- Post is under moderationDRIFT KING
Drift machines tend to be quite extreme, and this 6.2-litres V8, wide-body orange #BMW-E30 is no exception.
Anyone who’s owned an E30 knows they were built to go sideways but with a 6.2-litre V8 up front and comprehensive chassis tuning, Andy Hateley’s E30 drift special introduces us to angles we scarcely believed possible. Words: Iain Curry. Photos: Matt Petrie.
Let’s start with a little history lesson. Back in #1962 an American chap called Carroll Shelby had the bright idea of planting a high performance lightweight Ford V8 engine in the attractive British-made #AC-Ace roadster. The little Ace’s stock sixcylinder engines – some of pre-World War II design – were hardly what you’d call sporting so Shelby’s plan was to give the puny Brit some American muscle. The result? The legendary AC Cobra which combined power and grace to a degree rarely bettered these past 50 years.
So what’s all this got to do with performance BMWs? Well, Californian drift racer Andy Hateley has done something not too dissimilar to another European beauty: the E30 3 Series. Under his one-time #1989 #325i ’s shapely pinned bonnet rests a 6.2- litre V8 LS3 lump from #General-Motors , familiar to Brits as powering the storming #Vauxhall-VXR8 and typically found in American muscle machines such as the Chevy Corvette and Camaro SS. The result is an estimated 550-600hp and when combined with an extensive suite of drivetrain, chassis, interior and exterior upgrades, Andy has built one of the most extensive and brilliant BMW drift cars we’ve yet seen.
The 31-year-old spends his working life crafting custom furniture and doing small fabrication jobs on friends’ cars. His skills with using his hands has translated into tackling the build of this world-class drift E30. He is aware, however, of the age-old grumbles from BMW purists not keen on having anything but a made-in-Munich motor doing the pulling. But this is where Andy makes a good point and draws on fellow countryman Shelby’s efforts to put some fireworks in a not-so-quick standard car.
“I’m not a purist guy at all,” Andy said. “I respect cars that are kept original but that’s not for me. Like when Shelby dropped some Detroit muscle in a lightweight European chassis, nobody sees anything wrong with that, and I see nothing wrong with making my own car with whatever parts I want. I love what BMW did when it designed the E30 but it’s not my design and the factory version is definitely not my dream car. I’ve put more hours into the car than BMW ever did so it’s more my car than theirs. That’s why people modify their cars – to be individuals and express their style.”
It’s hard to argue with such sentiments, and if we look at Andy’s individual style, there’s plenty to love. It truly is one of the most brutal-looking E30s the BMW scene has witnessed and throughout the entire build the quality of parts, attention to detail and innovative custom work all impress. But they all have to. Andy competes in Formula Drift (FD) in the USA, where competition is stiff, to say the least, and only the best of the best drivers and their machines can hope to stay in the series.
Andy said he started drifting back in 2004 with a #Nissan-350Z , gaining an FD licence for 2006. The following year the Nissan was getting tired so Andy took a break from competing to get the funds together to build what he calls a ‘real’ FD car, choosing the E30 as his platform. It was many years in the building but after doing local FD Pro-Am events he regained his FD licence for 2012.
He’s up against an array of Japanese and American high-horsepower machinery in FD but said a few E36s and E46s also keep him company on the #BMW front. “Most of them are using big V8s with either nitrous or forced induction,” Andy told us, “and the average hp number would be around 750hp, with cars going as high as 1300hp.” And even though Andy’s GM-powered #E30 is at around half that figure, the recent season still saw numerous teething problems due to the stress on components. “Our best result was a top eight finish at FD Pro 2 in Seattle,” he said. “We may have made it further but we broke both axles during our top eight run. We definitely found the weak points of the car at Long Beach the throttle pedal started to detach itself from the floor; in Atlanta the throttle cable melted; I broke an axle in New Jersey; the pinion gear broke in Texas; and the clutch started slipping at Irwindale.” It’s a lot of work, this drifting business!
Returning to the car itself, Andy originally chose an E30 as a drift car because of the visceral feel he got when driving it: “I fell in love with the E30’s oversteer that would come on so progressively and smoothly; it was a car that represented my style as a person and driver perfectly.”
