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    Manual XJ-S not hanging around

    If you find a good manual 3.6, pounce on it now before another visionary does

    ‘This was a very bespoke Jag – and it’ll be the next to become collectible’

    / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Cabriolet / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Cabriolet-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-S-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-S-Manual / #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-T-Top / #Jaguar-XJ-SC / #Getrag-265 / #Jaguar-AJ6 / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6-Manual / #1987-Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6-Manual / #1987-Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6 / #1987 / #Jaguar-XJ-SC-3.6

    VALUE 2010 £7500
    VALUE NOW £10K

    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    With values of the Jaguar XJ-S now brightening, it’s worth looking at the rarer variants. You’re too late for a bargain ’1975/’1976 manual V12 – only 352 were built and they’re now £40k and rising - but good examples of the ’1985 to ’1987 T-top 3.6 Jaguar XJ S Cabriolet five-speeders are still only in £10k territory. Never sold in America and a slow seller in the UK they’re a rare sight with only around 700 manuals ever produced. I owned an ’1984 for a while and loved the front-end balance and poise from the lighter six-pot AJ6 engine. The #Getrag -265 five-speed is a really sweet unit and you can row the car along like an E-type. Urgent, lithe and quick these manual six-cylinder versions of the XJ-S feel livelier than the V12s and are much underrated.

    A private seller in Hampshire has a Tudor White ’1985 manual XJ-SC with 63,000 miles and ‘excellent service history’ for £11,500 while Julian Brown Ltd in Grantham has one of the last 3.6s built, an ’1987 manual cabriolet in light blue with 82,000 miles, three owners and £7k of recent bills for £11,450.

    Prices are warming up though with really nice XJ-SCs selling well. In March H&H sold an ’1985 ex-Browns Lane TWR development car with 57,000 miles and history for £14,000 and Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth is offering a mint 23,000-mile ’1984 Burberry special edition – one of just two made – for £45,000. Understand that the targa XJ-S was a prototype convertible before Jaguar got its act together engineering a full drop-top for the American market, and you’ll understand that this is a rare piece of Jaguar history. Bizarrely, the £20,756 XJ-SC was built on the same production line as a coupé shell – the roof and rear buttresses were then removed and cant rails and a centre bar installed by Park Sheet Metal in Coventry, while Aston Martin’s Tickford division fitted the fabric roof and removable panels. This was a very bespoke Jag that was effectively hand-built and only available to special order. If I had to predict the next XJ-S to become collectable I’d say it’s the manual XJ-SC 3.6. But don’t hang about. The private seller in Lincolnshire currently advertising a Sage Green ’1984 manual cabriolet with 91,000 miles and a ‘good history’ for just £5250 won’t have it for long.
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    SIDEWAYS SHOW CAR Turbo #BMW-E30-Drift-Car

    Sometimes we find a #BMW that’s had so many changes it’s hard to spot them all. Ian Walpole’s E30 drifter is one such car and he did it all in his garage at home… Words: Mike Renaut. Photos: Matt Richardson.

    Don’t think of this one as a modified E30. It’s better described as a hand-built race car with a lot of BMW parts. At first glance it looks like a stripped M3 until you realise those arches aren’t quite the same and the back end looks different too… The guys with all the answers are owner Ian Walpole and his mate John Amor who helped him greatly with the build. Between them they’ve built and raced everything from a rally Vauxhall Viva HB to a trials Land Rover. They like a bit of everything, so in 2013 decided it was time for a drift car. “I’ve been into BMWs for a while,” says Ian, “I’ve got an E46 Touring I use for MCC Reliability trials with my dad as navigator – that’s all about stopping in boxes on hills and car control. This E30 was something different again.

    “It took us three years to build,” continues Ian, “I don’t know how my wife Sasha put up with it. Just before we went travelling - around 2011 - I’d bought a #1987 #BMW-325i-Sport-M-Tech-1 purely to drive about. It sat on the driveway unused and when we returned I saw rain had got inside and it was all mouldy. After an MOT and some TLC I tried selling but it wasn’t even worth £1000 so I bought an HX40 turbo and a manifold kit for it. The kit was awful, the ports were offset in the wrong place and John and I like to do things properly, so we started to modify parts to fit and the whole build spiralled out of control.”

