherently wonderful about an E30 that looks pretty much standard yet goes like the clappers. To many, it is the underlying soul of performance modifying. It’s not dressed in labels; it is as honest as tuning gets and I hope it inspires some heavy-hitting UK followers. It’s time we got in on this performance act because it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Over in Sweden they’ve been doing it for years. And we can all appreciate a lightweight road-legal E30 325i with that kind of shove. It’s a bruiser, not a supermodel, and it’s fun. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: M20B25 engine stroked to 2.7 litres with custom-forged pistons and rods, Pure Performance Factory ( #PPF ) race valves and springs and CrMo retainers, custom PPF camshaft and heavyduty rockers, Nuke Performance fuel rail and cam gear, 1260cc injectors, custom exhaust manifold, #Volvo truck 61mm trim turbo, Aeromotive regulator, Tial 50mm BOV, two Tial 38mm wastegates, front-mounted intercooler, two #Bosch 044 fuel pumps (running e85), Haltech single coils, Haltech e11v2 ECU (with electronic boost control),

    Davies Craig electrical water pump, modified water-cooling system, support Girdle for the bottom. #Alpina B7 rear differential, custom E30 325i driveshaft, standard five-speed gearbox, Polyurethane bushings for engine, gearbox and rear end.

    CHASSIS: 7x18” (front) and 9x18” (rear) #ASA Pirate wheels shod in 245/35 Pirelli P-Zero tyres all round. FK coilovers. Brembo BBK with 302mm disc and four-piston calipers.

    EXTERIOR: Full respray in Army green, fibreglass bonnet and bootlid, Perspex rear windows, boot-mounted race fuel tank.
    INTERIOR: Raidopower fibreglass seats, Elite four-point rally harnesses, custom-made aluminium instrument cluster, Prosport /Autometer gauges, Momo drift wheel, hydraulic handbrake, electrical water pump controller, roll-cage.
    THANKS: Fredrik, Ivars, Ted, Jakobsson, Jansson, Magnus, Johnny, Bayrisch, Dogge, Robba, the guys at BVS, Billy, Limmet, Mats, A&A at PPF, Hilda, Arash, Jocke, Larsson, Nicklas, Stefan, Emil, Armin, Johan, and my sponsors Waarwest, PBZ ,VPM, Däckkompaniet, Raidopower, Racedäck.nu, Swedish woodworks, Engson Motor, Dalhems.

    “Any more power would be a waste of good rubber and neck muscles”
    There is something so inherently wonderful about an E30 that looks pretty much standard yet goes like the clappers.
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  •   Lester Dizon reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Classic Alpina Superb #BMW E30 C2 2.7 fully-restored by #Alpina-GB . Vitamin C A glorious E30 Alpina C2 2.7 fully restored by Alpina GB. Top dog in the non-M E30 line-up was the sublime Alpina C2 2.7 and this glorious example that has been painstakingly restored by Alpina GB must be one of the best in the world. Words: Bob Harper. Photography: Dave Smith.

    There’s something about the E30 that’s just so right – it’s one of the icons of BMW’s past and it seems almost impossible that it’s now nigh-on 23 years since the last examples rolled off the production line. No BMW fan worth their salt can argue against it being a turning point for the company – it moved the game on significantly from the E21 and became a virtual blueprint for what we expect of a modern era BMW. Back in the mid- to late-’80s it was the darling of the red-braced, Filofax-clutching, oversized mobile phone wielding yuppie, but even this didn’t seem to put folk off yearning to own one.

    No matter which version you’re talking about the E30 has an intrinsic quality that flows from its every pore; from the way the electric window switches operate to the silky smooth steering column stalks, it exudes a wonderfully engineered feel. Each and every one of the major controls, from the clutch to the brake pedal to the well-balanced throttle to the steering, all have that same engineered feel and operate as if they are perfectly lubricated. As an exercise in tactility the E30 is just about perfect.

    Over the years the E30 has also become the darling of the modified BMW enthusiast and just about every BMW engine you care to name, from the humble M50 through to the more exotic S50 to the outrageous S85 V10, has found its way under the car’s delicately sculpted bonnets with varying degrees of success. These days, though, the E30 is also being dragged by its rusty scuttle panel into the realm of the classic car world. And with good reason. It doesn’t matter which version you covet, two- or four-door, Convertible or Touring, they’re all sublime machines and have a strong following these days. Obviously the bonkers nature of the classic car bubble has made the motorsport icon that is the E30 M3 into an obscenely overpriced irrelevance for all but the very well-heeled or those who were lucky enough to hold onto them when they were just a secondhand 3 Series but there are still plenty of other E30s worth coveting.

    If you’ve not had a look at used values of E30s recently then you could be in for a bit of a shock when you go looking, as they’re definitely on an upward spiral with the larger-engined machinery now fetching pretty good money. While you’d have thought that the ultimate E30 is the M3, many actually prefer the way the six-cylinder cars drive, with their torquey six-cylinder engines providing a less frenetic experience than the all-or-nothing S14 in the M3 which doesn’t really do all that much below 4000rpm. Fine for when you’re chasing apices, but less relaxing when you’re simply cruising. And of the six-cylinder variants it’s the Alpina models that are perhaps the most coveted. After all, BMW made thousands and thousands of 325is but Alpina only made a few of its take on the ultimate E30.

    But which one of Alpina’s E30s was the best? Its model line-up ranged from the C1 2.3, through the C2 models to the larger-engine B6 2.8- and 3.5-litre examples, with the ultimate incarnation perhaps being the B6 3.5S based on the E30 M3 and packing 260hp of straight-six goodness. That latter car is ultrarare though – just 62 were built – and all were lefthand drive. A better bet would be one of the less extreme models – still desirable, made in small numbers, and perhaps most crucially, offering something a little extra in the way of performance than what was available at the time from BMW itself. While the Alpina 2.3- and 2.5-litre machines were pretty decent they didn’t offer a huge amount over the 323i or 325i so in the middle ground of the Alpina E30 range are the 2.7-litre machines, initially badged as C2s in both Germany and the UK before the German market machines took on the B3 moniker in the latter part of 1987.


    No matter which version of the C2 (or B3) 2.7 you talk about, all shared the same basic engine architecture using BMW’s small-block six-cylinder M20 engine as a base. The block used was the same as the 2.7-litre ‘eta’ engine used in the E28 525e which shared the 325i’s 84mm bore but had a longer stroke at 81mm, but the magic came from Alpina specific changes such as Mahle pistons and a reworked head, along with a tubular manifold and a reprogrammed Motronic system. These extensive revisions completely changed the character of the unit from the low-powered, torque-rich eta to a much higher-revving sporting unit. Power was up to 210hp at 5800rpm while torque was rated at 197lb ft at 4500rpm – gains of roughly 25 and 20 per cent respectively over a contemporary 325i. Alpina claimed a 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds which looks to be just about spot on as Autocar tested the first UK example built and found its 0-60mph time to be 6.6 seconds.


    Interestingly the example tested by Autocar was actually the very first C2 2.7 produced, lovingly assembled by Alpina GB’s technicians from parts supplied by Alpina in Buchloe. Naturally enough the transformation to full C2 2.7-spec involved more than just an engine swap, with the new car receiving specially tuned springs, Bilstein dampers, a limited-slip differential and Alpina’s aerodynamic addenda. There were the trademark 20-spoke 16-inch alloys – initially seven inches wide all-round, but as on the example we have here today a staggered set was generally fitted with wider eight-inch rears. Inside there was an Alpina steering wheel and wooden gear knob and the production plaque but after that it was up to the individual customer to decide how far they wanted to go with their interior embellishments.

    So what about the stunning example you can see here? It’s one of the UK-built examples produced at Sytner Nottingham, home of Alpina GB, and was built when it was new by its top technician, Mark Adkin, who assembled the best part of 250 Alpinas during his tenure there between 1983-1989. This particular C2 must now be one of the best in the world as it’s been subject to a full restoration and is absolutely gorgeous. Having been brought up on this generation of machinery when I worked in the dealer network back in the late 1980s this C2 brings the memories flooding back and I’m almost expecting that new car smell when I unlock the driver’s door and slip into the cockpit. It’s not actually that far off – thanks to the recently trimmed leather cockpit – and twisting the key and hearing the straight-six erupting into life with its familiar burble keeps me firmly planted in the 1980s. But before we get onto how this remarkable example drives we should really have a quick look at its journey towards being one of the finest C2s on the planet.


    It’s probably fair to say the story started almost two years ago when Alpina GB recreated an E21 (the first generation 3 Series) C1 2.3 which attracted a huge amount of interest, not only from marque fans but from paying customers, too, with Alpina turning down some pretty substantial offers for the car. With the continued growth of the classic car market the folk at Alpina wondered whether there was actually a business case for buying older Alpinas in need of refurbishment, restoring them back to as-new condition and then selling them, and the C2 was the first of these projects. And the icing on the cake was that Alpina managed to secure the services of its former employee, Mark Adkin, who had originally built the cars when they were new. Who better to restore a 1980s UK-built Alpina that the man who had originally created the car?


    Since he left Alpina Mark has been involved in many automotive projects, from working for Porsche to restoring super-rare rally cars of the 1980s to building F3 engines, so he really was the ideal person to tackle the restoration. Once the car had been sourced Mark set about stripping it down in Alpina GB’s workshops and despite the reputation the E30 has garnered for being a little rust prone he was amazed at the overall condition of the shell, as he explains: “It was very good with virtually no rust – it just needed a little bit of welding around the front jacking points, which is a common place for E30s to rust. The rest of the car was absolutely fantastic. We did a full strip on it, everything came off – engine, gearbox, all the brake pipes, all the fuel pipes, fuel tank – everything was taken off it and I undersealed it all and put it back to what it should be. It was absolutely immaculate. I was rather surprised quite how good it was – one of the best ones I’ve seen.”

