- Post is under moderationRecently I bought a home in Newport, Rhode Island. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in America as well as the home of some of America’s earliest motorists, none more prominent than Willie K Vanderbilt. He was not only one of the richest men in America, but also one of the automobile’s staunchest advocates. He used his great wealth to promote racing whenever he could. He even had his name on the first major open auto-racing event, the Vanderbilt Trophy.
/ #1976-BMW-2002 / #1976 / #BMW-2002 / #BMW
In 1904, Willie K, in a Mercedes, set a World Land Speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida, of 92.30mph. He was often seen racing his Pierce-Arrow down Newport’s ritzy Bellevue Avenue. So it was fitting that a concours should be held in the grounds of his massive 70- room mansion, The Breakers. I’ve been attending automotive concours events for over 40 years, but I’ve never really had much input in putting one together until now.
The man behind this undertaking is Nick Schorsch, owner of the Audrain Auto Museum in downtown Newport. Nick is one of the most committed enthusiasts I’ve ever met. How he convinced General Motors to release to his museum its rarest and most groundbreaking concept cars, such as the Buick Y-Job, the Firebird III and a handful of others for an exhibit called ‘Styling The Future’, I have no idea. My good friend and professional auto appraiser, Donald Osborne, and I were asked to lend our support. Donald works with me on my TV show, Jay Leno’s Garage. With the staff of the Audrain Museum we were able to secure 40 of the automotive world’s best judges from five different countries, along with 98 world-class automobiles from 1899 to 1970.
Unlike a lot of concours events, the emphasis was not on technical restoration of the vehicles but on the story. The theme of our event was History, Luxury, Sport, so any vehicle that had all three could easily beat another which was missing one of them.
I also thought we should trim down the number of awards. A lot of concours events have become like Little League, where every kid is a winner and everybody gets a trophy. And when sponsors get involved it can become mind-numbing. To keep the award presentations brief, second and third places were given to the owners on the field and only the class-winners drove up to the podium. For the record, the Best in Show went to Joseph and Margie Cassini for their 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster, commissioned by film star Rudolph Valentino.
Of course Newport is a very high-end area with 30 or 40 mansions built at the turn of the last century, mansions no-one could afford to build today. Some remain, and Bugatti, Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz were each able to rent one right on the water to show off their wares. The Bugatti one was like a French château. It all made for a good atmosphere for the event.
My contribution, though, was more rooted in the hoi polloi. I worry a bit about the greying of our hobby and how millionaires end up competing against billionaires. Where, I often wonder, is the next generation of enthusiasts going to come from?
So I came up with the idea of an event called ‘30 under 30’, for men and women 30 years of age or younger, who spend no more than $30,000 restoring their vehicles. The response was tremendous. We got MGAs, Corvairs, BMW 2002s, a Nissan GT-R, a Mercedes-Benz 300D, Chevy pick-up trucks… you name it. These young people all drove their cars to the event. Their enthusiasm was infectious.
Quite a few of these young people brought their parents with them, as if to prove to them: ‘See, it’s not a complete waste of time.’ The winner, Carter Kramer with his 1976-BMW-2002 , damaged his car on the way to the show and had to repaint his front spoiler on the morning of the event.
These young people all restored the cars themselves. One even cried because his car was being honoured on the same field as Bugattis and Ferraris. Normally the only time you see millionaires and billionaires crying on the concours field is when they lose.
That’s how we can inspire the next generation of enthusiast: by making it about the blood, sweat and tears of our hobby. So if you’re an old guy like me, the next time you go to a car show find the youngest entrant there and give them the thumbs up. It might just save our hobby.
Younger people embrace new technology like 3D printing, too. There are no more junkyards as cars get recycled but, with 3D printers, there is almost nothing you can’t make. Our hobby must evolve. I hope this event and the appeal to younger hobbyists will keep it going.
‘THE ONLY TIME YOU SEE MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES CRYING ON THE CONCOURS FIELD IS WHEN THEY LOSE’
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- Post is under moderationBMW 2002 The engine and axles are in, but springs have proved a pain
/ #BMW-2002 / #BMW
Moving the 2002 to a more suitable location – a workshop rather than a conservatory – has meant that it’s been possible to carry out some real mechanical work on it. But before I could fit any major components, such as the engine and axles, I had to remake all of the hard brake lines that run through the engine bay and down the length of the car.
It was a job I really wasn’t looking forward to, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to bend each pipe to the perfect angles to match my ludicrously high standards. And I was right. But I did manage to make them look neater than I ever thought I would, even if achieving this took me around six weeks of working on them every weekend.
As well as making new brake lines I had to incorporate a new restrictor valve. OK, I didn’t have to – as I’ll be fitting the same rear drums I used before I could have just reinstalled the original unit that limited the pressure to the back axle at a fixed rate. But I wanted to install a variable one so that if, one day in the future, I decide to put disc brakes on the back, I can tone down their effectiveness.
So while the braking system was apart it seemed silly not to include the valve, plus I’d also get the opportunity to tweak and fettle the brake bias. But where to put it? I bought it months ago, but only recently decided that just to the left of the handbrake was the ideal place for access and neatness of brake lines.
