- Post is under moderationMartin Kobylanski’s BMW READERS’ RIDES / #BMW-5-Series-E28 / #BMW-5-Series / #1985 / #BMW-525i / #BMW-525i-E28 / #AC-Schnitzer /
RC says: Like a fi ne wine the #BMW-E28 / #BMW / is a car that’s only got better with age. To be fair nowadays it’s pretty hard to believe that it was regarded as something of an ugly duckling in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, even Martin himself says that he had a mate who had one back in the day and he couldn’t quite fathom why he liked it so much.
Of course, with the benefit of a few years passing, we all know that these have become perhaps the ultimate in retro-chic motorway cruising, although there’s still not many out there that have been lavished with love as much as this super-clean #1985 #BMW-525i here. In fact, it’s nothing short of admirable how much time, effort and hard-earned cash Martin has put into the build. One thing’s for sure - it certainly takes a lot of work to look this effortlessly cool!
After travelling from Northampton to London to pick up a totally stock model, countless hours have gone into uprating parts and sourcing some seriously rare trinkets from #BMW-tuning icons like #Zender and #AC-Schnitzer . The idea was to build the ultimate retro autobahn stormer and we reckon he’s nailed it!
Top mods: #Zender front spoiler, #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 3pc wheels ( #OZ-Racing ), full leather M sport interior, #BC-Racing coilovers, E36 M3 calipers with E34 M5 discs, front and rear strut braces, #Momo wooden steering wheel and #Alpina gear knob, #Supersprint exhaust.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationOLD DOG NEW TRICKS
With a turbo’d S54 stuffed into its engine bay, this E21 has an eye-watering 1000whp to play with.
Jørgen Aune’s got an addiction to old-skool BMWs, big engines and big turbos. There was only one way his E21 project was going to turn out, and we love it… Words: Ben Koflach Pics: Arild Dyrkorn.
I’ve been interested in cars all my life,” explained 27-year-old Norwegian, Jørgen Aune. “I grew up on a farm, so I began to drive at 13 years of age on the fields. My first car was a Datsun 120Y that I owned with some buddies, but BMW has always been my favourite brand. My first BMW was an E21, which I shared with a friend. I fell in love with the six-cylinder noise and the E21’s looks.
“Then I had an E21 323i with an M30B35 engine, E30 M Tech interior, Brock B1 wheels and LSD. After that, I had an E30 325, into which I put an M106B35 turbo engine. I put a huge truck turbo on it and ran it with about 400bhp at the wheels through an E30 M3 dog-leg gearbox.
“I studied industrial mechanics, and this enabled me to make the turbo manifold and rebuild the intake, as well as make many other custom parts. A couple of cars later, I had an E30 again, this time with a S38B36. I decided to turbocharge it, so bought forged pistons and rods, as well as a Borg Warner S475 turbo. I made the intake plenum, turbo manifold and all the other custom parts required to make the engine fit myself. I also made the car into an M3 replica using only original BMW parts and painted it Daytona violet. It had 802hp at the wheels at its peak.”
Gulp… well, while some of us can claim to have messed around with various project cars in our time, Jørgen’s really got stuck in at the deep end since the start. With his fabrication and engine-building skills, as well as the fact that he now works in a bodyshop, you could say that he’s got all the areas covered. You could, in fact, say that his entire car history has built up to building his latest E21, which is one of the most comprehensive and best-looking first-gen Threes we’ve ever seen.
“I decided to build this E21 when I felt that the E30 M3 rep was done,” Jørgen told us. “I was either going to rip the E30 apart and rebuild it or sell it and use the money to build a new car. I wasn’t sure what I’d use as a new car, but the ’78 E21 320 sitting outside my garage did cross my mind – it was in very bad condition though, so I went to Kristiansund in October 2010 and bought this ’82 316 for 3000 kroner.”
Not one to waste time, Jørgen immediately set to work on his new project. “The car had been standing outside for around seven years, so the floorpan was rusty, as were the rear fenders and trunk,” Jørgen explained. “It really looked bad but was still better than the 320!” The first thing he did was strip the E21 right down to a bare shell, giving him a clean pallet to work from, as it were. Then he started to cut away the firewall and transmission tunnel to make space for the engine and gearbox. “The plan at first was to use an S38B36 turbo again, but I decided to go for the S54 when I found one very cheap,” he explained.
Having driven the somewhat front-heavy S38 E30, Jørgen was keen to make this project a little different, too. The engine was mocked-up in the engine bay, though placed 30cm further back than usual to even up weight distribution. This meant that he had to build a new firewall and gearbox tunnel to allow fitment of the chunky E39 530i gearbox he intended to use. Next up, he moved to the rear axle as with a target figure of 800bhp he needed something stronger to equip the E21 with. “I used the entire rear suspension from the E28 535,” Jørgen said. “Naturally it was too wide, but I narrowed the mounts to make it fit. E28s are 80mm wider at the back, so there was very limited space for wheels in the arches.”