    Caged Laser Engineering laser-cut a plate to fit the turbo and another to fit the cylinder head. “We then cut up the cheap manifold and fabricated new flanges and pipes creating a split pulse manifold with external 60mm wastegate and a screamer pipe exiting from the offside wing,” says Ian. “Then someone offered me £700 for the Sport body kit meaning we had money to play with. We pulled the motor apart and the crank was worn, so in went a 2.8 crank from an M52 and shorter rods, we balanced it all to within 0.1 of a gram and honed the block.” As you can tell, Ian has a well-equipped workshop…

    Next the head was reworked by Simon at Orchard Performance for a broad torque band, with oversized valves and porting allowing decent horsepower from a non-aggressive Schrick camshaft. The combustion chambers were modified to improve detonation resistance under boost and optimise combustion, resulting in a fastburning compact chamber that now runs cooler than stock. That alone resulted in an engine with torque enough to get the rear wheels spinning from 2500rpm to the redline. One of the few other areas the guys didn’t do themselves was the baffled sump, “We made one,” says John, “but kept thinking it didn’t quite look right. We reasoned that big companies know what they’re doing when it comes to designing parts, and the idea of oil starvation because we’d made a design mistake was scary, so we bought an off-the-shelf baffle for the sump and welded it in.”

    Currently the car runs 6psi of boost, which means 250whp. “On the first dyno run the boost was cranked up to 12psi which produced a puff of steam from the expansion tank and a misfire,” remembers Ian. “I knew the head gasket was the weakest point but I briefly saw 350whp! We’ve now fitted a Cometic multilayer steel gasket which is thicker than the old one, lowering the compression from 9:1 to 8.5:1 and allowing us to safely run extra boost.” That nitrous bottle in the back actually connects to the chargecooler, a £1000 item bought for just £70 on eBay, “We made a spray nozzle on the lathe so 2bar of pressurised nitrous is fired into the cooler, which freezes the inner radiator veins at -136ºC. This provides constant cool air to the engine,” he says. “I didn’t like the idea of injecting nitrous straight into the engine,” explains Ian, “but used this way it’s a great method of keeping the temperature regulated. When the car’s on the dyno being tuned it’s going to have a different temperature to when it’s outside on a track in hot sunshine.

    This set up keeps it constant to the dyno temperature conditions.” Waste nitrous exits via a pressure relief valve and homebuilt spray bar over the outside of the charge cooler – again helping it keep an optimum temperature. After all that, the boys kept things simpler with the gearbox; it’s the standard 265 Getrag five-speed unit with uprated pressure plate, although the friction plate has been modified with six sintered paddles and uprated springs by Precision Clutches of Yeovil.


    When it came to the body work, there was a clear plan, as Ian explains: “Building this car was all about airflow and weight saving.” The standard bonnet slam panel was getting in the way of that airflow so out came the angle grinder and the front 10” of BMW dropped to the workshop floor to be replaced by a removable lightweight 25mm tube version. “Yeah it’s a bit frightening doing that,” admits John, “but there are two of us so we knew we could fix anything between us.” Keeping the engine cool is a radiator from a 3.0-litre Mitsubishi GTO, but even then the guys couldn’t leave it stock and have handmade an alloy cowling for the 16” fan, “We also cut off the filler neck/cap and ran a bleed hose to an alloy expansion tank.” The fuel cell in the boot was bought from a hill climb car, “It’s an ATL-style bag tank with alloy shroud and the original BMW fuel cap – one of the few original parts that survived the build,” laughs Ian. Fuel travels via a low-pressure pump into a pump feed surge tank to a modified fuel rail and 600cc injectors, then returns to the tank via an adjustable pressure regulator.

    The front spoiler and bumper came from eBay; “It was a cheap part that arrived broken in two. We salvaged it and reinforced it with 0.5” alloy tubing and fibreglass, then cut out the indicator and number plate recesses for better air flow before hanging the bumper on quarter-turn Dzus fasteners,” explains John. The new arches were inspired by a modification Ian made to an Alfa Romeo many years ago and are hand-formed from 16- and 18-gauge steel, while each of the side skirts was made from a single sheet of aluminium, likewise the rear bumper.

    “The straight bends for the side skirts were much easier than the two days of TIG welding that bumper needed,” admits Ian. As for the final colour, “The guy who painted it – Luke Harvey of Tytherington Body and Paint - suggested adding rainbow flake into the lacquer over the black base.” It looks like a normal black until sunlight hits it, then it sparkles. Almost everything else is colour coded in Ian’s favourite Kawasaki Green.

