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  • Eric Richardson is now friends with Andri
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  •   Craft Zetner reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Turbo thrills. While living in Germany, this 1992 Mercedes-Benz 320E W124 visited Lotec for a turbocharger conversion, and later dropped in at AMG for suspension modifications before making its way to the UK. Words & images Eric Richardson.
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  • Eric Richardson unlocked the badge Reviewer
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  •   Ben Koflach reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    In the photo a few #Citroen cars had served in the French police, but rather in its special units at the end of the 80s. It is characteristic that all the cars were in the station wagon version of the most powerful and fuel-injected gasoline engine to 2.5 liters wagons. It is obvious that some cars were in version 25Ri manual transmission, some with automatic #ZF3HP or #Borg-Warner Type-35. The characteristic blue color and the presence of flashing lights betrayed wagon second series of police-spec car.

    According to some reports the standard #M25-659 motor, at the specific request of the police department in Paris was forced, but the exact figures of power and torque are not known for certain. #Citroen-CX25Ri-Automatic-Series-2 #Citroen-CX25Ri-Automatic #Citroen-CX25Ri
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    2015 #KG-AUTO #VW-Karmann-Ghia-Cabriolet / #VW-Karmann-Ghia / #Volkswagen-Karmann-Ghia-Typ-14 / #VW-Typ-14 / #Volkswagen / #Karmann #Ghia

    Some #VW enthusiasts will go to extraordinary lengths to secure the classic of their dreams, and Warwick Wrangles is no exception. His automatic KG cabriolet took over three decades to find, and not even a litany of rust and panel woes would ever make him give it up...

    As a teenager growing up in the late 50s and early 60s, Warwick Wrangles was immersed in Volkswagen’s glory years in Australia.

    Volkswagen had already established a factory at Clayton in Melbourne, and Australians were spoilt for choice with the latest air-cooled offerings from the German car maker. Warwick’s family and friends were among those caught up in the VW craze, with a succession of Beetles and Kombis parked in the driveway and used as the family car and weekend escape vehicle. In 1961 his mum and dad bought a brand new Beetle with the registration HDC-927. The family referred to the bug as Hot Dog Cart, and his father even joked that VW stood for Von Wrangles.

    In 1967 Warwick followed suit and bought his first Volkswagen, an Australian manufactured 1300 Deluxe. Sadly he only kept the car for a couple of years before trading it on something ‘sportier’. Through the 70s and 80s he was without a VW, but he enjoyed the company of friends who were passionate about the marque. A fishing mate owned a Kombi Camper with a wild Webber motor, that had heaps of torque and rescued many a boatie who had backed their trailer off the bottom of the ramp. Warwick borrowed this Kombi a couple of times to go camping, and even though these bricks on wheels proved versatile, it was not the VW model Warwick finally settled on. His fishing friend also happened to own a #Karmann-Ghia cabriolet, and it was the one and only drive of this soft top that made a lasting impression on Warwick. From that day forward a Ghia Cabriolet was the ultimate Wrangles’ VW.

    In 1990 it was not a Ghia, but the original #1961 family Beetle that came into his possession. His parents gave it to him after something broke (Warwick can’t recall what, but his parents did not wish to fix it). The plan was to restore the bug, and with sons of his own, he and the boys began to visit a few VW shows and read every VW publication available at the time. Coincidentally, Warwick also worked in the toy industry, and naturally began to amass a sizeable collection of VW die cast cars and some radio controlled Beetles, a collection which he still has today. The family driveway also began to fill with life-size VWs, with his eldest son purchasing a 1500 Squareback and a #1966 #VW-Type-34 shell towed home for a planned restoration. Unfortunately, both cars were sold for a hot Torana, and the Wrangles’ household were once again VW poor.

    A job change, a move to Qld and a serious accident in 1992, dampened, but did not deter Warwick’s car passion. The planned restoration of the 1961 bug had been quashed when Warwick’s sons decided it would look better as a buggy and was subsequently wrecked (another story). So in 1996 he purchased a stick shift 1972 Superbug that he could drive and enjoy in light of his injuries. The ‘72 performed the daily driver role admirably, but his heart was still set on a Ghia Cabriolet, automatic no less. Did such a rare beast exist? Indeed one did, and Warwick remembers the exact day he spotted the Ghia cabriolet with the VW Automatic script on the decklid - 10th July 1998.