After all that, the back axle was ready to go on. I refurbished the driveshafts with new gaiters and a lick of paint, and tidied up the diff casing with plenty of smooth black Hammerite – I think 50 per cent of the car’s final weight will be made up of smooth black Hammerite…
The Gripper limited-slip differential will remain as before, with its same low 4.11:1 final-drive ratio and hilariously aggressive locking action. Next was the front axle and engine. For this I needed as many hands and eyes as possible to install it in without anything colliding with the immaculate bodywork. With the motor and gearbox on the front subframe, my dad, brother and I suspended the lot from a hoist through the bonnet. We then lowered the car on the ramp while raising the engine and front subframe, doing both at a glacial pace, until it all lined up. It was tense, but with many hands and reams of blue 3M masking tape, the blue paint remained blemish-free and my sanity intact.
With the subframes and suspension arms attached, the Bilstein dampers and Gaz top mounts could go on. And the springs. Oh, what a debacle the springs have been. Bilstein suggested a set that sounded way too stiff, so Eibach helped out by testing the stiffness of my old springs and suggesting options it had available. After consulting with the technicians at Bilstein again, we settled on an 80N/mm main spring with a 20N/mm tender at the front, and progressive rears that are at 72N/ mm when static. The springs are proportionally a little softer at the front than the rear, which is the opposite way round to before, and exactly what I wanted to compensate for the slightly-too-stiff front anti-roll bar. However, overall the springs are 100 per cent stiffer than my old ones…
Is it going to be too stiff? For most people, probably. For the person (me) who thinks a full roll-cage, harnesses, brake-bias adjustment, a diff that locks up with only the merest hint of any torque and a sprint-like final-drive ratio is acceptable on a road car, probably not.
Will Beaumont (@ Wil-lBeaumont)
Date acquired July 2008
Total mileage 145,050-ish
Mileage this month 0
Costs this month £298 brake fittings and lines
£500.40 springs (plus as much smooth black Hammerite as I can afford)
Mpg this month n/a
Above: work on the Beemer has forged ahead now that the 2002 is in the workshop, with engine, gearbox and suspension now all in place. Left: making new brake lines proved time-consuming.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR: #BMW-2002tii / #BMW / #BMW-2002
Run by David Evans
Owned since May 2000
Total mileage (2)40,099
Miles since August
Latest costs c£120
GROUNDED BY A CHARGING FAULT
It was one of those days that was destined not to go according to plan. Every now and again, the aged alternator earth pulls out of its connector at the block end – usually when I catch it as I fit a new oil filter. It popped out at the other end the previous time I changed the oil.
Which is what I thought had happened when the charging light flickered and then came on with some purpose as I drove back from Dad’s one Sunday evening. I tried to bodge the wire back in, but without any luck and by then the battery was flat so I gave in and called for recovery via my insurer RH.
Robert Sutton from Dunchurch Motors arrived quicker than the text estimate and gamely set about the manky old wiring with a couple of heavy-duty connectors that I’d scrounged from Nick Ostrowski at Mottingham Auto Spares. LPB was soon running again, without the warning lamp after Sutton noticed more frayed wire – and it stayed off until I must have dislodged the temporary repair as I turned into the raised drive behind our flats. It was at that point I realised I’d left the garage key at Evans senior’s, c200 miles away! Fortunately, my landlord Emmanuel lives nearby so he popped over the next evening.
My long-suffering Kiwi mate John Hudson diagnosed the root cause: “The engine harmonics had been transmitted into the alternator via the solid, non-original brass bushes. The vibrations had caused the internal mounting-bolt holes to enlarge and elongate, so brass filings had been sucked into the alternator and damaged a bearing.”
Hudson stripped down the unit, fitted two new sealed bearings and cleaned the armature contact. He reassembled it with original BMW flexible bushes and the factory steel internal locating sleeves – from an alternator kindly donated by Brian Buckett – then put fresh terminals and heatshrink on the earth wire. That’s not quite the end of it.
The insulation had cracked on all four wires from the loom, so John has wrapped them with tape as a stopgap and will let in a new piece once the engine is out. On the subject of which, he tracked down an oil pump and, by the time you read this, we should have some spanking new pistons as well.
Suffice to say, there’s a noticeable improvement with the right bushes on. The engine is smoother and quieter – plus it starts with more enthusiasm, so maybe it hasn’t been charging properly for a while.
Brassed off: solid bushes (top) had ovalled. Sutton sorts broken wires in A14 layby. Inset: brittle earth wasn’t main problem, though.
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- Post is under moderationShark Hunting
CAR: 1981 BMW 323i TOP CABRIO
OWNER: Sanjay Seetanah
/ #1981 / #BMW-323i-Top-Cabrio / #BMW-323i-Top-Cabrio-E21 / #BMW-323i-Cabrio-E21 / #BMW-323i-E21 / #BMW-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E21 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E21 / #BMW / #M20B23 / #BMW-M20 / #M20 / #BMW / #BMW-323i-Baur / #BMW-323i-Baur-E21 / #BMW-323i-Baur-Cabriolet / #BAUR / #1981-BMW-323i / #1981-BMW-323i-E21 / #1981-BMW-323i-Baur / #Bosch-K-Jetronic
Have you heard classic BMWs described as ‘sharknose’? Sharknose-era BMWs were manufactured from the 1960s through to the late ’80s and represent a crucial period in BMW’s history. They can be as different as they are similar. Some were built for racing, some were built for families.
Some featured cutting-edge technology, others were a little more basic. What brings them together is a common design aesthetic. They range from the Neue Klasse models of the ’60s through to the M1 and E28 (the second-generation 5-series), taking in the CSA, CS and CSLs and the earlier 3-, 5-, 6- and 7-series along the way.
