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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 9 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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  •   MaxNew reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    SIDEWAYS SHOW CAR Turbo #BMW-E30-Drift-Car

    Sometimes we find a #BMW that’s had so many changes it’s hard to spot them all. Ian Walpole’s E30 drifter is one such car and he did it all in his garage at home… Words: Mike Renaut. Photos: Matt Richardson.

    Don’t think of this one as a modified E30. It’s better described as a hand-built race car with a lot of BMW parts. At first glance it looks like a stripped M3 until you realise those arches aren’t quite the same and the back end looks different too… The guys with all the answers are owner Ian Walpole and his mate John Amor who helped him greatly with the build. Between them they’ve built and raced everything from a rally Vauxhall Viva HB to a trials Land Rover. They like a bit of everything, so in 2013 decided it was time for a drift car. “I’ve been into BMWs for a while,” says Ian, “I’ve got an E46 Touring I use for MCC Reliability trials with my dad as navigator – that’s all about stopping in boxes on hills and car control. This E30 was something different again.

    “It took us three years to build,” continues Ian, “I don’t know how my wife Sasha put up with it. Just before we went travelling - around 2011 - I’d bought a #1987 #BMW-325i-Sport-M-Tech-1 purely to drive about. It sat on the driveway unused and when we returned I saw rain had got inside and it was all mouldy. After an MOT and some TLC I tried selling but it wasn’t even worth £1000 so I bought an HX40 turbo and a manifold kit for it. The kit was awful, the ports were offset in the wrong place and John and I like to do things properly, so we started to modify parts to fit and the whole build spiralled out of control.”

    Caged Laser Engineering laser-cut a plate to fit the turbo and another to fit the cylinder head. “We then cut up the cheap manifold and fabricated new flanges and pipes creating a split pulse manifold with external 60mm wastegate and a screamer pipe exiting from the offside wing,” says Ian. “Then someone offered me £700 for the Sport body kit meaning we had money to play with. We pulled the motor apart and the crank was worn, so in went a 2.8 crank from an M52 and shorter rods, we balanced it all to within 0.1 of a gram and honed the block.” As you can tell, Ian has a well-equipped workshop…

    Next the head was reworked by Simon at Orchard Performance for a broad torque band, with oversized valves and porting allowing decent horsepower from a non-aggressive Schrick camshaft. The combustion chambers were modified to improve detonation resistance under boost and optimise combustion, resulting in a fastburning compact chamber that now runs cooler than stock. That alone resulted in an engine with torque enough to get the rear wheels spinning from 2500rpm to the redline. One of the few other areas the guys didn’t do themselves was the baffled sump, “We made one,” says John, “but kept thinking it didn’t quite look right. We reasoned that big companies know what they’re doing when it comes to designing parts, and the idea of oil starvation because we’d made a design mistake was scary, so we bought an off-the-shelf baffle for the sump and welded it in.”

    Currently the car runs 6psi of boost, which means 250whp. “On the first dyno run the boost was cranked up to 12psi which produced a puff of steam from the expansion tank and a misfire,” remembers Ian. “I knew the head gasket was the weakest point but I briefly saw 350whp! We’ve now fitted a Cometic multilayer steel gasket which is thicker than the old one, lowering the compression from 9:1 to 8.5:1 and allowing us to safely run extra boost.” That nitrous bottle in the back actually connects to the chargecooler, a £1000 item bought for just £70 on eBay, “We made a spray nozzle on the lathe so 2bar of pressurised nitrous is fired into the cooler, which freezes the inner radiator veins at -136ºC. This provides constant cool air to the engine,” he says. “I didn’t like the idea of injecting nitrous straight into the engine,” explains Ian, “but used this way it’s a great method of keeping the temperature regulated. When the car’s on the dyno being tuned it’s going to have a different temperature to when it’s outside on a track in hot sunshine.

    This set up keeps it constant to the dyno temperature conditions.” Waste nitrous exits via a pressure relief valve and homebuilt spray bar over the outside of the charge cooler – again helping it keep an optimum temperature. After all that, the boys kept things simpler with the gearbox; it’s the standard 265 Getrag five-speed unit with uprated pressure plate, although the friction plate has been modified with six sintered paddles and uprated springs by Precision Clutches of Yeovil.


    When it came to the body work, there was a clear plan, as Ian explains: “Building this car was all about airflow and weight saving.” The standard bonnet slam panel was getting in the way of that airflow so out came the angle grinder and the front 10” of BMW dropped to the workshop floor to be replaced by a removable lightweight 25mm tube version. “Yeah it’s a bit frightening doing that,” admits John, “but there are two of us so we knew we could fix anything between us.” Keeping the engine cool is a radiator from a 3.0-litre Mitsubishi GTO, but even then the guys couldn’t leave it stock and have handmade an alloy cowling for the 16” fan, “We also cut off the filler neck/cap and ran a bleed hose to an alloy expansion tank.” The fuel cell in the boot was bought from a hill climb car, “It’s an ATL-style bag tank with alloy shroud and the original BMW fuel cap – one of the few original parts that survived the build,” laughs Ian. Fuel travels via a low-pressure pump into a pump feed surge tank to a modified fuel rail and 600cc injectors, then returns to the tank via an adjustable pressure regulator.