    The Cabriolet was parked outside a Japanese restaurant in Broadbeach, and Warwick left a note under the windscreen wiper asking if the owner wanted to sell it. As luck would have it, the owner rang him back that same day and explained he had just bought another car and the Ghia was for sale. Warwick went straight back to the restaurant car park, took the KG for a drive and settled on a price right there and then.

    For all intensive purposes the Cabriolet looked immaculate, and for some years it maintained that allure, until bubbles began to appear and paint started flaking off. Warwick suspected the bubbles and flaking paint were hiding more than just a quick fix, and with his wife Trish insisting that he have the car fixed so he could enjoy it, he decided the car should be professionally repaired. As an avid reader of VWMA, Warwick was impressed with the work of Alan Agyik and the team at Das Resto Haus, so after an introduction and a visual inspection of the car, Alan and Warwick agreed that Das Resto Haus would take up the challenge. And what a challenge it became.

    After a strip and blast (which included unpicking the chassis from the floorpan which had been welded together), the Ghia revealed every panel was either riddled with rust or had been subjected to poor repair work. The Ghia had also been a left hand drive originally, and the conversion was poorly done. Added to this was extensive accident damage to the left rear and front right. The body was teetering on the edge of a basket case, and the bill to repair it would be quite substantial. After discussing alternative strategies including starting with a better LHD shell from overseas, Warwick took a leap of faith and asked Alan to work with what he had brought him. And so it began.

    Brad Condran and Barry Thompson were given the task of repairs, with Brad largely doing most of the fabrication work. A cabriolet always presents an extra level of difficulty due to the additional strengthening panels and sections used to reinforce the body, and the blast revealed that most of these inner, hidden strengthening sections would either need replacing or repairing. The list included, but was not limited to the lower sections of both doors, the bonnet (badly warped from previous repair work), left hand side rear quarter, inner guard and engine bay surround, both inner and outer sills and B-pillars, left hand c-pillar, heater channels, both front guards, especially the right guard, along with both headlight buckets, wheel well, rear cargo floor and firewall and both pan halves replaced. The right hand drive conversion also had to be improved. In total well over 70% of the Ghia needed new, fabricated or repaired metal. The Ghia was essentially a new car.

    There were times during the metal and rust repair work when even Warwick doubted his original decision, but the work that Alan and his teamed performed on the Ghia is nothing short of remarkable. The Ghia is now perfectly aligned and all the gaps are uniform and correct tolerance. Most of the repair work is better than from the factory, and Warwick can rest easy knowing that the Ghia will last well beyond another Wrangle generation. To celebrate the re-birth, Warwick chose not to stay with the black at the time of purchase, but rather paint the cabriolet in the original colour L20E Signal Orange. This colour certainly announces its arrival wherever it goes.

    The 1600 twin port engine and semi-auto transmission were both rebuilt, but remain stock, although the muffler and heater boxes were ceramic coated for longevity. All the running gear was refurbished, with the stock width beam receiving adjusters and the brakes swapped for new items with Porsche 5x130 stud pattern to accept chrome Porsche 911 alloys, 15x4.5 and 15x5.5 front and rear respectively wrapped in Yokohama Blue Earth 185/65 R15 rubber. Resetting the height was a slight challenge, as the KG comes factory with double IRS spring plates. Alan had to fabricate a spring plate adjusting tool to allow him to reset the rear torsion bars one spline.

    The sensational interior was the work of Willem Roozendaal of Platinum Trimming. The seats and door cards are wrapped in Austex Pellan Ultimate in a colour called Mondo. Accented by orange stitching the seats are almost too good to sit on. Toast Bake carpet creates a wonderful contrast, and the Oyster Hood came from Robbins in the US and was trimmed by Willem to fit perfectly. Willem also created the custom gear shift boot which incorporates zips so that, if needed, access to the auto stick shift electrics is made easier. The steering wheel is the original, as are the gauges, but Warwick has plans to refurbish the gauges when time allows. A new loom with some additional custom wiring was plumbed in.