Now the #BMW-Car-Club has introduced a new umbrella group called the Sharknose Collection, and I was delighted to be asked to attend a gathering of cars from this collection to produce a video for the club’s website. As club secretary Richard Baxter says: ‘These cars are now becoming sought after yet finding parts and specialists can be difficult. The Sharknose section of the club aims to give cars and owners a collective platform at shows, to help with parts and accessories, to share technical days, and allow networking with fellow owners.’
The pressure was on to get my Baur looking as good as possible, given the company that it was going to be with. I contacted Joseph Crowe, owner of Knowl Hill Performance Cars in Maidenhead (www.knowlhill. com), and he obligingly ensured that the car was machine polished to look its best.
Gathered together for the shoot were some of the very best examples of sharknose BMWs in the UK. In the picture, above, from left to right are Stu and Lizzy Blount’s grey #BMW-E28 / #BMW-M5 / #BMW-M5-E28 , Tony Wilkes’ beige #BMW-E3 , Georg Champ’s red #BMW-2002 , Sam Lever’s blue #BMW-3.0-CSL-E9 , Trevor Gude’s white #BMW-E12 / #BMW-M535i-E12 , my own BMW-323i Baur Top Cabrio and Kos Ioizou’s beautiful red #BMW-635CSi-E24 . I was amazed at the depth of knowledge and passion for the cars shown by all the owners – the future of these classics is safe in their hands.
The Club is looking for ownership and restoration stories to share in its monthly publication Straight Six and hopes to attract owners of cars not yet known about. Cars from the Sharknose Collection will be on show at several events this year, including Masters at Brands Hatch on 26-27 May; Sharknose Europe at Rosmalen, Holland, on 23 June; Silverstone Classic on 20-22 July and the club’s National Festival on 12 August at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. There’s more info at www.bmwcarclubgb.uk and I hope I will get along to at least one or two in the Baur.
Above and below Sharknose Collection members lined up some of the UK’s finest examples, including Sanjay’s 323i Baur cabriolet.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #BMW-2002 Beaumont’s taken his classic BMW on a 2000-mile European #road-trip / #BMW /
With as little planning as possible. That’s how I like my holidays. So at six o’clock one Friday after work, I set off f or mainland Europe – with no tunnel crossing booked and only a very vague idea of how I’d spend the week ahead.
The first half of the week included going to an ’02 show in Holland (complete with sprint course) and visiting the Mercedes and Porsche Museums in Stuttgart before heading for the German/Austrian border.
By this point I was beginning to think that I had ruined my car with the most recent modifications. The harsh engine mounts-meant that driving over 60mph on the motorway was intolerable and the vibration through the steering made my hands and forearms go numb after about 20 minutes. But I had only used motorways on my holiday up until then, so I decided to steer clear of auto-routes and Autobahns until I had to head back to England.
The next day I drove across the Alps, taking the most scenic and exciting route I could find. I crossed the border from Germany into Austria, then headed through Liechtenstein, across Switzerland and back into Germany before ending up in France. I didn’t do any of the famous passes; instead I found roads that were even better suited to my car. The highlights were the Furkajoch (L51) in Austria and the L135 in Germany, just before you get into France. Had I been in something that wasn’t as small, thin and light, the roads might have been a bit too narrow. As it was, the little BMW was in its element, and any worries I had about having ruined my car completely evaporated.
My route back to the UK – still not using motorways–went via the Nürburgring. I did a couple of laps of the Nordschleife, of course, the 2002 feeling underpowered but performing excellently. After that I stopped off at the Classic Spa Six Hours, before finally switching to motorways for the slow, numbing trip back home.
You might expect that driving an old car for over 2000miles in a week – including laps of the Nordschleife And many timed attempts at a sprint course – would lead to constant mechanical problems, but in fact there were only two very minor issues. First, the passenger-side wiper broke, but I managed to reattach it with lots of insulation tape. Secondly, the end of a fuel pipe to one of the carbs had perished and cracked, and so started to leak fuel. But all I had to do here was take off the pipe, cut the perished end off and reattach it.
With no major dramas but lots Of great driving, that’s what I call a successful holiday!
Date acquired July 2008
Total mileage 145,000-ish
Mileage this month 2200-ish
Costs this month £0
Mpg this month 18-ish
Clockwise from above: on the Eurotunnel; at a 2002 show in Holland; lapping the Nürburgring; on the stunning Furkajoch in Austria.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #1974-BMW-2002-Turbo £105,126 / #1974 / #BMW-2002-Turbo / #BMW-2002 / #BMW / #BMW-2002-Turbo-E20 / #BMW-E20 /
The #RM-Sotheby’s Arizona sale, January 19. Welcome to the big time for another BMW model, which also happens to hold the title of Europe’s first turbocharged road car. Their prices have also been turbocharged in recent years but this is the first to reach six figures at auction. But it is one of the best, ready to show after a recent £30,000-plus restoration by BMW specialist #GC-Motorsports in Ontario, Canada. Four years ago you could buy good ones for £30k.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR: #BMW-2002 / #BMW /
The classic BMW gets a new home and a new engine
The 2002 is finally in a place appropriate for a car – a workshop. As amusing and as ludicrous as it was having a half-built BMW in my conservatory, the big temperature fluctuations made it an unpleasant environment to work in. It was nowhere near any tools, either.
The car’s relocation has coincided with the arrival of its freshly rebuilt engine. I bought the new parts for the motor many years ago, but the actual build was delayed when I got carried away having the car painted. I decided not to build the engine myself; the car’s previous engine was assembled at home, but to do the new parts justice I thought it was better to assign them to the expert hands of Steve Campbell at Thunder Engineering.
