- Post is under moderationBMW ALPINA B10 / #Alpina-B10-3.5 / #Alpina-B10 / #Alpina-B10-E28 / #BMW-E28 / #Alpina / #BMW / #BMW-5-Series / #BMW-5-Series-E28 / #BMW-E28-Alpina / #M106 / #BMW-M106 / #M30B34MAE / #M30 / #BMW-M30 /
Year of manufacture #1985
Recorded mileage 98,282
Asking price £38,000
Vendor Frazer Williams, Suffolk Sports Cars, near Woodbridge; tel: 07967 339424; www. suffolksportscars. com
WHEN IT WAS NEW
Max power 261bhp
Max torque 256lb ft
0-60mph 6.4 secs
Top speed 155mph
This is number 4 of 25 Sytner-built Alpinas (one right-hand-drive car was also done at Buchloe) based on a 535i SE (chrome-edged bumpers, rear window blind). The 3430cc M106 ‘six’ was unchanged in capacity, but, thanks to higher compression and different cam, plus reprogrammed Motronic management, power was increased by about 40bhp and torque by 30lb ft or so. The suspension was reworked, 16in Alpina ‘turbine’ alloys fitted and the dash changed, along with the trademark stripes added.
The car was restored about 10 years ago by an Alpina parts specialist, windows-out repainted and fitted with new bumpers. The result is superb, and even the Alpina wheels have been correctly finished with a 5mm overlap on the black centres. Fastened by two different types of security bolt, they are shod with well-treaded Kumho Ecstas, with a matching spare. The jack and wheelbrace are still present. Plus, the bootlid tray still has the full tool and bulb kit and – a detail to please ardent E28 fanciers – even the little plastic widget for winding the windows closed should the electrics fail. They all work, by the way, as you’d expect. Inside, the dashboard, headlining and glass sunroof were all replaced, as were the front door cards, and the rears recovered. The Alpina-striped seat upholstery shows no wear, just a little bagginess.
It’s like new under the bonnet, with various items powder-coated and fresh stickers to the airbox, strut tower and a mint fusebox. The fluids are clean, to the right levels. Even the washer bottle and plumbing look new. It starts instantly with no smoke or tappety noises, feeling lively and free-revving. The ride, on Powerflex bushes and Bilsteins, is on the firm side of taut, plus it has lovely direct steering. The switchable auto responds correctly to E, Sport (in which it holds the gears longer and gives snappier changes) and intermediate slots for ice, snow or general hooning. It is as good as a Porsche Tiptronic and more intuitive to use. Coolant temperature is steady just under the middle of the gauge, the econometer works and the test button illuminates all the check lights on the service computer. It will come with a fresh MoT, and the registration number B10 ALP.
EXTERIOR Superbly repainted, and set off with the signature Alpina decals.
INTERIOR Excellent: quite a lot of it is new; a little stretch to the cloth trim.
MECHANICALS Feel super-fit, and sorted.
For Rare, cool and fast
Against Dare we say the automatic gearbox? It’s pretty good though
SHOULD I BUY IT?
Almost like a new one and so very drivable – addictively so. It might bring out your inner hooligan.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAPEX PREDATOR 535whp turbo E24 sleeper with an appetite for speed… #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo / #BMW-E24-Turbo / #BMW-E24
It’s impossible to resist the charms of the E24 and with 535whp from its turbocharged M30, this unassuming, power-hungry 635CSi is the ultimate sleeper. The great white shark has no natural predators and with 535whp this turbocharged land shark doesn’t have any either. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Deniss Podnebess.
I hate the E24. I hate it because I really want one, so very badly, but I can’t afford the best examples and fear of rust and potentially eye-watering repair costs puts me off the cheaper ones that I might be able to afford. So I remain in a 6 Series-less limbo and writing about ones like this makes me sad. But not for long because they’re awesome, and this one especially so…
This E24 belongs to serial modifier and 6 Series junkie, Maxim Rakut. This Latvian resident has already graced these pages before, back in our October 2014 issue with his M62-swapped E24 but now he’s back with something a little spicier. But first, in case you didn’t read about his V8-powered Six, a little background. Maxim is the owner of IXT Workshop, which specialises in repairing and modifying BMWs. Cars, BMWs in particular, have been a huge part of his life for a very long time. “I’ve been into cars since school,” he says, “and when I finished school I opened my own garage. I’ve loved BMWs since I was 16; BMWs are made for driving, not for just moving from point A to point B. They are everything I expect of car – fast, reliable and beautiful. My first car was an E30 323i, which I bought because it was accident damaged and the price was cheap, which was important for me as I was a student at the time. Since then I’ve had some E28s, E21s and some more E30s before the E24s.