    The front spoiler and bumper came from eBay; “It was a cheap part that arrived broken in two. We salvaged it and reinforced it with 0.5” alloy tubing and fibreglass, then cut out the indicator and number plate recesses for better air flow before hanging the bumper on quarter-turn Dzus fasteners,” explains John. The new arches were inspired by a modification Ian made to an Alfa Romeo many years ago and are hand-formed from 16- and 18-gauge steel, while each of the side skirts was made from a single sheet of aluminium, likewise the rear bumper.

    “The straight bends for the side skirts were much easier than the two days of TIG welding that bumper needed,” admits Ian. As for the final colour, “The guy who painted it – Luke Harvey of Tytherington Body and Paint - suggested adding rainbow flake into the lacquer over the black base.” It looks like a normal black until sunlight hits it, then it sparkles. Almost everything else is colour coded in Ian’s favourite Kawasaki Green.

    The boot lid is steel but there’s a carbon fibre one under consideration, “With a drift car you need a certain amount of weight over the back wheels,” says Ian, “we’re still experimenting – it’s more about balance than pure weight reduction.” That’s an M3 boot spoiler but with homemade adaptor plates to fit the non-M3 boot lid. “I fear we might have to fit a huge spoiler for stability in the future though…” says Ian. The weight saving even extends to having the door internals completely gutted and making up new lightweight door latching mechanisms from 15mm billet alloy – drilled, of course, for reduced weight.

    The E30 originally had a sunroof but now even the roof panel is fibreglass - saving 18kg and lowering the centre of gravity. “The roof was £67 on eBay but turned out to be in Glasgow,” laughs John, “we went in a van and did about £200 in fuel; I drove up and fell asleep exhausted when we arrived, so they just dropped the roof in on top of me and Ian drove back. It fitted alright once we cut the steel one off but the glue you use to bond it is £50 a tube.”

    The front screen is the glass one fitted at the factory but the rest of the windows are Lexan, “I bought the door pieces ready cut but made the others myself with a jigsaw to cut the air scoops into the quarter windows,” explains Ian. There are four scoops in total: two force air over the fuel pumps and swirl pot, the other pair are powered by two 12-volt in-line boat fans blowing air through the gearbox and differential coolers – mounted between the rear lights – with the air exiting through the space where the rear number plate used to be.

    The wheels came from Ian’s 2000 750iL; rear hub adaptors were employed to go from four- to five-stud and give an 80mm wider track. The rear suspension comprises HSD Monopro shocks and springs and adjustable trailing arms, all shod with Powerflex Black series bushes. The rear beam lower supports, meanwhile, are now also stronger and longer, which leads us to the front axle. It’s comprised of E36 HSD coilovers with re-drilled strut turrets and top mounts that are adjustable for caster and camber. E36 front hubs run homebuilt hub adaptors and connect to a Z3 steering rack via E46 inner and outer tie rods with four mm rack spacers added for greater lock. The power steering rack is re-engineered by cutting slots internally, allowing free movement of the rack lubricated by a smear of grease and meaning the pipework, pump and reservoir could be removed. That change not only saves weight but also gives better feedback during drifting.
    As for the exhaust system, would it surprise you to learn Ian and John hand built that too from 3” stainless steel tubing? “I cut two 90º bends and joined them to form a T-piece, the exhaust exits just ahead of the rear wheels and as well as being designed for free flow it helps push the tyre smoke back. And there’s plenty of it,” laughs Ian, “I’ve got specialised Achilles purple smoke tyres.”

    Inside two Sparco seats make up the minimalist interior with a Momo wheel and gauges from AEM. The handmade dashboard is covered in Alcantara while all the other important control switches – fans, gearbox and diff pumps – are in a strip console across the top of the windscreen. “It looks great,” says John, “but when you’re strapped into the car we found that was the only place where Ian could still reach the switches.” Low fuel, nitrous engage and low oil pressure warning lights are also fitted. The handbrake lever is carved from a single piece of billet aluminium, as are the door handles. The roll cage has been extensively modified too; it’s lightweight 45mm chromoly seamless tube and started out as a six-point cage but now has double that - along with dash bars, more crossbars and strengthened mounting plates. Even the stock heater is now housed in a much smaller homemade alloy surround, “There’s not much of this car we haven’t touched,” admits John.

