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    V8 E36 6.2-litre LS3-powered Saloon. Subtle on the outside, brutal on the inside, this super-clean M3 packs a 500whp V8 punch. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Jordan Unternaher

    STREET FIGHTER 6.2-litre #GM-LS3 / #V8-swapped / #BMW-E36 /

    It would seem that if you wish to insert a large, American V8 into a BMW then the E36 is the vehicle of choice. While BMW never put anything bigger than a straight-six into that capacious engine bay, Alpina squeezed eight cylinders under the bonnet for its B8 4.6 way back in #1994 , showing everyone that not only could it be done but that it was definitely a good idea.

    We must have featured more LS-swapped E36s than any other model of BMW that has undergone the heart transplant but we’re certainly not complaining. And how could you when you’re being stared down by an LS3 E36 M3 that’s as clean and downright sexy as Brian Cain’s example? The exterior exudes nothing but subtlety while the engine bay is clean enough to eat your dinner off. And the interior drives the point home that this E36 ain’t nothing to mess with…

    That Brian’s ended up with a hunk of American muscle in his E36’s engine bay is less of a surprise when you learn that his first car was a 1987 Pontiac Trans Am and that he currently owns no less than nine BMWs. This car is the perfect blend of home-grown V8 from his youth and the Bavarian marque that stole his heart ten years ago. “I was always fascinated by the engineering and the history of BMWs,” he tells us. “But I was never able to afford one while I was growing up. I love the history of automobiles and how they came to be. #BMW has always kept its roundel logo, the kidney grille design and the signature Hofmesiter kink on the rear quarter glass. Small details like that just speak to me.

    “My first BMW was actually this M3. As I was growing up, I remember the E36 M3 being released. It was such a great looking car. I had model cars of it and posters but I always thought it would be out of my reach. When I was finally able to afford one, I had to jump on it. I was searching for an E36 M3 Saloon. It had to be a Saloon. I wanted either Hell red or Dakar yellow and I found this red car in Las Vegas, about 2000 miles from where I live.” But when a car is good it’s worth travelling for, and this M3 was very good indeed. “It was a one-owner, low-mileage, flawless example,” Brian grins. “The next thing I knew, I’d booked a plane ticket and flew out to get the car. I drove it home over a three-day span, collecting a couple speeding tickets along the way!”

    Initially, the M3 served as Brian’s daily driver but, having grown up around hot rods, having owned a Trans Am, and having modified a selection of Hondas, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place – although Brian never anticipated taking things quite this far. “I knew I was going to do coilovers, the exhaust, the wheels and other basic things,” Brian says. “And I drove the car as a daily driver for almost six years. It was always kept in amazing condition but after putting nearly 100k miles on it I wanted to redo it. I have always been into hot rods and V8 cars, so I knew I wanted to do an LS swap. This was still when LS swaps were relatively uncommon on these cars. I started to doing research on what I would need and how I would set everything up. I had a general plan on paper before I even started. I went to a local wrecking yard where I sourced an LS3 engine from a wrecked Corvette. I took it home and immediately stripped it back to a bare block.”


    Clearly the best time to add stuff that’s going to make even more power is while the engine is out of the car and no corners were cut when it came to slathering it in go-faster bits, as Brian explains: “Items I added included: Katech rod bolts; a high volume oil pump; CNC-ported heads; a custom grind cam; Comp push rods and rockers; LS7 lifters and seven-layer head gaskets; a ported intake manifold; a FAST 92mm throttle body and fuel rails; and 60lb injectors with Aeromotive Stealth fuel pump handle fuelling. The Vorshlag engine mounts are the only swapped parts used.

    Everything else was custom fabricated in-house at the shop Brian owns, MWorks Garage. The 4” intake was custom-made in-house and American Racing headers are mated to our custom dual three-inch exhaust. The cooling system utilises a Zionsville radiator with heat shrink hose clamps for a clean look and I made the entire engine harness from scratch; I wanted it clean looking to complement the shaved engine bay but still serviceable so the engine runs on a completely separate fuse box and control from the rest of the car. Everything under the hood is powdercoated by Killer Koatings in Covington, Kentucky. The transmission is a T56 from a 2002 Camaro SS which has been completely rebuilt as well. Pretty much anything you could do to strengthen the transmission has been done, and gears are changed through a custom MGW shifter. Mike at Proxses Tuning in Dayton, Ohio tuned the car and currently it produces 496whp and 477lb ft.” Brian says this with the sort of casual understatement you would not expect from someone with a V8-powered E36 putting out somewhere in the region of 550hp.