Jørgen’s solution? He cut the rear arches out and then welded them back in with extra metal to make them 40mm wider on each side, resulting in him having enough room to run monstrous 10x17s out back if he wanted.
“The wheels were the first thing I bought when I started the project,” Jørgen revealed. “I like old-skool wheels and the AC wheels fit well on the E21.” We couldn’t agree more, and in 8.5x17” and 9.5x17”, with stretched tyres, they look absolutely spot-on. Having said that, since the shoot they’ve been sold. What will come next remains to be seen. Getting back to the car itself, if you’re somehow not impressed yet, then you’re about to be…
“For the front suspension I modified E34 M5 control and caster arms to fit the E21’s chassis.” Jørgen said. “I welded new brackets and mounting points to the body, all of which were raised up so that the geometry wouldn’t be affected; the plan was always to have a low car!” This level of forward thinking and clever fabrication is something we don’t often see – Jørgen’s entire E21 is a feast of details both above and below the skin. “I then bought an RHD E46 M3 steering rack. The E21 and E34 have the rack behind the wheels, whereas the E46 has it in front of the wheels – a left-hand drive E46 rack would have meant that I’d have reversed steering, so I mounted the RHD rack upside down!”
Completing Jørgen’s innovative and effective setup is a set of fully adjustable XYZ coilovers, which were actually designed for an E30 but have been custom-fitted to E34 M5 struts to tie in with the rest of the setup. The brakes are also from an E34 M5 – it really is a comprehensive setup, and is governed by an OBP bias-adjustable pedalbox, as well as the all-important hydraulic handbrake.
While the welder was out, Jørgen addressed the rotten parts of the boot floor and floorpan. He also fabricated a custom eight-point roll-cage, which not only triangulates to the front suspension turrets but is linked to the rear subframe and diff mounts, creating a seriously rigid and strong shell. The spare wheel well was removed, while everything was measured up and prepared, where necessary, for the pile of parts Jørgen was waiting to fit.
Before adding anything else, though, all of the sound-deadening and other clutter was stripped right back, meaning that a thick coat of stunning Space grey could be applied, both inside and out, having been prepped by Jørgen and his friend Per Egil Hendset, with Frode Øyane applying the paint. AC Schnitzer mirrors and an Alpina front lip were also dropped off at the painters, too. “Since I love the looks of E21 I didn’t want to put on much styling,” Jørgen pointed out.
With that completed, the E21 ready to be built back up into the spectacle that it now is. Beginning with the interior, thanks to that pedalbox and a custom steering column, Jørgen has been able to fit the seats nice and far back, assisting weight distribution and easing the fitment of parts around the custom bulkhead. The seats he opted for were Sparco buckets, which along with sixpoint harnesses and a Sabelt steering wheel make for a rather purposeful inside. The dashboard is the original E21 item, though the standard clocks have gone. In their place sits a neat sheet of aluminium with only the vital readings to ensure Jørgen knows the state of the engine’s vitals when attacking at full pelt.
In the boot you’ll find a 40-litre alloy fuel cell, along with a pair of Bosch 044 pumps and an Aeromotive filter, all designed for one thing: maximum performance. Which is just as well, considering the work Jørgen’s put in under the bonnet. As already mentioned, he’d managed to pick up an S54 nice and cheap, but there was no way it was going to stay anything like standard. “When I started the engine mods the plan was 800 horsepower at the wheels,” he grinned. “I built the engine myself. It took about a month. Once I’d received all the parts I needed the job was easy.”
The block itself has retained the standard 3.2-litre capacity, though understandably Jørgen saw it fit to upgrade the internals using forged Pauter rods and pistons from CP Pistons, which give a compression ratio of 9.0:1. ARP main studs finish the bottom end. The head also remains in standard specification, although it was completely overhauled and bolted down with ARP studs, too. The VANOS was blanked off with JAAS Performance plates. Even the original headgasket remains; it’s a real testament to just how strong the OEM components can be.
Where things have really been stepped up is in the gas flow in and out of that head. In case you didn’t guess, that lowered compression ratio isn’t just for the sake of it – it’s to allow huge amounts of forceinduced air into the cylinders. This comes courtesy of a sizeable Precision 7675 billet turbo, which is low-mounted on a custom JAAS Performance manifold. Out the back of the turbo is a custom JAAS 4” exhaust, while the intake tract goes from the turbo to a custom intercooler, which is actually quite well hidden in front of the radiator. From there the air is forced into a custom JAAS intake plenum. With all the crackle black powdercoating and the fact that Jørgen has chosen to retain the standard engine cover, it’s a surprisingly OEM-looking installation.
Managing the boost pressures comes down to a 75mm PPF dump valve and a 60mm PPF wastegate, while the fuelling is taken care of by huge 1680cc Bosch injectors as well as an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, all linked up with neat AN8 lines and fittings. Governing the whole lot is a Elektromotive Tec GT standalone management system, while cooling has been left to an alloy radiator, electric water pump and electric fan.
