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    JAWS 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”
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    BIG BAD WOLFF / #VW-Beetle / #Volkswagen-Beetle / #Volkswagen / #1961 / #VW /


    After over a decade involved with the watercooled VW scene, Andreas Wolff switched his allegiance to worship at the church of air. This ’1961 VW-Beetle is the end result…

    Words: Simon Jackson. Photos: Patrick Hille.

    “For me it’s the only real Volkswagen – I love the Beetle. It’s a special car, not only because of the design, but because young and old people love them – the passion is huge.”

    Berlin-based Andreas Wolff has been into cars, and primarily Volkswagens, since he was a kid. His teenage dream was admittedly pretty humble; he hankered after a Mk2 Polo hatch believe it or not, a dream he fully realised aged just 20 with a hopped-up 1988 86C project running a tidy 240bhp 1.5-litre turbo lump, and shod with deliciously timeless BBS E30 split-rims. That car stayed in Andreas’ possession for ten long years, it transformed numerous times during that period too, leading him on to a bunch of other VW projects afterwards. Two Mk2 Golfs, a rare two-door Mk2 Jetta, and a string of modified VAG daily drivers followed, but after over a decade dabbling in Wolfsburg’s various water-cooled offerings, Andreas made the switch across to the older air-cooled VW motors. In summer 2009 a classic Beetle project finally beckoned.

    “I searched for three long months until I found the car I wanted near Hannover,” Andreas explained, “I wanted a pre-’64 Beetle with a rag-top in good condition and in a rare colour.”

    Andreas came across the green ’61 1200 you see here and instantly knew it was the right car for him. Complete restoration work had been undertaken some 12 years previously, so the vehicle was in decent nick, yet rocking some signs of patina and interior distress. Various parts were either missing or weren’t period correct on the car (which bugged Andreas), but the 31-year-old reasoned that he’d be able to put all that to rights easily enough. This, despite the fact he knew nothing about either sourcing Beetle parts, or working on, and navigating his way around, the cars themselves. Who worries about little details like that, eh?

    Andreas bought and drove the ’61 as it stood (bar the additions of an #EMPI shifter and #K&N filter) a few times a week over a two-month time frame, until winter arrived. With the howl of wind, rain and snow, the car was taken off the road for the planned transformation to commence.

    “I love the colour, it’s one of the rarest; it’s called Beryl green and they only painted Beetles in it between 1961-’63,” he said. “I also love red, so I decided to mix both colours. My inspiration is my wife Astrid.”

    Andreas and Astrid make no excuses for having a crush on the ’50s and ’60s, so Andreas decided to style the car, nicknamed ‘Betty’, in a ’50s Americana vein. While we’re not usually fans of people naming their cars, with the story behind Andreas’ car, we’ll make an exception… “On the aluminium part of the rag-top the name Bettina Giljohann has been scratched in,” he recalled. “It might be the name of a previous owner, so the car is called ‘Betty’. That’s also why Betty Boop is on the mirror inside; a symbol for classic America.”

    So, October 2009 saw Andreas kick-start his planned programme of mods. First the car was fastidiously checked for rust and rot. Fresh rubbers, lights, and other parts went on to the car, and Andreas ripped out its interior, which it turned out wasn’t original, having come out of a later 1968 car. It took eight weeks to track down a period perfect set of 1961 inners, but Andreas used this time wisely to prepare his air-ride setup. Now, many folk we come across have their air-assisted gubbins fitted by an external expert, but Andreas built his up at home (tank, valves, compressor and tubes) learning as he went.

    “The first problem was the spring plates; they were rusted to the torsion bars, so I needed new plates and bars!” Andreas recalled. “Then I worked on the narrowed front beam with lowered steering knuckles, and the air-ride shocks.” Andreas also added his reworked wheels at this point, narrowed at the front from 4” to 3.5x15”, and banded those out back to 5.5”, up from the original 4”.

    Andreas then fitted new carpets and gauges, and refinished the whole cabin in white and red vinyl in a ’50s diner-style, he painstakingly undertook all this work himself. “I put in the new carpet and some details like the VDOs, MPH speedometer, a secret modern stereo and I painted the interior pearl white and put the red/white vinyl leather in by myself. It was a lot of work!” Andreas said.

    With the interior looking far sprightlier, Andreas moved his attentions on to the engine compartment out back. Some brave soul had painted the ’bay orange (we just hope it wasn’t Betty…), so this needed addressing quick smart. Black paint was shot across the bulkheads, accented with Andreas’ white/red theme, and the block was polished up to a presentable level too. And that’s how the Beetle stood for its first show season in 2010.

    “When the next winter came I decided to change something more on the technical side,” Andreas said, “so I fitted a new longer range gearbox and swing axle, which is very difficult to change – it was the first time I’d ever done this!”

    While Andreas had the car apart he also changed that first air-ride install. His original system had employed axle valves, which Andreas switched to single wheel valves: “The air-ride is home-made,” he explained. “I spent weeks on it. I wanted to lower the car as much as possible with the perfect stance. I can now drive it with 0bar of pressure on its shocks.”

    In fact there were a few teething problems with the air-ride system. Andreas found himself chasing a leak around the car for some time, only to discover a dodgy weld on the tank was to blame. With this located and the tank changed in good faith by the supplier, everything has run beautifully since. Andreas also sourced and fitted a rare set of Porsche 356 carburetors. A Piper exhaust and electric ignition setup was slotted on for good measure, excess cables were relocated or removed, and the heater arrangement was deleted for aesthetical purposes.

    The ’bay now looked pretty smart. A couple of cool additional details, like badges and that driving school secondary mirror were added for a splash of personality. Ultimately though, Andreas has tackled the whole lot himself bar any welding, and all in an underground car park where he couldn’t even fully open the car’s doors! After this second stage of the makeover the car now completely reflects Andreas’ original brief; hinting at ’50s and ’60s American themes and colourways, and looking every inch the cool classic.

