- Post is under moderationKARMA CHAMELEON #M52 BMW
Last year, Lewis Maher won our Air Lift competition and he put the kit to good use, building this slick #E46 . Lewis Maher didn’t even want an E46 but some intangible attraction to this #BMW-323Ci-E46 along with some good karma has led him to build this unique brown-green dream machine… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Mathew Bedworth.
The chameleon is nature’s greatest trickster. Rather than running away like a cowardly gazelle or hopelessly trying to fend off attackers like those butterflies that have evolved to look poisonous, the chameleon casually hides in plain sight by simply altering the manner in which predators and prey perceive it. Well, I say ‘simply’, it’s probably taken the glacial pace of evolution quite some effort to develop colour-shifting cells that can be altered at whim but it’s a neat party trick, isn’t it? This Pantone chicanery has been aped by car manufacturers ever since they figured out that holding the spray gun at a different angle can alter the colour scheme depending on where you’re standing. #TVR became obsessed with the technique in the 2000s, and even the humble Nissan Micra and Primera were offered with flip paint, much to the facepalming of countless accident repair centres. And arguably the crowning achievement of this paint-based tomfoolery is the shade of brown you’re looking at here. Which, as logic dictates, is named ‘Irish green’. It looks brown from afar but morphs through a wide palette of green before turning gold in the sunlight.
As you can imagine, having this Volkswagen-sourced Irish Green paint slathered across the #BMW-E46 that you see before you, this is not so much hiding in plain sight as it is rubbing everyone’s noses in it. Look at all the other cars on the showground, all one-dimensional in their single-colour paint jobs. Yes, your mile-deep black or sumptuous burgundy may be polished to the nth degree, but does it change colour when you walk past it? No. You should really get some Irish Green in your life, it makes everything better.
“It’s a mind-boggling name for a shade of brown,” concedes Lewis Maher, the man with the keys in his hand. But this is all part of the fun, of course. Boggling minds is precisely what helps you stand out from the crowd. In the land of the ubiquitous, the double-take is king. “The car actually originally belonged to my mate Brendan Tillbrook, who’s in the paint trade,” Lewis explains. “He got the car in Topaz blue and decided to try out Irish green ready for the #2013 Players Classic show. Back then it sat on Porsche twists in a #Mercedes cream colour. That was the state I got it in and I wanted to keep the colour; unfortunately I got crashed into in December 2013 shortly after buying the car. The guy didn’t pay out and I didn’t want to go through the insurance so I ended up funding the repairs myself.
Luckily Steve Denton and the guys over at Stylehaus in Northampton were on hand to repair the damage and give the car a good tidy up all over for the #2014 show season.” What’s interesting about this stage of the story is that Lewis didn’t actually want an E46 in the first place. “I was never really a fan of them,” he shrugs. “My original plan was to buy an #E36 , or maybe even a Nissan S14, but one day Brendan came along offering me this car and there was just something about it. To this day I can’t tell you exactly what it was that drew me to it, it just has… something. It’s the first BMW I’ve actually had on the road, too! I briefly owned an #E30 project when I was a teenager but I had to get rid of it and, prior to this car, I mostly had VWs.” This makes sense.
The VW scene is arguably one of the key driving forces in the stance movement (there’s no point seeing it as a rival to the BMW stance scene, they’re such wildly different offerings that happen to intersect here and there), and it certainly explains his enthusiasm for that weird paint shade. But anyway, back to the preparations for the 2014 season. “I left the car with Steve and Ash Hinton from Allstance in January, before I went back to phase one training in the army,” says Lewis. “I was going to be away for a while and just said to them that I wanted it all sorted. And it was around this time that I entered Performance #BMW ’s competition for the Air Lift suspension kit… and I won!” This radical change in the very being of the #323Ci provided just the impetus and momentum that Lewis and Allstance needed to progress the car to the next level. After all, it’s one thing to buy someone else’s show car, but it’s quite another to make it your own.
At this point, however, it’s probably important to point out that the phrase ‘show car’ only relates to one facet of the E46’s function. “The car’s used for daily commuting. I run around wherever I need to go as well as getting to shows in it,” Lewis explains. Which is just the way it should be, and is all the more impressive given the aggressive chassis mods and super-spotless rims he’s running.
“I couldn’t have been more excited about winning the Air Lift suspension and got straight on the phone to Ash to get it fitted,” Lewis continues. “I was actually on the train home for a long weekend break from training when I got the news, so that weekend I popped over to Stylehaus, with the help of my mate Travis Price, to go and see Ash and Steve and share the news. It just so happened that Ash introduced me to a guy named Aaron who knew of a set of wheels that [Players linchpin] Carl Taylor was getting sent over that he thought would work. This set of wheels happened to be the VCEs…” The Rotiform VCE, to the uninitiated, is a forged design that evokes the motorsport rims of retro rally cars and homologation specials (think Delta Integrale or Escort Cosworth Monte Carlo, that whole Compomotive/Speedline vibe) while ballooning the dimensions and adding a frisson of shimmer that shifts the race look into somewhere between VIP and OEM+. And they look pretty badass, do they not?
“I saw them in a picture on Aaron’s phone and immediately knew I wanted them on my car,” Lewis recalls. “I had no clue what they would look like, I just wanted them! So the wheels and air-ride arrived a month or so later and Ash and Steve began cracking on ready for April when I was due to collect it. They quickly realised that the Rotiforms wouldn’t fit without some arch work but, naturally, I said ‘just get them to fit!’ which they did!” And what a cracking job they’ve done. But let’s not forget that behind the glitz and glamour, we’re still looking at a daily driver. With this in mind, Lewis sourced a complete M-Sport interior in cream leather from eBay, along with complementary steering wheel. It’s important to have these little luxuries when you’re spending so much time hammering the thing to work and back. The Eonon double DIN stereo helps here, too, while the full wooden trim provides a touch of class to sit neatly alongside the cream cowhide. “I always thought wood was for granddads until I saw how it looked in this car!” Lewis laughs.
This holistic approach spreads to the exterior as well. Sure, the paintwork is unique and alluring but there’s more to this build than simply slapping a wacky hue on a stock body. While the arches have been inevitably massaged to squish the Rotiforms under there – rolled and smoothed, with the rears subtly widened by 10mm apiece – there are myriad details to discover; the more you look, the more you see. Both bumpers have been fully smoothed, along with the wings and bootlid. You’ll spot a glistening gloss black finish on the wiper arms, scuttle panel, grilles, and wing mirror back plates, while the carbonfibre BMW roundels are counterpointed by chrome window surrounds. The devil, as they say, is in the detail.
Lewis’s thinking behind this build is very much like the eyes of the chameleon. The big lizard’s peepers move independently, meaning that it can keep an eye both on predators and prey; similarly Lewis can focus on what’s right for the car’s aesthetics while also retaining its usability. The fun part is when both of these approaches align: for the chameleon, it means stereoscopic vision; for this E46, it’s a win-win fusion of delectable aesthetics and practical rearwheel drive thrills. And that’s very good karma, isn’t it?
DATA FILE #BMW-323Ci
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.5-litre straightsix #M52TUB25 , #Getrag #323i gearbox and stock diff.
CHASSIS: 8.5x18” ET35 (front & rear) #Rotiform VCE wheels with 20mm adaptors, 215/35 (front & rear) #Nankang NS2s, Air Lift Performance digital air-ride with camber-adjustable top mounts, stock 323i brakes.
EXTERIOR: VW Irish Green paint, fully smoothed bumpers, wings and bootlid, gloss black details (wiper arms, scuttle panel, rear bumper grille, front grilles, wing mirror back plates), chrome window trims, carbon-fibre BMW roundels, rear arches widened 10mm, arches rolled and smoothed all-round.
INTERIOR: Cream leather M Sport interior, M Sport steering wheel, Eonon double DIN head unit, wood trim.
THANKS: A massive thanks to my mum and her partner for putting up with the car, and also helping me with all the little things getting done on it! My dad for helping with the clutch when I needed to change it and all we had was a jack and two axle stands (for a 50-year-old he still has the knack of working on cars!), Ashley at Allstance, Aaron for helping us get it running for Players, Carl Taylor, Steve and the crew at Stylehaus, all my friends that have helped in every way with the build, Travis Price for holding me to my word and making me build this epic car, Josh and Dan for helping lift the engine when I needed to get it out, Jason Manton for all the valeting work, and Matthew Bedworth for the images and keeping me going with this car. And finally, a huge thanks to my girlfriend Samantha for putting up with me and my addiction to the car. If it wasn’t for her the car wouldn’t have got to where it is now!
18” Rotiform VCEs look fantastic on this E46, especially when combined with the Air Lift kit.
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- Post is under moderationLIMITLESS
Many of us dream of building a seriously big-power #BMW , but few people make that into a reality. This 1004whp E21 sleeper is a very real dream build. With 1004whp, this incredible turbocharged #E21 goes above and beyond the concept of fast… Words: Seb de Latour. Photos: Patrik Karlsson.
You might, having just read that little intro, be wondering how much power is too much power. If you’re thinking that, this feature probably isn’t for you. In fact, maybe you should just put down #Drive-My and pick up a copy of Crochet Monthly or something along those lines. The correct answer to the above question is, of course, that there is no such thing as too much power. Okay, if we’re being absolutely sensible then, yes, 1004whp might be a little tricky to deploy in the middle of a downpour or, more likely in owner Joni Simila’s home country of Sweden, in the middle of a crisp, white winter but then you can either jump in something more suitable or travel in a far more sideways fashion. More power means you can go faster and going fast is most definitely a good thing. And when you reach, and manage to break through, the 1000hp barrier, well, there are few bigger feathers for your cap. 1000hp is a magical, almost fantasy realm of power, a number so large and incomprehensible to mere mortals that attempting to understand what 1000hp could possibly be like will see your brain melting and dripping out through your ears. True fact.