“I saw this car for sale in Germany, an unfinished restoration project. It had done 173,000km (just over 107,500 miles). It had only had two previous owners and the body and interior were in pretty much perfect condition. I bought the car for €2200 and I’ve spent over €15,000 on modifications. One of the first things we did was have it resprayed – it was originally red before being repainted in Germany in BMW Dunkelblau (Dark blue) but the paint wasn’t in perfect condition when I bought the car so I had it redone in the same colour. I decided to do a turbo project because the car was a good base but didn’t have enough power and the handling wasn’t perfect, even though it’s a CSi.”
The M30B35 is a great place to start a turbo project from, being very well-suited to forced induction and Maxim has put a lot of work into the engine to make sure that it is up to the task. “It took me a week to build the engine,” he says, “and my goal was 500whp with 480lb ft of torque, but we got a bit more in the end.” The engine might not look all that special – there’s no overly clean bay or mirror polishing – but all the work has gone into the inside. The head has been polished, pistons from the turbo M106 have been fitted and there are additional nozzles for cooling them with oil, while 660cc Bosch injectors fed by a 300lph Bosch 044 pump chuck plenty of fuel in. The turbo itself is a Garrett GT45 which sits on a custom equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold. “It was very hard to make the exhaust manifold an equal length. Trying to fit a twin-scroll manifold with two wastegates and a huge turbo in the limited space of an E24 engine bay was not easy,” says Maxim. “The turbo is able to push out 800hp. At the moment it is making 535whp and 590lb ft of torque but it’s good as it is and I don’t want to destroy the engine with too much boost.”
Additional modifications include an oil filter housing and oil cooler from an E34 M5, M52 coils, a Spal cooling fan, an E36 M3 Mishimoto rad (that replaced a completely custom item which was made from the wrong material and kept overheating), and an Emusa intercooler with custom pipework.
Maxim mentioned the handling of the 635 not being up to scratch and sorting this actually proved to be quite tricky. “Finding a good suspension setup was hard,” he says, “as there’s no aftermarket solution for coilovers so I had to combine and experiment with different stiffnesses and heights and make my own custom coilovers using H&R springs, Bilstein B8 dampers and XYZ uniball top mounts.”
The ride height has been reduced nicely and the arches sit down nice and snug over the 18” Rial Daytona Race wheels. The Daytona is a wheel that maybe doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. Here at PBMW, as you may expect, we’re addicted to searching for wheels on eBay and Daytonas keep popping up. We’ve spend far longer than is healthy looking at them. We even came across someone on a forum accusing them of being BBS reps… some people!
The Daytona Race may have that traditional cross-spoke design but this is a seriously sexy two-piece wheel that looks good on just about any BMW it’s fitted to, including the E24. “I had these ones in my warehouse,” Maxim tells us, “and I decided to make some custom lips so they would fit the E24 arches perfectly. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, they’ve made this classic car look really fresh now.” We think they look fantastic on the 635 and the custom lips have taken them from 8” all-round to 9.25” at the front and 9.75” at the rear.
The E24 is one of those cars that looks right and really doesn’t need anything much on the styling front, and Maxim has sensibly not messed with perfection. The #BMW Dark blue really suits that slick sharkshape and it’s actually closer to something like Macau or Carbon black than a simple dark blue hue. “I didn’t consider any other body colour,” says Maxim. “This one is perfect. I love how it changes colour in different light – when it’s dark it’s almost black, when the sun is shining it’s blue and sometimes it’s even a bit green.” Up front there are Hella smoked headlights and at the back what appear to be smoked light clusters are actually custom units made from dark plastic. Inside, things have been left pretty much standard, too, with cloth Sport seats and the original steering wheel.
The only additions are a bank of four retrolooking gauges that keep Maxim informed of water temperature, oil pressure and boost along with a digital AFR gauge. “I like it stock and clean but had to add extra gauges to monitor the modified engine,” says Maxim.
After nine months of hard graft, the 635 was ready and rather than parking it up at shows, he set about actually driving it.
“It was my summer car last year and I had so much fun with it!” he laughs. “The engine is my favourite part of the whole car – when it gets to full boost, 1.6bar in third gear, the car is unstoppable. It’s fun when you are street-racing against a fast motorbike and it can’t catch you. You can’t compare the feeling of driving my 635 with newer cars. Without electronics you feel everything like you are at the centre of everything. It’s different and I love it.”
