- Post is under moderationA few months ago a car we built was featured at the big #SEMA show in Las Vegas, the initials stand for Specialty Equipment Market Association, and it’s the biggest automotive trade show in the world. It’s held over four days and it takes that long to see it all. Taking up over a million square feet of floor space, it features over 4400 exhibitors and 1500 display vehicles as well as representatives from more than 140 countries.
SEMA does not open to the public. Its primary function is to help small automotive businesses and manufacturers. You have to be in the trade to gain entry, that said, over 150,000 people showed up this year, those of you who think our hobby is dying, think again.
SEMA also works hard in the legal field to protect the rights of individuals who modify, or just work on, their own vehicles. I don’t know how it is in other countries but, in the United States, in many communities it is now illegal to work on your own car in your own garage, even with the door shut. Many homeowners’ associations have passed by-laws making it illegal to own and keep at home anything more than just basic hand tools. Screwdrivers, hammers and suchlike are ok; welding equipment, lathes and so on are not.
On the last day of my late night television show, as I pulled in to work for the last time, I noticed someone had dumped a rather sad-looking #1968-Ford-Bronco in my parking space. On the windscreen was a note from my good friend and fellow late-night TV host, Craig Ferguson, the note said, ‘Dear Jay, please accept this POS [Piece of Shit], the starter motor’s fucked and the electrics are crap. It will keep you busy if you get bored. You’ll be missed. Don’t be a stranger. Your friend, Craig Ferguson.’ the Bronco sat in my garage for a good four years before I could figure out what to do with it. That’s when I decided to call my friend Mike Spagnola. Mike oversees the SEMA product development centre as well as the SEMA garage. He put me in touch with two women.
The first was Sherry Kollien, whose area is strategy and planning. When you’re dealing with major manufacturers, you want to make sure the people supplying the parts have the proper licensing agreements in place. Use one unapproved part and you’ve seen your last #SEMA-show .
The other was Teresa Contreras from LGE-CTS Motorsports, the award-winning women-owned restoration shop. I met with her to discuss what we wanted to do. My goal was to keep the Bronco as stock as possible and to upgrade the brakes, the suspension and powertrain as best we could.
Starting with the powertrain, which I wanted to be all-Ford, I contacted Dave Pericak. If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Dave was the driving force behind the Le Mans-winning Ford GT in 2016. Dave also oversees icon cars like the Mustang GT, the Shelby, the Bronco and the #Ford-GT . We chose a 5.2-litre #Shelby-GT-V8 rated at 760bhp, the most powerful street engine Ford had ever produced. It was designed to be hooked up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and nothing else.
'IN MANY PLACES IN THE USA IT'S ILLEGAL TO WORK ON YOUR CAR IN YOUR OWN GARAGE, EVEN WITH THE DOOR SHUT'
So Jack Silver and Jeff Kaufmann at Silver Sport Transmission adapted a TR-4050 five-speed manual and the heavy-duty four-wheel-drive components to go with it. We knew the original chassis would never handle the torque and horsepower the Shelby V8 was putting out, so we contacted Thomas Kincer of Kincer Chassis, the company has built custom chassis for Broncos for 20 years, is licensed by Ford and was able to incorporate all our components into the custom Kincer frame, so this thing wouldn’t twist itself into a pretzel as soon as you put the power down.
I then went to my old friends at Wilwood Brakes, who made up the four-wheel discs to make sure it stopped as well as it ran. Dennis Carpenter #Ford Restoration Parts supplied any body panels we needed.
This project showed how quickly things come together when all the suppliers and builders know and trust one another. Normally it takes us about a year to complete a project like this, this one was done in four months because we didn’t have to check that each component would do its job properly. How many restorations have been ruined because the guy building the engine didn’t know the guy grinding the cams, and when the engine didn’t run properly they all blamed each other?
The cool part was that Ford was looking over our shoulders during the whole build, making sure everything was up to spec, and the really cool part is that I now have a brand new #1968-Ford-Bronco that looks totally stock, the tricky part is that I now have 52-year-old, 760bhp, short-wheelbase, high-centre-of-gravity monster that can beat a Hellcat. I’m just glad I’m not 16 any more.
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- Post is under moderationOne month down and it’s fair to say that we’re getting properly stuck into 2020 now and so far so good. The March issue can only mean one thing and that’s the Car of the Year results – as always we had an awesome response with 1000s of you voting and we think you chose a very worthy winner. Head on over to p36 to see the results in full.