“I’m very happy with the engine,” Jørgen said. “The only problem we had was the cam adjustments. The first time we had it on the dyno the powerband was terrible. But after a little adjustment together with Geir Haugen from Bjørnstad Cars we dyno’d it again and it was much better providing a wide powerband and peaks of 1000hp and 675lb ft of torque at the wheels at just 2 bar of boost! It blew my mind!”
There’s certainly one thing for sure – with the level of re-engineering and performance that this E21 boasts, it’s got to be one of the best in the world. In the pursuit of such lairy specifications it could have easily ended up looking like something from a horror movie, but with a clear love for the original 3 Series, Jørgen’s respect for simple styling and engineering, it’s become a real spectacle.
The interior may be built for purpose, but it looks really good, too!
A lot of work has gone into this E21, and it really shows…
Check out the spec list and you’ll see a number of parts on this E21 that were made by JAAS Performance. Well, you may be interested to hear that it is in fact the title under which Jørgen and his good friend Anders Skei operate. The pair fabricate all sorts of incredible components, as can be seen from Jørgen’s E21. Anders is a BMW fanatic too, as it happens, though he chose Toyota 2JZ power for his E34 M5. With 894bhp at the wheels, it’s no slouch!
I built the engine myself. It took about a month. Once I’d received all the parts the job was easy.
DATA FILE #BMW-E21 / #BMW / #BMW-E21-S54 / #BMW-3-Series-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #Elektromotive / #Bosch
ENGINE: 3.2-litre straight-six #S54B32 / #BMW-S54 / #S54 , forged CP pistons for 9.0:1 compression ratio with heavy-duty wrist pins, forged #Pauter con rods, #ARP 119 headstuds, ARP 2000 main studs, original head overhauled, VANOS removed with JAAS Performance blanking plates, original head gasket, #Precision 7675 billet turbo, 60mm PPF wastegate, JAAS Performance custom turbo manifold and 4” exhaust, #JAAS-Performance custom intake plenum with 75mm #PPF dump valve, custom intercooler, #Elektromotive-Tec-GT engine management, Elektromotive ignition coils, #Moroso ignition leads, twin #Bosch-044 fuel pumps, Bosch 1680cc injectors, AN8 fuel lines and fittings, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, Aeromotive fuel filter, 40-litre fuel cell, alloy radiator, electric water pump, electric fan, custom oil breather tank, S38B36 flywheel, custom engine mounts to move engine 30cm rearward
TRANSMISSION: E39 530i gearbox, adjustable short-shifter, #Tilton triple-plate clutch, custom gearbox mounts to move 30mm rearward, #JAAS custom propshaft, customised E28 535i rear axle and driveshafts, welded E23 745i diff with 2.91 final drive ratio
CHASSIS: #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 Racing wheels, 8.5x17” front and 9.5x17” rear, 215/35 and 225/35 tyres respectively. Custom-mounted E28 535i rear arms and hubs, custom mounted E34 M5 front control and caster arms, lower suspension mounting points all raised 40mm, XYZ E30 coilovers (custom welded on to E34 M5 struts at front), flipped E46 M3 RHD steering rack, custom steering arms with M14 uniballs, E21/E10 hybrid steering column, polybushed throughout. E34 M5 brakes all-round using 315mm front discs and 300mm rear discs
EXTERIOR: Full respray in #BMW Space grey, rear arches widened 40mm each side, #Alpina front lip, #AC-Schnitzer wing mirrors, clear indicators all-round
INTERIOR: Firewall and gearbox tunnel custom made, spare wheel well removed, custom eight-point roll-cage including links to front turrets and rear subframe mounts, Sparco seats, SRS six-point harnesses, Sabelt steering wheel, OBP pedalbox with adjustable brake bias, hydraulic handbrake, all sound deadening removed and interior repainted BMW Space grey, original E21 dashboard with #Autometer gauges (tacometer, boost, oil pressure, oil temperature, water temperature)
THANKS: Anders Skie, Gunnar Heggset and Ole Buvarp for the wiring, Per Egil Hendset for his help with the prep work before paint, and Frode Øyane for the beautiful paintworkStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationLOW AND BEHOLD
We’re in a purple daze after seeing this gorgeous bagged E30.
This ground-hugging bagged E30 has been a true labour of love. Words: John Tallodi / Photos: Denis Podmarkov
E30s have always been popular in these pages and their retro lines have become even more desirable as time passes, with some amazing builds making the most of that effortless ’80s style. They are a great canvas for any aspiring modder and whether slammed, cut, turbo’d, track-prepared or ICE’d, you can expect to find at least one E30 nestling among these pages each month. And this month is no exception…
Zach Dunn is not your usual 21-year-old, having been involved with BMWs from an early age. His first taste of the Blue and White Roundel was with a manual E36 325i. “My first BMW was a birthday present from my parents. I had tons of fun driving it and I couldn’t have asked for a better gift and something to start out with,” he says. Since then he has owned half a dozen BMWs, working his way through most of the back catalogue of 3 Series models, with two E30 325s (including this one), an E36 M3, an E46 328Ci, as well as a pair of classic 02s.