    Part of the reason for its excellent overall condition was its low mileage – it was still showing less than 70k miles when we tested it – and the fact that it had been dry stored since 1998. Quite often when taking on this sort of restoration one can find that parts availability is a problem but Mark was able to source everything he needed from BMW – including new brake pipes that he painstakingly bent and fitted (they come from BMW in straight lengths), but he was adamant about using OE parts as he reckoned that if you make them yourself they never look original or quite right. Just about the only part he was concerned about was the tubular exhaust manifold, as Mark explains: “I think the only thing we were worried about was the exhaust manifold as they’re like finding hen’s teeth new these days but this one was in reasonable condition so we sent it away to a company called Zircotec. I’ve used it several times in the past for coating and it does a brilliant job. The coating keeps 50 per cent more heat inside the manifold so you get less heat in the engine bay, too.”

    Mark was expecting to need to rebuild the engine, but when he took it out and inspected it he was amazed by its condition: “I had a look inside the engine when I got that out and it looked perfect. It was the same with the camshaft; the compressions on it were good and the cylinder leakage test on it was unbelievable. I think the worst was six per cent out, which is fine – especially when you consider you expect four to six per cent on a new engine!”


    Naturally enough Mark completely refreshed the suspension with new springs, Bilstein dampers and new bushes where required, the steering rack was checked and thoroughly cleaned, the propshaft was removed and sent for specialist examination and returned with a clean bill of health… by now you should be getting the picture that if it could be removed and checked it was! The brakes also came in for attention. “I took the callipers off, totally stripped them down, put them in a blaster, cleaned up the pistons, fitted new seals and they’re now absolutely like brand-new… basically it’s a brand-new car, or as good as you’re going to get!” Mark says with a grin. As I mentioned earlier the interior has also been given a refresh; air conditioning has been retrofitted and the leather has been redone, too. Mark explains how this happened back in the day: “The basic car that arrived with us was just a bog-standard, steelwheeled, standard suspension, plastic steering wheeled, cloth interiored 325i. If the customer wanted the Alpina interior we had a local guy who used to do the retrimming for us – he actually did the interior on this car even though he’s semi-retired now. He did it when it was new and has now done it again for us, which is a nice touch. Basically whatever the customer wanted we built it for them so virtually every one I built was slightly different.”

    Other nice touches in the interior are the dials which now sport red needles. Mark fills us in on the background of this: “The painted needles on the dials were an optional extra – the customer could basically choose to have them or not. From what I can remember when the very first M3 came out Frank [Sytner] saw it and said, ‘oh, they’re got red needles; why don’t we paint ours red?’ We put the Alpina lettering on all of the dials and then if the customer wanted the needles painting red then I’d do that as well, stripping the dashboard down. It took about a day to do that. The worst thing was that if you didn’t let the paint dry properly before building it back up the speedo used to stick on the bottom stop. You’d be driving down the road registering zero miles per hour until you got to about 40mph when all of a sudden it would jump up! You had to be absolutely certain it was completely dry before building it back up and if you put too much paint on again it would affect it, with the speedo reading too low so you had to be very precise when painting those needles!”


    From talking to Mark it’s clear that this C2 has had a significant amount of time, love and affection – not to mention money – thrown at it over a seven or eight month period and it didn’t take long for it to find a new owner. A customer who was actually looking at buying a new car popped into the showroom and virtually bought it on the spot! Kindly he’s returned it to allow us to have a drive in it and as I mosey out of Sytner’s Nottingham HQ I think I’m actually more nervous about damaging this machine then virtually any other new BMW or Alpina I’ve driven recently. In the event I really shouldn’t have worried as the car is so easy and enjoyable to drive. The clutch bite point is perfect, the throttle response is silky smooth and the brake pedal has plenty of feel and just the right amount of travel. And, of course, compared to a modern car the E30 feels absolutely tiny so you always feel like there’s plenty of space around it.

    Threading it through traffic out of Nottingham is a joy and as confidence grows you almost start wanting to dive into gaps left by slower moving traffic – it just feels so wieldy and taut in its responses. Fortunately it doesn’t take long to get out of the city centre and as soon as I’m on more flowing, less congested country roads the C2 really comes into its own.


    The whole car feels completely solid as if it’s been hewn from a single piece of steel and finely honed, and now I can use a few more revs and explore the performance it’s easy to see why the motoring press of the day generally raved about the C2. Rapid progress is easily made without breaking into a sweat – there’s plenty of torque from the enlarged M20 unit and the engine feels hugely flexible and unburstable. Floor it at 60mph in fifth and it accelerates rather briskly thanks to its excellent spread of torque. Drop it down a cog or two and it really flies, and bearing in mind that as this machine is someone else’s pride and joy I was by no means using all the revs either.

    It’s not all about the car’s straight line go though as the chassis feels wonderfully balanced and seems to have perfect poise. On some pretty undulating and bumpy straights the suspension absorbs everything you can throw at it, even when the speed picks up, and compared to today’s stiffly-sprung BMWs there’s real compliance here, leading to an excellent ride quality yet without feeling soggy or under-damped. Add some faster sweeping corners into the mix and it again feels perfectly planted with just the right combination of body roll and grip. And while the standard E30 rack does call for a fair amount of arm twirling in the tighter corners you’re never in any doubt as to what the front wheels are doing thanks to the feelsome mechanical rack.

    In short it feels wonderful. Yes, I’m sure you’d be travelling much faster and far more economically in a 120d but you’ll be having much more fun in the Alpina, and with a classic it’s not about the speed but the enjoyment. And there are few more joyous ways of spending a day than punting around the Nottinghamshire back roads in this C2 2.7 – it’s a testament to the car’s original design and the man that both built and rebuilt it. Find another and we’re pretty sure he’d do it all again…

    A new Alpina exhaust came with the car and sounds absolutely glorious; period decals look wonderful.

    “Basically it’s a brand-new car, or as good as you’re going to get!”

    TECH DATA #1988 #BMW-E30 / #Alpina-C2-2.7 / #Alpina-C2-2.7-E30 / #Alpina-C2-E30 / #Alpina-E30 / #BMW-Alpina-C2-2.7 / #BMW-Alpina-C2-2.7-E30 / #BMW-E30-Alpina / #BMW-Alpina / #Alpina / #Alpina-C2

    ENGINE: #M20 Six-cylinder, SOHC 12-valve / #BMW-M20 / #M20B27 / #M20-Alpina
    CAPACITY: 2693cc
    MAX POWER: 210hp @ 5800rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 213lb ft @ 4500rpm
    0-62MPH: 6.9 seconds
    TOP SPEED: 143mph
    ECONOMY: Approx 22mpg
    WEIGHT: 1300kg
    PRICE: £27,000 (1988)

    There’s plenty of torque from the enlarged M20 unit and the engine feels hugely flexible and unburstable.
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  •   Lester Dizon reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    TWELVE INTO THREE

    If you think putting a 5.6-litre #V12 into an E30 is madness, it’s best not to mention the 300hp shot of nitrous… A 400bhp V12 with 300bhp nitrous shot is one hell of a powerplant, but fitting it into a humble 1988 E30 316i body is simply bonkers. As if you hadn’t guessed already, this sideways little coupé is another marvel from our quite mad Scandinavian friends. Words: Iain Curry Photos: Max Earey.

    After featuring an E90 #BMW-3-Series with turbocharged E36 M3 transplant last month, I said that nothing the Scandinavians could do to a BMW would surprise me anymore. Well, I was wrong. Presented here is an E30 that you simply wouldn’t believe unless you witnessed it in the flesh. Unsurprisingly, no E30 ever left the Munich factory with a V12 lump in its engine bay. Nor for that matter did any 5 or 6 Series of the same era. Only one 7 Series did, and this had a ‘paltry’ 5.0-litre M70 unit.

    Just one car in BMW’s long history has come with the fearsome 5576cc V12 S70 engine, and that was in the über-expensive Nineties gangsta luxury coupé – the 850CSi. A little over 1000 of these cars (and hence these V12 engines) were ever produced, but even with such an extreme level of rarity, one of these mighty 12-pot S70 powerplants resides in an E30 316i’s body somewhere in the snowy Norwegian countryside. We simply had to make the long journey north to see it for ourselves.

    You’re probably thinking the same thing I first thought when I heard someone had completed this transplant: V12 engine; little E30; weight distribution destroyed; pig to drive. In fact, it wasn’t simply a matter of the owner, Per Kristian Harildstad, shoehorning in whatever massive BMW lump he had lying around. No, it seems there is actually method to his madness. “The 850CSi engine is all aluminium,” the Norwegian said. “It is only 178kg, so is just 18kg heavier than an original E30 325i engine. My M350 is very nice on the track as the balance has not been affected.”


    So having a 400bhp lightweight V12 in situ is impressive/insane/ridiculous enough for most, but this being Norway, is it any surprise to see a 300bhp shot of nitrous rigged up to the intakes? This is a land where they think nothing of launching themselves off a 120-metre-high ice-covered hill with only a plank strapped to each foot, so 700bhp going through the rear wheels of an E30 on an icy road should almost be expected.

    Unlike in the UK (where people don’t go into work at the merest hint of some frozen water on the roads), people like Per take their super-powerful BMWs out on whatever surface mother nature throws at them. It was snowy and icy on the day of our photography, but Per had no qualms about taking us out on the nearest twisty road for a fine display of controlled drifting. It’s amazing how easy it looks with 700bhp going through the rear wheels on a zero-grip bit of tarmac.


    So how the hell did this mad E30 M350 with a love of sideways action come to fruition? “I originally owned an 850CSi,” Per said, “but I crashed it and ended up buying back the engine and gearbox from the insurers. At the time I had a 5.0-litre engine from a 750i in the E30, which ran a 12.6 1/4-mile on standard tyres. I’d had this for two years, so last summer I thought I’d put the 850CSi V12 in instead. It was very, very difficult to do all the wiring and ECU, there are so many complicated electrics, but I have proved that it can be done.”

