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    Prime cut S3 8P Show-stopper revealed. When Matt Vanstone isn’t preparing the Southwest’s finest fillet steaks, he’s working on his stunning S3…. Words Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker.

    The second generation Audi S3 is a cracking little car. Launched in 2007, it packs a potent 2.0 TFSI engine, quattro drive and the kind of neatly understated looks that set it apart as a premium hatch back. Audi sold bucket loads of them and they’ve become one of the most frequently tuned of all the S models. So when Matt Vanstone was after a new car, he had his sights set on an S3. “I’d been into Fords before,” he explains, “but I wanted something I could modify in a Dub style.”

    After looking at a couple of cars, he found an immaculate S3 in Sprint blue, which he fell in love with. “It was only down the road from me and although it wasn’t as highly spec’d as the others I’d seen, I didn’t mind as I planned to upgrade it.”

    Having thrown £14k at the salesman, Matt proceeded to enjoy his new toy. “I’d spent all my cash, so it was standard for about a year,” he says. But the plan right from the off was to create something show worthy – just as soon as he’d saved up the money. Then disaster struck...
    “It was during the floods of 2014; I was driving home and hit standing water.” The S3 aquaplaned into a ditch and the damage was significant. “My heart sank, I thought it was a write-off – but I just got away with it,” recalls Matt.

    That said, there was a big bill for replacement parts, including a new front end, wings and other bits, which all told added up to about four-grand – which wiped out the tuning budget. However, there was some good news…

    “I came into a little bit of money and while the car was in the bodyshop I decided to do a few bits to it.” This included fitting the latest (at the time) Air Lift Performance kit, some Forge Motorsport goodies and new wheels. With the S3 making good progress, Matt went along to Ultimate Dubs, where he was blown away by the standard of some of the cars. “I met Jules Loose and he invited me to join Dubfiction, which is where I got a lot of help and inspiration for the car.”

    At this point, there weren’t any RS-style honeycomb grilles available off-the-shelf, but Matt had his heart set on one. So, he set about making his own. “I ordered a brand new RS6 grille from Audi and my mate cut out the honeycomb section and adapted it to fit the S3’s OEM grille. It involved a lot of work and expense, but looks fantastic, especially with the satin silver surround, which he’d seen on an RS4. Next came new wheels.

    “Jules offered me a set of RAD48s, but they weren’t quite “wow” enough for me, so I sent them off to be ceramic-polished. Sounds simple enough, until Matt explains this involved shipping them off to Belgium for the work to be carried out, at a cost of about £500. Now that’s commitment.

    With the exterior looking good, Matt turned his attention to the inside.

    “I knew I had to really go for it to make the car stand out at shows, so I bought a full S5 interior,” he says. Unfortunately, the seats were in bad shape, with dodgy electrics and bent sub frames. “They needed about £900 spending on them and I felt like giving up,” he admits. But it’s when you’re at your lowest point that your mates really help and Jules, plus girlfriend Terri told him to carry on – setting a deadline of the next Ultimate Dubs show to get the car ready. “That left us just three weeks,” laughs Matt.

    “I managed to get hold of some genuine Bentley leather for the seats – I hadn’t even seen the colour, apart from a picture,” he says. When he visited the trimmer to see the progress, there was another heart-in-mouth moment: “I didn’t like the colour,” laughs Matt. But girlfriend, Terri, said it would be okay and told him to let the trimmer get on with it. “She even bought me a flat-bottom steering wheel, which spurred me on.” The trimmer had some work to do though – the stitch pattern alone took over a week to complete. Finally, with the show just hours away, having pulled another allnighter, Matt and his crew made it to the show, even having to stop en route to pick up the parcel shelf.

    But you know what – it was all worth it. The S3 was very well received with plenty of nice comments about the interior. With a renewed enthusiasm for the 8P, Matt began planning his next show – Early Edition. Then, disaster struck for a second time: “An inlet cam snapped and I ended up having to get an engine rebuild.” This took another chunk out of the tuning budget, but as Matt says, ‘You can just give up, or accept that life gives you hurdles like this and get on with it.” Wise words indeed.

    The engine itself is now in rude health and although not currently running any performance software, the Cobra Sport exhaust has transformed the S3’s character. The 3in turbo-back system, with sports cat, is much freer flowing and delivers a nicely rorty sound, without any annoying drone. There’s also a Forge twintercooler and inlet, which means this S3 is ready to have its potential unleashed with a remap.

    At the time of writing, Matt is recovering after a flat-out Christmas rush preparing turkeys for his customers, but in between wielding his cleaver, he’s been planning his next upgrades. “I’m fitting some new wheels, plus some carbon bits and maybe big brakes for next season,” he says. “I also want to get the engine sorted, so I’ll be giving the guys at MRC Tuning a call at some point.” There’s lots more to come from this S3 – look out for it at this year’s shows.

    SPECIFICATION #2017-Audi-S3-8P / #Audi-S3-8P / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-A3 / #Air-Lift / #RAD48-DR1 / #RAD48 / #Audi-8P / #Audi /

    Engine 2.0 #TFSI , #Forge twin take induction kit with carbon fibre air filter covers, Forge chrome recirulating value, #Forge-twintercooler , Forge blue silicone hose kit, Forge chrome charcoal canister cover, Forge chrome oil water and coolant caps, custom made engine cover using old air box and dipped in carbon fibre affect and colour coded pipe work in sprint blue, turbo back sport cat exhaust system by Cobra Sport all in 3in pipework

    Transmission 6-speed manual, Forge adjustable quick shifter

    Suspension Full #Air-Lift-Performance slam struts with 3/8 airlines and two #Vair comps and 4-gallon skinned tank with #V2-Auto #AutoPilot-V2 management

    Wheels #RAD48-DR1s 8.5x19in all round et45 fully ceramic polished by Felgenwerkes/puc polished in Nanking tyres NS2s 215/35x19

    Interior 2011 flat bottom steering wheel with carbon fibre air bag cover, Audi S5 front seats with custom diamond stitch in centres and retrimmed in Bentley nappa leather with a blue stitch, carbon fibre control panel and seat backs and grab handle, rear seats, arm rest, hand brake, gear gaiter, parcel shelf, glove box, under steering wheel and door card inserts all trimmed to match

    Exterior 2011 rear lights, custom made, front grille using RS6 and standard one moulded together to make one grille then painted gloss black centre and satin silver ends, carbon fibre b pillars, Forge chrome petrol cap

    Contacts and thanks Stefan May at Tiki Custom, Kris Butler at Forge Motorsport, Jules and Mario at RAD48 wheels, James batty at Autofinesse, Colin Haden at D Hayden Upholstery, Matt at System Clenz, Indy at Felgenwerkes/Stefan puc polished, Nick Cockman at Cobra Sport exhausts, the Mrs, Terri for putting up with my temper tantrums, the whole Dubfiction crew, Adam Ford for many late nights working on it before shows.