    Not that Warwick meant to count the days, but as the Ghia continued to throw up unexpected challenges, the whole process from strip to street took 2 years, 10 months and 8 days. The bank balance also took a hit, beyond what the car could ever be sold for, but Warwick has no intention of parting with his auto treasure. Hindsight being what it is, Warwick admits changing tack after the sand blast may have been the better option, and even though Alan believes this KG hates him, the final product is beyond his wildest expectations. There was a lot of pain and anguish to present the Cabriolet in all its Signal Orange glory, but when the VW Automatic script was eventually returned to its rightful decklid place, the joy of driving his lifelong obsession quickly surpassed what had gone before. It was worth the effort.
    What had they started..? ..the one and only drive of the KG set Warwick’s mind...


    // Find the full resto photos at #Drive-My Cars Clubs //
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Subtle Six The new and improved version of the current 6 Series is here. According to BMW the updated 6 Series focuses on its sporting side but the updates it has made won’t change the car’s main role as the consummate GT Words: Shane O’Donoghue Photography: #BMW-F13 .

    Given the exceptional success of the four-door 6 Series Gran Coupé, it’s a little surprising to turn up in Lisbon to test the range’s mid-life update and there’s none to be had. Instead we can choose between a Melbourne Red Convertible or the Mediterranean Blue Coupé you see pictured here. Astoundingly, the Gran Coupé now accounts for almost half of all 6 Series sales, so perhaps it doesn’t need a leg-up. In contrast, BMW UK sold only half as many 6 Series Coupés last year, at 729 units, a figure that’s been steadily declining since the car’s launch in 2012. Good timing for a revamp then.

    But this mid-life update is, as is BMW’s wont, a mild one. BMW’s marketing bumf seems calculated to pre-empt our comments on that front by pointing out all the design awards the 6 Series range has already accrued. The subtext is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, so at a glance not everyone will spot the exterior design changes. Up front, the kidney grille has been subtly tweaked. There are now nine vertical bars in each of the wide openings, instead of ten, the intention being a visual widening of the nose. Those uprights are black in the six-cylinder models and matt aluminium for eight-cylinder cars. More obvious is the new front bumper, with its wide black section shaped like that of the 4 Series range. It too adds to the impression of a wider car. Within that is a three element LED fog lamp. Full LED headlights are fitted as standard across the range, the indicators have been moved to the top of the lamp unit and the light signature has been updated – it’s now quite distinctive at night. At the side, the only real change (other than new wheel options) comes in the form of restyled door mirrors, incorporating the indicators. The rear end is left well alone, too, other than a resculpted bumper, though the exhaust outlets have been enlarged a tad on the six-cylinder versions.

    The updates to the interior are more difficult to spot – unless you’re an existing 6 Series owner, of course. The black panel look to the air conditioning controls has been updated, as has the glass-fronted free-standing iDrive display screen. All versions of the 6 Series come as standard with dual-zone climate control, USB ports, Enhanced Bluetooth with voice activation, BMW Advanced Loudspeaker system, BMW Professional Multimedia, Park Distance Control, leather upholstery with contrast stitching, heated front seats, electrically folding door mirrors, the new LED foglights and a minimum 18-inch wheel diameter.

    Sport models are upgraded with 19-inch rims, a chrome finish for the exhaust tips and kidney grille uprights, and Nappa leather upholstery on ‘Comfort’ seats. The M Sport cars promise to be more distinctive again, gaining M double spoke alloys (still 19-inches in diameter – 20-inch rims are optional), an M Sport styling kit, coloured brake callipers and interior enhancements including a multifunction M Sport steering wheel and ‘Sport’ seats.

