- Post is under moderationCAR #MG-1300 / #MG / #ADO16 / #BMC-ADO16 / #BMC
Run by James Page
Owned since June 2014
Total mileage 96,319
Miles since September
2017 report 315
Latest costs £550
MUCH ADO ABOUT GEARCHANGING
Back in August, the MG passed its MoT with flying colours. I’d given everything a quick check beforehand, which threw up a couple of things that needed doing. First was the handbrake operation on the nearside rear. Or lack of operation, I should say. I adjusted it so that it felt quite convincing and, while it wasn’t so impressive a couple of days later on the rollers at the #MoT station, it did enough to pass.
The other job was to replace the brake-light switch. The lamps were a bit feeble, coming to life only when the pedal was some distance into its travel, but a new switch sorted it. Not that the old one gave up without a fight – as is often the case, a five-minute job turned into about 20 minutes as we tried to unscrew the stubborn b… blighter without knackering the pipework.
With those minor tweaks sorted and a new ticket issued, the MG then had a short period of behaving itself. When a headlight failed, I took the opportunity to convert to halogen units, but time was always against me when it came to various other small annoyances.
That being the case, I eventually gave up trying to do it myself and took the car to local specialist Autoclassico, which had Jaguar, Aston, Maserati and Lotus projects on the go when I dropped the MG off. My humble saloon still seemed to be a popular visitor, though. Everyone who drove it did the universally recognised ‘bobbing’ motion to describe their progress, bouncing down the road on Hydrolastic suspension and softly sprung seats. As well as a general service and a look at that handbrake, I asked them to investigate its embarrassingly long-standing clutch problem.
For a while, selecting and deselecting gears had been something of a hit-and-miss affair, although predictably it behaved perfectly during their first test drive. They nonetheless rebuilt the master and slave cylinders. Apparently, the crud in the old fluid was a sight to behold. I went to pick up the car and, for 25 miles or so, it was transformed.
As part of the thorough fettling, the timing had been checked and the carbs adjusted – even though emissions didn’t officially form part of its MoT, the ever-affable tester at Elberton Garage had remarked that it sounded rich and took a reading that confirmed it. The handbrake was much more effective, too.
The following day, and buoyed by how well it was running, I went for a random lunchtime drive. After about 10 minutes, the pressure again started to disappear from the clutch pedal and gear selection proved stubborn. Eventually, at a T-junction, it went completely and I couldn’t find anything – the first time that it had reached that stage.
I checked the master cylinder and it hadn’t lost any fluid, so there was nothing to do beyond calling for recovery. By the time that it arrived (which wasn’t long, despite me initially sending them to Tockington by mistake rather than Tytherington…), gear selection had been restored, but back the car went to the chaps at Autoclassico.
This time, the diagnosis was that the piston was sticking in the master cylinder – it would be okay for the first few gearchanges, but gradually it wouldn’t return correctly. Given time, it would get there eventually, hence why it had ‘come back’ after 20 minutes or so. Mike at Autoclassico refused on general principle to order one of the plastic master cylinders that are currently on offer, but eventually we found a genuine Lockheed item on eBay. With my credit card recovering in a darkened room and what must surely have been the world’s most expensive master cylinder fitted, the MG was once again back to full health – and seemingly on a rather more permanent basis this time.
THANKS TO Autoclassico: 0117 956 9115; www.autoclassico.co.uk / Elberton Garage: 01454 414670
With everything finally sorted – after a return visit to Autoclassico – the MG is back on the road. MG ready for MoT test at Elberton Garage. Recovered, but note bright brake lights! VW rolls by as MG refuses to select gears. A fresh pair of Wipac halogen headlamps. New master solved the gearchange issues.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR #MG-1300 / #MG / #ADO16 / #BMC-ADO16 / #BMC
Run by James Page
Owned since June 2014
Total mileage 94,940
Miles since May 2016
Latest costs nil
MURKY COCKTAIL BUBBLES OVER
Brown sludge isn’t what you want to see when you remove your car’s radiator cap to check its coolant level. The hope was that it was remnants of oil from its previous head-gasket failure rather than a new problem. I checked the dipstick and the oil-filler cap, but there were no signs of either water getting into the oil or of the oil level dropping. The coolant level, too, was okay.
The obvious place to start was therefore flushing out the radiator. Removing the radiator was easy, but once it was free it was obvious that assorted rubbish and grime had collected on it. Air-flow must have been minimal, so I applied a little detergent to the muck and then poured hot water over it to loosen it all off. It cleaned up nicely, so I moved on to back-flushing the radiator itself. Not surprisingly, it took some time for the water to run clean, but I left it for a few minutes and eventually it did.
With the exception of the time we had to wait in a queue for the ferry while en route to the 2014 Le Mans Classic, the MG has never run even remotely warm. Quite the opposite, in fact – despite its horribly bunged-up radiator, the needle never really gets beyond one-third of the way up the gauge. While it was empty of coolant, therefore, I satisfied a quick bout of curiosity and checked that it did indeed have its thermostat in place. It did, but the inspection proved that a new gasket was required.
The area of chassis that’s usually hidden beneath the radiator was looking scruffy, with peeling underseal, so I scrubbed off the loose bits, wiped it down, and reapplied some Waxoyl to protect it.
Space is a little tight when putting the side-mounted radiator back in, so I tried a couple of methods, but quickly realised that my ‘brilliant’ shortcuts involving the bottom hose and the fan shroud weren’t going to work. Instead, I settled for doing it the traditional way and actually it wasn’t too hard.
The fiddly hose went back on easily enough, and the bolt that goes through the bottom of the shroud, and which you have to fit by feel alone, was remarkably faff-free. I refilled it with coolant, fired it up (which is becoming an increasingly long-winded process, but the battery seems to be coping well) and checked for leaks. Nothing from the bottom hose, a little – predictably – from around the thermostat housing, but otherwise all seemed to be as it should.
With that done, I turned my attention to fitting the rear seatbelts that I got a while ago. The only other time I’ve done this job was on my Morris 1800, which had all the relevant mounting points. It was a doddle. On the MG, though, the central points were there, but there was no sign of the ones in the corners that are needed for the bracket coming down from the retractors. Those corners, a corrosion hot-spot on these cars, comprise metal that is noticeably more recent than 1970, so they could have been replaced without replicating the mounting points.
It looked as if, as Martin Port put it, I’d have to be getting busy with the drill, but installing belts is obviously something that I’d rather get absolutely right. Probably better for a specialist to take care of that. While everything was out, though, I cleaned up the muck that had collected on the floor, then treated the seat itself to a thorough clean.
Next up, though, is to get it to Phil Cottrell at Classic Jaguar Replicas to see if he can sort the rough running. Having read Graeme Hurst’s running report this month, it’s tempting to invest in a new electronic distributor and see if that has the same effect as it did on his Mustang. Perhaps it’s simply time to hand it over to someone who would no doubt be somewhat more methodical than that.
‘Not surprisingly, it took some time for the water to run clear, but I left it running and eventually it did’
Underseal was peeling from chassis… …so a new coating of Waxoyl was applied Once removed, rad grime was all too clear Proof that oil and water really don’t mix Rear seats came up nicely for a quick clean Thermostat was in place; gasket crumblingStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR #Riley-Two-Point-Six / #Riley / #BMC /
Run by Martin Buckley
Owned since April 2016
Total mileage 18,132
Latest costs nil
BLUE DIAMOND NEEDS A POLISH
I’ve always been intrigued by the Riley Pathfinder and its offspring, so the chance to capture one was not to be missed. The car in question is a Two-Point-Six, the rarest of the lot (2000 built from 1957-’1959) and probably one of the least numerous BMC models of all. Interestingly, until now, Riley had completely passed me by – even the badge-engineered stuff, never mind the RM and tasty pre-war gear.
The Two-Point-Six bridges the gap between ‘pure’ Rileys and the BMC cars. For those who don’t know, it has the C-series ‘six’ (the Pathfinder had the high-cam ‘four’ from the RM) and is, in effect, a badge-engineered Wolseley 6/90.
I think the only other one I’ve ever seen was in a Lincolnshire scrapyard 15 years ago. I have no awareness of them from my childhood, although I might have confused a passing example for an MG Magnette or a Wolseley 4/44. In fact, they share only the rough shape with their smaller brethren.