Unfortunately, as with so many projects, this one is up for sale as Maxim is ready to move onto his next one. “New season, new car. Works for me,” he says. “This summer I will build an E46 335Ci with a twin-turbo N54.” It sounds like it’ll be a spectacular machine but not quite as spectacular or as cool as this. For us, this turbo’d 6 Series is on the next level, the greatest of all sharks.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.5-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #BMW-M30 / #BMW-M30-Turbo , polished head mounted on pyramid ring gasket, #ARP bolts, #M106 / #BMW-M106 pistons, extra nozzles for cooling of pistons with oil, E34 M5 oil filter housing and oil radiator, equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold, 2x35mm wastegates, #Garrett-GT45 turbocharger, #VEMS engine management, #Bosch 660cc injectors, Bosch 044 300lph fuel pump, two #AEM wideband lambdas, M52 coils, Spal cooling fan, #Mishimoto E36 M3 radiator with modified right tank, #Emusa intercooler with custom pipework, blow-off valve behind left foglight, 80mm downpipe, 76mm centre exhaust section, standard rear silencer. Five-speed manual gearbox, #Clutch-Masters Stage 3 clutch, lightened E34 M5 flywheel, 3.15 E46 M3 LSD. 535rwhp and 590lb ft at the rear wheels.
CHASSIS: 9.25x18” (front) and 9.75x18” (rear) two-piece Rial Daytona Race wheels with custom lips and. 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres. Custom coilovers made by #IXT Workshop, using #H&R springs, #Bilstein-B8 shocks and XYZ uniball top mounts, fully polybushed with #Powerflex bushes throughout, E34 535i brakes (front), stock brakes (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full respray in #BMW-Dark-blue-metallic , #Hella smoked headlights, custom dark rear light clusters.
INTERIOR: Four-gauge cluster in centre console, #Innovate-Motorsports digital #AFR gauge, Sony head unit.
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- Post is under moderationFIVE SERIES DEATH PUNCH
This unassuming #BMW E28 hides 655whp of pure turbocharged fury beneath its classic styling. With massive turbocharged power wrapped up in unassuming E28 looks, this 5 Series is one deadly road warrior. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Hjalmar van Hoek.
Turbo E28s are like buses: you wait ages for one to come along and then three awesome feature cars turn up in the same year. But as fans of all things E28 (and turbocharged) we’re most definitely not complaining. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that this E28 hails from Sweden, as there seems to be something in the Scandinavian water that makes BMW fans shut themselves away over the long winters and emerge blinking into the spring sunshine having crafted some form of forced induction beast over the preceding months. Works for us.
By day, Gunay Selmanovski is busy repairing Volvos but by night, and possibly also on weekends, he can be found thundering around the Swedish countryside in this beast of an E28. It’s his first project on this scale, his previous cars having all been modified but none beyond some lowering springs, bigger wheels and an exhaust, so he’s really done an awesome job.
He has owned the car for ten years now, purchasing it as a “poor student” (his words) at the tender age of 21. “The performance for the price was unbeatable,” he says, “and it was a great combination of handling, power, convenience, luxury and comfort – it really is the ultimate driving machine.” Purchased with no plans other than simply enjoying the driving and ownership experience, all that changed when Gunay stumbled upon an M106. That makes this the second car in this issue running that engine (the other is 666CSi ) and the third this year – clearly, it’s the current go-to choice for a big-power straight-six.
Gunay has been working on the car since 2005, starting out in a rented garage before it was moved to his dad’s garage in 2010, and this E28 has come a long way from the rusty and rather sorry state that he purchased it in all those years ago.
The M106 in particular has undergone quite a transformation, with one year being spent on it alone, and while it is an excellent starting point for a turbo project, thanks to its force-induced foundations, serious upgrades are required if you’re hunting for serious power. The bottom end has remained stock, as have the internals, and Gunay has focussed all his attention on the head, porting it before adding a copper gasket with an ARP stud kit, fitting an M7 300/300 camshaft, HD rocker arms and Stage 2 valve springs. For the turbo, Gunay has chosen the beefy #Precision 6265, more than enough to produce the kind of power figures he was gunning for, which has been fitted with a 60mm wastegate and 2.5” screamer pipe, along with a 50mm blow-off valve. A 600x300x76mm intercooler sits up front, feeding air into a rebuilt M5 S38 plenum, and is joined by an uprated Griffin aluminium radiator with a 385mm Spal electric fan and a 30-line oil cooler. On the fuel front, a pair of Bosch 044 pumps feed 1260cc Precision injectors. Gunay’s hard work under the bonnet means a spectacular 655whp and 629lb ft of torque at the wheels, monstrous figures considering how light the E28 is. The transmission has been seriously beefed-up to cope with all that grunt, with the old five-speed gearbox having been replaced with a rebuilt #Getrag-420 G gearbox taken from an E46 M3 and mated to a Sachs six-puck sintered clutch and 765 pressure plate. The propshaft is from an E34 540, rebuilt with a bigger joint and 94mm CV joint, and it’s connected to a refurbished 210 40% locking LSD in a reinforced housing on a reinforced E28 M5 diff mount with stronger driveshafts.
