- Post is under moderationWhen light isn’t light enough / #Honda-NSX-R / #Honda-NSX-MkI / #Honda / #Honda-Acura / #Acura / #Acura-NSX / #Acura-NSX-R
The Honda NSX-R will be instantly recognisable to any fans of the Gran Turismo series of PlayStation games, but probably less so to analogue 3D car nuts.
The Type-R was only ever produced for the Japanese market, with just 464 built from #1992 - #1995 plus another short run after the NSX’s 2002 3.2-litre facelift. However, the odd example has been imported to the UK, and more may be on the way as a number have popped up recently in Japanese auctions – a feed point for the still strong market for UK imports.
A 1995 car with just 860 kilometres (534 miles) on the clock recently sold for £223,188 at BH Auction, which is almost certainly a record. However, even those with a more normal mileage can still expect to push the £100k mark, such is their collectability.
For comparison, that’s around double the price of a regular NSX.
The NSX-R’s excitement comes not from the usual route of engine tweaks, but the age-old hot-rodding method of chucking out weight. That’s not easy in an aluminium-bodied car that had already made lightness a virtue, but Honda managed to slim it by 120kg anyway.
Definitely one for your wishlist.
The #Type-R shed 120kg from the regular NSX.
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- Post is under moderation/ #BMW-5-Series-E34 / #BMW-540i-E34 / #BMW-5-Series / #BMW-525iX-E34 / #BMW-525iX / #BMW-E34 / #BMW / #1994-BMW-525i-SE-Auto-E34 / #BMW-525i-SE-Auto-E34 / #1995-BMW-540i-LE-E34
When the trade applies the words ‘price on request’ to their adverts it tells us two things – first they’re shy of advertising a price because they’re feeling the market, and second, values of that model are on the rise.
Have a look at prices of BMW’s #1988 to #1996 E34 5 Series – M5s have gone ballistic, but all E34s are moving up across the range with dealers pitching good ones bullishly. But before the supply of low-mileage survivors gets soaked up it’s worth seeing what’s out there at sensible money.
A private seller in Wigan has a ’1990 525i SE auto in Granite with 50k and two owners for £2800 while another in Essex has a ’1991 520i SE auto in Island Green with 51k, unused spare and toolkit for £3800. These prices don’t feel heavy for such low-mileage specimens. And neither does the £7995 being asked by Auto Classics in Kettering for a ’1994 525i SE auto in Calypso with a mere 21,000 miles, #FBMWSH and in ‘time warp’ condition.
Go for the big engines and high specs and remember that the Tourings are more coveted than saloons. Picks of the range are the ’1992-on BMW-540i V8 manual (3203 built), the 1995 540i LE with its M5 interior, six-speed manual and Servotronic steering (300 made) and 540 M Sport (200 built).
The Ercole Spada and J Mays designed E34 was a game-changer for Munich and was the first 5 Series to have a V8, an estate body and four-wheel drive on the #BMW-525iX-E34 . It was stiffer and more streamlined than the previous E28. BMW sold more than 1.3 million and it won a slew of best-in-class awards.
The E34 was the definitive executive saloon of the Nineties and at the top of every middle manager’s company car wish list. Tough and long-lived there are plenty of E34s that have covered 250,000 miles and they’re surprisingly rust resistant with problem areas limited to head gaskets, water pumps, slipping autos, the usual suspension and steering bushes plus issues with sulphur contamination on the Nikasil bore liners – although most were fixed under warranty.
While there’s a supply of lower-mileage examples still in private hands you could do worse than find a high-spec six or V8 before they get hyped up. Like the Arctic Silver ’ #1995 530i SE manual for sale in Kent for £4250 with 43,000 miles and full history. That one definitely feels like a bargain.