    “When I first saw it in paint I didn’t recognise it as my car,” remembers Ian, “it was stunning. We’re both really pleased with how it turned out.” Did working together ever lead to any arguments about parts choices? “I just left all the difficult decisions to Ian,” laughs John, “Yeah and all the difficult jobs too,” jokes Ian. “It was 50% planning and 50% experimenting, some pieces were a bit scary but we bounced ideas off each other.”

    Ian and John both insist this is a drift car, and was never intended to be a show car, but then Ian reveals just how many hours John has spent polishing the engine bay for our photos. “I used an entire tube of Autosol,” admits John, “we weren’t aiming to build a show car but, yes, it did get out of hand.” Thanks also go to Ian’s wife Sasha who apparently “cleans all the bits no one normally sees.”

    Surely then, and this is a sentiment echoed by almost everyone who has seen the BMW, the car is too nice to risk smacking into an Armco by drifting? “Of course it’s going to get hammered,” agrees Ian, “but it’s designed to be hardy. The body is mainly steel, the fibreglass panels can be changed in a few seconds since they’re all on Dzus fasteners and we can rebuild anything we damage on the track - I just hope Luke can match the paint again!”

    THANKS To the staff and visitors at Castle Combe Circuit (castlecombecircuit.co.uk, 01249 782417) for their assistance with this feature.


    DATA FILE Turbo Drift #BMW-E30 / #Getrag / #BMW-325i-E30 / #BMW-325i / #Holset-HX40 / #Holset / #1987 / #BMW-325i-Turbo-E30 / #BMW-325i-Turbo / #BMW-325i-Drift-Car / #Drift-Car / #BMW-325i-Drift-Car-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #Bosch / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E30

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.8-litre single-turbo straight-six M20, aciddipped #M20B25 / #BMW-M20 / #M20 block, modified baffled sump and oil windage tray for better oil return, M52B28 84mm-stroke crankshaft, #M20B20 conrods, M20B25 low-compression pistons with new rings, modified oil pick up and oil filter relocation kit, #ARP big end and main bearing bolts, #ACL-Racing Race Series crankshaft bearings, Saab 9000 turbo 3bar MAP sensor, original cylinder head gas flowed, ported and polished, 1mm-oversized valves with uprated springs, custom torque-focused inlet porting, high gas velocity exhaust ports, custom combustion chambers, improved oil return galleries, uprated rocker arms, 272 #Schrick cam, #Vernier cam pulley, titanium retainers and collets, #Holset-HX40 turbo from a Cummins diesel, bespoke split pulse exhaust manifold, 60mm external wastegate and screamer pipe exiting offside front wing, Mitsubishi GTO radiator with aluminium expansion tank, Ford V6 coil pack and Canems ECU, crank position, intake air temperature, throttle position and manifold absolute pressure sensors, ATL fuel cell, Facet low-pressure fuel lift pump, fuel surge tank, 255lpm #Bosch-044 fuel pump, modified fuel rail, 600cc injectors, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, low-friction AN-6 Teflon hoses, Aeroquip fittings

    TRANSMISSION E30 325i #Getrag-265 five-speed manual, uprated pressure plate, friction plate modified with six sintered paddles and uprated springs, rebuilt E30 limited slip differential

    CHASSIS 8x18” (front) and 9x18” (rear) #BMW-Style-32 wheels with 215/35 Yokohama Prada Spec 2 (front) and 265/35 Achilles ATR Sport Violet purple smoke tyres (rear), E36 HSD Monopro adjustable coilovers, re-drilled strut turrets and adjustable top mounts, E36 front hubs with homebuilt hub adaptors, Z3 steering rack, E46 inner and outer tie rods with 4mm rack spacers, standard subframe with HSD dampers, uprated Powerflex Black Series bushes, adjustable trailing arms and anti-roll bars, E36 #EBC-Turbo grooved 286mm discs with E36 calipers and EBC Yellowstuff pads (front), EBC Turbo Groove 258mm discs (rear), line lock and hydro handbrake with standard handbrake shoes, mechanism and lever removed

    EXTERIOR 901 Black with rainbow glitter lacquer, other details in Kawasaki Green, handmade steel wide-arch front and rear quarters, handmade side skirts, fibreglass roof panel, hand-fabricated removable lightweight 25mm tube slam panel, hand-formed aluminium inner wings, heavily modified reinforced fibreglass front bumper, flushed door locks and filler cap, Lexan windows with air ducts, Titanium exhaust guards, spare tyre well and battery box removed from boot, handmade aluminium boot floor, original number plate recess, boot hinges and bulkhead removed, new handmade ally bulkhead riveted in, Anodised green motorcycle floodlights, front and rear strobes

    INTERIOR Fully stripped out, all sound deadening removed, floor cut and tunnels for side exiting exhausts fabricated, six-point half roll-cage modified into 12-point cage with 45mm crossbars, handfabricated aluminium dashboard, modified heater box to fit behind cage, hydro handbrake and homemade mounting, Sparco seats and STR 3” harnesses, new door inners with home-fabricated lightweight harness material door pulls and latch mechanisms, carbon fibre door cards
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  •   Rob Scorah reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Classic Car Auctions June sale / #1987 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30


    E30 M3 prices seem to be a little bit all over the place with some of the special edition models selling for far more than their standard counterparts. This example was a Euro-spec machine that had spent its life in Japan and had been recently imported to the UK. It came with an extensive Japanese service history which backed-up the car’s low 58,000km (36,000 miles) indicated mileage. At a smidgen over £36,000 it looked to be priced about right in today’s market.