    “I was a bit doubtful of how people would react to the car at its first outing because of the colour mix, but in Austria for Wörthersee 2010 everyone was positive,” Andreas said. Since the trip to the ’See, the car has been well received all across Europe at events from MIVW in Holland to the Wolfsgruppe VAG Event in Poland, and seeing it in print here we’re sure it won’t surprise you to hear that. Having crossed over from the water- to air-cooled VW scenes, Andreas is better placed than most to pass comment on how the two sides of the Volkswagen coin compare. “Both scenes are very cool, both are special,” he said.

    “But I hate it when guys discriminate against each other because of their preference, we all have the same passion; cars! But the retro car scene is growing up, many of my friends have started projects with old cars (not only VWs). It’s a new love and I think some guys were inspired by Betty!”

    We often joke that project cars are never finished, but could Andreas’ be the exception to that rule? “It’s the first car for me where I can say yes! It is finished, I think Betty is perfect,” he laughed. “There are no new projects planned, but the dream is an American V8, a muscle car or ’rod from the ’30s to the ’60s. We’ll see…”

    Yes, we will see. In fact, we would actually love to see Andreas’ customised take on a thoroughbred period American motor – something tells us it would be pretty damn special.

    “It’s the first car for me where I can say yes! It is finished, I think Betty is perfect”

    Dub Details

    ENGINE: 1600cc air-cooled engine with Porsche 356 #Zenith-NDIX-32 carburetors, #Piper exhaust, 123ignition 12V electrics, heating system deleted, cables and brackets deleted and smooted, ’bay repainted gloss black with red/white details, long Rancho gearbox.

    CHASSIS: Front beam shortened 3.25”, lowered steering knuckles, notched rear spring plates, lowered rear torsion bars, highjackers front/back for the air-ride function, 19L chrome tank with four valves and #VIAIR / #Viair-480 / Viair compressor, front wheels narrowed from 4” to 3.5x15” with 135/70 tyres, banded rear wheels from 4” to 5.5x15” with 185/65 tyres, Ravus system whitewalls with stainless steel hubcaps and beauty rings.

    OUTSIDE: Export bumpers, colour-coded roof, US-spec sealed beam front lights with yellow tints, US-spec red rear clusters, hooded Albert swan-neck mirrors, pop-out rear windows, red window breezies, red/white Berlin badge on the front hood, lots and lots of chrome.


    INSIDE: Red/white interior, EMPI shifter, flower vase with red/white flowers, hidden air-ride control, rabambus storage, MPH-speedometer, RPM and oil temp #VDO in original speedometer optic (needle strips), Venetian shades at rear, driving school double mirror, original #Blaupunkt-Frankfurt radio with one speaker, #Hirschmann antenna, hidden modern stereo with #Pioneer head unit, two-way rear-system and subwoofer.

    SHOUT: Special thanks to my wife (Astrid), Denis, Moosi, Janek, Low-Familia, Watercooled-Customs and Patrick Hille/VWHome.de.
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    STATIC CHARGE / #Volkswagen-Polo-II / #Volkswagen-Polo-Mk2 / #Volkswagen-Polo-Typ-86C / #Volkswagen-Polo / #Volkswagen-Typ-86C / #Volkswagen / #VW-Polo-Typ-86C / #VW /

    Home-built and laced with #PhD-level problems to solve, Jake Belfield’s slammed and carb’d Mk2 Polo shows anything is possible if you’re determined enough. Words: Alex Grant. Photos: Adam Walker.

    “It’s become a bit of an obsession,” Jake Belfield says. “No one had got an old Polo this low before so we had to figure out the answers for ourselves.” And we’re talking answers to questions tougher than the working life of a Volkswagen Group diesel emissions engineer. A combination of tiny wheel wells, underbody protrusions and archaic 1970s suspension make this sort of sillworrying almost impossible on a pre-1994 Polo, even with air-ride. With each millimetre it got closer to the floor, the Polo fought back even harder. Jake’s patience and do-it-yourself attitude is impressive…

    “I’ve suffered a ball joint lockout, destroyed CV joints, smashed sumps and because the gearbox sits low on Polos I’ve also ruined one of those… on a cat’s eye,” he laughs. “Most of the issues have been solved now, but I spent a lot of time jacking the car up and testing different things out to get it this way. But it sits the way I want it and it’s setup to drive okay at that height, too.”

    That hard work has paid off. Against the steel and-concrete backdrop of our photoshoot location, that square-edged contrast of chrome on-Tornado red pops even more than it did when it picked up our Sponsor’s Choice award at Edition 38 this year. From the ground (and car) - breakingly low ride height to the 145bhp bike carb’d engine in its smoothed bay, and even that classic interior, everything just works. Yet, for the two years this project took to build, suspension gremlins have been one of many jobs which have done anything but work. That ongoing struggle was never the result of some carefully hatched masterplan either.


    Although the 25-year-old Staffordshire-based plumber has had a long line-up of Volkswagens – numerous other Polos and a modified G40 among them – he initially just wanted a runabout for the summer. “I picked this up from Telford on the way back from Ultimate Dubs in 2013. The paintwork was every shade of red you could imagine, it had dirty grey standard seats, a lowering kit, P-slots, and most of the rest of the interior had been ‘retrimmed’ in some horrible beige suede material. It was a cheap car, though, so I wasn’t bothered.”

    On the upside, that meant there was nothing to be too precious about. “It was so much fun at the start because it didn’t owe me anything, so I wasn’t scared of doing whatever I wanted to it,” he says, adding that the factory-fitted 1.3-litre carb engine didn’t even make it to its first MoT. By the time it first hit the ramps under Jake’s ownership, it was getting there under the power of a 1.6-litre eight-valve engine from a Mk4 Polo, running bike carbs. He’d also taken an angle grinder to the springs and rollers to the arches ready for its new 15-inch BBS RZs.

    This didn’t last long and, after hauling it around for its first show season, the Halfords paint sampler bodywork and DIY stance had outstayed their welcome; so too had that engine. But rather than making things easy for himself Jake opted for something a little less plug ’n’ play… and then added even more complexity on top.