The specs of the new motor, working from the bottom up, are: baffled sump; standard crank and rods but with ARP fasteners; 92mm custom forged pistons to provide an 11:1 compression ratio (the bore increases capacity to 2.1 litres); standard valves; a 304-degree Schrick camshaft and uprated valve springs; 45mm choke Dellorto DHLA carburettors; and a custom tubular exhaust manifold.
Rather than just throwing all the parts together, as I’d have done, Steve balanced the bottom end with the flywheel and a paddle clutch. The surfaces of all the rods were machined to remove any casting marks that could create weaknesses, and he also removed excess metal to make them all weigh the same. Furthermore, he matched the head ports to the inlet and exhaust manifolds.
The engine will run on a worryingly modern mapped ignition set-up to eradicate the pre-ignition timing woes I had with my old distributor. I am dreading installing an ECU and working with it; I’ve not yet come to terms with the fact that one of the tools I’ll need is a laptop. So that the electronic ignition can work, a timing ring needed to be fixed to the front pulley along with a sensor to read it. Steve machined a bracket from aluminium to hold the sensor and found a way of bolting the timing ring, too. He’s precisely slotted the holes on the new ring so that I have a few degrees of adjustment should I need it when setting up the ignition map.
Steve clearly has a similar attitude to projects as I do. The bracket for the timing sensor had to be bolted onto the front of the engine with different, longer bolts than the ones I’d supplied. The new ones he used were silver and didn’t match the yellow zinc-coated bolts that held the rest of the engine together, so he sent them off to be plated the same colour. The timing ring and water pump front went with the bolts, too.
As well as the pinking issue, the other problem I needed to address was how hot the steering box got. As beautiful looking as my bespoke Retro Power-made 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust header is, it essentially encases the steering box in a hot cage. But rather than wrapping the stainless steel in old-school, space-robbing, ugly-looking heat wrap, I’ve had it coated in a high-tech ceramic coating by Zircotec. Well, if I now need a computer to work on my car, why not go the whole hog when it comes to modern technology?
The new white coating, which is almost welded onto the surface with a torch, is made up of zirconia-based ceramics and will reduce the header’s surface temperature by 33 per cent. Obviously I haven’t yet felt the benefits of the ceramic coating, but I love the look of the white surface.
Will Beaumont (@WillBeaumont)
Date acquired July 2008
Total mileage 146,050-ish
Mileage this month 0
Costs this month £3800 engine build (plus parts, which were bought so long ago I can’t remember the prices) £448.80 exhaust coating
Mpg this month n/a
Above left: in a proper workshop at last. Top: ceramic-coated exhaust header. Above: timing ring added in preparation for electronic ignition.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCAR #BMW-2002tii / #BMW-2002 / #BMW
Run by David Evans
Owned since May 2000
Total mileage (2)56,480
Miles since April
Latest costs £171
ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
It’s nice to get an occasional victory over an annoying problem, such as the loose gear-linkage mounting block described in April. Having the right tools helps. In the end, I bought a set of round-ended hex keys and, using a drive plus an adaptor from one of those handy AA kits, I tightened it properly.
It would have been easier – and not taken four, rain-interrupted attempts over consecutive weekends – if I’d had access to indoor ramps. Which was the idea behind This Is Your Garage, in Culham near Oxford. You can hire bays (with various types of ramps), each of which has a massive rack of Teng Tools. There’s an excellent diner as well, so you can have a bacon sandwich and a cuppa while you get stuck in. They have meetings there, too (http://thisisyourgarage.com), which is where I met up with mates Dave Richards and Simeon Cattle over the Easter weekend.
The downpour up the M40 and the epic puddles on the way back meant that the holed spare-wheel well took on water (again). Miraculously, that nearside rusty corner didn’t quite fail the MoT test but it was advised. It would be nice to have it done for the Bavaria Tour at the end of the month, because front panels – correct or otherwise – are in short supply, so that can wait.
A couple of last year’s advisories have been rectified, though. The unevenly worn offside front tyre was also flat-spotted, as noticed by one of the lads at Wheel Power in Brockley where boss Mark Golby has recently bought an immaculate Escort RS2000 Mk2. I popped back a week later to have a pair of Falkens fitted on the front – always put the fresh rubber on the steering wheels, I was told. Another one for the ‘small-world’ file, too: while the new boots were being fitted, I got chatting to a bloke who’d owned a 2002 when he was at college.
Next up was the faded headlamp reflector. Ever since the BMW was repaired after I parked it on a Merc ML, it’s had one shiny light and an increasingly dull one. That was, until I acquired an excellent Hella unit kindly donated as surplus to requirements for a restoration.
The sidelight connections were different, of course, and it’s slightly smaller, which might explain why the centre of the nearside grille had been cut out to fit round the old lamp. I only realised that when I offered it up to the replacement, which is much better. It needed just a small adjustment to pass the MoT test, so, as Colin Simmons at Longfield Hill pointed out, my attempts to copy the settings weren’t far out.
I’ve also been experimenting with heavier oil, in the hope that less of it will escape via the polished bores. It seems to retain more Millers Classic mineral 20w50 than a well-known brand of 10w40, but it’s still burning a fair amount. And I’ve swapped the temporary replacement rotor arm with a new one from Jaymic, so it starts better.
THANKS TO Jaymic: 01263 768768;
www.jaymic.com Wheel Power: 020 8699 9591;
www.wheelpoweralignment.co.uk Colin Simmons at Longfield Hill Village Garage: 01474 703000Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationCUSTOM 2002 Metal wide-body with a 2.7 swap.
