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    Seems spring has arrived early

    CAR: 1989 BMW 320i Convertible
    OWNER: Glen Waddington
    PHOTOS: Robert Hefferon

    / #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    This Time last year we had snow. My 944 had just recently blown its rep by blowing out its own electrics, and the Beemer was tucked up safely in my garage. Where it spends too much time. But I don’t like taking it out on wintry roads, because it’s nearly 30 years old, factory-original and in damn fine fettle.

    As I write this on the last day in February, I’m looking out onto a sunlit garden, daffodils swaying gently in the breeze, birdsong drifting through an open window. Two record-breakingly warm days preceded this one. But tomorrow it’s back to normal. Whatever counts for normal in 2019.

    Anyway, I’ll stop wittering, because my point is that this is the first winter during my eight-year tenure of the BMW – today is its anniversary – during which it’s been driven with anything like regularity. I was even out giving it an early spring clean last weekend, ahead of driving it to Bicester Heritage for an editorial meeting with the #Drive-My team. And I drove home with the roof down. That has rarely happened this side of April. I’m generally an advocate of use rather than storage, although I admit that when the BMW crept past 50,000 miles last year, I fleetingly wondered if I should mothball it. Winter hibernation can cause the odd issue: I’ve lost count of the new batteries I’ve fitted (even if the last one was terminally discharged when I left the bootlid slightly ajar – can’t blame the car or the weather for that one), plus I’ve been through a master cylinder, a clutch slave cylinder, a heater blower motor and a seized brake caliper. All these failures occurred within the first post-hibernation drive.

    There have been no such problems this year, and I’ll count my sunburnt forehead as a freak of the highly unseasonable weather. We’ve had a lot of frosty nights, mind. Frosty enough to make the 944 a tardy starter one morning. Rather than drain the battery, I reached for the Energizer 400A jump-starter kit I got late last summer. It wasn’t cheap at around £100, but it’s about the size of a large smartphone and can be used to charge one of those so you can cycle its battery between boosts. Connection is easy – it’s great not having to lug something heavy around – and the 944 sprang instantly to life. Indispensible for any car that is parked up for just a touch too long.
    So I’m glad I’ve got it, ready for when we have snow in June…

    Above and below: BMW bowls along at Bicester; it was joined by editor Elliott’s Triumph not-2000 – and a McLaren 12C Spider.
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    Time for the autumn chill-out

    1989 BMW 320i Convertible Glen Waddington

    / #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    As I write this the sun is shining outside. It’s bloody cold, though. Autumn is setting in quickly and suddenly and it’s only just over a month since I spent a balmy late-summer evening with a whole bunch of BMW convertibles near Henley-on-Thames, as regular readers might remember. I had a fantastic time piloting such beauties as a BMW-328-Roadster , a #BMW-507 , a #BMW-Z1 and a #BMW-Z8 (see right), before sunset called a halt to proceedings.

    Thing is, I’d already had a fabulous drive down there in my own #BMW-Convertible . And no matter what the charms of those other cars were - only one of which I could even imagine owning, if you bear their market values in mind - mine more than held its own. In fact, it was rather enjoyable to have some of the other assembled journalists take a look over it; one or two of them even assumed it had been brought down as part of BMW’s own fleet!

    The journey was a hundred miles or so, much on trunk roads plus a spell on the M40. But the scenery turns bucolic in a major way on the stretch south from Stokenchurch, narrow lanes winding and plunging through dense woodland with the sun barely filtering through at times, thee leafy smell and the birdsong make a convertible a real treat to be in - quite a different effect from the more usual roof-down/howling exhaust scenario.

    A few hours later I had to think about my route home, those thread-like lanes could easily hide the occasional inebriated local, lurking in a 4x4 without thought to a delicate 1980s soft-top, so I headed out of Henley towards Nettlebed and Watlington and was treated to some fabulously sinuous B-roads, perfect for the innate balance and modest yet useful power of my 320i. Even the roundabouts on the A43 past Brackley did their bit to make this a properly life-affirming high-speed late-night trek. One I’ll remember during the winter evenings ahead.
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    Renewing the vows

    OWNER: Glen Waddington

    CAR: #1989-BMW-320i-Convertible / #1989 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B20 / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet / #BMW-E30-M20 / #BMW-E30-Cabriolet-M20 / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E30 / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet / #BMW-320i-Cabriolet-E30

    Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that the Beemer is 28 years old. The body’s in such fine (and still original) fettle, it’s such a vivacious drive, and it’s still got less than 50k on the clock. I love it to bits, but I use it sparingly.

    A little too sparingly over the last year, though. Life got in the way, in exactly the manner described by John Simister in his How to reconnect with your classic piece in #Drive-My . The 320i had languished over winter yet flew through its MoT in April, though when I wanted to press it into service for a rare romantic weekend away with Mrs W, a shudder through the steering the night before we headed off put paid to that. And I’d already been putting up with a non-functioning heater blower for 14 months or so. So I booked it in for a once-over with my mate Stuart Templeton.

    The night before it headed off to Templeton’s Garage (www. templetonsgarage.co.uk) I washed and buffed the bodywork: step 1 of the reconnection. And it came back a few days later, following a short service and with the maladies rectified (step 2).

