- Post is under moderationThe hottest E36 – the brilliant M3 R White Gold.
One of the rarest of all E36 M3s, and some might say the best, came from Australia: the brilliant M3 R. The very best E36 M3 didn’t come from Europe, or America… it came from a land Down Under. Words and photography: Chris Nicholls.
Mention special E36 M3 derivatives and most people’s minds will inevitably go to the M3 GT or Lightweight. After all, these sold in relatively large numbers and, thanks to being designed for BMW’s two largest markets (Europe and the US respectively), got the most media exposure. However, the rarest, most powerful E36 M3 ever made (GTR aside) didn’t come from either of those continents. It came from the relatively tiny market of Australia, where, in #1995 , a highly talented group of people from both within and outside the company came together to build 15 very special M3s. These came to be known as the M3 Rs.
Now, some of our regular readers may already know about the M3 R, especially as we featured another one back in (March 2006), but given the time gap, we thought it was best to look at it again because it is without a doubt one of the best factory M3s ever made.
The M3 R story first dates back to mid-1993, when BMW Australia investigated the possibility of building a near race-spec M3 for the road, the idea being that they could be sold to enthusiasts who tracked their cars on the weekend or even competed in state and national events. The payoff for BMW Australia being a homologation special that it could develop for Australian GT Production car racing.
Having been given the green light, the local BMW team worked closely with the legendary Paul Rosche, then M GmbH’s head of motorsport, and team members from the famous Australian Frank Gardner’s outfit, who ran the Australian M Team at the time, to help design, develop and spec the cars. It’s worth noting before we go any further that one of the Gardner staffers was Ralph Bellamy, whom older readers and F1 nuts may remember as chief engineer at Brabham, McLaren, Lotus (where he, along with Colin Chapman, Peter Wright and Martin Ogilvie invented ground effects), Lola and Fittipaldi, before moving onto BMW M to work on the international Super Tourer programme. So, as you can see, when we said a highly-talented group of people helped make this car, we weren’t lying.
As for the car BMW Australia ended up producing, it really was a road-going racer. The air conditioning and stereo were removed (although, as usual, owners could refit them) and sound deadening, central locking, foglights, rear seats and the on-board tool kit all went, too. Even with the standard twin fire extinguishers (although obviously not the optional bolt-in roll-cage) the end result was a car that weighed nearly 200kg less in its most hardcore form than a stock M3.
Of course, the modifications didn’t end there. The engine gained more aggressive camshafts, shorter intake trumpets and a different cold air intake that drew from where the driver’s side fog light used to be, as well as a Motorsport-designed sump and dual oil pick-ups to avoid the common S50 30B starvation issue. On top of that came a lighter flywheel (matched to either an AP Racing 7.25-inch sintered twin-plate racing clutch or a cerametallic twin-plate for road use) and new management software to yield an overall output of 325hp – more than any non-GTR E36 M ever sold elsewhere. It goes even harder than the weight and power would suggest, too, thanks to a shorter-than-standard 3.25:1 final drive ratio.
Unsurprisingly, the brakes also copped significant upgrades in the form of AP Racing four-piston callipers, two-piece vented rotors, Pagid RS 4-4 pads and front cooling ducts that ran from holes next to the now-deleted foglights. As for the suspension, almost every part was replaced with Group N Motorsport parts, right down to the hubs, which run different length studs (not bolts) front and rear to hold the unique 17-inch staggered BBS wheels. To ensure the looks matched the potential, the team also fitted the M3 GT body kit in its entirety, plus the Super Touring dual-level rear wing and a sliding front splitter. The whole lot was assembled at the BMW Australia Performance Driving Centre under the close supervision of M engineers and Ralph Bellamy himself. Three completed cars went to the local M Team for competition use and the remaining 12 were made available to the general public.
However, in keeping with the whole ‘race car for the road’ thing, only members of the general public armed with a CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) racing licence could buy one, unless they were willing to undertake the relevant training and tests before delivery.
As you can see, the M3 R is thus a rare and incredibly desirable special edition. One designed to maximise driving pleasure both on road and track, and in the sole colour available (Alpine white III), quite the stunner.