Having grown-up learning everything he could from his dad (who owns a bodyshop), none of his cars escaped without receiving some sort of modification. “They generally all get modified in the same way: I do some type of suspension setup to make them a little bit lower and I always like to change the wheels to something that is more unique. I also tend to do a few exterior upgrades, like the paint, bumpers, lips, lights and other little details.” In fact, lowering BMWs has become something of a passion for Zach. He got into it when the trend caught on in his area and all his friends started lowering their cars – although all his creations all bear his own distinct style.
Having been exposed to such a variety of machinery, Zach decided that his next project had to be an E30. He felt that the older cars had more character and that the E30 had limitless modding potential as well. Having seen so many E30s done, he just had to have a go at making one that was just right for his tastes. Cue his latest project: a choice-looking E30 two-door. With its 17” AC Schnitzer wheels and air suspension it hunkers low over its arches and looks just the right kind of menacing without resorting to massive spoilers or wide-body kits. It is a far cry from the state it was in when Zach first laid eyes on it. Sitting forlornly at a local shop that specialises in older BMWs, it was a non-runner and in a relatively sorry state, generally needing a bit of TLC in every department. “I wasn’t really worried about the shape it was in,” explains Zach, “because I knew I was going to totally transform it. The shop got it running and I picked it up a few months later.”
Zach likes to have everything pre-planned well before the actual purchase, as he tells us: “Before I even bought the car I had everything that I wanted to do with it figured out. From the wheels, to the colour, to the suspension, I knew how I wanted the car to be, inside and out. I could see it all in my head, which really helped me throughout the whole process.”
Having had lots of experience with lowering cars in the past using coilover setups, Zach knew that he needed to go down the air route if he wanted to go lower and still maintain the driveability of the car. After some research he settled on an Air Lift setup from Bag Riders. Up front he’s running off-the-shelf E30 struts and adjustable camber plates, while at the rear there’s a set of Air House 2 bags. In the boot there’s a simple wood-mounted install with a fivegallon tank and a single Viair compressor.
Thanks to his knowledgeable family and friends, Zach was not alone when it came to getting his E30 to the spec he wanted. “Everything was done at my dad’s shop, Dunn’s Auto Body and Repair. My friend Jason Hower did most of the air install with the help of my uncle Jason Longenecker. I did the air tank while they got the bags, management and lines figured out.” The pristine-looking exterior was also helped along by Zach’s brother Ryan, his friend Jared, and his dad – who helped spray the car and sort out the body panels.
Many hands make light work and the car took a total of about one month to get to a level Zach was happy with. The bodywork took about two weeks with a respray completed over a weekend. Smaller items, such as the trim and interior dyeing, took a couple of weekends and the air install was done in three days. Extra help and motivation came from Zach’s wife as well as good friend Denis Podmarkov.
Looking at the finished product, the paint colour could have been plucked right out of BMW’s own catalogue but it is actually a Volvo colour and it suits the car’s looks down to the ground. “My favourite modification on the car was probably the paint. It was something that my dad and I could do together and it turned out exactly how I was hoping,” Zach grins. “The colour was something I hadn’t really seen before on an E30 and I was constantly asked what the paint code is, no matter where I went.”
When it came to choosing a set of wheels, it took Zach a while to come to a decision. “I had a set of 16” CCW LM20s built for the car and I left those on for about a year,” he says. But the AC Schnitzer Type 1s are his all-time favourite wheels so when he finally managed to find a set of 17” Racing splits, his wife bought them for him and they look awesome on the E30. The wheels sit on 4x100 to 5x120 adapters and measure 7” wide up front and 10” at the rear, wrapped in 195/40 and 215/40 rubber front and rear respectively. With the car aired-out the edges of the polished lips sit absolutely flush with the arches. Other changes to the exterior include a Volvo front lip, US ellipsoid headlights, blacked-out trim and a shaved antenna. They’re all subtle mods that add up to a head-turning result.
The interior retains its standard trim save for an M Tech 1 steering wheel, and a redyeing of the seats in a different colour to match the paintwork better. “I didn’t get to do too much with the interior. It was tan when I bought it but I didn’t like the idea of tan and purple together so I kept all the original seats but dyed them, the carpet, and the headliner black,” Zach tells us.
As it stands, visually the car looks perfect, appealing in equal parts to both traditionalists and more extreme modders alike. However, with the eye-catching paintwork and wheels, you may be surprised to find that under the bonnet all is still as BMW intended. Zach’s primary focus was getting the car aesthetically right and as the original M20 lump and running gear were all in good nick he decided to leave them as is. There is definitely a retro charm in a wellmaintained straight-six M20 coupled to a five-speed manual ’box.