    The amount of work Per has carried out to realise this E30 M350 is obviously substantial: you don’t just put a V12 up front with a nitrous shot in an E30 and not think about the rest of the car. “The problem was,” Per explained, “that it was all trial and error. No-one else has done this modification so I had to try lots of different parts.”

    The Data File does read like a Who’s Who of BMW bits from through the years. There’s an E28 M5 water cooler, E30 325i oil cooler, Alpina B7 diff, E36 323i Compact rear brakes, E36 M3 front brakes and the hydraulic braking system from an E38 750i.

    A Frankenstein’s monster of something from everything it seems, and clearly with the same potential to kill its creator such is its extreme performance. It is, of course, far prettier than the monster described in Shelley’s classic.


    The 1988 316i has been transformed with attractive M-Tech 2 kit, complemented by headlight eyebrows, de-chromed grille and bonnet vents to help cool that mighty V12 down. Rolling stock is taken care of with a set of 19” Rial six-spokes, but more sensible 17” E36 M3 wheels with slicks are used when the M350 is used for its summer track work.

    Getting the suspension just right is integral with such a beastly car, and you can’t get much more serious than AP Racing height and damping adjustable coilovers. Brakes are equally important, and with Per’s trials with E36 and E38 parts, he knows he’s got the anchor ability to shake off some of the silly speeds he can achieve.

    Above all, it’s seeing the V12 in the E30’s little engine bay that impresses most. As wedged in as a fat man on a tube train in City rush hour, the stonking 5.7-litre somehow exists in here to ensure it’s a surreal vision to all BMW enthusiasts. It just shouldn’t be possible! Per is an inspiration to all with his engineering ability, and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying a little mad for taking on this task.

    Incredibly enough, things are due to get even madder. A quick look in his substantial workshop revealed another of these 5.7-litre V12s up on a rack being worked on. Strapped to the side was a Procharger supercharger more often seen on drag cars, race cars and racing boats. Surely this isn’t going in the E30? Oh yes it is. “I’ll be putting it in next winter,” Per said, “and it could make around 1000 horsepower. We’ll never know until we test it on a dyno.” Is there no end to what these people will try?


    For now though, it’s clear not all Scandinavian BMs need to be of the forced induction variety to attain huge power figures. Per has proven that keeping BMW’s principle of naturally-aspirated petrol engines and getting substantial power gains is possible, but his efforts did involve squeezing the ultimate into an E30’s engine bay.

    So for all who’d ever contemplated it, discussed it and argued it, the proof is here that a V12 will fit under an E30’s bonnet, and shouldn’t affect the car’s handling characteristics dramatically if using the allaluminium 5.7-litre 850CSi lump. Don’t expect rigging the wiring up to be simple though, and the first job is to find an ultra-rare 850CSi engine. There’s 1057 out there, and Per’s got two of them already. Happy searching!

    DATA FILE #BMW-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-S70 / #BMW-E30-V12 / #BMW-350i / #BMW-M350 / #BMW-350-E30 / #BMW-M350-E30

    ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN: 5.6-litre #V12 from 850CSi with E28 M5 water cooler / #S70 / #BMW-S70 / #S70B56 , E30 325i oil cooler, cone filter either side, custom #DIY manifold and exhaust system, custom wiring and ECU. 850CSi gearbox, 2.65:1 #Alpina B7 differential with oil cooler. 300bhp nitrous shot

    PERFORMANCE: 406bhp and 448lb ft of torque before 300bhp nitrous shot. 1360kg wet weight (standard E30 325i is 1240kg)

    CHASSIS: 9x19” #Rial six-spoke alloys shod in 235/35 BF Goodrich tyres. AP Racing height and damping adjustable suspension, front strut brace, E36 323i Compact rear brakes and baring arms, E36 M3 front brakes, E38 750i hydraulic braking system

    EXTERIOR: #1988 E30 316i body with OEM M-Tech 2 body kit from 325i, headlight eyebrows, black kidney grille, custom bonnet vents to allow cool air in, smoked lights all round, M350 rear badge made from 325i and 750i badges, exhaust heat shield for bumper, tow bar (!)

    INTERIOR: Relocated pedal cluster, NOS nitrous button, #Auto-Meter gauges, M badge and gear knob, NOS bottle in boot
    CONTACT: www.fronpower.com

    5.6-LITRE V12 #BMW-3-Series-E30

    Above all, it’s seeing the V12 in the E30’s little engine bay that impresses most. It’s as wedged in as a fat man on a tube train in rush hour.

    Cabin’s Auto Meter gauges and Nos switch.

    A quick look in Per’s workshop revealed another of these V12s with a Procharger supercharger strapped to the side. Is there no end to what these people will try?
    Two feet of laying snow means one trapped journo!

    A surreal sight: 850CSi V12 in humble E30 bay.

    Even madder: a 300bhp nitrous shot for the V12.

    Boot houses regularlyrefilled NOS bottle. Mad.
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  •   Louise Woodhams reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    BOX OF TRICKS

    Building a competitive hillclimb and circuit machine is no mean feat, as this S50-powered E30 ably demonstrates. Taking the Australian race circuit and hillclimb tracks by storm, this M3-powered 1983 E30 proves age is no barrier to speed and fun. Words and photos: Iain Curry.

    Old BMWs never die, they just get faster’. As bumper stickers go it’s a pretty corny one, but for a certain Australian E30 the line was so perfectly relevant owner Piers Harrex couldn’t resist adding it to his racing car’s rump. With as good as 300 horses at the rear wheels, this 32-year-old E30 has been saved from the scrapheap and turned into one of Australia’s most accomplished and feared circuit and hillclimb weapons.

    It’s the latest creation from the dream factory that is Brisbane-based RX Automotive, a BMW specialist that is the go to place for any serious racing or fast road upgrades in the Sunshine State of Queensland. Piers is the current star driver of the family business, established nearly 40 years ago by his British-born father Simon Harrex, himself having enjoyed a stellar racing career Down Under. Harrex senior kept busy away from the track with a race car fabrication and preparation business, and soon discovered the benefits of specialising in BMWs; growing a passion for the marque that son Piers has inherited. Harrex junior began an apprenticeship at his dad’s workshop as soon as he finished school, but before venturing into BMWs began enhancing a Toyota Celica and then created a Group A-style SD1 Rover with a worked engine. “With the Rover being an English car, it got to the point where the interior was breaking all the time,” Piers said. Dad Simon may be of English heritage, but he knew the Germans trumped the Brits in a car’s reliability stakes, so suggested his son try a BMW – specifically an E30 model – if he wanted to start hitting the race track.



    Ever since his first introduction to the E30, Piers has never budged from his belief they are superb race cars. “I’ve had six now I think, either wrecks to take parts from or racers,” he said. The most desirable from his point of view are pre-1986 E30s as this year is the cut-off point for many permitted modifications in the Improved Production racing class he’s competing in this year.

    This brings us to his immaculate E30 racer, which began life in 1983 as a white 323i. It had been sitting in a car yard practically abandoned for a few years before the Harrexes handed over $250 (just over 100 quid) and trailered it away. “The driver’s window had been smashed and rubbish was being thrown into it,” Piers said. “One of my first jobs with the car was to remove a mouldy loaf of bread from the interior!”

    Progress then moved apace. Piers stripped the interior entirely and took a high pressure cleaner to the shell, repaired the small amount of rust he found and had a roll-cage welded in. For a more enhanced racing look he sourced fibreglass wheel arch flares in the shape of BMW’s venerable 2002 Turbo models from 1973, cut out 70mm of the original guard and fibreglassed them in place. He then gave the rolling body to Queensland paint guru and PBMW feature car owner Julian Seeger, who applied Voodoo blue paint from Toyota’s funky Rukus model. “As a race car it needed to be a colour that was bright and stood out against all the other cars out there,” Piers explained, and the modern colour certainly adds more verve to this E30’s body.

    The exterior has also been modernised with a fibreglass front bumper created using a mould of Australian Touring Car legend Tony Longhurst’s Benson and Hedgessponsored BMW E30 racer. A custom aluminium splitter was added to this, while the #1983 BMW’s chrome rear bumper – which had to remain in situ for the Improved Production series – was taped over and colour-coded for a sleeker style. Under the wider arches are Alpina 7x15” rims from the first generation E21 3 Series, which proved ideal for an old school style and meeting the size requirements stipulated by the Improved Production rules. These are shod in Yokohama A050 semi-slick tyres, which Piers said were ideal for hillclimbs as they are sticky even when cold: there are no warm up laps in hillclimbs remember.

    A common upgrade well-known in E30 circles is using VW Corrado brake discs and Mazda RX-7 four-piston callipers front and twin-piston Nissan Skyline callipers rear. Piers has done just this to improve stopping power, and in a nice touch to hide the imposter brake parts, he’s added yellow BMW Motorsport stickers to the calipers. Suspension-wise the racer has opted for a Ground Control setup – using Eibach springs and Koni shocks – which Piers said is well-proven for track and hillclimb use. The serious work has really come under the bonnet. The Improved Production class allows for certain engine swaps, and Piers has done so by transplanting a 3.0-litre sixcylinder and its five-speed gearbox from an early E36 M3. This engine had detonation problems, so Piers used just its original block and head, building up the rest using brand new components.


    It has been enhanced with 308/315 Schrick cams, larger VAC Motorsport stainless one-piece valves, high compression CP forged pistons and Carrillo rods, then given a carbon fibre air box and Exhaust Innovations manifold leading in to a full custom system. A Bosch 044 fuel pump helps deliver Powerplus 108+ race fuel from a boot-mounted aluminium tank and through Teflon braided hoses, with the whole setup managed by a Motec computer.