    SOLD FOR: £36,300
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  •   Rob Scorah reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    / #BMW-Art-Cars / #Michael-Jagamara-Nelson : #BMW E30 M3 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-Art-Car /

    For its seventh Art Car BMW looked south, a long way south, and commissioned an Australian Aboriginal artist.

    Towards the end of the 1980s BMW was expanding rapidly and becoming a more international company. It should have come as no surprise, then, that BMW would look further afield for the artists it would commission for its Art Car project. Thus, in 1989 it turned to a pair of Australian artists and gave them Group A E30 M3s to stamp their work on. The first of these was Aboriginal artist, Michael Jagamara Nelson. Born in Pikili, Australia, in 1949, he is a member of the Warlpiri tribe and grew up in the Aborigine tradition. He learnt the ancient painting techniques used by his ancestors from his grandfather and developed a new style based on them. Since the mid-Eighties Nelson has been considered the leading representative of the Papunya-Tula movement. His outstanding work includes a large mosaic which stands in front of the Australian parliament building in Canberra and an eight-metre-long painting in the foyer of the Sydney Opera House.

    After seven days of hard and meticulous work, Nelson had transformed the black Group A M3 into a masterpiece of Papunya art. However, the geometric shapes only appear to be abstract. To the expert in Aboriginal art they reveal kangaroos or emus. “A car is a landscape as it would be seen from a plane – I have included water, the kangaroo and the opossum,” commented Nelson.

    Papunya paintings embody religious myths (‘dreamings’) passed on for thousands of years by generations of Aborigines in the form of rock and cave paintings. They constitute their cultural roots and are a source of inspiration for the future. The Group A M3 that Nelson painted by hand had previously been one of BMW Australia’s race cars and in #1987 Tony Longhurst drove this car to victory in the Australian AMSCAR Championship. With a 2332cc engine it developed 300hp and had a top speed of 281km/h. It wasn’t raced after Michael Jagamara Nelson had turned it into an Aboriginal work of art.
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  •   Rob Scorah reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Art Cars The eighth machine in the series: Ken Done’s Group A E30 M3. / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-Art-Car / #BMW-M3-Ken-Done / #BMW-M3-E30-Ken-Done / #1989 /

    For its eighth Art Car BMW again looked to Australia, but this time the artist was best known for his design work and brightly coloured images of Australian landmarks / BMW ArtCars / Ken Done E30 M3

    The second Australian Art Car can almost be seen as an opposite to the first Australian Art Car. It was created by an artist who was the youngest ever student to be admitted to East Sydney Tech, an art school in Sydney, who later moved on to become a famous artist who created the logo for the Sydney Olympics, among other things…

    At the early age of 14, #Ken-Done , who was born in Sydney in 1940, began studying art at the National Art School. In the late ‘70s, after 20 years as a commercial artist in Sydney, New York and London, he began painting full-time. Done held his first exhibition in Sydney in 1980, soon becoming one of the most significant painters on the Australian continent. In 1988 he was commissioned with the design of Australia’s and the United Nations’ pavilions at the EXPO in Brisbane, Queensland. His paintings feature vivid colours and brush strokes portraying the typical face of Australia.

    As opposed to Michael Jagamara Nelson, who painted the seventh Art Car we looked at last month, Ken Done was very much of the moment, a product of modern Australia whereas Nelson’s art could trace its roots back to the very beginning of Australian culture, long before it was discovered by the rest of the world.

    Dr Andreas Braun, curator of the BMW Museum in Munich, is in no doubt as to the importance of Done’s M3: “In my opinion it belongs to the highlights of this collection as it took a new direction at the end of the ’80s. The Art Car series is meant to reflect the whole world and Done paints the happiness of his homeland – countryside, sunshine and beaches. His paintings are so colourful, carnal and cheerful that you get the impression that it was the beach fashion of the coming season.”

    From the very beginning, Done knew exactly how the car should be designed. On the one hand he wanted the paintwork to express some of the fascination he held for this high-performance car. At the same time, however, it also had to be typically Australian, reflecting the vitality of his homeland. Done decided in favour of the exotic colours of parrots and parrot fish which, in his view, had two characteristics in common with the M3: beauty and speed. “In that particular area I wanted it to be something about speed. Even when parrots are standing still they look as if they’re about to do something very fast… and that’s the great thing about a BMW, it looks like it’s about to go very fast.”

