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    4 THE WIN

    Bagged, with gorgeous HRE splits, this BMW E93 Convertible is one slick sun-seeking ride. Eva Verzelen isn’t your average modifier, she’s a female and back with her latest toy – an E93 320i – her fourth feature in just as many years. We think you’ll like her… Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Kevin Raekelboom.


    Successful aftermarket styling has been and will remain a subjective concept. What floats one person’s boat may invariably sink another. Whatever styling cues you take the chances are some will appreciate your work, others will not. However in the case of Eva Verzelen’s E93 320i we beg to differ. The subtle tweaks and revisions Eva has made to her latest motor have created one of the most desirable cars we’ve ever laid eyes on.

    Don’t be too surprised though, our heroine’s had rather a lot of practice. You’re currently looking at Eva’s fourth feature in Performance BMW. Previously her ICE’d up E46 316i graced our 01/04 issue. Developing and perfecting this same car, Eva was back in 09/04 with the addition of a two-tone paint scheme, wide-arch styling and fresh leather. Following on from this, a two-year gap gave Eva just enough time to completely overhaul the family pin-up. In 06/06 the final incarnation of the E46 was completed, and this time it had grown up somewhat. Gone was the two-tone paint, replaced by a marvellous House Of Kolor Brandy hue, in place of the Racing Dynamics rollers were a set of gold powdercoated HRE rims, styling was improved with M3 bumpers and a CSL boot lid. It had, unlike so many projects, matured and improved over time. As trends and attitudes changed, the less is more approach to modifying started to catch on and quite rightly Eva was leading this field.

    Like any good parent though, she also appreciated there comes a time when, however attached we’ve become, we must let go.

    Some two and a half years later Eva is back once again, and she’s got a brand new look. It’s often worrying when previous feature car owners get in touch to say their latest project is ready. It can be a rather awkward situation if we feel their new creation isn’t what our readers are looking for, especially when they’ve already got it right once before. Thankfully and impressively we can put our hand on our hearts and tell you that with each successive feature Eva’s cars have got better and better.


    For the past four years, Eva has steadily been building up her Internet business and the hard work has paid off. Like many of us she has always dreamed of owning a brand spanking new BMW, and deservedly she has finally achieved just that. “I’ve always been in love with the E46 Convertible, but when the E93 came out I fell in love all over again! When the hard-top arrived my lust developed to the point where it couldn’t be ignored; whatever the cost I had to have one.”


    As a Belgian resident Eva wasn’t struck with the usual performance dilemma as driving a car with any thing larger than a 2.0-litre engine on this side of the Channel is an offence punishable by death, or so we’re led to believe… As such the decision of which lump to go for was removed from the equation, leaving Eva with the enviable task of picking her favourite colour and determining how she would transform the car and earn an unbelievable fourth feature. Before we go any further you need to be furnished with the facts. Eva is married to a gentleman named Geert, who just so happens to be the director of the European chapter of US-based styling forum www.Europrojektz-world.com and drives a dazzling Alpine white, chrome rimmed E60 too.


    The pair enjoy weekend jaunts to various shows, sharing a passion for modified cars, as well as each other. I guess it’s fair to say it’s the kind of relationship we all hanker after; no one likes the sour look on a partner’s face when that passion is not shared and you’re trying to justify your latest outlay.

    “I know they cost two thousand pounds darling, I know you’ve been wanting to go on that holiday, but just look at her, she’s 30mm lower all round!” It takes a woman like Eva, or a husband like Geert to smile and say “what’s next?”

    So with ample encouragement and a sprightlier bank account than ever before, Eva jumped in head first and purchased a pristine Alpine White III E93. Being a new car Eva was free to spec it as she saw fit, which enabled her to get the foundations of her dream project in place. “I’ve always fantasised about a white BMW with Shadowline trim and a red leather interior and I was finally in a position to just tick a box and have it. Along with the six-speed manual transmission I knew I had all the bases covered, and I certainly had a good idea where I wanted to take the project.”

