- Post is under moderationJim Amelinckx’s E30 is far more than simply a nicely painted 3 Series on shiny wheels. It’s the product of a steamy automotive love affair that’s seen the car transformed in every conceivable area… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Kevin Raekelboom M30 E30 335i #Big-Six-swapped stunner.
FROM BRUSSELS WITH LOVE #M30-swapped E30
Love is a smoke, raised with the fume of sighs.’ A line from Romeo and Juliet, in which Shakespeare isn’t trying to be lewd – at least, not overtly, although he’s always up to something, isn’t he? Instead he is encapsulating the nature of love manifested by that most deeply personal and intimate of sounds: when you emit a sigh of passion, there really is no more honest or truthful expression of your pleasure.
In the case of the low-down bruiser of an E30 you’re looking at here, that couldn’t be more true. But the smoke here isn’t merely the manifold sighs emitted by its owner and creator, Jim Amelinckx, impassioned as he is by the myriad custom alterations he’s made. No, we can throw in the crackling hydrocarbons of high-octane fuel and the whiff of scorched and atomising rubber into this heady soup of fumes – the love for this man and his car builds upon Shakespearean intimacy and takes us to a whole other place.
“It all started at the end of last year,” he says, affectionately caressing the car’s silkysmooth flanks as he flutters his besotted eyelashes. “I bought this car from a very good friend in Holland with the intention of using it as a daily driver, but that only lasted for about three weeks before suddenly that wasn’t my plan any more!”
What happened? He must have seen something in the E30 – some spark of potential, a glimmer of a hope that the bogstandard beige retro plodder could be something more, something special.
“So we began the task of painting the car, and after that… well, we did all the rest. We worked on it five days a week for six months, with a lot of friends pitching in to get this car beautiful before the summer. You see, that’s what we do here over the winter…”
You may have heard this sort of talk before in Scandinavia, this idea of hunkering down and riding out the harsh and freezing winter months by locking the garage door, sticking the kettle on, donning a set of thermal long johns and setting about the task of building an incredible car, ready for when the snow thaws and the roads are suitable for tyre-squealing mischief again.
But in fact, Jim doesn’t live in Scandinavia – he lives in Belgium. You get the idea though. And the ‘we’ he’s talking about? There’s two names you need to know: first, Brussels Finest – an online collective of real-world modified car buddies whose main aim is to hammer together badass rides and generally support each other in their hobby. And second, the amusinglytitled Racepoutin’s – the fellas who roll up their sleeves and engineer the solutions to the self-imposed problems that modifying cars brings to the table.
We’ll start with the paintwork, then. If the colour looks familiar, it’s because it’s a shade you’d normally find on a shiny new 5 Series: Mineral grey. But don’t go thinking that this car is just a straight and solid car with a nice paint job… Jim may have found himself a decent donor (albeit a beige one), but that didn’t stop him tearing into pretty much every aspect of it with the aim of increasing the love. “It’s a 1984 335i,” he grins mischievously, which should give you some idea as to what’s gone on under the bonnet. Indeed, if you’re an engine nerd and you’ve glanced over to the underbonnet pics, you’ll already have guessed what the score is: the Racepoutin’s crew have creatively buttered an #M30B35 in there. The very same engine that you’d expect to find inside an E28 M535i; the 3.4-litre straight-six (don’t let the name fool you, it has a 3428cc displacement) that kicks out a long way north of 200 horses and makes all manner of aggressive rumbling noises.
Jim’s mated it to a Getrag five-speeder to keep things appropriately racy and, of course, to keep those fumes of love evaporating into the surrounding atmosphere. These guys have imparted an amusing spin on the folkloric 335i concept, and the work really does pay dividends. But wait, there’s more! A neat paint job and a swanky drivetrain upgrade are a supercool combo but Jim and his cronies had far more planned in order to fill up those long winter days. The devil makes work for idle hands, and all that.
“The E30 is one of the best old-skool Beemers out there,” Jim beams, “so there were a lot of cool things I wanted to do. One of them was to fit a custom air-ride system…” He’s intriguingly tight-lipped on the specs here, and that’s a very race-team approach; after all, the cunning strategists behind, say, a Le Mans squad or a BTCC outfit wouldn’t go about giving away all their secrets to all and sundry. No, they play it like a sneaky game of poker. The thing’s airedout and it looks awesome. They’re the salient points here.
“Let’s talk about the brakes,” Jim enthuses, hurrying us along. He encourages us to take a look, and it all appears familiar… so what’s the source? “We upgraded it to E36 M3 brakes all-round,” he grins. Which makes sense, really – a chunky set of stoppers to haul in the extra grunt brought forth by that meatier motor. A wise and sound move.
“Ah, I’ve spent way too much on this car,” Jim laughs, opening a door to help demonstrate why. “Way too much. I’ve stopped counting it all up otherwise I’d just have to find myself another hobby! But I’m proud to say I did it myself along with the help of my friends, who provided a lot of great company on all those late nights.”
Part of the reason for the spiralling budget is staring us in the face as we peer inside. The interior treatment really is very cool, centring around a pair of gorgeously trimmed Recaro CS buckets with diamondquilted leather that cheekily harks back to the car’s original paint colour. And the rear seats? They’ve been junked entirely, in favour of a shiny polished roll-cage that further speaks to the inherent race car vibe that’s bundled up inside this subtle but gorgeously finished build.
The term ‘sleeper’ gets thrown around a lot and it’s not always appropriate. Hell, it’s not totally appropriate here – there are clues to the knowledgeable that all isn’t as it seems, from the custom widened steel arches and the über-slick Kerscher wheels to the glimpse of the cage peeking out through the rear windows – but at the same time, this is by no means an ostentatious or shouty car. At first glance it appears to simply be a wellkept example of an ’80s BMW rather than an obviously low-down, powerful hot rod. But that, of course, is all part of its charm. Whispering has far more impact than shouting in cases like this. And the sighing whispers of love? Doubly so.
“I really wouldn’t improve a thing about the way the car drives,” says Jim, happily proving that this is far more than simply a polished show car. “I’d describe it as optimal; the power, the brakes, the acceleration – no words needed, it’s just love. And I reckon the fitment of the wheels is probably my favourite element of the car; the 18” Kerschers are exactly what I imagined the car should have, and I’d never consider changing them. Why would you change a winning team?” Well, quite.
“I see a lot of guys taking pictures of the car while I’m driving it around, and people are always curious to find out what’s under the bonnet when they see me burning rubber,” he continues. “It’s the product of inspiration really, and the internet and Google are my best friend when it comes to researching new ideas.”
The best way to really describe it, though, is simply as a labour of love. There was a spark of inspiration that inspired Jim to rope in his mates and turn this E30 into something infinitely more special than merely a cheap runaround, and the result is a creation that reflects his personality as much as it does his obvious, unashamed love for the self-styled 335i. “Oh, and you should see her shimmy around Zolder,” he whispers.
See, this is more than simply the product of a group of friends cracking open a set of spanners and a case of beers – this is true love. Jim and his E30 are a Shakespearean tale of infatuation with a retro-styled but super-modern twist. The fume of sighs, and a full-on 99-RON love affair.
DATA FILE BMW #BMW-M30 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW-335i / #BMW-335i-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E30 / #BMW-E30-M30 / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe / #BMW-3-Series-Coupe-E30
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #M30 , #Getrag five-speed manual gearbox
CHASSIS 8.5x18” (front) and 9.5x18” (rear) #Kerscher wheels with 215/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) Toyo tyres, custom air-ride system with Racepoutin’s boot build, E36 M3 brake conversion (front and rear)
EXTERIOR Full respray in Mineral grey, steel arch flares (1.5cm wider than stock)
INTERIOR Custom-trimmed Recaro CS seats, roll-cage, M-Tech 1 steering wheel, 318iS red digit dials, Viair pressure gauge in clock console, custom Alcantara trimStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationJAWS 2 Ten years ago we featured this E24 in its original incarnation but now it’s back and meaner than ever. We’re going to need a bigger magazine… Words and photos: Andy ‘Sharkey’ Starkey
/ #JAWS-2 UK air-ride E24 #BMW-635CSi-JAWS-2 / #BMW-635CSi-Highline-E24
The iconic Spielberg movie, Jaws, put a whole new spin on suspense and horror, and we have never looked back. This movie was responsible for making an entire generation of film fans squeal, hide behind their popcorn and give them involuntary bowel movements. It was such a success and a landmark in cinema history that it spawned several sequels. Now, I have a problem with the whole sequel thing. If you have made something good, I guess it’s a given that you want to continue the success and do it all again.
That’s all well and good if the subject matter can cope with the return, and if the public want it. The big difficulty for the moviemakers is that we’ve already seen the shark, the villain, the hero or whatever in the first one; we’ve had the shocks, the cheers and the laughs. This usually results in a very loose link to the first instalment which develops into almost the same story but with more blood, scares, laughs, bangs or car chases; all a bit disappointing really.