    The canvas for Done’s art work was the same as Nelson’s, a #1987 #Group-A E30 M3, and given the artist’s fascination with speed it’s perhaps a shame that it never got to race in his livery. There’s no doubt that Done was delighted to have been asked to paint the car though: “In the time in which we live I like to use art to make beautiful things and I just thought this was the most fantastic honour imaginable… it was such a great thing to do.”
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  •   Rob Scorah reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Gorgeous fully-restored E30 M3 racer / ASAHI #BMW-E30 / #BMW-M3 / #Anthony-Reid / #Asahi-Kiko / #Asahi-Kiko-Racing / #BMW-M3-E30 / #BMW-M3-Asahi-Kiko-Racing / #BMW-M3-Asahi-Kiko-Racing-E30 / #BMW-M3-Japanese-Touring-Car-E30 / #Chassis-M31/60 / #BMW-Chassis #M31/60

    Every car travels a unique path, but this ex-Anthony Reid #JTCC-championship contender has had more adventures than most. Words and photography: Chris Nicholls.

    This Sporting Life

    The story behind a beautifully restored ex-Anthony Reid E30 #BMW-M3-Japanese-Touring-Car .


    Jaguar founder, Sir William Lyons, famously said: “The car is the closest thing we will ever create to something that is alive”, and he had a point. There are the obvious operating and character-related similarities, but also the fact that each car ever made always has its own life story. Like their human owners, some cars have mundane lives while others have exciting or tragic ones, but every single one is important, hence our continued documentation of them. This particular car has led possibly one of the most colourful lives, travelling from the UK to Japan, then on to Malaysia, Switzerland, back to the UK and now Australia, where it’s been through six owners in the same number of years! No wonder we wanted to feature it.

    Chassis M31/60 started life in #1987 , when it was purchased by the infamous Middlebridge Racing team. For those who are not be aware, Middlebridge Group was, despite its name, actually a Japaneseowned engineering company that got involved in various automotive adventures, most notably the short-lived resurrection of the Reliant Scimitar and the purchase of the Brabham F1 team from jailed Swiss financier Joachim Luhti. Perhaps predictably, neither of these forays ended well, with the Scimitar project only delivering 77 cars of the 300-a-year it was supposed to make and the F1 team lasting three seasons before the money (loaned from another company – Landhurst Leasing) ran out. In amongst all this trouble though, Middlebridge also purchased two Group-A E30s, one of which has seemingly vanished and the other being the car you see before you.

    According to current maintenance custodian, Chris Bowden (of Ecurie Bowden, who also look after the other Australian-based racing BMWs we’ve been featuring recently), chassis M31/60 did spend some time in Europe after its purchase, but only really sat as a spare car at Spa before eventually being shipped to Japan to compete in the JTCC. There it schlepped around the back of the field in various teams before being picked up by Tomei Sport in 1993 – the last year of Group A in Japan. Thanks to the Japanese penchant for constantly upgrading their cars rather than buying new ones, it had at least been given Evo 2.5-spec components in 1990, but it was only during Tomei’s ownership that it really showed its true potential, and much of that was down to the car’s most famous driver – Anthony Reid.

    Obviously Reid needs no introduction, and thanks to the combination of his and co-driver Atsushi Kawamoto’s skills, and Tomei Sport’s Valvoline and Asahi Kiko funding, the car went from backmarker to championship contender in the space of one year, winning at TI Circuit Aida (now Central Circuit) and taking second at Autopolis, Tokachi and the season finale Intertec 500 at Fuji. Third places at Mine, Tsukuba and Sendai backed things up, and while they were always going to struggle against rival Auto Tech E30’s four straight wins at the start of the season, only Reid and Kawamoto’s poor finishes at Sugo and Suzuka really dashed their chances.

    Unfortunately, after its glorious JTCC run ended, this E30’s life took a turn for the worse. Purchased and raced by a Malaysian businessman who wanted to drive it in a series there, it went from podium regular to backmarker again and was driven so slowly in the half a season it competed that Valvoline’s Malaysian distributor asked the company’s stickers and colours be removed. In replacement, Chris says the owner then painted it a “very dark blue, almost purple colour… with a Super Tourer-esque chequered flag motif running up the centre and onto the roof” akin to the Works Fina machines, but seemingly all that effort was for nought as the car was quickly sold to a Swiss expat living in nearby Singapore who wanted to take it home with him and for use as a hillclimb racer. Chris says this wasn’t a short-term fling either, lasting eight or nine years before the gentleman sold it to the renowned #BMW expert, Alex Elliot, back here in the UK. He in turn got on to good friend Adrian Brady, who has an impressive BMW collection in Australia and persuaded him in either 2009 or 2010 (Chris is uncertain on the exact date) to add another by purchasing the E30 and shipping it Down Under.