This one came by way of William Cadbury (of the chocolate-making family), who, despite having owned all manner of exotica, has a weakness for BMC’s work. Some years ago, he managed to find and buy his mother’s old Two-Point-Six, a much-loved car in which he had many happy family trips as a child and which, as a teenager, he drove.
The short version of my car’s history is that Cadbury bought it as a donor. It came from a man in the Midlands whose father had owned it since the early-’60s, and apparently it had been laid up since 1964.
A copy of the Birmingham Evening Post from 1969 was lining a box of tools in the boot, so perhaps it was last used slightly later, but it’s certainly not seen the road for many a year. Under the rear seat I found a long-lost marble, a reminder of the days when children could be kept entertained by something less sophisticated than a DVD player.
Sadly, the Riley was initially stored in a leaky garage, hence the rusty front wings and scuttle area. Happily the rest of it is quite solid and reasonably complete, other than a few bits of trim that were required to finish the other car. Wings aside, I’m not sure that I’ll paint it: a quick once-over with WD40 brings it up quite well. I have tried to coax it into life, but no joy as yet. And yes, I did remember that it has positive-earth electrics.
I’m under no illusion as to the amount of work there is to do, but there can’t be many unrestored ’50s British saloons out there. Instinct tells me that the way to proceed is to get the poor thing running and driving, and then take a view on how to tackle the body. Exactly what I’ll do about the wings remains to be seen, but presumably they can be patched; that appears to be what has happened to Cadbury’s car.
The Riley is too good to break. The leather and wood are rather nice, as are most of the panels and it’s particularly clean in the boot. Cadbury tells me that the engine is seized but that shouldn’t be a problem. If it is, I might fit a 3-litre unit from a Farina. According to Mike Connor of Purly Road Garage in Cirencester, it was a common mod in the ’60s when these cars were still in regular use. He had two, and put 3-litre engines in both.
Happily, PRD 643 is a manual, which means that it has the nifty right-hand gearchange. I’m fairly sure it has overdrive, too. As well as being a pretty car, it conjures all that magical ’50s imagery of police Wolseleys in Scotland Yard, or Inspector Martineau in Hell is a City (one of my favourite films). All that I need is a tub of Brylcreem and Johnny Dankworth on the radio.
One source of inspiration has been the YouTube videos about a Wolseley 6/90 rebuild by ‘Junk Yard Tom’, who got his car together in an amazing seven months. I did further homework on the model by ordering a copy of Christopher Balfour’s excellent Auto Architect, the biography of Gerald Palmer.
Chris kindly sent me some additional notes from a guide to the Pathfinder by David Rowlands, which whet my appetite even more. One interesting point that came up in these histories was that Palmer’s long-term plan was to develop a twin-cam version to put the car head-to-head with the Jaguar MkVII. That raises the question of whether an XK engine would fit. I think the Riley will replace my Austin 3-litre on the basis that I don’t need two BMC barges in my life. I have no idea of what parts are still available for the Two-Point-Six, but suspect the answer is not many. I’ll be pleased to hear from anyone who has a pair of front wings!
‘It conjures all that magical ’50s imagery – all I need is a tub of Brylcreem and Johnny Dankworth on the radio’
The Two-Point-Six looks rough after many years in storage, but is quite solid.
Leather needs a clean but is in good order. Buckley poses proudly with his latest toy. Vast sprung wheel and wellstocked dash.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR: #MG-1300 / #MG / #ADO16 / #BMC-ADO16 / #BMC
Run by James Page
Owned since June 2014
Total mileage 94,940
Miles since October 2015
Latest costs nil
SLEEPING BMC BEAUTY AWAKENS
After being used as weekend transport to the golf club through the autumn, the MG – like my woods and irons – has been hibernating over the winter. Knowing full well that, when I did dig it out again, I would quite likely face a continuation of last year’s endless niggles, I was still unwilling to subject it to month after month of salty roads. So, when the first signs of spring appeared, out came the battery charger. Despite being started and warmed at regular intervals over the winter, the A-series took a bit of waking up this time. But wake up it did, so I headed off into the countryside to see if all was well.
As I was checking the tyre pressures at the local garage, a chap stopped to compliment the car and how sweetly it was idling. He then noticed the wing badge: “ British Leyland ? God, they were lousy…” People clearly have long memories. I was reminded of the various non-mechanical jobs that I had intended to sort over the winter, but which I’d never got around to. First is the tear to the driver’s seat base – one of few interior blemishes and so all the more noticeable. Martin Buckley has pointed me in the direction of a local trimmer, so that should soon be sorted.
The other problem is that the driver’s door is hung in such a way that the upper-rear corner slightly fouls the B-pillar. It’s now reached the point where it’s worn away the paint, so that’ll be another job for Cromhall Refinishing in Thornbury – as will the rust bubble that has appeared on the windscreen surround. That has the potential to be more involved than it looks, but is best sorted as soon as possible. The MG’s still not running quite right, either. Having spent almost countless evenings going through the timing, carbs, points gap and valve clearances, it may be time for a second opinion. Martin Port has suggested that Phil Cottrell at Classic Jaguar Replicas – a man who knows the A-series inside out – would get it sorted in no time. I still reckon that it’s distributorrelated in some way, but no doubt Phil will be able to tell me for sure. It would be good to have it at full strength, because it feels abusive to be driving the 1300 when it’s clearly not right. I’m sure that’s not far off, and then it can once again be loaded up with golf kit on a regular basis.
After being laid up for the winter, the MG is gracing the roads again but poor running still needs sorting. Window frame has worn paint from pillar. Split in driver’s seat is due to be tackled.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationDare to Dream 3D Design carbon-clad M4. Back in 2006, a group of highly talented designers and engineers came together in Tokyo to reboot dormant BMW tuning parts maker 3D Design. This M4 is the culmination of everything it’s done in the ten years since Words and photography: Chris Nicholls. Dare to Dream 3D Design’s stunning carbon-clad F82 M4 under the spotlight. #BMW-4-Series / #BMW-4-Series-Coupe / #BMW-4-Series-F82
The M4, for many, represents dreams. Dreams of status, dreams of amazing driving experiences and dreams of just looking at the thing and enjoying its muscular lines just one more time before walking away. This particular #BMW-4-Series-M4-F82 , however, represents a very different kind of dream – a dream to build a complete ‘tuner car’ that not only shows off your company’s expertise in designing a range of great products, but also demonstrates how well those parts work in unison when fitted together.
It’s a dream Toru Endo and his team at 3D Design have had since the brand’s rebirth ten years ago. Back in 2006, they came in to kick-start what was then a bit of a lost cause; 3D Design in its original form had been making #BMW tuning parts (mainly suspension components) since 1998, but for various reasons the company had lost any momentum and, by the time Endo-san and his crew arrived, it hadn’t released anything new for quite some time. Obviously, job one after the takeover was thus to start cranking out parts again, but given the old line-up hadn’t been a great success, Endo-san and co. decided to expand the offering to include exhausts and aero parts as well, with an end goal of offering a large enough range of components to build the aforementioned ‘complete car’.
However, because all the 3D Design staff already had many years of experience working in either OEM, aftermarket accessory or race engineering circles, slapping together a few basic designs and calling it a day wasn’t going to cut it. They vowed that, no matter what the development time and costs, they would make the best BMW parts they could, a philosophy that continues to this day. One minor detail was that they didn’t have their own manufacturing facilities, but to get around this, they partnered up with the likes of Arqray for their lovely stainless exhausts and BBS for their forged wheels, ensuring the final products were as high-end as the engineering that had gone into the design and testing. And of course, that all their products were made in Japan.
Trouble was, even with a line-up that included wheels, coilovers, aero accessories, exhausts, a boost control chip and various interior upgrades, the staff didn’t feel as if they’d reached their goal of being able to produce a ‘complete car’. So they pushed on, and decided to invest more time and resources in a couple of other key items – a carbon intake for the S55 and, most importantly, full resin-infusion carbon bumpers for the M4. Now, proper carbon bumpers (not CFRP) may seem a bit extreme, especially considering they’re usually the first things to get damaged in a crash and cop quite a bit of sandblasting just from regular road driving, but as we said earlier, the company philosophy is to offer the best, no matter what, and given carbon would allow them to integrate aero elements better, as well as save a crucial 5kg at each extreme of the car (thereby reducing moment of inertia), it seemed a natural choice. Plus, literally no one else on the market is offering such a thing, so it gives the company a competitive advantage.