    Even before taking delivery, Eva and her friends on Europrojektz.com had discussed which direction to take the car and unanimously the OEM plus look won the day. “I’d done the wide-arch look, I’d had the two-tone paint and at the time they really captured the scene. In the past few years my tastes have changed and standards on the scene have gone up so it was important to me that my car reflected this.” After only two days of ownership her new toy was subjected to its first enhancements. In keeping with her new clean and simple ethos, Eva ordered a carbon Vorsteiner front lip spoiler and replaced her standard rollers with a set of polished lipped, powdercoated gold 19” 540R HRE rims, the perfect complement to the white paint scheme.

    Eva was then keen to get the car’s stance just right, an often under-appreciated side of chassis augmentation that can make or break a car. Regardless of which suspension you’ve opted for, getting the correct combination of ride height, wheel size and tyre profile is paramount to the way a car sits, and Eva knows it.

    So much so that she took the plunge and created the world’s first E93 Cabriolet with air-ride. Although common on street rods and mini trucks and OEM on many luxurious cars from the likes of Maybach, Rolls Royce and Lexus, air suspension is still viewed with scepticism, mostly through ignorance than anything else. While it is true that in the past ’bags have been a little unreliable, today, that is simply not the case. The truth is that air-ride is not suitable for everyone.

    Basically, if you don’t spend time on track and are more of a cruiser than a racer then air-ride should be recommended. It’s comfortable, useful and enables you to have your car far lower without the normal headaches. Yes it may be expensive but it makes a huge difference to the appearance of any car, and at the touch of a button makes the impractical practical. Eva entrusted the car to JV-Tuning who faultlessly installed the system, which is no mean feat considering it is a world first.

    Subsequently this E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place. The success of the project cannot be gifted to the suspension and wheels alone, as they say the Devil is in the details.

    Starting with the exterior transformation Eva has been quick to personalise her ride, her first step being the redesign of the rear bumper. With the help of Jem Design the bumper has been smoothed and a custom rear carbon diffuser integrated. It’s a stunning piece of work that looks like a factory fitted item and hints at the E46 M3 CSL’s rear end. We’re aware Eva’s colour scheme adds to its appeal but BMW’s latest M3 could certainly have benefited from such defining styling cues. Alongside the custom quad exhaust Eva plumped for, it has rear of the year written all over it.

    Along with the delicate integration of carbon door mirrors, black kidney grilles and the aforementioned Shadowline trim, every facet that creates the car’s image adds something to the mix.

    With the car coming along rather well Eva was keen to break the mould even further. “The air-ride was something I’d always dreamed of but there were other chassis modifications I was desperate to acquire. For me, a big brake kit sets off any car and I had envisaged the look of big red calipers peering through my gold HREs. People thought it was a waste of money because it’s only a 2.0-litre engine, but it’s not the case. The brake kit not only stops the car on a penny and looks a treat, it also ties the interior in with the exterior and that for me completes the car. It is my favourite modification.”

    With 335mm front and rear discs and six- pot and four-pot calipers respectively, the XYZ big brake kit was complete and Eva was finally pleased with her car’s exterior.

    The interior was, as you’d expect, rather nice to begin with so with the addition of a few M-Tech goodies such as the steering wheel, handbrake, pedals and footrest, all that was left to do was throw in some custom Europrojektz mats, stuff a BMW Performance strut brace under the bonnet, take a few photos and email them to Performance BMW magazine.


    DATA FILE #BMW-E93 / #BMW-320i-Convertible / #BMW-320i-Convertible-E93 / #BMW-320i-E93 / #BMW-320i / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-E93 / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible / #BMW-3-Series-Convertible-E93 /

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: Four-cylinder 2.0-litre #N42 / #BMW-N42 / #BMW with reworked air box, custom quad exhaust system. Manual six-speed gearbox

    CHASSIS: 9x19” (front) and 10x19” (rear) gold powdercoated 540R 19” #HRE wheels shod in 225/35 and 255/30 Pirelli PZero Nero tyres respectively. BSS air suspension with #Koni adjustable coilovers, #BMW-Performance strut brace. #XYZ big brake kit with six-pot front calipers and four-pot rear calipers mated to 355mm discs