    The shaky wheel? A seized brake caliper was the culprit, as Stuart had diagnosed on the phone. With that replaced (on exchange), plus a new blower motor, the Beemer was back to singing along. Just in time for the early-June heatwave.

    And so step 3 of the reconnection was suddenly there for the taking: get back out and enjoy the car, reminding myself what it was I always loved about it in the first place.

    This is our seventh summer together. I always said it’d be a keeper. And that remains true, especially now it’s running that little bit sweeter – amazing what fresh oil can do, even if it’s all in the mind. And yes, I’d swear it’s that little bit faster too.

    As a family, the four of us headed down to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the Beemer, roof-down for the stretch across the Downs from Winchester. Reconnection complete.
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    John O’Gorman #BMW-E30 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 /

    John’s not giving too much away because his E30 build is going to be hitting the Irish show circuit in 2017, so this is more of a sneak peak of what BMW fans on the Emerald Isle can look forward to from him come the New Year. What started out life as 320i has now been transformed into a 325i and, along with the engine swap, John has added a six-branch manifold and an LSD. He’s also uprated the brakes with new callipers, performance pads and drilled, grooved vented discs. We also quite like the look of that vented bonnet. This is shaping up to be a very nice E340 build.
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    4 THE WIN

    Bagged, with gorgeous HRE splits, this BMW E93 Convertible is one slick sun-seeking ride. Eva Verzelen isn’t your average modifier, she’s a female and back with her latest toy – an E93 320i – her fourth feature in just as many years. We think you’ll like her… Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Kevin Raekelboom.


    Successful aftermarket styling has been and will remain a subjective concept. What floats one person’s boat may invariably sink another. Whatever styling cues you take the chances are some will appreciate your work, others will not. However in the case of Eva Verzelen’s E93 320i we beg to differ. The subtle tweaks and revisions Eva has made to her latest motor have created one of the most desirable cars we’ve ever laid eyes on.

    Don’t be too surprised though, our heroine’s had rather a lot of practice. You’re currently looking at Eva’s fourth feature in Performance BMW. Previously her ICE’d up E46 316i graced our 01/04 issue. Developing and perfecting this same car, Eva was back in 09/04 with the addition of a two-tone paint scheme, wide-arch styling and fresh leather. Following on from this, a two-year gap gave Eva just enough time to completely overhaul the family pin-up. In 06/06 the final incarnation of the E46 was completed, and this time it had grown up somewhat. Gone was the two-tone paint, replaced by a marvellous House Of Kolor Brandy hue, in place of the Racing Dynamics rollers were a set of gold powdercoated HRE rims, styling was improved with M3 bumpers and a CSL boot lid. It had, unlike so many projects, matured and improved over time. As trends and attitudes changed, the less is more approach to modifying started to catch on and quite rightly Eva was leading this field.

    Like any good parent though, she also appreciated there comes a time when, however attached we’ve become, we must let go.

    Some two and a half years later Eva is back once again, and she’s got a brand new look. It’s often worrying when previous feature car owners get in touch to say their latest project is ready. It can be a rather awkward situation if we feel their new creation isn’t what our readers are looking for, especially when they’ve already got it right once before. Thankfully and impressively we can put our hand on our hearts and tell you that with each successive feature Eva’s cars have got better and better.


    For the past four years, Eva has steadily been building up her Internet business and the hard work has paid off. Like many of us she has always dreamed of owning a brand spanking new BMW, and deservedly she has finally achieved just that. “I’ve always been in love with the E46 Convertible, but when the E93 came out I fell in love all over again! When the hard-top arrived my lust developed to the point where it couldn’t be ignored; whatever the cost I had to have one.”


    As a Belgian resident Eva wasn’t struck with the usual performance dilemma as driving a car with any thing larger than a 2.0-litre engine on this side of the Channel is an offence punishable by death, or so we’re led to believe… As such the decision of which lump to go for was removed from the equation, leaving Eva with the enviable task of picking her favourite colour and determining how she would transform the car and earn an unbelievable fourth feature. Before we go any further you need to be furnished with the facts. Eva is married to a gentleman named Geert, who just so happens to be the director of the European chapter of US-based styling forum www.Europrojektz-world.com and drives a dazzling Alpine white, chrome rimmed E60 too.


    The pair enjoy weekend jaunts to various shows, sharing a passion for modified cars, as well as each other. I guess it’s fair to say it’s the kind of relationship we all hanker after; no one likes the sour look on a partner’s face when that passion is not shared and you’re trying to justify your latest outlay.

    “I know they cost two thousand pounds darling, I know you’ve been wanting to go on that holiday, but just look at her, she’s 30mm lower all round!” It takes a woman like Eva, or a husband like Geert to smile and say “what’s next?”

    So with ample encouragement and a sprightlier bank account than ever before, Eva jumped in head first and purchased a pristine Alpine White III E93. Being a new car Eva was free to spec it as she saw fit, which enabled her to get the foundations of her dream project in place. “I’ve always fantasised about a white BMW with Shadowline trim and a red leather interior and I was finally in a position to just tick a box and have it. Along with the six-speed manual transmission I knew I had all the bases covered, and I certainly had a good idea where I wanted to take the project.”