    “I knew I had to really go for it to make the car stand out...”

    Essentials: air and detailing kit.
    Bentley leather was used for the interior.
    Flat-bottom wheel with carbon centre.
    Nicely detailed bay, with big power to come.
    Cobra exhaust looks and sounds ace.

    Dubfiction 9 July 2017

    If you haven’t heard about Dubfiction, it’s a cracking show with a very welcoming attitude. Based in Derbyshire’s Peak District at one of the UK’s most picturesque locations, it offers plenty of space to park up, a show and shine, trade, music and camping. The new date for 2017 is 9 July, so make sure you get it in your diary and check out Dubfiction on Facebook. Dubfiction 2017 – 10am - 4pm, The Bull I’ th’ thorn Inn, Ashbourne Road, Hurdlow SK17 9QQ.
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    JAWS 2 Ten years ago we featured this E24 in its original incarnation but now it’s back and meaner than ever. We’re going to need a bigger magazine… Words and photos: Andy ‘Sharkey’ Starkey

    / #JAWS-2 UK air-ride E24 #BMW-635CSi-JAWS-2 / #BMW-635CSi-Highline-E24

    The iconic Spielberg movie, Jaws, put a whole new spin on suspense and horror, and we have never looked back. This movie was responsible for making an entire generation of film fans squeal, hide behind their popcorn and give them involuntary bowel movements. It was such a success and a landmark in cinema history that it spawned several sequels. Now, I have a problem with the whole sequel thing. If you have made something good, I guess it’s a given that you want to continue the success and do it all again.

    That’s all well and good if the subject matter can cope with the return, and if the public want it. The big difficulty for the moviemakers is that we’ve already seen the shark, the villain, the hero or whatever in the first one; we’ve had the shocks, the cheers and the laughs. This usually results in a very loose link to the first instalment which develops into almost the same story but with more blood, scares, laughs, bangs or car chases; all a bit disappointing really.

    There are exceptions of course: Indiana Jones, Jason Bourne, Austin Powers and naturally Mr Bond – all have had continual success with their ongoing escapades and adventures, and that’s all because the key character has what it takes for audiences to keep coming back for more. They all have charisma, attitude and presence, which is exactly what this E24 has in abundance and this too is something of a sequel.

    We think you’ll agree that this particular 6 Series possesses the kind of credentials that any movie icon would give their right arm for. That’s because this #BMW-635CSi-Highline is a continuing story of ownership and development. It even graced the pages of this very magazine some ten years ago and was dubbed ‘Jaws’ by us at the time. For once, this is where a sequel really has paid off, although maybe sequel isn’t the right word, a ‘continuation’ is probably better…

    Way back when, this 635 was owned by a certain Kabir Miah and both he and his brother Lala had a very particular idea for this car in mind. The shark theme was to be played out by having the original paintwork in a two-tone scheme; grey on top graduating into a much paler off-white towards the sills, just like the skin of a shark. The front wings also got the ‘big fish’ look by having a large, striking set of gill slits added. These were not just a stick on adornment, either, these gills were actually pressed through the wings and the finishing touch was the addition of the Jaws number plate.

    That was then, but what about now? To start with, the car now belongs to Lala himself. It may have been Kabir’s car but Lala was the one to make the transformation happen both ten years ago and now. This is wholly because he’s a fully trained painter. In fact he co-owns and runs a Birminghambased styling business, LA Modz, specialising in window tints and wraps, so he’s going to know a thing or two about making cars look good. He still does some bodywork but, as he told me: “Tints and wraps are so much cleaner to work with.”

    As you have probably noticed the, two- tone paint job has gone this time around in favour of clean, bright Nogaro silver with a fabulously deep gloss. The trademark gills and numberplate still identify the car as the original Jaws but now a lovely set of rims highlight the new look.

    Lala does have an eye for detail so the choice of wheel that was to achieve the desired effect had to be right, and boy, are they right. They started out life as a set of M System II Style 21 ‘Throwing Stars’ but they’ve been made into a special set of bespoke three-piece splits by CR Customs in Poland. The guys there have added extra diameter and width, taking them from lowly 17s to a whopping 19”, with the fronts measuring 9.5” wide while the rears are now a massive 11”. The hardware has also been plated in 18ct gold and the wheel nuts had nifty covers made for them from 12 bore shotgun cartridges.


    The interior has been redesigned this time around too; the tired black has now been replaced with luscious terracotta leather. Lala has taken the lead from an M5 he’d seen with a Fox red interior and rather liked the contrast. The style and choice of covering carries on with modified and decluttered doorcards and centre console. The craftsmanship of the interior is something to behold and the stark difference between some of the retained interior scheme and the new is striking. Hats off to Autotrims UK for a sterling job. The whole interior theme has been topped off by the addition of an MTech 2 steering wheel and the all-important shark tooth hanging from the mirror.

    Ten years ago most suspension setups comprised springs and shocks but today air is where it’s at and it’s all about getting your car so low that sometimes you think you could sneak under a snake’s belly wearing a top hat. With its low roof and sleek look, the CSi is the perfect candidate for air and dropping it to the ground accentuates those long, low lines. Lala’s done something very smart here too; sure the air-ride gets the car down low but the clever bit is the use of a specially made M3-style chin spoiler and the fitment of, would you believe, Volvo 850 side skirts.

    These additions make the whole profile look even lower and very sleek. As Lala explains: “The idea with the spoiler was really to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth, but it does lengthen his nose.”

    His nose, did you say? “Definitely,” Lala says. “Jaws was certainly male, so this car must be a bloke too.” Looking at the car now after that statement, you have to agree it does look masculine. It has a sharp, angular feel to it and we’re sure that’s pure testosterone coming out of the exhaust…

    Having a wrap expert on-hand would make you think that this car would be littered with the stuff but on initial scrutiny you’d say there wasn’t any wrapping going on at all. Well, you’d be wrong. Look a little closer and you’ll find something very subtle, but very nicely done: the window surrounds. It may not look much but, while all the glass was out for the paint job, Lala took all the mouldings that fit between the glass and bodywork, and wrapped them in a fabulously deep gloss black wrap. Not only does this look really neat, but you just have to think of how much of a nightmare it must have been to do.