    EXTERIOR: Shadowline exterior trim, de-badged, carbon #Vorsteiner front lip, custom rear bumper with integrated carbon diffuser, carbon door mirrors, matt black kidney grille

    INTERIOR: Sports seats in Coral red Dakota leather, High Gloss interior trim, black Alcantara carpets with Europrojektz logo, M-Tech steering wheel, handbrake handle and gear knob, pedals and footrest

    THANKS: Jurgen at JV-tuning, Dario, Yves and my husband Geert


    This E93 has got its stance just right, and it’s partly because of this that everything else falls into place
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    ALL AMERICAN TAKE OVER

    Fitting a massive Yank V8 lump into your BM is nothing new, but doing that and then strapping a pair of turbos on for good measure takes things to a whole other level….

    Rebel yell Utterly insane twin-turbo V8 E30 with almost 900hp.

    After tiring of turbo M20 reliability issues, Ross Bradley went back to his hot rod roots and rebuilt his E30 using American V8 power… with two turbos this time. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Matt Woods.


    Meet Ross Bradley, an E30 nut who likes to do things his own way, particularly if it involves a twin-turbo V8. The story begins back in March 2010 when he bought this black 325i and, like so many of us, he formulated a plan to make it his own. “It was sitting on a drive for about four years with moss growing up the sides. I used to see it when I was out at work,” explains 35-year-old Ross. “It was pretty solid body-wise, so I offered the guy some money and bought it for £275. I got it home, changed the plugs and put fresh fuel in and it fired up first time!”

    Fast forward a year or so and his E30 was something we’d all be proud to call our own, featuring Borbet A wheels, a nice drop in ride height and a full M Tech 2 body kit, among other tricks. However, having grown up around American hot rods and other powerful machinery, it was only a matter of time before the engine bay got something of a shake-up.

    “I’ve always had turbo cars. I just have a passion for them,” Ross tells us. “And the BMW needed more power so the only way to go was turbo!” Ross laughs. The car’s transformation started with him taking the original M20 and turbocharging it, earning him the bragging rights of having over 400hp under his right foot. Having been an engineer by trade in the past he made it all look easy, building up the M20 with forged pistons, a custom intake plenum and plenty more goodies. Ross was happy until an oil pressure issue left him with a knocking bottom end and feeling thoroughly disheartened. Fortunately Ross isn’t the kind of guy to remain demoralised for long and he used this temporary upset as a chance to refocus. “I’ve always been a fan of proper V8s – not the little BMW ones but full-blown Ford or Chevy motors,” he explains. “Now that I had the chance, I decided to get rid of the old turbo engine which kept going wrong, and I sold all the parts to fund a new engine.”

    Ross’s plan for Yank horsepower made good sense. “I considered the newer GM LS engines but at the time they cost more than a complete S50, and you can just as easily build an old type V8 with EFI for half the price.” A decision was made and Ross was soon the owner of a small-block, 350ci (5.7-litre) block ready for building up. While Ross pressed on with using the bare block for test-fitting purposes, his shopping list started becoming a reality. A #GM forged crank, Eagle forged rods, a hightorque starter motor, alloy roller rockers and a new sump all arrived, with Ross’s plans continuously evolving for how the engine would fit in the car and how it would be built.

    “The gearbox I chose was the manual gearbox from the Mk3 Toyota Supra: the R154. With a couple of little mods they can be bombproof, but not cheap at £600 for the box alone!” Ross says. He was still waiting on engine parts but could at least get the gearbox built up. This would allow him to finalise the engine location once and for all.

    All new bearings went in, along with an uprated first gear thrust washer, before the front end was built up with a Chevy bellhousing, hydraulic clutch release bearing and all the necessary conversion parts. What soon became clear was that the E30’s transmission tunnel just wasn’t going to be big enough. Luckily it wasn’t beyond the call of a few hour’s work with a hammer. The next obstacle was the crossmember and anti-roll bar. A conversion to an E36 anti-roll bar (which sits ahead of the crossmember) had that issue solved easily enough thanks to some fabrication work, but Ross also had to notch the crossmember for clearance and ended up moving the steering rack forwards by 20mm to clear the starter motor.