    The boot lid is steel but there’s a carbon fibre one under consideration, “With a drift car you need a certain amount of weight over the back wheels,” says Ian, “we’re still experimenting – it’s more about balance than pure weight reduction.” That’s an M3 boot spoiler but with homemade adaptor plates to fit the non-M3 boot lid. “I fear we might have to fit a huge spoiler for stability in the future though…” says Ian. The weight saving even extends to having the door internals completely gutted and making up new lightweight door latching mechanisms from 15mm billet alloy – drilled, of course, for reduced weight.

    The E30 originally had a sunroof but now even the roof panel is fibreglass - saving 18kg and lowering the centre of gravity. “The roof was £67 on eBay but turned out to be in Glasgow,” laughs John, “we went in a van and did about £200 in fuel; I drove up and fell asleep exhausted when we arrived, so they just dropped the roof in on top of me and Ian drove back. It fitted alright once we cut the steel one off but the glue you use to bond it is £50 a tube.”

    The front screen is the glass one fitted at the factory but the rest of the windows are Lexan, “I bought the door pieces ready cut but made the others myself with a jigsaw to cut the air scoops into the quarter windows,” explains Ian. There are four scoops in total: two force air over the fuel pumps and swirl pot, the other pair are powered by two 12-volt in-line boat fans blowing air through the gearbox and differential coolers – mounted between the rear lights – with the air exiting through the space where the rear number plate used to be.

    The wheels came from Ian’s 2000 750iL; rear hub adaptors were employed to go from four- to five-stud and give an 80mm wider track. The rear suspension comprises HSD Monopro shocks and springs and adjustable trailing arms, all shod with Powerflex Black series bushes. The rear beam lower supports, meanwhile, are now also stronger and longer, which leads us to the front axle. It’s comprised of E36 HSD coilovers with re-drilled strut turrets and top mounts that are adjustable for caster and camber. E36 front hubs run homebuilt hub adaptors and connect to a Z3 steering rack via E46 inner and outer tie rods with four mm rack spacers added for greater lock. The power steering rack is re-engineered by cutting slots internally, allowing free movement of the rack lubricated by a smear of grease and meaning the pipework, pump and reservoir could be removed. That change not only saves weight but also gives better feedback during drifting.
    As for the exhaust system, would it surprise you to learn Ian and John hand built that too from 3” stainless steel tubing? “I cut two 90º bends and joined them to form a T-piece, the exhaust exits just ahead of the rear wheels and as well as being designed for free flow it helps push the tyre smoke back. And there’s plenty of it,” laughs Ian, “I’ve got specialised Achilles purple smoke tyres.”

    Inside two Sparco seats make up the minimalist interior with a Momo wheel and gauges from AEM. The handmade dashboard is covered in Alcantara while all the other important control switches – fans, gearbox and diff pumps – are in a strip console across the top of the windscreen. “It looks great,” says John, “but when you’re strapped into the car we found that was the only place where Ian could still reach the switches.” Low fuel, nitrous engage and low oil pressure warning lights are also fitted. The handbrake lever is carved from a single piece of billet aluminium, as are the door handles. The roll cage has been extensively modified too; it’s lightweight 45mm chromoly seamless tube and started out as a six-point cage but now has double that - along with dash bars, more crossbars and strengthened mounting plates. Even the stock heater is now housed in a much smaller homemade alloy surround, “There’s not much of this car we haven’t touched,” admits John.

    “When I first saw it in paint I didn’t recognise it as my car,” remembers Ian, “it was stunning. We’re both really pleased with how it turned out.” Did working together ever lead to any arguments about parts choices? “I just left all the difficult decisions to Ian,” laughs John, “Yeah and all the difficult jobs too,” jokes Ian. “It was 50% planning and 50% experimenting, some pieces were a bit scary but we bounced ideas off each other.”

    Ian and John both insist this is a drift car, and was never intended to be a show car, but then Ian reveals just how many hours John has spent polishing the engine bay for our photos. “I used an entire tube of Autosol,” admits John, “we weren’t aiming to build a show car but, yes, it did get out of hand.” Thanks also go to Ian’s wife Sasha who apparently “cleans all the bits no one normally sees.”

    Surely then, and this is a sentiment echoed by almost everyone who has seen the BMW, the car is too nice to risk smacking into an Armco by drifting? “Of course it’s going to get hammered,” agrees Ian, “but it’s designed to be hardy. The body is mainly steel, the fibreglass panels can be changed in a few seconds since they’re all on Dzus fasteners and we can rebuild anything we damage on the track - I just hope Luke can match the paint again!”

    THANKS To the staff and visitors at Castle Combe Circuit (castlecombecircuit.co.uk, 01249 782417) for their assistance with this feature.