    It’s here chassis M31/60’s life story takes an even more tumultuous turn. Despite already having gone through several different owners in four countries, it was about to get five more in just one. Adrian, having decided to purchase another Group A E30, decided he didn’t need two and sold this one to well-known Sydney-based classic car racer Terry Lawlor (who went on to run a Group A R32 GT-R and now campaigns a Sierra RS500) via Ecurie Bowden.

    Thankfully, at this stage the old girl was given a much-needed overhaul by the Bowden crew as she was tired after all that Malaysian circuit racing and Swiss hillclimbing, but as Chris Bowden explains it wasn’t as bad as he first thought, at least mechanically: “After 1993, it was just an old race car. It just got run and run. However, someone loved it at some stage, because all the componentry in it (bar the gearbox) – the engine, driveshaft and so on – was in surprisingly good condition. Maybe that’s just a pat on the back to BMW engineering, but they were all good, which was a bit of a trip because of how tired it looked externally. It just needed a basic mechanical refresh and we sourced a new Motorsport Getrag and boom – she’s out there firing around like a jet.”


    Obviously, as Chris alluded to, the exterior needed rather more work and here Ecurie Bowden was helped by how well documented the car’s final Japanese race, the Intertec 500, was, as they could access enough imagery and so on to finally bring the car back to its most famous livery – the Valvoline stripes and Asahi Kiko logo that currently adorns the car. It’s a stunning design, and one that, combined with the gold centre-lock BBS wheels and Evo-spec wider fenders and more aggressive aero, really helps the car stand out among the many other Group A E30s that tour the Australian classic racing circuit.

    Indeed, looking over the car during the shoot, we couldn’t help but be impressed with the incredibly high standard of the restoration overall. From the shine on the drool-worthy carbon air box to the ultraclean interior and exterior paint, there’s not a single area of the car that hasn’t been touched and it shows. Obviously, it helps when your brother owns and runs a car care company (Bowden’s Own), but the products used only add extra shine to what is already a very clean build.

    Keen-eyed observers will have noticed there is one aspect of the car that’s not entirely to #JTCC spec though, and that’s the lack of the factory dry-break fuelling system – something evidenced by the blanks covering the holes in the back where the system would have sat. No one is entirely sure when and where it disappeared, but the best guess is either in Malaysia or in Europe, as it was missing when the car arrived in Australia. This is obviously a great shame, as it represents a part of the car’s endurance racing history, but while it would be possible to replace it with like-for-like parts, the reality is the car’s current racing schedule means it only does sprints (Australia doesn’t have classic endurance events), and the ATL system currently fitted is lighter and therefore bettersuited for such duty anyway. Really eagle-eyed readers will also have noted the lack of any evidence of an aerial – not even covered-over holes in the roof – which is very strange for a car that did endurance races, but Chris thinks this might be because the Japanese used a different type of wireless communication setup back in the day.

    Despite these little things, Chris says the restoration process was very rewarding, as it was the first Group A E30 Evo they’d restored, and planted the seed for a future acquisition that we’ll also be featuring in an upcoming issue. However, while he no doubt enjoyed the fruits of the makeover, Terry, as we know, eventually moved on and sold the M3 to another gentleman, who shall remain nameless as apparently he wasn’t the best custodian for the machine, running the wrong gearbox in it for some reason. He then sold it to classic car enthusiast, Larry McFarlane, who then passed it on to Peter Jones in 2015. Peter, you might recall, also owns the #BMW-M3-JPS-E30 #BMW-E30-JPS we ran in the September issue, and used this car as his racer while the JPS was being restored.

    Just to add another twist, Peter recently swapped the car for an RS500 with friend and fellow Queenslander, Duncan McKellar, but has fond memories of the machine from when he raced it at circuits like Morgan Park and Phillip Island, where we did this shoot: “The Asahi car, whilst it’s an early chassis, because of the Japanese Touring Car Championship trend, they upgraded all the specs of their cars regularly, rather than buy a new car. So in 1990 it was converted to the 2.5 Evo spec and they raced it in Japan until 1993, but the ‘92-spec is how we’re running this. Thus, it has all of those upgrades in terms of suspension arms, aero and of course the bigger engine and all the things that go with it. As a result, it’s a very lovely car to drive – a very fast car. I was certainly quite fast in it and very confident.”

    Now chassis M31/60 is in Duncan’s hands and hopefully it’s found its ‘forever home’. He’s certainly a fast and accomplished racer, and more than capable of extracting the best from the exquisitely balanced chassis. The fact it should have undergone another tear-down and rebuild by the time you read this (in preparation for the Sydney Muscle Car Masters) should mean it’s even faster than it is already, too. In a life already filled with enough travel and ups and downs to make most people giddy, it’s a fitting position for the car to be in right now. Properly cared for, free to run and able to make the most of its considerable abilities – you couldn’t ask for more.

    Right: Fuel-filling system was changed from factory spec at some point. Below: Stunning gold #BBS rims.