Andy flirted with fitting an #S54 or #M60 motor from BMW’s stable but ordering a box-fresh #LS3-GM-V8 would speed the build process up considerably. “With the LS3 I had the Tex Racing SR-1 transmission bolted up and was fitting the engine and cutting the trans tunnel for clearance the day it arrived,” Andy said.
The build went into overdrive from there. It only takes one glance at the pictures and our Data File to see the huge lengths gone to in reaching this E30’s current state. To explain it all would fill this entire magazine! Simply put, the V8 came from GM with upgraded camshafts, while Andy added high rpm lifters, better valve springs and upgraded chromoly pushrods all to create a more reliable engine during long periods of high rpms – integral for this high level of drifting. The exhaust and manifold were all crafted by Andy’s hands, while a custom one-piece driveshaft and a modified E30 diff all endure the huge stresses Andy asks of them during competition use. The standard E30 axles – rebuilt by Andy – are apparently holding up well to the abuse the drivetrain receives during drifting.
The underbonnet install – where the LS3 V8 fits with surprising ease – is impressive enough but the boot build almost trumps it. Here you find the extensive cooling system, again an integral part of all serious drift cars. Somehow Andy has squeezed in a mighty radiator, a ten-gallon fuel cell, countless fans, a large oil cooler, an oil filter, a four-gallon water sprayer and much more, all mounted in what’s known as the ‘safe zone’ far forward in the boot.
The chassis is another fine piece of work. Andy learned an incredible amount at Groma Fabrications where he used a lift at the back of their shop to work on the E30. “I gutted the E30 chassis and Ed at Groma did some work on the roll-cage to get it up to FD-spec,” Andy said. He did his first sheet metal work and welding, and soon the E30 had its distinctive DTM Fibrewerkz wide body kit (making it eight inches wider than a standard E30) and Lexan windows in place. Andy made his own carbon fibre panels to mount the myriad gauges in the dash, and finally it was off to be sprayed what he calls ‘Oh Sh*t orange’, based on Honda’s CBR 600RR motorcycle colour.
To make a car this talented in FD requires a daunting amount of chassis work (see the Date File), but most will appreciate the 18” ESM wheels, JRZ RS-Pro dampers and a full coilover setup for the rear. The rest of the underneath has needed comprehensive remodelling, welding, strengthening and protection, all to ensure this brutal E30 can continue performing at its best while under such extreme forces.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the superb work carried out here and neglect just how visually appealing Andy’s drift E30 is. It is fat and squat, aggressive and beautiful with its owner particularly appreciating the body kit, not least because he said it allows the smoke to flow off the tyres very well. And as with most racing machines, they truly are at their best when in action, and to see the plumes of burning rubber coming from the rear of this delightful orange missile when in full drift mode makes it hard not to love. When asked about a rear wing however (drift cars are typically seen with oversized ones), Andy said he’d been debating fitting one but with the E30 having very good forward traction at present, it isn’t really needed yet.
As for the cabin, well, it’s a place you’d happily go to work in any day of the week thanks to the dished Driven steering wheel, the beautifully ergonomic gear shifter, a view full of carbon fibre and gauges, and the Sparco Circuit seats gripping you tight. Everything looks immaculate making you wonder how Andy can ever risk such a beautifully-crafted machine in the hotbed of drift competition. But it races because it was born to do it. “There is no shortage of talent at any FD event and these drivers are on-point and have balls of steel,” Andy explained. “I love it. It really makes you a better driver. I drive with the best and aspire to be the best.”
As for his E30, Andy said he’ll be sticking with it for a long time to come but he’s not averse to upping the horsepower figure even more. “Plans are for a 750-800hp engine next year,” he said. “Once we have more power we’ll see what breaks, fix it, then add more power. It’s a sick and twisted cycle!”
ENGINE: 6.2-litre #GM-LS3-V8 , uprated camshafts, Hateley Motorsports custom stainless steel exhaust and manifold, upgraded chromoly pushrods, link bar lifters and high rpm valve springs, Nitrous Express progressive controller running a 50-shot from a 10lb bottle, 42 AN hoses, rear-mounted radiator, oil cooler, oil filter, Accusump, radiator water sprayer and three Spal fans, two extra six-inch fans on licence plate filler, 1600cfm fan for radiator, threegallon water reservoir plumbed to 200gph water pump, custom wiring, Electromotive Tec3R standalone ECU tuned by Nelson Racing Engines.