BMW / #SEMA / #BMW
As far as feature cars are concerned, our cover car this month might well be our favourite Bavarian machine from the whole of SEMA and we’re not sure any other feature car this year is going to make us feel quite the same way this incredible #S55-swapped #1976-BMW-2002 has. Its owner started out with a tired example of the muchloved classic BM and then proceeded to completely transform it, adding a tubular chassis, custom metal wide-body, slathering the whole lot in stunning San Marino blue before fitting a custom interior and a single-turbo S55 under the bonnet. It’s a breathtaking build on a scale that will simply blow you away.
Elsewhere we have an epic V8-swapped E30 from Poland, a build that will make E30 fans the world over go weak at the knees, and before you get a chance to recover we’re going to hit you with a Group A E30 M3 recreation and that’s the kind of double-dose of classic 3 Series action you need to get you through the winter blues. Keeping it classic we’ve got a simply superb, ultra-clean air-ride E28 that will make you lust after one of these old-school beauties, and then we crank things up with an S14-swapped E36, a stunning custom E60 M5 build and the second mag outing for a certain F80 M3, now boasting a head-turning M-inspired wrap, a lush set of custom wheels and the small matter of 611whp. We’ve also stuffed a guide to the S63 twin-turbo V8 in this issue and there’s loads more to get your teeth into.
Next month we’ll be bringing you our annual international events guide and, on the cover, one of the best E90 M3s we’ve ever seen. So please enjoy everything the March issue of #PBMW has to offer and I’ll see you next time!
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- Post is under moderationSHOCK SEMA builds are never anything less than utterly spectacular and this LS-swapped E46 M3 with air-ride and a supercharger is no exception. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Brian McGee.
V8 E46 6.0-litre supercharged showstopper. #2017
SYSTEM SHOCK Wide-body, supercharged V8 E46
You know what the trouble with the #BMW scene right now is? Too many awesome cars, that’s what! Not a week goes by when we’re not being inundated with offers of amazing new builds. How can we possibly say no? You can’t have too much of a good thing, really. The only problem for us is that we’ve only got so many pages each month and that means we can only stuff so many cars into each issue, which is why we’re only just now getting round to showing you one of the most spectacular builds from the 2015 SEMA show. However, it’s lost none of its impact in that time…
The name Carl Taylor will be familiar to most people with a toe in the tuning scene because not only is he one of the founding fathers of the Players brand, back home in Huntington Beach he’s Air Lift’s regional sales manager for California and Nevada, so he’s got just a bit of experience when it comes to modded machinery… but not BMWs, funnily enough. “Having being involved in the VW/Audi scene for many years, I felt I needed a change. I bought my first BMW, an E36 325i, in 2014 when we had the two Rocket Bunny Art Cars made to drive to Wörthersee in. Within a year I went from having no BMWs to owning an E36 M3, an E46 M3 and an E92 M3.” It’s clear that Carl is not a man who does things by halves. This E46 M3 was bought with the specific intent of turning it into a SEMA booth car for Air Lift, purchased in Colorado with no engine and no front seats, making it ripe for both a new engine and a little bit of interior work; nothing fancy, you know…
“The only plan we had was that it had to be completed or at least look finished for the SEMA show in Las Vegas, which was five weeks away when we started the project,” Carl continues. There’s nothing like a tight deadline to focus the mind, although it also makes for a challenging build. “On paper it seemed really easy,” says Carl, “but actually carrying out the job and having everything working and finished within the deadline was not. Having to rush the build and being limited with knowledge and advice, maybe we did not go down the correct route with the build. This caused us issues with the car never running correctly in the time I had it,” he says, which is always a shame to hear because a large part of the pleasure gleaned from a project is being able to actually enjoy it, but it certainly takes nothing away from the end result. And as far as the aim of building an attention-grabbing machine for the Air Lift booth goes, it was mission accomplished and then some.
While Carl says that there was no outright plan as such, some things were a given: buying a car in the States with no engine automatically means V8 swap because, if the tales are to believed, LS V8s grow on trees out there. Being an Air Lift car meant that there was only ever going to be one choice of suspension, really. And with Carl having been involved with Rotiform over the years and running the company’s wheels on every single car he’s owned over the past five years also meant wheel choice was not a hard decision to make.