Obviously, these pieces do not come cheap. The carbon intake isn’t even on sale yet in Japan, but M Style UK quoted us £6195 for the front bumper and £5695 for the rear, and when you throw in the £1482 Mulgari quoted for the dry carbon side skirts, just the basic aero kit adds considerable cost to an already expensive machine. Going down the complete car route, which adds a dry carbon rear lip spoiler, dry-carbon racing wing, polyurethane roof spoiler, resin-infusion carbon mirror covers, coilovers, forged 20-inch Anniversary 01 wheels, a DME Tuning Stage 2 engine remap, Brembo GT big brake kit and all the company’s interior mods, will no doubt jack up the price to potentially terrifying levels, but no one said the best ever came cheap. And when you look at the fit, finish and quality of each of 3D Design’s products (the bumpers fit so well you’d genuinely think they were official Motorsport upgrades), there is no doubt that they’re among the very best in each sector they compete in.
As for the overall effect these changes make, at least in terms of appearance (we only had a short time with the car and thus couldn’t drive it), it’s quite staggering. The stock M4 is a muscular beast, but the 3D Design version takes it up a notch in every respect. The cleaner, more integrated lines of the front bumper lead down to quite a protruding lip spoiler, and the fact the company has kept the lower half naked carbon really adds to the impact.
The sleek skirts define the car’s flanks better and make it look lower than it actually is, while the rear end is just a whole lot buffer thanks to the large (but not ridiculous) wing, bootlid lip and again, that half-painted carbon bumper. Keen-eyed readers will note 3D Design has placed cuts on each side of it too, which allow turbulent air to exit the rear wheels better and should improve stability. One interesting side effect of all this extra aggression is that the car actually looks more like a sports car – something that should cheer all those who now consider the M4 a GT – and at least in this writer and photographer’s opinion, does a better job of integrating all that aero than the GTS. BMW take note. Finally, those wheels are just perfect against the Sapphire black paint, aren’t they?
Inside, there’s less of an impact simply because there are fewer changes. Yes, the switch to customembroidered Recaro Sportsters definitely changes the atmosphere, as does the switch to 3D Design’s alloy pedals, brake lever and shift paddles, but it still feels very much like an M4, only sportier. In many respects, the biggest change to the ambience actually comes from the Stack gauges, mounted in a lovely 3D Design pod at the bottom of the centre console. These, while looking pretty modern with their machined housings and austere faces, are still very much an old-school performance car touch in what is otherwise a very modern interior, so they do stand out and make the car feel just that little less GT-like (again). By the way, you can ignore that little display mounted to driver’s right, as it’s just a small speed camera detector. Don’t worry, they’re perfectly legal in Japan, and sadly more necessary than ever these days, thanks to the growing number of cameras on the roads there.
In terms of the effect the mechanical changes have, obviously we couldn’t sample most of those, but we have little reason to doubt the coilovers will benefit the handling, given 3D Design, unlike most of its Japanese contemporaries, designs and develops its coilovers explicitly for road use and thus makes them supple. (There is a remote reservoir track coilover in the works for the M4 should you want that, though). And again, there’s little reason to believe the DME re-flash, which, combined with the intake and exhaust bumps power up to 522hp at 6000rpm and torque to a stupid 561lb ft at just 2000rpm, won’t do the job in terms of making the car much, much faster, either. Nor that the Brembo GT big brake kit won’t do a stellar job of bringing the car’s speed down to normal levels, even after heavy track use.
While we didn’t sample the power it helps provide, we can heartily recommend the cat-back mid-pipe and muffler combination in terms of pure sound though, as we did get to sample its sonorous delights during our rolling shot session across the Tokyo Gate Bridge. Like most products on this car, it’s not cheap, with the full system setting you back £6334 from M Style UK, but its unique sound may well be worth it, depending on your priorities. We say that because the 3D Design product is by far the most subtle of the aftermarket M4 exhausts we’ve heard, with a start up that won’t upset the neighbours, and an ultra-smooth timbre as the revs rise. Indeed, it almost makes the S55 sound like an angry, tuned S54 , which is quite a feat. If you live in Japan and are reading this, the only downside is that the system won’t pass the strict shaken periodic roadworthy test there, but if you’re willing to switch back to stock for one day every couple of years, it’s not an issue, and we certainly don’t see it being a problem in most other countries.
So, having produced this ‘dream car’ and fulfilled the company’s original ambition, how does Endo-san feel? As he puts it, “we’ve never been about selling parts per sé. We’ve always developed parts with an eye to exciting the driver, whether it’s via improved styling, or upgraded ride, handling or engine feel. So when I got in the completed car the first time, there was a feeling of ‘we’ve finally done it’; that we’d achieved our goal of being able to excite the driver in every way we could”. Unsurprisingly, the positive impression continued when he drove it, too. “It’s now much more of a sports car to drive. The engine response has improved, as has the handling, so it now accelerates and points exactly the way you tell it to”.
Having said all that, 3D Design’s journey towards selling a complete car isn’t quite over yet. There’s the small matter of actually building a Tokyo showroom, which begins in May, and signing an agreement with a local dealer to supply brand new M4s the company can add all its bits to as well. After that, it may look at expanding its dealership reach past the nation’s capital, but Endo-san says that’s not been decided upon yet. No doubt there are plans afoot for more parts for other BMWs too. At the recent Tokyo Auto Salon, for example, it had a few prototype M2 parts on display, including an intercooler, race-use exhaust (similar to the M4 one) and race-oriented coilovers, so that model may well be next. A slightly more affordable dream? Maybe. Either way, an exciting one we’ll be sure to keep track of.
Contact: 3D Design / Web: www.3ddesign.jp
The switch to custom-embroidered Recaro Sportsters definitely changes the atmosphere
TECHNICAL FATA FILE #3D-Design / #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M4-F82 / #BMW-M4-3D-Design-F82 / #BMW-M4-3D-Design / #BMW-M4-Tuned / #BMW-M4-F82-Tuned / #DME-Tuning-Stage-2 / #DME-Tuning /
Engine: Twin-turbo, 24-valve, straight-six, #Valvetronic , double #Vanos , direct injection / #S55B30T0 / #S55 / #BMW-S55
Max Power: 529.6PS @ 6000rpm
Max Torque: 561lb ft @ 2000rpm
Engine: 3D Design carbon airbox with #BMC filter element, #DME-Tuning-Stage-2-ECU remap
Exhaust : 3D Design cat-back stainless mid-pipe and valve-controlled stainless quad-tip muffler
Wheels & Tyres : #3D-Design-Anniversary-01 forged monobloc wheels 9.5x20-inches (f) and 10.5x20-inch (r) with 235/30 (f) and 285/30 (r) Yokohama Advan Sport V105 tyres.
Suspension: 3D Design machined alloy dampers with 20-step compression and rebound damping control and 6kg/mm (f) and 8kg/mm (r) springs
Brakes : #Brembo-GT big brake kit with six piston calipers (f) and four-piston calipers (r) and 405mm (f) and 380mm (r) slotted rotors
Styling: 3D Design resin-infusion carbon front and rear bumper, cry carbon side skirts, dry carbon Racing wing, dry carbon bootlid spoiler, polyurethane roof spoiler, resin-infusion carbon mirror covers, body stripe stickers
Interior: 3D Design sports pedal kit, hand brake lever, shift paddles, floormats, Stack gauge kit and custom-embroidered Recaro Sportster seats
No one else on the market is offering such a thing, so it gives the company a competitive advantage.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThe E36 Compact has a bit of an unfortunate reputation in certain quarters but Dávid Haas’ example is here to prove that potential is everywhere, and these offbeat hatchbacks can be turned into proper little jaw-droppers… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Krisztian Bolgar.