COST NEW £23k
VALUE NOW £4000
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- Post is under moderationCAR: #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911-Turbo / #Porsche-911-Turbo-993 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche-911-Turbo-993 / #1995-Porsche-911-Turbo-993 / #Porsche / #1995
Year of manufacture 1995
Recorded mileage 65,195
Asking price £125,000
Vendor Avantgarde Cars, Fazeley, Staffs; tel: 01827 288177; www.avantgardecars.co.uk
WHEN IT WAS NEW
Max power 402bhp / DIN
Max torque 398lb ft / DIN
0-60mph 4.5 secs
Top speed 180mph
The seller also has a mint turbo S at £340k, but we couldn’t help noticing this last-of-the-air-cooled turbos, with S aero kit, at almost a third of the price. It has a huge history file, which includes a £20k engine rebuild in ’2005, 10,000 miles ago, 15 service stamps and six brake-fluid change stamps.
The Arena Red paint is almost spotless, earlier rust bubbles under the ’screen having been dealt with, and the front bumper and wheels recently refurbished. All we could find is one small touched-in chip at the back of the driver’s door, and a small nick out of the tread plate finisher. The brake calipers were overhauled in 2014, discs and pads look new and tyres are well-treaded Contis all round, 2013 front and 2011 rear. The space-saver spare has never been used; also present are the tyre compressor, jack and unopened first-aid kit. The paint/option code stickers remain: one on the service book, one in the right door shut and one under the front lid. Inside, it’s very well kept, with only mild creasing to the Sport front seats, unused rears, and good carpets and dashboard moulding.
The motor seems tidy, not that you can see much of it, but it has Tech-Art stainless exhausts. The most recent service stamp was with Ninemeister at 63,972 miles in 2015 (£2161), although the Porsche will have a fluid-change service before it leaves Avantgarde.
It starts easily despite having stood for a couple of months. The clutch is quite sharp, and the steering heavier than earlier air-cooled Porsches, a result of the all-wheel drive, but the wheel still squirms and writhes in your hands like a proper 911. Oil pressure was hard against the 5 bar stop all the time we were moving, only dropping back on tickover to 2.75 bar, warm, and the oil temperature hardly budged. It is, of course, blindingly fast, the massive torque delivered with no appreciable turbo lag and strong synchros on all six gears. The brakes are great: smooth, powerful and straight. The ventilation system moans and groans to itself periodically (they all do that, guv), but the air-con blows cold. The MoT lasts until April.
EXTERIOR One small touch-in; usual areas refinished, but otherwise mint
INTERIOR All good; seats lightly aged
MECHANICALS Has wanted for nothing; 10k miles on rebuilt motor
For Ticks all the boxes
Against Its enthusiasm can be infectious, so be warned
SHOULD I BUY IT?
Must be one of the nicest, no-stories turbos around, in a good colour, and with a cast-iron historyStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTyre-burning #Volvo-850-T5-R smouldering along nicely / #Volvo-850 / #Volvo /
Oh how we laughed. A Volvo estate in the British Touring Car Championship? But back in 1994 it only took a couple of laps to show that the T5-R had serious heave. I was there and remember the drivers delighting the crowds on the parade lap with a stuffed Collie propped up in the back.
The T5s became standard issue for UK motorway cops, Clarkson and I raved about it on Top Gear and op the T5-R magically transformed Volvo’s frumpy image forever. Perhaps that’s why Fast Classics in Bramley has sold a Gul Yellow ’ #1995 with 42,000 miles for an astonishing £16,995. Good T5 and T5-R estates are smouldering nicely and it can’t be long before the best Rs start closing in on £20k territory.
Finding good survivors is the problem though. This wasn’t a car you left in your garage. Making a bonfire out of the front tyres was something you did on every journey on a mission to prove Volvos could be cool. Lots got thrashed, trashed and modified so the survival rate is low – the DVLA lists only 20 licensed and 11 on SORN.
Quite a few went to Japan and with their onerously strict used car condition regulations, repatriated Far Eastern T5-Rs now make canny buys. And remember all that wayward front-wheel scrabble came from a 240bhp Porsche-designed 2.3 five-cylinder with high pressure turbo which, ungoverned, could hit 160mph. From 50-70mph it would even out-drag a Ferrari 512TR. A rock-hard ride is the only penalty for all that punch.