Engine first, and while deciding to fit a V8, deciding which one to fit is a little trickier because there are so many to choose from. Even if you narrow it down to arguably one of the best, the LS family from GM, you’ve still got an overwhelming array of choices as far as displacement and power output goes. With the E46 M3 making 343hp out-of-the-box you want something that’s going to be more powerful than that for starters. And that makes the all-alloy LS2 the perfect choice, as it develops a nice, round 400hp and 400lb ft of torque from its 6.0 litres of displacement. Now that’s great, but it’s not really revolutionary; people are swapping LS V8s into everything from lawn mowers to washing machines (that might not be strictly true) and while a V8 in an E46 M3 is cool, you need a little more, a little extra spice to really get people’s attention. How about a Vortech supercharger? Yeah, that’ll do it. With the blower strapped to that V8, power jumps to around 550hp while torque is pushed up to around 470lb ft. Impressive numbers and a seriously impressive sight when the bonnet’s off.
The engine bay isn’t the first thing you’re going to notice about this car, though. That honour goes to the luminous shade of green it’s been painted in, closely followed by the outrageously wide bodywork. As far as visual spectacle is concerned, this M3’s been turned all the way up to 11. “The car was built and painted by LTMW,” says Carl. “It also installed the Rocket Bunny Pandem kit.” Based on the success of Carl’s previous Rocket Bunny-based adventures it was the obvious choice for beefing-up the E46. The riveted-on front and rear arches add some serious muscle to proceedings, further aided by that hugely aggressive front spoiler, plus a CSL bootlid. We like how it looks although we recognize it won’t be for everyone, certainly, but it works for us and it definitely works on a build like this. Of course, a kit this wild deserves a suitably wild paint job and this E46 M3 doesn’t disappoint, with Carl opting for Lamborghini LP700 pearl green, Verde Ithaca, an absolutely spectacular shade that delivers a knockout blow.
As for the interior, remember the lack of front seats? Well, that problem was solved with the addition of a pair of customfinished Cobra Suzuka Pro single-piece buckets. They’re the perfect choice to go with the rest of this build, oh, and the Renown steering wheel, too.
On the chassis front, we already know that Air Lift and Rotiform were going to play a part in the construction of this E46 M3 but here, too, the boat was well and truly pushed out. This build was just crying out for Air Lift’s latest 3H air-ride kit, with ride height sensors and a fancy controller. And that’s exactly what it’s got, with the boot hosting a single air tank finished in the same shade of Verde Ithaca as the rest of the car. Naturally.
As far as the wheels are concerned, Rotiform offers a dazzling array of designs catering to all tastes but on a build like this vanilla simply wouldn’t do; something more exciting was needed. Enter the Rotiform HUR, a wheel really quite unlike anything else. It’s actually pointless even trying to describe how it looks. The best thing to do is to just look at them because then you can drink in all those delicious details and that incredible Double Dark Tint clear coat over fully polished finish before deciding which side of the fence you want to be on, because there’s no middle ground here. We’re going to say that, much like with the Rocket Bunny wide-body additions, we are on board with the wheels. They really work with this build whereas a more subtle wheel would be overwhelmed with everything else that’s going on. With an almost Lamborghini vibe they are a particularly good match for the paint.
The finishing touch? A set of Brembo front and rear BBKs, in yellow no less, because no show build is complete without a seriously beefy set of brakes and, sometimes, it’s better to clash than to match. The fronts use six-pot calipers wrapped around 380mm discs while at the back sit four-pot calipers accompanied by 345mm discs. They do a seriously impressive job of filling out both front and rear wheels.
“The car will actually have been sold by the time this is published, due to continuing issues with the wiring harness and some of the work that was rushed due to #SEMA deadlines. If money had been no object, I probably would have bought a proper car and not had all the stress and continued issues with this build in the first place,” Carl explains. He says this not with a grimace but with a smile, and that speaks volumes about this car. Most show builds are finished and sold on in the blink of an eye to make way for the next project. The fact that Carl has kept this car for almost a year and actually used it during that time makes us happy. For Carl, it’s time to move onto pastures and projects new and there are bound to be many of those, but we reckon this one won’t be forgotten about anytime soon.
Rocket Bunny Pandem kit won’t be to all tastes but delivers plenty of impact.