2.8-swapped E36 Compact
There’s a popular saying that you may have heard: ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ The kind of mawkish sentiment that seems to make some sort of sense when you see it on a cheesy pink fridge magnet or in somebody’s Twitter bio, but it is, in fact, a pretty dumb statement. If you find yourself with free lemons, just sell them. That’s 100% profit. If you’re going to turn them into lemonade, you’re committing yourself to all manner of time, effort, the expense of ingredients and equipment… the saying should really go: ‘When life gives you lemons, brilliant, free lemons.’ Why overcomplicate things?
Now, as us car people know, the term ‘lemon’ has a darker meaning. It’s a scathing word applied to cars that are, well, not quite up to par; cars that sometimes feature noteworthy flaws (like the Ford Pinto having those bolts near the fuel tank that means the thing catches fire if it’s rearended), or that have a secret cut-and-shut past, or sometimes simply aren’t considered to be as good as they could have been. And in the eyes of some, the E36 Compact falls into this latter category. The first generation Compact, designated E36/5, was identical to a regular E36 from the front bumper back to the A pillars, but the truncated tail hid the suspension setup from the older E30. This allowed for a lower boot floor and undermounted spare wheel and thus maximised the utility of the hatchback, though many saw it as a compromise.
But screw that. There’s enough negativity in this world, let’s spin the Compact’s reputation around, shall we? And we’ll let Hungary’s Dávid Haas lead the charge. He’s probably the man for the job – just look at his Compact! The thing’s so aggressive you have to tip-toe up to it in case it nips your hand. Angry, scary thing. “I bought the car to be a daily driver in 2012,” he explains. “It was in quite bad condition but it came with the factory MSport option, which made it attractive.”
This trim level comprised M-tweaked suspension, foglights, alloys, sports seats, and a few other trinkets to elevate it above the lesser base models. This car as bought came equipped with an M52B25 – the spiciest option that the E36/5 came with; North American readers will probably only be familiar with four-cylinder Compacts, but the European market 323ti served up 170hp from a straight-six, which makes it easier to swap in bigger engines… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Where did Dávid go from here, with his ratty but brimming-with-potential motor?
“It didn’t take much time to decide on the first few mods,” he grins. “I run a small BMW shop here called Han’s Garage, so I had the means at my disposal to make the changes I wanted. This began with hiding the original tired silver paint under a white wrap, and fitting a set of 9.5x16” Hayashi Racing wheels, along with fully adjustable coilovers.” A strong start, but the game was only just beginning to hot up…
It’s worth noting that Han’s Garage, while Dávid describes it as ‘a small BMW shop’, walks pretty tall in the Hungarian tuning scene. Before this car, he enjoyed much internet celebrity thanks to his E30 cabriolet, E36 coupé, another E30, and a bagged E36 Touring, each one sporting a variety of unexpected home-grown tricks. Any possibility of this Compact retaining a semblance of factory originality was really dead in the water.
“After a couple of months of use, I decided to make a few further changes as I wasn’t happy with the setup,” Dávid explains, ever the perfectionist. “I replaced the wheels with a set of 10x18” rims from Japan Racing, although the sizing threw up some immediate fitment problems.” He’s used the word ‘problems’, but this is a guy who really only sees challenges as a path to further excellence.
The sleeves were rolled up, the tongue was poking out of the corner of the mouth, he was in deep: “I fitted a set of 3D camber plates,” Dávid continues, “along with BMW E46 control arms and eccentric bushes to solve the problem, but even all of this couldn’t help me avoid widening the arches… in the end, however, everything was perfect. But I made a wrong move and sold the car in order to turn to a whole new project.”
Wait, what?! We were just getting into the story Dávid! You’re such a tease… “Yeah, I totally regretted it,” he ponders, scratching his chin thoughtfully. “After about six months I really had the urge to finish what I had started – I’d been having a lot of ideas for the car after I’d sold it. Thankfully the buyer was a friend of mine though, and I managed to convince him to sell it back to me! He’d barely touched the car throughout his time owning it too, so I was able to pick up pretty much where I left off.”
This buyback move took a lot of Dávid’s friends by surprise. With his strong legacy of building desirable and unique BMWs, why was he wasting his time monkeying about with such a lemon? There are plenty of other ’90s BMWs out there in need of salvation, why take the retrograde step of going back to this Compact again?
“They were wrong, I guess,” he laughs. “I knew the potential was in there, I just had to let the car do the talking. The first job was to begin the transformation to Army Compact: I painted it flat military green with the help of my friend 819Lacika. Then I ordered a set of zero offset JR11 wheels from #Japan-Racing – 9.5x18” up front, 10x18” out back.” Blimey. And he thought he had fitment issues before! This is real go-big-or-go-home stuff.
“At this point, I just knew it had to go lower,” Dávid smirks, with the malevolent air exuded by all full-bore modifying addicts. “The TA coilovers were good but they had their limits, so I shortened the bodies and made the shocks stiffer.” This had the desired effect of ensuring that the car has very little in the way of suspension travel at all, which is just what was required. Look at the wheel-to-arch interface, you’ll understand why.
From this point on, Dávid was keen to really up the game of the aesthetics, and his next move was to acquire an adjustable front splitter from the super-obscure E36 M3 GT homologation model. Trust us, these things make hen’s teeth seem rapaciously abundant in comparison. And to complement this, he added a set of MHW tail-lights, projector headlights and, just for the sheer modern screw-you-ness of it all, some quick release bumper mounts. Because motorsport, yeah?
“Christmas was coming by this point, and I decided to pause the project for a while,” Dávid recalls. “But my girlfriend thought differently! She put a Wilwood hydraulic handbrake lever under the tree, which of course made me very happy! And that spurred me on to carry out further interior mods – along with the army camo trim, I bolted in a set of E46 front seats, junked the rears along with lots of other superfluous stuff back there, and fitted an OMP steering wheel.” Proceedings are largely dominated by that towering hydro ’brake though, and no bad thing.
Oh yes – and we should probably return to the idea of power, shouldn’t we? Remember how we were talking about the opportunities created by BMW’s decision to shoehorn an M52B25 into the 323ti? Well, that was just the sort of thing Dávid was keen to capitalise upon.
“I swapped in an M52B28,” he beams. And he’s right to do so – this is the 2.8-litre motor you’d find in the likes of the 328i and various others, and it’s a lot of displacement for a little hatchback.
He hasn’t left it stock, either; well, would you expect anything less? “It’s running an OEM BMW Motorsport ECU,” he explains, “along with the usual M50 intake manifold swap, a BMC filter and a full custom exhaust. It’s probably running about 220-230hp now.” And that’s a fairly staggering amount for a 1990s hot hatch. It’s evident that this car was always intended to be as much about ‘go’ as ‘show’.
What Dávid’s done here, in essence, is to go against the flow and actively seek out one of life’s lemons. And while he may have taken our advice (not always recommended…) and sold the lemon, he quickly pulled it back and decided to make it into something fresh. Not just lemonade, but a full three course meal of lemon sole canapés, oriental lemon cashew chicken, lemon drizzle cake, and a shot of limoncello to round things off. This is his riposte to the lemon-haters, and it’s finger-lickin’ good.
Interior has been given the same army treatment as the exterior and also features E46 front seats and hydraulic handbrake.
“I knew the potential was in there, I just had to let the car do the talking”
TECHNICAL DATA FILE 2.8 / #BMW-E36-Compact / #BMW-328i-Compact / #BMW-328i-Compact-E36 / #BMW-328i-E36 / #BMW-E36 / #Japan-Racing-JR-11 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-Compact / #BMW-3-Series-Compact-E36 /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.8-litre straight-six #M52B28 / #M52 / #BMW-M52 , OEM #BMW-Motorsport ECU, M50 intake manifold, #BMC air filter, custom exhaust system with carbon rear box, power estimated at 220-230hp, five-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) #ET0-Japan-Racing-JR11 wheels with 215/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) tyres, 3D camber plates, E46 control arms, eccentric bushes, custom-shortened TA coilovers, #Wilwood hydraulic handbrake
EXTERIOR Flat military green, adjustable E36 M3 GT splitter, MHW tail-lights, quick release bumper mounts, projector headlights
INTERIOR Camo trim, OMP steering wheel, E46 front seats, rear seats removed 2.8 E36 CompactStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR #MG-1300 / #MG / #ADO16 / #BMC-ADO16 / #BMC
Run by James Page
Owned since June 2014
Total mileage 95,320
Miles since June
Latest costs £133
A FRESH LEASE OF LIFE – AT LAST
In June, I took the MG up to Phil and Oli Cottrell at Classic Jaguar Replicas. Phil has years of experience with the A-series engine, so he was confident that he could sort out the ongoing rough running. While the car was there, Oli was going to fit the rear seatbelts that I’ve had for almost as long as I’ve owned it.