Aesthetically, Gunay’s E28 is most pleasing – there’s just something so right about the way it sits and looks. There’s a purpose and muscularity to its stance and appearance that we like. When he bought it, the car was wearing the BMW side skirts but was missing the front and rear bumper additions, so they’ve now been added. So too has a rear spoiler and, while most people are busy getting rid of their chrome trim, Gunay has not only kept the shiny window surrounds but has also added an E12-style front grille chrome trim. It all combines to give the car a classic, period look.
On the suspension front, Gunay wanted a set of D2 Street coilovers but at the time there was nothing available off-the-shelf, so he bought an E34 set and modified the dampers to fit the E28. His ride-height is perfect, as is his choice of wheels in the shape of a set of #OZ-Futuras . “I always wanted these wheels,” he says, “and had them in 17”. However, when I came across a set of refurbished 18s I bought them straight away.” Measuring 9”-wide up front and 10” at the rear, they fill the E28’s arches perfectly, though considering how much power he’s running, Gunay has not been afraid to go for some stretch, with 215 and 225 rear tyres. Underneath the car has been fully polybushed while thicker E28 M5 antiroll bars have also been fitted, front and rear. The uprated brakes have been sourced from within the BMW family: an E32 750 brake master cylinder has been fitted with E32 750 four-piston front calipers and 324mm discs, while at the back are a pair of E34 540i brakes. Braided steel hoses have been fitted all-round.
Finally, for the interior, Gunay has kept things simple and original with minium modifications. The Pearl beige interior with its Sport seats has been untouched, there’s a period refurbished M Tech 1 steering wheel, E28 M5 door sills, an Alpina dashboard, an illuminated six-speed M gear knob and the finishing touch is a trio of gauges.
What Gunay has built is a magnificent sleeper. There really is nothing here to give the game away, beyond the noise perhaps, and he relishes showing modern performance machinery a clean pair of heels, much to their owners’ consternation. “I have embarrassed an E60 M5, a Mercedes E55 AMG and an E90 M3 on the motorway, and the look on the owner’s faces was priceless,” he grins. It’s been a long build for this E28 but Gunay’s skills as a mechanic have shone through and he’s over the moon with the machine he’s created. Beyond the performance, unsurprisingly his favourite part of the whole, it’s an incredibly clean E28 and that in itself is something of a rarity and definitely worth celebrating as the vast majority of these have now succumb to terminal tin worm that very few owners, other than enthusiasts, will be willing to spend money removing. “When I took the car to its first show everyone said they had never seen an E28 in that condition and with such a clean engine,” says Gunay. Most importantly, this car is now finished: everything that needed to be done has been done and now comes the very serious task of getting out there and enjoying the hell out of it – something else that Gunay is extremely good at.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE TURBO #BMW-E28 / #BMW-E28-M106 / #BMW-E28-Turbo
ENGINE 3.4-litre straight-six #M106 / #BMW-M106 , stock bottom end, copper ring head gasket, #ARP studs, ported M106 head, #M7 300/300 camshaft, HD rocker arms, Stage 2 valve springs, #Precision-6265 turbo, 60mm wastegate with 2.5” screamer pipe, 50mm blow-off valve, 600x300x 76mm intercooler, E34 M5 3.8 throttle bodies, rebuilt E34 M5 3.8 plenum, Innovate MTX-l wideband lambda, 1260cc Precision fuel injectors, #Nuke-Blackline fuel rail, #Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, Nuke fuel filter, Griffin aluminium radiator, 30-line oil cooler, Allstar crankcase ventilation, 65ºC thermostat, 385mm Spal electric fan, 2x Bosch 044 fuel pumps, in-tank #Deutchwerk DW301, 1.5-litre catch tank, steel braided fuel hoses, Autronic SMC, #Autronic boost control, MSD Digital 4 ignition amplifier, 3 Accel Ignition waste-spark coils, MSD 8.5mm silicon ignition cables, 3.5” stainless steel downpipe from turbo with titanium exhaust wrap, 3” exhaust system, Ferrita silencer, titanium turbo blanket, 655whp @ 6200rpm, 629lb ft at the wheels @ 4400rpm.