A private seller in Hampshire is advertising a ’1996 R auto estate with 92k for £4995. I don’t think it’ll hang around for long.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThere’s no denying this was a strange looking one, but powered by a big V8 and four-wheel drive it would have been a hoot to drive we reckon. BMW Concepts A look on the rather unusual #V8-powered Z18 from 2000. / #BMW-Z18-Concept / #1995-BMW-Z18-Concept / #BMW-Z18 / #BMW-Concept / #BMW / #V8 / #1995 / #BMW-V8 /
No roof, four-wheel drive, a 4.4-litre V8 making 355hp and a manual gearbox? This had real potential to be a lot of fun!
BMW CONCEPTS: The cars they could have made Z18
When a manufacturer goes to the effort of creating a concept car it’s usually immediately displayed to the public at the nearest upcoming motor show. This is done to seem like the company is pushing ahead, showing off some outside, innovative thinking whilst offering a glimpse into future styling ideas. So on that basis the Z18 concept was a little odd as it made its debut to the public in 2000, some five years after it was built. Even then it only saw the light of day to mark an occasion; the 15th birthday of BMW Technik Gmbh which is the creative team behind most of the concept cars.
Inspired by the company’s success of the Enduro motorcycles of the 1990s the idea was to create a car counterpart. It was designed as what is best described as a research project, centred around the concept of providing driving pleasure in an unusual way. Or as #BMW described it: “The yearning to explore off-road terrain and the pleasure of mobility under the open skies was combined for the first time on four wheels.”
That essentially meant creating an #off-road , highly robust roadster that was constructed from a steel chassis and fitted with a plastic body. What you see is what you get; there was no roof although it did apparently have holes in the floor to let any water filter out! Its styling also seems to share a passing likeness to the BMW Z1, but then they were created at the same sort of time by the same design team. Being four-wheel drive it’s safe to assume the running gear was largely borrowed from the X5 that was in development and due to be released in 1999.
But best of all was the engine, as BMW had selected to create quite a nippy number thanks to the use of a 4.4-lite V8 making 355hp and it was coupled to a manual gearbox! With no roof and not a whole lot of weight that would have made the Z18 good fun to drive, especially off road we reckon!
It was a practical concept, too, as the inside was described by BMW as incorporating “…a variable interior concept and elevated seating to characterise the innovative driving experience…” The variable part is what made it interesting as it was suggested the cabin could offer two- and four-seater configurations as well as a pick-up style option if required.
The project obviously never got off the ground and as mentioned, for some reason or another, BMW didn’t even attempt to display it, which seems a shame. You could argue the sports utility concept of the Z18 was turned down a few notches but embraced with the introduction of the X6 and the like, so perhaps the ill-fated 1995 concept did do some lasting good. However, even a lightweight roofless X6 is a long way off this…Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #BMW-ArtCars #David-Hockney #BMW-E31 / #BMW-850CSi / #BMW-850CSi-E31 / #BMW-8-Series / #BMW-8-Series-E31 / #BMW / #BMW-ArtCar / #BMW-850CSi-ArtCar / #BMW-850CSi-E31-ArtCar / #1995
For its 14th Art Car BMW persuaded pop art artist extraordinaire, David Hockney, to decorate its range topping coupé, the 850CSi.
Some artists took a little persuading to become involved in BMW’s #Art-Car project and #BMW-E31-David-Hockney was one of them, taking his time with his decision. He thought about it thoroughly. “I kept saying no because I wasn’t sure what to do,” he commented.
Born in England in 1937, David Hockney has been one of the most flamboyant and influential protagonists on the international art scene since the early sixties. He completed his studies at the London Royal College of Art in 1962 and soon belonged to the elite circles of ‘swinging London’. With his work he developed his very own form of international pop art and achieved great popularity. The subject of his work is people and their environment. His pictures depicting the sun, swimming pools, palms and blue skies are particularly well known.
“BMW gave me a model of the car and I looked at it time and time again”, said Hockney commenting on the process of creating the #ArtCar . “Finally, I thought it would be a good idea to show the car as if one could see inside.” Hockney literally turned the car inside out, making it transparent through unique perception. The bonnet sports a stylised reproduction of the engine’s intake manifold and the driver is visible through the door. Details from an abstract landscape render this sensual driving experience perceptible.