    All three body styles share the same core specification, though the Convertible benefits from Sun Reflective Technology for its Dakota leather trim, while the Gran Coupé’s rear seat back splits and folds 60:40. As before, it’s defined as a ‘4+1’ seating arrangement, with the unlucky fifth occupant perching atop the raised centre section.

    As ever, the cabin is a lesson in sporting luxury, with more of an emphasis on the comfort and quality than the sportiness. It feels like a lavish, extravagant car from the inside, which goes some way to justifying the lofty pricing. The entry-level model is the 640i, featuring the well-proven turbocharged in-line six.

    That’s £60,630 on-the-road in Coupé format, £62,375 as a Gran Coupé or a faintly eye-watering £66,760 for the 640i Convertible. For the mid-life face-lift this engine is more efficient than ever and it comes with a sports exhaust as standard, but those with an eye on fuel economy will stick with the best all-rounder: the 640d. That starts at £63,130, is just as fast against the clock as the 640i (faster in the mid-range thanks to its thumping torque output), and is far better in terms of economy and Benefit-in-Kind affecting emissions. It returns an official 54.3mpg and emits as low as 139g/km (as a two-door coupé).


    The range-topper (excluding the #BMW-M6 , which has also been updated) is the #BMW-650i-F13 , powered as ever by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine and it now costs £69,785 for the SE or £72,385 for the M Sport we have here. The melodious powerplant rumbles away quietly when you’re ambling around, with just enough noise to make it obvious you’re driving something interesting. And there’s plenty of interest from an engine that can propel this large GT to 62mph from rest in just 4.6 seconds. That’s thanks to 450hp at 5500-6000rpm and a beefy 479lb ft of torque on tap from just 2000rpm all the way around to 4500rpm. With such outputs there’s no need to stir the gearbox but BMW’s standard-fit eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission is, as ever, exceptional.

    It’s perfectly smooth and refined when you’re in no hurry, slipping between ratios seamlessly and enabling silky progress at low speeds. But step things up a notch and the gearbox responds in kind. Its calibration is altered depending on which driving mode you choose and you can slot the lever into the Sport setting or take over control for yourself via the paddles at any time. Full-bore upshifts are hammered home suitably quickly, while downchanges are punctuated by gratuitous throttle blips, justifying your V8 purchase. #BMW has tweaked the chassis of the 6 Series moderately too, with firmer rubber bushings, remapped power steering and retuned dampers. Unfortunately, the test cars at the international launch were all equipped with expensive driving options like Integral Active Steering and Dynamic Damper Control.

    The former adds a little rear-wheel steering, in the same direction as the front wheels for high-speed stability and in the opposite direction for a more agile feeling in tight corners or for parking. So-equipped, the 6 Series certainly feels up the demands of a twisty road, with little effort required to make indecent progress. The only limiting factor seems to be the appreciable width of the car. Narrow, hedge-lined B-roads are not this model’s natural habitat, although with the Dynamic Damper Control system fitted, owners can choose the appropriate damping for the road conditions, giving the car a wider operating window. It’s effective and integrated with the usual Driving Performance Control switch on the centre console offering Comfort Plus, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus options.

    While the #BMW-650i #F13 #2015 is a bit of fun when the mood takes you, its girth and weight soon make themselves known, the latter when you start leaning harder on the brakes or ask for rapid direction changes. It competently handles it all, but you get the feeling it’s being pushed outside its comfort zone. Dial the speed back a bit and it’s at its best, a luxurious, stylish, wellequipped and rather desirable GT car, offering up fast transport for two with plenty of space in the boot for some suitably expensive luggage. Nonetheless, even if we didn’t need the extra legroom and easier access to the back seats afforded by the Gran Coupé’s additional doors, it’s still the pick of the range. It’s easy to see why it’s 6 Series buyers’ favourite model too.

    At a glance not everyone will spot the exterior design changes.
    The engine can propel this large GT to 62mph from rest in just 4.6 seconds.

