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    / #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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    E36 AMGs going cheap... for now / #Mercedes-Benz-W210 / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes-Benz-E36-AMG-W210 / #Mercedes-Benz-E55-AMG / #Mercedes-Benz-E36-AMG / #Mercedes-Benz-E55-AMG-W210 / #AMG

    Market catching on to the almighty bangs-for-bucks Mercedes-Benz W120 ‘six’

    Decent Mercedes-Benz-W210 E36 AMGs can still be bought for five grand and I reckon they’re the last of the bargain Nineties AMG Mercs. A West Yorkshire private seller has a ’96 in Brilliant Silver with black leather and 70k for £3995 while the trade in Cheshire has a ’97 in the same colour combo with 92k for £5499. Both cars have plenty of bills, low ownership, fish and are a mighty bang for your buck.

    While W124 E36s are climbing over £10k now and #V8 E55s rising too, the similarly competent W210 looks insanely cheap. MB built only 400 between #1996 and #1997 – all rhd – with most going to Australia. Only 150 were sold in the UK and the DVLA currently records just 11 roadgoing survivors. Compared with the 2870 E55s built, the E36 is one of the rarest AMGs of them all and one the last models to be handassembled at AMG’s plant in Affalterbach.

    The dohc M106 six-cylinder is gruff, urgent and bulletproof, pushing out a very respectable 288bhp and the looks are exactly the same as the E55, apart from the boot badge. Even the 18-inch AMG five-spoke alloys and twin exhausts are identical.

    New list was £53k and sales were glacial because everybody knew the V8 E55 was waiting in the wings. Buyers were usually middle-aged enthusiasts and the wear patterns and mileages covered by E36s are different from the E55, which was more of a hardcore hooligan’s dragster. Not having a V8 up front means they’re simpler, less strained and use lots of E320 parts, so running costs won’t be ruinous. You’ll find eBay is stuffed with used bits.

    Watch for the usual W210 rust round the front wings, rear arches and screens and if the catalytic converters are rattling walk away. A 0-60mph time of 6.7 seconds isn’t lightning fast but the E36 has lighter steering and more front-end poise than the slightly nose-heavy 55, while the top end is limited to the usual 155mph. But speed is what you’ll need to bag one at these low prices. A London trader has just sold a 60,000-miler for £15k. Be quick.

    ‘Speed is what you’ll need to bag one at these low prices
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    TOP BANANA 1.8T-powered euro-look mk3

    / #VW-Golf-III / #VW-Golf-Mk3 / #VW-Golf-Mk-III / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk3 / #Volkswagen-Golf-III / #Volkswagen / #Volkswagen-Golf-1.8T-Mk3 / #Volkswagen-Golf-1.8T-III / #Volkswagen / #VW-Golf-1.8T-Mk-III / #VW-Golf-1.8T / #VW-Golf-1.8T-Mk3 / #VW / #Volkswagen-Golf-Bi-Turbo / #Volkswagen-Golf / #Volkswagen-Golf-Bi-Turbo-Mk3

    Big-turbo Mk3 runs US-spec bumpers, air-ride, full cage and stripped interior. Words: Daniel Bevis Pics: Patrick Hille For Mitch van Werven, the act of building his dream car has been a life-altering journey of friendship and inspiration. And not just life-altering – this unmissably yellow GTI has some mind-altering properties too…

    If we’re to believe the late- 1960s Donovan song Mellow Yellow, it’s possible to get high on bananadine. This is, of course, nonsense – you can no more experience a psychotropic buzz with a banana than you can brush your teeth with it or use it to hammer an IKEA wardrobe together.

    A hoax recipe for bananadine was published in the Berkeley Barb, an underground counterculture newsletter in California, in 1967; it detailed how it was possible to extract a psychoactive substance from banana skins, which you could then smoke to achieve LSDlike effects. This gained some credence when William Powell, who thought it was true, reproduced it in The Anarchist Cookbook in 1970. In fact, the original feature in the Barb was a satirical piece questioning the ethics of criminalising psychoactive drugs; smoking banana skins may create a placebo high at best, but there’s no scientific reason why you could actually get stoned on bananas. You can’t.

    That said, there must be some manner of mind-altering substance swirling around the city of Lochem that’s enabled the coming-to-life of this trippy little Golf. Lochem’s in the Netherlands, and we’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions there; suffice to say that this is one Mk3 Golf that dabbles in the more colourful fringes of our everyday perceptions of reality.

    Still, we’d never suggest that this car’s owner, Mitch van Werven, was under the influence of anything beyond strong coffee and a pocketful of dreams throughout the Golf’s reinvention; indeed, the evidence seems to suggest that he’s singularly focused on automotive mischief rather than anything chemical. “Why spend so much time, money and energy on a car?” he grins. “Because we can, and we enjoy it very much. Some people go to the club, we go to the garage and build our dream cars.”

    Stirring sentiments indeed, and the inclusive ‘we’ here refers to a disparate but close cast of characters who feature strongly in Mitch’s own everyday interpretation of garage life; Bernd, Joran, Stevie, Roberto, Thomas, Mike, Martijn, these are the personalities who’ve helped our protagonist mould and shape his vision from questionable base to yellow dream machine. “I bought this car when I was sixteen, back in 2009,” Mitch explains. “Back then I was working at a garage and this Golf arrived in part-exchange – a #1996 GTI 16v. I saw it, and immediately called my dad to say ‘I want this car!’ It had been really well used – 266,000 kms on the clock and plenty of rust, but I think the Mk3 is the best model of Golf. The original Dusty Mauve paint was bad, too, but it was an all-original, three-door GTI 16v, so I just had to have it.”

    As tales of first cars go, it’s not a bad one – so often it’s the case that the best first car in people’s minds is ‘any car – literally any car’, but Mitch is clearly a man of principle and ambition. “The car owns me, not the other way around,” he laughs. “It’s taken years to get it to this point, and it’s not finished – project cars never are, are they? And having started the transformation back in 2010, it’s come a long way.” He’s not kidding. You’d certainly never look at the car and think ‘high-mileage rust bucket’ these days. What about that colour, then? Swapping purple for yellow is a proper Art Attack move. “Yeah, I’m not telling you what the paint code is,” Mitch smirks. “I wanted to have a colour that you don't see very often. Most cars nowadays seem to be blue, grey or black, so I chose a bright shade. Also, I just like yellow…”

    Naturally there was quite a lot of work involved in shuffling the various skeletons in the Golf’s closet before it was ready for paint. The first job on commencing the project was to totally strip the car down to see what was what, then stalk through the thing with lethal force, like some kind of enraged sniper, mercilessly eradicating corrosion and letting in new metal to cover the tracks. While this was going on, Mitch and his crew also removed everything superfluous from the car, following an over-arching ideal of exploiting power-to-weight ratios once the thing was completed. The Mk3 Golf is by no means a lard arse, but there are always savings to be made. A gram here, a gram there, it makes a difference. And we’re not just talking about the bananadine here.