Having planned and executed everything out in such detail, this build must have been a true labour of love. However, needing funds for new projects meant the car had to go. Having put so much of his own style into it Zach would love to buy the car back someday, though. “It taught me so much, and it will always be ‘the one that got away’,” he muses. In fact, he’s even mentally planned additional mods he’d do if he did ever get it back: “It would be nice to put an S54 engine in there. I’d also go with a full M cloth interior, upgraded seats, Smiley headlights, M Tech 2 steering wheel, MHW tail-lights, side skirts, and Euro trim/grille and bumpers.” Clearly the man has style and an appreciation for the finer points of classic Beemer modding. Here’s hoping this automotive relationship was meant to be and the low riding E30 will find its way back into Zach’s life further down the road.
In the meantime, with a BMW shaped hole to fill in his driveway, what is Zach thinking of working on next? “I’m hoping to have an E30 M3 someday. The shape and design, the performance, the history behind them, pretty much everything about them makes me want to have one. And I have every single detail in my head about what I would do with it!” Judging from his past record there is no doubt that whatever changes he undertakes, they will surely make for a show-stopping car.
Three-piece 17” AC Schnitzer Type 1 Racing wheels look awesome and suit the E30 perfectly.
DATA FILE Air-ride #BMW-E30 / #BMW-325i / #BMW-325i-E30 / #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1-Racing / #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 / #AC-Schnitzer / #BMW-325i-Air-ride / #BMW-325i-Air-ride-E30 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.5-litre straight-six #M20B25 / #BMW-M20 / #M20 , stock five-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 8x17” (front) and 10x17” (rear) AC Schnitzer Type I Racing wheels with 4x100 to 5x120 adapters,195/40 (front) and 215/40 (rear) tyres, #Air-Lift-V2 Management, #Air-Lift E30 front struts, adjustable camber plates, Air House 2 rear bags
EXTERIOR Volvo purple respray, Volvo front lip, US ellipsoid headlights, blacked-out trim, shaved antenna
INTERIOR Black dyed interior, M Tech 1 steering wheel, 1/4” airlines, five-gallon air tank, single Viair compressor
THANKS Gabrielle Dunn, ‘Spike’ Dunn, Lorrie Dunn, Ryan Dunn, Jason Longenecker, Jason Hower, Jared ‘Shorty’ Hower, Denis Podmarkov, Dunn’s Auto Body and P #BMWStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationTRUE INDIVIDUAL
The E36 M3 GT Imola Individual is a rare beast and modified examples, like this slick machine, are rarer still. The E36 is fast becoming the appreciating #BMW classic of the moment, and you’ll struggle to find one finer than Mikey Townsend’s M3 GT Imola Individual. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Scott Paterson.
Things at the upper end of the E36 market have seen a sea of change in the last few years. After some time spent as perhaps the least desirable models of the 3 Series range, they’re now on the up in terms of resale values – for a good one at least. And the most desirable of all the models? The ultra-rare M3 Evolution Imola Individual.
With just 50 examples produced for the UK (and only a further 200 for the entirety of mainland Europe), the M3 GT II, often labelled the GT2, was a final hurrah for the E36. It built on the legend that had been forged with the M3 GT. However, rather than being based on the 3.0-litre M3 and being coloured British Racing green, the GT II used the 3.2-litre six-speed M3 Evo as a base and came in stunning Imola red.
M3 GT Class II front corner splitters and a rear wing to match, an interior combination of Imola red Nappa leather and anthracite Alcantara and plenty of the usual options boxes ticked as standard made the GT II special. Mikey Townsend was lucky enough to pick this one up at the beginning of last year and proceeded to put his own stamp on the ultra-rare M3.
Mikey’s far from a stranger to BMWs. As an ex-paratrooper stationed in Germany for a number of years he was lucky enough to have an E30 M3 as his first one, bought for just DM6500 – less than £3000. “If only I knew what I had back then!” laughed the 32-year-old. “I’d have put it away in storage instead of driving it like a loon everywhere.” Sure enough, by the age of 18 Mikey was an ex-E30 M3 owner, having written it off, but he was hooked on BMWs from then on. An E46 M3 followed later, with an E36 M3 Coupé and a Convertible spliced with countless non-M Three and Five series models – you name it, Mikey’s probably had one. However, his latest purchase is the most special of them all.
“My brother has an M3 GT II, number 16, which he got in 2007, and I’ve wanted one ever since he got it,” Mikey told us. “It was inevitable that I would end up with one, it was just a matter of when. Then this one popped up and was only half-an-hour from me, so I had to take a look.”