    Even before taking delivery, Eva and her friends on Europrojektz.com had discussed which direction to take the car and unanimously the OEM plus look won the day. “I’d done the wide-arch look, I’d had the two-tone paint and at the time they really captured the scene. In the past few years my tastes have changed and standards on the scene have gone up so it was important to me that my car reflected this.” After only two days of ownership her new toy was subjected to its first enhancements. In keeping with her new clean and simple ethos, Eva ordered a carbon Vorsteiner front lip spoiler and replaced her standard rollers with a set of polished lipped, powdercoated gold 19” 540R HRE rims, the perfect complement to the white paint scheme.

    Eva was then keen to get the car’s stance just right, an often under-appreciated side of chassis augmentation that can make or break a car. Regardless of which suspension you’ve opted for, getting the correct combination of ride height, wheel size and tyre profile is paramount to the way a car sits, and Eva knows it.

    So much so that she took the plunge and created the world’s first E93 Cabriolet with air-ride. Although common on street rods and mini trucks and OEM on many luxurious cars from the likes of Maybach, Rolls Royce and Lexus, air suspension is still viewed with scepticism, mostly through ignorance than anything else. While it is true that in the past ’bags have been a little unreliable, today, that is simply not the case. The truth is that air-ride is not suitable for everyone.

    Basically, if you don’t spend time on track and are more of a cruiser than a racer then air-ride should be recommended. It’s comfortable, useful and enables you to have your car far lower without the normal headaches. Yes it may be expensive but it makes a huge difference to the appearance of any car, and at the touch of a button makes the impractical practical. Eva entrusted the car to JV-Tuning who faultlessly installed the system, which is no mean feat considering it is a world first.

    Subsequently this E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place. The success of the project cannot be gifted to the suspension and wheels alone, as they say the Devil is in the details.

    Starting with the exterior transformation Eva has been quick to personalise her ride, her first step being the redesign of the rear bumper. With the help of Jem Design the bumper has been smoothed and a custom rear carbon diffuser integrated. It’s a stunning piece of work that looks like a factory fitted item and hints at the E46 M3 CSL’s rear end. We’re aware Eva’s colour scheme adds to its appeal but BMW’s latest M3 could certainly have benefited from such defining styling cues. Alongside the custom quad exhaust Eva plumped for, it has rear of the year written all over it.

    Along with the delicate integration of carbon door mirrors, black kidney grilles and the aforementioned Shadowline trim, every facet that creates the car’s image adds something to the mix.

    With the car coming along rather well Eva was keen to break the mould even further. “The air-ride was something I’d always dreamed of but there were other chassis modifications I was desperate to acquire. For me, a big brake kit sets off any car and I had envisaged the look of big red calipers peering through my gold HREs. People thought it was a waste of money because it’s only a 2.0-litre engine, but it’s not the case. The brake kit not only stops the car on a penny and looks a treat, it also ties the interior in with the exterior and that for me completes the car. It is my favourite modification.”

    With 335mm front and rear discs and six- pot and four-pot calipers respectively, the XYZ big brake kit was complete and Eva was finally pleased with her car’s exterior.

    The interior was, as you’d expect, rather nice to begin with so with the addition of a few M-Tech goodies such as the steering wheel, handbrake, pedals and footrest, all that was left to do was throw in some custom Europrojektz mats, stuff a BMW Performance strut brace under the bonnet, take a few photos and email them to Performance BMW magazine.


    DATA FILE #BMW-E93 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E93 / #BMW-320i-E93 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible-E93 /

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: Four-cylinder 2.0-litre #N42 / #BMW-N42 / #BMW with reworked air box, custom quad exhaust system. Manual six-speed gearbox

    CHASSIS: 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) gold powdercoated 540R 19” #HRE wheels shod in 225/35 and 255/30 Pirelli PZero Nero tyres respectively. BSS air suspension with #Koni adjustable coilovers, #BMW-Performance strut brace. #XYZ big brake kit with six-pot front calipers and four-pot rear calipers mated to 355mm discs

    EXTERIOR: Shadowline exterior trim, de-badged, carbon #Vorsteiner front lip, custom rear bumper with integrated carbon diffuser, carbon door mirrors, matt black kidney grille

    INTERIOR: Sports seats in Coral red Dakota leather, High Gloss interior trim, black Alcantara carpets with Europrojektz logo, M-Tech steering wheel, handbrake handle and gear knob, pedals and footrest

    THANKS: Jurgen at JV-tuning, Dario, Yves and my husband Geert


    This E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place
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    LITTLE MONSTER TURBO’D E21 320i

    With a turbo strapped to its 2.0-litre M10, this E21 makes a healthy 190hp and looks great with it. This little E21 looks fairly unassuming, but that bonnet scoop suggests something a bit tasty underneath. Oh yes, we’ve got a turbo! Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Max Earey.

    What is it with BMW and not turbocharging its petrol models? The company basically pioneered turbos on production cars with the beautiful 2002 Turbo in 1974, but what since? Well, there was the rather strange 1980s E23 7 Series with 3.2-litre or 3.5-litre KKK turbo’d engine available (badged 745i for some reason), and er, that’s it. So, is it any wonder we’re seeing more and more private tuners and modifiers producing the forced induction vehicles BMW didn’t?