    It means this 1983 one-time 150hp 323i is now good for a confirmed 298hp at the rear wheels and 384lb ft of torque. Incredible stuff for a naturally aspirated S50B30 sixcylinder, but to be expected from a racing workshop no stranger to getting the best out of these BMW M Motors. And with the old E30 weighing in at just 1010kg with Piers in the car, that’s a very handy power-to-weight ratio. The gearbox that came with the 3.0- litre E36 M3 motor – the old five-speed manual – has been retained and given an adjustable throw gearstick, while an E36 328i driveshaft and E30 M3 75% locking diff give more confidence for race weekend. It’s true racing business in the cabin, and like the rest of this car, beautifully finished. The driver has a carbon kevlar race seat – from a former V8 Supercar (the Aussie version of our touring cars) – and is held in place by a Sparco four-point harness. Piers has custom-made the dash panel and centre console to contain all the switches, lights and instruments, headlined by white Auto Meter Pro-Comp gauges. Another nice touch – and wonderfully lightweight – is the woven cloth for the dash and doorcards, custom-made by specialist #Aerospec .


    So, in reflection, quite the race tool. We caught up with Piers competing at one of his favourite Australian events, the infamous Noosa Hillclimb. It is just under one mile of steep gradient and 14 turns, with the course lined with concrete barriers one side and tree-lined drops the other. In other words, mistakes are always expensive. Piers said he was able to run the whole course in third gear alone once he’d got away from the start line thanks to the 4.67 ratio diff he used from an E30 M3 (this is one of ten he chooses from depending on the type of race event). Thinking about every hundredth of a second as a race driver should: “Why waste time changing gears?” he said.


    Taking class honours in the 2014 Noosa Hillclimb and 15th out of 153 overall, it wasn’t a bad weekend’s work for the E30. With a happy grin Piers explained that his latest creation is a lot more animal than anything he’s made before. “Even so, it’s very neutral to the driver; I thought it would be more taily,” he said. “It still lights its wheels up, but it’s very predictable. Yet so versatile is this old E30 – helped by Piers’ expert mechanical setup – that the blue beastie can be tackling one of Australia’s race circuits almost immediately after a hillclimb. And rest assured it will be terrorising 911s on long track straights just as much as it does Subaru Imprezas in the bends.

    “As a race car it needed to be a colour that was bright and stood out against all the other cars out there”
    “One of my first jobs with the car was to remove a mouldy loaf of bread from the interior!”

    DATA FILE #Hillclimb #BMW-E30 / #BMW-E30-Hillclimb / #BMW-E30-S50 /

    ENGINE 3.0-litre straight-six #S50B30 / #S50 , 308/315 #Schrick cams, #VAC-Motorsport stainless one-piece valves, high compression CP forged pistons and #Carrillo rods, carbon fibre air box, Exhaust Innovations manifold leading into a full stainless steel exhaust system, #Bosch-044 fuel pump feeding #Powerplus 108+ race fuel from boot-mounted aluminium fuel tank, #Motec-M84 engine management system. 298whp and 384lb ft of torque.

    TRANSMISSION #ZF-Type-C five-speed manual from E36 M3 3.0-litre, E36 328i driveshaft, E30 M3 75% locking diff.

    CHASSIS 7x15” (front and rear) #Alpina E21 wheels with Yokohama A050 semi-slick tyres, #Ground-Control suspension using #Eibach springs and Koni shocks, VW Corrado brake discs with Mazda RX-7 four-piston callipers (front) and Nissan Skyline twin piston callipers (rear).


    EXTERIOR Fibreglass front bumper created using a mould of a B&H-sponsored Australian Touring Car E30, custom aluminium front splitter, #BMW 2002 Turbo-style fibreglass wheel arch flares over the original guards after 70mm had been cut away, taped over and colour-coded chrome rear bumper, carbon fibre bonnet and bootlid with pins (replaced by standard steel items for Improved Production racing), Toyota Rukus Voodoo blue paint by Jo Seeger Smash Repairs, colour-coded kidney-grille surround, black plastic wrap over headlight lenses with custom painted chrome rings clipped on, E30 DTM mirrors.

    INTERIOR Fully stripped interior with V8 Supercar carbon kevlar racing seat, #Sparco four-point harness, Momo suede steering wheel, white Auto Meter Pro-Comp gauges in custom panel, adjustable throw gear stick, custom Barsted Rollcages roll-cage, Aerospec woven cloth for dash and door cards, boot-mounted aluminium fuel tank with Teflon braided hoses and ProFlow pressure gauge.

    THANKS #RX-Automotive Brisbane, Jo Seeger Smash Repairs Hervey Bay, Robert Novak of Definition Motorsport for the Motec and dyno work.
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  • ROTOR PERDITION

    There must be something in the water Down Under judging by this amazing turbo rotary-swapped E30. A lifetime of E30 obsession has led Ehsan Hazrati to build many insane projects. His latest project is stuffed with enough triangles to make Pythagoras weep, yet you’d never guess it from the outside. Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Andrew Parliaros.

    Now everybody from the 313, put your motherflippin’ hands up and follow me.” So spat Eminem in 8 Mile (kinda), allowing the previously unremarkable three-digit number a little screen time. Until this point, 313 had merely been a truncatable prime, Donald Duck’s registration number or, of course, the year in which Rome’s Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine was completed. But now, rather splendidly, we have a new function for the number 313. Even more aggressive than a riled-up Eminem, ladies and gentlemen, we present the E30 #BMW 313i.


    I know, it doesn’t sound exciting when you put it like that, does it? But all is not as it seems here. True, the E30 harks back to an era when the boot badges did mostly relate to what was under the bonnet (a 318i was a 1.8, a 325i was a 2.5… you get the idea), so are we looking at an obscure variant with a 1.3-litre engine? And why would anyone want that?


    Stick with the story, for your perceptions are about to be blown away in the most spectacular way possible. But first, let’s meet the man behind it. “My parents tell me that at the age of five I was drawing the round headlights and kidney grilles of the E30 BMW without really even knowing what it was,” says Ehsan Hazrati, the Sydneysider behind the steering wheel. “As I got older and got my licence, I had E30 after E30. I did all the modifications myself, from servicing to tuning, overhauling to suspension, bushings, sound systems etc. I did extensive research into E30 DTM race car suspension, brakes, and making them handle around corners at high speeds. I spent a lot of hours calculating and testing power-to-weight combinations, high RPM engines, and turbocharging power graph outputs. And a lot of trial-and-error!”

    This, it’s pretty safe to say, is a man obsessed. After a long line of retro 3 Series, he finds himself today with three E30s making a nuisance of themselves on his driveway: a 900hp drag car that’s currently under construction; the family daily-driver four-door 316i that just happens to be running a 450hp Corvette LS1 V8; and the cheeky red number that’s splashed across these pages. This, for us, is the pick of the bunch – hence why it’s here – because, well, it’s just insane; not just the quality of finish and attention to detail but the fact that it’s running a Mazda rotary engine.


    Aha. That cacophonous clanging is the sound of the penny dropping throughout the Drive-My readership. The 313i badge refers to the 13B rotary engine’s swept volume of 1308cc. Although, being a Wankel unit, you can’t really equate its displacement to that of a piston engine, its twin-654cc chambers aren’t even on nodding terms with a crank and- piston arrangement. But whichever way you cut it, this is a feisty manoeuvre. Ehsan’s opted for the 13B-REW variant, as found in twin-turbo form in the third generation RX-7, and it’s a bit of a cult icon.

    It’s a bold play, but Ehsan has form with this sort of caper. His first three E30s may have enjoyed tweaked BMW four- and sixpots, but the fourth ended up with a 13B from a Mazda Cosmo, and it seems that this wacky experiment really flicked his switch, and he stuck with the formula. That part-built drag car we mentioned? That’s rocking rotors too. This fella just really digs triangles.


    “From as long ago as I can remember, all I ever wanted was an old-school BMW,” he assures us. “I live by ‘classic not plastic’ and ‘built not bought’. The BMWs of this era represented great European design and true workmanship, and the last perfect lightweight rear-wheel drive chassis compared to the competitors – the KE Corolla, Mercedes 230E, Mazda RX-7 and so on – from that time.” You’ll note that he’s slipped a Mazda reference in there, though. Clearly a fusion was always on the cards – a greatest hits of the period, if you like. Well, it’s all subjective isn’t it?

    “Yeah, I’ve always had a passion for E30s as well as for the lightweight, high-RPM feel of a turbo rotary engine,” Ehsan admits. “I had a picture in my head of what I wanted it to look and feel like; people from the E30 scene tend either to have a really clean slow-and-standard car or a roughened-up fast one. I wanted to build an all-rounder – a show-stopper that drops jaws but that could also be used as a street-legal weapon. Something I can take to the drag strip, run consistent ten-second passes on street tyres, then drive home and the next day go on an E30 club cruise to the beach, have it on display at a car show, and win trophies. This build was my total package.”


    Blimey. Talk about your stereotypical Aussie confidence! There’s not a single element of that paragraph that isn’t writing a massive cheque, but thankfully Ehsan’s the sort of dude with the skills to cash it. And so it began. A project base was sourced from a guy who’d had the car slumbering in the shadows of his garage for around six years – all immaculate and original, and you’ll no doubt be impressed to learn that it’s still wearing its original factory Brilliantrot paint. The seller refused to let the car go before Ehsan promised to give the car a new lease of life, a good home and, most of all, not to crash it – after all, he’d owned it from new. Imagine what he must be thinking when he sees this feature! Good vibes, we hope.


    Ehsan took it home, and immediately installed it in his garage for another dusty year-long slumber. You don’t want to rush these things, do you? Although he wasn’t dragging his heels by any means – our effervescent protagonist had been to see his friendly local engine builder.



    “I did everything else on this car myself, but it was George and Rocky at PAC Performance Racing who built and ported the engine, and dyno tuned the car,” Ehsan explains. The motor is bridge-ported, and porting rotaries is something of a black art: a great way to get more power out of them is to effectively smash some holes into the intake side, although the more extreme the ports are, the more lairy and tricky the motor becomes.