What Mikey had before him was M3 GT Imola Individual, number 48 of 50. It was an immaculate, carefully restored piece of Bavarian history which had been given a select range of modifications to boot including KW V3 coilovers and a number of small touches. Along with those it came with all of the original parts so that it could be restored to its rare original guise if required.
“I’ve been choosy as to what I do with it,” Mikey explained. “That’s why I’ve only really gone for Schnitzer styling and the best replacement parts available. Everything I’ve done is totally reversible as I’ve got all of the original parts in the garage. Everyone says: ‘you can’t modify it, it’s too rare!’ Well, tell me it doesn’t look good!”
When he bought the car it was sitting on three-piece Hartge wheels. These were not purchased as part of the deal and so the first thing Mikey did was get the standard wheels refurbished to a better-than-new condition before bolting them up to the car and rolling it home. Once the wheels were on and shod in brand-new Michelins, Mikey got the car home and didn’t hang about with his plans to get it looking the way he wanted.
“The body had already been recently resprayed and fully rust treated and Waxoyl’d underneath, so everything I got for it had to be mint. This meant new or completely refurbished parts throughout,” Mikey explained. His private plate was purchased and transferred onto the M3, while a Storm Motorwerks weighted gear knob was fitted alongside the previous owner’s addition of Amaretta Anthracite Alcantara gaiters.
Another upgrade for the interior was a selection of genuine BMW Motorsport International door sill trims and a matching carbon fibre glovebox trim. The badge on the back of the rear wing was also swapped for one that Mikey had made by Taylor Made Decals, denoting the car’s 48/50 production number.
Mikey’s next trip out in the car was to go and get a special little something for under the bonnet, as he explains: “I took her for a blast over to Luton to see Bilal and Imran at Evolve. I had been speaking to Bilal for a while about an Eventuri intake for the E36 but he said that there hadn’t been enough interest in them to warrant producing them.
However, he said to bring the car down for them to have a look at anyway. No sooner had I got there and spoken to Bilal was the car in the workshop, with the old air box being stripped off and measurements being taken for a custom kit. Dyno runs were done before and after, both with standard mapping. It was hitting 306/307hp as standard but with the Eventuri it was hitting at least 315hp on each run with much stronger and consistent torque gains!
Gaining an extra 10hp from the kit was really surprising and the sound it makes is awesome, especially on wide open throttle.”
A neat touch is that Eventuris all feature a serial number, and Mikey managed to bag number 48 to match his car. It a little plaque on the carbon heat sheild and is just one example of the painstaking detail he goes to in his pursuit of perfection.
Mikey’s next addition to the car was, again, to the engine bay in the form of a genuine AC Schnitzer carbon fibre strut brace. However, the carbon’s clear coat had aged badly and gone slightly yellow in places. Of course, that wasn’t good enough for Mikey’s GT II and so it was sent off to be carefully re-lacquered, with the engine cover being colour-coded at the same time – a neat touch.
With the M3 looking and feeling better than ever, all that was left was for Mikey to put a couple more of his own touches on the exterior. This started with a set of anthracite M3 Contour wheels – mint, of course – and some AC Schnitzer Cup 2 wing mirrors.
However, the biggest change was yet to come, as Mickey explains: “I stumbled across the current wheels by chance really. I was looking for something else but got chatting to this guy with an Estoril blue E36 M3 Evo. He sent me a few photos of it and said that he had these rims on it but wanted to go back to the originals. These wheels are my favourite. I’ve always loved them and have always said that if I could have any wheels on the E36 it would be them. He was after cash quick so I got them for £1000 with new tyres, too,” Mikey told us. “It was a case of being in the right place at the right time – literally three weeks before Gaydon BMW Festival last year, so it was all good!”
With the AC Schnitzer theme that Mikey already had running throughout his GT, those final touches were the perfect additions. However, the only worry he now had was that it was all becoming a little too ACS-themed and might detract from just how special the GT is; not the worst problem to have, you might be think, but it was easily solved by simply swapping back to the original M3 mirrors, which has worked a treat.
The final addition was an AC Schnitzer exhaust – another rare part, which makes the S50 a little more vocal and brings a welcome lift to the rear end. It was bolted up with Hack Engineering billet exhaust hangers, too. No stone has been left unturned with this M3.
“Because of the size a few people were saying that the wheels would never fit – but that’s the beauty of having the KW V3s: I could get it stanced perfectly! With a few goes it was spot-on, with no rubbing,” concluded Mikey. With a thorough polish up and some fresh AC Schnitzer graphics for them, the wheels were the perfect addition to set the car off.
Undoubtedly Mikey has more plans for the GT but you can rest assured that each and every addition will be as carefully considered as all of those so far. E36s are on the up, and with something as rare and as special as his GT Imola Individual it would be too easy to damage it with the wrong modifications. Premium parts, great taste and a respect for the rarity have culminated in one very special M3.