For Joni, 1000whp, and just a fraction more, is something he’s most definitely managed to wrap his brain around and something he’d wanted from the off when he started this build. His interest in cars began when he was young, watching and helping his dad fix them. When he was a bit older he bought a motocross bike which he worked on. At school he took a course in car mechanics. During this time he also watched his brother play around with various modified cars. The seeds were sown and as Joni grew so did his passion for all things automotive.
His first car was a 1.6 1988 #Honda-Civic hatchback and that’s fine, because we’ve all got to start somewhere, but having sampled the particular pleasures offered by rearwheel drive in his brother’s E28 M535i, a BMW purchase was inevitable. It began with an #E30 #323i Exclusive with a #325i engine but the first big project was an E28 M535i sleeper which featured a turbo and made 715whp and 634lb ft of torque at 2bar of boost. He sold it in 2012, inspired to go bigger and better, as he explains: “When I sold my E28, I only sold it because I wanted to build a 1000whp sleeper car and it’s hard to get that sort of power from the E28’s M30 engine. After the E28 sold I bought an E36 M3 to build up. I bought it in the middle of summer and took it to some meets. However, all the other cars I saw at meets were also E36s in different styles. As a result I decided that it wasn’t a special enough car, like the E28 was, so I traded it in for an E21 with one of the owners of Pure Performance Factory (PPF).”
Joni may have known that he wanted a big project but it all got going a lot sooner than expected as, approximately one-hour into E21 ownership, the diff broke. “I towed the car home, rolled it into the garage, lifted it up and started planning,” says Joni, matter-of-factly.
With a target of 1000whp the engine had to be rebuilt to be able to generate (and deal with) that sort of power level, and that’s after you’ve chosen an engine for the task in hand. Joni opted for the S50B32 before taking the whole thing to pieces. “I dismantled and reassembled the engine with the help of my cousins and a friend did the headwork and lined up the camshafts,” he explains. The intake and exhaust channels were ported and then the cylinder head was fitted with chromoloy retainers, PPF valve springs, a copper ring head gasket, ARP bolts and all-new gaskets throughout. The block was sent off to an engine specialist and treated to CP pistons with heavy-duty pins, PPF forged H-beam rods with ARP bolts, a support girdle with ARP bolts, new bearings, a new oil pump, new water pump and gaskets before everything was balanced and checked for bearing play.
With the foundations set, Joni was now able to put together the turbo setup. As his day job is being a welder and iron worker he was able to do all of the pipework manufacture and welding himself. For the turbo, he turned to Precision Turbo and opted for a monster PT7675, which carries a horsepower rating of 1160 and features a 76mm compressor wheel and 75mm turbine wheel, along with a 46mm wastegate. This giant snail needed a home, so a suitably beefy manifold was constructed along with a custom intake and then a custom 3.5” turboback exhaust was fabricated, which then splits into two 3” pipes running to the rear bumper with a silencer on each. A PPF intercooler and 76mm blow-off valve were selected along with an Allstar aluminium radiator and Spall fan plus a 19-row oil cooler. With such a massive turbo chucking so much air into the engine, the S50 has developed a voracious appetite for fuel and needs some pretty heavy-duty hardware to ensure it gets enough of what it needs. The engine runs 1600cc Racetronix injectors, two Aeromotive A1000 fuel pumps, a custom-built 60-litre fuel cell with a 2.5-litre catch tank, VAG COM ignition coils and the whole thing is looked after by MaxxECU engine management.
The end result is 1004whp, somewhere in the region of 1200hp at the flywheel, with 780lb ft of torque, which is enough to be getting on with. That’s going to put a serious strain on the drivetrain so every component along the way has been uprated. There’s a Sachs 765 pressure plate mated to a fourpuck sintered clutch disc and an M30 flywheel; the five-speed gearbox is from an #E39 #530d and there are 128mm chromoly CV-joints with super durable driveshafts. On the suspension front there are Bilstein dampers all-round with custom-built coilovers up front along with Strongflex bushes and an #E28 #M535i rear end with camber and toe adjustment. The brakes have been upgraded but perhaps not as much as you’d expect and rather than a massive off-the-shelf BBK Joni has opted for a set of four-piston E32 750i calipers mated to E36 M3 discs and GreenStuff pads, while at the rear there’s a set of E34 540i calipers and discs, also with GreenStuff pads.
Aesthetically speaking, this is one extremely sexy E21 and you couldn’t really ask for more of a sleeper. “The plan for the exterior was pretty clear,” explains Joni on his route with the styling and colour choice.
“My cousin, who is a car painter, decided the colour, otherwise he would not paint the car! I wanted the car to have a clean, original look so the BBS front spoiler, single headlights, clear turn signal lights, slightly tinted rear lights and BMW Motorsport handles was enough.” The car was painted in a lovely Fiat metallic grey called Grigio Vinci that really suits the E21 and looks great when the light hits it and picks out the flake; plus it adds to the subtle look of the whole project. On the wheel front, Joni wanted 10x17s at the rear with a wide lip and found these staggered Keskin KT1s for sale online at a good price. Fake splits they may be but they’re good-looking wheels, having taken their inspiration from OZ Futuras, though Joni plans to get rid of these and move to a set of real split-rims at some stage.
Inside, things have been kept pretty simple. The seats are the stock items and the only real changes are the RRS steering wheel and the modified instrument cluster, with Hartge speedo and additional VDO gauges, while the dash has also been given a good flocking. A custom leather retrim is planned for the winter, says Joni.
This is an incredibly comprehensive build, more than a year’s worth of work culminating in an unfeasibly powerful E21 that many a BMW fan would aspire to. However, in retrospect there are a number of things Joni would have done differently if he could and things that he plans to change. “If money was no object I would replace the stock camshafts with some meaner ones, fit a Vanos unit and replace the stock valves with some oversized race valves,” he says. “But my plans for next season, as well as getting new wheels and a custom leather interior, are to fit some stronger driveshafts and I will probably find many other things to change along the way. Winter time here in Sweden is long.”
A lot has gone into building this #BMW-E21 but Joni’s now got exactly what he wanted and he’s over the moon with the car. 1000hp takes dedication and a whole lot of hard work but one look at this E21 will tell you that it’s worth it, and then some.
ENGINE: 3.2-litre straight-six #S50B32 , ported intake and exhaust channels, chromoly retainers, PPF valve springs, copper ring head gasket, ARP bolts, all-new gaskets, CP pistons with heavy duty pins, PPF forged H-beam rods with ARP bolts, support girdle with ARP bolts, new bearings, new oil pump, new water pump, new gaskets, everything balanced and checked for bearing play, Precision Turbo PT7675 a/r 0.96 turbocharger, Precision Turbo 46mm wastegate, custom turbo manifold, custom 3.5” downpipe and 3.5” exhaust with x2 3” rear pipes with single silencer one each side, PPF 600x300x76mm intercooler, PPF 75mm blow-off valve, custom intake, Allstar aluminium radiator, 19-row oil cooler, Spal radiator fan, MaxxECU engine management, VAG COP ignition coils, 1600cc Racetronix injectors, two Aeromotive A1000 fuel pumps, Aeromotive 13109 regulator, custom 60-litre fuel cell with built-in 2.5-litre catch tank, An8 fuel feed and An6 fuel return.
TRANSMISSION: E39 530d Getrag five-speed manual gearbox, Sachs 765 pressure plate, four-puck sintered clutch disc, BMW M30 flywheel, 128mm chromoly CV joints with super durable driveshafts.
CHASSIS: 8.5x17” (front) and 10x17” (rear) #Keskin KT1 wheels with 205/40 (front) and 225/45 (rear) tyres, E28 M535i rear end, modified to fit with camber and toe adjustment, Strongflex bushes front and rear, custom front coilovers, Bilstein dampers front and rear, #BMW-E32 #750i four-piston calipers with #E36 #M3 discs and GreenStuff pads (front), #BMW-E34 #540i calipers and discs with GreenStuff pads (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full respray in Fiat Grigio Vinci metallic grey, BBS front spoiler, single headlights, clear indicators, slightly tinted rear lights, BMW Motorsport door handles.
INTERIOR: Standard seats, flocked dashboard and centre console, RRS suede-rimmed steering wheel, BMW M gear knob, modified gauge panel with BMW E30 Hartge speedo and VDO oil pressure and oil temp gauges.
THANKS: Pure Performance Factory, Keijo, Toni, Mika, Henka, Jim, Robban, Promille, Lars, PPG, Weldor AB, Lackspecialisten Köping, Kolsva Vattenskärning and all of you who have helped in one way or another.
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- Post is under moderationDouble Trouble. A pair of #BMW-E30 #M3 s over in Australia that are modified in very different ways to do very similar things. We meet two owners in Australia with a pair of modified E30 M3s for the track and road that follow very different paths to achieve similar goals… Words: Simon Holmes. Photography: Brodie Butler.
If there was ever an automotive example to best capsulate the expression ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat’ then it’s this pair of E30s. These two Australian-based cars are both genuine M3s and both are heavily modified to be hugely effective on both the road and track. But their owners Phil Peak and Scott Lockhart have taken very different approaches and their cars are as different as chalk and cheese, or black and white to use a more accurate analogy. Exterior-wise they may seem similar, aside from the polar opposite Touring Car liveries, but inside and, more importantly, under the bonnet they are very different machines.
We’ll start with Phil’s car, the Diamond black example that perhaps represents the more orthodox side of M3 tuning. Powered by a heavily breathed upon S14 engine that’s pumping out 217hp at the wheels, with the rev limit set to only 7200rpm, it certainly suits the Touring Car theme! As you might expect, Phil is no stranger to a #BMW , particularly an E30, although he admits he was actually an avid VW enthusiast before making the transition over to BMWs. It began with an #E30 #325is he purchased in 1997 from a friend but he admits he’s been fond of them for much longer. “I’ve always liked BMWs really,” recalls Phil. “I was in my late teens living in West Germany when the E30s were released. They had an M3 at the local dealership and I remember looking at it every time I went past thinking ‘one day…’.”