    Externally the look gets further enhancements with the fitment of American side marker lights, smoked headlamps, taillights and badges. The window glass has been replaced with some from a pre-1985 model, purely because the glass had a tasteful bronze tint to it (unlike this 1989 version). This was then made deeper by adding another layer of tint, thus creating a totally unique shade.

    How many times do you feel a tad disappointed when you’ve read all the interesting guff about the fancy bodywork and the trick bits only to be told that the engine has been left totally standard? Well, brace yourself, because this motor is pretty standard too but, before you go all ‘I told you so’ on us, remember one thing, this is a 635CSi which has the lusty 3.4-litre ‘Big Six’ under the bonnet. That’s over 200 feisty ponies in there wanting to get out so – why mess with something that good? Lala has added an induction kit, though, and a bespoke exhaust, making the tuneful straight-six sound even better, from air going in to exhaust gases coming out. To top off the whole package the standard 635 brakes up front have been swapped for the beefier ones from an 840.

    With the subtle changes, bespoke additions and attention to detail, Lala has given us a worthy sequel to his original Jaws, and just when you thought it was safe to go back on the road… This is real proof that sequels can work and work well, providing the main character has what it takes, of course, and this 635 has exactly that.

    “The idea of the chin spoiler was to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth”

    DATA FILE #Air-ride / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #M-System / #BMW-E24-Air-ride / #BMW-635CSi-Air-ride / #BMW-635CSi-Air-ride-E24 / #BMW /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #M30 / #BMW-M30 , induction kit, stainless steel exhaust system, four-speed auto gearbox #ZF-4HP / #ZF

    CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 11x19” (rear) custom three-piece #M5-M-System-II-Style-21 ‘Throwing Stars’ with 3.5” (front) and 4” (rear) polished lips and 18ct gold-plated hardware, 235/35 (front) and 255/30 (rear) tyres, Air Lift Performance air suspension, 840Ci brakes (front)

    EXTERIOR Full respray in BMW Nogaro silver, gloss black wrapped window surrounds, pressed metal gills in front wings, custom E30 M3 chin spoiler, Volvo 850 side skirts, pre-1985 bronze window glass with additional tint, American side marker lights, smoked headlights and tail-lights

    INTERIOR Re-trim in terracotta leather, modified doorcards and centre console, #M-Tech 2 steering wheel, custommounted #AutoPilot-V2 digital air-ride controller, single #ViAir compressor, single air tank, 2x #Pioneer Champion Series 12” subs

    “The idea of the chin spoiler was to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth”

    The craftsmanship of the interior is something to behold…

    “Jaws was certainly male, so this car must be a bloke too”
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    Sometimes it only takes a few simple mods to unlock the true potential of a project car. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Henry Phull @ Slam Sanctuary

    SUITED AND BOOTED Air-ride E60 5 Series

    Big saloons often have an air of ‘dad car’ about them; people often assume that when they see someone younger driving a big, luxury, executive saloon it’s not theirs because surely they can’t afford something like that? Shouldn’t they be driving around in an antisocial hatchback instead? But big saloons definitely have plenty of appeal, especially when it comes to modifying, because they’re not the default, popular choice. This means that you can build something individual that stands out from the crowd. It’s why I own an E39 and why Lawrence Warner-Green drives an E60.

    The E60 is arguably one of the least modified BMWs, M5 notwithstanding. Over the past couple of years it feels like we’ve only had a handful at most, so when one does pop up it always piques our interest, not least because it enables us to answer that age old question: what sort of person buys an E60 520i SE? Well, in this case, that person is a 23-year-old insurance company team leader, probably not BMW’s target demographic when it designed the E60 but there we go.

    Young Lawrence cut his motoring teeth on a Polo, on which he also cut his modifying teeth. “I was very young at the time and was hooked on Need For Speed. Needless to say the modifications were a little, er, full on!” he laughs. Well, we all have start somewhere. The Polo was just a means to an end, however, because he knew that his destiny lay with BMWs. “I’ve been interested in BMWs since I was about 17,” he says.

    “I found the world of StanceWorks and Mike Burroughs and, after seeing some of his BMW builds, I became obsessed! BMWs are so special to me because of the instant connection I feel I have with them after watching hundreds of videos, reading tons of build threads and the culture they create within the car world.”

    Filled with inspiration and the vigour of youth he promptly purchased a £900 E36 318iS and proceeded to get modding, albeit a little more tastefully than before, with some coilovers, black grilles, wheels – the usual array of upgrades. The E36 was a fine way to start his #BMW journey but after a while Lawrence started to get itchy feet and hunger for a new project, which brings us to his E60…

    “I decided on an E60 5 Series as I wanted to do something a little different. I’d never really seen anything done to an E60 so I wanted to give it a go,” he says. “Stock, the E60 looks like a 60-year-old’s mode of transport but I could see they have loads of potential when you look past the not-soappealing stock exterior. That, along with the thought of cruising in the biggest pimp wagon I could think of, motivated me!”

    He makes a good point because when starting out with a new project you have to be able to look beyond the bad towards your end goal and the car you’re going to build, not necessarily the car you’ve bought. This wasn’t going to be a balls-out, no-holdsbarred build, though, because it also had to serve as Lawrence’s daily. “I’m not one of these people that spends thousands on modifications,” he explains. “I always drive my cars daily. They aren’t tucked away nicely until show season comes around. A car to me is for driving and I don’t want to be constantly worrying about paint damage, kerbed wheels etc.

    “In my mind I had a rough idea of what I wanted the car to look like. Air was a must and I knew I wanted to create something that looked great but was also practical, as I’d be driving it every day. I knew I wanted some nice big wheels that tucked up nicely into the arches but, again, I wasn’t looking to spend thousands on a set of wheels that would most likely become weathered after a while.”

    With air being a must-have for his build, Lawrence started looking around for someone who could make it happen for him. After a lengthy search he decided to pay a visit to Studio Incar. “The owner, Carl ‘Shakey’ Shakespeare, talked me through what would be best for my car and what I wanted. After a few discussions I went with an Air Lift setup with an AutoPilot V2 fourway controller. This was matched with a nice subtle boot install still providing me with plenty of boot space. It’s exactly what I wanted and the guys at Studio InCar smashed it out of the park!”

    With the emphasis on practicality, the boot build here is one of the neatest and most modest we’ve seen. All the hardware has been tucked away neatly out of sight, while the single tank has been custommounted in the roof of the boot area, leaving the entire floor space free and useable.

    With the suspension sorted it was time to work on those dowdy SE looks, which were never going to cut the mustard. “I wasn’t too sure what I wanted for the car as far as styling goes,” says Lawrence. “All I knew was that I wanted something that looked unique and something I could just see myself cruising in. I also loved the idea of something that was low and that looked gangster as hell!”