TRANSMISSION: Tex Racing SR-1 four-speed manual, custom one-piece driveshaft, 4.27 E30 differential modified by Precision Gearing for near-100% lock, factory E30 axles.
CHASSIS: 9x18” (front and rear) ESM wheels with 225/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear) Falken 615k tyres, JRZ RS-Pro dampers with 520lb rate spring up front and 225lb rate at rear (full coilover for rear), E46 M3 hubs, #E46 M3 CSL brake discs with Wilwood calipers at front, Ireland Engineering twin-caliper rear brake kit using Wilwood callipers, Wilwood drop-down pedals with twin master cylinders and balance bar, solid aluminium bushings for the rear subframe, Ireland Engineering toe and camber adjustment tabs, modified trailing arms, SLR angle kit using E46 spindles, Ireland Engineering urethane bushes and rear anti-roll bar, custom Hateley Motorsports chassis with removable tube frame front and rear sections, Formula D spec roll-cage.
EXTERIOR: DTM Fiberwerkz fibreglass wide-body kit including front and rear bumpers, side skirts and front and rear wheel arches (total eight inches wider than standard E30), Lexan windows, ‘Oh Sh*t orange’ from Honda CBR 600RR motorcycle.
INTERIOR: Sparco Circuit seats with Sparco harnesses, Driven steering wheel, Hateley Motorsports custom carbon fibre dash panels for Auto Meter gauges, Powered by Max hydraulic handbrake, custom fuel cell.
THANKS: Falken Tires, ESM wheels, DTM Fiberwerkz, JRZ Suspension, Sparco Motorsports, SLR Speed, Nitrous Express, OMGdrift.com, Driven Steering, Clutchmasters, Ireland Engineering, Precision Gearing, my dad, my team and manager Ross Fairfield.
CONTACT: Instagram @hateleydrift12, FB – Andy Hateley Drift, www. nationalmssociety. com (Andy represents the society).
Interior has been stripped-out and fitted with Sparco Circuit seats and harnesses plus a custom carbon fibre panel to house all the gauges.
DTM Fiberwerkz wide-body kit delivers a ton of track presence, adding 8” to the car’s width.
6.2-litre LS3 V8 dominates this E30’s engine bay, which is itself an engineering riot; boot houses cooling system and ten-gallon fuel cell.
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- Post is under moderationSUPER BADASS
You can’t go wrong with an #E90 #M3 and when there’s an ESS supercharger under the bonnet making 508whp, all the better. You can’t go wrong with a supercharged E9x M3 and this one goes very right indeed… Words: Seb de Latour. Photos: MoreThanMore (Sam Dobbins).
Saloon or coupé? It is a big decision and one faced by most people interested in buying a 3 Series (ignoring convertible and estate options). BMW has always gone the extra mile to make its 3 Series Coupé variants a little, shall we say, sexier than their Saloon counterparts. They’ve never shared more than a handful of exterior parts and have pretty much always followed the mantra of being longer, lower and wider than the Saloons. Personally I prefer coupés but I can totally see the appeal of a stout, sorted saloon, like this Stateside M3, for example.
Based in the other Aberdeen in North America, this E90 belongs to one Eric Kuehn, who is also the custodian of no less than seven other BMWs. That clearly means his profession as a sports uniform designer is a far better choice of career than you might ever have believed.
Eric has been into cars ever since he got his licence back in 1997 and, going by his current collection, we can forgive him the 1989 Ford Probe that served as his first car. “After only three months, I sold that car and purchased a 1994 Acura Integra,” says Eric, “and that is where it all started. I stopped by a friend’s house and he gave me a DC Sport front window banner and I never looked back. That was the beginning of my car craze. I almost had that build complete but it was stolen and stripped down to the frame. It was a sickening sight to see it sitting there stripped bare in the junkyard.