TRANSMISSION #Getrag-420G / #Getrag / six-speed manual gearbox from E46 M3, Sachs six-puck unsprung sintered clutch disc, Sachs 765 pressure plate, rebuilt propshaft from E34 540i with bigger joint and bigger 94mm CV-joint, refurbished 210mm 40% locking LSD diff, reinforced diff housing, reinforced E28 M5 diff mount, stronger driveshafts.
CHASSIS 9x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) #OZ Futura wheels with 215/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) tyres, D2 Racing Sport modified coilovers, Powerflex front and rear bushes, E28 M5 25mm anti-roll bar (front) and 18mm anti-roll bar (rear) with Powerflex bushes, E32 750 brake master cylinder, E32 750 four-piston calipers with 324x30mm ventilated discs (front) and E34 540 calipers with 300x20mm ventilated discs (rear), steel braided brake hoses all-round.
EXTERIOR Original BMW M Tech body kit, M rear spoiler, E12-style chrome trim on the grille.
INTERIOR Pearl beige leather Sport seats, refurbished M Tech 1 steering wheel, illuminated six-speed M gear knob, M5 E28 door sills, #Alpina dashboard, Innovate boost gauge, oil pressure and oil temperature gauges.
THANKS I would like to thank my parents for letting me work on my car at their garage, thanks for all of my friends that helped me and supported me with the tech and other stuff, and thanks for my beautiful wife for putting up with my hobbies.
“I always wanted these wheels and had them in 17”. However, when I came across a set of refurbished 18s I bought them straight away”
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- Post is under moderationBLACK EAGLE
This, quite literally, show-stopping UK #E28 boasts an impossibly shiny #M106 under the bonnet, a massive turbo and the small matter of 500hp. In a word: epic. Built with sheer passion and devotion, this stunning 500hp #BMW-E28 is the ultimate evolution of a near decade-long project. Photos: Steve Hall.
We all love our cars (when they’re working) but it’s rare to come across someone for whom their car really is everything to them. Marsel Theodhori is one such man. His passion for his E28 is unrivalled in anyone I’ve ever met, and it’s this raw, unbridled passion for what was once a humble E28 that has driven him to build one of the finest examples out there. I have a soft spot for the E28 – I owned a #518i Lux for a year some time ago, which I bought for the princely sum of £400. It was so charming, characterful and modern in the way it drove, that it instantly became a member of the family. It didn’t miss a beat over those 12 months and when the time came to sell it, I was genuinely sad to see it go. I think about it often and the way it has lodged itself in my memory and affections means I can definitely relate to the way Marsel feels about his.
Marsel is an interesting man – passionate, intense, intimidating perhaps, but a really nice guy and one with more than a few stories to tell. And his E28 is even more interesting. His love for the second generation 5 Series began when he was just 14 years old. “Growing up in Albania, my neighbour had a white E28 #Alpina and every time I saw it, I thought it looked fantastic. I loved the looks and my dream was to one day have a car like that.”
Fast forward to 2005 and by now Marsel was in the UK when he spotted this humble #E28 #525e . He had loved it from afar, with it belonging to his good friend, Nick Rundall. When Nick wanted to move on to a newer model (and knowing that it needed work and that Marsel was in the motor trade), he gifted him the car, beginning a nine-year journey which resulted in the car you see in front of you.
Marsel has named this car the Black Eagle, a touching patriotic nod to his homeland of Albania (whose red flag bears the image of a black double-headed eagle) and the Order of the Black Eagle, the highest title that could be bestowed upon a citizen of Albania.
The last time the E28 saw the outside world was in September 2012. Marsel had spent seven years working on the car at this point and had built it up to a very high standard. He had sourced an M106 engine for it, which was fitted to an #E23 #745i – a 3.4-litre turbocharged straight-six that was loosely based on the #M30 , developing 252hp at 6psi (0.4bar) of boost. That’s a good starting point, but Marsel wasn’t content with that so a whole host of work went into the engine to get it uprated to handle a serious increase in power.