“The car has wonderful lines which I followed,” he said. “It wasn’t really about intricate little painting on the surface of it, I thought, well, what would be good would be to perhaps draw the car.” Hockney painted a whimsical addition on the back seat on the driver’s side – one of his beloved dachshunds – although he did admit that it couldn’t actually have been one of his dogs as they always sat up front with him when he was driving!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationPASSION WAGON #BMW-M3
Griot’s Motors unleashes its V8-powered, two-door, #BMW-M3-bodied E30 #BMW-M3-Touring . Two-door, M3-bodied, #V8-powered E30 Touring.
Astonishing in its vision, astounding in its execution, just plain awesome by its very existence, the Griot’s Motors two-door, #V8-swapped , #M3-bodied E30 #BMW-M3-Touring-E30 is quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Kevin Uy.
What’s amazing about the modified BMW scene is that, just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone comes along and produces something the likes of which you’ve never seen before. It’s no mean feat, and you’re looking at one such creation right now. It is a two-door, #M3-bodied-E30-Touring powered by a 4.0-litre M60 V8. This creation is the brainchild of the Griot’s (pronounced Gree-oh’s) Motors team, itself the skunkworks division of Griot’s Garage – a car care manufacturing company based over in Tacoma, Washington, USA. If you’ve never heard of Tacoma, look up Galloping Gertie, an infamous bridge that collapsed in 1940 due to strong winds. And if you’ve never heard the term skunkworks before, it’s basically a name given to an experimental department of a company.
Griot’s Motors was started by Richard and Phillip Griot. “The garage buys, sells, restores and modifies a wide variety of classic cars,” says Nick Griot. “Our main restoration shop is actually part of the Griot’s Garage headquarters.” Skunkworks it may be but Griot’s Motors is an impressive operation in itself, with around 70 cars currently held in the company’s collection, which is constantly changing as cars are completed, sold on and new ones purchased. BMWs naturally make up a portion of this collection, with a number of modern and classic examples along with a couple of motorbikes. “BMWs have always been of interest to us as they represent a perfect blend of design and function which carries through to the people who buy them,” explains Nick.
“BMW owners are passionate about racing, preserving, modifying and maintaining their cars – which is pretty much us in a nutshell. Griot’s Garage is also the exclusive Car Care Provider for the BMW Car Club of America so we are actively invested in the BMW community and do a lot with the club every year.”
That’s all well and good but it doesn’t explain how this insane E30 Touring came about. “At Griot’s Motors we basically focus on modernising cars without losing any of their vintage attributes,” explains Nick. “And we are constantly looking for unique, hard-to- find cars. This was a car we wanted to own just because we finally could. E30 Tourings were never imported to the States and, generally, a car must be over 25-yearsold to be able to be imported and registered. We found this car for sale in Florida and it had made its way there from Germany via Japan. It was in good original condition, and very complete, so we bought it thinking it would remain relatively stock and would be enjoyed as it was. However, once we got the car and saw the wear and tear and significant paint degradation we knew it was in need of restoration, which is where we went a little mad and cooked up a crazy vision for the car – one that had never been done before.”
The blame for everything that you see here can really be placed on Richard’s shoulders, as Nick explains: “After sitting in the car he stated that visibility was not up to his standards and he wondered aloud about the potential of longer doors from an E30 Coupé to improve visibility. That started the discussion of the two-door conversion, which led us all the way to M3 body work, an engine swap, and custom fabrication.”
The bodywork didn’t come first, though, that honour goes to the engine, but it’s too big a deal for us not to get excited about it. The sheer amount of extensive custom fab work that’s gone into making the dream a reality is mind-boggling. With the seed sown, the Griot’s Motors team started exploring the idea of the two-door conversion and, after taking some measurements from their pair of E30 M3s, they realised that the M3 bodywork would work very well. With what might seem like an insane idea now looking eminently achievable the car was delivered to J-Rod & Custom who began the Herculean task of turning four doors into two and making it all look like a factory job.