DATA FILE #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3-GT-Imola-Individual / #BMW-M3-GT-Imola-Individual-E36 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-M3-GT / #BMW-M3-GT-E36 / #BMW / #AC-Schnitzer / #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 / #BMW-Motorsport / #BMW-M /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six #S50B32 / #BMW-S50 / #S50 / , #Eventuri carbon fibre intake with build number matched to chassis number, #ARP con-rod bolts, colour-coded engine cover, AC Schnitzer exhaust, #Hack-Engineering billet exhaust mounts. Standard six-speed manual gearbox, #Rogue-Engineering gearbox mounts, braided clutch line, standard 3.23 final drive LSD
CHASSIS 8.5x17” (front) and 10x17” (rear) #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1-Racing three-piece wheels with 215/40 (front) and 245/35 (rear) Hankook V12 tyres, #KW-V3 coilovers, #AC-Schnitzer carbon fibre strut brace. Standard brakes with drilled and grooved discs front and rear, braided brake lines
EXTERIOR Full respray in original Individual Imola red, Class II front spoiler removed, factory Class II rear spoiler, BMW Motorsport Individual side moulding badges, custom build number plaque
INTERIOR Individual upholstery (including Imola red door inserts and seat centre sections, Amaretta Anthracite seat bolsters), Amaretta Anthracite-trimmed steering wheel with Imola stitching by Royal Steering wheels, extended Imola leather by Bespoke Leather, Storm Motorwerks gear knob, Storm Motorwerks cigarette lighter blank, AC Schnitzer alloy pedal set, AC Schnitzer door pins, BMW Motorsport International carbon fibre glovebox trim, BMW-Motorsport International door sill trims, Harman Kardon speakers
THANKS Bilal and Imran at Eventuri, Jim at Vines, Steven at Taylor Made Decals, Ben at Hack Engineering, friends and familyStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFINCREDIBLE HULK #BMW-M535i-E28
Once a mild-mannered E28 #BMW-M535i , this Finnish 5 Series is now a fearsome rage monster brandishing a terrifying 886hp courtesy of its turbocharged M30. Mental turbo E28 shows the kids how it’s done. This might look like a mild-mannered E28 but you wouldn’t like it when it’s angry… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Jape Tiitinen.
BMW E28s need love. They’re getting rusty, rare and actually quite expensive to buy, certainly in the UK, and much like any classic they are not often casual, off-the-cuff purchases. You have to want an E28 because it requires commitment. Buying an E28 is a serious undertaking, one often reserved for lifelong BMW enthusiasts who’ve always wanted to own this classic saloon. Enthusiasts like Tobias Holmkvist, perhaps? “Well, when I bought this M535 my interest in the marque started to grow but I can’t really say I’m a #BMW guy,” he reveals. Oh, guess not then…
So, just what attracted this 20-something car enthusiast to the sharkey E28? Well, for our Finnish truck body builder, this car presented itself as the perfect proposition for what he was planning. “I wanted to build a crazy car for street use,” he says in the matter-of-fact manner that someone might use when telling you that they’ve just bought a new shirt. “And to me the E28 is an old and beautiful model, plus this car already had a lot of performance parts installed. It was in pretty bad shape, though, and needed a rebuild so I bought it to have something to spend my time on.”
Purchased in Sweden, Tobias’ E28 needed more than a little TLC to get it roadworthy again, requiring no less than a complete interior overhaul, rust removal and a respray, making this far more than just a casual project. But then again Tobias is a man who enjoys a challenge and likes building cars that are a little different from the norm (such as the 415hp Mercedes diesel estate he built back in 2008), so the prospect of restoring this E28 and turning it into a fire-breathing monster was no doubt a tantalising one.
Now, if you want to build yourself a crazy powerful road car, you’re going to need to build yourself one serious engine. Luckily the M30B35 is the perfect candidate for turbocharging and makes the ideal base for building up a serious powerplant. Tobias has left no stone unturned, or at least no engine component unmodified, in his quest for power. The engine has undergone numerous evolutions but the current spec is its most impressive incarnation.