The owner of this particular example (number 14 of 15) is very well aware of just how special it is, too. Ian Burke has been a BMW enthusiast for many years, starting with an E46 323i in 2000, before moving up to an E46 330i three years later. These two impressed him enough that he bought an E92 335i sight unseen before they arrived in the country when the lease on his 330i expired, after which he upgraded to an E92 M3, which he still owns. Burke also has an original M Roadster, has done a factory tour and visited BMW Welt and would have bought an F80 M3, too, until a test-drive convinced him it was “a bit too boy racer-ish” for him. Thus, when he says it provides a special driving experience, you know he’s not wrong: “It’s a treat to drive. I would say on the open road it’s got better shock absorption and handling than my E92 M3. When you go over a bump the shocks absorb everything – they’re quite amazing. It handles extremely well, too. I’ve had it around Sandown Raceway a couple of times, and the performance is not like a modern-day car, although it’s still pretty quick, but the point is that it’s good around there because the braking is so superior to a modern saloon car. You can get the brakes red hot and really stamp on them into a corner and the whole suspension is race-tuned.”
How Burke came to own this car is a lovely piece of father-son serendipity as well. Burke isn’t really a tech guy – he has no social media accounts at all – but his son, Andrew, like most people his age, is on the web a lot. And unsurprisingly spends a large portion of that time looking at cars. Thus, a while after purchasing his M Roadster, Burke got an email from his son telling him about this example, which at the time resided in Sydney, complete with a link to the advert. “I looked at it and thought it looks pretty cool and that it could be a reasonable investment and a nice car to get around in so I went up to Sydney to see it,” he says.
The shop selling it was called Classic Throttle Shop, a renowned establishment which houses a huge number of special cars at any one time. Upon visiting, Burke senior was impressed enough by the car that he bought it on the spot and had it shipped back down to his home in Melbourne.
Not that the car was perfect, of course. The steering wheel leather had a small cut in it, which necessitated refurbishing, and many of the rubber seals were in such bad condition that they had to be replaced. This perishing and the fact the car had only done 17,000km at the time of purchase suggested that the car had previously spent a lot of time in a garage but as it ran fine and all the other components seemed alright Burke wasn’t bothered.
Once freshened-up, Burke made a couple of small changes to suit his personal taste and needs. First was swapping out the intake system for a lovely Gruppe M carbon number, purchased simply because he liked the noise. Second was the clutch. Apparently the original race-spec version was “virtually undriveable in the city”, so he changed it to a UUC model with a solid lightweight flywheel and an E34 M5 sprung disk.
Now, keen-eyed M3 nuts might also spot the car came with some non-standard modifications that Burke didn’t make, namely the Remus exhaust and an unknown brand thick alloy strut bar, as well as the original radio/cassette player and air-con, but all of these are minor changes and should he ever desire, Burke can always swap everything back to stock-spec pretty easily, especially as every component on the car has an official BMW part number.
Rather amusingly, there is one extra part Burke does own that he’d love the put on the car more regularly, but certain family members won’t allow it: a custom numberplate. “I’ve actually got a Victorian licence plate ‘E36 M3R’ but I’m not allowed to put it on because I’d look too much of a tosser,” he says. That said, Burke readily admits that “you’ve got to fly under the radar when you own a car like this”, so he isn’t too fussed – especially as he is allowed to bolt the private ’plate on when he attends the odd #BMW Car Club of Victoria meet.
“The BMW people know what it is without the ’plates,” Burke grins, “and, of course, when you lift the bonnet up, their eyes pop out of their head when they see the originality of the engine. It’s even got all the original stickers.”
Remarkably, given his penchant for regular spirited drives, Burke has only put about 4000km on it in the three year’s he’s owned it, but then he also has his M Roadster and E92 M3 on offer as toys, and his daily driver is a VF Holden ute (“it’s so damn convenient to throw all your rubbish in the back”), so perhaps the low number of kilometres travelled are less surprising in that regard.
As for the future, Burke says he plans to “just sit on it”, especially as S50 engines are so hard to come by these days, and eventually he’ll pass it onto his son. No doubt Burke junior will enjoy driving it as much as his old man.