He’s since owned several rather fine E30s over the years including a convertible fitted with an S50 engine from an E36 M3. But his boyhood dream to own a genuine M3 took a little longer to fulfill as other commitments had always posed a problem and it wasn’t helped by the fact E30 M3s are rather difficult to find in Australia. So when the right chance came up at the right time to own this car he jumped at it. “I was lucky enough to know the previous owner,” tells Phil. “He had just imported the car from Japan after buying it blind at auction and after taking delivery he got a job offer he couldn’t turn down. He didn’t want to take the car with him so I knew he had to sell it before he moved. We came to an agreement on price and I bought it off him.”
Finally, the elusive E30 M3 was his, except this particular car was in what Phil describes as “fairly average condition”, having been fitted with an aftermarket front fibreglass bumper and a mismatched interior. The car had also received a poor quality blow over respray in Japan for the auction and then there was the small matter of mechanical health. “The performance was a big let down after driving the #S50 -powered convertible. Even though this only had 114,000km on the clock the engine most definitely needed a freshen up but I knew I could sort all that out,” he explains.
A mechanical fitter by trade, and not one to do things by halves, Phil developed a plan to thoroughly restore the tired M3 and rebuild it into a usable and capable all-rounder for both the road and track: “My intentions with the car have always been to bring it back to its former glory no matter how long it takes, as this car is a keeper. And I wanted to drive it on the track as I don’t believe in garage queens.”
Initially, Phil intended to address the bodywork first but after testing the water with the car at a track day he decided it would be best to sort out the mechanical side of things before anything else. “The engine was lacking a bit of power so I decided to tear the whole thing down and do a full rebuild with the aim of improving things along the way,” he says. “I set about finding all the various parts for the rebuild and once I had them I sent the block away to be rebored and the cylinder head went to VAC Motorsports in the USA for one of their Stage 3 head builds.”
The block was treated to a 2.3-litre competition spec rebuild with heavily uprated internals. Ready for the head’s return, Schrick cams and a carbon fibre DTM-style intake were put aside along with plenty of other tasty bits. The engine build actually took nearly two years to complete from start to finish due to other commitments, or “life getting in the way” as Phil puts it. In the meantime, with the engine build at least started Phil began on other areas that required his attention and the interior was next on the list.
First of all he sourced the correct front seats and then got hold of a full retrim kit from Germany, along with an M3 Sport Evo steering wheel, gear knob and footrest. “I like to have a few creature comforts. I didn’t want to gut the interior and stick a cage in as it’s not a dedicated track car, plus it’s illegal over here to drive around in a stripped-down car with a cage.”
With that covered, next came the exterior. Not wanting to deviate too far from the M3’s iconic look, Phil chose his additions carefully in the shape of an M3 Evo rear wing and matching front lip spoiler along with smoked headlights, tail-lights and indicator lenses. The look is finished off perfectly with the 8x16-inch BBS three-piece split-rims that closely mimic the original style. However, it’s the livery that makes the biggest visual impact and it was fitted in an effort to brighten up the Japanese blow over paint job, which certainly seems to have worked. “Of course, the car is the wrong colour for the original Warsteiner graphics but I thought they looked okay in reverse colours so decided to go for it,” Phil reveals. “The graphics don’t look too out of place. When I eventually get the paint done I will be happy with the black-on-black look as I think that’s the best exterior/interior colour combo but I think it will be like this for a while as I want to enjoy the car a bit before getting it painted.”
When the engine was eventually back together it was time for the first drive and thankfully it proved to be everything he had hoped for. “The first real drive after the rebuild was great,” Phil grins. “On the dyno we set the rev limit to 7200rpm to be safe and got 217hp at the wheels with it still pulling really strong at the limiter. It’s not far off my cabriolet in terms of power but so much better to drive.”
The rebuild took three whole years to complete and Phil tells us the hardest and most frustrating part was actually sourcing bits and getting them delivered, as virtually everything had to be imported. The car isn’t completely finished yet but Phil is understandably pretty happy with what he’s achieved since owning it as the M3 already puts a lot of bigger power cars in their place on track. “Over here they are all into big V8s and muscle cars and it certainly holds its own,” Phil says. “The noise from the carbon fibre intake is my favourite part – it just screams and puts a huge grin on people’s faces. The suspension needs improvement now the power is sorted but this build still has a long way to go to get the car where I want it to be. But as it’s a work in progress I’m really happy with the way things are going.” Future plans also include a revised engine map so then the rev limit can be raised to the untold reaches of 8500rpm and that should release a bit more power, too.
Speaking of more power, now seems like a fine time to introduce Scott’s Alpine white M3. Whereas Phil has gone to town on the original S14, Scott’s car is a little less conventional, having been fitted with an S50 six-cylinder that happens to be turbocharged to produce a huge 480hp at the wheels. Fair to say it’s a beast, but it’s just at home on a track as Phil’s car is and that was always the intention.
Much like Phil, Scott’s interest for BMWs also developed some years ago and it began with an E30. It started in 1995 when he was lucky enough to stumble across a rare John Player Special E30 323i Coupé at an upmarket car dealership in Perth. A very limited number of these special edition cars were built to celebrate BMW’s victories at the famous Bathurst race in Australia during the 1980s. The cars featured iconic black paintwork with gold pinstripes, Recaro seats, an LSD and gold JPS insignias on the C-pillars. Scott was still at uni at the time but it was love at first sight for him and he had to have it.
He bought the car and then lavished his time and money on the car over the next few years, spending nearly every pay check he had upgrading the engine, suspension and wheels. It rewarded him with a lifelong appreciation for the brand, though. “That car, and the shear ease with which it connected me as a driver started my obsession with BMWs and it’s been a love affair ever since,” he states.
That’s not an understatement either as he’s since gone on to own a vast array of interesting BMWs. He still owns a fine fleet, worthy of a What’s in your Garage? feature, comprising an #E60 #M5 , an #E24 #635CSi , an #E28 #M535i and an #E30 #323i Coupé. “I love collectible BMWs, preferably with some sort of motorsport connection,” he says. His dream car is a #BMW-M1 but the E30 M3 is a close second, and that’s the one we’re interested in – for now, at least.
For Scott, the M3 has always been an iconic car and when it came to eventually replacing his first E30 love there was only one suitable choice, as he explains: “I never got over having to sell my E30 JPS when I left Australia in #1998 to further my career in London. While I owned that car I always wanted an M3 but couldn’t afford one. I’m lucky that my wife, Marissa, is also a huge car fan and when I told her I was considering adding another BMW to our fleet she immediately took to the shape of the E30 M3.”
However, as Phil found, finding an #BMW-M3-E30 in Australia is tricky and Scott had to use all his resources, both near and far, to locate one. “I had friends looking in the USA and the UK for me, while I spent most nights glued to my computer screen checking out VIN numbers, history and pictures,” he explains. “After about a month my wife asked, ‘why haven’t you looked locally?’ to which I replied, ‘well, honey there aren’t very many of these cars, so finding one in Perth would be a longshot.’ At that point she had already found one for sale, 20 minutes from our house, and in Alpine white no less. With only a very small handful of these cars in Australia, I was amazed, and now I listen intently when my wife talks BMWs,” he admits.
The car was not exactly what you would call a perfect standard example, though. Far from it, in fact. The original S14 motor was long gone, apparently having made its way into a 2002. In its place was the S50 conversion complete with turbo already fitted. This wasn’t an issue for Scott as it happened to suit his overall plan for the car as the #M3 was destined for heavy track use. “I wanted something that was able to produce more power than the S14 with track car reliability. S14s can create great power but they can become quite fragile on long events. The newer #BMW-M3 engine with a little boost added for a bit more of a surprise was the way to go for me,” Scott tells us.
Having competed in club level events for a few years in a modified R32 Nissan Skyline GTR, the intention was to introduce his love of BMWs into his competitive racing. But with the likes of heavily modified Mitsubishi Evos and Nissan GTRs to compete against, the more modern engine helped level the playing field in terms of power. However, there was work to do before it could start battling on track with tuned Japanese machinery as although the turbocharged S50 engine was in place it was barely running, largely due to electrical issues. There were also plenty of other problems to address. “It looked great when I purchased it but it needed time spent on it to deal with the electrical gremlins. It also needed new wiring, brakes, wheels, a livery and a decent tune,” Scott states.
On the plus side, the paintwork was in good condition having recently been resprayed to a high standard. Influenced by the Touring Cars he watched when growing up, Scott decided the Warsteiner livery would suit the car well. The 1980s Touring Carinspired theme extended into the cabin and although the car was already stripped of an interior when he got it, Scott had it blasted, cleaned and painted Touring Car-style glossy grey inside. The DTM gearshift knob will soon be joined by a full DTM dash to replace the current Stack unit, too.
The build to bring the car up to a good, working standard took nearly a year and plenty was changed in that time. The work was entrusted to Galvsport in Perth and the guys there spent many hours on the car. Scott remembers the first time he went out in it as it was actually Josh from Galvsport who first took me for a spin. “It was in the Warsteiner colours, numbers on the doors, no bonnet, race tyres, race seats and harnesses and all in peak hour traffic, it was a blast. I was stunned how quick it was from the passenger seat, and it wasn’t long before I got a chance to drive it on the track,” he enthuses.
Scott reports that the car does, in fact, handle the power very well on track and on occasion it’s also driven on the road, usually to and from events or for a spin up and down the coast. But wherever he goes it gets a great reaction. “Everyone young and old loves it and it gets a lot of attention. Nobody knows what to expect from it and not only is it rare, it is well balanced and easy to drive, it puts a smile on your face every time,” says Scott. “They say that a good track car drives terribly on the road and while my M3 certainly is no M5, it still drives very well. The power delivery is like a light switch in low gears but if you cruise in fourth or fifth it is very enjoyable to squeeze on some of that boost on the open roads.”