First off, the block has been fitted with a reinforced bottom plate to stabilise it; it’s been bored out by 0.5mm and CP forged pistons have been fitted, though the crank has been left stock. The head was ported by Tobias himself and fitted with an Enem Z55 turbo camshaft, steel rocker arms and Stage 2 valve springs while ARP bolts ensure it stays clamped tightly to the block. Initially, Tobias was running a Holset HX55 turbo with a Megasquirt standalone ECU but he wasn’t happy with the way the car performed. “The Holset was too small,” he says, being rated for about 570hp, “so I removed the Megasquirt and the Holset and replaced it with the Precision turbo and MaxxECU engine management, which got the car running like a dream with better spool, more power and better engine control.” The turbo in question is a 7275, rated to 1015hp, offering the sort of horsepower potential that Tobias was looking for. In addition, it’s been fitted with a 46mm Precision wastegate. The intake and exhaust manifolds were both made by Tobias, with a 4” downpipe running from the turbo into a 3.5” exhaust with a single silencer, while on the intake side there’s a seriously beefy intercooler, measuring 600x450x100mm with a 3” inlet and a 4” outlet. You’ll also find 1680cc injectors sitting on a billet fuel rail, a VAG COP ignition system, a PWM controlled electric water pump and electric cooling fan. It’s a heavyweight list of mods and it results in some seriously heavyweight performance figures, with 2.3bar of boost resulting in 886hp and 758lb ft of torque, which is more than any sane person could ever possibly need, but whether it’s more than someone like Tobias could possibly want is another matter altogether…
To go with all that power, Tobias has opted for an E39 M5 gearbox uprated with a Sachs 765 pressure plate and sintered clutch along with a homemade propshaft with M5 joints and an LSD at the rear, which allows him to put down some very long 11s on the Tarmac. The brakes have also been uprated, naturally, with 348mm discs up front and 320mm items at the rear, offering much needed enhanced stopping power. When Tobias bought the car it had already been fitted with lowering springs and uprated dampers, so he’s suck with that combo, adding Powerflex bushes throughout and M5 anti-roll bars to try and quell the car’s slightly tail-happy nature, though we wager that ramping up the power to over 800hp has probably undone most of his hard work on that front.
Of course, even when you’re building a mental fast road machine like this, you can’t forget about the aesthetics and while Tobias has kept things looking pretty OE on the outside, there are plenty of hints that let you know this is most definitely not your run-of the-mill E28. Up front, one of the high beam lights has been replaced by a colour-coded air intake that feeds air directly to the massive cone filter wedged into the corner of the engine bay, while at the rear you’ll find an E30 M3-style spoiler crowned with a home-made gurney flap, complete with a message for anyone foolish enough to have attempted to tangle with this E28. And there’s no need for multiple exhausts here when one fat tailpipe does the job just fine, thank you very much.
The AC Schnitzer Type 1 Racing wheels, Tobias reveals, were actually on the car when he bought it, and he liked them so much that he almost bought the car just for them, though they were in very bad shape and he spent 20 hours rebuilding them. Not that you’d know, mind, as they look absolutely spotless and the gold-on-white combo is pretty much perfect.
The interior is a blend of OE calm and hardcore aftermarket additions. “I had always wanted a car with a full roll-cage,” explains Tobias, “so I decided to build one. A friend helped me with the TIG welding but I built it myself. It was very hard to make but the result was very good. I also fitted a set of E34 M5 leather seats and I made my own leather door panels, suede steering wheel and lowered steering column.” Tobias also chucked in a hydraulic handbrake, because that’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see in a 800hp E28 that’s very good at going sideways!
The boot is home to numerous fuel system components, plonked unceremoniously to one side, but with the most exquisite components and the engine bay most definitely deserves a mention because while it might not be a polished-up show bay, it’s very clean and tidy. We particularly love the colour-coded piping and intake plenum.
It’s taken Tobias four years to get the car to where it is today, a slow steady process of annual evolution, and this E28 has become something of a beast. It’s an epic machine that’s fulfilled Tobias’s brief of being “a crazy car for street use”. Judging from the pictures, Tobias seems pretty happy with the results, too, and it’s good to see a car like this being used in anger; then again, how else could you possibly use it?
DATA FILE #BMW-E28 M30B35 Turbo
ENGINE: 3.5-litre straight-six #M30B35 , bore increased by +0.5mm, stock crank, CP forged pistons, reinforced bottom plate to stabilise block, ported #M30 B35 head, #ARP bolts, Enem Z55 turbo camshaft, steel rocker arms, Stage 2 valve springs, custom intake and exhaust manifolds, #recision-7275 turbo, 1680cc injectors, #VAG coil-on plug ignition system, #MaxxECU ECU, PWM-controlled electric water pump, #PWM -controlled cooling fan, billet fuel rail, Precision 46mm wastegate, 4” downpipe with 3.5” exhaust and single silencer, 600x450x100mm intercooler with 3” inlet and 4” outlet. 886hp and 758lb ft @ 2.3bar.
TRANSMISSION: #Getrag-Type-D six-speed manual gearbox from E39 M5 #Getrag , #Sachs-765 pressure plate, sintered clutch disc, home-made propshaft with M5 joints, LSD.
CHASSIS: 8.5x17” (front) and 9.5x17” (rear) #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 Racing #AC-Schnitzer wheels with 225/45 (front) and 255/40 (rear) Federal semi-slick tyres, single-piston callipers (front and rear) with 348x30mm discs (front), 320x22mm discs (rear).
EXTERIOR: High beam air intake, E30 M3-style spoiler with custom gurney flap.
INTERIOR: Full roll-cage, E34 M5 leather seats, custom leather doorcards, suede steering wheel and lowered steering column.
THANKS: My friends that have helped me with this project, all your help has really been appreciated.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.