There are exceptions of course: Indiana Jones, Jason Bourne, Austin Powers and naturally Mr Bond – all have had continual success with their ongoing escapades and adventures, and that’s all because the key character has what it takes for audiences to keep coming back for more. They all have charisma, attitude and presence, which is exactly what this E24 has in abundance and this too is something of a sequel.
We think you’ll agree that this particular 6 Series possesses the kind of credentials that any movie icon would give their right arm for. That’s because this #BMW-635CSi-Highline is a continuing story of ownership and development. It even graced the pages of this very magazine some ten years ago and was dubbed ‘Jaws’ by us at the time. For once, this is where a sequel really has paid off, although maybe sequel isn’t the right word, a ‘continuation’ is probably better…
Way back when, this 635 was owned by a certain Kabir Miah and both he and his brother Lala had a very particular idea for this car in mind. The shark theme was to be played out by having the original paintwork in a two-tone scheme; grey on top graduating into a much paler off-white towards the sills, just like the skin of a shark. The front wings also got the ‘big fish’ look by having a large, striking set of gill slits added. These were not just a stick on adornment, either, these gills were actually pressed through the wings and the finishing touch was the addition of the Jaws number plate.
That was then, but what about now? To start with, the car now belongs to Lala himself. It may have been Kabir’s car but Lala was the one to make the transformation happen both ten years ago and now. This is wholly because he’s a fully trained painter. In fact he co-owns and runs a Birminghambased styling business, LA Modz, specialising in window tints and wraps, so he’s going to know a thing or two about making cars look good. He still does some bodywork but, as he told me: “Tints and wraps are so much cleaner to work with.”
As you have probably noticed the, two- tone paint job has gone this time around in favour of clean, bright Nogaro silver with a fabulously deep gloss. The trademark gills and numberplate still identify the car as the original Jaws but now a lovely set of rims highlight the new look.
Lala does have an eye for detail so the choice of wheel that was to achieve the desired effect had to be right, and boy, are they right. They started out life as a set of M System II Style 21 ‘Throwing Stars’ but they’ve been made into a special set of bespoke three-piece splits by CR Customs in Poland. The guys there have added extra diameter and width, taking them from lowly 17s to a whopping 19”, with the fronts measuring 9.5” wide while the rears are now a massive 11”. The hardware has also been plated in 18ct gold and the wheel nuts had nifty covers made for them from 12 bore shotgun cartridges.
The interior has been redesigned this time around too; the tired black has now been replaced with luscious terracotta leather. Lala has taken the lead from an M5 he’d seen with a Fox red interior and rather liked the contrast. The style and choice of covering carries on with modified and decluttered doorcards and centre console. The craftsmanship of the interior is something to behold and the stark difference between some of the retained interior scheme and the new is striking. Hats off to Autotrims UK for a sterling job. The whole interior theme has been topped off by the addition of an MTech 2 steering wheel and the all-important shark tooth hanging from the mirror.
Ten years ago most suspension setups comprised springs and shocks but today air is where it’s at and it’s all about getting your car so low that sometimes you think you could sneak under a snake’s belly wearing a top hat. With its low roof and sleek look, the CSi is the perfect candidate for air and dropping it to the ground accentuates those long, low lines. Lala’s done something very smart here too; sure the air-ride gets the car down low but the clever bit is the use of a specially made M3-style chin spoiler and the fitment of, would you believe, Volvo 850 side skirts.
These additions make the whole profile look even lower and very sleek. As Lala explains: “The idea with the spoiler was really to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth, but it does lengthen his nose.”
His nose, did you say? “Definitely,” Lala says. “Jaws was certainly male, so this car must be a bloke too.” Looking at the car now after that statement, you have to agree it does look masculine. It has a sharp, angular feel to it and we’re sure that’s pure testosterone coming out of the exhaust…
Having a wrap expert on-hand would make you think that this car would be littered with the stuff but on initial scrutiny you’d say there wasn’t any wrapping going on at all. Well, you’d be wrong. Look a little closer and you’ll find something very subtle, but very nicely done: the window surrounds. It may not look much but, while all the glass was out for the paint job, Lala took all the mouldings that fit between the glass and bodywork, and wrapped them in a fabulously deep gloss black wrap. Not only does this look really neat, but you just have to think of how much of a nightmare it must have been to do.
Externally the look gets further enhancements with the fitment of American side marker lights, smoked headlamps, taillights and badges. The window glass has been replaced with some from a pre-1985 model, purely because the glass had a tasteful bronze tint to it (unlike this 1989 version). This was then made deeper by adding another layer of tint, thus creating a totally unique shade.
How many times do you feel a tad disappointed when you’ve read all the interesting guff about the fancy bodywork and the trick bits only to be told that the engine has been left totally standard? Well, brace yourself, because this motor is pretty standard too but, before you go all ‘I told you so’ on us, remember one thing, this is a 635CSi which has the lusty 3.4-litre ‘Big Six’ under the bonnet. That’s over 200 feisty ponies in there wanting to get out so – why mess with something that good? Lala has added an induction kit, though, and a bespoke exhaust, making the tuneful straight-six sound even better, from air going in to exhaust gases coming out. To top off the whole package the standard 635 brakes up front have been swapped for the beefier ones from an 840.
With the subtle changes, bespoke additions and attention to detail, Lala has given us a worthy sequel to his original Jaws, and just when you thought it was safe to go back on the road… This is real proof that sequels can work and work well, providing the main character has what it takes, of course, and this 635 has exactly that.
“The idea of the chin spoiler was to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth”
DATA FILE #Air-ride / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #M-System / #BMW-E24-Air-ride / #BMW-635CSi-Air-ride / #BMW-635CSi-Air-ride-E24 / #BMW /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #M30 / #BMW-M30 , induction kit, stainless steel exhaust system, four-speed auto gearbox #ZF-4HP / #ZF
CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 11x19” (rear) custom three-piece #M5-M-System-II-Style-21 ‘Throwing Stars’ with 3.5” (front) and 4” (rear) polished lips and 18ct gold-plated hardware, 235/35 (front) and 255/30 (rear) tyres, Air Lift Performance air suspension, 840Ci brakes (front)
EXTERIOR Full respray in BMW Nogaro silver, gloss black wrapped window surrounds, pressed metal gills in front wings, custom E30 M3 chin spoiler, Volvo 850 side skirts, pre-1985 bronze window glass with additional tint, American side marker lights, smoked headlights and tail-lights
INTERIOR Re-trim in terracotta leather, modified doorcards and centre console, #M-Tech 2 steering wheel, custommounted #AutoPilot-V2 digital air-ride controller, single #ViAir compressor, single air tank, 2x #Pioneer Champion Series 12” subs
“The idea of the chin spoiler was to give the impression of a shark’s open mouth”
The craftsmanship of the interior is something to behold…
“Jaws was certainly male, so this car must be a bloke too”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBASKING SHARK
The E24 6 Series is a masterpiece of classic design and one that with a just a few mods becomes something special. This classic CSi isn’t the sort of shark that’ll rip your leg off without hesitation or warning – it’s a mellow, low-and-slow cruiser. Although with 200hp-odd from the factory, you’d still do well to keep an eye on it… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Henry Phull.
“BMWs are in my blood,” says Henry Phull, as he nonchalantly rumbles to a halt before the photographer’s lens in his shimmering retro sharknose. This, of course, sets alarm bells ringing – you know what happens when you mix sharks with the suggestion of blood, you’ve seen Jaws. We step back cautiously and allow him to elaborate: “My dad had numerous Beemers when I was growing up, the most notable being an E24 M635CSi in red – that was his favourite car, and I’ve wanted a sharknose of my own ever since.”
It’s a story oft-told, the my-dad-had-one-of- those aspiration, and it’s played beautifully into Henry’s hands as he strategised the long game. Starting out his driving career in an Audi runabout before graduating to an E34 525i, the stepping stones were inexorably leading him toward an old-skool 6 Series… although when it happened, it came out of left-field, as it turned out that the lure of the E34 5 Series distracted him somewhat. “I just fell in love with the noise and the leather of the 525i,” he grins, “and after that I had a V8 530i, with both cars receiving Throwing Stars, coilovers and M5 interiors. I was then on the hunt for a 540i – and I test drove a few which turned out to be lemons – when a 635CSi turned up at the right price, in the right place at the right time…”
This move of celestial serendipity was enough to jolt Henry’s childhood dreams back on track. Receiving a message from a friend saying that a mate of theirs in the motor trade had just taken in an E24 in partexchange was enough to prick Henry’s ears up. He called the seller in question, who turned out to be vague on the details and sent over some low-quality photos of the car. Not a lot to go on, there – but it had one key hook: “It was white!” says Henry, triumphantly. “A white 635CSi is an uncommon sight, so I was interested.”
From there on in the whole thing was inevitable, really. The cherry on the cake was that the vendor was planning to put it into his bodyshop to freshen up the front wings and sort out any rust the car may have, and this – combined with the low, low price (undisclosed here, but undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime deal) – was enough to twist Henry’s arm. Although to be fair, it was already pretty much twisted. The chance to own the car of his childhood dreams? Yeah, you’d have been right in there too.