Interior has been kitted-out with Cobra Suzuka Pro buckets and Renown steering wheel while air tank in boot has been matched to the wild Lambo green bodywork.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #Supercharged #LS2 V8 #BMW-E46 M3 / #BMW-M3-E46 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-V8 / #BMW-M3-LS2-E46 / #BMW-M3-V8-E46 / #BMW-M3-LS2-Supercharged / #BMW-M3-LS2-Supercharged-E46 / #BMW-E46-GM-V8 / #Rotiform / #LS2-Supercharged / #LS2-Supercharged-Vortech / #Vortech / #Vortech-supercharger
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 6.0-litre #V8 #GM-LS2 / , #Vortech-supercharger-kit , custom exhaust system, T56-six-speed manual gearbox.
CHASSIS 10x18” (front) and 11.5x18” (rear) #Rotiform-HUR wheels with Double Dark Tint clear coat over fully polished finish and 265/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Toyo R888 tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance air-ride with #3H management, #Brembo #Brembo-BBK with six-pot calipers and 380mm discs (front) and four-pot calipers with 345mm discs (rear).
EXTERIOR Rocket Bunny Pandem wide-body kit, CSL bootlid, full respray in #Lamborghini-Aventador-LP700-Verde-Ithaca-pearl-green .
INTERIOR Custom Cobra Suzuka Pro buckets, Renown USA steering wheel, colour-coded air tank in boot.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWelcome to #2016 . I trust you’ve eaten your fill of turkey, stuffing and mince pies, partied suitably hard to welcome in the New Year and are just about ready to face January and do it all over again. We certainly have, having enjoyed a couple of weeks off from the hectic world of publishing, and we’re once again ready to fill your year full of the most exciting and amazing modified cars about.
We’ve got an awesome selection of BMWs waiting in the wings for your reading pleasure and lots more due. Every show always throws up more than a few gems and #SEMA in particular was a real hotbed of modified goodness and we’re hoping to sling a few treats from there your way. We’ve also been casting our net further afield and have some really exciting cars from Australia and the Far East that we’re sure you’re going to love. Of course, there are loads of cars in the UK that we’ve got our hands on, too, with some stunning examples destined for these pages.
I know I say this every year, but I’m really looking forward to the show season. It’s exciting to see what new cars appear on the scene, as well as catching up with what the regulars have been busy doing over winter, because obviously none of us can ever stop fiddling with our cars and it’s as good an excuse as any to keep tweaking. If you’ve been busy building something a bit special then don’t be shy, tell us about it. Even if you don’t think it’s feature material, Readers’ Cars is always open and all-comers are welcome.
As for this issue, we decided to start 2016 with a bang courtesy of our awesome cover car: a Finnish E30 M3 boasting air-ride, an #S54-swap and a supercharger for good measure. It’s an absolutely stunning machine and a suitably exciting way to kick-start the year. In fact, we’ve got a whole host of incredible cars in this issue, from a mental 840whp 4x4 #BMW E46 to a gorgeous carbon wide-body Z4, a pair of full-on 1 Series racers, a deliciously different 2002 from Japan and a seriously #BMW-stanced-UK-M3 , plus much, much more.
So, don’t let the January blues get you down, get stuck into this white-knuckle issue of #Drive-My that’s guaranteed to wake you up, and we’ll see you back here next month.
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- Post is under moderationBIG IN THE NAME SEMA SPECIAL: PORSCHE 993 CARRERA 2 WORDS MIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY KEVVE.BE
Meet Jenna Belle, an #RWB-Porker 993 with a very phat arse! Lovely. / #Porsche-911-RWB-Porker / #Porsche / #2015
SHAKESPEARE ASKED, WHAT’S IN A NAME?’ ACCORDING TO MASTER AKIRA NAKAI, THE ANSWER IS EVERYTHING
It might not be apparent from my rather youthful looks and uncanny ability to say fuck a lot. But I’m knocking on a bit now and, as you get past your late Twenties, one thing you encounter that’s aggravating as piss is the whole baby names thing.
Now, let me explain. You may still be a teenager, and fair play to ya (you lucky bastard). But one day you’ll wake up and either your missus or one of your mates will say, “I’m having a baby”. And this will be followed by the inevitable question, “What am I gonna call it?” You see, names are important. Choosing a name is a deeply personal thing. There’s hundreds of books dedicated to what your particular moniker might mean, or where it comes from. But it’s still something that’s given and not earned. Well, unless you happen to be a car like this.