    Bridge-porting basically involves opening out the standard ports, then adding an additional eyebrow port above – it all gets a bit techy, but the short version is you get an amusing lumpy idle, oodles more power, and a hell of a lot of noise. Which is all good fun. “At the time of getting the engine built I was looking for around 400hp,” says Ehsan.

    “It currently makes around 550rwhp at 7000rpm on 22psi, which is approximately 620hp at the engine… in a car weighing only 992kg! It’s safe-tuned at 22psi, although the engine is built for 35psi+, so there’s plenty more to come.”

    The results really do speak for themselves, too. “It performed far better than expected,” Ehsan grins. “But the power band was so high, I went through axles like underwear. Obviously the factory axle broke but then it ate through a brand-new OEM 325i setup, Z3 M Coupé items, hybrid E30/E28 M5 units… then, after the Garrett GTX4088R turbo upgrade, it even chewed through custom 108mm 500hp Porsche billet axles!” The build is undoubtedly a bit of a monster, echoing those early years of trial-and-error to get it all running right, but you can see from the muscular spec box that Ehsan’s really pulled it all together neatly. And, of course, as the man himself was eager to tell us, this E30 is as much about show as go…


    A very important marker for this build was to make it something of a sleeper – not totally stealthy but certainly not showing its hand too early. That mint-condition, 25-yearold paint certainly helps here, and Ehsan has had all manner of chuckles taking on Skyline GT-Rs and a kaleidoscope of Porsches who never saw it coming and didn’t see where it went. “There’s no modern paint colours here, no fibreglass body kits, no big wings screwed to the boot,” he says, with no small amount of satisfaction. “I kept it all factory – the only thing I added was a new OEM iS front apron lip, and M-Tech 1 boot spoiler. All genuine add-ons from the ’80s era!”


    The wheels are an interesting choice too and no doubt gave some of you wheel nuts pause for though. They’re actually the third set of rims that the car’s enjoyed since completion; it started off on satin black Watanabes before moving onto BBS LMs with polished lips, but I think we can all agree that the 16” mesh wheels give it an appropriately period look that’s in keeping with that quasi-sleeper vibe.


    This keenness for stealth carries over to the interior, too. “One of my rules is that there should be no extra gauges on top of the dash,” Ehsan asserts. “That would give the game away immediately. I replaced the trip computer with an eBoost2 gauge, and also utilised the E30 Alpina air vent digital dash idea, with an analogue boost gauge.” Stealth, as ever, is the watchword.



    This is, by all measures, a phenomenal build – without a hint of hyperbole, one of the finest E30s to grace these pages in some time. And with that colossally powerful engine and pristine period exterior, what do you reckon is Ehsan’s favourite element of the project?


    “Oh, it has to be my rear diff brace,” he grins. “I designed and patented it myself on a CAD programme, checking the stress tolerance points for maximum strength and so on, and it truly is a work of art. People at car shows see that and know this car means serious business; it’s not just a pretty show pony. That brace is what’s needed to consistently put six hundred horses to the ground on both street and track.” It’s impressive, but unsurprising, that his top pick would be a thing of pure function.

    Ehsan’s proud to describe how the initial build of the whole car took just three months, but it was then a further 18 months of tweaking suspension heights, spring rates, diff ratios, tyre diameters, ET formula calculations, and axle and tailshaft options before it was all truly fit to get that phenomenal power down.

    “What it is, basically, is a brand-new race engine in a retro shell,” he says, in a charming display of matter-of-factness. “People’s reactions at shows have been amazing – the looks on their faces when they found out what’s in there, and that it’s all street-legal. And next year – that’s when I’m going to be chasing to beat my personal best drag time. It ran a 10.86 at 120mph on the old turbo with 385rwhp on 225/50 street tyres. With the new GTX4088R and 550rwhp on 225/40 semislicks, I reckon it could run a 9.9.”

    All very ambitious but you get the feeling that he’s got all of this precisely calculated. There’s no margin for error here, and that’s what the number 313 should henceforth represent. Forthrightness. Function.

    Desirability. A new number-of-the-beast for the 21st century. And when you see those digits on the tail end of a shiny red E30, you’d better not dismiss it as a lesserengined also-ran – there’s hidden mischief here, and its furious anger makes Eminem look like a primary school teacher. Everybody from the 313, put your rotorflippin’ shafts up…

    “I wanted to build an all-rounder – a show-stopper that drops jaws but that could also be used as a street-legal weapon”

    Bridge-ported 13B rotary sports a massive #Garrett-GTX4088R turbo and makes 550rwhp.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-313i-E30 / #BMW-313i-Rotary-E30 / #BMW-313i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW /

    ENGINE #13B-REW 2x654cc #Mazda-RX-7 / Mazda rotary, bridge-ported to PAC Racing specs, race doweled and balanced rotors, #PAC-Racing unbreakable apex/corner seals, #Power-Ported intake and ports, custom PAC Racing 13B turbo exhaust manifold, #Garrett GTX4088R turbo, Turbosmart 50mm ProGate wastegate, #Turbosmart 34mm dual port blow-off valve, #Turbosmart fuel pressure regulator, 3.5” dump pipe with full 3” exhaust and Rotaflow silencers, #Haltech PS2000 ECU and Haltech boost controller solenoid, custom fabricated engine mounts, custom dual-core PWR intercooler, PWR oil cooler, #PWR dual-core radiator, custom alloy radiator shroud and high #CFM-Engineering output 16” Spal fan, dual #Bosch-044 fuel pump, three litre surge tank and #Walbro primer pump, quad #Haltech LS1 ignition coils. 620hp at flywheel (542rwhp) at 22psi safe tune; engine built for 35psi+.


    TRANSMISSION R154 Supra Turbo five-speed gearbox with aftermarket strengthened billet gearset and synchros, custom gearbox mounts, custom PAC billet bellhousing adapter, PAC RBR550 heavy-duty clutch and pressure plate, billet lightened flywheel, billet short-shifter with E30 DTM white Delrin nylon gear knob, custom Mark Williams 3” wall chromoly tailshaft with 1350-series Strange uni-joints.

    CHASSIS 9x16” #BBS mesh wheels with 215/45 (front) and 255/45 (rear) #Kumho Ecsta tyres, custom 1000hp halfshaft axles with 120mm chromoly treated CVs and bearing cages, reinforced rear #BMW subframe and trailing arms, custom fabricated rear diff brace mount, E28 M5 diff with #Alpina finned diff cover, cryogenically strengthened and shot-peened crown and pinon, #OS-Giken Superlock shimmed 28-plate tightened LSD centre (85% lock), #AKG solid 75D subframe, trailing arms, control arm and diff mount bushing kit, Ireland Engineering heavy duty front and rear racing anti-roll bar kit with adjustable rose-joint links, custom 315mm front and rear brake kit with ADR/CAMS approved braided line throughout, OEM E32 740i brake master cylinder, modified #Z3M power steering rack with 2.7 lock-to-lock, solid billet alloy steering shaft coupler, 5/8” Mark Williams drag racing rear wheel studs, custom #Bilstein front coilovers and solid camber plates, heavy-duty rear Beehive King Springs, welded AKG anticamber squatting plates in rear trailing arms, Sparco 1.5” front and rear strut braces, Ultra Racing four-point lower crossmember reinforcement bar.


    EXTERIOR 1990 325i two-door shell, original 25-year-old Brilliantrot paint, 318is lip spoiler, M Tech 1 boot spoiler, rolled and flared arches.


    INTERIOR #MOMO Prototipo 350mm Retrotech steering wheel, E30 M3 black leather seats, #Sparco PRO2000 fixed driver’s seat, #Sparco fixed race seat rails, Sparco six-point 3” harness, #Autometer #Ultra-Light gauges, Turbosmart eBoost2 with 3x boost pre-set stages (street, track, drag racing), E46 M3 pedals, all sound/cavity deadening and heat shield removed, drilled-out circular holes behind doorcards, parcel tray, behind back seat and sunroof for weight reduction – total car weight 992kg.

    THANKS George and Rocky at #PAC-Performance-Racing , Leon Sokalski at Performance Metalcraft, Mark Callinan at British European Motor Works, and my family and girlfriend for picking me up when I broke the CV axles on the street.
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  •   Malcolm Thorne reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    E30 WHISPERER

    Turbo E30s don’t come much sleepier than this seriously subtle two-door, packing a 2.6 M20 under the bonnet. After fiddling with a few E30s some blokes feel justified in calling themselves ‘Mr E30’. Paul Issepon is not one of those guys. He is the ‘E30 Whisperer’. Words and photos: Ben Dillon.

    “Is it ‘da dada da da da’, or more like ‘dada da da dada?’” Paul Issepon asks, stone-faced and serious as he counts out the beats of two different mechanical cadences, each eerily mimicking a rough running M20 as he tries, telepathically, to diagnose what is wrong with my E30, which is 20 miles away in my garage. I want to laugh but I’ve never heard anyone so accurately verbalise a lumpy BMW six-pot before, so I fail to pick which aural signature my own broken-arse M20 is pumping out. But so entrancing is Paul’s Bavarian chant that I know if I could identify the pattern, he’d be able to pinpoint the problem immediately as he is, most definitely, an #BMW-E30 whisperer.

    Shrugging away both my awe and ignorance Paul moves onto other subjects – all E30-shaped, a passion which has consumed him since the car was released in 1983. Seeking the man out at his hilltop hermitage in Brisbane, Australia reveals the depth of his love for BMW’s most iconic three-box. No less than ten complete and running E30s are stashed away in various corners of his yard and garage with a further unspecified number earning a living as parts cars for anyone in need of E30 bits. From the family 325i Saloon to a 325i Convertible, a clutch of coupés and other chrome and plastic bumper iterations ranging in flavours from 318i to #BMW-325i (but no 320i variants, “all the thirst of a #BMW-325i-E30 with the power of a 318i, they suck,” Paul says), Paul has an E30 for every season and every day of the week. But it’s the contents of a shabby wooden garage that looks ready to collapse that we have come to see.