“I told him I would go up and view the car as soon as it was out of the paint shop,” he recalls. “A week later I made my way to Basingstoke to take a closer look. On first inspection the car was dirty and tatty, like it was in the photos I’d seen previously, but the paint was decent and they’d done a good job on the wings. It needed a few niggly things sorting; the floor was wet, the windows didn’t work properly, the indicators didn’t work, the engine had a couple of oil leaks and sounded tappy… but I decided that the car was being sold to me so cheap, it was worth the risk, and I could break it for more than I paid for it if the car turned out to be bad.” With no prior experience of owning M30-engined cars, this was something of a step into the unknown for Henry, but it represented more of the good sort of fear that you get from, say, rollercoasters than the bad fear you associate with axe murderers and PPI cold calls. And so a deal was struck.
Such was the thrall in which the E24 held Henry that he kept it completely bone-stock for a year before any thoughts of modifying crossed his bows. But inevitably the dark thoughts crept in, as they’re always prone to do, and he found himself bolting on a set of Throwing Stars (hey, stick with what you know…) and chopping a few coils off the springs. Appearances at a few shows yielded universal praise, although at this stage he was focusing more on maintenance than modification. But with the car mechanically tip-top and aesthetically up-to-scratch, it was time to do things properly.
“I’d always fancied split-rims, and this was the car that finally pushed me to do it,” he says. “I’d always gone with OEM+ wheels before, but I found myself scanning the internet, looking for the right splits.” He’d already decided that they had to be 17s or 18s, and initially favoured a mesh design that would evoke the CSi’s original metric wheels. But then a set of OZ Futuras popped up on Stanceworks and changed all of that.
“They were up for sale in Germany, and it was a bit of a scary purchase as they were used and I would never know the true condition of them until they arrived,” he recalls with a grimace. “I wasn’t even after this sort of wheel design but this set had gold centres; gold on a white car was what I wanted. It’s just so period-correct. A quick photoshop later and it was clear that they would look amazing!”
The specs were aggressive and Henry found that the judicious use of spacers would push them right into the arch lips in fine style. The next inevitable quandary, of course, was how to lower the thing…
This was a weighty decision indeed, with Henry having recently devoted himself full time to Slam Sanctuary, the site he founded to showcase badass low-down rides. He had to walk the walk, right? But at the same time there was a tight budget to consider – going it alone employment-wise is a financial tightrope. This was the initial impetus that swayed him away from air-ride and toward rolling static, although we all know that this is more than a cost-based decision; air vs coilies is a lifestyle thing. They both have their merits, but it’s down to how you use your car and what sort of character you want to give it.
A long chat with SS Autowerks resulted in a set of well-priced BC Racing coilovers winging their way to him, in drool-worthy Extra Low flavour with custom spring rates. To complement this new attitude to altitude, SSA also threw some engine raisers to get the M30 20mm further from the Tarmac which, brilliantly, raise the base of the sump above the subframe, so the car doesn’t even need a sump guard. Who says static rides are all oily heartache and tow trucks?
The vagaries and mechanical complexities of the E24 (shall we just call it quality engineering?) meant that the fitment of coilovers wasn’t a walk in the park, so Henry entrusted the job to the irrepressible Paul of Coltech Classics, who set about ripping out the MacPherson strut setup and welding the Extra Low units to the hubs.
“Paul said the BCs were a dream to work with,” Henry enthuses. “We couldn’t believe how low they allowed the car to run while maintaining drivability, I’d recommend them to anyone with an E24.”
The nature of Henry’s sloped driveway meant that the centre exhaust box was catching with these new-found lows, which gave him the excuse to rip the thing off and replace it with straight-through pipes – a nifty little fringe benefit – while some trimming of the rear arches was the final job Paul needed to carry out in order to make the thing day-to-day streetable.
And that, in a nutshell, was the realisation of Henry’s boyhood dream. You’ll note that the car’s exterior remains resolutely unmodified – “Why alter the body of an already beautiful car?” he reasons – and much the same is true of the factory interior, save from the addition of an MTech I steering wheel. This is textbook ‘stop, drop and roll’ stuff, and it’s all the better for it.
“The first show I took it to with the new look was the Players Classic, and the attention it received was just on another level,” he grins. “And then the BMW Festival at Gaydon… people were constantly asking me if it was bagged, which just goes to show what the right sort of coilovers can achieve.” Such is the menace of the bona fide shark; you don’t need to be flash – you just have to bare your teeth.
DATA FILE #BMW-E24 / #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 / #BMW / #OZ
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #BMW-M30 / #M30 , engine raisers, centre exhaust silencer removed, four-speed auto / #ZF4HP / #ZF
CHASSIS 8.5x17” ET13 (front) and 10x17” ET19 (rear) #OZ-Futura wheels with 25mm (front) and 30mm (rear) spacers and 205/45 (front) and 245/35 (rear) tyres, #BC-Racing Extra Low Type RA coilovers with custom spring rates
INTERIOR Stock with full factory leather, M Tech 1 steering wheel
THANKS Paul at Coltech Classics for going the extra mile to lower the car, Nick and Alex at SS Autowerks for supplying BC coilovers and engine raisers, Tom Etheridge for servicing and helping to maintain the car in his spare time, Paul at MVT Poole for general maintenance and always sorting me out at the last minute whenever there’s an issue, Simon and Nathan at The Wheel Specialist Bournemouth for assisting with fitment and tyres. Last but not least, my parents for letting me park the car in their garage!
“The attention it received was on another level!”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAC SCHNITZER S5
Hiding in Plain Sight It might not be as well-known as the M5 but this #Schnitzer E34 S5 still packs a punch.
The AC Schnitzer S5 Silhouette is nowhere near as well-known as the M5. And that’s exactly the way its owner Jani Ylönen likes it. Nobody suspects a thing… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photography: Jape Tiitinen.
The concept of the sleeper is one that’s endured for generations – the idea that you can wrap up a whole bundle of hairraising performance and handling prowess into a relatively unassuming package, thereby dropping jaws and raising eyebrows along with pulses as you blow away the competition in the traffic light grand prix.
There are countless examples of bona fide sleepers that really highlight the success of the formula – regular visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, for example, will no doubt be familiar with the near-anonymous white Transit van that has the engine and running gear from a Jaguar XJ220 squirreled away inside. But that’s just a one-off build; manufacturers love to build Q-cars too – look at the Rover 75 V8 (as dull to behold as your grandpa’s runabout, but there’s a Mustang engine in there!), the pseudo-mundane four-door version of the R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R, the Renault Espace V6, the Volvo 850R, the Lancia Thema 8.32 (a drab-looking saloon with a Ferrari V8, for goodness’ sake) and, of course, the original, E28-generation BMW M5. This last one, arguably more than any, really nailed the sleeper idea: a sensible, everyday executive saloon hiding a supercar engine of phenomenal might.
Now, a pedant might argue that the car we’re looking at here isn’t exactly a sleeper. And they’d be right. Just take a peep at the boisterous, aggressive wheel arches and the girth of those shimmering splitrims – it’s an E34 in a party frock, a 5 Series that’s been up close and personal with a glitterball. But the Q-car analogy still holds up, because this AC Schnitzer special fits into a handy sleeper offshoot that was blossoming in the 1990s, a sort of officially modified alternative to a mainstream model.
The obvious poster boy of this generation was the Lotus Carlton, a tremendously dull base car that suddenly became very exciting when Vauxhall carted it off to Lotus. It returned with a couple of turbos, some frighteningly wide arches, and a 177mph top speed. Sure, manufacturers and aftermarket tuners have been monkeying around in this arena from time immemorial, but the idea of taking a humdrum production model and turning up the wick for a handful of moneyed customers really built up a head of steam in the ’90s, and AC Schnitzer was more than happy to exploit this enthusiasm by having a little tinker with the E34 chassis.
This, naturally, was a tremendously logical notion. While the E34 5 Series range wasn’t exactly wanting for performance variants – the M5 was a hand-built lunatic with comfortably north of 300hp, and the North American market got an M-Sport version of the 540i, which made good use of that shiny new V8 – that’s never been the point of Schnitzer road cars.
These are race-bred machines (or so they’d tell you), the connoisseurs’ choice for the sort of discerning customer who thought a little more laterally than just swaggering into the local BMW dealership, slapping a fat wad on the counter and leering ‘gimme the fastest 5 Series you have’. With roots in the iconic Schnitzer Motorsport team, which was founded way back in 1967, AC Schnitzer was established as a brand in its own right in 1987, and it was well into its stride when the E34 chassis reared its head and started tentatively begging for attention like a curious kitten. The E34 and AC Schnitzer are basically the same age – a match written in the stars, no?
Arriving at the crux of the matter, the car you’re looking at here is an AC Schnitzer S5 Silhouette. This represented one of the first holistic E34 tuning programmes, something that effectively said ‘the M5 is an astonishing machine, but it’s not the only performance option here’. So what was interesting about it? Well, just drink in the aesthetic… the size of the arch extensions is notable for starters – not quite Lotus Carlton-like levels of beef, granted, but certainly enough to earn a cocked glance from an aficionado.