    From our many visits to Scandinavia it has become apparent that the older BMW engines are the easier ones to strap a turbo to. Less electronic nonsense to fuss around with it seems, and these old blocks appear to be practically bulletproof. Seeing E30s with turbocharged M20 or transplanted S38 M5 engines is not uncommon in these Nordic lands, but it is still a rarity to see an E21 with its original M10 or M60 engine boosted.

    For that we have had to travel a little further afield than Sweden or Norway, to a dusty mountain road high above Los Angeles. Here I meet a young modding enthusiast named Attila Acs and his 1978 320i. “I never really saw too many E21s that had been turbocharged,” the Californian said, “and I thought it would be different. And also because I want a fast car.”

    Okay, so this little E21 isn’t pumping out the sort of crazy horsepower figures we’ve witnessed in Sweden of late, but Attila’s car is a genuine everyday driver. Besides, an estimated 190bhp and 200lb ft of torque at the flywheel is certainly a healthy performance leap over the standard E21 320i. “It’s very hard to pull those kind of performance numbers from such an old car,” Attila continued. “Especially from one with mechanical (K-Jet), and not electronic fuel injection.”

    With the help of his father, a mechanic, Attila has stayed pretty true to BMW’s original spec for the 320i. The 2.0-litre fourcylinder M10 engine remains – it just now has a Garrett T3 turbocharger in place that was never offered from the factory. And we all like a bit of forced induction.

    You could consider this turbo evolution as a natural progression for Attila’s E21. It was owned from new by a family friend in Hungary, they had it shipped to the US, and then Attila’s parents bought it from them in 1994. On turning 16 Attila was given the car, and he openly admits it wasn’t really his thing at first. “I had contemplated selling it,” he said, “but before long I fell in love with her and started to make small modifications.”


    As with most young men, the draw of owning a fast car was irresistible for Attila. Respect to the guy though – instead of selling out and buying a tacky Japanese car for a bit of extra straight-line speed, he stayed true to his much-loved E21 and started talking with his dad about a turbo conversion. A basically brand new T3 turbo had been sitting around at his dad’s garage for some time, and it was just too tempting not to.

    “The car was shut down for about nine months,” Attila explained. “Me and my dad would work on the car after work until late, and even come in on Saturdays sometimes. The whole process was not easy by any means, and even after the likes of the turbo and intercooler had been fitted, we found the motor was not getting enough fuel and the timing was way off.”

    Once a few problems had been ironed out, and by impressively retaining the almost antique K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection, the now boosted E21 was a whole new weapon. “We had it running like a bat out of hell,” Attila said. After having a thrill ride along the twisty mountain blacktop I was pretty convinced there was enough power on tap in this little E21 to keep most people honest. It is at that magical point of being a lot of fun without being dangerous. On these roads, it’s a long way down if you lose it.

    As well as the T3 turbo (running 14-15psi) and Starion intercooler, a turbo cam, HKS blow-off valve, bigger fuel injectors and high flow fuel pump have all necessarily been added. A custom intake and exhaust have had to be fabricated, while the whole package is that bit sportier with a transplanted five-speed gearbox from another E21, a custom short-shift and 228mm sports clutch.

    There’s no sense having all this engine and drivetrain work without considering the chassis as well, and it’s good to report Attila’s E21 had no problems sticking like a limpet through the corners. Eibach Pro Kit springs lower the car suitably, while Bilstein shocks, front strut brace and rear anti-roll bars tighten it all up. Lovely stuff.

    It’s pointless trying to stuff mighty wheels under the arches of such a car, and it’s great to see Attila has stayed true to an original #BMW style by fitting 7x15” BBS RA rims. The body sits low enough so the car doesn’t look under-wheeled, while a 15” size ensures there will be no arch rubbing or a loss in handling characteristics.

    The standard E21 body is a very attractive shape already, but as Attila has proved, a few upgrades here and there truly make the difference. Notice the BBS front spoiler, Zender skirts, Zender rear apron and nice custom boot spoiler, all working well with the European front and rear bumpers. Some clear lights and headlight eyebrows to work with the gleaming bodywork truly finish things off nicely.

    So you may think Attila’s E21 is just a well-looked- after, tastefully modified classic at first glance. Then you notice the bonnet scoop. This is an original Subaru WRX item cut down and moulded to fit into the 320i’s bonnet, allowing cool air to reach the turbo, and let its hot air escape. Not a bad plan, as the temperature coming out of this vent after a quick play would easily melt anything remotely close to that T3 turbo.

    So there are certainly enough performance hints to suggest this fine example of BMW’s first 3 Series is a handy little toy. Strapped into the Corbeau CR1 race seat with threepoint harness, staring at Autometer gauges and operating the push-button start, the driver knows this is something special too. The car is a true gem from head to toe, but it’s the fact it is turbocharged that deserves the most respect. Attila stayed faithful to the car he was given, and when the teenage lust for pure performance came knocking, he did what he could with what he had. The rewards he’s reaping from such a quick, tight and beautiful car are rightfully justified.

    A twisty mountain road thrill ride convinces you this E21 has power and traction in bucketloads.