    The E60 now wears E60 M5-style front and rear bumpers – pretty gangster in our book. In addition, all of the nasty chrome has been removed or subdued, with black kidney grilles and black Plasti Dip’d window trims, giving the car a far more serious demeanour.

    “Colin Ware and the guys at Kustom Kolors did an amazing job at repairing scratches and stone chips to the bodywork,” beams Lawrence. “And they also sprayed my bumpers. I wouldn’t use anybody else.” Of course, you can’t fit an E60 M5 rear bumper when you’ve only got the standard 520i exhaust in place, and that’s where Lawrence’s favourite mod makes an appearance. “Standard E60s only have an exhaust on one side but I wanted dual exhausts, so I went to the guys at Mike Stokes in Bournemouth and they gave me exactly what I wanted: a custom straightthrough exhaust. The thing sounds like a V8. Shame it doesn’t go like one!”

    So that just leaves the wheels. “I knew I wanted something big,” grins Lawrence. “So I decided to go with a set of 20’’ 3SDM 0.08s. If anyone knows E60s, they will be aware that you need some big old wheels to fill those massive arches. I really liked the styling of the wheels and the fact I hadn’t really seen them on many other cars. This was the hardest part for me. I spent months and months deciding on wheels! I would have loved a set of custom Avant Garde splits but they were just way out of my price range. I looked at so many different ones but the 3SDMs really caught my eye.”

    The E60’s big bodywork, especially above the rear arches, definitely gives you carte blanche to go as big as you dare with wheels and 20s are the perfect size, really filling those arches when the car is aired-out. The clean, concave design of the 0.08s works well against the modern styling of the E60, too.

    Lawrence hasn’t gone mad on the mods but what he has done has transformed a dowdy saloon into a clean, sharp-suited machine that definitely looks like it means business. The wheels, styling and air-ride are a heady combination and three simple elements are all that are needed to absolutely transform this 5 Series and unlock the potential that Lawrence could see in it. While there are many more plans spilling out of his ever-active brain, for now the main plan is to enjoy the car as it is. As far as the future is concerned, though, this E60 has plenty more to give…

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E60 / #BMW-520i / #BMW-520i-E60 / #BMW / #BMW-5-Series / #BMW-5-Series-E60 / #BMW-5-Series-Sedan /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.2-litre straight-six #M54B22 / #M54 / #BMW-M54 , custom straight through cat-back quad with no rear boxes, six-speed manual gearbox

    CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) #3SDM 0.08 wheels with 235/35 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance air suspension with quarter-inch lines and double bellow bags

    EXTERIOR #M5-style front bumper, M5-style rear bumper, black kidney grilles, black Plasti Dip’d window trims, RollHard sun-strip

    INTERIOR #AutoPilot-V2 controller, custom mounted air tank in the boot

    “I loved the idea of something that was low and looked gangster as hell”
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    VW mk6 GOLF R / Is this tastefully upgraded Golf R the ultimate all-rounder?

    HIGH STANDARD / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk6 / #Volkswagen-Golf / #Volkswagen-Golf-VI / #VW-Golf / #VW-Golf-Mk6 / #VW-Golf-VI / #VW / #Volkswagen / #Volkswagen-Golf-TFSI / #Volkswagen-Golf-2.0TFSI / #Volkswagen-Golf-2.0TFSI-Mk6 / #Volkswagen-Golf-2.0TFSI-VI /

    After cutting his tuning teeth on #JDM metal Stan Kowalski thought he would try a Dub or two. We think he made a wise decision… Words: Sean Matthews. Photos: Neil Sterry.

    It’s fair to say that not all journeys that start from A necessarily find their way to B. Even with the best intentions, the route we take in life (whether it’s career, serious life decisions or, in Stan Kowalski’s case, his favoured car scene obsession) can naturally digress and before we know it we’re travelling in the opposite direction. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a negative thing, as Stan’s stunning Mk6 clearly demonstrates…

    You see, the New York native started out favouring brands from the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’, having owned a few Mitsubishis. “When I was younger I was a JDM guy,” he admits.

    “When I got my license I got my first second-gen Mitsubishi Eclipse. After that I thought I’d try a Subaru out. I actually crashed the Subaru 18 days after having it. I then got myself back into another Eclipse straight after, then onto an Evo. It wasn’t long before I blew up the stock motor.

    I rebuilt it and then decided to take it on the track. However, I ended up blowing up the rebuilt motor due to a fuel injector failure. I really liked to race cars but after all I was getting older, and thought better about getting into trouble getting caught doing street racing. So I figured I’d try the show scene instead…”

    A factor that gave Stan the direction to change the scene he was involved in was actually his mum. “She had always told me that she saw me driving a GTI,” he explains. “With that I decided to go on the hunt for a Mk4 R32.

    I sold the Evo with the blown motor, which I ended up getting good money for.” Looking through all the standard avenues, such as Craigslist and cars.com, yielded no clear or promising results for the right Golf so the next step was to hit the ‘wanted’ section on Vortex and post up details of his dream R32. A reply from Massachusetts arrived, with the seller needing his car gone fast. Stan went to see the car in question and fell in love with it instantly.

    This may have been assisted by the fact it had a Stage 2 Vortech V9 supercharger! With 333 all-wheel- horsepower and 320lb ft of torque the R32 had more than enough go to see off many cars and keep its new power-obsessed owner happy.

    Whilst owning the R32 Stan and some friends started the #VW club ‘VolksNation’, whom you may have seen on Instagram and which has a healthy following across the world. “Me and my friend Joel started the group. We have a whole bunch of different members, some in New York, some in Pennsylvania, and some in New Jersey. We are about 65 strong but we are continuing to grow.” To say he fell into the dub scene hard is clearly an understatement!


    However, another reroute was about to occur and it wasn’t long before Stan was already feeling the pull from another über Golf. “I was going to all these shows in the R32 and all it had was the supercharger, wheels and suspension. Everyone else was going crazy with all they do to their cars and I wanted some of the action… but this time I wanted to seriously modify a Golf R. So, even though it was hard to give the R32 up, I put it up for sale for sheets and giggles at $23,000. It was a steep price but I could afford to as I didn’t need to sell it. And what do you know? Someone came and gave me $23,000 for it!”