    “There’s always the temptation to put a G40 in a Polo – they are amazing and go straight in,” Jake says. “But I thought I’d at least give the 1.4 16v AFH engine a go, just to see what all the fuss was about. They’re cheap and easy to source and you can’t argue with the bang for your buck you get from one of these.”


    As much as it might sound simple, given that the block is broadly the same as what’s fitted to older Polos, it’s not a straightforward conversion. One of the engine mounts has to be modified to make up for the lack of a power steering pump, the oil pickup shortened to fit the shallower (and less vulnerable) Mk3 sump and anti-roll bar mounts (based on parts from the Polo G40 Cup racing cars) are needed to clear the exhaust manifold as well as to correct the caster/camber angles after a heavy drop. A matching flywheel and starter motor, specifically from a late Mk3 Polo, are also required to make everything work without more fabrication and cutting.

    Jake had initially turned down the offer of a pre-built AFH bottom end with the 1.6-litre GTI internals but the lure of more power without the need to source additional parts was too strong to resist. As was the noise, and power, offered by the Keihin carburettors mounted on a homebuilt inlet manifold. He even built his own exhaust system – including modifying the manifold for extra clearance – before shipping it off for a rolling road session to make the most of its new-found capacity.

    “There was enough advice online to help me get the engine in easily enough,” he says. “But it wasn’t that simple getting it running. I had a few problems with wiring and it wasn’t starting when it was hot, which plagued me for a while. Then I had a leaking crank seal, so I had to pull the engine out twice to sort that. But the 1.6 bottom end just gives it that bit more kick. I’ve never looked back, it’s so much fun to drive.”


    The big change, visually, was the start of what’s become a labour of love since. With the Polo in bits and attention being poured into rectifying bodge jobs from previous owners, Jake took the opportunity to swap the Polo’s chopped springs for a set of TA Technix coilovers and a set of OZ Turbos before the show season, then spent most of last summer fighting the car to get it closer to the road. This wasn’t a job for off-the-shelf parts. “Rear coilovers for pre-’94 Polos don’t go low enough and the spring rate is really soft, so they aren’t really worth it,” he explains. “So I used 6N rears which have a better, heavier spring in them. But they need some spacers at the bottom and I’ve come up with a custom top mount for where it mounts up to the body to get them fitted nicely.”


    The Polo’s front suspension, with the hub attached to the strut, meant choices were a bit more limited. Not happy with the ride height even with the front platforms fully wound down, Jake swapped to shorter 300lb springs, then built his own lowered top caps and mounts to shed another 15mm of ground clearance. It’s a setup he’s since replaced with solid, camber-adjustable top mounts because it still wasn’t low enough. But even that wasn’t the end of it: “It did the trick but also caused a lot more problems. We spent most of the summer getting it right. And these cars have scarily thin chassis legs, so I had to notch them, then plate and strengthen everything so it was up to the job. I’ve had to modify the engine and gearbox mounts to raise them, too.”

    All of which sounds like a lot of commitment but with the Polo getting plenty of his attention, and Jake getting a truckload of inspiration when he took it to shows, he was hooked. As last winter rolled in he had two choices: sell up and start again or finish what he’d started. “I went to a lot of shows that summer and looking at the Mk1 and Mk2 Golfs with the super-clean styling I knew I had to have something like that,” Jake says. “So I kept the car and went crazy on it. By that point I knew how I wanted it to look. It was just a case of putting the hours in to get it looking nice.”

    In his case, that literally meant putting his own hours in. Jake spent most of last winter manifold for extra clearance – before shipping it off for a rolling road session to make the most of its new-found capacity.

    “There was enough advice online to help me get the engine in easily enough,” he says. “But it wasn’t that simple getting it running. I had a few problems with wiring and it wasn’t starting when it was hot, which plagued me for a while. Then I had a leaking crank seal, so I had to pull the engine out twice to sort that. But the 1.6 bottom end just gives it that bit more kick. I’ve never looked back, it’s so much fun to drive.”


    The big change, visually, was the start of what’s become a labour of love since. With the Polo in bits and attention being poured into rectifying bodge jobs from previous owners, Jake took the opportunity to swap the Polo’s chopped springs for a set of TA Technix coilovers and a set of OZ Turbos before the show season, then spent most of last summer fighting the car to get it closer to the road. This wasn’t a job for off-the-shelf parts. “Rear coilovers for pre-’94 Polos don’t go low enough and the spring rate is really soft, so they aren’t really worth it,” he explains. “So I used 6N rears which have a better, heavier spring in them. But they need some spacers at the bottom and I’ve come up with a custom top mount for where it mounts up to the body to get them fitted nicely.”


    The Polo’s front suspension, with the hub attached to the strut, meant choices were a bit more limited. Not happy with the ride height even with the front platforms fully wound down, Jake swapped to shorter 300lb springs, then built his own lowered top caps and mounts to shed another 15mm of ground clearance. It’s a setup he’s since replaced with solid, camber-adjustable top mounts because it still wasn’t low enough. But even that wasn’t the end of it: “It did the trick but also caused a lot more problems. We spent most of the summer getting it right. And these cars have scarily thin chassis legs, so I had to notch them, then plate and strengthen everything so it was up to the job. I’ve had to modify the engine and gearbox mounts to raise them, too.”


    All of which sounds like a lot of commitment but with the Polo getting plenty of his attention, and Jake getting a truckload of inspiration when he took it to shows, he was hooked. As last winter rolled in he had two choices: sell up and start again or finish what he’d started. “I went to a lot of shows that summer and looking at the Mk1 and Mk2 Golfs with the super-clean styling I knew I had to have something like that,” Jake says. “So I kept the car and went crazy on it. By that point I knew how I wanted it to look. It was just a case of putting the hours in to get it looking nice.”


    In his case, that literally meant putting his own hours in. Jake spent most of last winter preparing the Polo for its trip to the bodyshop, stripping it back to a bare shell and tackling the engine bay bit by bit after work. It’s no half job either and involved cutting the firewall cut out and smoothing it, while the battery, heater matrix and fuse box which once lived behind it have been relocated or deleted altogether – something Jake says was a massive challenge given the lack of space behind the dashboard.