Future plans for the car involve improving grip further as there’s more development work to be done on the suspension setup to improve what’s there. There’s even talk of a bit more boost and Scott would like to enter the car in Targa road rallies once the suspension has been fine tuned to deal with the bumpy roads.
So there you have it. Two very different ways to effectively achieve a very similar impact. We would happily take either one.
Phil’s Black M3
ENGINE & GEARBOX: #S14 2.3-litre producing 217hp @ 7200rpm at the wheels, VAC Motorsport Stage 3 cylinder head, 1mm oversized valves, balanced and blueprinted, VAC valve springs with titanium retainers, Schrick 284 intake and 276 exhaust cams, VAC adjustable cam sprockets, 48mm throttle bodies, Volvo green injectors, carbon fibre DTM-style intake plenum, 50/50 headers mated to full stainless steel Supersprint race exhaust, Miller MAF Conversion with WAR Chip engine management, fully rebuilt /balanced bottom end by Galloways race engineering using CP 2.3 competition spec pistons (11:1 compression), OS Gieken clutch and lightweight flywheel, Dogleg gearbox 3.7:1 differential with LSD.
CHASSIS: Tein coilovers all round, AC Schnitzer front and rear anti-roll bars, polyurethane bushes throughout BRAKES: Standard M3 callipers with uprated discs and pads all-round, braided brake lines, uprated pedalbox WHEELS & TYRES: 8x16-inch BBS RS three-piece split-rims with 215/45/16 Toyo R888 tyres.
INTERIOR: Original seats retrimmed black leather, Sport Evo steering wheel, gear knob, footrest and centre armrest, Hartge centre console gauge holder with AEM data logging.
EXTERIOR: Diamond black paint, colour reversed Warsteiner livery, smoked indicators, tail-lights and crosshair headlights, carbon fibre front splitter and brake ducts, Sport Evo rear spoiler with carbon fibre wing.
THANKS: Simon Gunson at GTI Performance Centre (service @ gtipc.com.au), David at Galloway Race Engineering (08 9531 1366) and VAC Motorsports sales @ vacmotorsports. com.
Scott’s White M3
ENGINE & GEARBOX: S50 3.0-litre producing 480hp @ 7500rpm at the wheels, standard crankshaft, Carillo steel conrods, custom-made forged pistons with 7.5:1 compression ratio, custom turbocharger with Tial 50mm external wastegate, custom-made tubular exhaust manifold, standard inlet manifold with uprated injectors and billet fuel rail, PWR front mount intercooler, custom downpipe and stainless steel exhaust system, custom alloy radiator with electric fan, custom alloy breather and header tanks, Bosch 044 fuel pump, Haltech ECU, standard E36 M3 five-speed gearbox, one-piece propshaft, 4.3:1 differential with LSD.
CHASSIS: Bilstein coilovers all round, Racing Dynamics front and rear antiroll bars, Ireland Engineering adjustable camber top mounts, strut braces, OMP rollcage, #BMW-Z4 close ratio steering rack, polyurethane bushes throughout.
BRAKES: Front: StopTech four-pot callipers with 330mm discs. Rear: Standard E30 M3 discs and callipers, Pagid yellow pads all-round, braided brake lines, AP Racing pedalbox with remote reservoirs.
WHEELS & TYRES: 8x18-inch and 9x18-inch Compomotive TH18 wheels with a range of track or road tyres.
INTERIOR: OMP fixed back bucket seats, OMP steering wheel, Stack dash, M3 DTM gearknob and footrest.
EXTERIOR: Alpine White paint, E30 M3 Evo spoiler and splitter, Warsteiner livery.
THANKS: Josh Gardner & Gav Jones at Galvsport.com, Gavin Fairchild at GT-graphics.com.au, Brett Airey at ExecutiveTowing.com.au, Jim Black at Performancefriction.com.au and Barry Dixon at Compomotive. com.
“I wanted to drive it on the track as I don’t believe in garage queens”
“Not only is it rare, it is well balanced and easy to drive, too”
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- Post is under moderationBEN’S #BMW #E36 #323i TOURING
When I carried out the #S54 swap (now over 18 months ago) I fitted everything along with a brand-new, genuine BMW M3 Evo shifter, shifter carrier and selector rod. It felt great and, to be honest, it was perfect. While many will tell you that short shifters are the only way to get a truly tight shift with great feel, the new genuine bits did that and then some.
However, this was only going to last so long and when I sat in contributor Sam Ratcliffe’s Team BFF car and my friend Grant Ross’ #E46 M3s, fitted with #AKG and CAE shifters respectively, I knew I had to have something a bit different for mine. Luckily, another mutual friend of ours, Bob Sykes was also there with his E36 and had just fitted a slightly more budget-friendly alternative, sourced from eBay.
On closer inspection, Bob’s shifter seemed like a great solution and excellent value for money, too. With machining/turning experience myself it’s often easy to spot shortcuts taken by others but the Poland-sourced shifter truly looked like a great bit of kit. It uses a pretty hefty aluminium base plate which secures to the transmission tunnel and houses a spherical bearing through which the (also aluminium) shift lever operates. There’s a brass bush on the selector lever attachment and a Teflon knob at the other end, available in black or white.
I ordered myself a black-handled version, coming in at just £100 plus postage (it’s eBay item number 181627985994 should any of you be interested). It arrived quickly and I got to work. Having the free use of a ramp at the time was pretty handy but not essential. As you can imagine, removing the old shifter was more of a challenge than fitting the new one.
When it came to fitting, I did find that the bronze bush was a little tight for the selector rod and so I simply ran a reamer down it to remove a very small amount of material – easily done with a small file or some sand paper. This just helped ease installation that little bit more and in no time at all the shifter was in. With the kind of vibrations that could be expected I did take the precaution of fitting everything using Loctite 243. Upon trying the shifter for the first time, I found that it felt great, with the only issue being that it was just a touch too tall for my personal preference. This was not an issue I lived with for long, as the Hack Engineering machine shop came in handy. I shortened the lever by around 50mm, and then redrilled and tapped it for the M14x1.5 thread used. With this reinstalled, everything felt much better and was exactly how I wanted it. Another bonus was that my gear gaiter even stretched over the lever, meaning the install could be made to look as OEM as possible.
Please excuse the state of the rest of my interior, but as you can see the shifter looks great. Though it hasn’t quite cured my itch for the incredible CAE shifter (an item Hack Engineering temptingly have on offer), this shifter is certainly a worthy budget alternative.
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- Post is under moderationWAGONS ROLL
This trio of tastefully modified E46 Tourings demonstrates that a limited budget and daily duties doesn’t need to mean dull. Tourings are cool, no doubt about that, and some choice mods can make all the difference as this tasty trio demonstrates. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Steve Hall.
KOS LOIZOU E46 BMW 330i M Sport
We begin this tale of Tourings with Kos and his 330i, mainly because he’s the one who got in touch asking if we’d be interested in featuring three Tourings, and who wouldn’t?
“I’ve been into BMs since I was 18,” Kos tells me, “and for the last 15 years I’ve owned nothing but. I’ve had E30s, E36s, an E34 for a month and an E39, which was replaced by this. The #E39 was a cracking car which I owned for two and a half years and there was no reason to sell it, but I fancied a change and wanted a Touring. I had three in a row previously and they are very practical dailies – I have German Shepherds and do detailing on the side, so the space is useful. “I started looking at E39 Tourings, but I couldn’t find the right one, so switched to E46s. I wanted an oddball, not something in silver or blue and spotted this Individual Techno violet one on eBay. It had 149k miles, was a two-owner car with full history and was exactly what I wanted – a manual M Sport with leather. When I went to have a look at it, I saw it was nice so I did the deal and drove it home.” That was 18 months ago and in that time the Touring has gone from being bone stock to tastefully modified, as have all three of these cars.
“Everything gets blessed,” laughs Kos, “by which I mean every car I’ve owned has been modified. I knew I was going to have to do the suspension, the wheels needed a refurb and it needed some tyres. I started looking around for wheels – ACS and Hartge in particular – but people were asking too much and then I came across these Racing Dynamics 18s, brand-new and boxed for £500. I drove to Luton that day to collect them! On the suspension front I’ve got an H&R Sport Cup kit, and new top mounts and ARB links. I’ve carried out an OE xenon retrofit as I couldn’t be doing with candles.
“I’ve also fitted a genuine #Alpina B3 exhaust and manifold and had the car remapped to 244hp. You can really feel the difference – it breathes better at high rpm and into three-figure speeds it pulls harder. I’d originally just wanted an exhaust, nothing too loud, but when I saw this exhaust and manifold for £350, I snapped it up. I’ve also got a Racing Dynamics carbon fibre engine cover – I pestered someone who had one to sell it to me until he did,” he chuckles. “I’ve fitted Mintex pads and discs and rebushed the whole car six months ago; the fast road suspension setup I’ve got is good but the car is crying out for a Quaife diff now, and that’s next on the list, though I’ve also got some brackets for BMW’s six-pot callipers, so I’d love to get a set of those on at some stage.
“I can’t lose sight of the fact that this is a daily,” he continues, “but I’m really pleased with how capable it is – all three us of have been to the ’Ring together with our Tourings.” So any thoughts of moving on?
Kos pauses to ponder. “I like the #E91 Tourings, the same as Alan and Daryl, but I know where I am with this car and nothing really goes wrong. Better the devil you know, as they say. I’ve also got my #E24 6 Series, Compact and an #E30 M3, so I’ve got other cars that need attention and am happy with the E46 for the time being.”
DARYL INGRAM 330d M SPORT
“I remember seeing an ACS S3 Touring in #BMW drive-MY clubs and used that as the inspiration for my Touring”
“I’ve always been into BMWs,” begins Daryl, “and I’ve been driving E30s for over 20 years. My brother had an #E21 #323i years ago and my first was an E30 #318i Lux Touring and plenty more followed, including an E30 M3 which I’ve owned for 14 years now. I was looking around for a new daily and a Touring seemed like a good choice, so I got some money together and bought this ’51 plate #E46 seven years ago. I had always liked the E46, especially the 330d as an M Sport, so it made sense as a daily driver.