    DATA FILE Turbo Drift #BMW-E30 / #Getrag / #BMW-325i-E30 / #BMW-325i / #Holset-HX40 / #Holset / #1987 / #BMW-325i-Turbo-E30 / #BMW-325i-Turbo / #BMW-325i-Drift-Car / #Drift-Car / #BMW-325i-Drift-Car-E30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #Bosch / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E30

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.8-litre single-turbo straight-six M20, aciddipped #M20B25 / #BMW-M20 / #M20 block, modified baffled sump and oil windage tray for better oil return, M52B28 84mm-stroke crankshaft, #M20B20 conrods, M20B25 low-compression pistons with new rings, modified oil pick up and oil filter relocation kit, #ARP big end and main bearing bolts, #ACL-Racing Race Series crankshaft bearings, Saab 9000 turbo 3bar MAP sensor, original cylinder head gas flowed, ported and polished, 1mm-oversized valves with uprated springs, custom torque-focused inlet porting, high gas velocity exhaust ports, custom combustion chambers, improved oil return galleries, uprated rocker arms, 272 #Schrick cam, #Vernier cam pulley, titanium retainers and collets, #Holset-HX40 turbo from a Cummins diesel, bespoke split pulse exhaust manifold, 60mm external wastegate and screamer pipe exiting offside front wing, Mitsubishi GTO radiator with aluminium expansion tank, Ford V6 coil pack and Canems ECU, crank position, intake air temperature, throttle position and manifold absolute pressure sensors, ATL fuel cell, Facet low-pressure fuel lift pump, fuel surge tank, 255lpm #Bosch-044 fuel pump, modified fuel rail, 600cc injectors, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, low-friction AN-6 Teflon hoses, Aeroquip fittings

    TRANSMISSION E30 325i #Getrag-265 five-speed manual, uprated pressure plate, friction plate modified with six sintered paddles and uprated springs, rebuilt E30 limited slip differential

    CHASSIS 8x18” (front) and 9x18” (rear) #BMW-Style-32 wheels with 215/35 Yokohama Prada Spec 2 (front) and 265/35 Achilles ATR Sport Violet purple smoke tyres (rear), E36 HSD Monopro adjustable coilovers, re-drilled strut turrets and adjustable top mounts, E36 front hubs with homebuilt hub adaptors, Z3 steering rack, E46 inner and outer tie rods with 4mm rack spacers, standard subframe with HSD dampers, uprated Powerflex Black Series bushes, adjustable trailing arms and anti-roll bars, E36 #EBC-Turbo grooved 286mm discs with E36 calipers and EBC Yellowstuff pads (front), EBC Turbo Groove 258mm discs (rear), line lock and hydro handbrake with standard handbrake shoes, mechanism and lever removed

    EXTERIOR 901 Black with rainbow glitter lacquer, other details in Kawasaki Green, handmade steel wide-arch front and rear quarters, handmade side skirts, fibreglass roof panel, hand-fabricated removable lightweight 25mm tube slam panel, hand-formed aluminium inner wings, heavily modified reinforced fibreglass front bumper, flushed door locks and filler cap, Lexan windows with air ducts, Titanium exhaust guards, spare tyre well and battery box removed from boot, handmade aluminium boot floor, original number plate recess, boot hinges and bulkhead removed, new handmade ally bulkhead riveted in, Anodised green motorcycle floodlights, front and rear strobes

    INTERIOR Fully stripped out, all sound deadening removed, floor cut and tunnels for side exiting exhausts fabricated, six-point half roll-cage modified into 12-point cage with 45mm crossbars, handfabricated aluminium dashboard, modified heater box to fit behind cage, hydro handbrake and homemade mounting, Sparco seats and STR 3” harnesses, new door inners with home-fabricated lightweight harness material door pulls and latch mechanisms, carbon fibre door cards
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    BLUE STEEL #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW /

    Valencia Motorsports’ beautifully built, hardcore E36 track machine packs an S38 swap. Valencia European’s E36 M3 racer fuses raw power with immaculate presentation. And that’s probably not the M Power engine you were expecting to find, is it…? Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Eric Eikenberry.


    It’s a classic idiom: ‘you can’t put a quart in a pint pot’. It means, in essence, that you can’t do the impossible; there’s a finite amount of space in a pint glass – well, there’s a pint, isn’t there? – so logically you can’t squeeze a quart in there. A quart is two pints. You’ve been greedy, your eyes are bigger than your stomach.