    “I made the choice of which engine I wanted, and once I’d settled on the 20vT I went out looking for one,” Mitch recalls. “With some happiness I found another Mk3 that had already been 20VT-swapped, so I bought that as a donor, stripping it completely and selling everything I didn’t need.” The finished product in that shiny bay wears a Garrett GT28 turbo along with some fairly racy manifolds and a #Kdata #kdFi ECU to keep everything humming. And with the shell prepped and the engine spec’d, that sunglass-baiting paint shade entered the fray. “After the car came back from the paint shop, the fun could really start,” he says. “First we built the engine in the car and made it all work, then took it back out again to clean everything – and let me tell you that was a lot of work! The cleaning alone took over three-hundred hours.” And when he says ‘cleaning’, we’re not talking about a duster and a can of Pledge here – take a look at the fastidiously shaved, smoothed and slippery engine bay.
    You could challenge a passerby to wedge a toothpick in there and they’d be confounded for hours. You could drop a handful of toothpicks over the motor and every single one of them would make it down to the garage floor.

    “Together with my best friend Bernd, we put the car back together,” Mitch continues. “We drove across the whole country for parts; this was almost the best part of build, being with my bro, having fun and getting new stuff for the Golf. After we had collected everything we needed, we started really putting the car together and piece-by-piece it blossomed. Every step brought us closer to the final result, and after years of hard work we could finally do some shows. Last year was the best year for us – the car got a ‘Best in Show’, the offer of a PVW feature and a place on display at the Essen Motor Show. This was the point when we said to each other, ‘Yay, we did it’!”

    From the genesis of the idea right to the very end, Mitch’s buddies were deeply ingrained in the process, and it’s this communal all-in-it-togetherness that made the build so memorable. Not that there is an ‘end’ of course, not really – he’s already talking about air-ride, new seats, another yellow repaint, and some serious engine mods too.

    “I can’t honestly say I had a clear idea in my head of how this would turn out, back when I was sixteen,” he admits. “Sure, I had a lot of ideas, but I never thought I’d achieve this unique look.” Indeed, the project today sports a variety of disparate styling cues from across the scene; our American cousins lent some inspiration in the form of their bumpers and wings, while the Jetta nose is a nod to the old-school stables that are mirrored in the choice of BBS RS rims.

    The fact that it sits this low on coilovers rather than ’bags assures credibility and bravado points, and the interior really is something else: that Wiechers ’cage in particular is a shimmering manifestation of the scaffolders’ art, brutally complex and frighteningly purposeful.

    “I was influenced a lot by other Mk3s on the internet, but also just by mine and Bernd’s keenness to try out our own ideas,” says Mitch. “I guess I’d describe it as OEM+ with a race-car influence, but it’s its own thing, really. And the reactions it gets now are crazy; I like to take it out for a drive with my girlfriend over some nice roads, and the feeling of doing that in your dream car is cool, but then when you arrive at a show and people are coming over and saying they love the car – it’s the best feeling. I can honestly say that building this Golf was the best time of my life.” And we can tell by the sparkle in his eye that this isn’t just the bananas talking – this guy’s tripping off his little box on Wolfsburg dreams, and that kind of thing is thoroughly addictive.

    With bright yellow paint, side markers and shiny BBS, Mitch's Mk3 has more than a hint of the US scene.

    Left: Look closer at the weave and you realise this is indeed the real deal. Below: With 742bhp on tap no wonder Andreas is happy!

    HKS Turbo Timer times the turbo and ensures all turbo related things are kept in time. Like the speaking clock.

    Hardcore Wiechers Sport roll cage is not messing about is it?

    Dub Details / #Garrett / #BBS-RS / #BBS /

    ENGINE: #Rebuilt-1.8T 20v with #Garrett-GT28 turbo, rear-mounted exhaust manifold with 3” downpipe, H-profile conrods, kdFi V3 ECU, #Ross-Machine-Racing intake manifold, battery relocated to rear, six-speed manual

    CHASSIS: 17” #BBS-RS-320 (front) and 17” #BBS-RS-350 (rear) with 185/35 Nankang NS-2 tyres. #Weitec-Hicon-TX-Plus coilovers and Audi S3 312mm front brakes

    EXTERIOR: Secret yellow paintwork, US bumpers and wings, Jetta front conversion, ‘cleaned’ boot, smoked tails, shaved bay

    INTERIOR: Stripped and painted, custom Wiechers Sport roll cage, Cobra Monaco Pro seats, Schroth harnesses, #HKS turbo timer

    SHOUT: Bernd Nijdam, Joran Meijerink, Stevie van der Vaart, Roberto Polo, Thomas Kevelham, Mike Temminck, Martijn Maat – thanks to these guys, without them the car would never be completed


    “I guess I’d describe it as OEM+ with a race-car influence, but it’s its own thing, really. And the reactions it gets now are crazy"

    “Most people assume it’s a 3M wrap so it’s always good fun to invite them to take a closer look…”
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    ESTATE OF MIND

    / #Audi-S6-JNL-Racing has created this highly-tuned 650+bhp monster of an avant – surely the finest Ur-S6 in the world… Words Davy Lewis /// Photography Matt Dear

    JNL Racing's fierce 5-pot unleashed.

    UR-S6 JNL Racing’s 520bhp avant

    I first met JP, the main man at #JNL-Racing , at Santa Pod back in 2009. I was working on the now defunct Redline magazine and we’d got together a selection of the UK’s fastest tuned cars to go head-to-head in our Fight Club event. The premise was simple; entrants had to take part in two disciplines – a quarter mile and then a handling course – with the best overall time winning the day. Several Audis took part including Dialynx’s black SWB quattro and TTS Roadsport’s TT RS, but the one that stood out was a humble estate.