    So by June 2013, with his back pocket full of cash, Stan ventured to his local VW dealer and put a down payment on a Tornado red Mk6 R. Whilst waiting for his ride to turn up, other money was being ploughed into parts waiting to grace the Golf ready to take it to the next level. “I bought a downpipe, a cat-back exhaust, a high pressure fuel pump and an intake – basically everything United Motorsports (UM) suggested I need to get the car to Stage 2+. I haven’t had it on the rolling road yet but I have seen in many places that 330whp and 400lb ft is normal.”

    Stan trusted United Motorsports’s guidance already as he had found the guys there to be a great help when he owned his ’charged R32 previously, as it had not been running right when he first bought it. “As I had a lot of trust with Jeff when he worked on the R32, I only wanted him to work on the R,” Stan explains.

    Stan’s next plan of action was to work on the chassis of the R, and it was his chance to fulfil a long held ambition to ride on air. Through more recommendations Open Road Tuning in Nashville came up trumps and was contacted to provide Stan’s car with Air-Lift Performance struts and the ubiquitous V2 auto-pilot management. “I went to them for the hook-up because they gave it to me at a pretty good price. Originally, the boot build and the installation I did myself but then a friend of mine from our VolksNation club opened a shop in Astoria, Queens and suggested we do the trunk setup differently, so I took it to him.” The boot received a subtle tweak, the tank being painted in the same shade of red as the R and some vinyl work was added in for good measure.

    An Autopower Industries roll-cage, cordially powdercoated body colour, was then bolted-in, and this completes the rear. The forged Watercooled Industries three-piece MT10 wheels add the finishing touches to the look of the car, giving it a real concept sports car-style that wouldn’t look out of place at an international autoshow.

    And the best part of the build for Stan? “Ah man, I just love the whole car. I take it to shows and everyone else seems to love it just as much as I do. People come up to me and take pictures of the R and ask how I got so much done in such a short time. It helps to have a garage full of parts whilst you wait for your car to be delivered! I used to go to shows and never win but in the past year I’ve taken first place at Volkswagen Show New Jersey and first place at Waterfest. I went to H2O International and ended up getting nominated for ‘Top Dawg’ which was a great feeling. But when I saw what I was up against, I was like ‘damn…’ as they all had shaved bays and crazy swaps. But it was a real honour to be in the ‘Top Dawg’ competition.”

    Most recently Stan was representing Volksnation at Dub Expo in Atlantic City, winning ‘best in category’ and the coveted ‘best of show’. Stan and his fiancée Nicole are planning to get married this summer, so the changes that are still to come will have to be done on a slightly tighter budget. These will include hydrodipping the wheel centres and bumper plastics, shaving the badges and side markers to give it a subtle makeover.

    It seems that Stan’s journey from JDM fan to serious Dub player has found its true course, with no end to this route in sight. We have a feeling we will be watching him as he continues to weave his way through the VW tuning scene for a long time to come.

    “People come up to me and take pictures of the R and ask how I got so much done in such a short time”

    Dub Details
    ENGINE: 2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI #VW-K04 , #CTS-Turbo intake, #Forge-Motorsport intercooler, coolant hoses, and diverter valve, #Integrated-Engineering valve cover, R8 coil packs, #NGK spark plugs, #BSH engine mounts, #Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, #APR downpipes, #Performance-Haldex controller, #Southbend Stage 3 endurance clutch, #Tyrolsport solid shifter bracket bushing, #ECS-Tuning cross-drilled/slotted discs with Hawk pads, Tyrolsport brake caliper stiffening kit, #Tyrolsport Master Bracket

    CHASSIS: 9.5x18” #ET41 10x18” #ET38 WCI MT10 wheels, 205/40/18 and 215/40/18 Nitto Neo Gen tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance Series fronts and Double Bellow Bags rear, #AutoPilot-V2 air management, #H&R anti-roll bars, #Tyrolsport-Deadset subframe collar kit, Tyrolsport Deadset rear subframe kit

    EXTERIOR: ECS Tuning carbon fibre front lip and rear diffuser, CS Tuning carbon fibre side skirts, black vinyl wrapped roof, rear wiper delete, carbon fibre side view mirror caps

    INTERIOR: Cipher Auto racing seats, Takata racing harnesses, Autopower four-point bolt-in cage, rear seat delete, carbon fibre interior trim work, Forge shift knob, custom suede trunk setup, Rennline door straps, LED lights

    SHOUT: Mike and the guys at Tyrolsport, Chris and the guys at #C&M-Performance , Brett and the guys at The Custom Shop, My fiancée Nicole, My Volksnation team
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    BODY DROP E30 Air-ride 325i hits all time low

    BODY DROP TOP / Anyone can bag their car to get it low, but hitting the ultimate low takes dedication, as this E30 Cab ably demonstrates.

    If you’re truly dedicated to the pursuit of lows then you need to go beyond basic air-ride, as this Northern Irish E30 Cab demonstrates. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Steve McCann.

    Air-ride is a wonderful thing. It might still have its naysayers, but almost everyone else on the modified #BMW scene has welcomed it with open arms and it almost feels like there are more bagged BMs about these days than static ones. It’s practical when driving out and about, and then when you park up you simply hit a button and boom instant lows. But for some people, that’s not quite enough, and one of those people is John Peden, owner of this E30 Cab and MD of Peden Conceptz, which specialises in bodywork, air-ride and hydraulic suspension.

    “It sounds daft now but when I started the company years ago, we were building fibreglass monstrosities and putting a ‘z’ on your business name was all the rage,” he laughs. Running such a company puts John on the frontline of the air suspension (and juice) scene, so it makes sense that he’s got a few examples of his own that utilises it: “I’ve got a Porsche 964 on hydraulic suspension and as well as the E30 I’ve got an E21 316; that was my first BMW and I bought it 12 years ago specifically with the aim of fitting air suspension on it. I spotted this 325i for sale and was interested as I like older cars, plus it had a good spec, black with black leather, manual and with the factory LSD. It was advertised locally but the guy selling it was a bit dodgy – after I bought the car he did a runner on his missus and made off with her money, cars and my tax book…” Oh. Thankfully that dramatic start to his E30 ownership experience hasn’t extended any further and John wasted no time in getting stuck in with the mods.

    That the car was going to end up on airride was a given but the suspension here goes beyond your plain old, off-the-shelf airride setup. For starters, John actually built his own air suspension and we don’t mean he used universal components and adapted them to fit the E30, he started from scratch and made the kit. “I started with Bilstein monotube shocks, because they are the best in my opinion, and added Firestone bags. I made spherical top mounts and modified most components and finished it off with AutoPilot V2 management.”