I put some into my Morris 1800, but all the relevant mounting points were there so it was a doddle. With the MG, they weren’t, and if my kids were going to be transported around in it, I wanted the belts to be installed by somebody who knew what they were doing. So, one morning I drove it up the M4 from Thornbury to Bucklebury. Phil reckoned he’d have it sorted in no time, and so it proved.
It turned out that the distributor wasn’t properly seated against the block because of a random O-ring underneath it. He also went through the points, timing and carburettors to make sure it was all correctly set – I’d fiddled with so many things that all of them were likely to be ‘out’ to some degree, and therefore not helping matters.
In the meantime, Oli did a neat job with the rear belts, drilling mounting points in each wheelarch and even climbing into the back seat to test them out. At well over six feet tall, he was happy that, if they fitted around him, they’d fit around two small children.
With the Cottrells decamping to the Le Mans Classic and various work commitments, it was towards the end of July that I was able to pick it up. It now runs much better, showing none of the part-throttle hesitation that it used to. Phil even pointed out that the doorhandles are on upside-down – the nearside one has apparently been fitted to the offside and vice versa.
I celebrated by taking the car up to the Silverstone Classic, which involved a superb run on one of my favourite routes across the Cotswolds – up to Cirencester, then Bibury, Burford and Chipping Norton, before cutting across to Deddington, Aynho and picking up the A43 for the final few miles.
The MG charged there and back, but the following morning I feared that it had immediately blotted its copybook again. With the belts in place, I thought it was the ideal opportunity to put Thomas and Jessica in the back for a summer-holiday trip to the cinema. When I turned the key, however, there was nothing.
With two expectant children standing in the doorway, I didn’t have time for any diagnosis. All I could do was to push the MG down the driveway so that I could retrieve my Citroën Xantia from behind it. Once we got back from seeing Finding Dory, I checked the starter motor, reasoning that the battery was relatively new and recently charged (assuming that all was well with the charging system…) thanks to its Silverstone run. The wiring to the starter was fine, but the whole backplate was slightly loose. I nipped that up, gave the unit itself a couple of taps – more in hope than expectation – and turned the key.
It fired instantly, which at least meant that I could keep its appointment with the MoT tester a few days later. Elberton Garage is just down the road and everyone there is a classic-car enthusiast.
Once we’d talked ADO16s for a bit and looked over the elderly Ford fire tender that was next in line after me, the MG emerged with a fresh ticket. The only advisory was a slight handbrake imbalance, which means that the offside-rear drum will shortly be coming off again so that I can sort it out.
THANKS TO Classic Jaguar Replicas: 0118 971 2091 / Securon: 01454 414670; www.securon.co.uk
‘I thought it was the ideal opportunity to take the kids out in it, but when I turned the key there was nothing’
The 1300 is now freshly MoT’d, running well and set up to ferry around the entire Page family.
The rear seatbelts have finally been fitted.
‘A rose between two thorns’, as Phil generously put it: the MG at Classic Jaguar Replicas.
The doorhandles should point out, not up. Nervous times: arriving for its MoT test.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationThe Dark Knight #BMW E63 M6 / #BMW-E63 / #BMW-M6-E63 / #BMW-M6 / #BMW / #2012 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E63
Matt Jones enjoys M6 ownership, but 6mpg and a maximum range of 125 miles is the trade off for 560bhp. The E63 M6 isn’t a car we tend to see at Total BMW, but Matt Jones uses his one as a daily driver and a quarter mile tool. In the midst of a recession, how does 6 mpg sound and 125 miles to a tank?
The E63 M6 is a hugely underrated performance car. With 500bhp from a V10 that sounds like very little else on God's good earth, it has performance on the fringes of a Supercar level, to go with a sharp rear-drive chassis and a sometimes brutal semi-auto seven-speeder. Yet it has all the buttons and gadgets one could hope for and, with the M programme left dormant, is happy to mooch the city strassen or cruise the autobahn in refined comfort.
Sure the E60 M5 has all that too. but it’s a confused soul - an out-and-out performance car character at odds with its laid back executive saloon remit. Besides, the M5 looks like any other 5-Series and. while that certainly is not without appeal, sometimes you want to turn heads and induce jealous thoughts.
The M6, however, has the body style and more tightly-defined Sports GT remit to carry off the harsh SMG shifts and top-endy power delivery. It looks low. sleek and purposeful, weighs a good chunk less and has - childish yelp of glee - a carbon-fibre roof. Controversial maybe, but to these eyes the M6 is actually the better resolved package.
Of course that's not to say it can’t be improved upon, as this matte black beasty very ably demonstrates. Owned by 31-year-old Matt Jones, serial modifier and previous owner of a PY E46 M3 Vert that had been given the CSL treatment, this car is a shining example of how to do an M6 right. So we're very lucky that Matt is incapable of resisting his urges...
"Like the M3 I had specced this one exactly how I wanted and hadn't planned to modify it. It was so fast out of the box and had all the toys," he explains. "But literally the day I got it I went round to show my brother and the first thing he said was that it was too quiet! I said it'd be fine - but three weeks later I'd ordered the Eisenmann exhaust!" And that's how it started.
Matt refers to aftermarket parts for the M6 as being subject to an M Tax', so to get round that he does his shopping in the US. "I went on holiday to America and had a load of stuff delivered to where I was staying, so I could then take it back as luggage. I had two suitcases full, one with engine bits and another with the H&R springs. I thought that if I got caught and had to pay the duty I’d still be up. But I got away with it and saved a fortune!"
Clearly Matt wanted to release the M6's performance potential before anything else, and the combination of Evosport headers. Supersprint centre section and Eisenmann back-boxes. the suitcase purchases (RPI pulleys, induction scoops, block plates and oil-cooler, and BMC filters) and an E-maps remap established that potential to be 560bhp.
He regularly enjoys every one of those horses, often going on trips abroad, having done the Cannonball run a few times, and taken it to Santa Pod. “The first time there it won its class, for muscle cars, as it had over eight cylinders." recalls Matt. "It went up against stripped-out, supercharged cars, whose owners were all playing around under the bonnet. I just turned up. turned the stereo off and went for it! ” Matt says it’ll do low-12s all day long. And 206mph. though we didn't dare ask where he confirmed such a number.
This kind of performance does have its downsides, however. "The only thing I don't like is the range. The fuel tank is smaller than a normal 6-Series' because of the quad exhausts, and with fuel consumption of about 6-8mpg on a cruise (we'd hope a fast one, at least) I don’t get any more than 125 miles from a tank! I had 2mpg out of it once at Santa Pod." Ouch.
Only when the performance was well and truly there did Matt turn his attentions to the car’s, then Silverstone Blue II. aesthetics. Carbon or black details gradually made their way onto the car, like the Vorsteiner carbon front spoiler (from America), rear diffuser (made by Matt himself) and those massive 20-inch three-piece splits. You can guess where they came from...
“They’re made by a Florida company who are big on the Corvette scene, called Modular Concept. I had them custom- made and shipped over, and they’re the only ones in the UK”. To confirm their uniqueness, Matt then had them done with Silverstone centres and pin-stripes.
With the theme of Silverstone Blue and either black or carbon, eventually the only chrome left was the tips of the four Eisenmann pipes. A trip to BCP Industrial Coatings had them finished in a heat- resistant matte black, and it was job done. Well, almost. “I drove the car around like that for about a year-and-a-half. It was a similar story to the M3 I got it exactly how I wanted it and then just enjoyed it for a while. However the time came when I started to think about replacements, but I couldn't find anything as quick for the same money." Plan B, then.