    This E30 may have gone through many changes during its life but its powerplant has been well looked after over the years; it might be an ’1987 car but was upgraded to 2.5-litre Evo spec when it raced in Japan.
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  •   Paul Hardiman reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    This may have been Sean Clark’s first car in high school, but it’s all grown up now, with a level of refinement fit for a whiskey lounge. Words: Marcus Gibson / Photos: Adam Croy

    BODY-SLAMMED BMW E30 TEST LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF BUILDING A DRIFT CAR / #1987 / #BMW-318i-E30 / #BMW-318i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW / #Toyota-1UZ-FE / #BMW-E30-Toyota-1UZ-FE / #Toyota / #Accuair-i-Level / #BMW-E30-V8 / #V8

    DEFLATED REFINEMENT
    Purchased as his first car in high school, Sean Clark’s E30 is all grown up now with a class that belongs in a whiskey lounge. V8 powered, with Accuair i-Level, one-off Rotiforms, candy paint and a killer interior, this E30 ticks all the boxes.

    As the NZPC team members stood around with our tongues out, drooling over Sean Clark’s #BMW E30 during the photo shoot, in walked the guys from our sister magazine NZ Classic Car, who proceeded to make tongue-in-cheek remarks about how the suspension must be broken and ask where the hell the tyres were. Now, these guys know their way around an E30, but, given that the IS front lip was literally sitting on the ground while its rim lip was touching the guard, we could see how those old boys would be somewhat perplexed by what they saw in front of them. This car is a statement made with no apologies — it was engineered this way, what with its millimetre-perfect fitment and extremely deep candy paint, which grabs and holds your attention long enough to take in all the custom touches that can be found.

    It all began during Sean’s high-school days (actually, four years ago, to be exact), when he came across an E30 already fitted with a Toyota 1UZ-FE 4.0-litre V8. A fan of the German ’80s icon, Sean hadn’t been looking for V8 power, but, when this popped up already cert’d, he saw it as a good base on which to build his dream E30. It was in need of some TLC, but, being a high-school student, he would have to wait until he got his first full-time job before he could sink some coin into the project. In the meantime, though, he was probably only the only kid at his high school rocking a V8 on a daily basis.


    The air-management system runs a set of polished custom hard lines to feed the tank, AccuAir A4, and Air Lift air bags. The system has a wireless remote and can even be controlled by an iPhone app.


    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Sean is mainly influenced by mostly European-based E30s, which led to the first of the big modifications, as he told us: “All of my favourite E30s are on air. That was the first major modification I did. Simon from Get Low imported and installed the kit.” Getting the E30 down was a simple bolt-in affair using Air Lift struts with adjustable dampers. Like most of the latest air-ride kits we feature these days, Sean opted for a complete height-management system, in this case, AccuAir. With three preset heights — low, lower, and slammed — it’s a no-brainer over the finicky switch box and separate valve blocks of the past.

    Those kits were loud, high maintenance, and it was a battle to get the height perfect. Having the control that Sean now does is a good thing when the lip of the rim actually sits square on the guard when fully deflated.

    It was around that time that the E30 received its first set of rims, though those BBS Rs were soon replaced with custom fifteen52 Tarmacs, then, more recently, with a set of custom Rotiforms. To say Sean has a thing for wheels would be a gross understatement — but his size preference certainly made it hard. “I get bored of wheels pretty easy, and wanted to go three-piece and have something that would pop against the paint more,” he explained. “I talked to just about every wheel company out there, but the problem is that no one really makes three-piece 16s any more. I ended up getting James from 360 Link to convince Brian from Rotiform to produce these.” We are unsure what James from 360 Link said — perhaps he has a stash of questionable photos of Brian, or maybe Brian thinks all Kiwis are like Jake the Muss; either way, Rotiform obliged and put together this one-off set using BBS lips and gold hardware.

    To further customize them once they landed in New Zealand, the boys at GT Refinishers laid down some candy and gold leaf on the centre caps.

    The boys were also charged with a complete facelift conversion last year. Now, it might be a bolt-on conversion up front, but the rear took a little more commitment, as the team had to graft in the in the rear sheet metal from a later E30 around the boot and tail lights.

    This required a facelift E30 to donate its life to the cause. The tail lights Sean chose are rare BMW Motorsport items imported from Germany, along with the Bosch smiley headlights and an MTech wing. The last job at GT was the reshaping of the rear guards to suit the super-low ride height. It was then on to deciding a colour — a job we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. A four-month internal battle ensued as Sean went back and forth with his decision, eventually landing on custom candy red, sprayed over a silver base coat. “There are 10 coats all up I think, as I kept wanting it darker and darker. I was actually out of the country when he was spraying it so it was a little nerve-racking,” he said.