“I bought it completely bog standard but I’ve modified every car I’ve ever owned and I enjoy making them my own. Within a week I’d changed the wheels and had coilovers on order,” he says with a grin. “I had two sets of 19” BBS reps on the car previously, LMs and LMRs, but I decided to look for something else – I had three-piece ACS Type II Racing wheels on my E30 M3 and got into #ACS so I started looking for a set for the Touring and managed to source these 18” Type IIIs virtually brand-new.” The Type III is a greatlooking wheel, arguably one of Schnitzer’s best and the company clearly felt the same way as its Type VIII has more than a hint of this classic wheel about it. The Type III seems to work well on just about any car, and with those slender spokes extending right out to the edges of the wheel, it always looks bigger than it is.
“I remember seeing an ACS S3 Touring in #BMW drive-MY groups and used that as the inspiration for my Touring. I’ve fitted an ACS strut brace and exhaust pipe trim and on the performance front I’ve had the car remapped, fitted a Sprint Booster, had a primary de-cat carried out, the swirl flaps have been removed and I’ve also got an EGR bypass. With all that it’s got about 240hp and it feels pretty rapid. I’ve also upgraded the audio, nothing over the top, just a few improvements so I can enjoy my music a bit more.” Around 240hp is plenty to be getting on with and it never fails to impress that you can pick up a 330d like this for not a lot of money, get a decent turn of speed from it and still be able to enjoy surprisingly good fuel economy.
“On the suspension front my first choice when I bought the car was a FK Konigsport coilover kit. It was good but over the years the rear suspension started to sag and the FKs started to leak, so I got some H&R Cup springs and a set of Bilstein B8 dampers. I’ve kept the FKs up front for now as they’re okay but I’ve been really impressed with the new setup, it’s better for the money.
“I looked at an E91 335d a few years ago but it was too expensive while the 330d wasn’t different enough to make me want to change. I could go for a 335d now, but to be honest, I’m more than happy with this so why go changing? It’s gone from 89k miles to 205k miles and I’ve really looked after it, it wants for nothing. It’s not worth selling, but to me it’s worth £20,000…” and that’s something we can all relate to.
ALAN BLACKWOOD #330d M SPORT
“I’m happy with the car, there’s nothing else I want to do to it so I will just enjoy it”
“I’ve been into BMWs since the ’90s,” Alan tells me. “I started out with a an E30 #325i Sport with a few mods, then I got into Hartge and ended up doing a H26, then a 2.7 conversion, and then I found out about Kevin Bird importing the H36 E30. I traded in the E30 and bought one, which I’ve still got today and it’s very rare. I bought the 330d as a replacement for a Punto five years ago as a daily and I wasn’t even thinking of doing any mods on it but obviously that didn’t last. The first thing I did was a remap, which got me around 220hp, but it’s only been in the last year or two that I’ve really started modifying the car.”
Much like the other two Tourings that make up this trio, Alan hasn’t gone mad with the mods, but he has ended up with a very nice #E46 indeed. “After the remap, I started looking around for a suspension kit. I bought an H&R Cup kit but the car was even lower than Kos’, so I ended up changing the springs so the car would sit higher as I live in London and have to deal with speed bumps! I also fitted a Quaife diff, though for me it’s more for safety – it would struggle to put the power down before but now I can accelerate with confidence knowing it’s got more traction. I’ve got a Hartge Accelerator Booster, which is like a Sprint Booster – I fitted it after the remap and I’m happy with it, the combination of the two definitely makes the car feel a lot more responsive.
“The wheels are 18” Hartge Classics which I had on my H36; I swapped them over for the originals and decided to put the Hartges on the E46 and I think they look really good on the car.” We’re inclined to agree – Hartge’s multi-spoke design is, well, a classic and the two-piece wheels look absolutely spot-on on the E46, especially with a nice drop. Despite the higher springs, Alan’s car isn’t exactly what you’d call high and sits perfectly. As far as nicely modified dailies go, this Touring is a winner in our eyes and while Alan’s not gone overboard, he’s done just enough to make a difference.
So, after five years of E46 ownership, is he getting itchy feet? “I’ve got no plans to sell the car right now,” he says with a nod. “I’d like an E91 335d when the time and price are right,” echoing the sentiments of Daryl and Kos, “but I will see how it goes. For now, I’m happy with the car, there’s nothing else I want to do to it so I will just enjoy it.” Sounds like a good plan to me.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.9-litre straight-six #M57TUD30 , remap to 220hp, five-speed automatic gearbox.
CHASSIS: 8.5x18” (front and rear) Hartge Classic wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) Pirelli P Zero tyres, H&R Cup Kit, Quaife ATB LSD.
EXTERIOR: Standard Topaz blue.
INTERIOR: Standard interior with grey leather.
THANKS: Kevin Bird Garages, Tony Payne’s Bodyshop, Jason at BW Chiptune, C-Unit for detailing.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.9-litre straightsix #M57D30 , Pipercross air filter, EGR bypass, swirl flap conversion, primary de-cat, Emaps remap to 240hp, Sprint Booster, five-speed automatic gearbox.
CHASSIS: 8.5x18” (front and rear) AC Schnitzer Type III wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres, FK front coilovers, H&R Cup springs and Bilstein B6 dampers rear, ACS strut brace.
EXTERIOR: ACS mirrors, exhaust trim.
INTERIOR: ACS gear selector, retrimmed steering wheel with ACS badges, upgraded front and rear speakers, Focal 10” sub box, upgraded BM54 unit, upgraded amps, digital TV module upgrade.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre straightsix #M54B30 , full Alpina B3 exhaust and manifold, remap, Racing Dynamics carbon engine cover, 244hp and 233lb ft, five-speed manual gearbox.
CHASSIS: 8x18” (front and rear) Racing Dynamics RD2 wheels with 225/40 (front) and 245/35 (rear) Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tyres, H&R Sport Cup Kit, full rebushed, fast road geometry setup.
EXTERIOR: Factory Individual in Techno violet, Factory Hi Gloss Shadowline trim, xenon retrofit, smoked side repeaters, LED side lights, foglights and numberplate lights, gloss black kidney grilles with Techno violet insert.
INTERIOR: Individual Yellow Exclusive leather, Individual Poplar Natural Wood trim, Alpine speaker upgrade and iPod connection.
THANKS: Dips at The Custom Cars, David at GSB motors Park Royal, Jason at BW Chiptune, C-Unit.
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- Post is under moderationWhat’s in your Garage?
We meet a man with a fine selection of rare and modified BMWs in South Africa.
The finest BMW collection on the African continent and arguably one of the best in the southern hemisphere, each one of these eight machines is a masterpiece in its own right Words: Johann Venter. Photography: Oliver Hirtenfelder.
Jack Kaplan’s reputation precedes him. His cars have been featured in BMW Car multiple times over the years and won countless accolades. Indeed, they continue to do so, including numerous classes at the South African BMW Car Club’s annual Concours. This year was no exception, his #2002 Turbo taking top honours in the d’Honneur Modified, Best Classic and Best 2002 classes.
As we arrive at Jack's home under the cover of darkness for our 5.30am shoot, snapper Oli cannot contain himself and starts shooting before Jack can completely raise the garage door. Each masterpiece is neatly cocooned in a grey car cover; six cars are housed in the one garage while the remaining two share a second garage with less favourable stablemates. Once all the covers are removed one is completely seduced as some of the most revered models that BMW has ever spawned are revealed – it is truly a sight to behold.
Jack is a true petrolhead, having raced his own cars and several dragsters, with an astonishing ensemble of BMWs, yet he is the most softly-spoken gentleman I have come across. After Oli has snapped away to his heart’s content Jack treats us to breakfast before we delve into his collection. It is hard to believe that before buying his first #BMW in #1983 Jack was considering a #Skyline #GTX 2.8. Thankfully a friend intervened – pointing Jack in the direction of an #E30 #323i – and sanity prevailed. Jack’s immediate impressions were that the BMW was much better put together in terms of the fit and finish and once he had driven the car he was sold. Ever since then he has been infatuated with BMW.
Jack confesses that he has had quite a few BMWs over the years. That’s nothing to be ashamed of Jack, we like the fact that you've had multiple BMWs! “I regret not having kept all of them but then I could not afford to get a new one without trading in the old one. Once I could afford to not have to trade them in I kept all of them,” he explained.
They say that you always remember your first true love, so what impression did the 323i leave on Jack? “The 323i led me to bigger and better things,” he replied. “These cars were known for cambelt failure and mine was no different so while my engine was being repaired I traded it in for an #E30 #325i Saloon, in Henna red. It was a great car, I really loved it. The handling was superb, it was a true driver’s car.” Jack then opted for the first version of the E30 #325iS (commonly known as the Evo 1) in silver, a South African special with a 2.7-litre engine partly developed with #Alpina . It had a power output of 197hp (145kW) and a maximum torque figure of 195lb ft (265Nm). “Not to get into too much detail but let’s just say that the iS was too much car for me to handle at that point,” he told us.
True to form, Jack then followed this by getting the second iteration of the iS: the Evo 2. It’s the Alpine white one you can see in the photos. Jack got it as a company car in 1991. It still has the original windscreen and the air-con has never been regassed yet it can create an Arctic atmosphere in seconds. It’s a bit of a sleeper – bog standard on the outside except for the grille that has been colour-coded like E30 racers of old. “The engine has been enhanced by gas-flowing the cylinder head and installing a 280-degree camshaft. The late great Tony Viana [legendary BMW race driver in South Africa] installed the Unichip, the air-box was modified and a specially fabricated Sports exhaust was fitted,” Jack revealed.