    This is all so much half-hearted vintage nonsense, of course – nothing is impossible in the 21st century. We’ve got hoverboards, Skype, sat nav, er, Rubik’s cubes, it’s all good. If something seems impossible, humanity has evolved to think around the problem. There are no hard tasks, simply some that take longer than others. Want a pet unicorn? Bone-graft a horn on to a pony. Yearning to fly unaided? Strap on a squirrel suit. Fancy confounding your elders and squeezing a quart into a pint pot? Pour half of it in, drink it, then pour in the other half. Easy.


    Valencia European of Santa Clarita, California, demonstrate this modern thinking rather neatly with the gleaming blue race car you see before you. The E36 M3 is the pint pot, the massive E34 M5 engine is the quart. ‘Sure, it’ll fit’ was the ethos. The team just had to have a bit of a headscratch and figure out how. No biggie. So who are these guys, and what are they up to with this outrageous baby-blue racer? “Valencia European is an auto repair and collision repair shop in Valencia,” says head honcho Sean Salvino. Well, that cleared that up. He’s a matter-of-fact sort of guy, isn’t he?


    “We specialise in BMWs,” he continues, “and the main objective for this build was to market the shop and to show how passionate we are about what we do. My business partner, Bjorn, and I share the same passion for the M line. He’s more into the older-generation engines, as he believes that they were simpler in design yet have lots to offer.” So these are fellas who’ve made a business out of a hobby that they’re passionate about, and there’s no small amount of enthusiasm for the old-skool flowing through the place. That’s good, that makes sense – we can see why they opted for the E36 M3 as a project base, it’s a model that’s rapidly becoming the connoisseur’s choice.


    “This E36 M3 was actually my track day car for about two years before we decided to build it up into a race car,” Sean explains. “Bjorn and I wanted to merge our ideas of how we thought a race car should be done! There were two cars in the shop at the time that we contemplated using for the project – this E36 and an E34 M5. But since the M3 already had a basic roll-cage and race suspension fitted, it was a step ahead. The next question was the powerplant…” Now, there aren’t any bad M3 engines; they all have their own charms, competencies, capabilities and potential.


    But the E36 generation has been a bone of contention for some enthusiasts; namely those in North America. While the European-spec M-car enjoyed the 3.0-litre, 286hp S50 motor for the first few years before swapping to the 3.2-litre, 321hp S50, the USA received rather strangled engines: initially a 240hp version of the 3.0-litre S50, then a 3.2-litre variant of the M52 developed specifically for US-market M3s – the S52, still with 240hp, albeit torquier. A good engine, but not a great one, compared with what the rest of the world was enjoying. American BMW enthusiasts tend to simmer about this a bit, Sean included: “You and I know that E36 M3s here in the States got short-changed with the S52 not having individual throttle bodies and so on,” he fumes. “So we decided that instead of using that motor, the E34’s engine was the clear choice.”


    This is where we arrive at the amusing quart-in-a-pint-pot scenario. The hand-built wonder that was the E34 came bulging with a muscular 3.6-litre straight-six, the S38, producing somewhere north of 300hp out-ofthe- box. But, of course, any physics fans among you will have spotted that the M5 is bigger than the M3. “Being that it wasn’t your typical build, it challenged us more and more,” Sean admits, although not grudgingly.


    We get the feeling that he relished the challenge, that he and his team genuinely enjoyed the work. “The main issue that we had with it was the height of the S38 – the oil pick-up was sitting right on the engine and suspension crossmember, with the intake manifold up against the hood. We attempted to move it back at first, but we agreed that it was going to adversely affect steering geometry, so we left it alone. We ended up redesigning the oil pan for it to sit lower and maintain the same engine position in the car as how the BMW engineers had designed it, while shaping the hood to allow for the extra engine height.” This is a solution that makes itself glaringly obvious from the outside, particularly when you view the car in profile – that vast power bulge in the bonnet is a none-too-subtle harbinger of the furious power that resides within. It looks rather like the bulge you’d find on an Aston Martin V8 Zagato, which is pretty good company to be in.


    It’s a fairly spicy interpretation of the venerable S38B36, too – Valencia has kitted it out with a massive custom air intake, an Ireland Engineering race-spec aluminium radiator, and the pulleys from a later 3.8-litre S38, while the spent gases are forcefully exhaled through a fancy straight-through exhaust. It really does sound the business. “After hearing it on track, people always comment on how good the car sounds,” Sean grins. “They always say it’s how a BMW should sound! I’ve also encountered people following me to the race track to see what the car was about, drawn in by the noise…”


    The fact that it has not only squeezed the vast engine in there, but made it work effectively is something that should be applauded. And equally impressive is its approach to the interior; with a dedicated track car, it’s so easy just to strip the cabin of everything superfluous and leave it at that. But Valencia’s E36 is truly a sight to behold once you’ve swung open the lightweight driver door. The roll-cage is staggeringly hardcore, the gussets and hollowed-out door skins speak of singleminded purpose, but it’s the clinical icewhiteness that truly catches the eye. They really have done this properly. Furthermore, peering back from where the passenger seat would have been, you get a glimpse into the book where the struts for that towering rear spoiler are chassismounted.