    DATA FILE #BMW-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E21 / #Garrett / #BMW-320i-E21 / #BMW-320i / #BBS / #BMW-320i-Turbo-E21 / #BMW-320i-Turbo /

    ENGINE: 2.0-litre fuel injected four-cylinder #BMW-M10 / #M10 / #M10-Turbo engine with #Garrett-T3 turbocharger running 14-15psi, turbo cam, Starion front-mounted intercooler, #HKS SSQV blow-off valve, custom intake, custom exhaust, bigger fuel injectors, high flow fuel pump, 1.8-litre intake manifold on a 2.0-litre block. E21 five-speed transmission conversion, custom shortshift, 228mm sports clutch setup. Standard CIS engine management system upgraded, #MSD #Boost-Timing-Master

    PERFORMANCE: 190bhp and 200lb ft torque at the flywheel

    CHASSIS: 7x15” #BBS-RA wheels shod in 205/55 Kumho 711 tyres. #Eibach Pro Kit springs, #Bilstein shocks, front strut brace, rear anti-roll bar, vented front brakes

    EXTERIOR: BBS front spoiler, #Zender side skirts, Zender rear apron, custom boot spoiler, European bumpers, European indicators, custom headlight eyebrows, H4 headlights, custom bonnet scoop modified from Subaru WRX item

    INTERIOR: Corbeau CR1 race seats, Corbeau three-point harnesses, Autometer shift light, Autometer gauges, push-button starter

    THANKS: My dad – without him this car would not be at the stage it is. Also my family and Katie for their support, Lee at BMWPlanet.com and the E21 Legion!

    An estimated 190bhp and 200lb ft of torque at the flywheel with the turbocharger is certainly a healthy performance leap over the standard E21 320i.

    Above: Original E21 M10 engine remains, but benefits from Garrett T3 turbocharger. Result is 190bhp and 200lb ft torque in this little monster.
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    BAGGED E92 Slick Coupé on custom splits

    PERPETUAL MOTION / Wrapped in flat grey, bagged and sitting on a custom set of three-piece Style 32s, this E92 is one good-looking machine.

    Joe Addison isn’t the type of guy to sit around and wait for life to happen. He’s ripping through this project at breakneck speed, it’s hard to keep up… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Simon Ward.

    The laws of thermodynamics are always stifling our fun. Just look at mankind’s age-old desire to build a perpetual motion machine (that is, a device that can work indefinitely without an energy source) – fiddly little details like friction and energy transfer make the whole thing physically impossible.

    Still, without realising it, mankind has got pretty close, allowing a fella by the name of Joe Addison to evolve as a sort of selfperpetuating entity. Sure, he requires fuel, but that fuel is simply his own enthusiasm for modifying cars, and that appears to be a pretty inexhaustible resource.

    When you start to dig through his historical diaries to see where it all started, Joe’s story mirrors that of many of us in the modding scene. “I’ve been into cars since I can first remember,” he says, “mainly because of my dad, and growing up playing with Hot Wheels, playing Need for Speed on the PlayStation and watching Fast and Furious… I knew cars were going to be a big part of my life.” Sound familiar? Sure, we’re talking to a kindred spirit here. The petrolhead dad, the toys, the video games, the movies – he’ll be telling us that he had a rubbish hatchback as a first car next.

    “My first car was a 1.2-litre Fiat Punto.” Yep, there it is. “I had that for about a month before the engine blew up! Then I bought a Ford Fiesta Zetec S which was fun for a bit. I loved it at the time but then I managed to save up enough money for a BMW – the car I’d wanted for as long ago as I can remember.”

    This lifelong yearning for Bavarian propellers is all thanks to the aforementioned father, who amazed and captivated the young Joe by virtue of a shiny new 320d Compact, which the fledgling car fan fell instantly and irretrievably in love with. “I can always remember the orange lights on the dash at night, and thinking to myself ‘I’ll have one of these one day’.

    He used to let me drive it all the time, too, while I was learning, so this made me want one even more,” Joe reminisces. It’s safe to say that the Beemer bug had got him good.

    So, with a keenness for a BMW and a world of choices out there, what did he opt for? Well, being relatively young it had to be something reasonably insurable, meaning that the budget seesaw could tip towards a newer car rather than a faster car, and he ended up with an E92 320i M Sport. Pretty solid choice, we reckon. And to go from a Punto to a Fiesta to an E92 is a mighty bold leap – see what we mean about this selfperpetuating energy the guy has? It’s passion and hard work that got him to this point. And this was merely the start of the fun…

    “I’d modified my previous cars, just never as much as this one,” Joe explains. “With the Punto it was mainly the audio that I upgraded, as well as buying some white TSW Venoms for £50 off eBay, which I thought were cool at the time, but looking back they were actually awful!” Ah, c’mon – we reckon the Venom is in retro territory now; they might just have come full circle and become kitschy-cool again. And they look a lot like X5 Style 63s. But we digress. Joe had identified a decent-condition E92 on Auto Trader, shelled out five figures to get his name on the V5, thrown on some Jay Z and taken the thing for a Big Pimpin’ cruise. Where next?