“It’s a treat to drive. I would say on the open road it’s got better shock absorption and handling than my E92 M3”
TECHNICAL DATA #BMW-E36 / #BMW-M3-R / #BMW-M3-R-E36 / #BMW-M3-E36 / #BMW-S50 / #S50 / #S50B30 / #BMW-M3 / #Getrag / #BMW-3-Series-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E36 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-M3-Coupe / #BMW-M3-Coupe-E36
ENGINE: 2990cc, DOHC S50 30B straight-six, cast iron block, 24-valve alloy head, 10.8:1 compression ratio, 264-degree inlet cam, 265-degree exhaust cam, oil restrictor in head, Motorsport sump, twin oil pick-ups, Motorsport air filter and intake pipe, Motorsport lightened flywheel (currently UUC solid lightened), Remus exhaust, updated engine management software
MAX POWER: 325hp @ 7200rpm
MAX TORQUE: 258lb ft @ 4400rpm
DRIVELINE: #Getrag-420G six-speed manual, #AP-Racing CP2961 7.25-inch twin-plate sintered (road/race) or #AP-Racing-CP4112 cerametallic twin-plate (road). Currently fitted with #UUC Stage 2 Ultimate clutch with E34 M5 sprung disk. Standard clutch master cylinder with travellimiting stop, E34 M5 driveshaft, 3.25:1 final drive ratio
SUSPENSION: Motorsport Group N Bilstein dampers, Motorsport Group N springs, Motorsport Group N upper and lower spring plates, Motorsport Group N struts (f), Motorsport Group N upper and lower wishbones (r), Motorsport Group N adjusting sleeves, Motorsport Group N damping sleeves, Motorsport Group N hubs with studs (f&r), aftermarket strut bar (f)
BRAKES: AP Racing four-piston front callipers with twopiece vented rotors (f&r), Pagid RS 4-4 pads (RS12 optional), front brake cooling ducts
WHEELS AND TYRES: 7.5x17-inch ET37 (f) and 8.5x17- inch ET41 (r) #BBS mesh wheels with 225/45 (f) and 245/40 (r) Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 tyres
INTERIOR: Anthracite M cloth/Amaretta suede trim, aircon delete, radio/cassette delete (both since re-installed), rear seat delete, central locking delete, sound deadening removed, twin fire extinguishers (driver’s side removed for convenience), spare wheel delete, jack and wheel brace delete, toolkit delete, boot floor mats and trim delete, limited edition plaque under handbrake
EXTERIOR: M3 GT body kit, Motorsport sliding front splitter, Motorsport Super Touring dual-level rear wing, foglight delete (driver’s side replaced with air intake vent)
“Their eyes pop out of their head when they see the originality of the engine. It’s even got all the original stickers”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationEASTERN PROMISE Japanese wide-body Z8
THE BODY BEAUTIFUL
Japan loves BMWs and isn’t afraid to do things a bit differently when it comes to modifying them, like turning a Z8 into a wide-body masterpiece, for example… Considering less than 6000 Z8s were ever made, would you have the confidence to chop one up? Fortunately for us Yasuaki ‘Bob’ Suzuki did, thus creating something rather special… Words and photos: Chris Nicholls.
Modifying a low-volume car is always a scary proposition. After all, if you mess it up it’s not like you can simply go to online and find replacement parts easily. It may take weeks, months or even years to source the right components and restore things to their former glory. Such is the case with the Z8, as only 5703 were produced over its four-year life span. Okay, it may not be an E46 GTR but it’s still a low-volume car by most people’s standards. It’s also arguably among the most beautiful BMWs ever made. With its flowing compound curves and classic roadster proportions, the Henrik Fisker-designed exterior is a future classic. Which makes it all the more nerve-wracking to think about altering those lines.
Thankfully, the confidence and skill to do that is not something Yasuaki ‘Bob’ Suzuki has ever really lacked. The founder of Japan’s largest BMW tuning chain – Studie AG – and creator of a string of high-profile cars that act as both his personal vehicles and demo cars for his business, Suzuki-san has seemingly never had an issue altering cars (some in quite extreme ways) to suit his needs.