The hook with the Silhouette was that, unlike other contemporary body kits – not least from Schnitzer itself, the kit wasn’t made from polyurethane or injection-moulded plastic, but lovely lightweight fibreglass, with a bit of Kevlar reinforcement in the rear spoiler to ensure it was doing its job. In addition to the arches, the S5 wore chunky side skirts, a front spoiler and a rear apron, and all this does much to ramp up the aggressiveness of the profile. Particularly when you stir in the timeless breadth of the Type I wheels, their contact patch being comically large by early 1990s standards. How does a 12.75x17-inch rear rim grab you? ‘By the throat’ is probably the correct answer there…
This tidy example belongs to Jani Ylönen of Vehmersalmi, Finland – a certified BMW nut and thus an eminently sensible curator for such a slice of history: “I’ve always been a big fan of BMWs. My first car was an E21 323i, and it’s difficult to imagine how I’d want to drive any other make.” Indeed, sitting alongside this E34 on the Ylönen driveway is an F11- generation 5 Series, which suggests that the seed planted so early on is blossoming with alacrity.
“My E21 was in bad condition when I bought it,” he recalls. “I fully rebuilt it from the ground up in 1994-’95. I think it’s a good thing to really know the car you drive, it fuels the passion.” This was again the case with the S5 Silhouette. Did he save it from the ignominy of the crusher? Ah, no, thankfully not… “I saw it for the first time in around 2005, and I knew it would be mine,” Jani grins. “It was owned by a friend who kept it in great condition – the way I bought it is pretty much the way it is now.”
The reason for his enthusiasm is clear to see, it’s obvious how one might fall in love with such a machine on first sight. After all, AC Schnitzer put the hours in to ensure that the S5 Silhouette was a formidable machine. A number of engine options were available, but this was the mightiest and brawniest; using the 535i’s 3.5-litre straight-six as a base, it was stretched out to 3.7-litres (well, 3627cc to be precise, with a 92.5mm bore and 90mm stroke compared to the 92mm and 82mm of the stock 535i) and treated to Schnitzer’s own cams, pistons, con rods and crankshaft, along with a modified cylinder head and intake, and custom management.
To all of this, Jani has added a Reuter Motorsport exhaust system and a set of larger injectors from an E34 M5, with the verified results being a healthy 282hp. A 38 per cent horsepower gain over the standard 535i is not to be sniffed at, is it?
With such clear roots in motorsport, Schnitzer was keen to talk in its contemporary literature about the increased downforce and reduced lift resulting from the respective fibreglass accoutrements, and the single wiper and aero mirrors give the S5 a nifty Touring Car vibe. The tuner’s own suspension setup was dialled in as well; developed with Bilstein, the custom springs and dampers dropped the car by around 35mm.
The manner in which the tuner spoke about its baby back then was telling in its forthrightness, that ‘a consistent application of proven racing mechanics on road-suitable versions is possible without any restrictions in view of everyday use and motoring comfort’. You see what it’s doing? It’s justifying the purchase for you, to save you the bother – yes, it’s a brutish road-racer, but don’t worry, it’s every bit as much of a comfortable cruiser as any factory BMW.
What a fabulously logical marketing strategy that is. Certainly an easy one to sell to a reluctant spouse. And ACS has always been fierce and stern selfpromoters, sticking the company logo anywhere it could; take a peep into that sumptuous, leather-clad interior and you’ll spot a chunky and robust branded three-spoke steering wheel, Schnitzer pedals and footrest, Schnitzer wood trim on the dash… there’s no ambiguity about where you are. And where you are is somewhere very special indeed.
This E34, then, is not a sleeper by traditional standards, but it does fit very neatly into the mainstream-sidestep of the early 1990s that saw machines like this suddenly making a lot of sense. The name itself is evocative of a keen race heritage – silhouette racers, after all, are the ultimate manifestation of the basic sleeper ethos, stuffing otherworldly performance into sensible-trousers shells – and it’s this above all else that drew Jani to purchasing it. “I just love the fat body kit and wide wheels,” he laughs. “And people’s reactions at shows can be great – if they know, they know.” But the real point is that most people don’t know.
The S5 Silhouette, as brash as it is in the details, is a car that flies under the radar. It’s not an M5, that much is obvious, so the untrained observer will pigeonhole it as ‘just another E34’ before moving on to the next exhibit. Which is a mistake, as they’ll soon discover when they have their tanned backside handed to them on a country lane on the way home. Such is the entertaining in-joke of the Q-car genre.
AC Schnitzer’s contemporary tuning brochure had a section dedicated to the E34 Five and the S5 Silhouette featured heavily, and much was made of bringing motorsport technology to the road.
“I think it’s a good thing to really know the car you drive, it fuels the passion…”
“I just love the fat body kit and wide wheels and people’s reactions at shows can be great”
TECHNICAL DATA #AC-Schnitzer-S5 / #AC-Schnitzer-S5 / #AC-Schnitzer-S5-E34 / #AC-Schnitzer-E34 / #AC-Schnitzer / #AC-Schnitzer / #BMW-E34 / #BMW / #BMW-E34-AC-Schnitzer / #AC-Schnitzer /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: #M30B35 / #M30 / #BMW-M30 / #M30-AC-Schnitzer 3.7-litre straight-six, AC Schnitzer cams, pistons, con rods and crankshaft, modified cylinder head and intake, #Reuter-Motorsport exhaust system, AC Schnitzer valve cover and ECU, S38 E34 M5 injectors, #Getrag five-speed manual 282hp, 270lb ft
CHASSIS: 9.75x17-inch (front) and 12.75x17-inch (rear) #AC-Schnitzer-Type-I wheels, 215/45 (front) Nankang NS-II and 255/40 (rear) Falken Azenis, AC Schnitzer/ #Bilstein sport suspension, drilled/grooved discs and #Ferodo pads, strut brace
EXTERIOR: AC Schnitzer S5 Silhouette fibreglass kit comprising wide arches, side skirts, front spoiler and rear apron, Kevlarreinforced AC Schnitzer rear spoiler, AC Schnitzer heated sport mirrors
INTERIOR: AC Schnitzer three-spoke leather steering wheel, AC Schnitzer short shift with leather gear knob, AC Schnitzer footrest, AC Schnitzer wood trim, leather upholsteryStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAPEX PREDATOR 535whp turbo E24 sleeper with an appetite for speed… #BMW-635CSi / #BMW-635CSi-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo-E24 / #BMW-635CSi-Turbo / #BMW-E24-Turbo / #BMW-E24
It’s impossible to resist the charms of the E24 and with 535whp from its turbocharged M30, this unassuming, power-hungry 635CSi is the ultimate sleeper. The great white shark has no natural predators and with 535whp this turbocharged land shark doesn’t have any either. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Deniss Podnebess.
I hate the E24. I hate it because I really want one, so very badly, but I can’t afford the best examples and fear of rust and potentially eye-watering repair costs puts me off the cheaper ones that I might be able to afford. So I remain in a 6 Series-less limbo and writing about ones like this makes me sad. But not for long because they’re awesome, and this one especially so…
This E24 belongs to serial modifier and 6 Series junkie, Maxim Rakut. This Latvian resident has already graced these pages before, back in our October 2014 issue with his M62-swapped E24 but now he’s back with something a little spicier. But first, in case you didn’t read about his V8-powered Six, a little background. Maxim is the owner of IXT Workshop, which specialises in repairing and modifying BMWs. Cars, BMWs in particular, have been a huge part of his life for a very long time. “I’ve been into cars since school,” he says, “and when I finished school I opened my own garage. I’ve loved BMWs since I was 16; BMWs are made for driving, not for just moving from point A to point B. They are everything I expect of car – fast, reliable and beautiful. My first car was an E30 323i, which I bought because it was accident damaged and the price was cheap, which was important for me as I was a student at the time. Since then I’ve had some E28s, E21s and some more E30s before the E24s.
“I saw this car for sale in Germany, an unfinished restoration project. It had done 173,000km (just over 107,500 miles). It had only had two previous owners and the body and interior were in pretty much perfect condition. I bought the car for €2200 and I’ve spent over €15,000 on modifications. One of the first things we did was have it resprayed – it was originally red before being repainted in Germany in BMW Dunkelblau (Dark blue) but the paint wasn’t in perfect condition when I bought the car so I had it redone in the same colour. I decided to do a turbo project because the car was a good base but didn’t have enough power and the handling wasn’t perfect, even though it’s a CSi.”
The M30B35 is a great place to start a turbo project from, being very well-suited to forced induction and Maxim has put a lot of work into the engine to make sure that it is up to the task. “It took me a week to build the engine,” he says, “and my goal was 500whp with 480lb ft of torque, but we got a bit more in the end.” The engine might not look all that special – there’s no overly clean bay or mirror polishing – but all the work has gone into the inside. The head has been polished, pistons from the turbo M106 have been fitted and there are additional nozzles for cooling them with oil, while 660cc Bosch injectors fed by a 300lph Bosch 044 pump chuck plenty of fuel in. The turbo itself is a Garrett GT45 which sits on a custom equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold. “It was very hard to make the exhaust manifold an equal length. Trying to fit a twin-scroll manifold with two wastegates and a huge turbo in the limited space of an E24 engine bay was not easy,” says Maxim. “The turbo is able to push out 800hp. At the moment it is making 535whp and 590lb ft of torque but it’s good as it is and I don’t want to destroy the engine with too much boost.”
