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Car #Porsche-356A / #Porsche-356 / #Porsche
RUN BY Alain de Cadenet
OWNED SINCE 2005
PREVIOUS REPORT July 2016
I rediscovered that leaving the 356 parked up and lonely was the worst thing I could have done. I had to get another 6V battery, change the hygroscopic brake fluid and seriously detail the paintwork. It was, however, tricky to use the car when one’s health is not really up to it as well. But it was so exciting to have the car back from Andy Prill, who had done a great job on the motor and set up the suspension – including camber change and toe-in adjustment. It is now spot-on.
Meanwhile, I did a full grease-up and gave it some TLC all around. I could hardly wait to get in the magnificent old bird and try her out. The motor pulls well (all 60bhp of it) on the original single-choke #Solex-32PBIC carbs, which had endured a complete rebuild to factory specification and now enable the car to pull away with some extra low-down torque.
Having driven another 356 at Monterey last year, I had remarked that the car handled far better than mine – only to realise that it was fitted with #Vredestein 155SR15 #Sprint-Classic-tyres . That’s tires over there, of course. Naturally I had to have some of those, but I found it tricky to source a local tyre-fitter who could handle tyres that needed inner tubes!
Not far from the mews in Kensington – in Munster Road, Fulham, in fact – I found someone and he did a great job fitting my new ones. But he did not have a mandrel on which to mount the wheels for balancing, so now I have to find someone with an on-car balancing set-up to finish it off. These ‘A’-type 356s have Volkswagen open-centre wheels, as you may know. However, on my first outing of some 120 miles I didn’t notice any vibration to concern me at legal road speeds. Plus I happen to prefer the 155 rather than the 165 tyre size.
There is a small difference in the rolling radius but the car feels so good and has less drag than on the 165s. It also sits well on the road, just as it did when new. I have never understood why folk want to turn these older machines into something way out-performing what they were originally, with big tyres and double or more the horsepower.
But they do. And why shouldn’t they? It’s just not for me. The tyre-fitter also produced some small plastic collars that fit into the valve hole in the wheel rim to stop the neck of the valve chafing on the steel of the wheel. It makes sense to have these for the first time, something I was pleased to learn about and yet another trick of the trade that you can only find out from someone who knows about such things. I have a rally coming up and expect it to run as well as she did when new after all this attention.
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- Post is under moderationStylish E93 M3 Convertible
Convertibles can't be shy, meek or discreet, they need to big, bold and proud and an Atlantis E93 M3 is all of those things… Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Rash Bajwa.
Typical. You wait ages for an Atlantis blue feature car and then two come along in a row! Last month we had the pleasure of Brad Wherrett’s turbo E36 and this month it’s the turn of Jags Bath and his E93 M3. As a show regular, you’re likely to have seen Jags’ M3 doing the rounds for years and there’s certainly no missing it, finished as it is in that striking shade of blue.
Atlantis is a rare but much-loved colour, and with good reason, with this Individual shade adding a striking turquoise flash to proceedings. It’s the sort of colour we need to punch through the sea of silver and grey we see day-to-day. It’s the sort of colour that a sun-seeking ’Vert deserves to be finished in, the sort of colour you’d expect to see gliding along a West Coast beach front but which is welcome everywhere.
As seems to be a trend with this month’s features, Jags did not grow up around BMWs at all and, in fact, his first motoring adventures involved Fords – an Orion that his dad bought for him as his first car and later a Sierra Sapphire, the first car Jags bought himself and which, unsurprisingly, had its fair share of mods. But despite his time with the Blue Oval, BMWs have always been close to his heart: “I have been passionate about BMWs since I can remember,” he begins, “as I have been into cars from a very young age and BMWs have always been my favourite. I am very much a petrolhead in the sense that I love all things cars, motorsport and especially modifying cars. I have always been buying mags like Autotrader etc to check out cars and Performance BMW , Max Power, and Fast Car to check out the latest products and ideas on the modding scene.”
Modified BMW ownership was, therefore, inevitable and Jags got his first taste of Bavarian ownership with an E36 M3 Evo Convertible in Estoril blue, his other favourite colour, and at the time his dream car. Not a bad way to get a taste of what BMW has to offer. That he owns another convertible M3 comes as no surprise, though he actually started out looking to buy an M6 before the ample charms of the M3 won him over. “After a short test drive in an E92 M3 I was completely sold on the car; the V8 rumble combined with the handling and grown-up interior and the fact that the car is full of so much tech had done it for me, especially the sound! The M3 has always been my personal favourite BMW so the fact that the E92 was so good and had so many improvements, especially the DCT gearbox, meant it was the only option for me.”
There followed a nine-month long search for the perfect E93, Jags having decided he definitely wanted a convertible, but every dealer he turned to told him the same thing: there were no Individual E93s on the system.
Just as he was about to give up, what seemed to be the perfect car surfaced at a Scottish dealership, an Atlantis blue E93. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out how the story ended and, after a road trip to Scotland to check out the car Jags arranged to have it delivered to London and that’s where the real adventure began.
“I knew I was going to modify the car before buying it,” laughs Jags, “but I wanted to enjoy the car as it was first, so kept it standard for around a year to enjoy how it drove prior to modifying, and used this time to decide what I wanted.” While Jags was keen to enhance the car’s styling, he didn’t want to go down the route of body kits and, with some help and advice from the #MStyle team in Romford, a whole heap of carbon goodies was obtained and added to the M3.