    This left Ross with the small block sitting happily in his engine bay, as low and as far back as was possible. “The shifter even ended up in the right place!” laughs Ross. “There was just a sensor that I had to add clearance for, so things were going well.” With his engine and gearbox mounts fabricated, Ross then threw on the aluminium heads that he’d ordered and checked the clearance of everything with his turbo manifolds fresh from the States. Sure enough, his engine mounts had to come back out for some further clearance work and he had to make plans for relocating his brake servo and master cylinder to under the dashboard. For Ross this was all in a day’s work.

    With the engine position decided, Ross pulled the V8 block back out so that he could finally start transforming it into a functioning engine. The local machine shop was tasked with boring out the cylinders by .030”, taking displacement to beyond the 5.8-litre mark. Probe forged pistons were mated to the Eagle rods, with the crank going in with Clevite bearings and ARP hardware. His camshaft of choice was a Comp Cams 256/263-degree grind, made especially for turbo applications.

    Such is the aftermarket support for these engines that Ross managed to get his aforementioned aluminium cylinder heads for just £200 and set about porting them himself by hand to make the most of a set of massive Manley valves (2.02” inlet and 1.60” exhaust, in fact). This V8 may only have 16 valves but it makes up for that with sheer size. The heads were finished with Edelbrock valve springs and titanium retainers, which are operated by Comp Cams billet rockers and Edelbrock Magnum pushrods. No stone has been left unturned with this Yank powerhouse.


    A good old Holley carb was initially used to get the engine running alongside a Megasquirt ECU and Ford coil packs. Ingeniously Ross used a few of the old M20 sensors and brackets to feed the ECU with all the needed info, which allows the V8 to run normally aspirated for a few miles as a gentle run-in. A huge Pro Cool radiator, a custom intercooler and a day’s worth of custom fab work by Ross got the E30 roadworthy but he was far from done.


    When the time came to switch to fuel injection Ross, as usual, didn’t do things by halves. With the rear boot floor in bits (more on that in a moment) he plumbed together a fuel system capable of supplying enough jungle juice for the monstrous powerplant now sitting up front. A high-flow lift pump feeds a two-litre swirl pot, with twin Bosch 044 pumps then feeding the engine through front-to-rear braided AN lines. All that fuel is supplied to 770cc injectors mounted in an Edelbrock intake manifold, fitted with a 90mm Procomp throttle body.


    That swirl pot setup is mounted onto a flat rear floor. Ross’s car has no spare wheel well and for a very good reason. With the extra power and monstrous torque that he was going to be feeding through the rear end, some serious reinforcement was needed. The entire rear beam was dropped and stripped and Ross’s work began.

    The first thing on the ingredients list was an E28 large case diff; though it bolts right up to the E30 rear beam, that’s about where the compatibility ends; not a problem for someone like Ross. The beam was sent away for blasting and once back, he could begin. “I started by going over the old welds to make them a little stronger and I went around the trailing arm brackets again as some of them aren’t fully welded,” he explains. “Then I started the reinforcing.”

    These reinforcements included plating over the diff mounts and bridging together the various factory joins with extra material. Bars were then also added between the diff mount and beam itself before a thick plate was placed over the diff recess. In short, Ross’s work is so solid we reckon it would withstand even a nuclear strike.


    Next up was getting that diff mounted up. The E30’s single-ear rear diff mounting is famed for a lack of strength and so after some experimenting Ross found that an E36 M3 Evo diff cover and mounting bracket would bolt up to the E28 diff (with the addition of a spacer he made), giving him two ears to mount with. However, the E30 doesn’t have the provisions to bolt such an arrangement up, hence Ross had cut the boot floor out of his. A new crossmember was made out of box section, bridging the chassis rails and including mounts for that large case diff and the anti-roll bar brackets.

    “With the rear crossmember done I started the rear strut bracing,” Ross tells us. This included strengthening plates on the rear strut towers along with a welded-in strut brace. This was then joined to the diffmounting crossmember with a set of bars tying the whole lot together for maximum rigidity before everything could be sheeted over to form a new floor.