    But, needless to say, Sean is hyped with how the exterior has turned out, and he has since shifted his focus inwards. First up, he went for a full interior retrim from Midnight Upholstery. Taking cues from the king of refinement, Singer, the front and rear seats were trimmed in a similar fashion to those beautiful Porsches. The front seats are actually Recaro fishnets from an Isuzu Bighorn that Sean scored for $100, and the rear is a not-so-common E30 variant with a centre armrest. As for the rest of the interior, it was kept all class in black — simple yet effective. The finishing touch, a vintage Momo Prototipo wheel.

    Next on his hit list is attacking the engine bay. While the build has never been about all-out power or speed, and with the four litres there’s more than enough juice to decimate the factory equivalent, Sean still feels there is room for refinement, and he’s currently considering his plan of attack — individual throttle bodies (ITBs)? A supercharger? Who knows what he’ll end up with? We guess we will all have to wait and see. But, in the meantime, there is a long hot summer ahead of us, and Sean is ready to make the most of it with one push of the e-Level.

    INTERIOR
    SEATS: (F) Retrimmed #Recaro LX, (R) retrimmed factory
    STEERING WHEEL: #Momo Prototipo 350mm
    INSTRUMENTATION: AccuAir e-Level
    EXTRA: Custom headliner and carpet, custom boot set-up.

    EXTERIOR
    PAINT: Custom candy red by GT Refinishers
    ENHANCEMENTS: Facelift conversion, IS front lip, IS sideskirts, custom front splitter, MTech 1 wing, German smiley headlights, German MHW tail lights, custom round Condor door handles.

    DRIVELINE
    GEARBOX: Toyota four-speed auto
    DIFF: BMW E30
    The body has recieved a facelift alongside some subtle upgrades such as the IS front lip and #MTech rear wing. Although it was bagged long before the facelift, yet the lip sits perfectly flush on the ground.

    DRIVER PROFILE
    DRIVER/OWNER: Sean Clark
    AGE: 20
    LOCATION: Auckland
    OCCUPATION: Estimator
    BUILD TIME: Four years
    LENGTH OF OWNERSHIP: Four years
    THANKS: A huge thanks to GT Refinishers; Get Low Customs; Midnight Upholstery; Rotiform New Zealand; my mate Daniel, for listening to me stress over the smallest of things and helping out

    Discovered in an Isuzu Bighorn bought for $100, the Recaro fishnets have been retrimmed by Midnight upholstery in a Singer style, with bronze rivet vents.
    HEART
    ENGINE: #Toyota-1UZ-FE , 4000cc, eight-cylinder
    BLOCK: Factory
    HEAD: Factory
    INTAKE: Factory
    EXHAUST: Custom headers, dual 2.5-inch pipes into single muffler
    FUEL: Factory
    IGNITION: Factory
    ECU: Factory
    COOLING: Fenix radiator

    SUPPORT
    STRUTS: Air Lift Performance air ride, KYB rear shocks, #AccuAir-E-Level , #AccuAir #iLevel
    BRAKES: (F) #Wilwood four-pot calipers, #StopTech rotors, Wilwood pads, braided lines; (R) factory

    SHOES
    WHEELS: (F) 16x8.5-inch #Rotiform three-piece forged CCV, gold hardware; (R) 16x9.5-inch Rotiform three-piece forged CCV, gold hardware
    TYRES: (F) 195/40R16 Falken, (R) 205/40R16 Falken

    Fitting the Lexus into the engine bay required a set of custom headers and has left little room for anything else, which could become a problem if Sean does decide to supercharge down the track.
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  • 2016 / #BMW-E30-conversions / #BM-Conversions-UK-Ltd / #BMW-325i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-E30-M50 / #BMW-E30 /

    A new name on the #BMW modifying scene is BM Conversions UK, based in Staffordshire/West Midlands. Those who frequent the E30-Zone website will know Dan Harborow and also the quality of the work he’s been turning out for the last few years.

    It’s not just the spanner work either, but the parts he manufactures and the solutions to seemingly impossible problems – making an E46 330i engine work in an E30 along with a functioning DSC is not a job for amateurs! Dan pretty much started the E46 rack conversions and makes both new PAS fluid pipes as well as the column to rack shafts with UJs. Exhausts, manifolds and rear axle beams with adjustable trailing arms are specialities of the shop. Even stuff like custom-made air-con pipes that maintain a factory underbonnet appearance can be made. Engine builds, big brakes and lightened flywheels are all part of the product range and you only have to see Dan’s own car, an Alpina 3.2-powered #1987 #BMW-316-E30 to see what you’re dealing with – the attention to detail is astounding.

    The good thing about Dan’s engine conversions is that they retain the factory ECU and engine loom. Too many conversions have aftermarket ECU and wiring compromises to suit the car, and the end result is rarely brilliant. Dan’s approach, however, is to alter the car to suit the engine, engine loom and ECU so that it starts, runs and drives like a factory product. Check out Dan’s page at drive-my.
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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
    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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