    TECH DATA

    2015 #BMW-650i-M-Sport-F13
    ENGINE: V8, 32-valve twin-turbo
    CAPACITY: 4395cc
    MAX POWER: 450hp @5500-6000rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 479lb ft @ 2000-4500rpm
    0-62MPH: 4.6 seconds
    TOP SPEED: 155mph
    ECONOMY: 32.9mpg
    EMISSIONS: 199g/km
    PRICE (OTR): £72,385
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  •   Adam Towler reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    BOOTY CALL

    The #BMW-Z3M Coupé has a lot of charm; with a turbocharger and 550whp this example is one sexy Breadvan. The big-bottomed #BMW-Z3 M Coupé is something of a cult classic and while it’s not universally loved, with a turbo under the bonnet it’s hard to hate… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Darren Maybury. #BMW-E36/7

    At 22 I was driving 1.0-litre Citroen Saxo; at 22 Andrei Spirin is driving a turbocharged Z3 M Coupé, so it’s safe to say that he’s doing okay for himself. And that’s good news for the BMW world because he’s built himself a pretty tasty #Z3 M Coupé. In the UK we call it the bread van; in the States it’s the clown shoe. Whatever you call it, it’s fair to say that the Z3 Coupé was a bit of an oddball and even the M Coupé, the only version we received in the UK, didn’t exactly meet with universal praise. There was something about it, though, something about its ungainliness and bulbous rear that attracted a number of people and today it’s accepted as a bit of a cult classic.


    It’s funny how the Z4 M Coupé tried to bring back that bootylicious body but was just a bit too conventional-looking really and then Ferrari went and brought out the FF, which is a scaled-up M Coupé if ever we saw one. And speaking of seeing one, when’s the last time you did? We can’t recall but it was definitely a while ago; this car is not a common sight in the wild.

    So cult classic; potentially a bit of an investment; rare to boot – it’s all about keeping them standard, surely? Well, skyrocketing values never stopped anyone from modifying their E30 M3 and it’s pleasing to see someone like Andrei going all out on their M Coupé. He’s most definitely not been shy with this car.

    Growing up, Andrei’s middle brother Gennady first got him into cars. Then his brother’s roommate at college, Pete, introduced him to BMWs via an S52- swapped E30 M3, which has the same engine that powers this Z3, as it happens. Pete showed Andrei the world of meets and street racing and taught him a lot about BMWs. Andrei actually now works for Pete at his company, Offcamber Motorsport, doing everything from fitting superchargers to building engines, hands-on skills that come in more than a bit handy when it comes to, say, modifying your BMW…

    “My first car was also my first BMW,” says Andrei when we delve into this motoring past. “It was an E39 M5 and I learned the hard way why you should never to buy a 2000 M5 as it was an early model and constantly had issues. It was a nightmare to own but I had some amazing times in it. I also knew how to take the whole top side of the engine off blindfolded because I did it so many times. I was a typical teenager at the time. I inherited $10k from my grandma who passed away. I wanted to get an E36 M3 but at the time I only had my permit, which meant my dad was always driving with me. My dad looks like Santa Claus so he would have looked a bit odd in an M3, so we decided to get a E39 M5 instead so that he would not look too out of place. We went to go look at one which was beautiful and cheap. It had a Supersprint exhaust which was the selling point for me. It was really fast, too. The M5 was the first car I modified. I didn’t go too crazy on the mods because I was spending most of my money fixing it but my favourite mod was the electronic exhaust cut-out valve I fitted before the silencers. I mounted the switch by the sunroof button so it felt like a fighter jet when I engaged it.”


    After owning an E39 M5 as a first car, the only logical progression for car number two was… another E39 M5, obviously! But when that was written off after someone ran a red light and drove into it, Andrei knew that the M Coupé was what he wanted: “After the accident I started looking around and found this Imola red one in February 2011. It was two hours away and had been on sale for a while. It had 58,000 miles on it and some very tasteful suspension mods carried out, which was the main selling point for me.” Despite being a pretty rapid machine, after owning two slabs of German muscle the M Coupé didn’t impress Andrei in terms of performance front although when he hit the twisties he quickly realised just how capable it was on the handling front. Of course, working at Offcamber Motorsports and with a taste for modified metal, the M Coupé was never going to stay (relatively) stock for long and having planned to turbocharge his ex-M5, it made sense to transfer those plans across to the Z3.