Bought in a state far beyond saving, the only way this #BMW-2002 could survive was to be transformed into something completely different.
SHOW, NO SHINE Custom, wide-body 2.7 2002 / Words: Elizabeth de Latour / Photos: Matt Richardson
It feels like we maybe we should be apologising, again, because for the second month running we’re featuring a 2002 that a lot of people are going to find upsetting. But we won’t be, because we like it too much to care what anyone else thinks. It’s unapologetically a personal project, built solely for the pleasure of its owner, Josh Parker, to hone his skills and then show them off. From top to bottom, inside and out, everything you see before you has been crafted by Josh’s own two hands, with a bit of help from dad along the way, which makes this already spectacular 2002 even more so.
Josh has always been into cars, he tells us, and it all began at the tender age of 12 when he was given a petrol-powered R/C car and building that set him on path he walks today. After passing his test he was chomping at the bit to get modding on something, though insurance restrictions meant he had to make do with an R56 MINI JCW, spiced up with some coilovers and other bits until he could make his dream of doing a full build come true. The fact that he had no mechanical or motorsport experience was not going to stop him and there was no practice run or warm up before getting this car, he went straight from 0-2002.
“I bought the car in Thame just over three years ago,” explains Josh, “and it was awful,” he adds, laughing. “It had been off the road since 1989 and was in terrible condition, completely rusty, but because of that I only paid £1200 for it. It took two years to put it together, though in its first form it had a different engine, Golf arches and different wheels. Starting out, I knew nothing about welding or anything like that,” he says, “so the first step was getting it on the road and then, having developed my skills, I knew I could do everything better the second time around so 18 months ago it went through a big change,” and the result of that is what you’re looking at here. “The fact that I wanted to do everything on the car myself was a big influence on how the car has come out, “ he explains, “as I went my own way with it. I spent a year making the chassis strong and replacing stuff. The car was a blank canvas, it was so bad I couldn’t make it any worse,” he laughs. “The whole car looked like Swiss cheese, but at least I got to practice welding. The whole project has been hard, though, it’s taken a long time as I was starting from nothing. I spent a lot of time doing individual things, weeks at a time, and sometimes I needed to take a break, step away, but I never gave up.
“My decision to change how the car looked came about when I realised that too many people were doing Golf arches, it wasn’t low enough and that I didn’t like the wheels. I decided to pick the wheels I wanted and then built the new, custom arches around them and doing that meant I could go for a really aggressive offset. I chose a set of 7Twenty Style44s in bronze, 9x15” ET0 all-round with 215/50 tyres; I didn’t want too much stretch but needed a bit to get the wheels to tuck under the arches.” The resulting fitment is absolutely perfect, but even with that zero offset Josh is still running 20mm spacers up front and 10mm at the rear, taking the final offset well into the negative. The wheels themselves are certainly handsome, single-piece items with stepped lips and plenty of dish, while the matt bronze finish looks great against the car’s patchwork quilt bodywork.
Where Josh felt the car wasn’t low enough before there’s no such concern now, with Gaz coilovers delivering a serious drop, but that wasn’t enough for him… “I’ve raised the front and rear strut towers by 40mm to lower it even further,” he grins and the end result is spectacular, the tyres disappearing up into those magnificent arches and the 2002’s belly sitting a hair’s breadth above the ground. The arches themselves are custom metal items measuring a monstrous 60mm wider per side up front and 50mm per side at the rear, giving this 2002 a stance far beyond its diminutive dimensions.
The brakes have also been comprehensively upgraded, with four-pot Wilwood calipers mounted on custom carriers up front with 260mm drilled and vented discs along with E21 323i hubs, while at the rear you’ll find Mk3 Golf rear calipers matched to Mk1 Golf front discs while Hel braided brake lines have been fitted throughout. You might think that all that brake work seems like overkill for a 2002 but you see it isn’t, because there’s something a bit special going on under the bonnet.
“I always knew I was going to do an engine swap,” Josh tells us, and what he’s done is taken a low-revving, M20B27 eta engine from BMW’s 325e and 525e models, designed for efficiency, and comprehensively reworked it to better suit his performance-driven needs. Sitting on custom engine mounts, the once-docile 2.7 has been transformed with a 325i top end, M21 forged crank, forged, reground stage one cam, Alpina B3 2.7 chip, a honed intake manifold, 185cc injectors and Magnecor ignition leads. He’s also fitted an M50B25 radiator and added a custom six-branch exhaust manifold that connects up to a custom 2.5” exhaust with twin pipes. It’s an impressive list of mods and it makes for some impressive numbers, with the 2.7 now pushing out 240hp thanks to Josh’s handiwork, which makes this 2002 a real road rocket. Naturally the transmission required a bit of work to make sure it was up to the task of dealing with the 2.7’s grunt and Josh was more than happy to get his hands dirty. “The gearbox itself is a Getrag 260 Sport five-speed on custom mounts with a stage one clutch and I’ve also fitted a 3.64 small case LSD from an E21 with custom-drilled output flanges.”