    Of course, putting together an engine that powerful is one thing but building a car that can handle it is another matter altogether, and no stone has been left unturned, no component left unmodified when it came to ensuring the chassis was up to the task. “The suspension has been completely overhauled,” says Brian, “with a combination of both stock and aftermarket parts.

    The coilovers are all completely custom and have been built using Ground Control custom valved double adjustable dampers and custom spring rate Eibach springs. We made the adjustable control arms in-house while camber is controlled through Vorshlag camber plates up front.” While the transmission had been suitably beefed-up to handle all that power and torque, Brian still had to ensure that it would actually reach the rear wheels without obliterating any components along the way, so the drivetrain has undergone some heavy modifications. Power is sent along a custom-made three-inch aluminium propshaft with 1350 U-joints to a Ford Mustang Cobra 8.8 IRS diff using a Detroit TrueTrac LSD with 4.10 gears and onto the wheels via DriveShaft Shop axles. “I went with the Ford differential after going through two 188mm BMW diffs and completely twisting up a subframe after the second differential broke apart,” says Brian.

    “Needless to say, it took some creative design, planning, and geometry to get everything working correctly together but it should be good for the 1000hp range.” This should provide ample future-proofing for whatever further mods Brian might have up his sleeve.

    With masses of power on tap, the importance of stopping cannot be overlooked and while this E36 hasn’t been fitted with a BBK, the brakes have been suitably uprated and are now more than up to the job. Brembo discs have been fitted along with Performance Friction pads and Bimmer World braided hoses. The ABS has been deleted and Brian has added a Tilton proportioning valve to adjust the brake bias.

    As far as the styling is concerned, Brian has opted to keep things subtle but, while at first glance this E36 might appear almost completely standard on the outside, there’s more going on here than meets the eye; there are lots of subtle modifications that are easy to miss. Up front, the foglights have been shaved to give the bumper a much cleaner, unique look and an AC Schnitzer front lip has been added to make the car look even lower. Euro headlights have been fitted and smoked indicators, markers and rear lights have been added. At the rear the boot spoiler has also been shaved.

    However, the most involved exterior modification, which also happens to be Brian’s favourite mod on the entire car, was a direct result of his wheel choice. “I have always been a fan of CCW wheels,” he says. “And I wanted a wheel that had my exact specifications and finish: 9x17” fronts and 10.5x17” rears. Killer Koatings of Covington, Kentucky did the powdercoating and I did this when black wheels were almost taboo, everyone was still running polished wheels. Now you see almost every company offering this look of gloss lips with matt faces. When we were fitting the wheels, we didn’t want excessive camber, so we cut the rear quarter panels under the rear bumper and pulled them out by almost an inch on each side. The result is factory-looking car (most people would never notice the wider rear arches) whilst still being able to fit an aggressive wheel with less than one degree of camber.” Once you know what he’s done here you know, but from anything other than the right viewing angle those pumped-up rear arches disappear completely, blending into that blindingly brilliant red bodywork. Even gazing down the car’s flanks you still need to know what you’re looking for to actually notice the subtle swelling.

    While the exterior is a picture of subtlety, the interior definitely means business and there are some choice mods in here. The original grey interior was swapped for an all-black one and Brian retrimmed the headlining and pillar panels in black suede. A pair of red and black Recaro Wildcat seats were added, along with red Scroth Racing harnesses, and there’s also a Nardi steering wheel and Euro M3 gauge cluster. The finishing touches are custom gear and handbrake gaiters made by Brian’s girlfriend Kaitlin, who runs StitchBoots and does custom automotive interior work.