    “My whole turbo setup came about after a deal that I made with my friends,” Andrei explains. “When my M5 got totalled, the drivetrain was fine and I still had an immaculate interior. My buddy, Jon Valia, who had his car featured in this magazine a couple of years ago (a turbo S38 E30 M3) had an M5 shell that he got from one of his buddies which needed a motor and interior. So we came to a deal where I would give him those items and he would build me a turbo setup for my car. The whole first part of my build was done by him; we took the motor out at his house and he started fabbing the downpipe while Pete helped do the head gasket and head studs on the motor. After a month into the build Jon had to bail because his wife had a baby and didn’t have enough time to work on the car and I felt bad about always bugging him. So we took the car to Pete shop’s and finished it at Offcamber. Pete and I worked on the car for another two months before it was finished.

    “I wanted to make 500whp and S52s are more than capable of doing that on stock internals. The car currently makes 550whp on 17psi. The setup has worked flawlessly and the engine has held up perfectly. It had 100,000 miles on it when I finished the conversion and it’s currently on 150,000 miles. The car has been my daily driver for two years and it worked faultlessly with no issues. To this date I am surprised as to how the S52 handled the boost so well for so long, and it has seen a lot of racing, too.” At the heart of the turbo kit sits a Precision 6262 ball bearing turbo with a Tredstone intercooler helping to chill the intake air and a thicker MLS .140 head gasket has been fitted to lower the compression ratio, along with a set of ARP head studs. A set of 60lb injectors ensure that the engine gets plenty of fuel, backed up by a Walbro 255lph fuel pump.

    Pop that huge clamshell bonnet and you’ll be greeted by the sight of, well, not a lot really as the turbo is tucked down by the side of the engine and the only bits you can actually see are the oversized induction kit and the Tial 55mm blow-off valve. It’s not a showy engine but the rest of the car’s not exactly shy…

    It must be said that Imola red works so well on the M Coupé. The bold, bright colour really suits the car’s striking shape and it’s the sort of car that doesn’t really need any styling to get it looking perfect. About the only external mods here are those Umnitza headlights and the stone guards, something of a necessity due to the M Coupé’s rather wide hips. But the bulk of the visual impact is purely down to the colour and the wheels. Where pretty much everyone is going bigger, Andrei has bucked the trend and gone for a set of 17s, which is pretty much unheard of on the modified BMW scene. While these are surprisingly small they are plenty wide and a perfect fit for the M Coupé. “I always wanted a nice set of deep-dish wheels,” says Andrei, “and about a year ago I finally managed to pick up these Fikse FM10s, which were my dream wheels. I couldn’t be any happier and the best part is that they were specifically designed for the M Coupé as they were built by my buddy, Jon Thayer, who also has a turbo M Coupé.” These sexy cross-spokes measure a meaty 9.5” up front and 11” at the rear, the latter being wrapped in massively wide 315/35 Toyo R888s which help the Z3 put the power down.

    Having had a taste of the Z3’s handling prowess it’s no surprise to learn that Andrei has gone to town on the suspension mods to bring out the best in the Z3’s chassis. A set of TCK S/A coilovers has been fitted along with aluminium control arms, solid monoball mounts, a set of Treehouse Racing FCABs, a H&R anti-roll bar along with an E36 M3 Convertible support brace and a Randy Forbes subframe reinforcement kit. That comprehensive suspension line-up means this Z3’s chassis is razor-sharp and that it’s not all about the straight-line speed. Awesome suspension mods are all well and good but if you’re flopping about on crappy seats you’re not going to enjoy the drive, which is why Andrei has added some decidedly unfrivolous interior upgrades. “Before the turbo setup I did a lot of road course days hence why I have the Bride seats in there, along with the harness and harness bar,”