The exterior might, at first glance, appear to be a mess to some but there’s a lot more going on here than first meets the eye. The arches steal the show but there’s also a custom front lip and a custom drag spoiler, custom bash bars and a back-dated rear panel that allowed Josh to fit the arguably much cooler round rear lights. One of our favourite parts of the exterior work, though, is the quick-release front clip, that allows for the entire front end to be removed in a matter of minutes. While it’s designed to allow easy access to the engine for mods and maintenance, seeing a car driving around with no front end is pretty cool. With a race car-inspired exterior you’d expect the theme to carry on inside the car, and you’re not going to be disappointed here. “This car was originally a Lux model,” explains Josh, “so it had a nice, powder blue interior though when I bought the car it was smelly and had started to rot, but I always knew that I was going to strip the interior, I just wanted to have the bare essentials to have the car running,” and he’s certainly stuck to that philosophy. About the only part of the interior that is still recognisable is the ’02 dashboard and instrument cluster but beyond that it’s all change. There’s a big convex Longacre rear-view mirror, single Cobra Sebring Pro seat with a TRS four-point harness, a Momo Model 69 suede steering wheel and a custom switch panel, custom pedal box and there’s also a hydraulic handbrake and a custom dual fulcrum short shifter. “I wanted to feel like I was in a Touring car,” explains Josh, “so I wanted the wheel high and close and a tall gearlever close to the wheel. The cage is actually a historic-spec one for the ’02 that I bought and then modified to make it stronger,” explains Josh. “It just bolts in but I want to make a new cage for it, eight-to-ten point, fully welded-in, which is one of my next big plans.” Meanwhile, in the boot you’ll find a 30-litre aluminium fuel tank with a surge tank, which is fed by one of the two Bosch 044 fuel pumps, the other feeding the engine.
As much work as has gone into this car over the past three years, it’s only the beginning of what is going to be a much longer journey and Josh’s plans for the car are numerous and substantial. “I want to do a front-mid-engine conversion,” he says matter-of-factly, “I’ve come this far so I might as well keep going,” he laughs, but that’s just scratching the surface. “I’m currently working on a secret E30 project and that’s going to pave the way for the 2002. I want to make the car more useable and more reliable, but no less crazy,” he grins. “I want to iron out the bugs, modernise the underpinnings to make it more enjoyable; for example, currently if I’m taking it to a show and it’s too far, I will trailer it, which takes away from the experience and I want to be able to drive it everywhere.” All this work isn’t just for Josh’s amusement, though, it’s for the benefit of his company, Under Development Motorsport, and some of what he’s made will be for sale there, like his short shift kit. “It’s billet and should fit everything from E21s to E9x models,” he says.
This 2002 is really an automotive expression of sheer joy and you can feel how much love and enthusiasm Josh has for this car when you talk to him about it. “It’s great to drive something that gets so much attention and that you genuinely built yourself, it’s just a great feeling,” he says with a smile. We can’t wait to see where he takes the ’02 and judging by what he’s achieved here so far, that E30 is going to be something really special too…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Wide-body 2.7 #BMW-2002 / #Alpina-B3 / #Alpina / #BMW-2002-Wide-body / #BMW-2002-Alpina / #BMW-2002-Alpina-2.7 / #7Twenty / #BMW-2002-E10 / #BMW-E10 / #BMW / #BMW-2002-Alpina-E10
ENGINE 2.7-litre straight-six #M20B27 eta / #BMW-M20 / #M20 / #M20B27ETA , M21 forged crankshaft, stage one cam, #Alpina-B3-2.7-chip , #K&N cone filter, honed intake manifold, #Magnecor ignition leads, custom engine mounts, 185cc injectors, custom stainless six-branch exhaust manifold, custom 2.5” exhaust with twin blast pipes, fully silicone-hosed cooling system, M50B25 radiator
TRANSMISSION #Getrag-260 / #Getrag five-speed manual gearbox, stage one clutch, custom gearbox mounts, E21 3.64 small case #LSD with custom-drilled output flanges
CHASSIS 9x15” ET0 (front and rear) #7Twenty-Style44 wheels in matt bronze with 215/45 (front and rear) Toyo TR1 tyres, #GAZ-GHA coilovers with adjustable top mounts, #GAZ front camber plates, front and rear strut towers raised 40mm, custom front anti-roll bar relocation and drop links, fully poly bushed and reinforced front and rear subframes, custom rear subframe camber and toe adjustment plates, custom gearbox and exhaust tunnels, reinforced sills and various other chassis bracing throughout, rear strut tower brace, Wilwood four-pot calipers and custom carriers with 260mm drilled and vented discs and E21 323i hubs (front), Mk1 Golf front discs with Mk3 Golf rear calipers and custom caliper carriers (rear), Hel braided brake lines (front and rear)
EXTERIOR Custom metal wide arches, custom front lip, bash bars, custom drag spoiler, custom racing livery, back-dated rear panel work to allow for round rear lights and fuel filler cap delete, custom quick release front clip for fast removal of front-end
INTERIOR #Cobra-Sebring-Pro seat, TRS four-point harness, #Driftworks quick release hub, #Momo model 69 suede steering wheel, custom dual fulcrum short shift, hydraulic handbrake, custom pedal box, sixpoint bolt-in cage, custom switch panel, 30-litre aluminium race tank in boot with surge tank and twin #Bosch-044 fuel pumps
THANKS Graham, Nicola and Hannah for all the support! All the @76build Instagram followers, all the other people showing love for the 02 and last but not least Thierry and Lewis at www.7twenty.co.uk. Cheers guys.
“From top to bottom, inside and out, everything you see before you has been crafted by Josh’s own two hands”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #S14-swapped / #BMW-2002 . In the wastelands of postapocalyptic Sweden, one man and his extraordinary 2002 fight for survival amidst the ruins of civilisation… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Patrik Karlsson.