South Africans were denied the E30 M3 as it was produced in left-hand drive only and were therefore so much more receptive to the launch of #E36 M3 in South Africa 21 years ago, compared to the lukewarm reception it received in Europe. The initial batch that landed in South Africa predominantly had cloth seats that were structurally different from the leather ‘Vader’ seats. Jack elaborated: “I wanted the black Nappa leather seats so I had to wait for what seemed like an eternity. Fortunately I managed to keep the iS and used the #M3 as my daily-driver, but soon thereafter decided on a V6 Ford Ranger bakkie [pick-up] as a runaround. It used to jump around a lot on the road so I put a bag of cement in the boot.” The Alpine white car we see here, however, is very different from the car that Jack took delivery of in #1993 . A picture on the garage wall shows the M3 fitted with a front spoiler that made it look more like a snow plough and although the original bumper has been refitted, things are not that subtle at the rear as the boot spoiler looks like it belongs on a Learjet. The upgrades are not all cosmetic, though, as Jack explained: “It still has the original #S50 , 3.0-litre motor but to spice things up a Vortech supercharger producing 0.9bar (13.05psi) of boost was fitted and, to add to the fireworks, nitrous was added resulting in 428hp at 7000rpm.”
At this point it seems that Jack tired of sporty Bavarian coupés and opted for an American peoplecarrier: “In #1996 I imported a brand-new left-hand drive #Chevy #Surburban 5.7-litre V8. It has three rows of seats that can comfortably seat eight people and weighs 2.7 tons. It has a cavernous boot, ideal for long stints and that is exactly what I use it for – travelling to Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape, although it only has 116,000km (72,079 miles) on the clock.” Thereafter Jack bought his first BMW 5 Series in the form of an #E39 #540i Individual with the six-speed ‘box, not a bad first choice for a 5 Series. “I really didn’t enjoy it and it didn’t fit in my collection. My wife drove it for a while and then we tired of it,” he said.
The next car in his collection is probably the biggest show-stopper in the collection. Apparently traffic comes to a standstill and people swarm around the car whenever he takes it out to an event. “The E30 M3 is such an icon and unfortunately we never got it in South Africa,” Jack explained. “In fact, I think there are only three road-going examples in the country so you can understand why people react the way they do. I acquired this Lachs silver example in #1997 after two years of pursuing the owner with whom I conducted business with. Unfortunately his business was liquidated; I tracked down the liquidators and bought the car from them.” This is a very attractive colour and the car looks like it has just driven off the production-line. “Thousands of hours have been invested trying to achieve perfection,” Jack said. “The car was completely stripped and rebuilt from the bottom up.” Purists will once again be raising their eyebrows as Jack has fitted #E36-M3 Motorsport rims. “The E30 M3 was fitted with the #BBS crossspoke rims, as was the E30 Shadowline and iS.
However, I really wanted my E30 M3 to be different and standout from the rest as it truly is a special car and even more so in the South African context,” Jack justified. “Those E36 M3 Motorsport rims are my ultimate favourite, you’ll see that my whole garage is full of them and if I can find another set I will buy it.” Many folk give Jack plenty of flak for not keeping his cars – especially the ones that are so collectable – completely original: “People often ask me why I don’t keep my cars as BMW intended. Whenever I get a car I change at least the pedals, exhaust and the steering wheel; this is something that I have always done. But I keep all the original parts. I always remove the radios as I prefer listening to the exhaust.” So what changes has Jack made underneath the skin of his E30 M3? “The engine has been enlarged to 2493cc through the replacement of the crankshaft and connecting rods. The cylinder head was gas-flowed and a 260-degree Schrick camshaft was installed, together with a Unichip. Better breathing apparatus was also fitted in the form of a #K&N air filter, modified air-box and a stainless steel Sports exhaust.”
Jack does have a bit of a thing for the E30 shape though and his iS indulgence does not end with the white one he’s owned from new. “In #1999 I came across a panel beater who had managed to find an iS bodyshell. His intention was to build the car to his specifications, unfortunately he ran into financial difficulty so I bought it from him. He’d already painted the car in the colour you see here, which is a metallic dark green [this was definitely not a factory option], slightly lighter than British racing green. That is all that he had done to the car. This really gave me the opportunity to build the iS the way I wanted to.”
We’ve seen Jack’s need for speed so we can’t resist but ask what lies underneath the bonnet? “I managed to source a 3.5-litre Alpina #M30 motor and went the whole hog again by fitting a Vortech supercharger producing 0.9bar (13.05psi) of boost and nitrous was added resulting in 373hp at 6209rpm,” he replied. That sounds like a lot of power for such a small and lightweight car. “Initially I really struggled to put all the power down onto the road. The car suffered from massive wheelspin in virtually ever gear,” he continued. “The car was also fitted with two Unichips but it was undrivable until I took it to Gavin Wilkens – the well-known South African drag champion who runs GW Racing, a specialist in high performance upgrades. Gavin advised that we fit a Domingo management system, so we did, and now you can use the car as a daily driver. It is actually now a pleasure to drive.” This iS wasn’t just used on the road though, as Jack has also raced it. “Why else do you think I had the nitrous installed?” he grinned. “I used to do the quarter-mile and top-end runs but I don’t think I will race it again in those type of events. I will most likely enter it into Fastest Street Car events or gymkhanas.”
Jack definitely has a need for speed but we can’t help but wonder where this came from? “I developed my love for speed when I was knee-high, building soap boxes with pram wheels. In #1962 I progressed to a 50cc two-stroke Zundapp bike and then a 50cc Suzuki and then moved to the big league in the form of a Honda 300s. I first saw guys racing legally at the Tarlton International Raceway drag strip. I also raced the white iS, the E36 M3, and the #Z3 , doing Fastest Street Car races, hillclimbs, quarter-mile and top-end runs. I like gymkhanas with a quarter-mile included. I also like doing the 1km top-end races.”
So far we’ve talked about what you could call the iconic machinery in this collection but in most people’s eyes the Z3 wouldn’t fall into that category. So what prompted Jack to buy one? “I bought my wife a brand-new red Z3 in #1999 and the following day I bought the white one you see here today. As is the case with virtually all of my cars I set out to put my own finishing touches to the car and decided on a set of ATS rims. Unfortunately the rims were too wide for the car but I bought them anyway and took the car to a panel beater that I had been using for many years. The rear fenders [wings] were summarily cut and extensions of about 75mm were fabricated and welded in. The plastic bumper was then heated and stretched to accommodate the wider wheels. I also then opted to lower the car by about 70mm; I subsequently had to raise it by 15mm as it was too low.”
Jack’s Z3 was one of the early ones with the 2.8-litre engine so we asked if it felt a little slow in comparison to the rest of his fleet? “At that stage I was driving the E36 M3 more than anything else so there was a massive difference in power when I got into the Z3 which I just could not get used to. To remedy the situation a Powerdyne supercharger with 0.45bar (6.52psi) of boost was fitted. Needless to say I was not satisfied so we removed the motor and replaced it with the E36 M3 3.2-litre engine which had been gasflowed and at the same time fitted a Vortech supercharger with 0.9bar (13.05psi) of boost and a six-speed ‘box. From the outside it’s very apparent that this is not a standard car – it is 150mm wider and 55mm lower. It goes very well, though. The roadholding is superb, although on the top-end you do get a little bit of drift. The highest speed I achieved with it was at Waterkloof which was just over 280km/h. Strangely enough the 3.0-litre E36 M3, although heavier is faster on the top end. The #Z3 has only done 46,000km (28,583 miles).”
Once Jack had amassed a selection of BMWs from the late 1980s and ’90s he turned his attention to those that he hankered after from the 1970s. “You’ll see I have a picture of a silver Batmobile on my garage wall as well a picture of a 2002 Turbo. I put these pictures up long before I got the cars. They served as a constant reminder that I needed to add these machines to my collection; these cars were always part of my BMW aspirations.”
The E9 ‘Batmobile’ could be taken for a genuine example at first glance but despite being a replica it looks absolutely magnificent. “I agree,” said Jack, “although this was not the case when I initially got it. I was contacted by the owner who wanted to sell through the BMW Club, so I went and looked at it. The car was very rough and had been in an accident but not well repaired. It was originally a #CSi but fortunately the owner had the entire aero kit that was fitted to the Batmobile, so I decided to take it and got it at a real steal. The car was stripped down completely. It was initially red so we resprayed it Polaris silver. The seats were recovered by #BMW-SA in Rosslyn (tri-colour inserts included) and the front seats were replaced with Recaro Sport seats, as found in the E30 M3.
“The car had a 3.5-litre #M30 motor which was rebuilt, a set of BBS cross-spoke rims were fitted to complement the chrome mirrors, beadings and wheel arches. I struggled to find the wheel arches. The first set I sourced secondhand from the UK. I shouldn’t have bothered, what was sent was appalling.
Eventually I managed to find a set in the States. It took four years to do the restoration, but it was worth it as the car now looks fantastic… and goes even better.”
Jack’s #2002-Turbo should need no introduction as it featured in the September issue of BMW Car. It’s a lovely car. Jack told us its history: “When I acquired the car it was already Chamonix white. When Nicky Oppenheimer ordered it in #1974 he had three requests: that it be Golf yellow and fitted with electric windows and an electric sunroof. According to Robert Gruenberger, founder of the 2002 Turbo Club in Germany, four of these cars were shipped to Angola.
To make it more drivable I had a Turbonetics turbo fitted with 0.62bar (8.9psi) of boost, together with a purpose-built intercooler. In addition, an Electromotive direct ignition system was fitted, the cylinder head gas-flowed and a custom-built Sports exhaust installed. To improve the ride and handling Bilstein dampers and a front custom-made strut-brace were fitted. The brakes were uprated with 305mm ventilated cross-drilled Wilwood discs with matching Superlight 4-pod callipers in the front and 255mm drums at the rear.”