    It’s a Bimmerworld race wing with custom high-rise uprights, and it’s not exactly subtle. Neither are the arch flares, custom-fabricated in steel to wrap around those square-setup 10.5”-wide Apex ARC-8s, and it’s all hiding a thoroughly sophisticated chassis that begins with an hors d’oeuvre of Ground Control coilovers, serves up adjustable ARBs for the main course, and tops it all off with a dessert of brake upgrades, before enjoying some seamwelding over brandy and cigars.


    What’s the upshot of all this effort, then? A trophy or two, perhaps, or just some good ol’ rough-and-tumble track fun? “We took first place in the Global Time Attack Limited RWD Class at Chuckwalla Raceway in 2013,” Sean beams. “Then there was the Redline Time Attack at Willow Springs Raceway, where we again took first place in the Modified RWD Class, and won the Super Session – something we went on to repeat at the Redline event at Buttonwillow Raceway.” It seems, then, that the plan has worked.


    With either Sean or Don Pastor behind the wheel, this mighty M3 is kicking butt all over the West Coast, and doing a damn fine job of showing the spectating public what Valencia European is all about – sure, it can hammer the dents out of your 1 Series or figure out why your dash is full of warning lights, but its skill-set goes far beyond the everyday. These are a bunch of guys who know a thing or two about building race cars, and that’s a very useful reputation to have. The fact that the car is as immaculately presented as it is devastatingly effective is a sizeable cherry on a very delicious cake. Redefining what’s possible is something they take in their stride – to hell with physics, this quart of engine sits very happily in its shiny blue pint-pot.

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.6-litre straight-six #S38B36 / #S38 / #BMW-S38 , #S38B38 cam gears, #Kempower Speed sensor delete, custom harness, Ireland Engineering race aluminium radiator, electric cooling fan, custom 4” intake and #K&N filter, E34 M5 oil cooler, custom engine mounts, custom 3” straight-through exhaust, E30 M3 #Getrag-265 / #Getrag gearbox, custom transmission mounts, six-paddle racing clutch, custom propshaft, 4.27:1 LSD.

    CHASSIS: 10.5x17” (front and rear) ET25 #Apex-ARC-8 wheels with 18mm spacers (front), 275/40 (front and rear) Nitto NT01s tyres, 90mm Motorsport Hardware extended lugs, #Ground-Control race coilovers, Ground Control camber/castor plates, #Eibach 550/650 spring rates, #H&R adjustable anti roll-bars (front and rear), Ground Control race trailing-arm solid bushings, SPC rear camber arms, front lower control arms, #Delrin bushings, ABS delete, manual brake bias controller, custom steel braided brake lines, Raybestos race pads, tubular front bulkhead/radiator support, seam-welded front shock towers.

    EXTERIOR: Dzus-fastened bumpers and bootlid, Alumalite front splitters, Alumalite drive planes, custom metal wide-body flares, deleted door handles, frame-mounted Bimmerworld race wing with custom uprights, sunroof delete, custom fibreglass bonnet, Racequip tow strap.

    INTERIOR: #Sparco steering wheel, #Sparco-Pro-2000 racing seat, Crow Industries harness, Longacre rear view mirror, I/O Port window net, full gusseted roll-cage.

    This may be a stripped-out track car, but it has been finished to an exacting standard. Interior is finished in white with a full gusseted roll-cage and the bare essentials.

    S38 is a bit of a squeeze but Valencia managed to make it fit and gave it a few upgrades for good measure.
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    Classic Interpretation / #BMW-2002-Berg-Cup

    A heavily modified ‘02 that races in the Berg Cup. There’s not much left of the original #BMW-2002 under that bright and bold exterior but in its place is something more modern and exciting, making it a perfect Berg Cup car… Words: Matt Zollo /// Photography: Igor Vucinic

    It would be a sad day indeed if no one in the classic car world gave a damn about authenticity and originality anymore. Consider something like the Goodwood Revival, for instance: historically accurate race cars ripping it up around a historic race circuit; the sights, sounds, smells and vibrations exactly what somebody from the Fifties or Sixties once experienced. It is the closest you can get to being taken back in time, short of hoping in a lightlytweaked DMC DeLorean and punching in 1966.