This monster 993 is called JennaBelle. I don’t know why exactly, because that’d be like asking someone why they called their kid Britney-Christina. A bit too personal. The most important thing here though is the fact that this motor has a name at all, and that means it’s a genuine #RWB-Porsche .
You can’t simply buy one of these. Not in the traditional sense of the word. Even if you happen to work at #RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF #Los-Angeles like Joey Chang here, it’s not quite as simple as buying and bolting on a kit.
RWB cars are a Japanese institution. The styling on each one is completely unique and, no matter where you are on the planet, they have to be hand crafted by the company’s founder, #Master-Akira-Nakai . What’s more your car only has the seal of approval when he bestows a name upon it. Then it’s a true RAUH-Welt.
Now, you may see kits from the various RWB branches around the world listed online. They’re usually priced at around $22,000, but think of this as more of a vague deposit. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, you provide your own Porsche, have a few design meetings with the man himself and then he’ll fly over and build your car, entirely by eye. No one else is allowed to touch it.
They all come with his own trademark touches too. The famous sculptural wings and over-fenders are designed to be removable so they don’t interfere with the task of developing and tweaking the car’s chassis geometry or tuning. And that’s because they’re derived from Nakai-san’s passion for hitting Tsukuba, or any other circuit they’ll let him out on. He also spaces out each rivet with his Winston cigarette packet and usually scribbles something in Japanese on the dash. It’s this intimate process that makes these cars so personal. And that’s also why he names them as he sees fit.
Nakai-san made his own name in the 1990s by pioneering the ‘Rough World’ look on his drift AE86, but it was his transition to building air-cooled Porsches that put him firmly in the spotlight. Starting with his own 930, Stella Artois (see what I mean about names being personal?), he went on to build most of the best-known 911s in Japan, including Spearmint Rhino, Rotana (the first RWB 911 Turbo) and Yves Piaget (French Rose), a car famous for its unique red paint. It was only three or four years ago that he decided to branch out abroad. Starting in Thailand, with a 911 called Rough Evolution, there’s now around 90 documented RWB Porsches worldwide, all with names like Cinderella, Sinister, Jittakorn, Kermit, Fishbone, Darth Vader, Uzi, Good Hill Speed, Midas touch and #RAUH Art. With the exception of one matt-black 996 called Stealth Bird, they’ve all been the old-skool water-cooled models that made him famous.
Anyway, let’s just say he’s been a busy boy, especially as genuine #RAUH-Welt cars can now be found in the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Russia, Bahrain, Dubai and the Netherlands. There’s even one right here in the UK. Their popularity is universal and we spotted 11 American #RWB creations at SEMA, which brings us neatly back to this one – JennaBelle from RWB LA.
As the story goes, Nakai-san flew over in April to complete the styling on Joey’s 993 along with a couple of others in LA (cars now called Creaminz and Medusa). Joey says it was an honour watching him work and he was thrilled when he was asked to help with some of the cutting on his own car. A special moment and no mistake. The resulting lightweight widebody conversion is every bit as mental as you’d expect from the Japanese master, but the rest of this awesome machine is down to Joey. As is Nakai-san’s way, your car is built around the wheels, but the rest of the performance mods are down to you. And this is where Joey has clearly come into his own.
Using his own parts company, CYC Trading Group, Joey has outdone himself, finishing a RWB monster to rival any out there. The underpinnings of this car are more than a match for Nakai-san’s awesome aero, because, although Joey regularly drives it on the street, it’s been put together primarily for no-holds barred track action.
It’s true to say that this car get’s the absolute shit kicked out of it on a regular basis and until Joey finds the fi re-breathing 4-litre ‘all-motor’ lump he’s looking for, it’s all about getting the most supreme handling possible. I guess that’s a pretty obvious statement – just the chassis spec on this thing is longer than the entire spec on most cars. Everything is dialled-in to absolute perfection.
When CYC Trading and RWB decided to create RAUH-Welt LA, Joey chose the 993 for his own ride because it’s arguably the best of all the air-cooled 911s. In fact, many purists believe it to be the ultimate 911, so that makes it all the more mental that he’d consider taking a cutting wheel to a ‘totally mint’ base car. Then again it had to be a 993 because, for Joey, it had to deliver the most driver feel. It’s bare bones motoring – you can practically touch the road when you’re behind the wheel. There’s no electronic gadgetry or cheating to keep you on the straight and narrow. It’s pure man and machine stuff. Back to driving basics.