"I’d looked at wrapping before, but at the time the cost was really high and the quality not quite there. Then prices came down and quality improved. The wrap was done by Totally Dynamic. The quality is amazing and since then four cars in my family have been wrapped by them!" Obviously the Silverstone Blue on the wheels then looked out of place, so Matt took them apart and sent them off to be gloss blacked.
There was a change of tyre fitment, too. "It used to have stretched tyres but that didn't look right because it wasn't quite low enough to pull the look off, ' says Matt. "I've gone for a squarer setup now to give it a beefier look, and it does drive a lot nicer as a result - although I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I went from Falkens to Continentals.
Saying that. I was rolling on the standard wheels recently and it drove a hundred times better again... it just doesn’t look as good!"
The result of this all-black theme means some very obvious parallels being drawn - by everybody.
“Everyone instantly started calling it the Batmobile when the wrap was done.’’ remembers Matt. "That’s the one comment I get all the time - people come up to me and say "That looks like the Batmobile!". I've had a lot of modded cars, but this is the most attention I’ve ever got from one: it gets a bit ridiculous sometimes!"
One thing that Matt still isn't entirely convinced about is the smoked rear clusters, but it isn’t about their looks per se. "At night they look amazing, with just the four bars shining through, and they do suit the overall look. But it's the whole smoked light image.’’ Matt says they’ll be staying for now, but it sounds like the car won't be hanging around much longer anyway.
"I’m looking at replacements again. I like the new M6. I've been up against a new MS and that walked my car, so the M6 is going to be ridiculous. But they've moved it up a price bracket and £110k for a well specced one is a lot of money for a BMW." Other options? A 911 GT3 is too extreme for the kind of use it'll get. And a 911 is a bit small for Matt's liking anyway, which rules out a Turbo. An Aston DB9 or Vantage is just too slow, as is a V8 R8, and V10 prices are a little steep. The only obvious choice is a Nissan GTR. which is what he's leaning towards - but still not entirely convinced about.
"The thing I love about the M6 is that it's nice and quiet when you're cruising about, but then you press the M button and it’s crazy," is how Man sums it up. And there's the rub: when you have such an excellent car that does so much so well, finding a replacement is very difficult indeed. We don’t envy Matt and his predicament m the slightest, we really don't.
Matt's M6 benefits from Evosport manifolds, and a blend of Supersprint and Eisenmann for the middle and rear sections.
Above right: Modular Concept 5 three-piece wheels are 9j at the front and 11.5j out back-the latter calls for a 325 section tyre.
ENGINE #S85 / #BMW-S85 4,999cc #V10 / #BMW-V10 , #RPI under-drive pulleys, RPI ram air induction scoops (custom finished in black with logos removed), #BMC air filters in OEM air boxes (with custom carbon covers), RPI block-off plates, RPI oil- cooler (30% more efficient) finished in black, #E-maps custom remap with speed limiter removed, #Evosport headers, #Supersprint centre-section and #Eisenmann Race back-boxes (powder-coated satin black)
TRANSMISSION Standard seven-speed SMG gearbox, software upgraded to suit engine map
SUSPENSION H&R Race springs. OEM electronic dampening remapped to suit H&R springs, Eibach 12mm spacers all-round
BRAKES Standard with uprated pads
WHEELS & TYRES Custom gloss black Modular Concept 5 three-piece split-rims in 9x20 (3.5-inch lip) front and 11.5x20 (5.5-Inch lip) rear fitment, with 285/35/20 front and 325/30/20 rear Continental Sport Contact 4s
BODY Full matte black wrap including door shuts, treated with Swissvax opaque wax, #Vorsteiner carbon front splitter with weave to match roof, custom rear carbon diffuser panel, matte black kidney grilles, side grilles wrapped gloss black, gloss black rear M6 badge, matte black Audi R8 V10 badges on side windows, short rear number plate, rear lights tinted with smoked film, headlights tinted with light smoke Laminex film, angle eye upgrade with 6,000k bulbs
INTERIOR Standard Silverstone extended leather. OEM iPod interface with custom ashtray- mounted holder, carbon trim. Logic 7 stereo
THANKS Scott at Totally Dynamic in Enfield for the wrap (0208 2161116), Claude. Ben and the team at Bosch Auto Services in Hitchin (01462 459459). Kevin at BCP Industrial Coatings in Hitchin for the powder-coating (01462 440 804). Andy at Pristine Coachworks for the wheels, and M6board. com and Evotechnik.net
Top right: Smoked lights are an undecided addition - the jury is still out on these.
Above right: Modular Concept 5 three-piece wheels are 9j at the front and 11.5j out back-the latter calls tor a 325 section tyre.
Top far left: Fuel stops are regular, with 125 miles to a lank being commonplace.
Right: BMC air filters live inside the standard air boxes and the V10 has been remapped by E-maps.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWORLDS COLLIDE
This vibrant Australian E46 M3 delivers the perfect combination of jaw-dropping looks and sheer driving pleasure. Blending style and substance, this Australian M3 delivers sheer motoring perfection… Words and photos: Chris Nicholls.
The stance and motorsport scenes are generally (and correctly) seen as polar opposites. Form versus function. Style versus speed. Yet there’s a surprising amount of crossover between the two. Admittedly, most of it goes one way – from race cars to stance machines in the way of big wings, wide wheels and arches, sponsor stickers etc but every so often you see it go the other way, with race cars running decidedly street-oriented body kits (Rocket Bunny-equipped track demons come to mind) and even the odd time attack car running air suspension (like Cody Miles’ Redline street-class champion STi in the US). It’s a shame there isn’t more movement between the scenes, as in the end, we’re all car enthusiasts we all share the joy of owning and driving cars.
Manny De Zilva certainly shares it. His 2001 E46 M3 is driven hard no matter where he goes, and the best part is that thanks to careful planning and modifications, he can epitomise what’s possible in terms of crossover between stance and track. While you may not believe it from these images, this car does both with equal aplomb.
Now, before we start, it’s worth noting that Manny’s M3 doesn’t run air suspension. Doing so would leave him without a functioning boot, given he’s already got two Rockford Fosgate subs in there, along with accompanying amps. No, Manny does things the old-fashioned way, albeit with two sets of coilovers and wheels. His street setup consists of BC BR coils, wound right down to allow the kind of tuck one normally only associates with the ‘low and slow’ brigade, and deep dish 18-inch Work Meister S1 wheels, mounted with mildly stretched Nexen and Achilles tyres. He still drives hard on this setup, though, something we’ll go into more later. Manny’s circuit setup, meanwhile, consists of KW V2s at a more track-suitable height and Enkei NT03s, complete with Advan A048 semi-slicks.
It’s telling that he goes to this much trouble to enjoy both worlds, because this level of dedication and hard work permeates the whole build, and shows in every little considered detail. From the focus on colour coordination both inside and out, to choosing parts that only enhance the inherent beauty of the E46 shape, rather than detract from it, this is a build with a lot of work, and thought, gone into it.
Let’s start with the exterior, as it’s obviously what everyone sees and compliments first, given how many people stopped to gawk at the car during the shoot in the Melbourne seaside suburb of Frankston. Finished in Phoenix yellow, the relatively rare colour blazes like the setting sun behind us. It’s perfectly matched with the yellow Umnitza angel eyes, yellow-edged AGT carbon diffuser and side skirts, yellow GTR-style bumper and rare hybrid E92/E46 GTR carbon bonnet to help bring a level of colour coordination lacking in so many builds. Even the deep Work Meisters (in 10x18” ET17 front and 12x18” ET18 rear) are similarly colour-matched, with gold-plated hardware, gold anodised wheel bolts and gold Work stickers on the lips.
Because having everything yellow would not work, though, Manny decided to offset the colour with tasteful black elements, such as the smoked lights, black wheel centres, naked carbon aero parts and even leaving the top and number plate surround of the carbon CSL bootlid unpainted. The only missing detail in the pictures is the rear roundel, as it fell off the day before the shoot and Manny couldn’t find another one in time, so ended up drawing a smiley face on there instead. Irrespective, it all ends up with a build that slams into your eyes as hard as it looks slammed into the Tarmac, yet never overwhelms. As anyone who’s tried to build a car to this level knows, that’s no small achievement.