    The same thing applies to driving, or even just seeing, classic cars on the road, if on a slightly less exhilarating and visceral level – unless you’re very lucky. Even spotting something as once mundane as a Ford Cortina is now a heart-warming sight for many. Original classic cars allow you to accurately witness something from a totally different era, and in everyday life there are few other ways of experiencing that.

    It would be no good to be forced to rely on fuzzy pictures, grainy videos and stories-of-old for a rough idea of what cars were like once-upon-a-time, then. It would suck, to put it bluntly. But sometimes, because not everybody chooses to do it, it’s not the end of the world when people do tinker with and modify old cars. So long as it’s done reasonably sympathetically to the era and done in good taste, a bit of uprating and updating is no bad thing. Indeed – seamlessly introducing this 2002 – the results can be spectacular.

    I suppose there might be some who think this car is a crime against originality and, more to the point, really give a damn about that. But the vast majority of us, I would wager, do not give two historically accurate trim clips that they can see exotic, modern-day materials on this 1970s BMW. I bet there are barely a handful of people looking at those aggressive, homemade spoilers and wings while shaking their head in disgust. That a mishmash of aftermarket parts and components from newer BMW models litter this 02 matters not one bit to most of us.

    Norbert Wimmer is the man responsible for turning this 2002tii into a car so modified that its only original parts are its window rubbers and throttle, brake and clutch pedals. With help from a small army of friends and family he contests in a championship that positively encourages the type of totally historicallyinsensitive modifying that this 2002 sports: the Berg- Cup German hillclimb championship.

    We catch up with Norbert – and his mate Sven Thomas, who is acting as translator – in the driveway of someone else’s house, which for this weekend only is acting as pit garage for the team. Residents of the village of Hausen, where the meeting is being held, rent garage and drive space to visiting competitors, and on this particular driveway there is a 2002tii and no less than two ex-DTM E30 M3s.


    Norbert has been doing the motorsport thing since ‘97, when he started competing in slalom events in another 2002. When he crashed that three years later he bought this Tii, continuing with slalom for a couple more years before competing in his first hillclimb. He consequently decided that hillclimbing was the sport for him, and crossed over into the new discipline, developing the car step-by-step for its new role. The engine has obviously improved somewhat since its slalom days, now having to propel the car up steep inclines and often along lengthy straights. It produces 77 per cent more power than the stock M10, giving this 829kg 02 a rather useful 230hp. It’s still two litres in capacity and retains the eight-valve head and standard block, due to class regulations, but that’s about all it shares with the stock powerplant.

    The short block now has Wössner pistons, Pankl rods and a balanced crank, and the top-end has seen some serious modification. The head has been flowed and, although it can still be described as a ‘big valve’ one, runs only slightly increased sizes to retain the best flow properties. The inlets have been raised 10mm for better flow as well, while the exhausts are almost OEM but for being a little larger. Then there’s a Schrick 336 inlet and 328 outlet race cam.

    As you’d imagine, this isn’t the most flexible or tractable of motors, with Norbert describing low rpm performance as “no fun”. Power eventually arrives at about 6000rpm, although it thankfully keeps going all the way to 9000rpm, so there is a useable powerband even if it’s not the most accessible. It’s also not the most durable of motors, lasting only 800 miles between refreshes, which is enough to see it through a year of competition. Well, normally; this one decides to self-destruct during our visit, the Hausen round only two-thirds way through the season. The injection system is entirely new, the antiquated Kugelfischer mechanical setup junked in favour of 48mm individual throttle bodies from an E30 M3 – modified, naturally – with a custom air box and injection setup and a standalone ECU, all Norbert’s own work. The exhaust system is made by Martelius, a Finnish company, with five versions tested before the current iteration was chosen. This approximate calculating and then a lot of trial and error has been the foundation of the entire build.

    According to regulations the gearbox must remain of H-pattern design and with the same number of ratios as the standard ‘box. Norbert has consequently gone for an E30 M3 Getrag 265 dogbox, built and modified by transmission specialists Samsonas to feature straight-cut cogs and much shorter ratios (and a final drive of between 4.45 and 5.12, depending on circuit). The maximum drop in revs between gears is 2000rpm, the minimum just 500rpm, and with first reaching to 47mph and fifth only 123mph, it means Norbert is often very busy with the shifts.