Up front there’s a carbon splitter, which helps to fill out the bumper plus it looks awesome against the Atlantis bodywork, as does all of the carbon. The kidney grilles and bonnet vents have been changed to carbon items along with the indicators, while the headlights have been treated to a smoke tint.
At the back there’s a carbon diffuser along with an LCI tail-light upgrade, the lenses having also been tinted, and the finishing touches are custom roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue and window tints. The carbon additions alone look fantastic, but the little details really add those finishing touches and make all the difference. It’s also the details that have given the interior a bit more personality and individuality; the custom steering wheel roundel matches the exterior ones, finished in black and Atlantis, while the flatbottomed M Performance steering wheel has been treated to Atlantis stitching and a matching centre stripe. Jags has also added BMPedals brake and accelerator pedals and a matching footrest with M engraving finished in Atlantis blue and finally a pair of BMPedals extended shift paddles with Atlantis plus and minus engravings.
While Jags hasn’t done much on the engine front, he’s added a few underbonnet bits, with a pair of RPI scoops, painted yellow and with custom Atlantis RPI logos, helping to funnel plenty of cool air to a BMC drop-in air filter. And, as there’s a V8 under the bonnet, there has to be an exhaust. “If I have to pick my favourite modification it would be the Eisenmann Race exhaust,” Jags smiles. “Funny, this is one mod I was never planning on doing as I have always liked the way the car sounds, even standard and didn’t want to change it unnecessarily. I first had the OEM mod done to the standard exhaust as I had heard a similar system on a friend’s car at a BMW meet and was impressed by the more aggressive sound.
“After a few months, I decided it was time for a change. I have always wanted an Eisenmann exhaust and when I found that it makes a system for the E93, it was a must!” he exclaims. “I absolutely love the look and sound of the exhaust, two years on and the exhaust note is still just getting better and better,” he adds with a grin. The full fat Race exhaust means maximum volume, with an Evolve X-pipe and primary de-cat, for even more noise and with a V8 under the bonnet, that’s a very good thing indeed.
With styling and soundtrack sorted, we come to the wheels, an essential part of any project. Jags knew he wanted 20s with either a race or performance look to them, not too many spokes and nothing in black. “I was first thinking of going for something like #BBS Le Mans wheels, as I wanted to go for more of a DTM look,” he says, “however after a long time looking I decided to go with a five-spoke wheel, as I have always liked five-spokes – they show off the brakes and calipers well and look best in concave, which is what I wanted as it makes them look more aggressive.
“In the end I decided to go for the Cades Calisto wheels as they ticked all the boxes for me: five-spoke, concave, staggered fitment, and with a diamond cut finish with grey inserts to break it up. Most importantly the wheels went well together with the overall look of the car, which is very important when modifying. The car has to flow and all the various components should complement each other. I feel the wheels added to the car and helped to achieve the look I was going for,” says Jags and we’d have to agree with him there.
Wheel snobs might look down their collective noses at Cades, but if you said the Calisto didn’t look good you’d be straight up lying because it’s a fantastic looking wheel, it really is, and it looks way more expensive than it is, which is definitely an added bonus. The style really suits the M3 perfectly, especially with a drop in ride height courtesy of a set of Eibach springs, and the combo of polished elements and grey areas works so well; it’s a wheel that’s definitely got a lot of presence. And, with those widely spaced spokes, it would have been rude not to give the brakes a bit of a makeover, the calipers having been painted in the same shade of yellow as appears elsewhere on the car. On paper, you might not think that yellow and Atlantis blue would work together but they really do, and with such a bold colour you need some bold elements to grab your attention.
With a selection of choice mods, Jags has put together a fantastic-looking car in a fantastic colour, but he’s far from finished yet, this M3 being very much an ongoing project. His shopping list for future mods include some carbon accessories for the engine. “I’m also planning an #Evolve-Stage-2 remap,” he tells us, “a custom plenum, which has been delayed so many times now, and custom front headlights, which have also been delayed.” Jags is also thinking about trying out some different wheels, as the Cades have been on the car for four years now. All that sounds like an awesome lineup of future mods.
That’s the fantastic thing about the E9x M3, it’s an awesome car straight out-of-the box but start tapping into its potential and the sky really is the limit…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E93 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E93 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-M3 / #BMW-3-Series-Cabrio-M3-E93 / #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #BMW /
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 S65B40 , RPI air scoops resprayed in yellow with custom #RPI stickers in Atlantis blue, BMC air filter, #Evolve-X-pipe with primary de-cat, #Eisenmann Race exhaust, seven-speed #M-DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) #Cades-Calisto wheels with 245/30 (front) and 285/25 (rear) #Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta tyres, #Eibach lowering springs, #EBC pads, callipers painted yellow
EXTERIOR Smoked headlights, carbon fibre front splitter, grilles, bonnet vents, indicators, rear diffuser, custom BMW roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue, smoked rear LCI light upgrade, tinted windows
INTERIOR Custom BMW roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue, custom M performance flat bottom steering wheel finished in black leather with Atlantis blue stitching and centre stripe, BMPedals footrest with M engraving and finished in Atlantis blue, BMPedals brake and throttle pedals, #BMPedals shift paddles with Atlantis blue +/- engraving
“The car has to flow and all the various components should complement each other”
20” Cades Calisto wheels look great on the M3, as does all that carbon.
“The M3 has always been my personal favourite BMW”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.