Supercharged S14 2002 rat rod
The future. Mankind has destroyed itself. The earth is barren. Pockets of survivors remain, scattered across the globe. They travel the desolate landscapes of a ruined world they once knew in search of food and shelter, driving machines created from the scavenged remains of cars from the past. In the charred remains of postapocalyptic Sweden the silence is broken only by the howl of the wind and the whine of a supercharger. A flash of orange through the trees. The bark of an exhaust drifting across the ravaged landscape. Then, the smoke parts, and something ungodly and terrifying thunders across the lonely tarmac, a man at the wheel with fi re in his eyes, and then it’s gone as quickly as it appeared and all is silent once more. That man is Thomas Nyman. This is his 2002. This is their story.
You will already know if this is your sort of car. You will have looked at the pictures and made a decision about whether or not you want to read this feature. You don’t need us to tell you that it’s not for everyone, but we will anyway, because it’s really not. For some of you, this might be the greatest crime ever committed against BMWs. Even those of you who normally love this sort of anarchic approach to modifying might be struggling a little. But if you get, really get it, you’re about to enjoy a car that’s really unlike anything else out there.
Browsing his automotive history, it’s clear that Thomas is a man who is obsessed with cars, to put it mildly… “I have owned and worked with several cars in my short life (he’s only 28) and right now I have nearly 100 vehicles on my conscience.” 100 cars. What can you even say to that? Unsurprisingly there have been some wild builds in amongst that lot and a huge variety of machinery, from the 1974 Beetle that served as his first car, to his first #BMW , a 1988 E34 530i, and the car he never finished and still regrets selling. “It was an E12 528i from 1978, light green with a #BBS front spoiler and chrome bumpers, ” Thomas reminisces. “I bought an S38B36 M5 engine that I rebuilt and was going to fi t in the car, and my vision was to build a 100% sleeper with perfect patina. But I was young and impulsive so the car was sold before it was done…” In that case it may have worked against him but, in the case of this 2002, his impulsive nature was definitely on his side.
“I knew about this car for a long time, a friend of the owner had told me about it, and one day in spring of 2010 the owner himself came walking past the garage I rented in the city at the time. I asked him if he wanted to sell the car, and he said yes, so we actually walked over to his garage together to take a look at it then and there. It was in terrible shape at the time; it had been standing outside with smashed windows so the weather had caused some very big rust holes in the body and many parts were missing, like the engine, gearbox, rear axle, the whole interior and the windows. The next day I picked the car up and put it in my garage instead,” grins Thomas. On paper this project sounds like a nightmare and the sort of car that no one in their right mind would have dreamed of touching, which does make us wonder about Thomas’ mental state…
The initial plan, he says, was to make the whole body rusty and give it even more of a rat-look than it’s ended up with, but he realised he couldn’t bring himself to do it. “My conscience became too strong,” he says, “and I felt I could not destroy an historic collector’s car that the 2002 Tii really is today, which is way I kept the original paint.”
So if you don’t like how this car looks now, just bear in mind that it could have looked a whole lot worse… “Our first goal was to get the car finished in one month for an event so we welded and fixed all the rust on the undercarriage in three weeks and fixed what we needed to so it was actually road legal. Then, after that, the whole thing escalated,” he says, and he’s not wrong.
With the decision made to continue down the rat route, Thomas got stuck into the mods and set about getting some stiffer springs, cutting them down by about 50% to get the car down on the ground, and combined them with a set of Bilstein Sport shocks. This was followed by the addition of the four wonderfully retro Marchal driving lights mounted on the front bumper and then came the roof rack, filled with what Thomas describes as “curiosities,” which include an S14 air box and valve cover and an old suitcase, naturally. The four-speed gearbox was swapped out for a five-speed Getrag ’box from an early 5 Series and he also changed the exhaust, both mods carried out specifically for a road trip to southern Sweden and Denmark. Then the time came for the serious business of building that engine…
“I think my vision was to do something no one had done before,” muses Thomas. “You’re probably wondering why I chose the S14 out of an E30 M3, and I’m wondering the same thing! I thought that this engine will fit well in the car and would probably get many types of reactions from people and BMW enthusiasts,” and he’s certainly right about that. “Initially I thought that I would just fit the engine and leave it at that, but then I started thinking about it and decided to add a supercharger on top to ensure that I was doing something new and different,” he grins. The supercharger is a rebuilt GMC 471 positive displacement Roots unit from the 1940s but impressive as it looks, there’s a lot more going on with this engine than meets the eye, and it’s the reason why the build took him one and a half years rather than six months (little more than a Swedish winter, he says) as he’d originally anticipated.
There’s a special head gasket and ARP head bolts for the cylinder head, four Siemens 688cc injectors fed by a Nuke fuel rail while the supercharger itself is cooled and lubricated by a water/ethanol system using a Bosch 988cc injector. The blower itself sits on a custom 4mm steel intake manifold and there’s a custom exhaust manifold connected up to a custom 3” stainless steel exhaust with three silencers, though Thomas says that they really don’t do much silencing. Peer into the 2002’s engine bay and you will notice a small problem: there’s no room for a radiator, which is kind of important if you want to have a fully functioning engine.