    The trailing arms were also braced with bars and then the whole lot bolted back under the car, complete with the new diff and a revision of Ross’s UJ driveshafts. However, he still wasn’t done, using the opportunity to also convert the car to fivestud all-round. Rather than the usual way, this arrangement was completed using Compact or Z3 parts with a bit of a custom setup. This consisted of Z3 wheel bearings and hubs, which needed a little machining to fit. “I used 300mm Z4 discs on the Z3 hubs, and then used Porsche Boxster Brembo fourpot calipers,” smiles Ross.

    Up front the E30 stub axles were sleeved to allow E36 wheel bearings and hubs to be used, enabling the use of an XYZ brake kit. It was originally meant for a Japanese application using a 5x114.7 PCD and Ross also had to make his own brackets, too. Nothing phases this E30 fanatic.

    Of course, the most noticeable change Ross had to make was to fit new wheels. The old 4x100 Borbet As would no longer fit but Ross found something else that would work nicely. It doesn’t get much better than three-piece Hartges, made by OZ back in the day. He found them in Poland and had them shipped over. They had polished lips and gold centres, which looked great, but weren’t quite what Ross had in mind. Therefore the wheels were stripped right down for the centres and lips to be repolished, and a lack of centre caps saw Ross approaching UK firm and BMW specialist Hack Engineering to reproduce the original plastic caps in billet aluminium so that it could all be polished up with the same mirror shine. Mirror-polished hardware finished the wheels off, with grippy Federal RSR tyres put in charge of getting all that power down.

    This meant that phase two of the build was complete, and Ross enjoyed using it for the latter half of last year’s show season, clocking up the miles attending every show possible. Having witnessed it personally, we can confirm that when Ross’s E30 pulls up at the showground, a serious number of heads turn thanks to the appearance of a tidy E30 with the soundtrack of a lumpy, all-American V8. It really is quite something.

    The way Ross has gone about building his E30 is like no other. While absolutely nothing on the car itself can be considered off-the-shelf, he’s also shown incredible ingenuity when it comes to building a reliable powerplant thanks to the strength (and low prices) of the American aftermarket. In fact, though untested, it’s estimated that the junkyard-rescued small block is currently pushing around 880hp and 750lb ft at 1.3bar. Could American power in an E30 be the way to go? You wouldn’t want to argue otherwise after seeing this machine.

    Boot houses fuel system with two-litre swirl pot and twin Bosch 044 fuel pumps.

    If you’re a keen show-goer in the UK you’re likely to see Ross’s monster throughout the year. However, do be warned – by the time it’s show season the E30 will be looking quite different. Ross didn’t want to tell us exactly what he was up to but you can rest assured that the E30 will be even better, very soon.

    DATA FILE #Twin-turbo #V8 / #BMW-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-E30-V8 / #Bosch-044 / #Garrett-T04E / #Garrett /

    ENGINE #Chevrolet-small-block-V8 , rebored 0.030” to 5.82-litre, #GM / #GM-V8 forged crank, #ARP main studs, #Eagle H-section forged con rods, #Clevite big end bearings, Probe oversized forged pistons, high volume oil pump, ported and polished alloy heads, #Manley-Severe-Duty stainless steel swirl-polished oversized valves (2.02” inlet, 1.6” exhaust), Edelbrock valve springs with titanium retainers, #Cloyes three-piece solid timing gears, Clevite cam bearings, Comp Cams 256/263-degree blower cam and lifters, #Edelbrock #Magnum chromoly pushrods, #Comp-Cams 1.5:1 alloy roller rockers, #Brodix rocker covers, ARP hardware (rocker arm studs, intake manifold bolts, sump bolts, timing cover bolts, engine mount bolts, exhaust header bolts, crank pulley bolts, bellhousing bolts), ARP oil pump driveshaft, custom engine mounts, customised turbo headers, twin Garrett T04E turbos, Tial wastegates, custom twin 3” turbo-back exhaust with Simons silencer, custom intercooler, Tial dump valve, #Edelbrock Pro-flo inlet and matching fuel rails, #Procomp 90mm throttle body, 770cc injectors, swirl pot with high flow lift pump, twin #Bosch 044 engine feed pumps, #Torques fuel pressure regulator, #March serpentine pulley kit, #Pro-Cool alloy radiator, #Megasquirt ECU, Ford coil packs, fully lightened and balanced flywheel