    This stock-looking #1996 #Audi S6 #Avant C4 / #Audi-A6-Typ-4A seemed a bit out of place among the track prepped competition – which made it all the more impressive when JP proceeded to kick the arse out of it, laying down some impressive times in the process. All of which he did with a smile on face. Here was a man who clearly didn’t take it too seriously. However, when it comes to tuning, he is deadly serious.

    Specialising in bespoke, hand-crafted cylinder head work and engine builds, JP has carved out an enviable reputation. Although VAGs feature heavily, he works on anything and has customers all over the world; working with anything from old school E-Types to the latest Japanese, European and US brands.

    I bumped into JP just before we launched AudiTuner and said I’d love to feature the S6 when it was ready. It had come on a bit since the first shootout, that’s for sure. JP said he’d love a feature – especially if it made the magazine on sale in December as that’s his 40th birthday. So, here you go, JP – many happy returns!

    With so many Ur-S6s pulled apart to scavenge their engines it’s not easy to find a stock car, let alone a 650+bhp weapon that’ll worry most supercars. “There are only 55 cars left on the road in the UK, and 85-90 left in total,” says JP. So what made him choose such an unorthodox Audi as a project?

    “I had an Audi 200 running a tuned 10v engine, but it caught fire and I needed something else,” he recalls. “A mate had an S6 and I fancied an estate, so began looking for one. I found this one for sale for £2.5k and jumped on it quick.” From here the engine work came thick and fast as JP focused on creating a fast daily driver. “Being a daily, all the work had to be done over the weekends so that I had the car ready for the Monday school run,” he laughs.

    The 20v engine was tuned with a ported head, uprated rods, a 63 hotside 3076 turbo on Wagner manifold, and SFS hoses as boost pipes. It made over 500bhp and offered plenty of fun. But, the constant flow of work on other fast Audis got him thinking.

    “I built one of the UK’s most powerful B5 RS4s; I think it still holds the record on MRC Tuning’s dyno with around 780bhp and 1000Nm,” he smiles. “I did a 3.0 litre stroker kit and that car made me stop and say, ‘Why am I building all these fast cars for others and not doing my own?’” The RS4 had certainly made an impression. “You know that feeling as a passenger in a really quick car when the driver accelerates and you feel a bit sick and light headed – it catches you off guard. Well, I had that as the driver in the RS4! I decided that’s what I wanted to achieve in my S6.”

    The engine itself is based around a 2.5 diesel block, which effectively created a stoker kit (the original was a 2.2 of course). Clearly a diesel block is designed to run in a diesel configuration, so JP welded up any holes and channels that were not required and added holes for the stuff he did need. Custom Pauter rods and JE pistons from a petrol engine were then added. The whole build needed to be bullet proof, so Mahle motorsport bearings were added plus a main girdle to prevent bowing at high RPMs.

    Key to this estate’s sleeper nature is the fact that, to most people, it looks pretty innocent. Aside from the 9x18in Rotiforms, which necessitated the custom wide arches being fabricated by Ish and the crew at Quattro Coachworks, this looks to all intents and purposes like any other mid-90s Audi estate. This is just how JP likes it. “When I drive it through a village, people turn to see where the noise is coming from but don’t even look twice at the car – they’re looking for something that looks like this sounds!” With a 3.5in exhaust and 2.25in screamer pipe, it certainly makes all the right noises, just in a discreet package. But, as we all know, appearances can be deceptive.

    Drop the hammer in this sedate looking Audi and it’ll attempt to head-butt the horizon at a startling rate. Having experienced the all out mayhem of 650bhp, JP has temporarily turned it down a few notches to an estimated 520bhp. And the rest of the car has been suitably uprated to ensure it’s provides a stable and safe ride. “It got to 650bhp with a slipping clutch, but there was nowhere you could properly open it up without getting into trouble,” he smiles.

    I ask JP what it feels like when you really drive it hard at 650bhp. he pauses for thought, then says, “To be fair, I think my youngest son summed it up best when he was about ten,” he continues, “I launched it hard and he said it felt like his willy had gone into his back!” An unconventional response perhaps, but then that’s JP all over.

    You get the feeling that he tells it like it is, with no bullshit. If something proves to work well, then he’s the first to praise it. But equally, if something doesn’t do what it says it will, he’ll be brutally honest. This sort of candour is refreshing in a scene that can attract people who like to make unsubstantiated claims, especially when it comes to power figures. But, JP has earned the tight to question things. He tests everything he does – often to destruction – to ensure that any upgrades not only deliver the goods, but also stay in one piece. As he says, “You need to blow things up to find the limits.

    How else are you going to know how to improve on the original design?”

    While there’s no doubt that JP was put on this planet to make cars go fast, he has a very specific focus. Everything must be about making the car perform more efficiently, which in turn makes it faster and more reliable. So although huge turbos combined with a remap and supporting upgrades can achieve eye watering power figures, it’s often at the expense of drivability.

    “My S6 has a usable powerband from 3,250 to 8,200rpm – I see some of the German tuners with 1200bhp with cars that have nothing until 5,000rpm – that’s no use anywhere except on a drag strip,” he comments. Part of the reason behind the chosen upgrades (you can see the full list of goodies on the last page) was to show what could be achieved, without simply buying everything that’s available. “I saw so many owners on forums going on about how much they’d spent on this and that, and I thought, hang on, you don’t really need half of that.” So JP set about proving it with his S6 build. In the process it became the demo car for the business.

    It’s currently running a baseline map that JP did himself, which he says was pretty straightforward using the 2D mapping of the Maxx ECU set up, “It’s easier for a non-IT guy like me!” The plan is to start upping the power again now that the rest of the car is ready to take it. ECU legend, Jonus Racing, is due to fly over to the UK to work on a bunch of cars, so JP’s S6 will be in very good hands. “This is the final throw of the dice – I won’t be re-doing this car again, so it has to be right,” he says.

    As a cylinder head and engine building specialist, JP’s philosophy is to make engines as efficient as possible. Rather than simply bolting on a bigger and bigger turbos, he looks at ways to make more power off-boost with a less spiky delivery, while holding peak power for as long as possible to the redline. For those who are used to the kick of a big turbo coming in at 4,000+rpm, JP’s set ups can feel like the car is actually slower, but one look at the speedo will show it’s moving faster than the rev counter. By maximising the efficiency of the engine, including the head flow, there’s less pressure on the turbo, which in turn will be more responsive, with a wider power band – all the key ingredients of a usable, fast car. As JP says, “The proof is always in the performance – it either goes fast or it doesn’t.”