    In case you couldn’t tell, we are big, big fans of Brian’s E36. The engine swap is awesome but it’s all the other performance upgrades that take this car to the next level. It’s the level of dedication that has been applied to every aspect of the build that makes it so special. A lot of work has been poured into this build and you can see it everywhere you look, it’s the sort of build you aspire to. There’s more to come, too, as Brian explains: “The car was recently sponsored by Vortech Superchargers who sent me a V3 setup. I hope to have it on soon, set in the 22-26lbs of boost range. It should make for a pretty wild ride.” Considering how wild this E36 already is, we can’t wait to see it.

    DATA FILE BMW #BMW-LS3 / #V8 / #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-M3-LS3-E36 / #BMW-M3-LS3 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E36 /

    ENGINE 6.2-litre V8 / #GM-LS3 / #Corvette-engine , #Katech rod bolts, Telling high volume oil pump, LS1 oil pan, LS1 accessory drive, SLP crank damper, CNC-ported heads, custom grind #Comp-Cams camshaft, Comp Cams pushrods, rockers and timing chain, #LS7 lifters, LS7 seven-layer head gaskets, #ARP head bolts, ported LS3 intake manifold, FAST 92mm throttle body, #FAST fuel rails, #DeatschWorks 60lb injectors, #Aeromotive-Stealth 340gph fuel pump, AN-6 fuel lines, Vorschlag engine mounts, MWorks Garage wiring harness, MWorks Garage throttle bracket, MWorks Garage full V-Band exhaust, American Racing Headers exhaust manifolds, Zionsvile radiator, #MWorks-Garage expansion tank, MWorks Garage four-inch intake

    TRANSMISSION 2002 #GM-Camaro-SS-T56 six-speed manual gearbox, #MGW shifter, steel shift forks, bronze shift pads, hardened steel bearing spacers and sleeves, #McLeod-RXT twin-disc clutch, Cincinnati Driveline propshaft, Ford 8.8 rear differential, Detroit TrueTrac LSD, 4.10 Ford Racing ring and pinion gear set

    CHASSIS 9x17” ET20 (front) and 10.5x17” ET20 (rear) #CCW-LM20 wheels with matt black centres and gloss black lips, 235/45 (front) and 255/40 (rear) Falken tyres, #Ground-Control double adjustable coilovers, #Eibach custom rate springs, Vorshlag camber plates, Ground Control rear upper shock mounts, MWorks Garage rear lower control arms, Treehouse Racing front LCA bushings, MWorks Garage LSx power steering setup, Tin Soldier Race Cars modified subframe, Performance Friction brake pads, #Brembo discs, Bimmer World braided brake hoses, ABS delete, Tilton proportioning valve, MWorks Garage ABS delete hardlines

    EXTERIOR Rear quarter panels widened one-inch, shaved front foglights, Shadowline grilles, Euro face-lift headlights, smoked corner lights, smoked side markers, smoked taillights, shaved rear spoiler, AC Schnitzer front lip, CQuartz Finest paint coating

    INTERIOR #Recaro-Wildcat seats, MWorks Garage seat brackets, #Nardi steering wheel, Euro M3 gauge cluster, Schroth Racing harnesses, #Bavarian-Sound-Werks speakers, suede headliner, A-, B-, C-pillars and rear deck, black interior conversion, #StitchBoots gear and handbrake gaiters

    THANKS I want to thank my parents first and foremost – they always told me to follow my dreams and supported me 100% in my decisions. Unfortunately, my mother passed away three months before we did this photoshoot. My girlfriend Kaitlin, owner at StitchBoots Automotive Interiors. She is with me every day at the shop, wanting to participate in all our projects. Eddie Wright and Greg Huber at Fast Eddies Auto Salon. Paul Montgomery at Eastside Auto Spa. Mike Pirnia at Proxses Tuning. Kenny Meade and Mike Karwath at Killer Coatings. Everyone at 1310 Motorsports
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    CONTINENTAL DRIFT #BMW #BMW-E63-LS3

    Think drifting and you probably don’t think #E63 6 Series but with a twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet, this stripped-out machine is as far from a cosseting GT as you can get. You might not think that a 6 Series would lend itself to drifting, but with a twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet all bets are off… Words: Peter Griffiths. Photos: Deniss Podnebess.