That also explains Joey’s choice of a stripped-out interior, Sabelt buckets and a well-used set of BBS race wheels sitting in the garage. In handling terms, this is as close as you’re ever gonna get to a raw 1990’s road-going race car. To many, that air-cooled era was by far the most hardcore.
And I guess that’s exactly what RWB is all about. RAUH-Welt doesn’t translate as Rough World for some sort of laugh. It’s much more than that. It’s an attitude. The whole thing may be a mindset started by one man in an unassuming backstreet of the Japanese city Chiba. But thanks to people like Joey it’s fast becoming a worldwide ideology.
These hoops cost more than most of our cars.
TECH SPEC: #1995 #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-2 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-2-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-993
TUNING: #Fabspeed sports headers; Sport Cat X-pipe; #Supercup exhaust; heat duct and fan Block-Offs; Cup high performance air box cover with #BMC filter; six-speed G50 transmission with CAE race shifter.
CHASSIS: Street wheels: 13.5in #RWB-LA custom threepiece #Forged wheels with 265/35x18 front and 335/30x18 rear Pirelli P Zero tyres; track wheels): 10.5 and 12x18in #BBS-E88 custom three-piece motorsport wheels with Pirelli Corsa System tyres (front 255/35x18, rear 295/30x18); #JRZ RS-Pro with EHC system; #ERP 993 front A-arm spherical bearing kit; rear spherical bearing cartridge; solid mounts; adjustable camber link; adjustable kinematics link and 993 camber plate; Tarett drop links; #H&R front and rear sway bars; #Porsche GT2 strut brace; #Brembo GT kit with type III rotors (front four piston with 355mm discs; rear four piston with 345mm discs); #Brembo-RE-10 pads and SS brake lines.
STYLING: RWB 993 Street Version; Kamiwaza double deck wing; fender wing; Rotana-style front extended long carnards; Street-style front bumper with fog light insert and air duct; dry carbon bonnet.
INTERIOR: CAE race shifter; full Alcantara custom interior (dashboard, doors, rear seats, and centre console); RS interior doorpanel and carpet with rear seat delete; RWB LA Race version roll bar; Sabelt 330mm steering wheel with #MOMO steering wheel hub; 997 GT3 cup car steering wheel quick release; Sabelt GT- 600 carbon fibre bucket seat with; six-point harness; radio delete; Porsche OEM guard red seat belt; Rennline floor boards and adjustable pedals.
THANKS The Master Akira Nakai; CYC Trading Group LLC; #RWB-Los-Angeles ; Pirelli Tires; JRZ Suspension; Fabspeed Motorsport; Brembo/Sabelt Race Technologies; Purist Group; European Auto Source; Hsu Design.
A 993 that’s had Nakai-san’s official blessing
What do people say when they see the car?
They usually ask if it’s possible to drive it like this. I say of course, that’s why we built it.
You’re obviously pleased with how it turned out, what’s the best bit?
Apart from working with Nakai-san himself, I’d say the fender wing. It’s a unique design that directs the air straight to the GT2 wing tunnel to cool the engine. That’s the best thing about aero mods, they work.
It must have set you back more than a couple of dollars, right?
I could probably buy another two 993s for what this has cost in mods alone but where’s the fun in that? You have to love it and, if you love what you’re doing, it will last forever.
One very exclusive Porsche.
What makes it #SEMA worthy?
HAND MADE KIT
There’s no bullshit with a car like this and that’s why #RWB is still the daddy. Each kit has to be hand crafted and installed by the main man himself, or else it just isn’t #RAUH-Welt . There’s no skool like the old skool and the thing about Akira Nakai is that he’s the Headmaster.
MENTALLY PRECISE CHASSIS
Got any JRZ and ERP stuff under there mate? Blimey. Actually the chassis package in general is a bit special on this motor – just take look at that monstrous spec! Once Nakai-san has done his thing on the body it’s all down to the owner to get the car up to spec – luckily Joey here is something of an aftermarket parts guru. www.cycgroupllc.com
Most people would be happy being visited by the amazing wheel fairy just once in their life, but for this project Joey has two sets of the lushest wheels going. The custom made #RWB-Street wheels are absolutely stunning (they’re manufactured by Avant Garde y’know), but he also needed a set of even lighter #BBS jobs for the track. These hoops cost approximately as much as my whole car… and that’s each, without those monster Pirelli tyres. www.rwbla.com
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- Post is under moderationBREAK THE INTERNET #2015
If you want to stand out at #SEMA you need to go big, and this Liberty Walk, chrome-wrapped #BMW-M4-F82 definitely does that. Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Andy Tipping. Impressive Wrap wanted to make some waves at SEMA. With this Liberty Walk-kitted M4, resplendent in satin chrome, it’s safe to say it achieved that ambition.