The last machine in Jack’s collection – a #635CSi #E24 – is a trifle unusual as it hasn’t been treated to the usual set of upgrades, as Jack explained: “In my opinion it’s the most handsome GT BMW has ever produced. Mine is an #1984 model with the #E28 running gear which makes for better handling. This car is completely original, I have done absolutely nothing to it. It even has the radio that I bought it with. It is Opal green with a Perlbeige interior and came with all the extras of a luxury GT of the day including leather Sports seats (unfortunately not Recaros), air-con, electric windows, sunroof and seats. The drive is superb thanks to the manual ‘box together with the limited-slip differential. It’s definitely one of the great touring cars of its time”.
All of Jack’s cars are pristine and completely spotless. He’s achieved this through his lifelong dedication to cleaning, maintaining and enhancing each of these paragons. What stands out most for us, however, is the craftsmanship, precision and attention to detail that is found underneath each bonnet. This is in part achieved through the extensive use of Russell braided fuel lines, adaptors, hoses, hose ends, tube nuts and Raceware aerospace-quality engine fasteners. One side of Jack’s garage wall is covered in certificates, a testament to what he has achieved with these shining examples of Bavarian metal.
We can’t leave without asking which one of this superb fleet is Jack’s favourite? “Without a doubt, it’s definitely the white iS,” he said with a grin. “The only cars I drive regularly, though, are the green iS and the Z3. The others I only take to shows and events, although I mostly drive my V8 #Chevrolet #Lumina SS 6.0-litre bakkie.”
“In my opinion it’s the most handsome GT BMW has ever produced”
The newest car Jack has is the #1999 Z3. We ask him why this is? “The newer BMWs are fantastic but they don’t give me that driving by the seat-of-yourpants experience,” he told us. “It’s almost as if the car is driving you. Newer BMWs give me the sensation that I am in a plane that is on auto-pilot.”
While a modern BMW might not feature in Jack’s plans there is one more icon that’s still missing from his collection, a machine that has so far eluded him: “There is a picture of an #M1 on my garage wall that still needs to come to fruition,” he revealed. Well, knowing Jack’s attention to detail you can guarantee that when one does arrive it’ll be the best on the African continent!
“It took four years to do the restoration, but it was worth it as the car now looks fantastic… and goes even better”
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- Post is under moderationSun Worship How’s this for rare? One of only a handful of Lumma-converted #E21 Convertibles, built using E30 parts. A Convertible E21 is a rare beast indeed, especially when it’s a Lumma conversion as we discovered when we unearthed this gorgeous machine in the Netherlands. Words: Jeroen de Laat. Photos: De Laat Foto.
Very occasionally, a machine may grab your immediate attention but even then you might not be able to put your finger on what exactly it is that’s so special. That’s what happened with the car you can see before you here. There are quite a few BMW events in the Netherlands where we find a very decent array of classic Bavarian machinery, but every now and then a model turns up that impresses even the most experienced BMW fan. We decided to dedicate a few articles to those cars, starting here and now.
The annual Sharknose Meeting that takes place in May is a good example of getting to know the active community and their cars as literally hundreds of enthusiasts of the blue and white roundel gather, and not just from Holland, as we see an increasing number of entries from Britain and Germany every year. And usually quite a few examples of the first generation 3 Series, the E21, attend. Mostly we see the standard two-door saloons, but also Alpinas, and some special cases like a Har tge conversion, some track day cars and a couple of impressive conversions featuring more modern BMW power plants.
There are usually a lot of Convertibles, too. Rumour has it that BMW found that the E21 chassis was not strong enough for a fully open version and turned to its long time partner, coachbuilder Baur, for its softtop E21 conversions. Baur helped BMW out when there were production issues with the iconic M1 and had already built several open BMWs like the fully convertible 1600-2 and the Targa version of the ’02 series. For the E21, Baur came up with the top- cabriolet. A hard-top resting on the strengthened structure of the windscreen and on a roll bar constructed on the B-pillar. Behind the roll bar there was a soft-top that folded down independently which enabled a measure of open top driving even at motorway speeds.
A similar design was used for the later E30 3 Series too, and because of the more rigid structure the Baur conversions even remained in existence alongside the much more stylish fully convertible BMW E30, which was developed by Baur as well. Anyway, Baur conversions were just a box you could tick at the dealers and retain full BMW warranty which made this a special co-operation.
Still, not everyone thought the E21 #Baur was the most stylish solution. Several smaller businesses, of which a few were located in Germany at the time (like Baur), decided to start working on a completely roofless version of the E21 Three. Peters from the German city of Paderborn carried out 20 of these conversions and Hornstein also did a few. And then there was a company called Lumma Cabriotechnik & Design, the business of one Horst Lumma.
Horst Lumma started his business in Fahrzeugveredelung (design refinement) in #1987 from the town of Winterlingen in the south of Germany and specialised in the mechanical and optical tuning of #BMW , #VW and #Mercedes-Benz vehicles. In the early 1990s Lumma decided to undertake pick-up and convertible conversions and E21 and E30 3 Series models were turned into utility vehicles. However, it was Lumma’s convertibles that drew the most attention and customers. ‘02s were turned into full cabriolets, as were E30s, too. There were already factory versions of the E30, but if you wanted something more exclusive, or personalised to your own requirements, Horst Lumma was the guy to talk to. In between these models there was the E21 3 Series that never saw a top-less factory version and Lumma also offered a little known conversion for these machines, too. Its work on the E21 was based on E30 parts and construction with its E21s receiving a reinforced structure and a folding soft-top that was stowed underneath an E30 style cover which gave a better look than leaving the folded hood as a lump on the rear deck.
Since cabriolet versions of the ‘02 and E30 are pretty common, the E21 convertible is the odd one out and that’s why it immediately caught our eye when one drove up at the Dutch Sharknose Meeting. Owners Jan and Debby van Boerdonk had just finalised the paperwork on a restoration that was mostly performed by the previous owner from Poland. The black paintwork looked flawless and the roof (that was still closed when they arrived at the site) looked as clean as factory-fresh workmanship. But when the top was tucked away under the E30- style cover, the shape of the early E21 320 sixcylinder is nothing short of stunning. We were too busy to spend a lot of time with the car, but after a brief chat we exchanged phone numbers knowing we had to dedicate a future sunny afternoon to this car… Jan’s passion for BMWs goes way back to his younger days when he mainly focused on the younger models. However, when he saw a mint E21 at his local garage, he decided it was time to have a classic and he started looking for the twin exhaust top-of-the-range 323i. He couldn’t find one immediately, but after a while his garage contacted him as there was an #Alpina B6 2.8 for sale, which was a step up from the #323i of course. After some negotiations the car was his. The love for the E21 was born and he still owns this car today.
A few years later Jan and Debby decided they wanted a convertible, and they evaluated several options; perhaps a Baur version or an E30 Convertible as they liked its fully open design…? Then they ran into this Lumma that combined the classic looks of the E21 with their much wanted fully convertible chassis. It took some serious negotiating before they could pick up the car but it was all worth it in the end! Then a period of nitpicking started, and in some cases that required quite a bit of ingenuity, for example with the custom seals around the windows, but Jan did a great job there. The interior wasn’t that special so the stock seats (preferred to the popular but quite narrow Recaro sports buckets) were covered with fresh grey leather with in-stitching to factory standard. All-in-all there wasn’t too much work required but finishing off the details took their time. And there she is, the paintwork shining like new.
The #M20 2.0-litre straight-six fires right up and runs quietly and smoothly. When we open up the frameless door we notice the fat reinforced sills that will be familiar to all owners of E30 Convertibles. This is how Lumma maintained rigidity instead of bolting a sub-chassis underneath the car like Peters did for its E21 conversions for example. A glance over the mint leather makes you check your pockets for sharp objects before sitting down – we can’t be responsible for ruining this rare masterpiece!
The ZF three-speed automatic gearbox ( #ZF 3HP 18) smoothly engages drive and we almost float away without any rattles. On bumps the suspension feels a bit more firm but never really harsh – just the comfort we want from an open cruiser. “If I want more sportiness I can always jump in the B6,” Jan adds with a smile. The car even has air-conditioning for the hottest days, but that option isn’t used very much. Even though we only have a brief drive together it is good enough to get a great impression of this rare summer car. It is time to stop, fit Lumma licence plate covers and take some photos…
In the meantime Jan explains that there were two different versions of the #E21 #Lumma Convertible. The most common version, with about 30 examples made, is relatively simple, with only front side windows and a soft-top that covers the area where the rear side windows used to be, with small plastic peekholes on the rear corners. The machine we have here, though, is based more on the #E30 and has rear side windows as well, allowing the driver a much improved view all-round. As to how many of this type were built it’s hard to say with 100 per cent certainty as Lumma didn’t keep very detailed records back then, but it is likely that only three conversions were made in this rare style.
We try to picture the car from all different angles as we ask Jan and Debby for their plans for the future. They admit to have considered selling the Lumma but they abandoned that plan as it is pretty hard to find another classic convertible BMW that is this rare and still affordable. And what more would they need in a convertible? Instead they will concentrate on the B6, which is up for a restoration to get it back into mint condition. We are already looking forward to the end result on that one too.
And Lumma Design? It gave up work on its convertible and pick-up conversions a long time ago. Nowadays it focuses on exterior and interior redesign for BMW, Range Rover, Porsche and Mercedes.
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- Post is under moderation#1972 #BMW #2002 Turbo orange crush. Here before you is a BMW fusion of looks and performance that is as close to perfection as you’re ever likely to find on God’s green earth. Take an old-school orange 2002, add a wide-arch kit, mix in a turbocharged engine and you’ve got yourself a classic showpiece M3-slayer for all to adore. 2002 Turbo - Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Max Earey.