    “The engine install and body kit are my favourite aspects. I like that it stands out in a crowd”

    It is probably fair to say that the main reason you are adding performance to your BMW, and therefore reading this magazine, is because it has RWD. Before even passing my driving test, I vividly remember practising how to spin the wheels on my first car, an 1984 Cavalier, within the confines of my parents’ driveway after having worked out the logic of it in my head before going outside. ‘Clutch out, revs up, handbrake down, clutch in…’ I told my young self. The rush was real, having done it deliberately rather than accidentally, and only enhanced by the 40 foot long driveway. I knew FWD was good but, despite that, I knew that RWD was the key to driving heaven but it was a long time before I got a proper taste of it.

    Not all of us are as lucky as Ingemārs Jēkabsons whose first car was an E36 of unspecified engine size. But you and I both know that the engine size matters not; the fact that the rear wheels are driven by the inline engine at the front is all any car fan needs to know. His passion was inherited, as he explains: “I have loved BMWs since childhood. My father drove me to my hockey training sessions in his BMWs. Our family had lots of different models over years ranging from E21s to E32s.”

    At the fine age of 31, Ingemārs is enjoying life in Ādaži, a small village just outside the Latvian capital Riga and is a family man, who plays guitar in a metal band, and loves hockey, skateboarding, snowboarding and most of all, drifting. In fact, skidding sideways on low-grip surfaces is clearly in his genetic make-up.

    During the day he is a co-owner of several service centres under the name of Concept Auto, providing a comprehensive range of general maintenance to the general public as well as a line of uprated performance parts for most marques. His dream BMW is the venerable E9, but the first car that he actually modified was an E28. This was quickly followed by a distinctive E34 in which he competed for a while, and then an E24 635 CSi into which he poured a huge engine, a trick gearbox, clutch and front arms.

    The E24 had a distinctive look. With a Mopar-style grille and various battle scars, it really gave a powerful impression of postapocalyptic driving – y’know, drifting between the cars abandoned on the highways. This is the car with which Ingemārs first departed from BMW-derived combustion. Into the venerable executive coupé he poured a box-fresh 6.2L V8 Chevrolet #GM #LS3 , a Tremec TKO-600 gearbox, Tilton clutch, and a Wisefab front set to cover the geometry.

    The next stage in the story is open to interpretation. The facts are that the E24 was Ingemārs’ first pro drift machine, it is what he piloted through various competitions around Europe, gaining some notoriety and silverware along the way. Then, out of the blue, he says: “I had an opportunity to change the body to new for a small amount of money, so I bought an accident-damaged E63 which had lost a wing and a door. I bought it cheap, but have spent a lot more money on modifying and racing since!”

    Once he had bought the E63, he trailered it back to his workshop and started assessing the full extent of possibilities of how it could all go together. The first decision he made was to re-use the majority of the E24’s running gear in the newer, larger shell. Is that unsentimental of him? Was it harsh to strip the old warhorse of its new shoes and send it out to pasture without so much as a goodbye? Or was it more like honouring a retiring knight by handing on the tried and tested, battle-hardened sword and shield to the next upand-coming fighter from the new breed?

    The rough plan for the engine alone went a little something like this: “I wanted upwards of 700hp at least, and it had this amount right after it got built, when the engine was not even running on full. Lauris Ruskuls spent two months with the engine and it ran fine right away. We had some previous experience and lots of details taken from the previous project, so everything went okay.”

    Ingemārs and Lauris obviously had a lot of fun researching the best combination of parts for this particular stage in the LS3’s life, because their list of mods is strong. It begins with the twin German BorgWarner turbochargers strapped to each bank of American cylinders, enjoying oil pumped around by one of USA’s finest Melling double-chain oil pumps mated to a British oil rad by Setrab. In those cylinders reside 8 NASCAR-spec, All-American SRP pistons riding equally American Lunati con rods. A water pump from a dragster makes the USbased Meziere fire water through an Australian PWR radiator, which sits snugly next to an aesthetically pleasing custom intercooler made by a Riga-based company called Latvian Custom Radiators.