    With lots of usable power, the brakes and chassis had to be more than up to the job of keeping this big estate on the road. A set of custom front coilovers were created by JP using shortened Bilstein B8 inserts. Gaz adjustable dampers bring up the rear, together with custom pig-nose springs and an Apikol uprated ARB. 2Bennet adjustable top mounts allow the perfect caster/camber to dialled in for that crisp turn in – not something usually associated with nose heavy 90s Audis. With a full complement of uprated bushes and solid sub frame mounts, this near 20-year old S6 now handles with aplomb. The Wavetrack diffs front and rear certainly help deliver the fun factor – whether launching hard or hitting twisty roads – especially with the re-timed factory Torsen unit that JP built up now giving a more rear-biased delivery over stock.

    With plans to drive this thing hard on track, JP has wisely upgraded the brakes. The B7 RS4 calipers have been fully rebuilt together with high-temp seals and meaty 360mm discs. With Yellowstuff pads all round and DOT 5.1 fluid, this set up provides ample stopping power.


    Inside, this mid-90s estate has been treated to a selection of upgrades befitting something with serious performance. The front seats are the first items that jump out at you. The carbon fixed back buckets look like they came out of a Porsche Carrera GT – but surely not – those things are about £500k now!? “They’re actually copies,” admits JP, “but they’re very good ones. They came out of a Porsche – I got them shipped over from LA Porsche dismantlers in the US.” The leather wrapped seats were in decent nick, although JP has changed the colour of the seatbelt guides, before having them recovered in leather and black Alcantara. They really look the part, right at home in the S6’s cabin complete with OEM carbon fibre trim. The rears were trimmed to match. One thing you wouldn’t see in a 90s estate is a 10.5in tablet fixed to the dash. This wifi-enabled device allows JP to keep an eye on the vital stats via the Maxx ECU.

    Having followed the progress of this car for the last six years or so, it’s great to see it almost finished. Once the final mapping session has been completed by Jonus Racing, JP is hoping for up to 680bhp on V-Power and 700+bhp on E85. This S6 is beautifully engineered, extremely rapid, highly usable and, like JP himself, a little unconventional. We love it!

    Top: One of the finest sleepers you’ll find.

    SEE IT IN ACTION There are several videos of this savage #Audi-Ur-S6 being driven hard, plus some dyno footage. Head to JNL Racing’s YouTube channel to check them out – www.youtube.com/jnlracinguk

    “My S6 has a usable powerband from 3,250 to 8,200rpm...”

    Far right: Engine bay is a work of art Below right JNL custom inlet Bottom left Heat management has been taken seriously.

    OTHER S6S

    There are very few UrS6s left now, so here are three other S6 variants to consider...

    Audi C5 S6 1999-2003
    This 4.2 V8-powered S6 arrived in 1999 and went down a storm. The beefy V8 gave 335bhp and made all the right noises. The only downside was that tuning the NA lump was tricky and it liked a drink. Fewer and fewer of these around now and many have fallen into the hands of those that can’t afford to run them, so if you’re after one, be very choosy. Avants are more sought after than saloons.

    Audi C6 S6 2006-2011
    Launched in 2006 the C6 was packing a NA version of the 5.0 V10 from the RS6. This ten-cylinder monster gave it the sound of a supercar, all wrapped up in a very discreet saloon or estate. Loaded with goodies and that fabulous 429bhp engine, we’ll never see the likes of these large capacity cars again. Not cheap to run and expensive to fix, they are still very desirable. Available in avant and saloon, if you’re after one, make sure it’s been well loved and comes packed with options.

    Audi C7 S6 2011-present (2017)

    After increasing its capacity with every new model, the latest S6 goes back to its turbo charged roots and back down to a V8. Great news for tuners as the 4.0 V8 twin turbo can easily be cranked up to RS6 levels of grunt. A remap, full exhaust system including downpipes and uprated air filters will see you on the way to 550+bhp with more available depending on how deep your pockets are. Better still, unlike the RS6, you can get the S6 as a saloon, so you could create one of the fastest four-doors around – a true sleeper.


    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #1996 / #Audi-Ur-S6-Avant / #Audi-Ur-S6-Avant-C4 / #Audi-S6-Avant-C4 / #Audi-S6-Avant / #Audi-S6-C4 / #Audi-A6-Avant-C4 / #Audi-A6-C4 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-S6 / #Audi /

    Engine Re-engineered 2.5 diesel block and crank, #Pauter rods with ARP 625 plus, custom JE coated pistons, mains girdle, #ARP mains and headstuds, #Mahle-Motorsport bearings, baffled sump, #Gates-Racing timing belt, custom timing belt tensioner, secret spec cylinder head, #Jonus-Racing camshafts, lightweight flywheel, twin plate tilton for 800ft/ lb, steel crank timing belt pulley, #Vernier cam pulley, custom carbon timing cover to clear vernier, tubular #Vband manifold, 60mm #Tial wastegate, #HTA3586 m-spec with tial v-band hotside, 3.5in downpipe and straight through to twin 3in tail, 2.25in screamer with custom made side-exit, custom 4in intake filter housing w/integrated recirc pipe, custom 2 piece intake heatshield with bumper and bonnet cold air feeds, red TFSI coilpack conversion with custom coil cover, custom twin plenum intake manifold, overbored throttle body w/ Linden power coupler, billet fuel rail, 1000cc #ASNU-injectors / #ASNU injectors, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, twin #Bosch-044 / #Bosch in tank fuel pumps, custom one of header tank, custom designed breather system, electric fan conversion, lambda heatsink, Thermal velocity magma exhaust wrap, #PTP turbo blanket, 300x600x76 bar and plate cooler 2.25in in and 3in out, grille mount remote oil cooler, 50mm tial recirc valve, #Maxx-ECU running 720 sequential injection with 60-2trigger, multi-boost/fuel application, variable fuel pump speed via CAN-bus 10.5in tablet monitoring 5 x egt, exhaust back pressure, boost pressure, oil pressure and temp, coolant temp, air temp, lambda and various other parameters via Bluetooth