    All of the redundant holes and brackets, the mass of wiring and the washer fluid bottle were removed, and the top-fill radiator meant there was no need for an expansion tank. Jake built all of the blanking plates, new brackets and custom wiring himself before grinding it back to bare metal. The single shade of Tornado red was applied by nearby bodyshop ARG Refinishing over bodywork now clear of its rub strips, plastic arch extensions and dents in the arches caused by catching tyres. It’s one of only a few jobs Jake hasn’t taken on himself.



    And, with all that obsessing over ride height, it would have been a shame not to update the wheels. The Coupé’s latest lot, an already refurbished set of BBS RSs, turned up in Leeds needing only smaller dishes on the front to get the staggered look he was after. Jake reckons it was a welcome change from the long list of headaches elsewhere.

    The finishing touch was the interior. “I’ve had a few sets of seats in it but I’ve always wanted an Eighties race theme. I did look at the usual Recaros but nothing worked as well in my head as the early white-striped sports seats from a Coupé S. They’re hard to find, but a friend down south happened to have this interior in his garage, with the black carpets. Nothing compares to that classic OEM style, and I’ve never seen another set as good as these.”


    And the car’s worked hard since. We clocked Jake and the Polo earlier this year and, in the meantime, it’s made the trip over to MIVW as well as getting a front-of-house space on our stand at Edition 38. A car good enough to cut it with builds from the best in the business, which speaks volumes for Jake’s attention to detail. “I’ve been impressed, it’s really usable and it gets punished as well as polished,” Jake laughs. “Due to being quite low I’m limited to how hard I can drive it but I had this set up properly and on the rolling road it made 145bhp, so the difference between this and my old G40 was massive. It’s quite smooth whereas the G40 was pretty aggressive. But I’m still a sucker for a supercharger.”

    So, given that Jake’s now nailed it, is it time for a change? “Getting all the love, trophies and now this feature was something I never set out to do,” he replies. “I’ve managed to drag it from a cheap runaround through the ranks to what it is today and I’ve still got lots of ideas – mostly involving lots of money.”


    Based on past experience, we reckon that means he’s due plenty more evenings in the workshop. This might not have been kick-started by well-laid plans, but a lack of willingness to give up has put Jake’s Coupe among our favourite cars of 2015. We reckon it’s an obsession that’s definitely worth feeding.

    Dub Details

    ENGINE: #VW-Polo-6N-16V ( #AFH ) engine conversion, 1598cc #VW-Polo-6N2 GTI crank, con rods and pistons, Polo Mk2 ignition system, #Keihin CVK 600 bike carburettors, custom inlet manifold, full stainless steel exhaust system, Polo #G40 clutch, starter motor, flywheel and five-speed 8P gearbox from 1272cc SPI Polo, polished rocker cover, Omex rev limiter and launch control, full wire tuck, fuse box relocated behind the dashboard, battery relocated to the boot, custom engine mount, firewall removed and smoothed, heater matrix removed and bulkhead holes plated, engine and gearbox raised 25mm, washer bottle removed, top-fill radiator.

    SUSPENSION: 7x15 (front) and 7x15 (rear) #BBS-RS wheels, 165/45 (front) and 165/50 (rear) Nankang AS 1 tyres, TA Technix coilovers with shortened 300lb springs (front), #Polo-6N rear coilovers, MaxRPM.de solid camber-adjustable top mounts, Mk2 Golf 16v calipers with drilled disks, #Polo-G40 Cup Car nylon anti-roll bar blocks, polybushed track control arms, Series 1 suspension ball joint extenders, notched and reinforced chassis legs.

    EXTERIOR: Arch trims removed, arch spat holes smoothed, single headlight grille, LHD-spec nearside rear light cluster, rear wiper removed, tailgate badges removed and smoothed, full respray in Tornado red.

    INTERIOR: Early white-striped Polo Coupé S interior, Polo Coupé S clocks with rev counter, black carpets, upgraded Alpine 6x4 speakers, #Pioneer TS-WX210A under-seat subwoofer.

    SHOUT: My mum and dad, Tom Whatley Auto Tuning for help with the engine, Ant at ARG Refinishing for the excellent paint job, Jord and the lads for any help throughout the build, AJ Walker for the shoot.
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    FEATURE 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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    DEF ROWE / #Volkswagen-Jetta-Mk2 / #Volkswagen-Jetta / #Volkswagen / #Volkswagen-Jetta-II / #VW / #VAG

    If ever we needed proof that America leads the way in the booted Dub department, Harry Rowe’s turbo Coupé is all the evidence you’ll need. Words: Elliott Roberts / Photos: Sam Dobbins

    It’s safe to say the Volkswagen Jetta Mk2 never quite took off in Europe like it did Stateside. Granted, as with any minority motor car you will always have your fan bois that obsess over them, but for the most part modified Mk2 Jettas in the UK were extremely thin on the ground and if you did find one, well, it would most likely be average at best. Okay, they were until we started to see a bunch of killer examples emerging across the Pond but if we’re honest the Yanks have always led the way with the booted Golf. I guess Harry Rowe’s VR6T Coupé is a great lesson in just why.

    “As a kid I was always into cars and bikes. I had dirt bikes and go-karts before eventually winding up in an 1983 Rabbit GTI,” claims Harry. Despite the natural draw to American muscle cars Harry was soon turned on to the VW way of life after a bunch of mates dragged him to a couple of European car shows. “Also, my father’s good friend worked for VW and they built quick quarter-mile cars in their spare time. It was good fun back then,” Harry adds.