There are certain acronyms that have passed into the everyday lexicon so seamlessly that they’re just words; we don’t consider what they stand for, as they stand alone. And we’re not talking about such johnny-come-lately fare as LOL, OMG and IDK – terms like DIY, #AWOL and #ASAP are the sort of things we say all the time without considering that they’re short for something longer-form. (Well, some people do, but they’re the kind of pedants that’d point out that it’s only an acronym if it becomes a pronounceable word, and that terms like DIY are actually initialisms. But these people are dull, and end up standing alone in the corner at parties.)
SEMA is one such acronym. If you have even a micron of unleaded swirling around your bloodstream – and you’re reading this now, so we know that you do – you’ll be familiar with the annual extravaganza of the SEMA show: a glimmering Las Vegas industry get-together that acts to show off the most extreme and outrageous new custom car builds along with highlighting the latest trends in the areas of wheels, body addenda, colours, materials, brands, you name it. If it’s so-hot-right-now, it’s at SEMA.
The acronym stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, an organisation that was formed back in 1963 by such hallowed luminaries as Dean Moon (of Mooneyes), Vic Edelbrock Jr (of Edelbrock, obviously), Roy Richter (of Bell Helmets and Cragar Equipment), and various other leading lights of the trade; it now encompasses well over 6000 companies in the performance and aftermarket arena, offering business development, market research, training and development, and all sorts of stuff like that. They also put on one hell of a show…
The first SEMA show took place in 1967, in the basement of the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and it’s been growing in stature ever since. Today, if you’re not at SEMA, you’re not playing the game. We’ve featured a number of cars over the years that were built specifically for the show, and this one is arguably one of the most eye-catching. Impressive Wrap’s Liberty Walk-kitted M4 is badass on a Kim Kardashian ‘break the internet’ scale: shiny, bootylicious, and just downright dirty.
“This was our build for SEMA 2014,” says Impressive Wrap’s Michael Lee, by way of introduction. “It all started when we decided at the last minute to get an M4 as our shop car for SEMA, and the show was only a week away. We trade work with LTMW here and there, and we were busy wrapping a Rocket Bunny BRZ from LTMW when the guys told us that one of their customers had backed out on a 4 Series Liberty Walk kit. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a spotlight at SEMA for advertising the shop, so I hopped on it and told them we wanted the kit for our M4!”
LT Motorwerks is also based in El Monte, California, which makes these exchanges of trade so amenable, and it’s an expert in pulling together cutting-edge BMW builds with up-to-the-minute styling trends. It also helps that it has strong links with the Japanese tuner scene, hence its ability to procure such exotic fare as the bold new Liberty Walk wide-body kit for the box-fresh M4. “Well, the kit it had wasn’t actually for an M4, it was for a regular 4 Series, so it needed a bit of modifying,” Michael explains, baulking slightly at the memory. “We dropped the M4 over to the guys that same day, and it took them around a week to get the kit fitted perfectly.” As we know from featuring a number of LTMW builds, this won’t be a case of the guys there dragging their heels – they’ll have been pulling ridiculous hours to ensure that everything was fitting right and looking sharp. And when you’ve got SEMA in your sights, that’s just the sort of tenacity and diligence that you’re looking for: the world is watching, and these show builds live or die by social shareability. The slightest flaw will be captured by countless lenses and harshly judged by an ever-more frenzied shark pool of smartphone-toting commentators. So, thankfully, this M4 doesn’t have that problem. As is LTMW’s MO, the thing is flawless.
“Long Tran from the shop agreed to sponsor the labour of the build, and the car came back to us on the Wednesday night, ready for us to start wrapping on Thursday morning,” Michael recalls. “Although at that point we also needed to get the suspension and the exhaust fitted, which left us with just a couple of days before the show…” Hey, there’s no pressure like deadline pressure, right?