    “Oh, I’d had this all planned for years,” he grins, the sly young fox. “My dad always used to buy new wheels and exhausts and stuff for his BMW, and I knew when I owned one I’d be the same. I knew in my head how I wanted it to look, so it was just a case of speaking to my other car enthusiast friends and making it all work and become a reality, which it did, and it all worked without any problems.” Gratifying to hear, and much of this success is attributable to the busy hands and fevered imagination of Jack and Jim at Projekthäus, the Cleckheaton-based modifying powerhouse where the E92 found itself becoming rather better acquainted with the Tarmac. You see, part of Joe’s vision was to get the thing sitting cartoonishly low, and the versatility of air-ride was his means to achieve this. Rocking Air Lift’s revered Performance Series hardware with V2 management, the precision and fastidiousness of the install means that Joe’s rear wheels, complete with gently stretched rubber, pull off that neat trick of sitting with the sidewall inside the arch and the shiny lip outside when the car’s aired out – how’s that for mastery of the craft?

    Those wheels are really rather special, in fact. They may have tripped a little buzz of recognition in your brain, which is now prodding at your frontal lobes, insisting that you recognise them but can’t quite place where from. The answer, in fact, is that you do recognise the design… just not quite in this form. We’ll let Joe explain: “I’d considered lots and lots of wheels, from Rotiforms to Works, but after searching high and low on social media, Google Images and BMW forums, I noticed that most people were just buying the same type of wheel.

    So I thought I had to switch things up bit and change the game! That’s when I got in touch with Rafał from CR Custom Wheels in Poland; we spoke for many weeks, planning on building something really special which also stayed OEM. Rafał explained to me that his company can take any wheel you want and make it into a two- or three-piece splitrim.

    When I heard that I instantly visualised a Style 32 split with a big lip. So I ordered a set of 18” three-piece Style 32s – the only set ever made in that size in the world. I waited nine weeks for them to arrive, and one of Rafał‘s drivers drove all the way from Poland to Projekthäus just to hand deliver them for me.”


    An impressive tale, and testament to Joe’s commitment to doing things differently. The finished product measures 9.5”-wide apiece on the front axle, with an extra inch each out back; the lips are 2.5” and 3.5” respectively, and the offsets are crazy low just to get the rollers perfectly located. “The first test fit was nervewracking as I’d kind of guessed sizes, specs and offsets,” he admits. “We stuck the first rear wheel on, put the Air Lift on manual mode and slowly lowered it down millimetre by millimetre. It sat absolutely perfectly, just the way I wanted it: with slight poke, the arch sitting on the lip.” Serendipitous stuff indeed.


    There was further mischief to be made down at Projekthäus, owing to the fact that Joe’s a vehicle wrapper by trade running his company, Paint Killers in Ossett West Yorkshire, out of that building, too. It was inevitable that his cherished project would end up vinyl-wrapped in some form or another, if only to give him the excuse to stroke every inch of the E92’s sylphlike body, which is why you now see the thing artfully swathed in smooth grey vinyl. The shopping list on the doors serves as a throwback to his childhood enthusiasm for the Fast and Furious franchise because, hey, you’ve got to remember where you came from.

    “I just love the rims and the air,” Joe enthuses. “The right set of wheels and the right combination of lows can just make a car. I’d first taken it to Fuelled Society in 2014, back when it was on BBS LMs and wrapped in matt blue, but the first show with this look was more recently, with it taking centre stage.” And now that the look is complete, and time has marched on and chilled-out the insurance man a bit, Joe can start looking at upping the performance levels, right? “Yeah, I haven’t done a lot in that area yet,” he agrees. “It’s just had a K&N , a twin-pipe exhaust and a remap. But I’m weighing up the possibility of a 335i engine swap…” Blimey. Now that would be something. And we already know what happens when Joe Addison gets an idea into his head – it’s not a case of ‘if’, but ‘when’.

    “The car’s already changed a lot since this shoot,” he chuckles enigmatically. “I’ve got some very big plans for next season. I’m not going to tell you what, you’ll just have to keep an eye out.” Indeed we will. Something tells us that this little ball of energy is just going to keep getting faster and faster.


    DATA FILE Air-ride #BMW-E92 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-320i-E92 / #BMW / #BMW-320i-Air-ride-E92 / #BMW-320i-Air-ride / #BMW-320i-Coupe-E92 / #BMW-320i-Coupe /
    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre four-cylinder #N43B20 / #N43 / #BMW-N43 , remap, #K&N cone filter, twin-pipe exhaust, six-speed manual gearbox
    CHASSIS 9.5x18” (f) and 10.5x18” (r) #BMW-Style-32 custom three-piece split-rims with 2.5” lips (front) and 3.5” lips (rear) and 205/40 (front) and 235/40 (rear) Nankang tyres, #Air-Lift #BMW-320i-Air-ride with #Air-Lift-V2 management
    EXTERIOR Avery grey wrap, 1M front bumper conversion
    INTERIOR BMW E90 touchscreen system, #Novak-&-Boden air install
    THANKS Thanks to Jim and Jack at Projekthäus for doing the majority of work on the car, Rafał at CR Custom Wheels, my family and girlfriend for putting up with me when I don’t shut up about the car or when I’m out working long hours on it, Simmy for the photoshoot, and all the Killers crew


    Custom 18” three-piece Style 32 wheels look incredible and the fitment is perfect.
    The right set of wheels and the right combination of lows can make a car.
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    Roy Lichtenstein: #Group-5 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-320i-E21 / #BMW-E21 / #1977 / #BMW-320i-Group-5-E21 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW / #Roy-Lichtenstein / #BMW-320i-Turbo-E21 /

    BMW continued the racing theme with its third #BMW-Art-Car , the stunning Group 5 320i that acquitted itself very well at #Le-Mans .