    Transmission Custom geared 01E 6-speed, updated 1-2 slip collar, carbon 1-6 synchros, #Wavetrac front diff, retimed factory torsen diff for improved rear bias, custom 3.5in carbon propshaft, Wavetrac rear diff

    Brakes B7 RS4 8-pot front calipers rebuilt with high temp seals, 360x32mm front discs, refurbed single pot calipers with custom mount 335x32mm rear discs, Yellowstuff pads

    Suspension Homemade front coilovers w/custom length #Bilstein B8 inserts, #Gaz rebound adjustable rear shocks with custom pig nose springs, #2Bennett fully adjustable camber/caster front top mounts, solid front and rear subframe mounts, new oem bushes all round, polyurethane front snubmount and rear diff hanger and mount, 034 track density gearbox mounts, custom delrin/urethane engine mounts, #Apikol uprated rear ARB, custom front A#RB mounts for improved caster

    Wheels and Tyres #Rotiform-Nue / #Rotiform 9.5x18in with one-off centre caps, Federal RSR 255/35x18

    Exterior Widened arches front and rear, widened bumpers front and rear, debadged trim, colour coded trim, rear wiper delete, custom bonnet air duct, painted custom metallic grey/silver, front and rear cameras linked via wifi to tablet

    Interior Porsche Carrera GT style carbon bucket seats retrimmed with logo and Alcantara centres, retrimmed rear Alcantara seat centres and door cards, 20v Ur-quattro custom flat bottom steering wheel with Alcantara centre, custom steering column cover, modified front speaker pods with 4in focal speakers, 17cm Alpine rear speakers, Bluetooth enabled Pioneer headunit, 10.5in tablet

    Contacts/thanks JNL Racing www.facebook. com/jnlracing, www.youtube. com/jnlracinguk,

    www.instagram.com/jnlracinguk, jnlracing@gmail.com. Thanks to Ish and crew at #Quattro Coachworks for not only doing the most amazing work but also helping to realise my vision, and of course all the friends and family that have assisted and put up with my shit for the existence of the two-ton Bugswatter, with special mention to Karl and Sean
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    / #1996 / #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3-3.0 four-door / #BMW-M3-3.0-E36 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-Saloon / #BMW-M3-Saloon-E36 / #BMW

    ESTIMATE £7000-£9000

    There’s no doubt that the E36 M3 is on the up and as the rarest model is the 3.0-litre Saloon you could argue that these cars should demand the highest prices. CCA’s example is showing 99k miles and looks good in its Boston green paint. Thanks to its mileage it’s unlikely to go for quite as much as some of the lower mileage examples we’ve seen recently but it does offer an awful lot of bang for your buck.
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    Forecourt find #BMW-750i-E38 / #BMW-750i / #BMW-E38 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-E38
    Saloon (E38) (1995-2001)

    More and more buyers are seeking out modern classics – cars which possess the charm and character of yesteryear but can still be driven regularly without worry. And this month’s Forecourt Find is just such a car. Twenty years ago the rare E38 750i was the flagship of the #BMW range and packed a charismatic 5.4-litre #V12 engine, capable of delivering a seamless 322hp through a five-speed automatic transmission. No wonder the engine was also chosen for the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. This cherished £18,995 #1996 Arctic silver example has covered just 24,800 miles and boasts Marine blue leather upholstery, air conditioning, double glazing, electronic damper control, tinted glass and a tracker system.

    Web: www.hexagonclassics.com

    Tel: 0208 348 5151/0207 225 3388/07774 194646
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    OBSCURATI CURIOSITIES FROM THE AMAZING WORLD OF ITALIAN CARS PININFARINA ABARTH SCORPIONE / Story by Chris Rees / Obscurati #Pininfarina-Abarth-Scorpione / #1996 / #Abarth-Scorpione / based on the #Autozam-AZ-1 / #Abarth / #Pininfarina

    Last year at a dinner, I found myself sitting next to #Lorenzo-Ramaciotti , Head of Global Design for the entire #Fiat-Alfa-Maserati-Chrysler combine. He’s a real design hero of mine, and this was a fascinating opportunity to find out about his life designing cars. Especially as it uncovered the little gem you see here.

    Ramaciotti’s Pininfarina days (he retired as head of Pininfarina back in 2005) are especially interesting to me, but when he let slip that he’d designed an Abarth-inspired coupe for a Japanese friend of his, I was incredulous. Really? Then he turned a bit bashful, telling me: “I would like to keep some mystery about it.” But after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I eventually got him to identify the design – the ‘Abarth Scorpione’.

    This yellow beastie is based on Mazda’s Autozam AZ-1, an intriguing micro-coupe with gullwing doors made between 1992 and 1995. The mid-engined sportscar conformed to Japan’s K-car city car rules, which means it has a 64bhp 660cc threecylinder turbo engine and is absolutely minute (just 3295mm long and 1395mm wide). Its handling is pin-sharp and it’s a surprisingly quick machine as it weighs a mere 720kg.

    However, one aspect of the AZ-1 in particular was very novel – its method of construction. It consisted of a steel spaceframe on to which glassfibre panels were affixed. These nonstressed body panels could be readily removed, inspiring many special-bodied versions to be made over the years – of which the Abarth Scorpione is easily the most exciting.

    The idea came from Shiro Kosaka, a collector of Abarths in Japan. In 1996 he was looking to commission an Abarth-style body for the AZ-1, and he got his friend at Pininfarina, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, to design it.

    The design doesn’t reproduce any specific Abarth but is perhaps most reminiscent of the 750 GT Zagato. In fact, Ramaciotti himself owns a blue 1956 Fiat-Abarth 750 Zagato, which he regards as “a superb design.” It’s the rear lid that does it really, with its echoes of the classic double-bubble design. The air intakes are genuinely functional, by the way – the AZ-1 is midengined, remember – but engine access with that lid design is pretty tricky.

    The front lights are from a Honda Today, while the rear lights are straight from Pininfarina’s Fiat Coupe. The windscreen and side windows are standard AZ-1, but the rear three-quarter and back windows are specially made from acrylic.

    The ‘Abarth Scorpione’ name seems to have been an unofficial tag applied to the car, and the Pininfarina badges that are affixed to all the cars that I’ve seen have been applied afterwards by owners – but entirely justifiably, as we now have it on personal authority that the car’s designer was the highly esteemed Lorenzo Ramaciotti.