    But that was just for starters, the next stage involved cutting the front end of the car apart and body dropping it. “The car is lowered 20mm over the running gear,” explains John. “It’s further than any other air kit. I took 10mm off the chassis legs, then I cut the sump in half and removed 20mm from it and shortened the oil pump in order to get more ground clearance.” The results speak for themselves because this car is low.

    At the front, it’s about as low as it can go, the forward edges of the sills sitting on the ground and you’d struggle to slip a Rizla between the air dam that sits under the front bumper and the Tarmac. The rear sits barely any higher, the Sebring exhaust’s back box given hardly any breathing space. The car looks awesome with the wheels stuffed way up into the arches. “I wanted 15” wheels because I favour the undersized look,” he explains, “and it made it more of a challenge to get them to fill the arches. I was told by a lot of people that they would be too small to be able to get the arch to touch the rim…” An inspection of the wheels clearly shows that the naysayers have been proven wrong.

    The wheels themselves are HTN Rennsport splits. They look fantastic and are a nice change from the classic cross-spokes we often see. Interestingly, John explains, the 15s actually have the same size centres as the 13” wheels, with some serious lip action going on to bring the overall diameter up by two inches. “It exaggerates how small they look, which I think really suits the classic appearance of the car,” he says and we are inclined to agree. The 195/45 Nankang Ultra Sport NS-II tyres also deliver the perfect amount of stretch to get them tucked up past the rolled arches.


    As far as styling goes, John has left everything well alone and we don’t blame him. “For the outside, I just focused on the way the wheels and tyres sat. I resprayed the car myself in 2k direct gloss black. As for the interior, I didn’t do anything with it as I like the classic appearance of it – what’s to improve in that respect?” He’s got a point. Inside, there’s an aftermarket head unit, a wooden gear knob and the AutoPilot V2 controller has been custom-mounted in the driver’s side air vent, which not only looks great but also puts it within easy reach.

    A few months of work have resulted in a lot of visual drama for this E30 and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what John loves most about his car. “It’s the suspension, because it’s just so low. The pinch weld of the sill touches the floor,” he grins. “I set out to build the lowest E30 and I really haven’t seen any lower… yet.” Best of all, despite being so crazy low, the beauty of air-ride means John is able drive his E30 daily. It’s nice to see someone building car like this and then actually using it rather than just tucking it away and only bringing it out on sunny days.

    While he’s not got any more plans for this particular car, he has got another project on the go: “I’m building the E21 I bought years ago. It’s nearly finished. It has hydraulic suspension, custom one-off Peden Conceptz wheels, a Saab 9000 engine and a Holset turbo off a digger,” he says matter-of-factly. Well, that sounds suitably mental, and as John is a clearly a man who knows his way around a modified BMW, we can’t wait to see how that one turns out.

    Body-drop involved taking 10mm off the chassis legs, 20mm off the sump and shortening the oil pump for maximum ground clearance.

    “set out to build the lowest E30 and I haven’t seen any lower…”

    DATA FILE Body-dropped #BMW-E30 / #BMW-325i-Convertible / #BMW-325i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-E30-Convertible / #BMW-325i-Cabrio / #BMW-325i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-325i-E30 / #BMW-325i / #AutoPilot / #Sebring /


    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.5-litre straight-six #M20B25 / #M20 / #BMW-M20 , #Sebring back box, shortened sump, shortened oil pump, five-speed manual gearbox
    CHASSIS 8x15” (front and rear) #HTN-Rennsport multi-piece wheels with gold centres and staggered offsets with 195/45 (front and rear) Nankang Ultra Sport NS-II tyres, custom #Bilstein air struts, #Firestone bags, custom top mounts, raised turrets, #AutoPilot-V2 management, body dropped 20mm
    EXTERIOR 2k direct gloss black respray, rolled arches
    INTERIOR #Wooden gear knob, custom mounted air-ride controller

    “wanted 15” wheels because it was more of a challenge to get them to fill the arches.”
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    Gorgeous bagged #BMW E30 with an #S52 swap and shaved bay

    KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY

    In the same family for almost 30 years, this ridiculously clean E30 has undergone quite a transformation in that time. Some heirlooms leave a more lasting impression than others, as we discover when we meet Nick Lanno from Ohio. Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Patrick McCue.

    It’s not often a car stays in the same family for almost 30 years, yet this 1987 325iS is the very same car that delivered Nick Lanno – the subject of our story – from hospital when he was born, and 15 years later became his first car.

    That was in 2009, and Nick, now aged 22, has completely transformed the car from what it once was. He takes up the story: “My father bought the car brand-new from David Hobbs BMW in Chillicothe, Ohio, and he drove it on a daily basis right up until my teens, so it was always in the garage while we were wrenching on other vehicles together. That’s where my passion for cars started.”

    Nick couldn’t help but fall in love with the E30 and as soon as he was old enough he began to research these cars. That’s when he got hooked on the blue and white roundel, as he explains: “The fact that they are truly a driver’s car is what attracted me to them the most. The heritage and history behind all these classic BMWs that people own is so interesting and they almost always carry a great story. I love every car BMW has made to this day and I will always be a BMW enthusiast.”

    This was the car that took Nick to school, to soccer games, to friends’ houses, you name it – it was a huge part of his life and quite often he would while away the hours thinking how incredible it would be to own it one day. In 2000 it went into storage, and then, much to Nick’s surprise, nine years later it was taken out of storage and given to him on his 15th birthday! His childhood dream had come true.

    “There was no other E30 I would rather have had than this car. It was perfect and despite having clocked up 120k, it was immaculate; all OEM parts, original paint, absolutely rust-free, and it had a full service history,” he recalls.

    Needless to say it did not stay 100 per cent original for long. In fact, the first thing Nick did as soon as it was in his possession was lower it on a set of Ireland Engineering race springs. Other modifications included all red tail-lights, smoked Euro Smiley headlights and side repeaters, a later model front valance and a Zender rear valance. Shortly after that, the car then went back into storage so that over the next few years Nick could save some money and let the real transformation begin.

    Once again it was the suspension that demanded Nick’s attention first: “After pouring through different forums looking at the various setups, I knew that to get the drop I really wanted I’d have to look into a custom air-ride setup.” Up front he’s installed Air Lift’s Crafter Series struts, while Air House II bags and Bilstein shocks reside out back. The rear spring perches were modified for the bags, as were the front spindles for the struts. The system is managed by Air Lift’s Autopilot V2, with plenty of presets all at the tip of Nick’s fingers in the centre console. “The setup is so convenient, making road trips as comfortable as can be, yet the car still handles fantastically in the corners. I have the best of both worlds,” he adds.