The colour coordination continues inside, too, although again Manny was careful not to have too much ‘in your face’-ness. Indeed, silver carbon trim, extended shift paddles and updated lighting aside, there’s little change from the factory, but to ensure the silver and black theme was consistently applied throughout the cabin, Manny also added an AC Schnitzer gear knob, pedals and handbrake lever. To match with the upgraded audio, he also added an Avin Avant 2 head unit to modernise things but keep the factory look. It’s still subtle, though, and is in-keeping with the car’s philosophy.
Perhaps surprisingly for a car that sees hard driving on a regular basis, the suspension, brakes and engine are relatively mild at this stage. There are SPC rear camber arms to allow the wheels to sit just right on the street (and to allow tuning for the track), Whiteline end links, Turner Motorsport swaybars, Racing Dynamics strut bar and those aforementioned coilovers, but that’s about it for the footwork. The engine and driveline has had more done, with a Turner Motorsport cold air intake and power pulley kit, BMC filter, ESS remap, Mille Miglia exhaust (with custom tips) and Supersprint hi-flow cats and resonator on the engine side, and a Tuning Tech FS SMG tune and new diff cover on the driveline end. But it’s not an extreme build, even the brakes have only seen minimal upgrades, with a StopTech Sport brake kit adding better pads, rotors and steel lines. In many respects, though, that just shows how right BMW got the E46 M3 before it left the factory. It was very much a Goldilocks car on launch, winning multiple awards, and its reputation has only grown with age. The fact Manny can happily drive it hard both on the street and on the track (where it is “able to be competitive amongst high-powered turbo cars”) definitely proves that point.
That’s not to say it’s all been milk and honey, though. Like any build, there have been problems, with the biggest of them being the notorious BMW rear subframe issues (admittedly not helped by Manny’s driving style). “Very aggressive driving at an extremely low ride height put a lot of stress on my already reinforced rear subframe floor,” says Manny. “With the help of a specialist workshop, though, we researched and developed a new one-off floor made out of carbon-kevlar, which shouldn’t cause any more issues when I am ready to chase big power in the near future.” Ah yes, big power. Let’s face it, there’s almost never a time when a petrolhead doesn’t want more pace, and Manny is no exception.
So how does he plan to go about achieving this? Well, the easiest way to add grunt to any S54 is obviously via a supercharger, and that’s where Manny is headed. Having already had an ESS remap, it’s no surprise he’s also going to add a VT2-575 blower, but the icing on the cake will be the E85 tune and supporting ancillaries, which are an easy option to consider in Australia, given there are quite a few E85 pumps dotted around the major cities and suburbs (mostly from V8 Supercars’ official fuel supplier United Petroleum). Total power output should obviously jump markedly after that, and may well necessitate more mechanical modifications to cope, but no doubt Manny will already be planning those and have a picture in his mind of where to go. After all, he did exactly the same thing before he started this build.
“I already had parts waiting for the car before I even bought it!” he says. “I had a fairly distinct idea of what I wanted to do with the car in the early days, but as most people would agree, a project is never finished! There is always that one more mod you feel like doing.”
Indeed, on top of the extra urge, Manny’s desire for even more track days meant he fitted a pair of Recaro SPGs soon after the shoot, and to ensure he enhances its streetability as well, he’s also got plans to upgrade his boot install, although this time it will be easily removable so as to lose weight for the track. He says he’s even entertained the idea of changing up the entire colour scheme, with a white-on-white setup that would take the look in a completely different direction. That’s a bit of a flight of fancy for now, though.
No matter which way he goes, however, Manny has proved he will likely end up with an M3 that is even more the sum of its parts than it already is. One that draws stares and admiring comments, and one that ensures he maintains his undying love for E46s (this example is actually his third in a row, with his previous one having been a boosted, wide-body 330Ci that sadly met its end in an accident).
“To me the E46 is the total package; its timeless bodylines, luxury interior features, 50:50 weight distribution for perfect handling, distinct exhaust note, a highrevving, powerful and responsive straightsix that sounds great combined with the raw #SMG gearbox (which gives it a race car feel)… it ticks all the boxes.” We couldn’t put it any better!
Carbon abound on the outside and in the engine bay of this E46.
Black and silver theme throughout the interior while boot is home to the Rockford Fosgate audio install.
DATA FILE #BMW-E46 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E46 / Turner-Motorsport / #BMW /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2 litre straight-six #S54B32 / #BMW-S54 / #S54 , #Turner-Motorsport-Stage-2 carbon cold air intake & boot, #BMC air filter, #Turner-Motorsport power pulley kit, ESS ECU remap, Supersprint 100 cell high-flow catalytic converters, Supersprint resonator section 2, Mille Miglia exhaust with custom tips, six-speed #SMG-II gearbox, #Tuning-Tech-FS SMG tune, new rear diff cover
CHASSIS 10x18” ET17 (front) & 12x18” ET18 (rear) Work Meister M1 three-piece wheels with black centres and gold-plated hardware with 245/35 (f) Nexen N’Fera SU1 and 285/30 (r) Achilles ATR tyres for street, 10x18 ET22 (f&r) Enkei NT03+M wheels with 275/35 (f&r) Yokohama Advan A048 tyres for track. BC BR coilovers for street, KW V2 coilovers for track, custom carbon-kevlar subframe floor, OEM subframe bushes, #Racing-Dynamics front strut bar, SPC rear camber arms, Turner Motorsport 30/25 sway bar kit (f&r), Whiteline end-link kit. StopTech sport brake kit, Motul fluid, wheel stud conversion kit with titanium nuts.
EXTERIOR CSL carbon bootlid, Carbon lip spoiler, GTR-style vented rear bumper, #AGT rear diffuser & side skirts, E92 GTR hybrid carbon fibre bonnet, quarter panel shave and repaint, Carbon front quarter panel grilles, carbon kidney grilles, #DEPO front corner lights, #Umnitza angel eyes, face-lift LED tail-lights (smoked), smoked front lights, xenon foglights, carbon fibre foglight inserts, carbon fibre badges, AC #Schnitzer carbon fibre roof spoiler, AC Schnitzer-style carbon 3-piece front lip spoiler, LED number plate lights, #ECS-Tuning tow hook kit, OZ Gloss paint.
INTERIOR Excelsior silver carbon interior trim, #AC-Schnitzer pedals, handbrake lever & gear knob, aluminium extended shift paddles, Avin Avant 2 head unit, #Rockford-Fosgate Punch P450.4 & P400.2 amps & twin Punch P1 10” sub in custom enclosure.
A project is never finished! There is always that one more modification you feel like doing… Manny De ZilvaStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBIG IN THE NAME SEMA SPECIAL: PORSCHE 993 CARRERA 2 WORDS MIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY KEVVE.BE
Meet Jenna Belle, an #RWB-Porker 993 with a very phat arse! Lovely. / #Porsche-911-RWB-Porker / #Porsche / #2015
SHAKESPEARE ASKED, WHAT’S IN A NAME?’ ACCORDING TO MASTER AKIRA NAKAI, THE ANSWER IS EVERYTHING
It might not be apparent from my rather youthful looks and uncanny ability to say fuck a lot. But I’m knocking on a bit now and, as you get past your late Twenties, one thing you encounter that’s aggravating as piss is the whole baby names thing.
Now, let me explain. You may still be a teenager, and fair play to ya (you lucky bastard). But one day you’ll wake up and either your missus or one of your mates will say, “I’m having a baby”. And this will be followed by the inevitable question, “What am I gonna call it?” You see, names are important. Choosing a name is a deeply personal thing. There’s hundreds of books dedicated to what your particular moniker might mean, or where it comes from. But it’s still something that’s given and not earned. Well, unless you happen to be a car like this.
This monster 993 is called JennaBelle. I don’t know why exactly, because that’d be like asking someone why they called their kid Britney-Christina. A bit too personal. The most important thing here though is the fact that this motor has a name at all, and that means it’s a genuine #RWB-Porsche .
You can’t simply buy one of these. Not in the traditional sense of the word. Even if you happen to work at #RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF #Los-Angeles like Joey Chang here, it’s not quite as simple as buying and bolting on a kit.