    He actually ended up taking the ’90 Jetta Coupé as a trade with a friend, as he explains: “My friend Paul Harley had bought the car but quickly discovered it had a lot of bugs and it was soon just parked up. It had lots of potential but was poorly put together I guess.” After getting the car running Harry drove the thing daily for a couple of years so he could iron out all the little niggles and get it mechanically flawless. Then trouble struck. “One day a tractor slowly reversed into the front, Tunacanning the fender off,” Harry says. He was originally planning just to fix the cosmetic damage but, inevitably, got carried away. It was at this stage the engine came out and Harry started to plan which angle of attack to take. He was set back a little due to the purchase of his first house… and mortgage! “The good thing was it had a garage, though,”

    Harry says, “so at least there would be somewhere to store the car and work on it.” On paper the car as Harry purchased it was quite sorted. “It had widened rear fenders, a semishaved bay, shaved body mouldings and marker lights,” Harry tells us, “but I just perfected it by doing a full-on smoothed bay, fitting the pop-out rear windows and adding a number of other little touches.” Harry claims he just loves changing things up and being creative. Although he was aware of some of the US scene’s Mk2 Jetta Coupé ‘greats’ Harry claims he wasn’t inspired by any specific one: “I just wanted to make the car nice and put my own spin on it.” Stuff like the key-hole-mounted rear-view camera and Mk3- style boot popper are things that most people wouldn’t even notice but Harry knows are there and will appeal to the real anoraks.

    Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though. After Harry exchanged on the house he began stripping the car right down for a full repaint: “I did a lot of the engine bay prep in my garage while Haggard Fab took on some of the other fab work before the rolling shell went off for paint.” According to Harry it’s Mars red but with a Mercedes Benz paint code.

    Those with a keen eye may also have noticed the rear window seal isn’t as it left the factory. “There I used a number of parts from various brands of car,” Harry reports. “This changes the look of the rear window seal and, in my opinion, makes the car look more modern and, most importantly, different to all the rest.” You won’t see many Jettas running round headlights either. The purists may frown on this but we think they look at right home there and Harry is happy with the end result: “I’ve always loved round headlights. I’ve tried Westy aeros but I keep coming back to these. Of course, I’d happily fit a Rallye front-end if somebody was to donate one though!”


    Despite carrying out a lot of work himself, Harry claims he couldn’t have done it without the help of his friends – especially Matt at Eurokraft: “His knowledge of these cars is amazing and helped me tons.” Apparently Harry was most motivated when the car came back from paint: “After that, it was all hands on deck from my friends.”

    There’s obviously more to this car than a new coat of paint and a few rare modifications, though. Yup, it’s time to talk about the big turbo VR6 running all the right bits: “The car had a VR6 swap when I got it, although it looked nothing like it does now, even though it is the same motor,” Harry tells us. “It’s a nonintercooled VR6 turbo with titanium valve springs retainers and HD valve springs and head gasket spacer with ARP hardware. For what it is – a lowboost setup with about 13lbs – it really moves.

    I’ve embarrassed a number of cars on the highway.” He’s also done alright at the quartermile, with a best ET of 12.7 at 115mph. That’s certainly not to be sniffed at. We like the fact that despite the fresh paint and show car wheels, Harry is still all about driving this thing: “Yeah, I’m not afraid to whoop on it from time to time. That’s why I put it together really.”

    So the car can clearly hold its own on the showfield and quarter-mile, but what about in the twisties? “I almost went for air-ride but decided against it. The car is running CX Racing coilovers, which I know are not exactly expensive but they adjust pretty well and the car corners great and rides low, too,” Harry says. When it came to the interior Harry really didn’t want to go overboard: “I love the sight of a Mk2 dash and interior so long as it’s in good shape, so I didn’t see the point in wrapping it up. After all, it’s a car I built on a budget, so just adding simple OEM+ touches and a few creature comforts like the double DIN touchscreen, Hella wheel and SWG gauge pod, plus custom centre vent gauge mounts and suede headline with matching pillars and red stripe seat belts worked for me.”

    So now it’s all finished we ask Harry if he enjoyed the build and what was the hardest part of it? “I think staying motivated was the hardest part, especially while moving into my new house,” he replies. “As for the positives, well, despite just being a VW Jetta it gets plenty of attention even from non-car people and I guess it’s pretty fast, too.”

    What does the future hold for Harry? “Well, I don’t really have any new projects lined-up just yet. I don’t think I’ll do another serious build any time soon. I did buy a Kamei hood scoop that I painted body colour recently, though. I’m really liking that on the car.” So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through all of this? “I enjoy making things better whether it’s fixing or modifying things,” Harry surmises. “If somebody doesn’t get it then usually a turbocharged thirdgear pull normally explains it all perfectly!”

    Dub Details

    ENGINE: 2.8-litre 12v #VR6 with #Kinetics Stage 1 kit comprising Precision turbo, #ARP hardware, upgraded injectors and software, titanium valve spring retainers, uprated valve springs, 8.5:1 head gasket spacer, stock cam, hidden coil pack and tucked wires, #Dahlback-Racing diverter valve, Tial wastegate, shortened oil pan and R32 oil pump, custom Eurokraft wire harness for shaved bay, Forge boost controller, Haggard Fab coolant reservoir, #Haggard Fab 3” exhaust with custom mounted #Borla-Pro XS muffler and short tailpipe, #Quaife differential, ARP hardware, #Southbend clutch, Polo shift box and 02j shifter swap.

    CHASSIS: 8x16” and 9x16” #BBS-RS , half caps with red centres, five-stud conversion, Mk3 VR6 brakes, #CX-Racing coilovers, upgrade polybushings, #VF-Engineering motor mounts.


    EXTERIOR: Custom-made rear pop-out windows, Porsche script handles, Mercedes Benz Mars red paint, badgeless single round grille, widened rear arches, shaved body mouldings, shaved marker lights and antenna, custom-mounted rear-view camera in trunk key hole and Mk3-style rear trunk popper.

    INTERIOR: #SWG gauge pod holding Innovate wide-band, custom centre vent gauge panel housing #Cyberdyne digital boost/vac, oil pressure and oil temp gauges, #Recaro Trophy seats, #Hella Royal Exclusive Line steering wheel, Mk3 silver-faced cluster, suede headliner and pillars, leather-wrapped parcel shelf, custom-made Porsche script ‘Turbo’ floormats and a personalised pillow, #Pioneer double DIN touchscreen display, 10” Pioneer sub mounted in rear armrest, #Kenwood amp, Infinity door speakers.