    Andrei tells us. “The stock interior from factory is, in my opinion, one of BMW’s best. My M Coupé has the two tone Imola/black interior and I wouldn’t change a thing on it.” Andrei wanted to carry over the clean, stock philosophy from his exterior over to the interior and so decided against a big A-pillar gauge pod, opting instead for a custom dash-top pod, one of just ten ever made specifically for the Z3 by a Bimmerforums member. It looks extremely discreet and houses a Prosport boost and fuel pressure gauges along with an Innovate AFR gauge. He’s also fitted a Momo Millennium steering wheel and a ZHP gear knob along with a UUC short-shift kit. From massive engine mods to a set of serious chassis upgrades and a generous sprinkling of the perfect finishing touches, Andrei has built himself one red-hot bombshell of a Z3 M Coupé. Whatever your feelings on BMW’s loveable oddball may be, this is one shoe-van-thing that will rock anybody’s world.

    DATA FILE #BMW-Z3-M-Coupe #S52

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.2-litre straight-six #S52B32 , Precision 6262 ball bearing turbo, SPA log manifold, Tredstone intercooler, MLS .140 head gasket, ARP head studs, #Walbro 255lph fuel pump, 60lb Injectors, Tial 55 BOV, Tial 38 external wastegate, Haldman boost controller, Technica Motorsport tune, standard five-speed manual gearbox, UUC short-shift kit. 550whp @ 17psi.

    CHASSIS: 9.5x17” (front) and 11x17” (rear) Fikse FM10 wheels custom-made in Z3 fitment with 245/40 (front) and 315/35 (rear) tyres. TCK S/A coilovers with 400 (front) and 600 (rear) spring rates, aluminium control arms, solid monoball mounts, Treehouse Racing FCABs, H&R anti-roll bar, E36 M3 Convertible support brace, #H&R rear adjustable springs, H&R rear dampers, Randy Forbes subframe reinforcement kit.

    EXTERIOR: Umnitza Projector ZII headlights, stone guards.

    INTERIOR: Bride Zeta 3 seats on VAC mounts, Sparco harness bar, Driver Has Impact five-point harness, #ZHP gear knob, #MOMO Millennium steering wheel, custom gauge pod (1 of 10 ever made) fitted with Prosport boost and fuel pressure gauges, Innovate AFR gauge.

    These Fikse FM10s were my dream wheels… I couldn’t be any happier.

    17” wheels work really well on the Z3 M Coupé and those fat tyres help put all that power down.
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  •   Keith Adams reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    BMW CONCEPTS: The cars they could have made. #BMW Concepts - how about a #BMW-Z4-M-Coupé that looks like a Mille Miglia car? With the underpinnings shared from an M car, a lightweight body and nostalgic styling, this concept car celebrated the a past master in style…

    Sometimes, it’s nice to see concept cars built just for a bit of fun. The #BMW-Concept-Coupé-Mille-Miglia from #2006 wasn’t ever intended to become BMW’s next budding sports car, or to exhibit the company’s latest technical innovations. Instead, it was simply built to commemorate a great moment in BMW’s past; the 328 Coupé’s landslide victory on the #1940 900-kilometre #Mille-Miglia race, which it won by more than a 15-minute margin.

    To celebrate, BMW created this nostalgic #BMW-328-Coupé homage, as a modern take on an old style. BMW stated; ‘With its unique concept study, the developers and designers in the BMW Group are showing how traditional values, modern expertise and visions can be unified into a fascinating vehicle.’ It certainly was fascinating. The concept was largely based upon Z4 M Coupé mechanicals but with bigger overall dimensions, being some 23cm longer, 14cm wider and 4cm lower. Although that made it fairly big, it was actually very light, as despite the car looking like it was made from aluminium, just as the original 328 was, the entire body was actually made out of lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and then painted a fine shade of silver.

    The material might be different but styling closely followed the original 328’s, from the large round headlights, huge vertical kidney grilles, long bonnet and sweeping front wheel housings through to the low windscreen, streamlined roof line and angled rear wings. The rear of the roof section featured an asymmetrical design, complete with a large, narrow LED taillight that ran across the whole back section. To match the rear light, the headlight panels also featured a series of LEDs. There were no doors and access to the cabin area involved lifting the entire roof section upwards and back. Once in the open position it revealed a somewhat sparse interior, which was dominated by the rollcage.