Additional modifications include an oil filter housing and oil cooler from an E34 M5, M52 coils, a Spal cooling fan, an E36 M3 Mishimoto rad (that replaced a completely custom item which was made from the wrong material and kept overheating), and an Emusa intercooler with custom pipework.
Maxim mentioned the handling of the 635 not being up to scratch and sorting this actually proved to be quite tricky. “Finding a good suspension setup was hard,” he says, “as there’s no aftermarket solution for coilovers so I had to combine and experiment with different stiffnesses and heights and make my own custom coilovers using H&R springs, Bilstein B8 dampers and XYZ uniball top mounts.”
The ride height has been reduced nicely and the arches sit down nice and snug over the 18” Rial Daytona Race wheels. The Daytona is a wheel that maybe doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. Here at PBMW, as you may expect, we’re addicted to searching for wheels on eBay and Daytonas keep popping up. We’ve spend far longer than is healthy looking at them. We even came across someone on a forum accusing them of being BBS reps… some people!
The Daytona Race may have that traditional cross-spoke design but this is a seriously sexy two-piece wheel that looks good on just about any BMW it’s fitted to, including the E24. “I had these ones in my warehouse,” Maxim tells us, “and I decided to make some custom lips so they would fit the E24 arches perfectly. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, they’ve made this classic car look really fresh now.” We think they look fantastic on the 635 and the custom lips have taken them from 8” all-round to 9.25” at the front and 9.75” at the rear.
The E24 is one of those cars that looks right and really doesn’t need anything much on the styling front, and Maxim has sensibly not messed with perfection. The #BMW Dark blue really suits that slick sharkshape and it’s actually closer to something like Macau or Carbon black than a simple dark blue hue. “I didn’t consider any other body colour,” says Maxim. “This one is perfect. I love how it changes colour in different light – when it’s dark it’s almost black, when the sun is shining it’s blue and sometimes it’s even a bit green.” Up front there are Hella smoked headlights and at the back what appear to be smoked light clusters are actually custom units made from dark plastic. Inside, things have been left pretty much standard, too, with cloth Sport seats and the original steering wheel.
The only additions are a bank of four retrolooking gauges that keep Maxim informed of water temperature, oil pressure and boost along with a digital AFR gauge. “I like it stock and clean but had to add extra gauges to monitor the modified engine,” says Maxim.
After nine months of hard graft, the 635 was ready and rather than parking it up at shows, he set about actually driving it.
“It was my summer car last year and I had so much fun with it!” he laughs. “The engine is my favourite part of the whole car – when it gets to full boost, 1.6bar in third gear, the car is unstoppable. It’s fun when you are street-racing against a fast motorbike and it can’t catch you. You can’t compare the feeling of driving my 635 with newer cars. Without electronics you feel everything like you are at the centre of everything. It’s different and I love it.”
Unfortunately, as with so many projects, this one is up for sale as Maxim is ready to move onto his next one. “New season, new car. Works for me,” he says. “This summer I will build an E46 335Ci with a twin-turbo N54.” It sounds like it’ll be a spectacular machine but not quite as spectacular or as cool as this. For us, this turbo’d 6 Series is on the next level, the greatest of all sharks.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.5-litre straight-six #M30B35 / #BMW-M30 / #BMW-M30-Turbo , polished head mounted on pyramid ring gasket, #ARP bolts, #M106 / #BMW-M106 pistons, extra nozzles for cooling of pistons with oil, E34 M5 oil filter housing and oil radiator, equal length twin-scroll exhaust manifold, 2x35mm wastegates, #Garrett-GT45 turbocharger, #VEMS engine management, #Bosch 660cc injectors, Bosch 044 300lph fuel pump, two #AEM wideband lambdas, M52 coils, Spal cooling fan, #Mishimoto E36 M3 radiator with modified right tank, #Emusa intercooler with custom pipework, blow-off valve behind left foglight, 80mm downpipe, 76mm centre exhaust section, standard rear silencer. Five-speed manual gearbox, #Clutch-Masters Stage 3 clutch, lightened E34 M5 flywheel, 3.15 E46 M3 LSD. 535rwhp and 590lb ft at the rear wheels.
CHASSIS: 9.25x18” (front) and 9.75x18” (rear) two-piece Rial Daytona Race wheels with custom lips and. 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) tyres. Custom coilovers made by #IXT Workshop, using #H&R springs, #Bilstein-B8 shocks and XYZ uniball top mounts, fully polybushed with #Powerflex bushes throughout, E34 535i brakes (front), stock brakes (rear).
EXTERIOR: Full respray in #BMW-Dark-blue-metallic , #Hella smoked headlights, custom dark rear light clusters.
INTERIOR: Four-gauge cluster in centre console, #Innovate-Motorsports digital #AFR gauge, Sony head unit.
It’s fun when you are street-racing against a fast motorbike and it can’t catch youStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFEATURE BMW 735i E23 ROLLENTAUSCH / #1983 / #BMW-735i-E23-Roehrle-Car-Design / #Roehrle / #Roehrle-Car-Design
The initially chosen one for the restoration 745i was declared a stock of spare parts, whereupon the 735i should experience its rebirth.
From the stock of spare parts for Restoration object
In the case of Sarah Röhrle that drives the ones shown here #BMW-735i-E23 and her character is the director of Röhrle Car design in Unterschneidheim, enthusiasm for BMW vehicles from generation to generation was passed. The grandfather drove 35 years ago the same car and also Sarah's father has always been in BMWs go. "Thus, it quickly became clear that our next project would be no VW and Audi no. No a BMW, it should be this time and my father knew exactly which model, "says Sarah.
Received original are the controls. Among the modern features of the revived 735i include 3SDM wheels.
In total more than 800 hours of the 1983 BMW has been built into a practical and classic cars.
Of course there should be a 735i E23. There was probably difficult to gain access to the information necessary for a construction parts of more than three decades old cars, you simply bought two restoration needy BMW: a 735i and a 745i, both E23. So, in principle, the same vehicles, each equipped with different engine and transmission. It has made the decision to restore the 745i because he appeared with his stronger engine, the automatic, the buffalo leather interior and because of its much better state than against the less powerful predecessor hopeful candidate.
But appearances can be! After nearly 100 kilometers, passed the transmission of the 745i. Unfortunately, the car should be even six weeks later on the 2015er Tuning World Bodensee at the booth of Röhrle Car design. "Repairing or exchange gear installing blew the time and financial framework of this project," says Sarah, and continues: "We changed the roles. The first was declared Chosen for spare parts warehouse and the original spare parts store should now experiencing a rebirth.
"Said rebirth began when everything was tested for its functionality. The results were far better than expected. Actually, it was only the engine that would not really. However, the cause could be found and fixed quickly. Over the 12 years that had the BMW defenseless stood in a meadow, gathered in the tank a lot of dirt, which was then transported to the fuel by the fuel pump. "After we had renewed the tank and the fuel pump, the 218-hp engine ran without any problems, even his technique got an update, and the restoration was now nothing in the way"
The buff equipment comes from the initially foreseen for restoration 745i E23. The original exhaust system has been supplemented with 60 mm tailpipes.
Below the body was liberated in the workshop of Röhrle Car design in a professional manner from rust and prepare for the planned repainting. Many parts such as chrome trim and rubber were no longer usable. But what was missing, could be replaced easily thanks to the battle vehicle. In addition to the things existing factory also produced in-house as well as a Airride Pioneer radio-CD USB combination has been installed. With the 3SDM wheels in 5 x 18 and 9.5 x 19 of the oldie has another more modern feature. When painting again had recourse to the faithful at the factory available color green lagoon, because this was a perfect fit for the implanted from the 745i buffalo leather.
In total more than 800 hours of #BMW-735i E23 has been built into a practical and classic cars, the how Sarah would be: ". Both old and thrilled young and fascinated" Who wants to know more about Röhrle Car design, can the Unterschneidheim Heimern www.roehrle-car-design.de pay a virtual visit or in Wössingen 3 stop by.
Text: Michael Stone / Photos: Frank Schwichtenberg
Thanks Airride is befitting draft no problem.
The compressors for the self-made Airride system are housed in the trunk.
When painting you went back to the faithful at the factory available color green lagoon.
Flair 80s exudes the cockpit.
After installing a new tank and a new fuel pump and some other technical upgrades the engine was running perfectly again.