The B-pillar had to be moved back nine inches in order to be able to accept the longer doors. A completely custom frame had to be built into the space vacated by the rear doors. And new inner wheel wells were created to accommodate the wider M3 rear arches (the quarter panels having been sourced from Germany). The rear light housings had to be modified to fit the standard light clusters, new window trim was also created and the glass from the rear saloon doors was used between the B- and C-pillar. The front arches fitted straight on and all the remaining body parts are OE #BMW items with bumpers and side skirts acquired from local BMW enthusiasts. The finishing touch involved six coats of PPG Deltron Griot’s Red. The end result is nothing short of spectacular. Nick says the goal was to create a car that looked like a factory product, and that’s been achieved and then some. The bodywork is perfect, the paint finish flawless, and the combination of Touring body, two-door configuration, and M3 arches is breathtaking. No doubt there are plenty of Touring enthusiasts out there choking with rage right now but you’d have to be a fool to look at this E30 and think it doesn’t look anything less than perfect.
As we briefly touched upon earlier, the engine was actually the first step in the build process and, when it came to the V8 swap, the Griot’s team worked to the same exacting, obsessive standards to ensure that, bonnet up, the engine bay would leave onlookers as floored as the rest of the car. Before all this madness began there was a 2.5-litre M20 under the bonnet but that simply wouldn’t do for a car of this calibre, which is why an engine swap was a necessity. The engine in question is from a #1995 E34 540i, purchased in its entirety to provide the E30 Touring with not only that lusty 4.0-litre #V8 but also a six-speed manual gearbox and engine wiring harness, making for an easy engine exchange, with the V8 sitting on custom mounts along with a fabricated transmission saddle and tunnel reinforcement to support it. But the engine swap itself isn’t the only impressive part, it’s the work that’s gone on around it, the attention to detail, that impresses the most. Prior to the insertion of the V8, the engine bay was shaved and smoothed to remove any and all holes and brackets. “The plan,” says Nick, “was to have an extremely simple engine bay that showed off the most beautiful aspects of the engine without the clutter of wiring and engine accessories.”
The brake booster, he says, was removed and has been replaced with a full pedal assembly inside the car and then reservoirs were fabricated in-house for coolant, brake/clutch, and power steering fluids.
These were then machined with threads that corresponded with the factory reservoir caps, giving the custom parts a factory appearance. As a result of this painstaking attention to detail the engine bay is nothing short of a work of art. It’s clean enough to eat your dinner off and it ensures that all eyes are immediately drawn to that V8, itself embellished with red painted rocker covers and a classic BMW roundel on the engine cover. A custom cold air feed, utilising a large velocity stack located in the passenger side high beam hole and an in-line filter, supplies the big V8 with all the air it can ingest. Elsewhere the Griot’s team has fitted V8 X5 exhaust manifolds with a custom T304 stainless steel exhaust system, while a custom driveshaft and 2.93 LSD-equipped rear end have also been fitted.
Killer one-off styling and a sweet engine swap are all well and good but it’s only a job half done where a major project like this is concerned. Now came the turn of the chassis to be comprehensively overhauled. Step one involved removing the front and rear subframes and completely refreshing them, with both being reinforced in key areas before being powdercoated satin black. The E30 received polybushes throughout and camber adjustment was added to the rear trailing arms. “The front strut assemblies were sent to Ground Control and the guys there worked their magic, shortening and reinforcing the strut housings so we could get the car as low as we wanted,” explains Nick. “They also provided us with the Koni shocks, front camber plates, spring perches, and new springs that would accommodate the increase in weight from the V8.”
With the Ground Control coilover setup endowing the E30 with pretty much the perfect ride height, all that was needed now was the perfect set of wheels to adequately fill those swollen arches. You’ve no doubt been staring at the pictures for a while now so you’ve probably identified what the Griot’s Motors team decided to fit: HREs. Is it wrong to get excited about HREs? Like, really, really excited? They just look so good here. Choosing a flat-faced wheel rather than the default dished design is a bit of a ‘woah’ moment but, despite being a thoroughly modern wheel, the classic crossspoke design brings to mind the BBSs that the E30 M3 originally wore so well. And that’s exactly why these 501Ms were selected for this build. They allowed the Griot’s team to keep that factory look while giving them the modern size and width options they wanted for an aggressive stance. And while deciding on the final colour took some time, the brushed gold that was chosen is not only gorgeous but a perfect match for that bright red body.