    The multinational nature of the car was inevitable given its origins. The Drift Allstars European series is a hotbed of variety and Ingem rs’ big E63 stands out amongst the usual E36s and E46s that represent BMW. All nationalities are represented, sharing experience and technologies in a pursuit which is borne purely out of fun and that is so appealing.


    Now, the elephant in the room is that the 6 Series is BMW’s grand tourer, a continentcrusher, a coastal cruiser full of comfort, refinement, power and some excellent handling characteristics for a relatively stately wafter. It’s big. However, Bangle’s controversial flame surfacing goes some way to disguising the dimensions, but it really isn’t as heavy as it might seem due to the whole front frame being aluminium and surrounded by mostly plastic panels.

    We think it cuts a fine figure, and the snook it cocks at more conventional approaches to drifting is hugely appealing. Much of the main shape is retained, but there are several unique additions at the request of Ingemārs of a talented chap called Girts Tautkums. Girts installed the (Japanese) Liberty Walk body kit and fabricated a custom rear diffuser to suit.

    “The engine install and bodykit are my favourite aspects,” he says, which pretty much covers it. “I especially like the way it stands out in a crowd. The interior needs to be functional but details are also important.”

    It’s almost certain that the first thing that draws the eye when checking out this interior is that dash. On first glance it appears to be brushed aluminium or such, but closer inspection reveals that it is, in fact, wood. This unusual touch is definitely a nod to his sidewalk surfing days and almost certain to be a unique feature in the paddock. We think it’s a great idea, excellently applied. The row of neatly plumbed Stack dials is uncluttered and focussed, as per his requirements, while the grippy floor panelling picks out the darker areas and gives a fresh, open feel to the once luxuriously-appointed cabin.

    The decision to fit the 21” Alpina Classic III wheels was a unilateral one and we’re not about to argue with him on that. The stark white picks out the detail of the wrap perfectly, as do the red highlights on each spoke, lending a very cohesive feel to the exterior. This all helps the huge twin air filters, currently nestling behind the headlights, to stand out in their luminous green glory while belting around track like the eyes of some demonic beast.

    Seven whole months of building his perfect dream drift car later and he was ready to take it drifting: “The first competition I entered it into was the Latvian stage of the Drift Allstars but the car was not running as intended. It was fun, but we didn’t win anything! That has been the most frustrating moment with the car so far; the build itself went very well,” he remembers. Fortunately, he hasn’t met anyone that doesn’t like his car, such is the openness of the drift scene to all approaches.

    Looking to the future, Ingemārs thinks: “It’s too early to modify anything; it is perfect as it is, especially since it hasn’t competed at 100% yet. So we will prepare it for that and get back to doing what I love most: drifting it on full throttle! I haven’t played with it enough to consider the next modification, let alone the next car.” We can’t wait to see what waves he can make in 2015 with his bold creation, and we wish him all the best.

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 6.2-litre #GM-LS3 V8, twin #BorgWarner turbochargers, SRP pistons, Lunati con rods, Meziere electric water pump, Melling double chain oil pump, PWR radiator, Nitram custom intercooler, Setrab oil radiators, HGK safety piping, ATL fuel tank, Varley Red Top racing battery. #Tremec TKO 600 fivespeed manual with a Tilton clutch.

    CHASSIS: 8.5x21” (front) and 10x21” (rear) #Alpina Classic III wheels, BC coilovers, Wisefab front geometry, standard #BMW-E63 brakes with hydraulic handbrake.

    EXTERIOR: LibertyWalk body kit including front and rear bumpers, side skirts, all arches, ducktail, custom rear diffuser and a custom wrap.

    INTERIOR: OMP seats and wheel, Sparco harnesses, Stack dials on custom wooden dash.

    THANKS: Lauris Ruskuls, Girts Tautkums, everyone at Custom Auto, Latvia and my family.

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    BASE DESIRES #BMW E46 sedan #Chevrolet-Corvette engined GM-LS3

    Hailing from the Philippines, this wide-body, air-ride, #GM-LS3 V8-engined #E46 drift Saloon is about as wild as they come. From humble base model to a supercar-slaying saloon, we check out the ‘ #BM-Vette ’ that has put Philippines tuner, Car Porn Racing, on the map.