    After one Scorpione was built for Mr Kosaka himself, the car was then put into production by a company called Saburo Japan, which marketed the glassfibre body conversion in kit form. The price for a full set of body panels was one million yen (about £7000 at the time), excluding fitting and painting. Since the AZ-1 remains very sought-after in Japan and supply is limited (fewer than 5000 were made in total), the end result was fairly expensive for what it was, and only around five are thought to have been sold. If ever I came across one of these, I’d be straight in to buy it, I think. A mid-engined turbocharged gullwing-doored Abarth designed by Pininfarina? Yes please!
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    The Forgotten

    King We take a look back at the E39 540i manual, a rare and sought-after car in recent years. When you think of an E39 with a V8 engine connected to a manual gearbox most people will think of an M5, but there was another often forgotten offering… Words: Simon Holmes /// Photography: Steve Hall

    It’s fair to say that just about everyone remembers the E39 5 Series with a certain degree of fondness. It’s officially gone down in the history books as one of the last true, older generation greats before electronic wizardry took a hold of #BMW . The headline-stealer of the time, and even now, was the range-topping M5. In the simplistic E39 platform its superb V8 engine matched to a six-speed manual gearbox gave a raw and unmolested hands-on driving experience. That’s something you could perhaps suggest is lacking in the subsequent fast Fives fitted with fancy SMG and DCT gearboxes.

    But the M5 wasn’t the only model to receive this V8/manual combination in a pre-electronics age E39. It’s easy to forget, especially now the model is a 15-year-old veteran, that there was already a V8-powered 5 Series available before the M5 came to power. Launched in May #1996 the 540i was introduced with a reworked version of the faithful M60 V8 that had appeared in the previous generation E34 5 Series. To bring it up-to-date for the new and improved platform capacity had been increased from an adequate 3982cc to a hearty 4398cc. Power remained at 286hp at 5700rpm but torque was up at 310lb ft and was available lower down the rev range at 3900rpm. The rack and pinion steering was replaced with a recirculating ball system to free up some space in the engine bay and the front axle carrier was made from steel rather than the aluminim used on other models to take the extra weight. 16-inch wheels, stiffer suspension and a leather interior were also part of the standard package for £43,130. With a 0-62mph time of just 6.2 seconds for the manual version and 6.6 seconds for the automatic, in this guise, the 540i enjoyed a twoyear spell as the all-conquering 5 Series until 1998 when the haloed M5 emerged for the first time.

    But whilst the new M car was to steal those aforementioned headlines, in the background the 540i also received a series of improvements, despite being knocked off the top spot. First came Dynamic Stability Control to replace the ageing Automatic Stability Control, but more crucial to the performance hungry consumers who didn’t want to venture into M territory was the introduction of Vanos to the M62 V8. Unlike the M5’s more complex Vanos setup, the M62 V8 models only received variable timing on the inlet side. The outright power figure didn’t actually increase whilst fuel economy only mildly improved but the torque figure took a turn for the better and now peaked at 325lb ft. That meaty figure wasn’t a long way off the M5’s 369lb ft and although performance on paper was no different, that extra torque made the car undoubtedly better to drive. However, despite the impressive figures, since the start of the 540i’s production the model was never really marketed as an outright performance saloon.

    Although a six-speed manual gearbox was standard the new-for-1996 five-speed Steptronic automatic was a no-cost option and, as a result, it was nearly always chosen. The manual was known for having a heavier clutch pedal than the six-cylinder cars but the automatic wasn’t exactly a fantastic gearbox and although the Steptronic function allowed you more control, its changes could still be painfully slow at times. This took the edge off the engine’s performance and removed some crucial driver involvement as well as decreasing performance. Although it was still no slouch with the auto it generally designated the 540i to a life of cruising motorways and A-roads as an executive express.


    In #1999 the perception of the 540i as a performance model was helped a long a little when the Sport version was introduced, which gained an aero kit, 17-inch M light alloys and Shadowline trim while on the inside there was a multi-function steering wheel and anthracite headlining. The price for the Sport package was actually a very reasonable £500, so unsurprisingly it was a common selection. A couple of years later the E39 as a whole received a face-lift and that included the 540i version.

    This meant angel-eye headlights, wider kidney grilles and different tail-lights and in 2002, the year before production stopped, 18-inch M Parallel wheels measuring nine-inches wide at the rear became standard fitment for normal 540i models, although the Sport still featured the smaller but lighter 17-inch wheels. The 18-inch wheels were a no cost option though and were often selected.


    That brief history of the 540i brings us nicely to the car we have pictured here. It ticks all of the major timeline boxes; it’s a 540i Sport that was first registered in December 2002, right at the end of production. It’s also a manual, which ironically has since become very desirable. Only a handful of these still exist, many having been either lost over the years to rot or ever-increasing running costs. Plus there are the cars that were pillaged for their drivetrain for all manner of hybrid creations.

    Thankfully, this example is still very much intact and is owned by reader Jag, the same owner of the E53 4.8iS X5 we featured last month. Clearly a man who is a glutton for fuel bill punishment, he again purchased the car on a bit of a whim after seeing it for sale on the internet. Having previously owned an E39 530i automatic, Jag had been yearning for a little more grunt and initially set his sights on the obvious choice – the E39 M5. But then he came across this 540i and upon realising it was a sought after manual version he decided he liked the idea of owning a rare and reputable 5 Series and snapped it up.

    Finished in Sterling grey with contrasting leather it’s a good example and Jag got a little lucky as it turned out a local BMW specialist previously owned the car as his personal car, so although it’s covered 130,000 miles it’s been well cared for. It also happens to have had plenty of costly options selected when it was new including sat nav, television and xenon headlights. But aside from the obvious options there are also some of the rarer and more novel selections from the options list, such as the electric window blinds and child booster seats in the rear.