    The huge arches were filled with equally huge specially developed 20-inch wheels and were fitted with 245/40 20 tyres. These were actually a little skinny in reality, as the Z4 M’s complete engine and running gear was also fitted. That meant a 3.2-litre straight-six engine producing 343hp, connected to a six-speed manual gearbox. The concept car also featured a revised intake and exhaust system for an improved soundtrack.

    As mentioned, BMW never had an intention of releasing the Mille Miglia, although the CFRP bodyshell suggested it may well have gained some useful experience working with the exotic material. Regardless, it’s a pretty concept car and no doubt a fitting tribute to BMW’s 1940 success. #BMW-328-Kamm-Coupe
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  •   Iain Curry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    SPOKE TOO SOON

    Problems strike the classic #Mercedes-Benz saloon, forcing its jinxed owner to conduct some thorough investigation work.

    Typical, in my last Running Report (see the December #2014 edition), I mentioned my growing confidence in the W108’s ability to cover the miles without a hiccup, only for the thing to slap me in the face and give me a rather testing time as I found myself heading back through central London one evening.

    After enjoying a day in Northampton with my nephew, his partner and their two little ones, my wife and I settled into the W108 for the journey home, expecting it to be as uneventful, though enjoyable, as the trip up there earlier in the day.
    All was well on the M1 motorway, with the traffic moving freely, so we soon found ourselves at Marble Arch in London, ready to do battle on the urban drag strip that is Park Lane’s chaotic southbound carriageway.

    Swiftly away from the lights, I detected an ever so brief misfire from the engine as I gathered pace. I backed off the throttle as I hit the 40mph limit and all seemed well. At the next set of lights the same thing occurred, only this time it continued - maybe only a couple of cylinders missing every 10 seconds or so, but it was there. Clear of Hyde Park
    Corner, thankfully, I headed for a garage on Vauxhall Bridge Road where I pulled in and popped the bonnet.

    With a check of all the electrical connections, just to make sure everything was still securely attached, and no obvious problem found (I had no test equipment with me), I closed the bonnet and headed home, the misfire gradually becoming more pronounced. The final mile saw the misfire joined by a regular knocking sound that was related to engine speed. I was not happy. I parked up the saloon and walked home, pondering the possibilities. The final mile saw the misfire joined by a regular knocking sound. Surface rust on the distributor shaft won't be helping matters.

    TESTING TIMES

    Returning a few days later to try and make a quick diagnosis, I backed the car out of the garage and headed off around the block to see how it behaved. Very well was the answer, the knocking was there, but the engine purred with no sign of the misfire that had dogged the final miles a few days before.

    Back at the garage, I removed the distributor cap to find the rotor arm and points in not too bad condition, though the distributor shaft did have a coating of surface rust on it, which made me wonder if perhaps the advance weights may be suffering the same fate, and therefore not moving freely to provide the ignition advance. Beyond that though, all connections were solid and good, including the earth straps.

    Turning my attention to the knocking noise, I used a 10mm metal rod as a stethoscope, holding one end to my ear while pressing the other end to various parts of the running engine to try and isolate the knocking. This may sound daft, but it is an incredibly effective technique. Sensing it was at the front of the engine, I started with the water pump, which sounded good (obviously you have to be very careful of the spinning fan blades) before turning my attention to the alternator, where I heard something akin to a hammer going round in a tumble dryer. Clearly one of the bearings was not happy.

    I have a spare alternator on the shelf so keeping the car running will not be a problem, but what is annoying is the fact that the alternator was only rebuilt in September 2012, including new be arings, and since then the car has only covered 1,900 miles. Time to get the spanners out and investigate further.

    CAR #Mercedes-Benz #1971 #W108 #280SE
    OWNER Eric Richardson
    UPDATES SINCE LAST REPORT A joyful drive in the W108 ends in frustration as a poorly alternator causes all sorts of running problems.
    LOCATION London. UK
    PURCHASED September 2011
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