    There is a lot to be said for building a radical project around a base model car. For starters, poverty-spec cars are always the cheapest to buy because of their low-power engines, unadorned exteriors and parsimonious levels of interior trim. Some people may already see these as primary advantages, but the benefits run deeper than that. A lack of features also means that humble models are the lightest in the range; and as we should all know by now, the cheapest way to make your car go faster is to make it lighter. Let’s put some flesh on the bones of that statement. The entry-level E46 3 Series has a weight advantage of 120kg over the admittedly much more desirable #330i SE, a figure that would take an awful lot of effort to replicate through stripping-out and the fitment of lightweight, carbon fibre parts. Both cars share the same inherently capable chassis and equally fine build quality. And if your project is going to include an engine conversion then you can immediately ignore the fact that the #316i offers half the power of the six-cylinder version. Suddenly the little four-pot-powered #BMW-E46 is looking much more attractive.

    Perhaps this was why Ian King, serial car modifier and proprietor of the Philippines-based Car Porn Racing tuning outfit, suddenly started to covet his wife’s unassuming #E46-316i saloon. His head had recently been filled with dreams of creating a race-prepared but still street-friendly vehicle similar to a #Porsche-911-GT3 , and here was a rear-wheel drive machine that he already owned… but couldn’t yet pull the skin off a rice pudding.

    Ian’s solution to this issue involved a complete strip down, a stitch-welded chassis and the fitment of an all-encompassing roll-cage in a contrasting colour, just like a GT3. Pretty good so far. But then he chose to install a #General-Motors LS-series V8 E-Rod crate engine, a decision that may not please purists with an all-BMW persuasion, however it is hard to argue with the logic or end results. The LS may technically be classed as a pushrod engine but that tends to minimise its many other qualities, such as its light weight, compact size, aluminium construction and incredible power output – 436hp and 424lb ft in the case of the 6.2-litre LS3 version Ian sourced, the same unit found in late-model Chevrolet Corvettes.


    Though requisite products are available in the aftermarket to tackle this particular conversion, Ian made his own engine mounts. He also fabricated a slimmer sump to clear the front crossmember, reinforced the original subframe to cope with quadruple the power and torque, and had the foresight to buy a clever DeWitts radiator that incorporates all the engine’s cooling needs — water, oil and power steering — in a single unit to minimise visual complication under the bonnet. The BMW’s original CANbus wiring was whipped out and replaced with a standalone E-Rod ECU kit that simply controls the engine. During this process all traction control, anti-lock braking and stability management systems were deleted, leaving the car in the raw state needed for impromptu drift challenges. What little information Ian needs to keep an eye on is now displayed in a small collection of #VDO gauges.


    The gearbox accompanying the engine swap is Tremec’s highly-regarded TR-6060 six-speed manual, which also came from the Corvette. It was supported on custom mounts and connected to an #E46-M3 rear differential via a custom-length driveshaft with the right fixing on each end. Though BMW Motorsport offers alternative, shorter ratios for the differential, Ian stuck with the 3.62:1 gear set as the best compromise between engine revs and outright speed, while also tapping into the engine’s broad torque curve. Put it this way; with a free-flowing AEM intake and custom exhaust manifolds leading to a centre-exit Varex exhaust system, this setup is enough for Ian to claim a supercar-rivalling 4.3 second 0-62mph time and a 190mph top speed.

    With an hydraulic handbrake plumbed in and some half-decent wheels, tyres and suspension also fitted, this setup was more than enough to satiate Ian’s need for sideways speed. But then he started dreaming about the daring aero styling produced by Japanese scene-stealers such as Kei ‘Rocket Bunny’ Miura, RAUH-Welt Begriff and Liberty Walk. He wondered whether there was some way of remodelling the exterior so it was as dramatic to look at as it was to drive…

    So began the latest chapter in Ian’s wife’s long-forgotten 3 Series story. Out came the previous suspension setup, replaced with a high-tech AirRex air strut package with AccuAir digital ride height management. Essentially, it offers the best of both worlds – the 12-way damping performance of a coilover for optimum ride quality allied to the remote ride height adjustment of an airbag. Ground Control products then replaced the tie rods, bump stops and rear arms, Powerflex bushes were inserted to strengthen all major connection points, and Hotchkis anti-roll bars were used to link each side of the chassis.