FEATURE FACTS's 1983 #BMW 735i E23 (Holder and manufacturer's instructions)
Engine: #M30 -Six #M30B35 , 3430 cc, 218 hp, original exhaust
System with 60-mm tailpipes
Transmission: five-speed manual gearbox
Suspension: #Airride (In-House Production Röhrle of Car Design)
Wheels: 3SDM in 5 x 18 ". U 9.5 x 19"
Tires: #Nexen in 225 / 40-18 front, 245 / 35-19 rear
Body: freed from rust, restored original body, Repainting in #Lagoon-Green
Interior: original interior design with buffalo leather seats from 745i E23, built-in center console, #Pioneer Radio-CD-USB combination
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- Post is under moderationSports family #Lancia - Thema-8:32 vs. BMW-M535i-E28 / TEXT José Ricardo Gouveia / IMAGE Pedro Lopes
The truth of the lie. The demand for two super-saloons 80s, led us to the discovery of some undeniable truths. But also to demystify legends embodied by time. This is the story of a titanic battle between BMW M535i and Lancia Thema 8:32.
The preparation this comparison could not have started more clinical form: the goal was to join two superberlinas 80s, equivalent in terms of performance and pedigree. There is much in the sights of Motor Classic, the choice of Lancia Thema 8:32 was based on its mechanical exceptional V8 Ferrari and pure appeal of driving a luxurious Italian - other than a Maserati - with the ability to get the better of very sporty the war of the traffic lights.
As a counterpoint, the apparent sedated BMW E28 M535i, simple and discreet body inside, only reached the final choice by presenting a six-cylinder in line with similar power (218bhp BMW against the 212bhp of the Lancia). But if the role models close - themselves as magnet and iron, on the road to their separation could not be more drastic.
Angular and well defined, with an elegant waist line and front grille typically Lancia Thema revealed in their ways why the Italians consider true masters of car design. No major frills, the saloon of Turin is still immensely enjoyable to look at, revealing details exquisitely placed each time we approach such as the dual support of mirrors, the sculpture of the bonnet or the design of bumpers.
Since the BMW is pure menir German: geometric and sturdy with a back which seems to have been cut out of a steel block and a front in which only the double rim and the four round headlights stand, this is a well achieved evolution of the first 5 series, lending strength and muscle to the design of the masters Paul and Pietro Frua Bracq. But before the elegant Italian forms, loses luster.
Conservative in approach, #BMW-Motorsport GmbH delegated to division - responsible for the preparation of the most coveted sports - the transformation of saloon 5. lower chassis and firm a six cylinder in-line 3.5-liter "vitaminized" to the 218 horsepower and limited slip 25 percent to try to put the power down, the BMW is nonetheless quite conservative, with its head eight valves and one camshaft.
By contrast, the Lancia is to equip a V8 Ferrari with three-liter, four camshafts head, 32 valves and 216 horsepower. Least six horses than the BMW, but exotic and impressive, idling or skim the redline.
Life on Board
As in the technical chapter, here the Italian back out benefited by genetic taste of its designers. The dashboard lined timber open tone and we pronounced the magnificent armchairs lined with fabric reminiscent of a mix of alcantara and velvet, the Lancia is worthy of the most demanding mobsters. Too serious and gray, the interior of the BMW in little or nothing is distinguished from the remaining range "Five", using logos simple ones "M GmbH" to stand out. In the midst of such shyness, only the excellent bucket seats saved the model of dishonor. Solid and warm, each more pronounced curve these remind us that we are sitting in a sports true.
With over 210 horsepower available, both sports saloons still worthy performances of note. In the case of BMW, 218 horses announced for its six-cylinder engine feel something asleep, but still allow the model that weighs 1414 kg accelerates from 0-100 kmh in 7.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 230 kmh. But the Lancia feels more immediate, with its 212 horses ignite immediately the front tires, hell-bent on fighting the lack of traction of a model that weighs 1405 kg and has announced an acceleration of 0-100 kmh of just 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 240 kmh.
Probably the only parameter in which there is a dead heat. In terms of rolling comfort, both the BMW and the Lancia are excellent, isolating the cabin from the drudgery of surface irregularities. Thanks to independent suspension and high-profile tires (something unthinkable in sporting-day) both saloons meet perfectly the luxury purposes for which they were created. In addition to the comfortable cushioning, an appropriate allocation of equipment covering items such as electric windows, power steering or air conditioning, it makes the driver and passengers life easier.
States for similar potencies and weight, in theory both the BMW M535i as Lancia Theme 8:32 should provide a level of enjoyment to the driving wheel. But could not be more different. Blessed with an eccentric Ferrari engine, the Lancia is one of the rare cases where the enthusiasm fades from the time that the eight cylinders are filled until we started walking. Theater in the roar that sends idle, the block does not give up in impressing the hearing, which prima - owner that warms the throat before his great performance. Helped by a smooth and precise gearbox, the engine is felt all of its 212 horses at once, flooding the interior with a bright cacophony. But we are quickly restrained the momentum of the right foot by a lack of traction threat of extinction rubber of front tires, no matter what the speed is. Subvirador is a mild adjective for a car that, with dated suspensions, can not digest the spontaneity of the accelerator.
However, stealth M535i six cylinders is at least disarming. Doubt in the pattern of capacity remains even when printing more pace on driving. Direct yet lightweight and conveniently assisted steering commands, the "M" runs quietly and without fuss. However, just a curve in realizing excellence and balance of your chassis. Superiorly gifted, the BMW makes it easy to describe the trajectories in expressive power-slides, raising anyone traveling to your steering wheel Heroes recognized grace. Never losing his composure, the German sedan maintains a steering assistance that communicates the precise angle of the front wheels, while the rear axle takes the most out of limited slip prepared by the sports division of the brand.
In the market of the classics, both the BMW and the Lancia themselves in terms of price with the German to be worth 16,000 euros and the Italian to reach 15 000 in very good condition. But when it comes to maintenance, things are quite different. Like so many other Italian models, the Lancia has the scarce stock of the main defect replacement parts. And we're not even talking about the precious Ferrari engine, on which all eyes seem to be focused when it comes to profligacy.
In the case of BMW greater availability of parts and mechanical simplicity are only opponent in the price of some items. But when it comes to restoration, it is always better when the pieces are the same.
Fabulous in its time, both BMW M535i as the Lancia Thema 8:32 still make heads turn, but for different reasons. In the case of the Italian exotic engine that hides it gives it a pedigree far above its dynamic potential. But the German, with his quiet personality, conquers our hearts every curve described artistically, winning this comparison by the way can communicate what the mechanics will doing every second.
We appreciate the collaboration to Classic Care Center (Tel 214 693 072), with the #Lancia-Thema-8:32 and Manuel Mascarenhas (Tel 962 793 114), with the #BMW-M535i . Both cars are for sale.
Sports details donated by division sporty #BMW Motorsport GmbH make unlike the interior of the 5 Series E28.
The five-speed gearbox is smooth and the Lancia relatively precise, especially at low speeds and when not asked too much engine.
Aesthetically the M535i's body is distinguished from others by the use of a small rear spoiler, side sills deeper and specific bumpers, sports and more pronounced.
Distinguished in appearance, the Thema only reveals the pedigree of his Ferrari engine in the logos "8:32" in yellow and bumpers painted in body colour. The interior features a number of useful tools...
With its electrically adjustable seats, upholstered type alcantara, the interior of the Thema 8:32 is higher than the BMW.
Lined with the finest materials, the interior is luxurious Lancia
Kids, do not try this at home. Bending aside does not come naturally to Thema
TECH DATA #Lancia-Thema 8 / 32 #1986 - #1989
Number built 4000
Engine V8-cylinder engine, front transverse position / #Ferrari
Distribution 4 camshafts to the head, 32 valves
Bore x Stroke 81mm X 71mm
Displacement (cm3) 2927
Power electronic injection #Bosch-Jetronic-KE3
Max power (DIN bhp / rpm) 212/6750
Torque max (Nm / rpm) 285/4500
Suspension front, MacPherson type, helical springs; rear, rocker arms, coil springs; telescopic shock absorbers and bars stabilizing;
Transmission Front, from 5-speed manual gearbox
Steering Rack and pinion, with power assistance
Brakes front ventilated discs; rear disks; #Bosch-ABS ;
Unibody chassis, bodywork steel, four doors and five seats
Fuel tank capacity 70-litres
Wheels / Tires 15 '' / 205/55 VR15;
Dimensions Length: 4590 mm
Wheelbase: 2660 mm
Width: 1750 mm
Weight (kg) 1405
Acceleration 0-100 kmh (sec. 0-62MPH) 6.8
Top speed 240 kmh
Spartan but coated with materials quality, the inside of the M535i stands up well over the years.
Worked by Motorsport GmbH, the brilliant chassis 5-series #BMW-E28 is revealed in curve.