    Although the car is good condition the sun has sadly bleached the once vibrant colour of the leather over the years, which is a shame but repairable. The rest of the interior still oozes that E39 charm that never really seems to go away. The cabin design has aged well and it all still feels reassuringly solid and just how you remember it. It’s very unimposing and simple in an almost relaxing sense; there’s no fancy iDrive system to master or push button engine start sequence to remember. Instead, a simple turn of a good old fashioned key in the steering column stirs the engine into a gentle burble that soon comes to rest on a soulful tickover note. Moving off, I find the clutch is far from what you would call heavy, although it’s immediately noticeable that the throw of the gear change feels long, very long. Current BMWs don’t have anywhere near the same amount of travel, making this feel a little odd. Out onto the open road and becoming reacquainted with the delightful E39 chassis soon makes up for the gear change misgivings. Although these V8-engined cars were fitted with what is generally regarded to be inferior recirculating ball steering it still feels precise with plenty of wonderful and weighted feedback, although it’s perhaps not as sharp as you might expect. Turn-in is direct but slightly dulled, not helped by the suspension, which feels a little soft, causing body roll when pushed. However, the E39 doesn’t feel like as big a car as it once did and it’s not the size or even the weight that seems to be a problem, it’s just simply softer compared to current BMWs, or an E39 M5 for instance, and that has a knock-on effect. The engine, however, is a peach and connected to the manual gearbox there’s much more control over its true ability, a strength that’s usually shrouded behind an automatic. This allows exploration of its potential in a new way.

    It’s clear from early on in both the rev range and on the speedo that there is plenty of grunt on tap, but its qualities are more complex than that. A majority of the torque arrives to the party early, as low as 1500rpm in fact and from there, once it’s risen up and riding its wave, it doesn’t tail off. It picks up the pace and carries it on, pulling effortlessly all the way through the rev counter until it reaches the 6000rpm mark when it seems like a good time to change gear. The engine feels quicker to react and quicker to rev with this gearbox, but the real beauty of the manual is being able to work the engine properly and changing gear gives a wonderful, rewarding sense of interaction when you’re pushing that V8 harder. When you do change up a gear it lands right back into its rather large sweet spot once again, delivering a pleasant and forceful kick as it regains momentum as you let the clutch out. All the time it is accompanied by a glorious, throaty, V8 soundtrack.

    However, the experience is bitter sweet. Throttle response is a little dull and whilst it’s refreshing changing gears and delving into the V8’s ability in a new way, the gear change itself isn’t exactly great. If it was noticeably long at slow speeds, it’s twice as bad during quicker changes, now giving it a vague feeling, too. It feels unnatural and out of kilter with the free rein you’re provided over that engine and that’s a shame really, considering the key ingredients are there. It doesn’t stop it being an overall pleasant drive and it’s still easy to drive fast as once it’s making its torque it doesn’t need the full 6000rpm to gain pace, but it takes away the edge to make it truly great.

    Combined with the slightly soft suspension and lack of sharp throttle response it’s probably best to describe the manual version of a 540i as a toned down M5 – but then that’s exactly what it is in theory. Bearing in mind the M car was over £15,000 more at the time it’s really no surprise to find that the 540i lacks a little of that focused finesse that the M5 excels at; however, that doesn’t stop it being a very potent and soulful executive express with some character. The manual gearbox itself may not hit the spot but the new dimension it opens up for the engine more than makes up for it. If only people had known how much better it was over an automatic 15 years ago there might just be a few more around to enjoy now…

    With 286hp and 325lb ft of torque the V8-engined #BMW-540i was certainly no slouch.

    TECH DATA #BMW-540i-E39 / #BMW-E39
    ENGINE: 32-valve, V8 #M62 / #M62B44
    CAPACITY: 4398cc
    MAX POWER: 286hp
    MAX TORQUE: 325lb ft
    TOP SPEED: 155mph
    0-62MPH: 6.2 seconds
    ECONOMY: 23.0mpg

    Out on the open road the delightful E39 chassis soon makes up for the gear change misgivings.

    Only a handful of these still exist, many having been either lost to rot or ever-increasing running costs. Plenty of toys to play with here; integrated child seats were an unusual option. Manual E39s are relatively rare, especially when hooked up to the mighty V8 engine.
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    THE OFFICE

    With its all-white bodywork, serious rims and, erm, fax machine, this slammed E38 is the ultimate exec cruiser. With all the exterior extrava gance of this German E38 #BMW-728i , nothing quite prepares you for the veritable office inside. Is that a fax coming through? Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Si Gray.

    How much would you pay for a luxury leather couch that seats five? Quality costs, so let’s conservatively say about £1000. But where to go shopping? Natuzzi? John Lewis? Perhaps Chaplins of Chelsea? No chance. You should be trawling the Autotrader or Pistonheads classifieds. You see, instead of handing over your grand to a grinning furniture store salesman, cosseting leather seating for five is on offer at this price with a BMW badge attached. Okay, so you won’t be able to use your leather seats in your lounge in front of the telly, but compensation comes with a free TV monitor, telephone and entertainment system. Oh, and a silky smooth engine and drivetrain to transport your five-seater couch anywhere across the country.

    Such incredible value comes in the shape of BMW’s 1994-2001 #BMW-E38 7-Series. These luxury saloons are currently the unloved fuel-burning and high tax bracket leviathans of the used market, where values have plummeted thanks to expensive fixes when all their complex electrickery goes wrong. And at 15-20 years old now, E38s have hit that point where even simple failures can cost more than the car’s worth. In short, people want rid of them.

    The upshot is for under £1000 there are numerous on the market, many with full MoTs and claiming to be in great condition. Spend around £3000 and you’ll find some with next-to-no miles, or if you’re feeling really brave, #BMW 750iL examples with a stonking 326hp V12 and the sort of specification that would add five figures to a current new BMW at the showroom. Either way, if you buy any E38 you have an ideal base for modifying an already luxurious cruiser.

    Things could go very extreme however. One man who has not held back is German Marcel Müller from the town of Zschopau near the Czech border. His #1996 E38 728i cruiser is far from subtle, not least with its 21-inch Alpina wheels tucked under a body lowered using FK coilover suspension.

    The 32-year-old bought the big Seven in 2006 when the vast chunk of its value had dropped away, thinking it ideal as an everyday car with good looks and comfort. “After a year it already had the first small changes, and it was soon only a summer vehicle from then,” Marcel said. “Year after year I have done more and more and the end is not yet in sight.”

    Marcel lucked in by choosing a #BMW-728i-E38 that had been highly spec’d by its original owner. Awesome treats included a Waeco fridge behind the rear armrest; a sat nav monitor; a phone in the centre arm rest and another under the B-pillar for use by the lucky one being chauffeured. And best of all, a fully working Possio fax machine is in the driver’s seat back. Yep, you remember those. All of these gadgets were original products fitted by BMW back in ’96 for what must have been a wealthy German with plenty of mod con flair.