Marsel’s E28 was suitably recognised at that point for the great car it was; it even had a brief moment of fame in print: “It had a feature in Total #BMW in April 2012 and it had been appearing at most of the shows that year. It was putting out 360hp+ and I travelled to a lot of places, enjoying the result of a very long build. I was just making the most of it so I was really driving it hard and the car was responding well. It made an impressive appearance at the Gaydon BMW Festival and the Santa Pod BMW Show that same year where it won Best of Show.”
Show glory is one thing, but 360hp is another and Marsel is the sort of person who enjoys driving his cars. “I’m an engineer by trade but also a very heavy-footed driver,” he says. “I really love driving sports cars to their limits. Well, that pleasure cost me one day when I blew the #K27 turbo, which was the original item fitted to the M106 by BMW. That turbo was designed originally for 0.4bar and I was pushing close to 1bar for about 3000 miles until it started to smoke off throttle. The car came off the road at the end of September 2012.” That’s when Marsel started to think big. He decided to make the most of the unfortunate situation and realise the true potential of his E28: “I wanted to build a car that would win shows and blow people away. I wanted to build the best E28 that I could,” he says.
Step one was choosing a new turbo that would give Marsel the power he was hungry for. “The K27 was removed and I started making plans for a new, more sophisticated turbo. Considering the potential of these engines, I had to seriously consider a major upgrade on all fronts. Unfortunately, in this country we have a limited market for such applications and turbochargers. Therefore there was only one place I could look to: the USA. In the States there are hundreds if not thousands of stockists and manufacturers of performance parts and turbochargers.
“Hunting for the best deals, I came across a #Garrett-GT4202 turbo for half of the UK price and bought it straight away.” The #GT4202 is rated for up to 1000hp, giving Marsel plenty of headroom on the power front. However, it is significantly larger than the K27 so it gave Marsel a bit of a headache when it came to fitting. “I had the turbo hanging from the ceiling at one point,” he explains, “and I was lowering it into the engine bay so I could tie it into place. That meant I could start calculating how it would sit in the engine bay and what sort of manifold I would need to fabricate for it.” The massive turbo fits in the engine bay, just, but there was the small matter of the bonnet getting in the way, so Marsel had a custom item made with a neat cut-out for the turbo to peep through.
While the whole car is finished to an incredibly high standard, the engine is what this car is all about. When the bonnet pops, the engine bay draws in BMW fans like bees to honey. Every square inch of the bay has been polished to within an inch of its life, every hose is braided, every pipe is blue and the blue-and-red colour scheme has been executed with serious attention to detail – the oil filler cap is blue and even the washer fluid and coolant are red and blue.
The turbo sits on a beefy modified M106 manifold with a custom stainless steel top mounted flange neck, with a 4” downpipe, which slims to 3.5” to clear the bulkhead before expanding to 5” for minimum restriction and splitting into two 2.5” pipes which run to a custom Frtiz’s Bits back box. The turbo itself is served by a 5.5” core chargecooler with a custom top panel, itself mated to a 55mm twin-core 500x630mm chargecooler rad. You won’t find any highflow induction kits here – the turbo has been fitted with some silver mesh, presumably to stop people and animals from being sucked in, and that’s it. Beyond the bling, there’s serious engineering evident wherever you look: the turbo is braced against the engine and the entire engine is braced against the strut brace. This is because once, under hard braking, the engine tilted forward a fraction and that was enough to push the viscous fan into the thicker rad that Marsel had fitted. To ensure that doesn’t happen again, he took the precaution of bracing the engine to stop any unwanted movement.
Of course, the dazzlingly shiny exterior is just the tip of an extremely comprehensive iceberg. The data file reads like an engine builder’s wish list and no expense has been spared in building an engine that will deliver a lot of power happily and comfortably, day in, day out.
The H-pattern con rods and #Mahle forged low compression pistons have been carried over from the previous build, along with the #Glyco race bearings, but the ported and polished NA cylinder head is new, as are the titanium double valve springs, sodium-filled exhaust valves and titanium rockers and rocker shaft lockers. The engine is fed by twin #Bosch 044 fuel pumps, and there’s a fuel cooler, 1000cc Bosch injectors and Marsel has used an #E34 #535i inlet manifold with an original 3” reverse-mounted throttle body. It is the engine you would build if you could.