RWB cars are a Japanese institution. The styling on each one is completely unique and, no matter where you are on the planet, they have to be hand crafted by the company’s founder, #Master-Akira-Nakai . What’s more your car only has the seal of approval when he bestows a name upon it. Then it’s a true RAUH-Welt.
Now, you may see kits from the various RWB branches around the world listed online. They’re usually priced at around $22,000, but think of this as more of a vague deposit. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, you provide your own Porsche, have a few design meetings with the man himself and then he’ll fly over and build your car, entirely by eye. No one else is allowed to touch it.
They all come with his own trademark touches too. The famous sculptural wings and over-fenders are designed to be removable so they don’t interfere with the task of developing and tweaking the car’s chassis geometry or tuning. And that’s because they’re derived from Nakai-san’s passion for hitting Tsukuba, or any other circuit they’ll let him out on. He also spaces out each rivet with his Winston cigarette packet and usually scribbles something in Japanese on the dash. It’s this intimate process that makes these cars so personal. And that’s also why he names them as he sees fit.
Nakai-san made his own name in the 1990s by pioneering the ‘Rough World’ look on his drift AE86, but it was his transition to building air-cooled Porsches that put him firmly in the spotlight. Starting with his own 930, Stella Artois (see what I mean about names being personal?), he went on to build most of the best-known 911s in Japan, including Spearmint Rhino, Rotana (the first RWB 911 Turbo) and Yves Piaget (French Rose), a car famous for its unique red paint. It was only three or four years ago that he decided to branch out abroad. Starting in Thailand, with a 911 called Rough Evolution, there’s now around 90 documented RWB Porsches worldwide, all with names like Cinderella, Sinister, Jittakorn, Kermit, Fishbone, Darth Vader, Uzi, Good Hill Speed, Midas touch and #RAUH Art. With the exception of one matt-black 996 called Stealth Bird, they’ve all been the old-skool water-cooled models that made him famous.
Anyway, let’s just say he’s been a busy boy, especially as genuine #RAUH-Welt cars can now be found in the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Russia, Bahrain, Dubai and the Netherlands. There’s even one right here in the UK. Their popularity is universal and we spotted 11 American #RWB creations at SEMA, which brings us neatly back to this one – JennaBelle from RWB LA.
As the story goes, Nakai-san flew over in April to complete the styling on Joey’s 993 along with a couple of others in LA (cars now called Creaminz and Medusa). Joey says it was an honour watching him work and he was thrilled when he was asked to help with some of the cutting on his own car. A special moment and no mistake. The resulting lightweight widebody conversion is every bit as mental as you’d expect from the Japanese master, but the rest of this awesome machine is down to Joey. As is Nakai-san’s way, your car is built around the wheels, but the rest of the performance mods are down to you. And this is where Joey has clearly come into his own.
Using his own parts company, CYC Trading Group, Joey has outdone himself, finishing a RWB monster to rival any out there. The underpinnings of this car are more than a match for Nakai-san’s awesome aero, because, although Joey regularly drives it on the street, it’s been put together primarily for no-holds barred track action.
It’s true to say that this car get’s the absolute shit kicked out of it on a regular basis and until Joey finds the fi re-breathing 4-litre ‘all-motor’ lump he’s looking for, it’s all about getting the most supreme handling possible. I guess that’s a pretty obvious statement – just the chassis spec on this thing is longer than the entire spec on most cars. Everything is dialled-in to absolute perfection.
When CYC Trading and RWB decided to create RAUH-Welt LA, Joey chose the 993 for his own ride because it’s arguably the best of all the air-cooled 911s. In fact, many purists believe it to be the ultimate 911, so that makes it all the more mental that he’d consider taking a cutting wheel to a ‘totally mint’ base car. Then again it had to be a 993 because, for Joey, it had to deliver the most driver feel. It’s bare bones motoring – you can practically touch the road when you’re behind the wheel. There’s no electronic gadgetry or cheating to keep you on the straight and narrow. It’s pure man and machine stuff. Back to driving basics.
That also explains Joey’s choice of a stripped-out interior, Sabelt buckets and a well-used set of BBS race wheels sitting in the garage. In handling terms, this is as close as you’re ever gonna get to a raw 1990’s road-going race car. To many, that air-cooled era was by far the most hardcore.
And I guess that’s exactly what RWB is all about. RAUH-Welt doesn’t translate as Rough World for some sort of laugh. It’s much more than that. It’s an attitude. The whole thing may be a mindset started by one man in an unassuming backstreet of the Japanese city Chiba. But thanks to people like Joey it’s fast becoming a worldwide ideology.
These hoops cost more than most of our cars.
TECH SPEC: #1995 #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-2 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-2-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-993
TUNING: #Fabspeed sports headers; Sport Cat X-pipe; #Supercup exhaust; heat duct and fan Block-Offs; Cup high performance air box cover with #BMC filter; six-speed G50 transmission with CAE race shifter.
CHASSIS: Street wheels: 13.5in #RWB-LA custom threepiece #Forged wheels with 265/35x18 front and 335/30x18 rear Pirelli P Zero tyres; track wheels): 10.5 and 12x18in #BBS-E88 custom three-piece motorsport wheels with Pirelli Corsa System tyres (front 255/35x18, rear 295/30x18); #JRZ RS-Pro with EHC system; #ERP 993 front A-arm spherical bearing kit; rear spherical bearing cartridge; solid mounts; adjustable camber link; adjustable kinematics link and 993 camber plate; Tarett drop links; #H&R front and rear sway bars; #Porsche GT2 strut brace; #Brembo GT kit with type III rotors (front four piston with 355mm discs; rear four piston with 345mm discs); #Brembo-RE-10 pads and SS brake lines.
STYLING: RWB 993 Street Version; Kamiwaza double deck wing; fender wing; Rotana-style front extended long carnards; Street-style front bumper with fog light insert and air duct; dry carbon bonnet.
INTERIOR: CAE race shifter; full Alcantara custom interior (dashboard, doors, rear seats, and centre console); RS interior doorpanel and carpet with rear seat delete; RWB LA Race version roll bar; Sabelt 330mm steering wheel with #MOMO steering wheel hub; 997 GT3 cup car steering wheel quick release; Sabelt GT- 600 carbon fibre bucket seat with; six-point harness; radio delete; Porsche OEM guard red seat belt; Rennline floor boards and adjustable pedals.
THANKS The Master Akira Nakai; CYC Trading Group LLC; #RWB-Los-Angeles ; Pirelli Tires; JRZ Suspension; Fabspeed Motorsport; Brembo/Sabelt Race Technologies; Purist Group; European Auto Source; Hsu Design.
A 993 that’s had Nakai-san’s official blessing
What do people say when they see the car?
They usually ask if it’s possible to drive it like this. I say of course, that’s why we built it.
You’re obviously pleased with how it turned out, what’s the best bit?
Apart from working with Nakai-san himself, I’d say the fender wing. It’s a unique design that directs the air straight to the GT2 wing tunnel to cool the engine. That’s the best thing about aero mods, they work.
It must have set you back more than a couple of dollars, right?
I could probably buy another two 993s for what this has cost in mods alone but where’s the fun in that? You have to love it and, if you love what you’re doing, it will last forever.
One very exclusive Porsche.
What makes it #SEMA worthy?
HAND MADE KIT
There’s no bullshit with a car like this and that’s why #RWB is still the daddy. Each kit has to be hand crafted and installed by the main man himself, or else it just isn’t #RAUH-Welt . There’s no skool like the old skool and the thing about Akira Nakai is that he’s the Headmaster.
MENTALLY PRECISE CHASSIS
Got any JRZ and ERP stuff under there mate? Blimey. Actually the chassis package in general is a bit special on this motor – just take look at that monstrous spec! Once Nakai-san has done his thing on the body it’s all down to the owner to get the car up to spec – luckily Joey here is something of an aftermarket parts guru. www.cycgroupllc.com
Most people would be happy being visited by the amazing wheel fairy just once in their life, but for this project Joey has two sets of the lushest wheels going. The custom made #RWB-Street wheels are absolutely stunning (they’re manufactured by Avant Garde y’know), but he also needed a set of even lighter #BBS jobs for the track. These hoops cost approximately as much as my whole car… and that’s each, without those monster Pirelli tyres. www.rwbla.com
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