“Needing a car, I ended up finding my first BMW, which was a 2000 #323Ci that I purchased in 2003. I had that car for about a year or so and then bought a #2005 #Nissan-350Z . After two years of owning the Z, I came across a smoking deal on a 2002 BMW M3 in Alpine white. After owning the 323Ci, I knew I would end up back in a BMW at some point, I just didn’t know it would be that soon…
“I picked up the M3 and sold the 350Z. Going through many different looks/builds on the E46 M3, I got in contact with Federico at Racing Dynamics and we built it up as a full RDSport #BMW-E46-M3 . With this car completed, a friend of mine who had to get out of a lease on a #2008 #BMW-E90 #M3 contacted me and wanted to know if I was interested in buying it. After running the numbers, I found it was great deal! So I sold the E46 and moved into the E90. This build is the most detailed build I’ve done to date…”
Eric got his hands on the E90 in September of 2011 and it was in good condition but a spot of TLC certainly wouldn’t go amiss. “It needed some work on the exterior. It was normal wear and tear and not kept up to the standards that I like my cars to be at,” says Eric. “This is not a criticism of the previous owner but more a relection on the way I like my cars to be. So the first night I took possession, my friend Jason and I stayed up until 3am doing a full paint correction. It completely changed the car’s appearance.”
Next Eric threw on some spacers and fitted his RDSport RC-8s from his #BMW-E46-M3 and then set to work on the rest of the mods. “You really don’t see many four-door M3s, especially ones that have been modified. To me, they are a rare car,” Eric explains. Despite admitting to not being a huge horsepower guy, instead preferring the cosmetic side of builds, Eric decided that for this project power was most definitely going to figure. He had a number of around 500whp in mind. “We ended up at 508whp so I was very happy with that,” he says with a smile.
Pop that bonnet and you will be greeted by the sight of an ESS supercharger kit complete with sexy intake plenum. ESS is clearly doing everything right because this is most definitely the ’charger of choice for E9x M3 owners the world over. The kit here is the entry-level VT550 variant, being the least powerful of the four kits available for the E9x M3. The appeal of the ESS kit is easy to see because it’s arguably one of the best-looking supercharger kits on the market and makes a hell of an impression with that intake plenum stacked on top of the V8. Eric’s had it painted Estoril blue and it looks devilishly sexy. “The ESS supercharger was installed by Autocouture Motoring in New Jersey and all the other modifications I did in my garage,” Eric says. “I installed everything that I could on my own and if it was too complicated for me or I didn’t have the right tools, I would take the two to three hours drive to ACM. The guys there are top notch. The blower install took a couple hours to fit and the full exhaust around an hour or so. It took more time wiring up the electronic valves then actually installing the exhaust.” The exhaust in question is an Innotech Valvetronic catless system which makes plenty of noise, and then when the valves open up it makes even more. Lovely stuff.
The underbonnet business is certainly impressive but aesthetically Eric’s #BMW-E90-M3 is on-point in a big way. The paint is flawless – mirror reflective, glass-smooth levels of flawless – thanks to the fully wet sand project. The what now? “I had a high-end detail company completely wet sand the factory paint to remove as much orange peel as possible. The finished result was breathtaking. It looks like a sheet of glass. This is the main compliment I get no matter where I am. It’s so clean.” A mere printed picture in a magazine can’t do the paint justice, we’d need PBMW in available in HD to fully convey the sheer depth and lustre of the paint.
And then there are the wheels. God damn these are some sexy rims, but then you’d expect nothing less from HRE really. “I’ve reinvented this car over and over,” says Eric. “I’ve had around four or five different looks of this build, and around eight to ten different wheels. I decided I wanted the best of the best products on the car so when it came to wheels, so I reached out to HRE and we both decided the car needed their new S101s. At the time it was one of their most desired new styles and the end result was near perfection!”
The tinted brushed finish on these 20” forged three-piece wheels is stunning and they fill the M3’s arches to perfection. They also means that we can all bask in the glory of Eric’s BBK, a Brembo Gran Turismo kit, front and rear, that features custom gold calipers with blue lettering, six-pots up front and four-pots at the rear, with 380mm discs all-round. It looks spectacular and performs even better. A KW sleeve-over kit, which retains the factory EDC, has been fitted along with a set of RDSport front and rear anti-roll bars.