Take, for example, the cars Suzuki-san built after selling the Z8 to its current owner. First there was a bright blue E87 130i complete with factory Motorsport wide-body kit. Then there was a neon pink wide-body E46 M3. Then a bright green Z4 M Coupé with another genuine Motorsport wide-body kit. Currently, Suzuki-san drives a bright orange i8, with a matching i3 for city duties and while they’re not wide-body cars, there’s no guarantee it’s off the cards.
So it’s clear, Suzuki-san likes the wide-body look; in fact, you could say he really, really likes them. However, the issue with making one of the world’s only wide-body Z8s was that, unlike Suzuki-san’s future creations, there wasn’t a factory kit available to do so. This meant that he and his team had to make it themselves.
They started by designing a kit that would add width but look factory. After all, while Suzuki-san clearly has a penchant for loud colours, judging by his later cars, the body panels themselves were almost always OEM. That level of integration was the goal. Next, they made the one-off moulds, then laid up all the fibreglass and painted it white.
It’s hard to argue with the results. Those guards draw your eye initially, of course, adding real muscularity to the Z8’s clean lines. Next, your gaze is drawn down to the flowing side skirts and towards the widened and tweaked front and rear bumpers, complete with aero additions. If you linger long enough you might also notice the stock bonnet has gained some added raciness via custom vents.
The design’s crowning achievement, though, is that level of seamlessness. If you had never seen a Z8 before, you’d never think it wasn’t factory. Yes, the 19” BBS LMs, Brembo six-pots up front (four-pots out the back) and lowered stance on one-off Studie coilovers are a dead giveaway the car’s been tuned but the unsuspecting might only think Suzuki-san had dropped it and added some extra grip and braking. The kit is that natural.
Inside, though, things are a little less discrete. The red leather trim is all stock, but the custom-trimmed Recaro SPG buckets certainly aren’t. Neither are the Atiwe wheel and Schnitzer shift knob. And that completely unique silver carbon dash trim? Yeah, that’s pretty obvious, too. It also highlights a specific need for navigational assistance when driving in Tokyo – something the Z8 never came with from the factory. Again demonstrating the skill and care with which the car was built, though, the Pioneer Carrozzeria headunit looks stock. If the dash was the regular silver plastic, the average Joe would probably think it had been installed in Munich prior to Suzuki-san’s purchase.
Under the bonnet we see a return to the exterior’s integrated theme. The S62 V8 never lacked power but the Okada Projects Plasma Ground secondary spark enhancer and Plasma Direct coils ensure the driver gets the most out of the air/fuel mix, while also remaining invisible to the casual observer. The near factory-looking AFE intake kit and well-hidden Hamann exhaust manifolds, which eventually connect to a one-off Studie silencer, ensure the engine now breathes a little easier and makes a much nicer noise, too. There’s the mandatory performance car bark at start-up and a well-controlled rumble at idle, followed by a lovely smooth roar as the revs rise. It reminds you there’s a reason why so many small performance car makers have used this engine over the years.
Essentially, looking at the car as a whole, it’s clear that what Suzuki-san and the Studie team have done is to take everything that made the Z8 great and made it better. That’s some skill.
Sadly, though, in space-poor Japan, Suzuki-san had to sell the Z8 in 2005 in order to move onto his aforementioned later projects, so this is where current owner Kohama-san comes in.
Kohama-san initially got into the scene after being taken to watch street drag racing many years back, when these things were still a relatively common sight on Japanese roads. He decided then and there that he wanted to drive fast cars. Initially, he started out with classic JDM metal, like an SA22C RX-7 (which apparently burnt to the ground after an engine fire on the Wangan post-sale) and a 3.1 litre ‘full-tune’ L28-engined S130 Z, but soon moved onto BMWs. “They’re just really well-balanced, well-rounded cars,” he says.
Despite his sports car roots, Kohama-san’s first BMW was actually rather sedate, even if it didn’t stay that way for long. An E39 530i Touring, he modified it so it sported Alpina suspension, a Supersprint silencer, #BBS RGRs and M5 body parts. After that came an E61 530i Touring, this time with ACS body parts, ARC suspension, Arqray muffler, 20-inch BBS LM-R wheels and enormous eight-pot Brembos. He did head back to his sports car roots eventually, though, with a Z3 and E85 Z4, both modified with Bilstein suspension, Recaro seats, Schnitzer aero etc. before shifting back again to practicality with his current ACS F31 320i Touring.