Isn’t it funny how sometimes your words can come back to haunt you? Almost 10 years ago I was writing a feature on the very car you see before you. This charming 1972 2002 was in the magazine thanks to its subtle good looks and due to its Floridian owner, Curtis Engel, transplanting an 1989 BMW 325i E30 lump into its bright orange engine bay. Weighing about as much as an empty crisp packet and with 180bhp to play with, I commented that it was about as much fun as you could have with your pants on.
To finish the feature, remarking on Curtis’s desire to ultimately boost the car, I wrote: “The word ‘deathtrap’ springs to mind when I think of this little car turbocharged, but would I do it if I had the opportunity? Life’s too short not to.”
Curtis, much to my amusement, obviously thought the same. This is why I found myself some years later strapped into his 2002 once again, fingernails firmly embedded in the dashboard, as he plants his right foot to the floor and awakens the new, improved and markedly more powerful 2.5-litre six-cylinder. With turbocharged kick, of course.
180bhp doesn’t sound too much on paper these days, but in a little 2002 a while ago it was plenty. Well, that was then and this is now. 270hp at the crank is the current figure for this 1075kg road-legal go-kart, and that forced induction kick has turned this old classic into a confirmed M3 and M5-beater. On the quarter-mile track, Curtis ran a 13.71 against the 13.79 of an E46 M3, and a 13.45 against the 13.61 from an E39 M5. “The crowds laugh at me when I line up to race such cars,” the 23-year-old said, “but boy do they laugh when they see the outcome.”
Such respect from crowds spectating at the tracks is equalled by those who witness it on the street as Curtis’s daily driver. And this respect is wholly deserved. Bought for $1000 when he was just 15, the car has been a labour of love for the Orlando resident. From cleaning up the bodywork, sorting the suspension, improving braking and then doing a few subtle old-school styling mods, Curtis has focused his attentions and skills on really making this car shift.
A rebuilt #1989 #E30 #325iS M20 engine found its way into the engine bay, but not before cutting the nose of the car to help it fit, and finding new motor and transmission mounting locations. There were custom brackets and mounts, a VW Scirocco radiator, while a five-speed gearbox from a #1980 #E21 #323i came all the way from Australia. The work list was already substantial, but Curtis needed more.
“The turbo conversion definitely used up all of the free room still remaining in the engine bay,” Curtis said. “The turbo idea had always been there even before I did the M20 conversion. At the time though, I figured an M20 swap would be more reliable than turbocharging the stock M10 engine, but then with the M20 in, I realised I still needed more power. Always will…”
Even though it’s a very tight squeeze, it’s great to see a Garrett T04E turbo on full display in the engine bay. It’s shock enough lifting the bonnet to reveal an M20 engine in a 2002, but having the likes of a stonking ’charger in there as well can’t help but raise your testosterone levels.
The required accoutrements that go with boosting a car have been taken care of suitably, with a Forge Motorsport intercooler, Metric Blue head bolts, custom Xtreme Boost ceramic coated exhaust manifold, JSG Precision wastegate and Blitz blow-off valve. There are bigger injectors from a Ford Lightning, a Walbro 255 fuel pump, SPEC Stage 3+ clutch (good for 540 lb ft) and JB Racing flywheel, while the very tricky electronics are taken care of by a MegaSquirt standalone management system.
Technical stuff aside, the final dyno readings tell us all we need to know about the lethal-weapon status of Curtis’s now boosted ’02. Running just 8psi boost, the figures are 270hp at the crank and 280lb ft of torque at 6000rpm. As mentioned earlier, this car weighs just over a ton wet, so the power-to-weight ratio is enough to bring a smile to all admirers of Colin Chapman’s principles.
“Lag is definitely evident,” Curtis explained, “but it’s just to make races fair. Once boost is spooled up, get off the runway, there’s a 747-sounding 2002 coming for you!” So yes, it’s very quick, but is it a complete handful to drive? “Tyre spin is pretty ridiculous,” Curtis replied. “It will spin them to about 80mph if you want it to. Before the car used to rev very fast in idle if I wanted to free-rev it, now it won’t rev too quick because of the huge restrictor on the exhaust. But once you are at 3,000rpm, prepare to shift because 6,500 comes up fast.
” It appears this boosted 2002 just takes some getting used to, and it’s a good sign that Curtis can use the Inka orange beauty as a daily driver as well as a humbler of more exotic machinery. During our photoshoot, a friend of Curtis’s was on hand with his supercharged E46 M3 to join in the fun. Incredibly, Curtis’s ’02 as good as matched the ’charged M3 in both a rolling start race and a standing start one. As they flew off into the distance, at the very least, the blown M3 certainly could not pull away. Very impressive.
It’s never plain sailing with turbo cars of course, and Curtis is no stranger to breaking the odd component. In fact, as Curtis dropped us off after our photoshoot, he dumped the clutch in a farewell display of spinning wheels and tyre smoke. And a distinctive mechanical clunk. Yep, a lot of torque going through the diff resulted in its unfortunate demise. “I’ve done two diffs,” Curtis explained. “One ripped all the teeth off the pinion gear and one broke a spider gear in two clean places. The stuff dreams are made of!”
This is a fine quality in our Orlando-based modifier. Curtis is all about producing a car that is a perfect plaything and one that he’s not scared about using properly. If something breaks, he’ll replace it with a stronger part to ultimately improve the driver enjoyment of the ’02. It’s no strict show and shine car – the body and interior do have their battle scars – but we’re happy Curtis spends less time with the sponge and car wax bottle and more time fixing problems caused by a heavy right foot. It’s much more rewarding that way.
Okay, so the body isn’t immaculate up close, but the sheer style and colour of this old classic is too damn sexy not to love. Since we last photographed the car, a front air dam and set of 2002 Turbo flares have been attached to the body, transforming the look to pure racer. These arches are stuffed (helped by a custom Ground Control, Eibach and Bilstein suspension setup) with 8x15” Zender Sport Wheels possessing the perfect size lip for an old-school race style. “Nothing like a 225 tyre on a tiny car like this,” Curtis commented. Too right.
The interior features the expected racestyle upgrades of bucket seats, harnesses, Momo steering wheel and roll-cage – plus some rather tasty gauges to keep an eye on what that boosted engine is up to. Even with these aftermarket upgrades, the inside retains its early ’70s look and feel, with Inka orange surrounding the classic black and white original dials, and that unique impression that the doors and roof will offer as much impact protection as a Chinese takeaway tinfoil box should anything hit you. But this just adds to that greater connection with the road and increased respect for this car.
Above all else, Curtis’s ’02 is a thing of stylistic beauty that just happens to have a wonderful, more modern and sensibly boosted six-cylinder engine. The lack of any modern weighty additions such as airbags, impact protection bars, air conditioning, electric seats et al means it can’t help but be a little bat out of hell. The flamboyant Inka orange merely adds to its appeal, so you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who fails to love or respect this adorable M3-beater. Long live the old-school.
A beautiful-looking car at speed, the Inka orange 2002 boasts 270hp at the wheels.
It’s a shock to see an M20 engine in a 2002, but having a stonking ’charger too can’t help but raise your testosterone levels.
It’s a tight squeeze, but a #Garrett TO4E turbo is now strapped to the 2.5-litre engine.
ENGINE: 1989 M20 2.5-litre six-cylinder with porting and minor polishing work, 1980 E21 323i fivespeed transmission, Metric Blue head bolts, Garrett 57mm T04E turbocharger, .68 A/R inlet, .68 A/R hotside, custom ceramic coated 1.75” tubular Xtreme Boost exhaust manifold, JSG precision wastegate dumped to atmosphere, SPEC Stage 3+ clutch, 8lb JB Racing flywheel, VW Scirocco radiator, Blitz blow off valve, 3” downpipe, Forge Motorsport intercooler, MegaSquirt standalone fuel management, Ford Racing 42lb Ford Lightning injectors, Walbro 255 fuel pump, Autometer oil pressure and boost pressure gauges, PLX wide band oxygen sensor. 3.64 40% lockup LSD
PERFORMANCE: 270hp at the crank, 280 lb ft of torque at 6,000rpm running 8lbs boost. 1/4-mile time of 13.45@107mph. 1075kg wet weight.
CHASSIS: 8x15” 0 ET #Zender Sport Wheel shod in 205/50 (front) and 225/50 (rear) Kumho tyres. Ground Control coilovers with 450lb springs, #Eibach Pro Kit rear springs, Bilstein shocks all round, Suspension Techniques anti roll bars, urethane bushes all round. E21 320i vented brake discs with Volvo calipers.
EXTERIOR: Factory 2002 wide-body flares and front air dam, BMW original 1972 Inka orange paint.
INTERIOR: Dynamic Auto Design race seats, Schroth harness for driver, Momo Prototipo steering wheel, NRG Quick Release steering adapter, all sound deadening removed to reduce weight, rear seat removed and carpeted over, Kirk four-point roll-cage, battery relocated to boot. Autometer oil pressure and boost pressure gauges, PLX wide band oxygen sensor.
THANKS: Frank at Xtreme Boost for a ridiculously awesome tubular turbo manifold, SPEC Clutches for a gorgeous looking clutch, Matt McGinn for a great diff and always Josh at The Bimmer Place in Orlando for helping me fix what my heavy right foot broke.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who fails to love this adorable car.
Old-skool interior, with a few sporty upgrades.
Momo Prototipo steering wheel.
Old car, new technology: an iPod kit.
The boost gauge keeps tabs on all that turbo fun.
MegaSquirt Standalone fuel management ideal for turbo cars.
Original 2002 Turbo flares give Curtis’s classic the tougher race-look.
The perfect final touch for any classy BMW.
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- Post is under moderationThe old #BMW #323i #E30 could never be described as slow, but the 2.5-litre-engined #M20B25 #325i E30 that replaces it is a plainly quicker machine with an engine of almost miraculous smoothness and reasonable economy. Handling is as crisp as E30 323i's but the ride more supple. Gearchange, instruments and ergonomics are also excellent but accommodation and equipment are beaten by cheaper rivals.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.