    The car remained in this guise for the next three months, until one fateful day when the timing belt from the original M20B25 snapped. This prompted the next stage of the build. “I sourced a low-mileage S52B32 out of a 1999 M3 from a good friend in Cincinnati with roughly 70k on it,” Nick says. “I completely regasketed the motor from top to bottom, as well as safety wiring the oil pump nut, before fitting 21.5lb injectors, a lightened flywheel, and a 3.5” intake setup.” Together with a few friends, the swap took about a week to do. Apparently the maiden voyage with open headers put one of the biggest smiles on Nick’s face to this day. Not surprisingly it came to life as a completely different beast that day.

    After two years of driving it across the States to various shows, Nick wanted to take the car to a new level – he wanted to shave, tuck and customise the engine bay. Fortunately a good friend of his owned a body shop so once Nick had pulled out the engine to take care of tidying up the wiring harness and deleting any non-essentials such as air-con and power steering, the car was sent off for six months to begin its transformation. “Everything looks so neat and beautiful under the bonnet now, but the star of the show has to be S52. It is so reliable and has plenty of power to make the car feel a blast to drive. It brings a smile to my face every time I’m behind the wheel.”


    Whilst this car’s spec is a far cry from when Nick’s father bought it all those years ago, it’s still managed to retain its factory charm. And that’s because his objective throughout the build has been to keep things clean, simple and classy. The same philosophy has been applied to the cabin of the car, which is relatively stock save for the Nardi steering wheel, custom stitched M-Tech style gear knob and gaiter and Coco mats, which are all period-correct for the car. “I wanted the car to retain its original feel,” Nick says. “I’ve even kept the seats, which are fairly worn now, but it gives it character.”

    Like any true project, the car has gone through various incarnations of wheels, including BBS RSs and CCWs, but Nick eventually settled for 8.5x16” (front) and 9.5x16” (rear) Schmidt TH Line wheels shod in 205/40 rubber that you see on the car now, and we have to say that they suit the stance, lines and age of the car perfectly.


    This is not a car created with a blank cheque book; it is a car with tons of sentimental value to the owner and gradually improved over time with the help of friends and family. It’s been built to drive and to enjoy, it doesn’t sit in a garage or on a trailer and we love the fact that whilst Nick put his own stamp on it he’s taken a wholly sympathetic approach in his choice of modifications. Now it’s finally complete all he plans to do is simply drive it. “It has taken a lot of effort to get the car to where it is today but it was a journey which has led me to meet a lot of fantastic friends and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. The car is a big part of me and something I am most definitely proud of.”


    Along with the life lessons and skills that a father teaches a son, there are also certain material things that you pass down – like a tool kit or, in Nick’s case, a dream car. In these increasingly disposable times, fewer and fewer items are worth saving and giving to your children, so we hope Nick sticks to family tradition and passes his treasured 325iS to his own son or daughter.

    DATA FILE #BMW-325iS #S52 air-ride #E30 / #BMW-325iS / #BMW-325iS-S52-E30 / #BMW-325iS-S52-Air-Ride-E30 / #BMW-325iS-E30 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-E30 / #S52B32 / / #BMW-S52 / #Bimmerworld / #Getrag-260 / #BMW /

    ENGINE 3.2-litre straight-six #S52B32 / , 21.5lb injectors, 3.5” #Euro-MAF , 3.5” #Bimmerworld-Silicone intake boot, air-con and power steering delete, #M42 radiator, TMS remap, Condor Speed Shop engine mounts, custom longtube headers and 2.5” exhaust including #Vibrant race resonator; shaved, tucked and resprayed engine bay

    TRANSMISSION OEM #Getrag 260 five-speed gearbox, #Sachs-HD clutch, #MWorks-Garage custom transmission crossmember, #Condor-Speed-Shop Speed Shop transmission mounts, lightweight flywheel

    CHASSIS 8.5x16” (front) and 9.5x16” (rear) #Schmidt-TH-Line wheels with 205/40 (f&r) Nitto Neogen tyres, #Air-Lift universal front struts, #Air-House II rear bags, #Bilstein rear shocks, #AutoPilot V2 management including five-gallon tank and #Viair-400C compressor, drilled and slotted brake discs and Hawk pads, brake booster delete, E21 master cylinder, tucked brake lines, stainless steel braided clutch slave line

    EXTERIOR Later model front valance, iS front spoiler and bootlip, smoked Euro Smiley headlights and side repeaters, all red tail-lights, #Zender rear valence, #Shadowline trim

    INTERIOR Nardi Classic steering wheel, custom stitched #M-Tech-style gear knob and gaiter, Coco mats, #Dynamatted back seat and boot

    THANKS All of my good friends in BHC, and those that had a hand in the build, my father and Anthony at ASC Autoworks

    Front end, like the rest of the car, is incredibly clean, with a late model valence and iS front spoiler. #AutoPilot-V2 management offers eight presets and countless options; gorgeous 16” Schmidt splits suit the E30 perfectly.

    The car is a big part of me and something I am definitely proud of.
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    DROP TOP

    Tallis Godfrey’s bagged Estoril #BMW E36 M3 on Speedline Alessios shows just how good this timeless M Cab can look. Haters get your hate on, there’s an #BMW-E36 M3 on air about and it’s one damn fine machine. Photos: Si Gray.

    Considering how many bagged BMWs are being sent my way on a monthly basis, I’m amazed at how much hate air-ride still gets and especially the fact that haters still bang on about bags not handling. I wonder how many of those staunchly standing by that viewpoint have ever actually driven a bagged car? Ultimately, we all like different things, but we also all like the same thing: BMWs, so why can’t we all just get along? I haven’t got time for hate or haters, apart from hating on the haters, but that’s something we can all agree on.

    Seemingly single-handedly contributing to the downfall of society is Tallis Godfrey, a man who has dared to put air-ride on an #BMW-E36-M3 – time to get the pitchforks out. But hold on, don’t light those torches just yet because this is one stunning #E36 #M3 .

    “I’ve always been into cars,” Tallis tells me, “but I was never into BMs. That all changed when my friend, who had a Techno violet M3 at the time, gave me a lift home from a club one night and that’s when I knew I had to have one. After that sprayed a Mk4 Escort Convertible in Estoril because that’s the E36 that I wanted, so I knew the M3 I wanted had to be blue, a Cab and it had to have an M3 plate. I knew nothing of #SMG though, and only bought this one because of the interior,” he explains. “It’s a V reg and it was made on the last day of #E36-M3 production, 23 July 1999, and it was one of five built that day, the second-to-last car sold in the UK and there’s a chance it was the last RHD car made but I can’t be certain.