All this BMW history meant he spent a lot of time at Studie’s Tokyo HQ, and not just as a customer. Like many of Studie’s clients, Kohama-san spends a lot of spare time there just hanging out and chatting with the staff (when they’re not busy with other work), as Studie stores tend to be more like car culture centres rather than just dreary retail and tuning outlets. Because of all this time spent at Studie, Kohama-san was among the first to know that Suzuki-san was selling his pride and joy. And as soon as he heard about it, he was off to the bank. “It was love at first sight,” he says.
Even better, the car’s timeless beauty and evocative driving experience means he falls “more in love with it every passing year”. “My favourite thing about the car is how exhilarating it feels when you drive it,” Kohama-san says. “It blows away the cobwebs so, of course, I drive it whenever I can.” That means the Z8 is more of a daily driver than a garage queen. Cruising through the city or blasting up mountain roads, this is one #Z8 that gets used. In a world where more and more high-end sports cars are squirreled away for investment rather than enjoyment, it’s refreshing to hear.
Further proving just how special this Z8 is, it’s worth noting that out of all his other BMWs we mentioned earlier this is the only one Kohama-san has held onto over the last ten years. Of course, it’s easily the most unique and rare, but uniqueness and starvalue haven’t stopped others around the world from selling amazing cars after only short periods of time, so it suggests there really is something special about this particular car.
Sadly, not everyone seems to agree, though, as the one negative experience Kohama-san has had over his ten-year ownership period is that the paint ended up being deliberately damaged by some low-life a few years back. Thankfully, Kohama-san got it fixed and, as mentioned, isn’t any more cautious about driving it. He has, however, “become obsessed with applying protective coatings to it” ever since. Of course, this unfortunate event does suggest the ‘lucky’ numberplates Kohama-san has on there (which have been blanked out for privacy purposes), and that he religiously puts on every car he owns can’t protect him from all calamities; but then, what can?
As for the future, the car is now 15 years old so some parts are due for replacement. Specifically, Kohama-san is thinking about refreshing the suspension components, although given the car runs custom coilovers right now, finding off-the-shelf replacements might be difficult. He might just have to go back to Studie Tokyo and ask the helpful staff there if they can make him some new ones. No doubt they’d be happy to oblige, especially as it will mean keeping this unique stunner on the roads for a few more years.
DATA FILE #Studie-AG wide-body #BMW-Z8 / #BMW-Z8-E52 / #BMW-E52 / #BMW-Z8-Studie-AG / #BBS-LM / #Getrag / #BBS /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.9-litre #V8 #S62B50 / #S62 / #BMW-S62 / #BMW / , #AFE intake kit, #Hamann exhaust manifolds, Studie one-off silencer, #Okada-Projects-Plasma-Ground secondary spark enhancer, #Okada Projects Plasma Direct coils. Stock #Getrag-420G six-speed manual, short-shift kit.
CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 11x19” (rear) #BBS LM wheels with 255/35 (front) and 305/30 (rear) Continental ContiSportContact 5P tyres, Studie custom coilovers front and rear with Studie custom springs, Brembo six-piston brake calipers (front), Brembo fourpiston calipers (rear), two-piece #Brembo discs front and rear.
EXTERIOR Studie one-off wide-body front and rear arches, wide-body side skirts, front and rear bumpers with front splitter and rear diffuser, bonnet ducts in stock bonnet
INTERIOR Custom retrimmed #Recaro-SPG one-piece bucket seats, Atiwe steering wheel, OEM aluminium pedals, AC Schnitzer shift knob, #Studie one-off silver carbon interior trim panels, #Pioneer-Carrozzeria navigation headunit
My favourite thing about the car is how exhilarating it feels when you drive it.
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- Z8s are rare enough but this Japanese custom wide-body beast is a true one-off. With its massively pumped-up arches, 19” BBS LMs and stunning interio Z8s are rare enough but this Japanese custom wide-body beast is a true one-off. With its massively pumped-up arches, 19” BBS LMs and stunning interior, it was an incredible machine. More ...
- 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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