    “You want to see something special?” Paul says as we walk past a near immaculate 318iS undergoing Paul’s perfectionist scrutineering. Opening a creaking wooden doors reveals an E30 which is obviously something exceptional from the moment outside light falls across it. “This is my baby,” Paul murmurs. A first glance reveals an M Tech 2 bodykit hugging the familiar shape of an Anthracite E30 with Hockenheim-style 16-inch rims lounging in an aggressive stance that indicates some serious ability through the twisties. Looking further under the car sees a big diameter bi-modal exhaust system and finned diff showing that this car has the fireworks to match the finesse. But it’s the ‘2.6’ badge on the rump that causes the most furrowed brows. “The engine was built by Ludwig Finauer, a BMW race engine guy, using a 325i block and (885) head but with a 323i crank,” Paul explains. “So that makes it a 2.6-litre engine, that’s why it’s got the badge”.

    Ludwig Finauer was more than just your average spanner twirler, though, he was the mechanical mastermind behind the BMW factory team in the Australian Touring Car Championships (ATCC) during the 1980s when the team ran E24 635CSi and later E30 M3 cars against the home-grown V8 Ford and Holden crews. Headed by ex-Formula One legend Frank Gardner, the team had top-drawer local and imported talent for various races including 1967 Formula One champ Denny Hulme and even Finauer himself steering an M3 for a few rounds in #1987 including a drive in Australia’s biggest race, the Bathurst 1000.


    But fast E30s for the road were Finauer’s thing with star BMW team driver Kevin Bartlett commissioning one for his personal transport. Finauer promptly raided the race team’s parts bin with the result being a chrome-bumper Atlantisblau coupé with a Lysholm screw-type supercharger strapped on to the Finauer signature 325i/323i combo with body and drivetrain options cherrypicked from BMW M division in Germany.

    Bartlett now had a serious street weapon not all that different from his weekend drive. The car eventually found its way into private hands, going through a succession of owners until 2003 when a friend of Paul’s, Allan Forbes, stumbled across an advert for the car. “I’ve always loved E30s, they are a great car; fun, quick, they handle really well.

    They’re a good looking car, too, so when I saw it advertised for AU$8000 (£3300) I had to have it,” Allan says. Allan drove the car for about a year before writing it off in an accident. He then bought the wreck back from the insurance company to harvest all the special interior bits for his next E30 and sold what was left of the wreck to Paul who took the Finauer-built driveline and slotted it into a one-owner E30 #M-Tech 2 body which evolved into the car you see on these pages. Paul’s inspiration behind the project was to turn his dream of the ultimate M20- powered E30 into a driveable reality, and by engineering solutions and doing all of the work himself, have complete ownership of the transformation. The body and drivetrain were stripped down, with every part of the car rebuilt and/or modified to suit Paul’s aim of E30-godliness with attention lavished everywhere and as much focus on performance as on looks and usability.

    The Finauer engine was pulled apart, inspected, given a refresh with new bearings and gaskets while balanced standard pistons and rods were kept as they could easily handle the addition of 15psi of boost that Paul was planning. The induction side features a custom heat-shielded inlet to an M20B20 inlet manifold which is a curious choice but one which Paul stands by for helping the T05/03 hybrid Garrett turbo to spool quickly. This along with water/methanol injection and a front mounted intercooler helps to keep inlet temps down while general engine cooling is supported by a custom radiator and an oil cooler and catch-can setup. Custom extractors feed the turbo and expel gases on the hot side of the engine with a Turbosmart wastegate to vent boost when needed. The back end of the 2.5-inch twin system features a bi-modal exhaust valve operated by a solenoid at 3psi, helping the car remain somewhat stealthy in suburbia.

    Those with a keen eye might notice the distributor in the block, much like a Series 1 E30. “The bottom of the distributor is M20 #BMW and the top is Series 6 RX-7 because the triggering and the home signal for the Haltech love to be in the same spot,” Paul explains. “Everyone loves the RX-7 distributor so I thought I’d marry one onto an M20 shaft.” This combined with a single coil-pack feeds sparks via the cam-driven distributor while a Walbro 255 in-tank pump and rising rate regulator start the fire inside the 2.6-litre Finauer six. “It’s easily a 12- second (quarter-mile) car, maybe even 11s,” Paul says. “It’s got an LSD diff, sticky tyres and good suspension so instead of spinning the wheels it just goes forward fast.”

    Handling and stopping performance weren’t overlooked either with BC Racing coilovers and Mazda Series 6 RX-7 slotted and dimpled discs squeezed by Brembo fourpiston calipers up front with a slotted disc, single-piston setup on the rear.

    Inside and out styling cues are varied with genuine M Tech, Alpina and Hartge components sitting in a comfortable mélange of E30-ness. The M Tech 2 bodykit, spoiler and leather sport seats combine with the Alpina steering wheel and vent gauge inside to make a cosy habitat for the driver while Hartge strut braces front and rear tighten up handling. Under the bonnet the rocker cover is a Hartge item with the logo machined off and replaced with that of BM Conversions – Ludwig Finauer’s now defunct Sydney-based BMW hot-rod shop, Finauer himself having long since retired to a coastal village somewhere south of Sydney.


    The result of Paul’s hard work is not the most outlandish E30, or the fastest, but it is one of the most complete performance cars in the E30 community Down Under and we think he’s more than surpassed his aim to build the ultimate E30 combining all the merits of the original design but adding ‘more of everything’.

    The final twist is that after enjoying the car for a couple of years since completing the build, Paul has now sold the car to Allan – in a way returning the driveline at least to the person he got it from. After our photoshoot finishes Paul offers to ‘swap back’ the 326i for his very worked E31 840i. Allan declines with a smile and as Paul and I watch the 326i disappear into the distance I’m sure I hear the E30 Whisperer sigh. Nothing twangs the heartstrings harder than someone else driving ‘your’ #BMW-E30 .

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.6-litre straight-six #M20B26 / #M20 , 325i head and block, 323i crank, #Garrett-T05/03 / #Garrett turbocharger, water/methanol injection, #Haltech-Platinum 1000 ECU, 325i oil cooler, #Bosch yellow injectors, #Getrag-260 / #Getrag gearbox, lightened flywheel, performance clutch, 3.73 LSD diff with E30 M3 finned cover.

    CHASSIS: 8x16” (front and rear) wheels with 215/45 (front and rear) #Kumho KU36 semi-slicks, #BC-Racing coilovers, #Hartge strut braces, Mazda RX-7 #Brembo fourpiston calipers and slotted and dimpled rotors (front), slotted rotors single-piston calipers (rear), #Hawk pads, braided lines.

    EXTERIOR: #M-Tech 2 bodykit.

    INTERIOR: BMW sports leather seats, Alpina steering wheel, #Alpina vent gauge, Boost air-fuel and intercooler temperature gauges.
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Desert Strike. With 400whp courtesy of a turbocharged M20, this stunning, home-built E30 is a real weapon. Words: Seb de Latour. Photos: Gil Folk y first car was a 1.0-litre #Citroen Saxo.

    It was Admiral blue and the only thing I did to it was fit an air freshener and, as it was the days before technology existed, one of those tape deck adapters that let you plug your Discman into the stereo. What’s a Discman? Ask your parents. Kameron Baker’s first car was this #1989 #E30 #325i and over the ensuing eight years he’s built it up into something rather spectacular. It was thanks to his father that Kameron came to own this #BMW-E30 , as he explains: “My dad worked at a car lot at the time and someone traded the E30 in.

    He brought it home one day and I fell in love with it. Being only $800 it was prefect for a high schooler. It was actually in very good condition. The interior was mint and apart from a small spot of peeling clear coat the paint was great. Also it had less than 100,000 miles on it.” As well as being a bit of a bargain and a pretty sweet first car, it opened Kameron’s eyes to the world of classic BMWs: “This little E30 is what got me into older BMWs.

    Before this I had never been in or even thought of owning one but as soon as I drove it I knew it was something special. The way it handled and the smoothness of the 2.5-litre in-line six got me hooked.” And so another #BMW fan was born. So, you’re 16, you’ve got a bright red BMW and there’s a 2.5-litre straight-six under the bonnet – there’s clearly only one way this story was ever going to go. “This was the first car I ever modified,” says Kameron. “I owned it for less than a month before I started changing and modifying things on it, sometimes things I regretted later but to be fair, I was only 16 at the time. I just kept it clean for a few weeks and then started modifying.

    My first modifications were a cold air intake and cat-back exhaust. Basically the two easiest things you can do to make a car sound better and drive better.” But, of course, we all know that you can never stop with just a couple of mods and Kameron was about to get seriously stuck into his E30 project: “When I first got the car my dad and I always talked about how we wanted to get it down to a five-second 0-60 time. In the ’80s the car’s 170hp M20 ran a 0-60 in seven seconds. My car was also an automatic so achieving that time took a lot of work. The best I got it down to as a naturally aspirated auto M20 was 6.8 seconds; that was with weight reduction, a MAF conversion, long tube headers, and a 4.27 Torsen differential out of a #BMW-Z3 . Back then I would have been happy with 200hp.

    “Before this project I had no real-world experience with modifying cars. Before I turbo’d the E30 I got a 2004 Subaru WRX and that really opened my mind to what a proper turbo setup can do to a car.