    “It was completely stock when I bought it and I didn’t know that I was going to modify it,” he says but that changed very quickly. The first mods included a set of #Eibach springs, 19” LMs and some stereo upgrades: “The old days of the Escort came back!” laughs Tallis. “When it comes to modifying I like to do my own thing, I like to do things my way with a twist and I like to do what I can myself. Other mods have been and gone over the years and listening to criticism has made the car change and evolve over the eight years that I’ve owned it. I fitted coilovers, Style 5s and ambers and then that look took off and the car slotted in. I got bored of the Santa Pod show so I went down to Players and saw the OEM+, fitment and stance look that the VAG guys were doing and decided to do the same sort of thing with my car.

    “The wheels are genuine Speedline Alessio 18” three-piece splits – these are actually off the #Aston-Martin-DB7 and while they’re the same ones that were fitted to the #Porsche-993 , this fitment is much easier to make it work on the E36. I found them on eBay and they were a bargain; I got excited when I saw them because I knew I could make them fit and I knew they would be very exclusive. The PCD is different, but close enough that I could get the wheels on with a set of wobble bolts.” The Speedlines look absolutely awesome on the #M3 – they’re gorgeous wheels whichever way you look at them – classic, iconic, rare, and the size and fitment here is absolutely on point. The clean design suits the E36 shape perfectly and the polished lips are killer.

    Beneath the surface there’s a lot of work that you wouldn’t necessarily notice, and it’s what really sets this car apart. Under the bonnet, there’s a Gruppe M induction kit, very nice, but to cover up the bracket left behind by the standard air box, Tallis retrofitted cruise control. “It was hard to do with the SMG,” he explains, “it hadn’t been done before and I had to do a lot of research but I made it work. It was the same story with the paddle conversion.”

    The #SMG-I doesn’t come with paddles, so you have to shift via the lever, but Tallis didn’t want that. To look at, you wouldn’t know the paddles weren’t OE, but they are actually AMG items and what you can’t see is how much work was required to make them fit, including having to cut a bit out of the steering wheel to mount them.


    Then there’s the matter of the interior itself. It’s nothing if not striking and certainly makes a change from boring black. Tallis picked up the Extended leather components for just £10.50 from German eBay, which is obscene really, and you’ll notice the Vader seats, except they are not full Vaders. The car had Individual Sport seats and the bodies are different, so he had to modify the headrests in order to get them to fit the seats, but it was definitely worth it.

    So, now we come to the, thorny for some, issue of suspension. “I had Eibach coilovers on the car,” says Tallis, “and they were good but running at the height I liked I couldn’t get it into my garage and I used to clip catseyes. It was low but it didn’t tuck low and as well as not sitting quite how I wanted it wasn’t practical and I could only get out of Aldershot, where I live, one way as the other routes all had speed humps. I had a Stance Solutions kit on but I’m getting old and the 600lb springs on the Eibach kit were just too hard. So I sold the coilovers, the Stance Solutions kit, the Style 5s and had some money so decided to go for air-ride. I fitted everything myself; it’s not hard – if you can fit audio components and coilovers, then it’s easy,” he says. Tallis is running an Air Lift set up with an exceedingly tidy boot install – so tidy that you wouldn’t know it was there, in fact. The whole thing has been tucked away in the spare wheel well, with a single compressor and small tank, while his #AutoPilot-V2 digital controller lives happily in his central storage bin by the armrest. Is he happy with the switch from static to bags? Just a bit. “I’m very pleased with the setup, it’s better than the coilovers. It’s much more useable, the ride is more comfortable, I can take my family in the car and it doesn’t rub, it’s practical, user-friendly and there’s more adjustability – the Eibachs were only height adjustable but here I’ve also got damping adjustment. And the handling is better as well – overall I’m really pleased.”

    There’s no two ways about it, Tallis has built himself a stunning E36 M3 and it seems that most people out there concur. “It gets attention,” he says, “it gets awards, it gets recognition and it gets liked online. The problem is what can I do next? For me, the thrill is in the build and I don’t know what else I could do; I could do an engine swap or fit a supercharger maybe, I was planning to fit a BBK but spent all my money on the airride so I can’t do that now. I might end up selling it,” he says, though he doesn’t look convinced. Fast forward to now and I receive a text message from Tallis that reads: ‘You wait until you see the new look [winking smiley]’ – I had a feeling this M3 wasn’t going anywhere soon and that comes as no surprise. The car seems like an extension of him; a lot of love and work have gone into it and you’re not going to find another E36 M3 quite like this one…

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE: 3.2-litre straightsix #S50B32 , genuine Gruppe M air induction kit, retro fitted OEM cruise control system, custom modified exhaust hangers and clamps and x-brace to get car lower.

    TRANSMISSION: Six-speed SMG I, custom #Mercedes #AMG paddle conversion via #E39 modified multi-function slip ring.

    CHASSIS: 8x18” (front) and 9x18” (rear) Speedline Alessio three-piece wheels with 215/35 (front and rear) Nankang 18 NS2 tyres, Air Lift Performance struts front and rear, AutoPilot V2 management, upgraded 3/8” airlines, hidden 2.5g brushed aluminium tank fitted into spare wheel well, Viair 380c compressor, front camber plates, rear camber arms, Powerflex polybushes throughout including anti-roll bars, custom polished front strut brace with blue leather inserts to match interior.


    EXTERIOR: Short VW Sharan aerial, various new OEM badges, plastics and trims replaced where possible, heavily rolled rear arches keeping the OEM lines, custom rear full amber lights, new front Bosch headlight lenses, front headlights internally de-lensed and shrouded, plasma white 5500K HIDs, aero wipers, factory hard top.

    INTERIOR: 11 speaker Harman Kardon factory option upgrade, Alpine flip-out screen, Alpine freeview digibox, Alpine sat nav system, Alpine DVD player fitted in glovebox, genuine OEM Individual factory-fitted leather interior, retro-fitted OEM extended dash leather option, coloured to match existing blue leather, modified Vader headrests to fit OEM Individual Sport seats, piano black centre console, aluminium glovebox trim to match gear-stick details, retrimmed and padded steering wheel, #BMW-Z3 M coloured thumb tabs on steering wheel, OEM fire extinguisher.

    THANKS: Nicola and the kids (Emily, Jessica and Oliver), mum and dad, Paul for the late-night detailing work before the shoot, John at www.cleanandshiny. co. uk for all the Zaino over the years, Dips at Custom Cars for help with all the wheels, Leigh at LB Autos for all the mechanical work and servicing, Ben Lee for the paintwork, all the guys on the forums for their help and support and anyone else I’ve met over the years.
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