    The Berg Cup series is sponsored by KW, so all competitors run its coilovers, this 02 included. Other than that, however, pretty much everything suspension- and steering-wise is custom-made, allowing huge adjustability and solid mounting for all parts. The only exceptions are the OE hubs and the rear axle, the latter modified and using E21 323i trailing arms and carriers.

    The huge adjustability of the chassis’ geometry is taken care of before each event and then left alone once there, but there are still a number of ways the team can tweak the car’s balance and behaviour to better suit the circuit or Norbert’s requirements. Damper settings, spring rates, front anti-roll bar thickness (there is no rear bar, a common theme among the #BMW hillclimbers here) and wheel and spacer widths can all be changed in a matter of minutes to get the desired result.

    Brakes are, shall we say, an eclectic assortment of parts, with Wilwood four-pots and E30 325i discs at the front and, get this, vintage (well, 20 or so years old, which is vintage in the motorcycle world) Kawasaki ZXR calipers and Yamaha XJ900 discs at the rear. Or, at least, that’s what Norbert thinks they are, he can’t quite remember. Either way, it doesn’t matter what or how old they are because you don’t need massive stoppers for hillclimbing and they weigh bugger all.

    And that is almost the exact weight of all bodywork combined, the majority of which is made of fibreglass. The front bumper and splitter, designed and built by Norbert, are carbon fibre, same as the massive rear wing, which has plenty of home-made touches such as extra bracing and a perspex air ‘scoop’ underneath it. Even the headlights are simple custom-made lightweight items; regulations stipulate cars have to have working lights, but not what ones. The arches are Turbo replicas but slightly wider, then made wider still by fitting them on top of rubber spacers.

    The grille has been partially blanked off to decrease drag, and the aero additions on top of the car are complemented by ones underneath, carbon fibre panelling making for a flat rear underbody which leads to a custom-made diffuser. It’s only partially flat up front, Norbert simply having not had the time to get any further with it yet.

    What was then said was something along the lines of: ‘Sometimes he crashes the car, so he only has time to rebuild the car rather than develop it more,’ accompanied by a wry smile to illustrate that this is a joke, but with maybe just a tiny hint of truth to it. In actual fact, though, Norbert has won the Berg Cup’s trophy for eight-valve cars four times in a row, from 2009 to 2012, and you don’t win titles that often by crashing all the time – or by not developing a kickass car.


    It also goes to show that, whether they’re modified to within an inch of their stripped and welded chassis’ like this one or accurate to within a millimetre of their tri-colour decals, BMWs make the best tin top racers around.

    TECH DATA #BMW-2002tii

    ENGINE: #M10 1998cc eight-valve four’, #Wössner pistons, Pankl rods, balanced crank, flowed big valve head, #Schrick 336 inlet and 328 outlet race cam, modified E30 M3 48mm individual throttle bodies with custom air box and injection setup, standalone ECU, full Martelius custommade exhaust system

    TRANSMISSION: E30 M3 #Getrag-265 dogbox modified by Samsonas with straight-cut gears & shorter ratios, Sachs twin-plate aluminium clutch, #ZF 75% locking limited-slip diff

    BRAKES: Wilwood four-pots with E30 325i discs up front; Kawasaki ZXR calipers with Yamaha XJ900 discs at the rear; braided hoses and race fluid

    SUSPENSION: #KW Competition Race coilovers, three-way adjustable front and two-way adjustable rear, custommade front anti-roll bar, solid suspension mounting throughout, modified Tii rear axle with E21 323i trailing arms and carriers, custom-made hub carriers and steering components, front strut-brace

    WHEELS & TYRES: #BBS RS three-piece 15-inch split-rims in sizes from 9- to 10-inch wide at the front and 10- and 10.5-inch at the rear, with various sizes of Avon slicks

    BODY: Turbo replica arches with rubber spacers, fibreglass bonnet, bootlid, doors and front wings, custom-made front bumper extension and custom-made splitter, custom twin-plane adjustable rear wing with bracing, perspex boot-mounted spoiler, lightweight headlights, blanked-off grille, custom-made diffuser and partially flat underbody

    INTERIOR: Custom-made steel roll-cage, custom flocked dash, RMD suede steering wheel, Konig bucket seats, relocated battery

    Not only is the car beautifully finished but it has also proved to be very successful, winning its class four times in a row!

    A bit of uprating and updating is no bad thing, indeed, the results can be spectacular.

    Below: Engine revs to 9000rpm, makes 230hp and lasts around 800 miles between rebuilds! Suspension has been engineered by Norbet.
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