As the old saying goes, power is nothing without control, and Marsel has ensured that every supporting component has been suitably upgraded to ensure that the rest of the E28 can handle all the power that’s being developed by the engine. On the transmission front there’s a fully-rebuilt dogleg gearbox with a custom short clutch master cylinder, M535i driveshaft and propshafts, restored 3.07 M5 LSD and upgraded race-spec motorsport diff mount. Peer under the rear of the car and, as well as an immaculate and impossibly polished back box, you will see the diff cooler and diff pump mounted below. On the suspension front you’ll find #GAZ Gold race coilovers all-round with 550lb springs up front and 250lb rears, which have been carried over from the first build, with fully adjustable rose jointed front upper top mounts, fully adjustable rear top upper mounts, front and rear thicker, uprated antiroll bars, with Powerflex bushes all-round, new wheel bearings and all the various suspension components have either been renewed or reconditioned.
The brake setup that Marsel had first time around worked well enough for him to keep it so he just renewed the components with four-pot front Brembos calipers from an E31 840Ci and 324mm discs and 300mm rear discs mated to E28 #M535i calipers, with Goodridge braided hoses throughout. Marsel hasn’t forgotten about the looks in all of this and has poured his heart into getting the exterior styling exactly to his tastes. The body was stripped and the car was given the full M5 treatment, while new headlights and chrome rear lights have also been fitted. Various components have been polished and rechromed, such as the window surrounds, door handles and the C-pillar inserts, with the resulting brightness contrasting beautifully against the Jet black paint.
The wheels are an interesting choice. Previously, Marsel was running #BBS RSs before switching to these Fomb 17s, which he’d had refurbed in black for its big reveal in 2014. He had been planning to get the BBSs ready for our shoot, but as they needed to be refurbed and have new barrels, it was no small task. Also, as he pointed out, everyone has BBS RSs – they’re gorgeous, classic and iconic wheels, but they are a bit of a trend right now. Marsel wanted something different for the E28 and that’s when he decided to stick with the Fomb wheels, and give them a fresh look by getting the dishes diamond cut. The end result? Pretty spectacular. With an all-black finish, the dishes were completely lost, but now you can really appreciate just how dishy they are and they tie in perfectly with the polished elements across the whole car.
The interior hasn’t been touched during the past two years but it was so nice there was no need to do anything. The retrimmed front seats still looks like new, as do the recolonised rears and, despite the colour, the carpets, door carpets and doorcards are completely original, which is particularly impressive as they are insanely clean.
“I really wanted to impress the UK BMW world by getting out to all the shows this year. I badly wanted this car to shine like a star and drive like a bullet so the final piece of the puzzle was to give the car another remap,” Marsel explains. “The only man that I would ever trust in tuning this car is Sam Borgman at TDI in Lakeside, Essex. Sam and I have spent a considerable amount of time together in perfecting this car. On 3 August the car was on the hub dyno being tuned and ready for the road. Sam had it set within a couple of hours and managed to get a comfortable 500hp which I think is more than enough for driving pleasure. The car is now running like a dream – just like I wanted it to be.” And with that, it was time to unveil his creation to the world.
“The first major show I took the car to was the Gaydon #BMW Festival. It got a lot of interest from all the visitors throughout the day and I had the chance to meet and chat with some true motoring enthusiasts. I had plenty of tech talks during the day and I really enjoyed it. It was actually the first time I had taken my wife Leonora to a car show and she was also amazed as to how many people really loved the car. That day I won Best of Show and I felt very happy and proud of this achievement.”
That’s been pretty much the formula for Marsel and his E28 – turn up to a show, wow the crowd and take home silverware. Almost Famous at the Ace Café? Best of Show. Players? First out of the top 20. Santa Pod BMW Show? Best of Show, which, as we mentioned, he’d already won with the car in its previous incarnation back in 2012. Then there was the time he went along to VAGRoots for fun and, despite it being a VW Audi event, he also won the show. But Marsel said he had set out to build a showwinning car, and that’s exactly what he’s got.
“I believe that I might just have built something extra special. An E28 with a great character and amazing features, fine definition and desirable styling. A powerful, black, mean, luxurious, classic BMW E28 from the ’80s had to be the car for me. Building a car like this has not been easy. I’ve had a real love/hate relationship with the car. Throughout the build it has tested my patience many times but I never gave up and, having spent nearly ten years building it, I have had the opportunity to meet some great guys along the way that have become good friends.”
Ultimately, it’s all been worth it and the results speak for themselves. It’s an astounding build, technically outstanding and finished to a very high standard. More than anything, it’s fantastic to see someone pouring this much love into an E28 and helping to preserve one of these classics in such spectacular fashion. Furthermore, with no intention of ever selling it, this E28 will always remain part of Marsel’s family.