    TRANSMISSION #Toyota-Supra-R154 gearbox rebuilt and uprated with #Marlin-Crawler thrust washer bearing retainer and selector forks, #McLeod clutch release bearing, #ARP clutch bolts, Spec R Stage 4+ paddle clutch, alloy fluid reservoir, #Cube shifter, custom propshaft, E28 210mm LSD with 3.07 final drive and M3 Evo twin-ear rear mount, custom driveshafts with #UJs , custom gearbox crossmember

    CHASSIS 17x9” ET25 (front) and 17x10” ET20 (rear) Hartge fully polished three-piece wheels, 215/40 and 235/40 Federal RSR tyres, modified front crossmember for engine clearance, reinforced rear beam, E36 M3 front anti-roll bar with custom mounts and rosejointed droplinks, reinforced rear trailing arms, custom rear strut brace tied into custom rear diff mounting bar, #GAZ coilovers, GAZ adjustable front top mounts, stainless steel steering linkage joints and custom linkage, steering rack moved 20mm forwards, alloy power steering reservoir and custom lines, incar brake servo conversion using Renault Clio servo, VW Sharan brake master cylinder, #XYZ six-pot front calipers and 330mm discs, fivelug conversion using E36 and Z3 hubs, Porsche #Brembo six-pot rear calipers, #Apec-Z4 rear discs


    EXTERIOR M Tech 2 body kit, carbon bonnet, E36 M3-style mirrors, widened rear arches, smoked rear lights, smoked front indicators, yellow foglights

    INTERIOR Full red leather Sport interior, black carpets, custom gauge illumination (blue with red needles), A-pillar mounted auxiliary gauges (boost, #AFR , oil pressure), fuel system in boot

    THANKS Dad for all of the paintwork, Shaun from V8 Development for all the mapping and wiring.

    Red leather Sport interior looks fantastic and features custom gauge illumination and auxiliary gauges in the A-pillar.

    I’ve always been a fan of proper V8s… full blown Ford or #Chevy-motors .
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    PUT IT DOWN / KRB #Audi-S1-Quattro replica / / #KRB-Audi-S1-Quattro-replica / #Audi-S1-Quattro replica / #KRB-Audi-S1-Quattro / #Audi-S1-Quattro / #KRB-Quattro / #Audi-Quattro / #Audi / #KRB

    With a rear wing the size of Belgium, and tyres wider than J-Lo’s backside KRB’s ’80 Coupé puts down all of its 1061whp very effectively! Never has the word ‘want’ been so appropriate as now! KRB Audi-S1-Quattro replica. Over 1000bhp and wings to die for. Words: Brent Campbell. Photos: Kid A.

    Pop quiz; if you had the chance to add any car from VW/Audi’s motorsport catalogue to your garage, which one would it be? We’re talking no-holds-barred, any car, be it a rough-and-tumble rally racer to a ’ring regular, a Le Mans legend to a DTM demonstrator. While we’re sure you needn’t any help making up your mind, let’s talk it through, just for the sake of conversation. First off, we can probably go right ahead and dismiss anything from the VW side of the family, as the only memorable racer VW has ever produced had two pin-stripes and a 53 painted on the side (and it’s probably landed in some California impound lot after all those DUI convictions, no?)

    So forget that; let’s take a look at Audi. Lots of fine, sporty cars to choose from, eh? How about the diesel R10? It would add a nice pep to your commute to work, not to mention return excellent fuel economy, though it does get a bit dodgy around those speed humps. What’s that, weather too unpredictable for a car with no roof? Well, how about the A4 BTCC racer of the mid- ’90s? Instantly recognisable, modern and with that Quattro grip you’ve been after. Too pokey? I knew you’d say that. Well if it’s speed you’re after, we’ll need to roll the clock back a bit further. What you’ll want is one of the legendary Group B cars of the mid-’80s. Relentless power, go-anywhere Quattro capability and people will be cheering from the kerb whenever you roll by.