    SHOUT: Big thanks to all my friends that came and helped when I needed it, Paul, Jay, Joel, Dan, Matt from Eurokraft, Matt from Haggard Fab, Sam Dobbins, oh, and I can’t forget my lovely fiancé for putting up with me, and anyone I forgot. This was most definitely an honor, thank you.
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    Two of a kind. These M Coupés #E36/7 -series retain their fundamental values; quirky, impractical and nonconformist, but now they’re an even rarer beast, improved in every sense with the drama of forced induction. Whatever you think of the styling, the #Z3-M-Coupe has developed something of a cult following, and here stand two examples; both force induced and both equally as gorgeous, but which one would you have? Words: Louise Woodhams. Photos: Darren Maybury.

    Developed under the leadership of engineer Burkhard Göschel with the intention of adding increased structural rigidity to the #Z3 Roadster’s chassis, the M Coupé was eventually given the green light as long as it remained cost-effective to produce. To achieve this goal, as many body panels as possible had to be shared with the roadster, as were most interior parts. The result was a stubby two-seater, something of a nonconformist BMW. Its distinctive, controversial looks divided opinion, but it was frighteningly fast and, as promised, delivered a more rewarding and tauter chassis than its sibling. It had two power plants as well. From 1998 to 2000 it used the venerable 3.2-litre in-line six #S52 from the #E36 M3, which for owners in the States equated to 240bhp and 236lb ft of torque. In case you were wondering, the small loss in power compared to European-spec cars is attributed to the more restrictive placement of the catalysts in order to improve cold-start emissions. Having been discontinued for more than six months, a revised model then entered production in February #2001 utilising the awesome S54, an evolution of the iron block S50 and fitted to the #E46 M3. Although peak power and torque barely increased, with the Yanks benefiting from an additional 75bhp and 25lb ft of torque, the two engines share few major components. Interestingly though, both models made the 0-62 mph dash in 5.5 seconds and aside from a change in the final drive ratio (from 3.23 to 3.15) and the introduction of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), very little changed.

    So, here before me today stand two M Coupés; one packs the S52 engine, the other the #S54 , but aside from that both hail from the East Coast, both are force induced and both are eye-wateringly stunning. I think it’s about time we introduced the owners responsible for building them; tall, lanky, long-haired and clean shaven Carl Pardue holds the keys to the 2000 Cosmos black turbo’d lovely, which leaves the #2002 #Alpine white ’charged beauty, one of only 690 built in the USA, with Clint Gauvin, who’s short, stocky, short-haired and scruffy!

    Whilst both picked up basic mechanical skills from their father, Carl’s old man specialised in classic muscle car restoration so as soon as he could stand he became his second in command, bestowing him with knowledge and skills that became invaluable when he started wrenching on his own motors. Coupled with the fact his second car was an #E28 #528e , he soon started to realise the value of driving BMWs and, perhaps more importantly, what the tuning scene could offer. “I always loved BMWs but with my first one I began to realise how much the manufacturer develops its cars around the driver. It’s also nice to see design cues of the older models still being produced and I like how the smallest modification can complement any model so well. Not to mention the enthusiast value, and aftermarket support of the tuning scene is astonishing,” explained the commercial photographer. So impressed, it seems, Carl then went onto owning a #1999 M Coupé and a #1989 #325i before taking delivery of the car you see now.

    Clint, however, despite previously owning a #1993 325i, first discovered his love of motoring in the Wolfsburg stable, having owned two Golf GTIs and a Touareg before falling in love with, and consequently securing, the car you see now. “The M Coupé is phenomenal from the factory, despite being a parts car crossing three generations and four models of #BMW it works very well together. BMW said it best, ‘it’s a lot like nothing else’, so what better car to make, well, a little better. I wanted something that turned heads not because it’s obnoxiously loud, ridiculously low or plastered in stickers, but because it’s something you won’t see everyday,” explained the office worker. Carl nods his head in agreement and adds; “It was my dream car, and ever since they were first introduced I wanted one.” Indeed the first time I laid eyes on one, it stopped me dead. A Porsche may be cleaner, and a Ferrari sexier, but no car looked as muscular and purposeful as the M Coupé. And for those that think it looks like it’s been modelled on an old-fashioned running shoe, well, you’re clearly blind.

    So when it came to the exterior styling, both followed a similar remit; they wanted to retain the car’s original lines, yet play on its intimidating nature and add a degree of exclusivity. As a result, huge gold wheels shod in monstrous low-profile tyres sprout from both flanks of each car, Carl opting for 18” CCW Classics whilst Clint was persuaded by the 19” HRE C20s, both boasting 10” wide rears. Similarly, in harmony with the paint schemes, the former has had its side vents and kidney grille colour-coded; the windows tinted and smoked rear lights popped in, whilst the latter benefited from Hyper white angel eyes, clear front marker lights and white and grey BMW and ///M badges. Some smoothing has also occurred, and both front ends have gained splitters to accentuate that gorgeous long bonnet and give the cars a more menacing appearance.

    When it came to the interior, Carl told me, “I wanted it to be aggressive yet comfortable and most of all functional. I wanted to hang on to what BMW had done but improve the overall quality.” Inside you’ll find pedals and a handbrake from M-Tech alongside a TC Design knob and Momo wheel, whilst a dashmounted Subaru 2.5 RS pod houses a host of Defi gauges to keep check of what’s going on under the bonnet. BRIDE Zeta buckets, a familiar sight on the Japanese racing scene, were chosen as they’re designed to fit in very tight cockpits, and provide support and good visibility for everyday use. Clint too wanted to accent the cabin but not go overboard, and to an extent shares the same mods as Carl, including a head unit with navigation and iPod integrated, a #Z8 starter button, gauge pod and upgraded pedals, but instead opted to go with AEM and UUC respectively. The black leather swathed cabin is broken up with white trim that adorns the wheel and doorcards, and the Alcantara boots are picked out with M tri-colour stitching. The early M Coupé’s standard of fit and finish was always accused of falling short of what you’d come to expect from BMW, but it’s fair to say it’s not the case with these two cars.