    The third car in BMW’s Art Car Collection was created in 1977, when the company asked Roy Lichtenstein to paint the exterior of a Group 5 320i. Lichtenstein’s design is a colourful and vibrant landscape in a pop art style. “The painted lines symbolise the road the car has to follow and the artwork also portrays the surroundings through which the car is being driven,” the artist explained. Lichtenstein, who was born in New York in 1923, was one of the founders of American pop art. Until 1938 he painted portraits of jazz musicians, attended the Art Students League, finally studying art in Ohio. His earlier works ranged from cubism to expressionism. He did not become interested in comic book and advertising art until the late Fifties. His pop art paintings were created in 1961. These were followed by caricatures of the American way of life and experiments based on well-known works of art, sculptures and films.

    “I wanted the lines I painted to be a depiction of the road showing the car where to go,” said Lichtenstein, commenting on his design for the 320i. “The design also shows the countryside through which the car has travelled. One could call it an enumeration of everything a car experiences – only that this car reflects all of these things before actually having been on a road.” The oversized ‘Ben- Day dots’ are characteristic of Lichtenstein’s worldfamous paintings of comic strips.


    The car itself was one of BMW’s most outrageous creations with its functional wide-body aerodynamic package with bulging arches to house the huge alloys and a four-cylinder, twin-overhead cam, 16-valve, 2.0-litre engine that was good for 300hp, giving the 320i a top speed of 160mph.


    After its completion, Roy Lichtenstein’s #Art-Cars was able to celebrate its premiere twice: first, as a work of art at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; and, second, at its racing debut in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June 1977. The car was driven by Hervé Poulain (who had originally commissioned the first 3.0 CSL Art Car) and Marcel Mignot from France.

    The car, number 50, competed in the IMSA class at the endurance classic and qualified in 49th overall (seventh in its IMSA class). It achieved a pretty stunning result in the race, outlasting a host of much faster machinery, coming home ninth overall and second in class behind the Luigi CSL, which came eighth overall.
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    HERE COMES THE ‘BOOM

    No stranger to seriously modified BMWs, photographer Kevin Raekelboom’s latest creation may be his wildest yet. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Kevin Raekelboom.

    If you like your E30s to be jaw-droppingly spectacular, you’re going to enjoy this one . Not only is Belgium resident Kevin Raekelboom a talented photographer with one of the best names in the business, he also has a talent for building utterly spectacular project cars. His last effort was a bagged E21 that we featured back in June ’13 and over the past year and a bit he’s been at it again, building the #BMW E30 you see before you here. Kevve’s approach when it comes to builds is most definitely of the ‘allout’ variety and it’s certainly working for him.

    His BMW E21 had been a mix of classic exterior elegance contrasting with an adventurous carbon and Kevlar interior mix, which created a striking juxtaposition. For his next project, Kevve decided to push the boat out just that little bit further… Step one was choosing a car. Here he decided to keep it 3 Series; it had served him well before, after all, and he had the perfect project car starting point in the family: an unassuming #1983 six-cylinder 320i manual that surely had no idea what was about to happen to it. “I bought it from my brother who didn’t have the time for it,” explains Kevve. “He bought it two years ago to restore it but then he bought a house and did a lot of construction on it and had no more time for the car. It was in pretty good condition but needed some attention.”


    The engine here has been left completely stock, as this is very much a visual exercise, though Kevve has had a straight-through custom exhaust made, which handily meant that there was no need to worry about any sort of audio upgrades: “There’s no need for music with an engine sound like this!” So, with all efforts and energy channelled into the aesthetics, it’s no surprise that the finished article is so utterly spectacular. Having bagged his previous build, Kevve knew that his next project would also be on air-ride but with an E30 that’s no simple task. “There was nothing standard available for the car off-the-shelf at the time,” he explains, “so I had to go with a custom air suspension setup. Thanks must go to Kean Suspensions for helping and supplying the parts for this. I don’t know how much lower it is than standard but it touches the floor with the engine, front lip and exhaust line, so can’t go any lower.”


    There are numerous exterior modifications, some obvious, others less so. For example, the inner wheel arches have been widened both front and back and you may or may not notice that the passenger-side mirror has been removed. The front-end is a very clever mix or elements – Kevve has opted for a facelifted front but matched to a pre-facelift bumper onto which he’s grafted a DTM front lip – giving the car a face that spans two incarnations of the E30 and then spears off on a motorsport tilt, further reinforced by the addition of the Speedhunters towing strap.