Banks kind Bacquet has demonstrated remarkable strength, sin only the slight sway in the pipeline (BMW defect of this season)
TECH DATA #BMW-M535i-E28 #1984 - #1987
Number built 9483
Engine 6-cylinder inline, front longitudinal position / #M30 / #M30B35
Distribution 1 overhead camshaft head, 12 valves
Bore x Stroke 92 X 86mm
Displacement (cm3) 3430
Power electronic injection #Bosch-Motronic-DME / #Bosch-Motronic / #Bosch
Maximum power (bhp DIN / rpm) 218/5500
Maximum torque (Nm / rpm) 310/4000
Suspension front, MacPherson struts, springs Helical; rear swing arms, helical springs; shock absorbers #Bilstein and stabilizer bars;
Transmission, 5-speed manual gearbox with limited slip differential (25%)
Steering Recirculating Ball, #ZF
Brakes with assistance ahead ventilated discs; rear disks; #ABS
Unibody chassis, bodywork steel, four doors and five seats capacity
Wheels / Tires 15.5 '' (R390) / #Michelin-TRX 220/55 VR 390
Dimensions length: 4620 mm
Wheelbase: 2625 mm
Width: 1710 mm
Weight (kg) 1414
Acceleration 0-100 kmh ( 0-62MPH sec.) 7.2
Top speed 230 kmh
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- Post is under moderationFINCREDIBLE HULK #BMW-M535i-E28
Once a mild-mannered E28 #BMW-M535i , this Finnish 5 Series is now a fearsome rage monster brandishing a terrifying 886hp courtesy of its turbocharged M30. Mental turbo E28 shows the kids how it’s done. This might look like a mild-mannered E28 but you wouldn’t like it when it’s angry… Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Jape Tiitinen.
BMW E28s need love. They’re getting rusty, rare and actually quite expensive to buy, certainly in the UK, and much like any classic they are not often casual, off-the-cuff purchases. You have to want an E28 because it requires commitment. Buying an E28 is a serious undertaking, one often reserved for lifelong BMW enthusiasts who’ve always wanted to own this classic saloon. Enthusiasts like Tobias Holmkvist, perhaps? “Well, when I bought this M535 my interest in the marque started to grow but I can’t really say I’m a #BMW guy,” he reveals. Oh, guess not then…
So, just what attracted this 20-something car enthusiast to the sharkey E28? Well, for our Finnish truck body builder, this car presented itself as the perfect proposition for what he was planning. “I wanted to build a crazy car for street use,” he says in the matter-of-fact manner that someone might use when telling you that they’ve just bought a new shirt. “And to me the E28 is an old and beautiful model, plus this car already had a lot of performance parts installed. It was in pretty bad shape, though, and needed a rebuild so I bought it to have something to spend my time on.”
Purchased in Sweden, Tobias’ E28 needed more than a little TLC to get it roadworthy again, requiring no less than a complete interior overhaul, rust removal and a respray, making this far more than just a casual project. But then again Tobias is a man who enjoys a challenge and likes building cars that are a little different from the norm (such as the 415hp Mercedes diesel estate he built back in 2008), so the prospect of restoring this E28 and turning it into a fire-breathing monster was no doubt a tantalising one.
Now, if you want to build yourself a crazy powerful road car, you’re going to need to build yourself one serious engine. Luckily the M30B35 is the perfect candidate for turbocharging and makes the ideal base for building up a serious powerplant. Tobias has left no stone unturned, or at least no engine component unmodified, in his quest for power. The engine has undergone numerous evolutions but the current spec is its most impressive incarnation.
First off, the block has been fitted with a reinforced bottom plate to stabilise it; it’s been bored out by 0.5mm and CP forged pistons have been fitted, though the crank has been left stock. The head was ported by Tobias himself and fitted with an Enem Z55 turbo camshaft, steel rocker arms and Stage 2 valve springs while ARP bolts ensure it stays clamped tightly to the block. Initially, Tobias was running a Holset HX55 turbo with a Megasquirt standalone ECU but he wasn’t happy with the way the car performed. “The Holset was too small,” he says, being rated for about 570hp, “so I removed the Megasquirt and the Holset and replaced it with the Precision turbo and MaxxECU engine management, which got the car running like a dream with better spool, more power and better engine control.” The turbo in question is a 7275, rated to 1015hp, offering the sort of horsepower potential that Tobias was looking for. In addition, it’s been fitted with a 46mm Precision wastegate. The intake and exhaust manifolds were both made by Tobias, with a 4” downpipe running from the turbo into a 3.5” exhaust with a single silencer, while on the intake side there’s a seriously beefy intercooler, measuring 600x450x100mm with a 3” inlet and a 4” outlet. You’ll also find 1680cc injectors sitting on a billet fuel rail, a VAG COP ignition system, a PWM controlled electric water pump and electric cooling fan. It’s a heavyweight list of mods and it results in some seriously heavyweight performance figures, with 2.3bar of boost resulting in 886hp and 758lb ft of torque, which is more than any sane person could ever possibly need, but whether it’s more than someone like Tobias could possibly want is another matter altogether…
To go with all that power, Tobias has opted for an E39 M5 gearbox uprated with a Sachs 765 pressure plate and sintered clutch along with a homemade propshaft with M5 joints and an LSD at the rear, which allows him to put down some very long 11s on the Tarmac. The brakes have also been uprated, naturally, with 348mm discs up front and 320mm items at the rear, offering much needed enhanced stopping power. When Tobias bought the car it had already been fitted with lowering springs and uprated dampers, so he’s suck with that combo, adding Powerflex bushes throughout and M5 anti-roll bars to try and quell the car’s slightly tail-happy nature, though we wager that ramping up the power to over 800hp has probably undone most of his hard work on that front.
Of course, even when you’re building a mental fast road machine like this, you can’t forget about the aesthetics and while Tobias has kept things looking pretty OE on the outside, there are plenty of hints that let you know this is most definitely not your run-of the-mill E28. Up front, one of the high beam lights has been replaced by a colour-coded air intake that feeds air directly to the massive cone filter wedged into the corner of the engine bay, while at the rear you’ll find an E30 M3-style spoiler crowned with a home-made gurney flap, complete with a message for anyone foolish enough to have attempted to tangle with this E28. And there’s no need for multiple exhausts here when one fat tailpipe does the job just fine, thank you very much.
The AC Schnitzer Type 1 Racing wheels, Tobias reveals, were actually on the car when he bought it, and he liked them so much that he almost bought the car just for them, though they were in very bad shape and he spent 20 hours rebuilding them. Not that you’d know, mind, as they look absolutely spotless and the gold-on-white combo is pretty much perfect.
The interior is a blend of OE calm and hardcore aftermarket additions. “I had always wanted a car with a full roll-cage,” explains Tobias, “so I decided to build one. A friend helped me with the TIG welding but I built it myself. It was very hard to make but the result was very good. I also fitted a set of E34 M5 leather seats and I made my own leather door panels, suede steering wheel and lowered steering column.” Tobias also chucked in a hydraulic handbrake, because that’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see in a 800hp E28 that’s very good at going sideways!
The boot is home to numerous fuel system components, plonked unceremoniously to one side, but with the most exquisite components and the engine bay most definitely deserves a mention because while it might not be a polished-up show bay, it’s very clean and tidy. We particularly love the colour-coded piping and intake plenum.
It’s taken Tobias four years to get the car to where it is today, a slow steady process of annual evolution, and this E28 has become something of a beast. It’s an epic machine that’s fulfilled Tobias’s brief of being “a crazy car for street use”. Judging from the pictures, Tobias seems pretty happy with the results, too, and it’s good to see a car like this being used in anger; then again, how else could you possibly use it?
DATA FILE #BMW-E28 M30B35 Turbo
ENGINE: 3.5-litre straight-six #M30B35 , bore increased by +0.5mm, stock crank, CP forged pistons, reinforced bottom plate to stabilise block, ported #M30 B35 head, #ARP bolts, Enem Z55 turbo camshaft, steel rocker arms, Stage 2 valve springs, custom intake and exhaust manifolds, #recision-7275 turbo, 1680cc injectors, #VAG coil-on plug ignition system, #MaxxECU ECU, PWM-controlled electric water pump, #PWM -controlled cooling fan, billet fuel rail, Precision 46mm wastegate, 4” downpipe with 3.5” exhaust and single silencer, 600x450x100mm intercooler with 3” inlet and 4” outlet. 886hp and 758lb ft @ 2.3bar.
TRANSMISSION: #Getrag-Type-D six-speed manual gearbox from E39 M5 #Getrag , #Sachs-765 pressure plate, sintered clutch disc, home-made propshaft with M5 joints, LSD.
CHASSIS: 8.5x17” (front) and 9.5x17” (rear) #AC-Schnitzer-Type-1 Racing #AC-Schnitzer wheels with 225/45 (front) and 255/40 (rear) Federal semi-slick tyres, single-piston callipers (front and rear) with 348x30mm discs (front), 320x22mm discs (rear).
EXTERIOR: High beam air intake, E30 M3-style spoiler with custom gurney flap.
INTERIOR: Full roll-cage, E34 M5 leather seats, custom leather doorcards, suede steering wheel and lowered steering column.
THANKS: My friends that have helped me with this project, all your help has really been appreciated.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationE34 #Alpina-B10-Biturbo - a Taste of the Future.
Alpina’s glorious B10 Bi-Turbo may well be 26 years old but it provided owners back then a glimpse of what the future would bring. Looking back on the glorious #Alpina-B10 Biturbo and why it was so far ahead of its time.