    The aggressive widths and offsets (10.5x18” and ET-3 up front, 12x18” and ET-22 out back) of a set of gorgeous new Rotiform Classic BLQ split-rim alloys pushed the rims far outside the reach of the original bodywork. But as the plan was always to mimic the dramatic over-fender styling that is popular in Japan at the moment, Ian set to work extending the bodywork to perfectly hug the arc of the rolling stock. Foundation structures were laid in metal before the precise outer shape was carefully moulded directly on the car using a mixture of fibreglass and filler. Here, the four-door bodyshell put Ian at a distinct disadvantage, especially in the complex area of the rear quarter panel where the blistered arch has to incorporate the door opening. However, after examining the photos we think you will agree that the whole wide-body conversion has been incredibly well-integrated. The adoption of certain body swages has also been sympathetically carried out.

    Interestingly, the Midnight blue paintwork is not paint in the strictest sense of the word. Produced by Plasti Dip, it is an ingenious rubberised protective coating that has more in common with a vinyl wrap than a traditional paint job. Applied by spray gun, it looks like satin paint but can be peeled off at any time to reveal undamaged original paintwork underneath. Elements of the body have been ‘painted’ in a contrasting black colour, from the M3-style side grille to the door handles and even the tail pipe of the central-exit exhaust system.


    With so much effort put in to make this #BMW-E46-GM-V8 a master of both visual and physical disciplines, it has attracted great attention within the BMW scene and also put Ian’s Car Porn Racing business on the worldwide tuning map. However, the irony of this increasing workload is that Ian has had little free time to put his ‘BM-Vette’ through its paces. There’s evidently a thread of truth in this but we also happen to know that Ian simply cannot help making small, progressive refinements to the design, handling and usability. And that tends to keep it in the bodyshop when it could be out there smoking supercars. Look, Ian, stop thinking and get driving!

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE DETAIL

    ENGINE: GM LS3 6.2-litre V8, Corvette valve covers, AEM intake, custom fuel surge tank, swirl pot, fuel pressure regulator, custom Car Porn Racing manifolds, X-pipe with heat wrap, centre-exit Varex variable exhaust system custom black Plasti Dip tip, custom sump, custom engine mounts, GM E-Rod standalone ECU, DeWitts three-in-one radiator, custom steering shaft. TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission, #RAM-Street-Dual clutch kit, custom driveshaft, #E46-M3 rear differential.


    CHASSIS: 10.5x18” ET-3 (front) and 12x18” ET-22 (rear) Rotiform Classic BLQ forged threepiece split-rim alloys with polished lip and gold centres, with 245/40 (front) and 275/35 (rear) Nitto Invo tyres. Seamwelded bodyshell, weldin roll-cage, AirRex air bag coilover suspension, AccuAir e-Level air management with custom TMP2 setup, Hotchkis tubular anti-roll bars, Powerflex polyurethane bushes, Ground Control front tie rods with bump stops, Ground Control rear arms, custom transmission mounts with damper, reinforced subframe mounts. Stoptech big brake kit, custom twin-caliper rear handbrake, braided brake lines.

    EXTERIOR: Car Porn Racing custom wide-body conversion (bumpers, side skirts, arch flares), Car Porn Racing chin spoiler, Car Porn Racing bonnet, Car Porn Racing boot lid, Plasti Dip Midnight blue respray, blue angel eyes, 4000k yellow foglights, black carbon badges, LED rear lenses.

    INTERIOR: Recaro reclining seats, Simpsons five-point harnesses, Momo Drift steering wheel, KSport hydraulic handbrake, Corvette eight-ball gear knob, VDO gauges (speedo, tacho, water temperature, fuel, oil temperature, oil pressure), remote control for Varex exhaust, custom alloy doorcards with leather wraps and racing handles.

    CONTACT: Car Porn Racing (www. carpornracing. com)
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