Right now, you’re probably reeling because, let’s be honest, there’s a hell of a lot to take in here, but Griot’s isn’t finished with you just yet because now we come to the interior. And, well, it’s a bit special. Up front, the M3 theme has been carried over from the outside with reproduction tricolour M Tech cloth applied to the doorcards and front seats, a retrimmed M Tech I steering wheel with tricolour stitching, and an M gear knob.
In the back, however, well that’s where everything goes crazy. The rear passenger and luggage area has been transformed into a mobile product display and valeting station: this is a car that can wash itself.
Well, not literally, but you know what we mean. The rear seats have been replaced with a custom aluminium water tank and hose while the entire boot has been fitted with a custom enclosure that allows the entire range of Griot’s Garage detailing products and polishers to be displayed. The whole affair has been beautifully finished and looks magnificent. It’s a very different boot build to the ones we’re used to seeing but no less impressive.
The Griot’s Motors E30 Touring is the vehicular embodiment of what Griot’s Garage and its skunkworks outfit stand for. It’s an incredible creation, one that’s come about from the vision and imagination of a small group of guys and one that could only have been created by people with nothing less than absolute passion for cars and for modifying them – because what kind of person decides to build a two-door Touring?
So much care and attention has been poured into not just making sure that the end result looks absolutely perfect, which it does, but also making sure that everything has been built to the highest possible standard and finished to absolute perfection. The goal was to make a car that looked like it could have rolled out of BMW’s own factory, and this car is that and so much more. And beyond showcasing what Griot’s Motors is capable of creating, the on-board valeting station showcases what Griot’s Garage is all about. This really might be the cleanest car we’ve ever shot. Best of all, this Touring isn’t about to be tucked away or sold, it’s going to be hitting the 2017 shows across the USA. And after that it’s going into rotation for regular driving whenever anyone wants to because, after all, that’s what it was built for. And that makes us very happy indeed.
“We went a little mad and cooked up a crazy vision for the car – one that had never been done before”
DATA FILE #Griotʼs-Motors two-door #BMW-E30 / #BMW-V8 / #BMW-Touring / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Touring / #BMW-3-Series-Touring-E30 / #BMW / #Griot's-Garage / #BMW-E30-Griotʼs-Motors / #BMW-Touring-2-door / #BMW-E30-M60 / #BMW-E30-V8 / #Getrag / #HRE /
FILE ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #BMW-E30-M60B40 / #M60B40 / #BMW-M60 / #M60 , custom engine mounts, rocker covers painted red, engine bay shaved and smoothed, custom coolant and power steering reservoirs, tucked wiring harness, custom cold air feed from full beam headlight hole, X5 exhaust manifolds, custom #T304 stainless steel dual 2.5” exhaust, #Getrag six-speed manual gearbox, fabricated transmission saddle, tunnel reinforcement, custom propshaft, 2.93 LSD rear end
CHASSIS 8x17” (front) and 9x17” (rear) #HRE-501M wheels in brushed gold with 215/40 (front) and 235/40 (rear) Falken Azenis RT615K tyres, reinforced subframes, fully polybushed, rear trailing arm camber adjustment, shortened and reinforced front strut housings, fully-adjustable #Ground-Control coilovers with adjustable #Koni struts, camber plates
EXTERIOR Full OEM steel E30 M3 body panels including front and rear quarter panels, E30 coupé doors, side skirts, M3 bumpers (front and rear), full respray in #PPG-Deltron Griot’s Red
INTERIOR Seats and door panels retrimmed in reproduction M Tech cloth, retrimmed M Tech I steering wheel, six-speed M gear lever, new OE carpet, rear seats removed, custom aluminium water tank and hose, water jet-cut product display area in boot
THANKS Thank you to our sponsors, HRE Wheels, Brembo Brakes and Ground Control Systems. Thank you to J-Rod & Custom, McFarland Upholstery, Kassel Performance, Falken Tire and the hard work of Forrest Davis and Tim Willard of Griot’s Motors – without them, this project would have never been completed
“The plan was to have an engine bay that showed off the most beautiful aspects of the engine”
Shaved and smoothed bay ensures that all eyes are on that V8 when the bonnet’s up.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.