    I saw 21 that the car had lots of potential and at the time I’d always be looking up E30 videos on the internet watching the crazy Euro/Swedish/Norwegian E30s that can smoke the tyres at 60mph; it was just something that I wanted to do. I wanted a crazy E30, something that never gets boring and is always an adrenaline rush to drive. It was only after getting out of high school that I could afford to turbo the car. It originally started as a budget build but I just kept on improving the setup and eventually ended up with a 400whp turbo M20 that I could drive everyday without issue. “The car was 100% built by me in a little garage that doesn’t even have a door on it. When you start out that young you can hardly afford the parts so there is no way you can pay someone to install the parts as well.

    I just had to give it a try. My dad helped me until I got the hang of things and I never stopped.” So in a short space of time Kameron went from an intake and exhaust to a 400whp selfbuilt turbo setup; that’s about 470hp at the crank and in a car weighing around 1300kg, that gives this E30 a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of an Audi R8 GT V10, a 5.7-litre V12 Lamborghini Diablo or a Ferrari 599. That means it’s fast with a capital F. “I did all modifications to the engine as well. The first timing belt/head swap I did took around ten hours; I have it down to around five hours now. For the M20 I kept it simple. It ran a Bimmerheads cylinder head with dual pattern turbo cam and HD rocker arms.

    The bottom end was left 100% original and I ran ARP head studs with a Goetze head gasket. I had the turbo build done in around a month or two. It worked so much better than I expected, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I’d never been in a sixcylinder car before so the first time I went WOT with the Holset turbocharger it blew my mind. I was only at 7psi and I couldn’t believe how much faster the car was. At this point the car was still an automatic. This was its weak link and so the auto ’box had to go, although it was very still fast with an auto. The Getrag 260 manual swap followed shortly.” Along with the manual ’box, Kameron added a Stage 3 Spec clutch and a 13lb flywheel. At the rear sits a 3.73 ratio LSD with #Porsche 2.1mm discs. It certainly does the job, as can be seen in Kameron’s YouTube videos (search for Kameron Baker). So, this E30 delivers on the performance front, and then some, but it also looks damn delicious. A red two-door is a great base to start from and Kameron has really put a lot of effort into the styling and made a really unique-looking car that stands out from the crowd and blends OE subtlety with a wild streak perfectly.

    “OEM+ was the goal,” he says, “although I may have lost that look since I had to hack up the body to fit my flares and wide tyres. I just really like the old-skool BMWs and Alpina cars, so going with an authentic Alpina kit was always the goal. Plus my flares are similar to what you’d see on a 2002 turbo so I feel it still has a nice ’80s look to it.” And those wild flares are filled with something that isn’t a crossspoke split-rim, for a change. “I’ve always liked the sportier-looking wheels as opposed to the deep-dish wheels. This means I’ve run wheels including TRM C1s, OZ Superleggeras and now the STR 518s. I change wheels every time I burn through a set of tyres and I’ve gone through three sets in the last year, so goodness knows what wheels I’ll have next. You can always make back a good amount of money selling your old wheels off so I like to try different looks out.” True enough and variety is the spice of life after all, so why not have some fun? The 9x17” 518s look seriously tough in black and tie-in perfectly with the whole black and red colour scheme on the car. Kameron’s also achieved pretty much the perfect stance thanks to a set of Ground Control coilovers, which help the tyres tuckin nicely under the pumped-up arches. The arches are actually Kameron’s own design and are available from his Kamotors store.

    As a result the car just sits so right and looks mean. Despite being modern rims, the motorsport-style of the wheels fits perfectly with the ethos of the whole car and suit the E30 shape. We love the styling of the car as a whole – the black and red colour scheme is really bold and striking and those front and rear Alpina spoilers add an extra splash of aggression, especially with the addition of that custom front splitter. The side skirts come courtesy of #Zender and there are loads of little details that are easy to miss but make all the difference, such as the rear plate filler, Euro grilles, the #Alpina -inspired M20 Turbo front grille badge and the carbon fibre foglight blanks, also from Kamotors. We also love what Kameron’s done on the inside.
    At first glance it looks completely stock, bar the addition of boost and wideband gauges, but take a glance in the back and you’ll notice that it’s been completely stripped out, shedding some weight in the process but without making things uncomfortable for the two people up front. You might think that Kameron’s E30 has reached its zenith but an unfortunate incident gave him the perfect excuse for a bit of an upgrade. “Since this photoshoot I actually ended up swapping out the #M20 for an #M30B35 running a Precision 6266 turbocharger. I actually overheated the M20 whilst having a bit too much fun at around 25psi and the block cracked, allowing coolant to slowly leak up a head stud hole and pollute my oil. I still drove over 1000 miles to Bimmerfest but after that the engine was pulled and replaced with the much torquier #M30 .”

    Every cloud and all that… So, with a new engine and even more performance you’d think that maybe Kameron was done but that’s a case of easier said than done. “I’m not sure what to move onto now,” he says. “I’ve had the E30 for around eight years so it’s hard to stop. I’m thinking of something like a Volvo 240 with a large turbo. Basically I want a collection of brick-shaped cars from the ’80s.” That would be very cool indeed… People have been strapping turbos to E30s for donkey’s years but Kameron’s car really has that special something that makes it stand out. The styling is pretty unique and we love the little personal flourishes and the attention to detail. It’s a real enthusiast’s build and a real performance BMW.

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE: 2.5-litre straight-six M20B25 with original bottom end, Bimmerheads cylinder head, dual pattern turbo cam, HD rockers, Kamotors turbo setup with TD06SL2-20g turbo, 3” charge pipe, 3” exhaust, methanol injection, PNP Megasquirt ECU with wasted spark, 400whp @ 19psi.

    TRANSMISSION: Getrag 260 with Spec Stage 3 clutch and 13lb flywheel, 3.73 LSD with Porsche 2.1mm discs.

    CHASSIS: 9x17” (front & rear) STR 518 alloys with 245/40 tyres, Ground Control coilovers, 22mm front anti-roll bar, Eibach 16mm rear anti-roll bar, #AKG adjustable lollipop brackets, UUC camber plates, polybushes all-round, UUC BBK with fourpiston calipers and two-piece 298mm drilled discs.

    EXTERIOR: Authentic Alpina front and rear spoiler with a custom front splitter, Zender side skirts, Kamotors standard width arch flares, smoked smiley headlights, smoked tail-lights, rear plate filler, Euro grilles, Kamotors carbon fibre foglight delete.

    INTERIOR: Original seats and steering wheel, boost gauge and wideband gauge, rear stripped out.

    THANKS: I need to thank my friends who helped me do things like transmission swaps with nothing more than jack stands and a cheap set of sockets and those of you on the forums who helped me with the build and bought parts from me to help fund the build.
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Norwegian 1048bhp #E30 - bad to the bone. The magic 1000bhp figure was broken by this utterly stunningly, jaw-droppingly brilliant E30 from Norway, one of the most powerful road-legal BMWs in the world. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Andrew Brown.

    It’s a long way to go, but over the years Performance #BMW has been making numerous trips to Scandinavia to hunt out what we consider to be some of the finest examples of Bavarian metal on the planet, putting America’s high standards to serious shame with mind-blowing performance figures. Cast your mind back to July 2004. If your memory’s a little hazy, let us refresh it for you. We unveiled what was, at the time, the most powerful road-legal M3-styled E30 325i with an outrageous 875bhp and 932lb ft of torque. Over the next few months, we uncovered two more turbo’d Swedish beauties, a 400bhp #E21 and a 745bhp E30, along with a supercharged 480bhp M3 CSL in November. Not surprisingly, in January 2005 the turbo experts at VS Motor in Norway raised the bar once again with a 1033bhp #E34 M5. The various other cover cars that were to follow from the Nordic lands over the next 24 months confirmed our suspicions; no obstacle is too big for these boys.

    In a bid to push things even further forward, Tarjei Christiansen from Porsgrunn has created the hardest E30 we’ve ever seen with a mighty 1048bhp and 778lb ft of torque running through road tyres and wheels. That’s right, this #1987 former 320i is fit for the streets and it’s not afraid to come out and play. For those who don’t know, Tarjei is the founder of tuning specialist SS Performance, and is already becoming a big name in the street racing community, so it’s understandable that his own car would be a bit special. It all started four years ago when he got into the notorious Gatebil festivals. Having spent his childhood tinkering under the bonnet of BMWs with his dad during the cold and dark winter months, it was almost inevitable he would eventually open up his own workshop. One of the most common complaints we hear from readers is the number of UK specialists that lack passion and enthusiasm, but Tarjei’s got stacks of it to back up his knowledge and expertise. This is a man who quite happily spends 16 hours a day, six days a week working on cars, they are his life.

    His first project was an #Alpina E30 2.7, he sold that before his 18th birthday to buy an #E36 Compact and spent the remaining money sourcing and fitting a 5.6-litre V12 #S70 from the #850Csi #E31 . And as if that wasn’t enough he had an #M3 on the side. As you’ll have heard a thousand times before though, things were never meant to get quite so serious, as the Nordic lad explained: “When I bought the E30, the stock lump had been replaced by the 325i unit but the previous owner had never upgraded the brakes or suspension, so my original plan was to use it for drifting until the engine blew up. Upon closer inspection however, I realised the bodywork was completely straight and in remarkably good order for its age with no rust, so I decided to save it.” Little did he know at that stage, he would create what is now Norway’s most legendary car on the tuning scene.
    Not surprisingly, the first thing on the list was an engine. Tarjei fitted a 2.7 Alpina lump but soon got bored and that’s when he decided to do something mad with it, managing to source a 3.5-litre #S38 lump from the E34 #M5 . After stripping the engine bay he started the laborious task of fitting the new powerplant, which needed to sit 280mm further back and 40mm lower to help create space for the big turbo and aid with weight distribution. Sadly the language barrier meant communication was difficult but we managed to muddle through the interview with the help of Tarjai’s friends, whose grasp of English was better than my Norwegian. Hand gestures and diagrams also played a big part in the translation process!