ENGINE: 3.4-litre straight-six M106 ( #M30B34MAE also called version M30 engine with turbo and pistons), new H-pattern con rods, Mahle forged low compression pistons, Glyco race bearings, ARP full bottom end bolt kit, lapped fully balanced crankshaft, flywheel, clutch and front vibration damper. #S38 clutch and non-dual mass flywheel, E34 535i modified oil pump (50psi idle) crown cooler spray oil jets located at the main block housings, M5 engine relocated oil cooler, ported and polished NA cylinder head, forged M106 turbo camshaft, titanium double valve springs, sodium filled exhaust valves, new stainless steel valve seats and new re-cut inlet valves, titanium rockers and rocker shaft lockers from PPM, custom head gasket made by PPM, full engine gasket kit, new water pump, customised aftermarket #E36 M3 60mm core radiator, #E39 #M5 viscous clutch and blade, 41mm Samco top and bottom hoses, new expansion tank and level sensor, Omex standalone 710 ECU, Bosch lambda sensor, Vauxhall V6 Vectra coil pack, new custom cut and made to suitable lengths 8mm silicone high performance HT leads, #NGK heat range nine spark plugs, 3bar map sensor, Omex TPS, fully stripped and rebuilt polished alternator and fixings, new Bosch starter motor, twin Bosch 044 gravity fed fuel pumps, fuel cooler, 1000cc Bosch EV14 injectors, Aeromotive A-1000 FPR, AN-8 Aeroquip teflon supply and AN-6 return fuel pipes, modified E34 535i inlet, 3” original reversemounted throttle body, 3” aluminium and Samco pipe work, 5.5” core aftermarket chargecooler, Bosch EVT water pump, 55mm twin core 500x630 chargecooler radiator, AN12 Aeroquip feed and return water pipes and fixings, modified #BMW-M106 turbo manifold, custom stainless steel flange top mounted neck, original M106 stainless #M10 exhaust studs x 12, GT4202 Garrett turbo, HKS 60mm external wastegate, 4” downpipe reduced to 3.5” by the bulkhead, 5” by 300mm flexi joint then split to 2x2.5” pipes all the way to custom turbo Fritz’s Bits back box, 4x M10 rose jointed supportive custom alloy bars.
TRANSMISSION: Fully rebuilt five-speed dog-leg gearbox, custom short clutch master cylinder and relocated fluid container, M535i driveshafts and propshaft, restored 3.07 M5 LSD, diff cooler and pump AN-10 Aeroquip fixings and braided teflon hoses, upgraded race-spec Motorsport diff mount, all bolts and mountings replaced with stainless spec and chrome plated items.
CHASSIS: 8.5x17” (front and rear) Fomb wheels with 235/45 Bridgestone tyres, GAZ gold race coilover kit with 550lb front springs and 250lb rears, fully adjustable front upper top mounts rose jointed, fully adjustable rear top upper mounts rose jointed, rose jointed rear lower shock pin mounts, all suspension components replaced or reconditioned, all steering linkages renewed, new front Motorsport anti-roll bars 25mm front and 19mm rear, Powerflex bushes all-round, reinforced front lower alloy brace under the bumper, #E31 #840Ci four-pot #Brembo calipers (front) with 324x30mm discs, E28 M353i calipers (rear) with 300x15mm discs, Goodridge braided hoses all-round, E32 master cylinder, all original hard pipes re-powdercoated green.
EXTERIOR: M5-spec body styling, new wings doors and bootlid, Shadowline bumpers, custom turbo bonnet, Motorsport rear spoiler with carbon fibre top section, green tinted cabin glass with blue front windscreen upper sun visor, Moon roof glass panel with purple fibre wind deflector, new headlights and chrome rear lights, original rear number plate, window trims and door handles polished and rechromed by Ospreys metal finishers in Borehamwood, all window rubber weather strips were replaced.
INTERIOR: Front seats retrimmed by B-Trim, rears recolonised, new dashboard, original carpet, doorcards and headlining, new gear knob colour-coded in interior leather, new Motorspost odometer, new tachometer, new M Tech 1 steering wheel.
THANKS: All the people that have contributed to the build and to maintaining this vehicle: Daryl, Paul, John and Ryan at Osprey Metal Finishers, Rob, Miles and Chris at Hartoms Engineering, Alex Austin at Torques UK, Richard and Dave at Fritz’s Bits, Guy Higgs at Omex UK, Neil, Adam and John at BTrim, Sam and Mark at TDI, Simon, Eldwin and Dave at EMP Exhausts, Richard Ryan and Carlos at Manor Body in Enfield, also thank you to my family for their support and to Drive-My.
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