The solution? Stick all the cooling gubbins in the boot, which is exactly what Thomas has done, building a custom cooling system consisting of an electric water pump, cooling fan and a massive aluminium rad, which sits in a custom housing that seals tightly up against, and is fed cooling air by, the louvred boot lid. The boot is also where you’ll find the aluminium fuel cell with an Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump located inside, and assorted fuel supply components. As you can see, it’s a comprehensive engine build, but it almost put Thomas off the car altogether. “After one and a half years of building the engine, I was so tired of this car and the project,” he sighs. “If I had been younger at the time, the car probably would have ended up being sold, just like my E12 project. But then I fired it up and rolled out of the garage for the first time and I was totally in love again! I cannot describe the feelings I had on the first test-drive…” he says with a massive grin.
Along with the aforementioned five-speed gearbox swap, Thomas has strengthened the drivetrain to be able to deal with all the power and torque being put through it by the S14 and supercharger combo, fitting an uprated clutch and homemade cardan shaft. The rear axle is a custom affair, constructed from a concoction of various different BMW components. “The original axle didn’t last long so I decided to build a bullet-proof one,” explains Thomas. “I took the 3.07 diff and joints from an E34 535i and ordered custom shafts made from spring steel and the hubs are also made from special steel. I made the wishbones thicker by adding 2mm of steel to every area and on top of this I also deleted the bushes between the body and the axle.” The brakes, meanwhile, are from a 2002 Turbo, with larger, vented discs up front and bigger 250mm drums at the rear.
As far as styling is concerned, Thomas has definitely stayed true to his original rat rod vision and while he may not have taken things quite as far as he originally planned, aside from the welding and repairs required to get the 2002 road worthy in the first place, the exterior has received no special attention. This makes the fact that the original Inca orange paint, where rust or repairs haven’t obscured it at least, remains as bright and vibrant as ever all the more impressive. If you’ve made it this far without choking on whatever you might be currently eating or drinking then Thomas’ wheels might just push you over the edge…
“I decided to go for BBS RS splits,” he says, gleefully, “because these are very expensive wheels today for those of us who collect and drive ’70s cars. The ones I have are in very bad shape, with loads of scuffs and scrapes all over them, so they’re a perfect match for the car!” As for the interior, it’s also a perfect match for the exterior and, just like the rest of the car, looks like it’s just about survived the apocalypse; the 2002 Turbo seats that he’s fitted are torn, a bank of auxiliary gauges juts up against the centre console, while the massive gear lever was chosen as it resembles an old tool.
So, there you have it. We’re not really sure what to say. We could definitely do with a sit down and a cup of tea after that. One thing we’d like to think is that, despite how Thomas’ 2002 might make you feel, you can at least summon some modicum of admiration or respect for what he’s created because he really has put so much into this car, and proved a lot of people wrong along the way. “The engine is my favourite part of the whole build because no one believed in my project and told me that this engine would never run, but they were wrong!” he exclaims with a smile. “I’m also really pleased that I managed to fit my homemade rear axle without cutting the body. The ‘experts’ told me there was no chance in hell it would work because they had ‘tested’ it without success, but I proved that it could be done.”
If you think that, after pouring so much time and effort into this 2002 over so many years, he’s done with it, you’re really rather wrong as there’s a lot more to come. “I bought the car in 2010 and I’m still not finished; it’s 2017 now, right?” he laughs. “My next plan is to build an air-ride system for it and I also need to build a new exhaust system as well as a new intake with a front-mount intercooler to get the intake temperatures down, then new wiring inside the car, maybe a new ECU. I’m also thinking about a mounting a turbo under the rear bumper…” But Thomas doesn’t finish his sentence. The light is fading and, if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that you don’t want to be caught outside at night after an apocalypse because that’s when the “things” come out of hiding… Thomas fires up the 2002 and, just like that, he’s gone, tail lights fading into the twilight, supercharger howling, S14 roaring, headed for the security of his bunker, safe in the knowledge that he lives to mod another day.
DATA FILE DATA FILE #Supercharged-S14 / #BMW-2002-Rat-Rod / #BMW-2002 / #BMW-2002-S14 / #BMW / rebuilt 1940s #GMC 471 Roots supercharger / #BMW-2002-E10 / #BMW-E10
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.3-litre four-cylinder #S14B23 / #S14 / #BMW-S14 from 1988 E30 M3, rebuilt 1940s / #GMC / #GMC-471 / #Roots-supercharger, custom 4mm steel intake manifold, special head gasket, #ARP cylinder head bolts, #Aeromotive #A1000 fuel pump, aluminium fuel cell, #Nuke fuel rail, 4x #Siemens 688cc injectors, water/ethanol cooling system for supercharger with #Bosch 988cc injector for cooling and lubrication, #Nira-ECU, custom 3.6mm steel exhaust manifold, custom 3” stainless steel exhaust with three silencers, custom cooling system in boot with electric water pump, cooling fan and aluminium radiator. Five-speed #Getrag gearbox, uprated clutch, custom cardan shaft, custom rear axle with E3 2500 and E28 535i components, E34 535i 3.07 diff and joints, custom driveshafts
CHASSIS 15” (front and rear) / #BBS / #BBS-RS three-piece wheels with 195/50 (front and rear) tyres, stiffer springs cut by 50%, #Bilstein dampers, BMW Turbo brakes with vented discs (front) and 250mm drums (rear), thicker rear wishbones, bushes between body and axle removed
EXTERIOR Original Inca orange paint, Marchal driving lights, roof rack, green louvred boot lid, extra rear light
INTERIOR 2002 Turbo seats, auxiliary gauge pod, old toolstyle gear lever, custom short-shift
THANKS To everyone that did not believe in this project, it only made me more determined to complete it and get the car running again, and also thanks to everyone who helped me with the car over the years
“decided to add a supercharger to ensure that I was doing something new and different”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.