    Marcel put it succinctly in German: “Clearly, such equipment was in a 7 Series for business people to use as a propelled office. I think it is crazy what BMW installed in its vehicles in the 1990s.” Inspired by his mobile office, Marcel spent eight months sourcing fine parts from other E38s to help turn his 728i into more of a show car, and tackled all the dismantling, cleaning, reworking and rewiring required himself. He insisted on only using original BMW parts, with the small exception of a modern iPhone cradle not available back in the ’90s. The car originally came with beige Montana leather, but Marcel felt it best to upgrade to an OEM beige Nappa interior for increased pampering. The seats, front and rear, are all heated and electronically adjusted with memory settings, and the space in here, especially the rear, is enough to qualify for limousine status.


    Be in no doubt; the back is where the party is truly at. It doesn’t matter that most of us haven’t sent a fax since 1998, to have one printing through gives more pleasure than an email ever could. Marcel has also fitted an OEM central monitor for the rear passengers, huge vanity mirrors for the head rests and über rare swing tables with wood panels possibly used by the very same German bankers that decided the Euro was a good plan back in the late ’90s. Ah well, they could always reach for a fine Weissbier in the arm rest fridge to drown their sorrows.

    A nice touch is an original Alpina steering wheel that was in poor condition when Marcel picked it up. He restored the wooden part and re-dyed the leather sections to match the beige interior. Then there’s a full DSP sound system, double glazed windows, rear sun blinds and #BMW Advanced footwell lighting front and rear, all retro-fitted, and it feels more than a match for any First Class section on an Arab airline.

    And speaking of Middle Eastern tastes, a 7 Series dressed in white would be the natural choice for a Sheikh rolling around Dubai or Abu Dhabi. This resprayed Mercedes white 728i looks equally at home aside German mountains, and has been whitened further with a colour-coded US-spec front bumper (notice the number plate recess absent here for a smoother look), white rubbing strips, door handles and kidney grille. Front indicators are also white and the smoked rear lights have a white LED brake light portion.

    To contrast, Gloss black has been used for the window frames and the inside of the door mirrors. You’ll also note that face-lift lights have been fitted on this early model year E38, while the headlight washer system has also been upgraded by Marcel, and features a lengthy chrome flash across the top of the bumper, matching the rear’s metallic strip. BMW badges are long gone to smooth panels over, while the arches allround have a more muscular look to them having been rolled to accommodate the rims.

    These are very special 21-inch #Alpina Classic examples, in mighty 8.5-inch (front) and 10-inch (rear) dimensions. Shod in rubber bands and combined with FK coilover suspension, you’d have thought all those internal comforts would be rendered useless by such typically rough-riding mods.

    Apparently not. “The chassis is sporty, but the size of the car and the deep comfort inside means it’s comfortable, even if it doesn’t look like it from the outside,” Marcel explained. Although these E38s came with anything up to a 5.4-litre V12, Marcel’s example features the somewhat tame 2.8-litre straightsix. That offers a reasonable 193hp, but with all the weight in this tech-heavy Seven, it’s not got shove in spades. At present the only underbonnet changes are cosmetic, with carbon fibre used for the rocker cover, intakes and panels, plus a rather impressive underbonnet lining in white leather.

    The final article is fresh, luxurious, stylishly grand and with more than a little pimp about it. It is a Seven to slowly cruise the city streets in dazzling comfort, and there’s more than a fair chance you’d succeed when pulling up beside a pretty girl and asking if she’d like to swap fax numbers.

    Yet the future may get even more extreme for this #E38 . While sedate Sunday cruising to the ice cream parlour is its current habitat, Marcel has plans to turn his Seven into one of Europe’s quickest palaces on wheels. This winter he’s committed to fitting an ASA supercharger system, with the potential for a fair few hundred horsepower extra. With an uprated exhaust system and big brake kit also in the pipeline, passenger rides around the Nürburgring in this 728i could lead to thrilling back seat business conferences.

    Whatever the future holds, to see these glorious E38s getting modified is a rare treat, and one that is with significant reward. They’re so cheap to buy at the moment and find a well spec’d one, or parts to fit as Marcel has, and there can be few barges to compete for the money. A job well done by our German friend, and we look forward to passing on our congratulations for his efforts – by fax, of course.

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE: 2.8-litre #M52B28 #M52 straight-six, custom carbon fibre panels, intakes, shrouds and rocker cover, white leather inside bonnet cover.

    TRANSMISSION: OE five-speed automatic #ZF5HP .

    CHASSIS: 8.5x21” (front) and 10x21” (rear) #Alpina-Classic wheels shod in 245/30 Hankook Ventus S1 Evo tyres (front) and 255/30 Federal 595 RPM tyres (rear), FK coilover suspension, standard brakes with painted white brake disc hubs.

    EXTERIOR: US-spec front bumper colour-coded white, white surround foglights, rolled wheel arches front and rear, Mercedes white respray, colour-coded white body rubbing strips and kidney grille, window frames and side mirrors painted Gloss black, face-lift E38 headlights, upgraded headlight washing system with chrome panel, LED smoked rear lights, clear front indicators, debadged, colour-coded door handles with back lighting.

    INTERIOR: OEM beige Nappa leather seats, dashboard and doorcards, Alpina steering wheel, electrically heated and operated front seats with memory, electrically adjustable and heated rear seats, navigation system with front monitor, full DSP sound system with sub under the rear shelf, central armrest telephone, hydraulic tailgate, double glazing side windows, rear sun blinds, split-zone climate control front and rear, OEM swing tables with wood panels, head rest mirrors, central rear monitor, rear phone under B-pillar, Possio fax machine, Waeco refrigerator behind ski hatch, BMW Advanced footwell lighting front and rear, illuminated door handles, original Alpina speedometer and trip computer, aftermarket iPhone cradle and charger, chrome kick panels.

    Engine is currently standard but supercharger is planned; white leather underbonnet lining is magnificent.
    I think it’s crazy what BMW installed in its vehicles in the 1990s.

    Interior is brimming with office goodies, plus a fridge. Obviously.

    Interior is nothing if not opulent and comes with all mod cons.
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