These mods were essential, of course, as you can’t throw a wild and lairy body kit onto a standard car and then just leave everything as is. It just wouldn’t work. The arch gaps would be crazy, for a start. So a set of KW coilovers has been deployed in order to bring the broadened form closer to the Tarmac, getting the thing tightly hunkered down to accentuate that angry face. The exhaust – a full GTHAUS Meisterschaft system – was a no-brainer too, as SEMA isn’t just a static affair; sure, the car will be sitting on a stand for the bulk of the time, but people will see the thing arriving, and they’ll definitely see it leave. While the M4’s standard mechanical setup is certainly nothing be sniffed at – that S55 motor growls to the force-induced tune of 431hp – it needs to sound outrageous if people are going to notice it among the maelstrom of hot metal under the Vegas sun. GTHAUS’s system for the M4 offers EV Control, meaning that it can be switched from mousey-quiet to shouty-loud at the flick of a switch, using clever internal valves. Suffice it to say, the latter was the order of the day for the hordes of phonesnapping crowds.
It’s a truism to say that a modern project car is made or broken by the choice of rolling stock, and this is where another sponsor sidles in from stage left, eager to infuse a little more mischief into the recipe. Savini Wheels stepped up to the plate, providing a set of forged SV61-C rims in a 20” diameter, with the rears being a striking 12” across. The design of these wheels is frankly mind-warping, as it take your eyes a little while to figure out just what’s going on with the spokes – you end up gawping at them like a colourblind kid with a Magic Eye book. (Top tip: look at the spokes in groups of four, it makes it easier…) The brushed detailing on the edges of the satin black spokes really pulls you in, and you need to be careful you don’t get stuck, as there’s a hell of a lot of dish going on, too. It really is an outstanding setup.
Now, with such an in-your-face treatment of both bodywork and wheel choice, Impressive Wrap knew they had to do something really special, really unusual and alluring, to accentuate the sterling work that the M4 had already received. It would have been easy enough to do what a lot of tuners would do, and slather it in a loud shade that’d catch the eye from the other side of a conference hall; lime green, fluorescent yellow, something of that nature. But no, it opted for something rather more understated and, in doing so, has played a bit of a blinder; mixing a soupçon of subtlety into the build has actually made the car all the more noteworthy, resplendent as it now is in a satin chrome finish.
Shiny chrome is, naturally, a rather polarising effect – something you’d expect to see on a footballer’s Veyron – but satin chrome? That’s something a bit tasty. It echoes the brushed aluminium accents of the Savini rims, while offering a retro DeLorean-esque finish that both the young and young-at-heart will be able to relate to. And, of course, the advantage of a satin chrome vinyl wrap over a bare-metal #DeLorean finish is that it won’t showcase a gallery of unfortunate fingerprints…
“There were long, hard hours put into the M4,” says Michael, “and a lot of last-minute preparations with stickers and tyre stencils, but we somehow managed to get everything done on time. This was all thanks to our partners and employees!” And what we find most impressive about this build is the ratio of time-to-effect: Impressive Wrap, let’s not forget, embarked upon this project just a week or so before the world’s biggest and most visible aftermarket tuner show. The expertise and dedication of #LTMW , the vision of Savini’s design team, the engineering nous of GTHAUS, the bloody-minded lunacy of Liberty Walk and, above all, that inspired colour choice have all coalesced into something staggering. Stop the show. Silence the crowds. Break the internet. This is what SEMA builds are all about.
DATA FILE / #BMW-F82 / #BMW-M4-Coupe-F82 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: #S55B30 / #S55 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six, #GTHAUS #Meisterschaft EV Control exhaust system, seven-speed M-DCT.
CHASSIS: 10.5x20” (front) and 12x20” (rear) #Savini SV61-C wheels (black with brushed accents) with 265/35 (front) and 295/30 (rear) Toyo Proxes 4 Plus tyres, #KW coilovers.
EXTERIOR: Satin chrome wrap, Liberty Walk widebody kit (front splitter, rear diffuser, arch flares, boot spoiler), #AeroFlow Dynamics carbon-fibre side skirts.
INTERIOR: Stock M4 including ergonomic M seats, leather steering wheel and carbon-fibre trim.
THANKS: Jackson Wong from Xsthetic Motorsports, Mike from Prestige Marketing, our sponsors LTMW, Savini and GTHAUS Meisterschaft, Stan from Toyo, Roger from AeroFlow.
LB kit is wide, and then some. 12x20” Savini wheels fill out the massive rear arches.
Engine is stock, but 431hp is more than enough to be getting on with; Meisterschaft exhaust sounds great and fills the rear valance.
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