    Being founder of a reputable tuning specialist, Tarjei is partners with some of the most well-known players in the industry, so he’s got access to a lot of quality parts. A quick glance down at the list of sponsors that adorn the side of his car will tell you that. The starting point was, as ever, the block, which was bored out to 3600cc. He then fitted a set of forged JE lowcompression pistons and slightly longer than standard Carillo con-rods, along with a Motorsport crank to provide better top-end power and higher revving capabilities. Attention was then turned to the cylinder head, which was ported and polished with a set of SSP 292º camshafts bolted in. And here comes the most exciting part, the massive Turbonetics super 60 twin-turbo which was mounted on an SSP aluminium intake manifold, with a PPF external wastegate employed to regulate the massive boost the ’charger is capable of producing. The inlet side of the engine is equally impressive, with a specially-made SSP aluminium part being the main component, fitted with huge 1640cc injectors to supply the necessary fuelling.

    At the end of the process, an SSP stainless steel straightthrough side-exit exhaust with fat 4” tailpipe blasts out the spent gasses.

    Somehow the giant had to be cooled, which is why the E30 has a ViS Racing carbon fibre bonnet with four vents, and a huge custom intercooler and radiator. The complete engine was taken to the VS Motor workshop and bolted to the dyno for running in and mapping. Connected up to the laptop, the boys set about tweaking and adjusting the settings of the Autronic sequential SM2 ECU. The decision was made to cap the boost at 1.7bar and after a slight increase in boost and a small ignition tweak, the magic figure of 1048bhp was realised, making it the fastest street-legal BMW in the world. Not surprisingly, he’s apparently managed to scare a few passengers.

    The problem, when you achieve this sort of power, is making it driveable, so Tarjei got to work stripping off the tired suspension and running gear ready for the new and improved items that he had been busy stockpiling. The drivetrain was the first to benefit with a stronger and more reliable Tremag five-speed gearbox. An E34 M5 rear differential was then fitted to improve traction, along with a custom driveshaft to complete the bullet-proof setup. Not convinced? Take it from us that the car is driven hard, plus it also takes regular abuse at the Nürburgring and Hockenheim circuits. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, it obliterates the 0-60mph sprint in just over 2.5 seconds, screaming at a rate of 110 decibels before the needle even hits 3000rpm.

    Driving in Scandinavia requires some special skills, if we had even a tenth as much snow, police would advise motorists to stay at home, but here residents just cope. Well, they do more than that. In a country where forced induction is a proven way of life, they love nothing more than putting on an incredible show of car control in a wild display of wheelspin, opposite lock, and high-speed sideways driving. The cars are, of course, heavily modified to cope with the extreme nature in which they’re driven, and in this case Tarjei has sourced Wiecher strut braces and anti-roll bars, along with a set of fully adjustable KW Variant 3 coilovers, which allows him to adjust the rebound and compression damping. Everything was then connected with Powerflex poly and ally mountings to eliminate all unwanted movement.

    Of course, every car of this calibre needs some decent anchors, when you can cover the length of a football pitch in a few seconds, the standard setup might have you running out of road, through the Pearly Gates and halfway across God’s breakfast table. Thankfully, a big brake kit consisting of AP Racing four-pot calipers with 335mm (front) and 355mm (rear) grooved discs mounted on alloy bells, with Endless pads, do an adequate enough job.

    Building a full-on track car means ridding the cabin of any unnecessary luxuries, so out came the seats, stereo system, door cards, carpet and sound deadening and in went the Momo buckets and Schroth four-point harnesses. Commonly seen in WRC car interiors, the entire dash was then flocked. This coating of nylon fibres using high voltage, electrostatic equipment, gives it a dense and durable finish along with excellent antiglare qualities. Providing additional rigidity, a Wiechers six-point roll-cage was fitted and the standard wheel was ditched for a snapoff Momo item. The Tilton pedals and hydraulic handbrake, along with the carbon fibre gear knob, Racepak Pack digital data logger and gauges add to the motorsport theme a treat. The dry sump tank, swirl pot for the fuel, oil cooler shroud, fuel pump and filter, Aeroquip hosing and gel battery are now housed in the boot.

    It was then the turn of the exterior to receive the benefits of some credit card abuse. With 9.5”-wide custom Löwenhart Superstar wheels destined for the front and 12” out back, new arches were painstakingly fabricated in metal and extended 120mm and 150mm respectively. Although it’s heavier compared to fibreglass, it’s much stronger and robust, and he’s managed to save weight elsewhere by fitting a carbon fibre bonnet and rear wing, which indecently also helps to generate greater downforce along with the Rieger front splitter. The same German body styling specialists also supplied the more aggressively fashioned front and rear bumpers and side skirts, lending it an even tougher guise, whilst the custom carbon fibre roof scoop, BMW Motorsport mirrors and Audi TT fuel cap finish off the race-car look that Tarjei was going for.

    How this car is not covered in stone chips and dents with body panels hanging off is beyond me, especially when you know it’s driven to utilise all that’s been done under the bonnet. It later emerges that showroom gleam is thanks to a recent respray, a definite improvement over the Dolphin grey and more in keeping with the car’s styling. The M3 GT British Racing green paint now adorns every nook and cranny, and I think you’ll agree when I say it looks like a brute.

    Having lost 3000 man hours and £80,000 to this project, I asked if Tarjei was happy with the outcome, he replied: “It’s the world’s fastest and most extreme E30, of course I like it. I love it. I’ve poured so much of my time and money into it but it’s turned out better than I could have ever imagined, I will never sell it.” When quizzed about his future plans he added: “My next project will be carbon’d wide-body 1 Series with the new M5 V10 engine, and I’m hoping it will be ready for Gatebil’s biggest event of the year in July.” That’s not a lot of time, but considering he built this monster in just ten months, we have every confidence he’ll do it. We just wish UK-based tuners and owners would follow suit and ditch the more traditional methods for something a bit different. If only we weren’t so conservative as a nation and tight with money, the world would be a far better place. Come on guys, let’s go for broke!

    Friend Helge Vik, another BMW nut, helped Tarjei build the car.

    On the track they’re each others’ worst rivals, in the garage they’re best mates Carbon fibre detailing not only looks the part but serves a purpose too.

    An AP Racing brake upgrade helps rein in the 1048 raging horses stuffed under the bonnet.

    The dry sump tank, swirl pot for fuel, oil cooler shroud, fuel pump and filter Aeroquip hosing and gel battery are housed in the boot Interior is minimal yet fully equipped for all of Tarjei’s needs.

    A Racepak digital data logger displays all the important engine information Christiansen: “It’s the world’s fastest and most extreme E30, of course I like it. I love it. I’ve poured so much of my time and money into it, I will never sell it”.

    DATA FILE
    ENGINE: 3.5-litre E34 M5 engine bored out to 3600cc, forged JE low-compression pistons, Carillo connecting rods, ARP rod and head bolts, 1640cc injectors, Motorsport crank, SSP 292º camshafts, ported and polished head, Autronic sequential SM2 ECU, three double Haltec coils, Aeromotive fuel pump, four-step oil pump, aluminium sump, Turbonetics super 60 twin-turbo, SSP aluminium intake manifold, PPF external wastegate, custom PPF 3” dump valve, custom 800mm high and 600mm wide intercooler and aluminium radiator, SSP TIG-welded stainless steel straight-through side-exit exhaust with 4” tailpipe.

    TRANSMISSION: Tremag 5-speed gearbox, gearbox tunnel raised and widened, Tilton triple-plate clutch, E34 M5 rear differential and custom driveshaft, custom 3” propshaft.

    CHASSIS: 9.5x18” (front) and 12x18” (rear) custom Löwenhart Superstar wheels shod in 225/40 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Yokohama semi-slicks. KW Stage 3 coilovers, Powerflex poly and ally mountings, Wiechers strut brace, front and rear anti-roll bars. AP Racing four-pot calipers with 335mm (front) and 355mm (rear) grooved discs mounted on alloy bells, Endless pads all round.
    EXTERIOR: Custom fabricated metal wide-arch body kit extended 120mm at the front and 150mm out back, VIS Racing carbon fibre bonnet, Rieger front splitter, colour-coded upper eyebrows, Rieger Infinity front and rear bumpers and side skirts, custom fabricated carbon fibre roof scoop, BMW Motorsport carbon-look mirrors, Audi TT fuel cap, APR Racing carbon fibre rear wing, MHW smoked rear lights (moved 2cm out on each side), custom SSP roundels, colour-coded rubbing strips, door handles and kidney grille, resprayed 1995 M3 GT British Racing Green.

    INTERIOR: Fully stripped-out, (seats, stereo system, door cards, carpet and sound deadening removed), plastic panes, flocked dash, Wiechers six-point roll-cage, Momo seats with Schroth four-point harnesses, Momo snap-off steering wheel, Tilton pedals and hydraulic handbrake, custom carbon fibre gear knob, Racepak digital data logger and gauges for boost, oil and water temperature, alloy floor mats, OMP fire extinguisher. Dry sump tank, swirl pot for fuel, oil cooler shroud, fuel pump and filter Aeroquip hosing and gel battery in boot.

    THANKS: Steiner Cristiansen, Knut Grave, Andreas Buoen, Johnny Slaen, Jons Dekk Og Felg, Extremedesign.no and everyone else who helped build this car.

    Scandinavia has some of the finest examples of Bavarian metal on the planet, putting America’s high standards to serious shame with mind-blowing performance figures.

    Special thanks to Sheighla Bilgrami at Network Languages Limited for helping us out with a translator (01344 870 700/ networklanguages.com)

    Tarjei’s masterpiece! A huge custom SSP intercooler keeps the air to the Turbonetics twin-turbo nice and cool.
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    #BMW #Alpina C2.5 convertible model

    This month’s model to keep those with an empty shelf happy is the #E30 #Alpina-C2.5 convertible by Corgi
    models. Finished in red with some nice detailed features, the 1:43 scale die cast model should fit into any
    model collection nicely

    Price: £22.99
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