    With the rear suspension dating right back to the first generation M3, compared to modern standards the ride is fidgety to say the least, and whilst the lively road holding adds to the exuberant character of the M Coupé, not surprisingly both boys thought the primitive suspension was well due an overhaul. The biggest changes can be seen in Clint’s car. With a TC Kline Racing True Match coilover system, Racing Dynamics adjustable anti-roll bars, StrongStrut front brace and the phenomenal Racelogic Traction Control System, combined, the modifications have given him new levels of confidence in pushing the car to its limits without ever having to worry about overstepping the mark. Meanwhile, Carl has found that Bilstein Sport shocks matched to H&R springs, and a front and rear strut brace from Mason Engineering and StrongStrut respectively, are more than comfortable and forgiving when it comes to playtime.

    Start up both engines, and the cars take on a different attitude altogether, begging you to thrash the hell out of them. If you thought the M Coupé went like the clappers in standard guise, try adding force induction into the equation... Basically, think TVR that’s been to finishing school. At first Carl was keen to pursue the NA route but by his own admission there’s nothing like boost, and despite his first taste of force induction leaving a rather sour taste in his mouth, he put it down to trial and error and battled on through. “After I fitted the AA C30 supercharger, I was left stranded in Atlanta, six hours from home… that kit caused me headache after headache, it constantly overheated. I wasn’t impressed with the power it made either and because they’re maxed straight out of the box, there’s no opportunity for further tuning.”

    With an initial goal of 500whp and reliability now a top priority, Carl went about uprating the internals of the engine before progressing to a Precision PT6776 turbocharger. “I had my doubts when it came time to crank; it’s something that I can’t describe to anyone except those that have done it themselves. There is so much pressure, time and money waiting on the turn of a key. It was one of the single greatest moments in my whole life when it started first time, and the only problem was a small gas leak which took a few seconds to fix. “Shortly after I had the car dyno’d, we didn’t want to push it too hard on the freshly built motor, and tuned the map for low boost at 11psi (minimum wastegate pressure). The results were 445whp and 396lb ft of torque. On a recent road trip with Clint we got on it a bit, I had a tad bit of a jump on him, but he caught up quickly until we began to reach the top end and we evened out, then the small gap between us began to increase, his car is very quick,” explained Carl with a grin. The transmission has naturally been upgraded to cope with the extra horsepower, and now features a Fidanza lightweight flywheel, SPEC Stage III clutch, and rebuilt rear differential with a 2.79 final drive ratio. The anchors will be suitably upgraded later this year alongside plans to turn up the boost to 17-20psi with alcohol injection to push past 600whp.

    Clint had similar priorities in his quest for more power, as he explains, “I didn’t want a turbo that only spooled at 6000rpm or a NA powerband that died off around 5500rpm. I wanted power that was usable and reliable, and I didn’t want a dyno queen either.” Late last year Clint bought a 2005 engine from BMW, and knowing he was going to fit a Vortech V-2 SQ supercharger, got on with the laborious task of stripping and rebuilding it with uprated pistons, rods and bearings, and some minor head work.

    “Some of the earlier cars (October #2001 to February #2002 ) were plagued with premature engine damage due to lack of lubrication to the connecting rod bearings, so the later engine is far superior.” Clint’s M Coupé now yields 510whp. He hopes to utilise the same ultra efficient aftercooler water-to-air setup with a custom turbo build shooting for a safe and reliable 700whp on pump gas at moderate boost.

    “I like the predictable and linear power delivery of a centrifugal supercharger, but for brute power a turbo without the same parasitic loss of the ’charger and more flexibility is the way to go, in my opinion. The S54 has proven to make tons of power in an E46 M3 with the right turbo setup. Eventually I’d like to see that sort of power and have the world’s only street driven 1000hp S54 M Coupé,” he adds with a smile. Again the transmission has had similar upgrades to Carl’s car but the brakes are a little more impressive with a UUC/Wilwood big brake kit featuring six-piston calipers up front and four-pistons outback clamped to slotted E46 M3 discs.

    Some may argue that the M Coupé’s styling is too quirky and tasteless, others will genuinely fall in love with it, but we all know beauty is only skin deep and, especially in the case of these two examples, has much more to offer under the bonnet. Not to mention it’s much more fun having a car that polarises opinions. And let’s not forget the model is not the work of brand managers, it’s the rare result of what happens when a serious group of hardcore driving enthusiasts at BMW’s Research and Development Centre take over, working after hours to build a car in secret and then somehow convince upper management to sell the thing.

    South Carolina built, North Carolina refined, these M Coupés retain their fundamental values; quirky, impractical and nonconformist, but now they’re an even rarer beast, improved in every sense and with the drama of force induction. Carl and Clint should be very proud indeed. That team of engineers had it right, there’s nothing wrong with being individual, nothing at all.

    DATA FILE – S52-POWERED M COUPÉ

    ENGINE: 3.2-litre inline-six S52 with CP pistons (8.5:1), Eagle H-beam rods, new OE bearings, built head including ported exhaust manifold with new springs, lifters, guides and retainers, multi-layered steel headgasket, ARP main bolts and head studs, Ferrera Competition valves, Precision PT6776 turbocharger, T04HPS 4” inlet ported compressor housing with .68 A/R T4 Tang, Tial 44mm wastegate with open dump, Tial 50mm Q blowoff valve, Hallman Pro RX Boost Controller, custom drip tank fed Tilton scavenge pump with stainless braided turbo lines, XS-Power frontmount intercooler with Spal electric puller fan (1300 CFM) and 3” powdercoated custom intercooler piping, RMR Billet aluminium fuel rail, 75lb Precision fuel injectors, Walbro 255lt fuel pump, fully stainless braided fuel system, Aeromotive AEI-13101 fuel pressure regulator with Marshall Midnight FP gauge, VAC Motorsports oil filter relocation adapter with stainless braided oil cooler lines, Peterson inline oil filter, Mocal remote oil cooler thermostat, Earl’s oil cooler front-mount PWR radiator, Meziere Enterprises expansion tank, Griffin radiator cap, custom overflow tank, Spal cooler fan (2070 CFM), M50 intake manifold with Marshall Midnight Vac gauge, 3” 90 degree welded elbow to throttle body, ASC delete, AA water/alcohol injection system, air injector delete, Power Plant Racing tuned TEC3R standalone engine management system with PLX wideband O2 controller hardwired in cabin engine monitoring system, K&N 4” inlet cone filter, 666 Fabrication stainless steel tubular T4 exhaust manifold, full stainless custom exhaust (3” downpipe to a Y 2.5” dual Vibrant StreetPower straight-through mufflers), AA 02 simulators, carbon fibre engine cover, BilletWerks aluminum caps.