    The finishing touch is the set of four original OE #Hella yellow headlights which not only add a flash of retro charm but also offer a fantastic contrast to the all-grey exterior. Ah yes, that paint. For such a special project a special hue was needed and after a bit of searching, the decision was made to go for Lamborghini Grigio Telesto (the same as the E46 M3 on p8). “I saw it on a Lamborghini Gallardo in Las Vegas and fell in love,” says Kevve. This is an awesome shade of solid grey with incredible impact yet it’s surprisingly rich and light enough to allow the light to pick up on the details in the bodywork. It looks fantastic on the classic E30 shape and really makes it stand out.


    Of course, choose the wrong wheels and nothing else will matter, regardless of how much effort you’ve put into making your car look amazing, so making the right choice was incredibly important for this project. There was never any doubt in our minds that Kevve would do anything other than blow us all away with his wheel selection and he’s done exactly that with these utterly gorgeous #VIP-Modular-VXS210 s. “I’ve always loved these VIP Modular wheels,” says Kevve, “and I wanted something else other than the BBS RS wheels. Don’t get me wrong, I had them on the BMW E21 but I wanted to step up the game and try something different.”

    When it comes to wheel selection on E30s, size matters; but it’s a case of going too big that can often be the problem, so these VIPs measure a modest 17” across and a very reasonable 8”-wide up front and 9” at the rear. Their finish is utterly mesmerising – a gloss copper that looks incredible in the sunlight, rich and warm.

    Matching centre caps and the step lips help to further catch the light and add an extra visual dimension to the wheels. Going for a single colour across the entire wheel is a brave, bold move that can look incredible with the right colour and it’s definitely working here. As a final subtle touch, the bolts are finished in gold, adding a little something extra that only the most eagleeyed observer will be able to spot. The contrast against the expanse of grey bodywork is incredible and the overall effect is stunning.

    So, the outside delivers a big visual hit thanks to some amazing details in an otherwise clean and simple style but the interior certainly holds its own. It’s actually difficult to know where to start here, there’s so much work that has gone into transforming the cabin. The carpets are gone, there’s not a single strand of fibre left across the entire interior, and everything that would have once been carpeted has now been painted matt black. The rear seats have been removed and in their place sits a Wiechers roll-cage, while the front seats have been replaced with a pair of the most alien sport seats out there – all-metal Kirkeys, which look utterly mental. They also look incredibly uncomfortable but are actually meant to be pretty gentle on your butt; Kevve drove this car over to the UK from Belgium for the Players Classic show, so that tells you a lot. The deep-dish sport steering wheel is the perfect partner for the no-frills, no-nonsense seats but the vast expanse of caramel leather offers a delicious luxury contrast. The entire dashboard, doorcards and mid-tunnel are lovingly coated in the buttery soft and beautiful leather. It’s quite literally like the fondant topping on an already amazing cake and gives the incredible interior one more layer, one more tasty treat to enjoy.


    Kevve’s E30 is an astonishing machine built to an incredible standard but, based on his tenure with the E21, we had the feeling that the E30 wasn’t going to be hanging around long for him to enjoy… and that’s exactly what happened. Despite the vast amount of time, effort and, of course, money Kevve’s spent on this car, after just a mere few months of pleasure with it, he’s now sold it to an enthusiast right here in the UK. Fortunately, Kevve’s pretty pragmatic about the whole situation: “I only drove the E30 once a month and I really needed space in my garage so it had to go.

    “I don’t know what’s next. I’m focussing on my business at the moment but I’ll probably build something for Wörthersee.” Whatever that ends up being, you can guarantee it’s going to be awesome. We can’t wait…


    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-320i-E30 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-320i

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre straight-six #M20B20 / #M20 , custom straight-through exhaust, five-speed manual gearbox.

    CHASSIS 8x17” (front) and 9x17” (rear) #VIP-Modular VXS210 copper coloured wheels with gold bolts with 185/30 (front) and 195/40 (rear) Nankang NS20 tyres, custom air suspension built from scratch with #AccuAir management, Viair compressors, refurbished brakes throughout.

    EXTERIOR Custom respray in Lamborghini Grigio Telesto, widened inner wheel arches (front and back), new face-lift front with pre-face-lift bumper, #DTM front lip, all towing hooks removed, Speedhunters towing strap, windscreen wipers removed, original OEM Hella yellow headlights, deleted right hand mirror.

    INTERIOR Carpets removed, floor surfaces painted matt black, rear seats removed, Wiechers roll-cage, Kirkey racing seats, leather-trimmed dashboard, doorcards and mid-tunnel, built-in air gauges, deep-dish sport steering wheel.

    THANKS A massive thanks must go to my brother who helped me with loads of things on the car, even during the long nights working hard to get it ready, my girlfriend for the many, many hours together in the garage working on the car and helping me find parts on the internet, my sister for picking up parts for me everywhere, my brother-in-law for helping me with building the seat rails, John for painting the car, Kean Suspensions for supplying the air suspension parts, Christophe from Sexy Wheels for getting the VIP Modular Wheels.

    This E30 is about as low as you can go and looks absolutely incredible aired out.

    “I wanted to step up the game and try something different”

    Dashboard, doors and transmission tunnel have been covered in beautiful caramel-coloured leather.

    Interior has been stripped of all audio, carpets and rear seats, with cage and Kirkey seats added.

    “It touches the floor with the engine, front lip and exhaust line, so can’t go any lower”
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