You know those crazy concept cars from the Eighties that were all angles and glass, gullwing doors and digital instruments? The ones that had an electric motor, fourwheel drive and steering at both ends?
That was how the industry saw the future of the high performance car 25 years down the line. However, if they’d really wanted to see what the performance car of the future looked, felt and drove like, then they could have done so right there and then, back in #1989 , if only they had visited a small German car manufacturer based in Buchloe. For there they would have found a car that very accurately replicated the typical high performance car of 2013.
No sharp angles or crazy doors, just a normal saloon with four doors, adorned with a few subtle spoilers for a suitably aggressive appearance. No flashing instruments, just some conventional dials in a conventional dash angled purposefully towards the driver. No electric motors, instead a twinturbocharged, drive-by-wire multi-cylinder engine that, although big, might not be as big as you’d expect considering the performance on tap. Rear-wheel drive, not four, simply with some electronics to keep all the power in check.
And the way it drove would have provided a similarly accurate taste of what was to come. Refined, smooth and comfortable most of the time but able to suddenly switch character, to excite and entertain whenever the mood took the driver, boasting an engine with huge, effortless performance thanks to lots of mid-range torque.
You’ve probably by now got the point we’re trying to make here. Above is clearly a reference to the #BMW-E34-Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo, although it could quite easily have been the F10 M5 or highly-anticipated F30 M3 that we were talking about. Arguably it is Alpina’s first Bi-Turbo models that are more closely related to today’s M cars than stuff like BMW’s own E30 M3 and E34 M5.
Obviously such advanced technology back then didn’t come cheap. It’s rumoured that Alpina spentthe equivalent of £2 million on R&D alone for this model, and so it shouldn’t (but probably still will) come as a shock to hear that E34 Bi-Turbos sold for the equivalent of nearly £150,000 in today’s money. Still, it made 507 of them between August 1989 and March 1994, so clearly Alpina’s achievements were understood by the wealthy.
Let’s hope the M cars of today age as well as the #BMW-E34 Bi-Turbo, because, looked after, these B10s have a habit of feeling as fresh and tight now as they did when they left the factory. Obviously they will have been cherished far more than most BMWs but the difference between examples of the two is quite considerable in my experience. And this one, number 299, owned by Swiss Fredy Lienhard who runs a track car rental company based at the ’Ring, is no different. Hardly a surprise that it drives so nicely, really. The car is 100 per cent original even down to the decals, and has done only 120,000 kilometres (about 75,000 miles) in its life. It has only had two previous owners, too, although the second didn’t register the car so Fredy is actually down on paper as the second. And it has a full service history, with all work carried out exclusively at Alpina or BMW dealers. So it’s a good example, to put it mildly.
I’ve never driven a brand-new E34. I wasn’t old enough to have done back in day and, well, there aren’t many brand-new ones around now. But pooling together my brand-new or nicely sorted BMW experience, I can say with some certainty that this one drives as near as dammit exactly as it would have done when it was built back on the 26 September 1991. And I mean very near.
It is, I think I can safely say, exactly how every E34 owner wishes their own car would drive. You know, after all those little jobs have been done to it and everything has been replaced with new. The gearshift is firm and precise, if characteristically notchy, the clutch satisfyingly chunky but still easy to operate. The damping is excellent, the body never swaying or lurching or nose diving, and the ride is almost as quiet and supple as that of a new car’s.
It feels big and butch, like a lot of brand-new M cars do, but it has a lot of things different about it too. The steering, obviously, is no way near as quick and direct as a modern BMW’s – although it provides far more feedback. The gear change is quite stiff, not as easy as the change in today’s M cars (if you can find one with a manual shift at all, that is). And the engine, although it feels mighty in a big, boosty way, it still has a little more lag and does sound a little more mechanical and busy than a modern turbocharged BMW powerplant.
Obviously the big straight-six dominates proceedings once the Garrett T25s are fed with the engine’s waste, and once the turbos are giving their lot you aren’t really able to think of much else. It’s typically turbo, though far better than other turbo engines of the era, with boost starting to build at around two-and-a-half thousand (being a 3.4 ’six there’s still a not unreasonable amount of urge before this) and fully on song around a thousand rpm later.
And then the driver is in for a treat, the torque seemingly building and building for the next two thousand rpm to a peak of 384lb ft, going on until around 6000rpm before the torrent starts tailing off. It must have been crazy to behold, this luxury saloon going so damn fast, back in 1991. And this one is particularly healthy, it turns out, as Fredy has a dyno printout proving this example makes more than standard; 389bhp, in fact. “Owners do that to check if the engine and the turbos are still healthy and spooling up,” he explains. “The Bi-Turbos tend to eat turbos.” No such problems here, clearly.
Yet when the excitement is over, it turns into a smooth operating executive saloon – although there is still plenty to keep you interested, if in a very different way. It’s brilliant, the interior of the Bi-Turbo, full of cool little period Alpina touches that makes it feel special: the adjustable boost dial; the numbered plaque; the small digital readouts showing boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure; the very Nineties Alpina-branded mats; the wooden gear knob. They’re all so cool. Bi-Turbos obviously come well-equipped, so there are also Recaro multiadjustable leather seats that are heated, an electric roof and front and rear windows, OBC, cruise control, air-con and an electric blind.
Your attention is drawn to Alpina touches when you’re standing outside the car, too. The stance, like all the best hot BMWs, is mega; the Alpina chin spoiler is subtle yet aggressive; and the colour combo of black with silver decals and wheels is pure class. Even the little red details of the badges work perfectly with the black. And the 235/45 front and 265/40 rear tyres stretched ever-so-slightly over the 20-spokes is pure ‘90s fitment perfection.
“When the owner took me for a ride in it, the only thing I could speak about afterwards was this car,” says Fredy, remembering his first experience of it. “When I bought it, it really was a childhood dream come true. To me it’s a legend. I love the look of the #Alpina-B10-Biturbo-E34 and I love the fact that it’s like a race car with an executive car suit. The car came out when turbo cars were known to be very laggy, and this changed that, the two smaller turbos making it more driveable and better for daily use. It was a very modern car for its time for other reasons, too, because of the electronic stability programme and drive-by-wire throttle.” Although perhaps the technological highlight of the car is the auto-dimming rear view mirror: it doesn’t work by way of a gel between glass layers, rather it actually changes the angle of the mirror using little electric motors.
“I didn’t buy this car to drive really, just to look at and to enjoy having!” admits Fredy, smiling as he realises himself how crazy that sounds, even if we can all understand exactly where he’s coming from. He goes on to redeem matters somewhat, though: “I do take it for the odd drive to warm it up and obviously I haven’t been able to resist an autobahn drive.” 315km/h on the speedo was the result of that rare little foray, so maybe it’s for the best that this awesome piece of automotive history is left safe and sound in the garage.
E34 #Alpina-B10-Bi-Turbo #M30B35 #Getrag-290
ENGINE: #M30 3430cc 12-valve straight-six, bore 92mm and stroke 86mm, compression ratio 7.2:1, seven bearing crankshaft, alloy cylinder head with optimised combustion chambers, optimised camshaft, uprated valves, lightened #Mahle pistons, strengthened con-rods, forced lubrication circulation with oil filter in main stream, engine oil-cooler, #Garrett-T25 turbochargers, intercooler and water-cooler, #Alpina stainless steel exhaust system, #Bosch-Motronic-M1.2 engine management with variable boost control, 110-litre fuel tank; maximum power 355bhp at 6000rpm and maximum torque 384lb ft at 4000rpm.
TRANSMISSION: Five-speed manual #Getrag 290 gearbox, #Fichtel&-Sachs clutch, final drive ratio 3.15, uprated rear axle with separate oil-cooler and 25 per cent lock limited-slip differential.
SUSPENSION: #Bilstein front shocks, #Fichtel-&-Sachs selflevelling rear shock, linear rate springs, 25mm front and 18mm rear anti-roll bars.
BRAKES: Twin-piston front and rear callipers with 332mm front and 300mm rear disc.
WHEELS & TYRES: Alpina lightweight 8.5Jx17 front and 9.5Jx17 rear 20-spoke alloys, with 235/45/17 front and 265/40/17 rear Michelin Pilot Sports tyres.
EXTERIOR: Alpina front spoiler and rear bootlid spoiler, Alpina bumper and side decals, Alpina badging.
INTERIOR: #Alpina-Recaro black leather heated seats, #Alpina-Momo leather steering wheel, Alpina wooden gear knob, Alpina floor mats, polished wood trim, digital display for oil pressure, boost pressure, engine oil temperature, adjustable boost knob, numbered plaque.
“I love the fact that it’s like a race car with an executive car suit”
The B10’s twin-turbo ’six was a masterpiece and cost Alpina a small fortune to develop.
It must have been crazy to behold, this luxury saloon going so damn fast, back in 1991.
The B10 Bi-Turbo’s interior is both sumptuous and sporting and featured a number of items that were pretty hi-tech back in the late 1980s.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.