    TRANSMISSION: Fidanza lightweight flywheel, SPEC Stage III clutch, Big Boy Clutch Stop, UUC stainless clutch line (clutch delay valve delete), Vorshlag poly motor mounts, UUC tranny mounts with enforcers, UUC Evo III short shifter with Effort Reducing Kit and Double Shear Selector Rod, rebuilt rear differential with a 2.79 final drive ratio, IE poly subframe bushings.

    CHASSIS: 8x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) CCW Classic wheels custom powdercoated gold shod in 275/35 and 235/45 Falken Azenis tyres respectively. Bilstein Sport shocks with H&R Sport springs, JT designs rear shock mounts, Mason Engineering front strut brace and StrongStrut rear strut brace, anti-roll bar poly bushings. Euro-spec two-piece floating front discs.

    EXTERIOR: Motion Motorsport front splitters, vinyl black motorsport flag across bonnet, roof spoiler, side vents and kidney grille colour-coded, shaved side markers, clear bumper lenses, vented and shrouded front bumper, rear wiper and valance delete, smoked rears, 35% window tint.

    INTERIOR: Bride Exas III seats with Impact #F1 7-point camlock harness and Sparco harness bar mounted on VacMotorsports Billet Seat rail mounts, TC Design Delrin race gear knob, M-Tech handbrake handle and clutch, brake and rest pedals, Redline Alcantara gaiters with tan stitching, custom aluminum heel-toe gas pedal, #MOMO steering wheel hub and mod 07 steering wheel, Z8 starter button with relocated aux power outlet, OE chrome interior handles and door lock pins, LeatherZ door armrests and centre console, Gary’s GM mirror adapter, Subaru 2.5 RS dash-mounted pod with #Defi oil pressure, engine and exhaust gas temperature and boost gauges, PLX DM-5 wideband O2 sensor.

    ICE: #Panasonic CQ-VX100U in-dash DVD receiver with 7” touch-screen (including integrated navigation and eightdisc changer and iPod interface), MB Quartz speakers, Hawker marine battery with hardwired trickle charger.

    THANKS: My wife, family and friends, Greg at Jonesmechanical, Chris at Vacmotorsports.com, Hung at Extremespsi.com, Kevin at Bush machine, Chad at Cross hose and fitting, Jon at 666fab. com, Summit Racing. If you’d like to have some of Carl’s handy work under your hood email carl. pardue@gmail. com.


    DATA FILE – S54-POWERED M COUPÉ

    ENGINE: 3.2-litre inline-six S54 engine fully balanced and blueprinted, with CP Pistons (9.5:1), Pauter rods, ported and polished head, five-angle valve job, #Vortech V-2 SQ S-Trim supercharger, custom intake pipes, RMS dual aftercooled intake manifold, custom front-mount aftercooler heat exchanger, Johnson aftercooler water pump, Siemens 633cc high flow fuel injectors, Walbro 255lph fuel pump and custom lines, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, high pressure oil pump, Denso Iridium IXU-24 spark plugs, plasma coil packs, S54 Alpha-N ECU programme (MAF delete) and custom software, ceramic-coated Euro-spec CSL headers, custom exhaust mid section with high flow cats, custom UUC rear exhaust section.

    TRANSMISSION: UUC Stage 3 8.5lb flywheel and clutch, stainless clutch line (clutch delay valve delete), UUC Red tranny mounts with enforcers, Euro-spec #E36 #M3 Evo six-speed ’box, Rogue Octane short-shift kit with weighted selector rod, custom shortened shift linkage and shortened and balanced driveshaft, custom-built rear differential with 40% lock up and a 3.64 final drive ratio, Ireland Engineering subframe bushings.

    CHASSIS: 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) HRE C20 powdercoated gold wheels shod in 245/35 and 275/30 Toyo Proxy T1-R tyres respectively. TC Klein True Match (double adjustable) coilover system (including #Koni adjustable shocks and VVS springs rated at 500lb front and rear), adjustable camber/caster plates and rear shock mounts, upgraded front lower control arm bushings, Racelogic Traction Control System, StrongStrut front strut brace, Racing Dynamics adjustable anti-roll bars, custom front anti-roll bar endlinks. UUC/Wilwood big brake kit (six-piston front four-piston rear), slotted E46 M3 discs, stainless steel brake lines.

    EXTERIOR: AC Schnitzer front splitters, rear wiper deleted, custom Hella 5k HID Projectors with hyper white angel eyes, Euro-spec clear front marker lights, white and grey BMW and ///M badges.

    INTERIOR: UUC pedal kit, Z8 starter button, Alcantara gaiters with M tricolor stitching, Alpine white steering wheel and doorcard trim, X5 footwell power outlet and lighting kit, custom steering column-mounted dual pod with AEM digital boost/vac gauge and air/fuel meter.

    ICE: Pioneer AVIC-Z2 #Pioneer in-dash DVD player/navigation system with iPod integration, custom iPod mount, relocated HVAC Controls.

    THANKS: My Girlfriend, Christina, Jason D and all of Homegrown Motorsports, my company the Analysis Corporation, all the Z3 Coupé friends and enthusiasts friends from around the globe.
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