To make his M3 stand out further still, Eric has splashed out on a selection of seriously tasty styling mods that combine to deliver a visual haymaker of awesomeness. Up front there’s a Mode Carbon carbon fibre splitter, Platte Forme AG carbon side splitters and an Arkym full rear carbon diffuser, which Eric is particularly proud of as this was only ever designed for the E92 so had to be modified to fit his Saloon. It was certainly worth the effort because it looks fantastic. Other additions include a Challenge USA carbon bootlid that’s been painted, BMW Performance kidneys and painted side grilles, custom dual projector headlights and an LCI rear light cluster retrofit. Eric’s not scrimped on the interior either, throwing in a set of BMW Performance Recaros, a BMW Performance LED steering wheel, a P3cars/ACM digital vent gauge and a trio of Stack gauges located where you’d normally find the ashtray. He’s also splashed out on some serious audio, with Rainbow component speakers, Helix amps and a boot install that makes the luggage compartment as nice to look at as the engine bay. Almost.
“I built this car over about two-and-a-half years. The final look took about three months to complete. It’s my favourite look to date,” says Eric. We agree that it’s certainly one damn fine M3.
To conclude, we ask Eric if money were no object what would he change about the car? “Hmmm, that’s a tough one,” he replies. “I don’t think I would change a thing. To me, this car is perfect, exactly how I wanted it to turn out.” This is refreshing to hear as not many people build their perfect car.
Sadly, though, since the shoot Eric and his M3 have parted company, but not before giving the car a dramatic, if unexpected and unintentional send-off. “While doing a burnout for one last time to try and get a great shot of the car in a smoke cloud the car shut off and would not start up.
Unfortunately, after towing the car to ACM the next morning, we came to terms that the motor had blown! So from that point on we stripped the car back to stock and, after replacing the motor, the car was sold. It was a sad ending to such a beautiful build!” But every cloud has a silver lining. “I’ve since ordered a new 2015 M3 and it’s already arrived,” says Eric. “And, yes, the modifications have already started! So far these include: full Safety Car theme graphics including full lighting, HRE wheels, KW suspension, Eisemann exhaust, ONEighty custom blacked-out headlights, OEM performance front splitters and lip and a full audio upgrade.” So it sounds like his new M3 is already shaping up to be a bit of a beasts and, if his E90 effort is anything to go by, it’s going to be one hell of a build.
ENGINE & GEARBOX: 4.0-litre V8 #S65B40 , #ESS Tuning #VT550 supercharger kit, inlet manifold painted Estoril blue, Innotech valvetronic catless exhaust system, six-speed manual transmission.
CHASSIS: 9.5x20” (front) and 11x20” (rear) three-piece forged #HRE S101 wheels, tinted brushed with polished lips with 255/30 (front) and 305/25 (rear) #Falken FK452 tyres. KW sleeve over kit retaining factory EDC, RDSport front and rear anti-roll bars, Brembo Gran Turismo big brake kit with custom gold calipers with blue lettering, six-piston with 380mm discs (front) and four-piston with 380mm discs (rear).
EXTERIOR: Mode Carbon front carbon splitter, Platte Forme AG side carbon splitters, Arkym full rear carbon diffuser, Varis rear undertray diffuser, Challenge USA carbon trunk (painted), BMW Performance kidneys, #BMW side grilles (painted), 80% ceramic blue tint, ONEighty custom dual projector headlights retrofitted with LED angel eyes, BMW LCI taillights retrofit, full wet sand of factory paint to remove as much orange peel as possible.
INTERIOR: Recaro BMW Performance seats, BMW individual dash and centre console in Bamboo leather, BMW Performance LED steering wheel wrapped in factory black leather with M tricolour stitching, illuminated gear knob, M tricolour stitched shift/handbrake gaiters, Bamboo leather handbrake handle, P3cars/ACM digital vent gauge, Stack gauges located in factory ash tray area.
AUDIO: 2013 OEM CIC upgrade including Combox, Rainbow Audio 4” Profi components, Rainbow Audio 6.5” mid woofers x 8 (three per door, and one under each seat), Rainbow Audio Amboss 10” subwoofer, Helix Competition four channel amplifiers x2, Helix Competition two-channel amplifier, Helix PP50DSP processor, Jehnert Custom door speaker enclosure, Musicar NW subwoofer enclosure.
THANKS: I’d like to thank my wonderful wife Stefanie, Sal and the whole crew at AutoCouture Motoring, Tito at HRE wheels, Artem at ONEighty Custom, Dustin at Mischief.tv, Ian at Falken Tyres, Sam at Mode Carbon, Brian at Reflected Images Detailing, Shorty and Alex at Enterprise Upholstery, Don at Unexpected Creations, Jason at Immaculate Detailing.
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