    So you’ve decided then? Sign here… Alright, alright, sorry. Enough messing about. We all know that these cars don’t just pop up for sale and even if they did, you couldn’t afford one and neither could we. But there is another option. All of these cars are based on production cars, right? Sure, not the R10, but for the most part, the touring and rally cars were. So you’ve got some time, some skill and maybe a little spare change in your pocket; why not build your own take on that rally favourite of yours?

    With all the advancements in technology over the years, not to mention the off-the-shelf attainability of performance parts and materials that once only factory-backed race teams could afford, the proposition doesn’t sound all that outlandish.

    But there is a fine line. There’s a difference between building a modern take on a hero car and taking a bone-stock 80 GT and slapping a bunch of stripes and stickers on it like some motorsport wannabes. We’ve all seen them; base-model Audi repmobiles with tawdry spoilers, brushed-on livery, cut springs and no back seats. Oh, and still on stock wheels no less. What was intended to be a tribute can sometimes do more to invoke the gag reflex than inspire pride in your brand’s heritage.


    Fortunately, some people do get it right. A satisfying mix of modern performance wrapped up in a retro motorsport shell; it can be done. Just look at some of other cars we’ve featured: Perry Mason’s blood-red BTCC ’banger back in the October issue; MTM’s S1 rep from 10/09; Autoparts Veghel’s V8 Sport Quattro from 08/08 and Andy Krink’s 20v rally rep from 05/08.


    And that leads us to this car (finally…), which we spotted while covering a Gatebil event at Rudskogen, which we featured back in January 11. While it has the look and the presence of the greatest of the Group B and Pikes Peak-era Audis, it isn’t at all a replica, at least by conventional standards. No, this Audi has taken on the look of a bewinged S1 more by functional necessity than by choice.

    It was built by Kai Roger Bokken and the boys at KRB Trading, a Norwegian-based tuning firm with an affinity for giant snails and Audi’s potent 20v five-pot. In fact, such is the affinity for this motor that they’ve fastened it in to just about any car with four wheels at some point, Audi or not! But before we get into that, let’s get to know the man behind the plan a little better first… “While I’ve always had a passion for the Quattros, I actually got started by driving Volvos,” explained Kai. “I grew up around motorsport and my first car was a Volvo 142.


    Not long after that, I started racing in a budget class called Car Cross using an old Skoda with a 2.2-litre Volvo motor in the rear.” It wasn’t long before he started building up full-on race cars to compete. “I stuck with Volvos for a while due to their rear-drive dynamics and relatively low weight,” he said.

    “I competed in a number of events with the cars, including a 242 built up for rallycross and a 343 track day car that I eventually stripped out and converted to tube frame.” His involvement with the racing scene from his early teens eventually led to opening his own tuning and parts-supply business; KRB Trading. “I started that back in 1994 as there was a big demand for racing parts and with my connections, I knew I could do a better job than the other suppliers,” he said. The business’ primary focus was supplying turbochargers and components, which, not surprisingly, typically found their way on to a turbo’d five.

    By the early 2000s, Kai was one of the most knowledgeable Audi tuners in the country and he was ready to finally do a fullon build on an Audi. “I’d always wanted a Ur- Quattro, but the price of entry was so high, it took me about 20 years to finally have one of my own!” he joked. He built up a red Quattro from scratch, taking everything he’d learned to achieve the highest level of power he had reached with a five-cylinder so far, nearly 850whp. After successfully putting that motor to work on the track, he took the spare motor for that car and used that in his 343 tube frame racer and competed with that as well.

    Now that he’d fully built a Ur-Quattro and had successfully converted his 343 to a tubeframe race chassis, the next logical step was to take what’d he’d learned from both builds and construct the ultimate Audi track-day car. “With this build, there weren’t going to be any compromises. Not only did I plan to take the five-cylinder as far as it would go, I was designing and building the chassis and drivetrain to my specs to show what the car was capable of,” he explained.

    Kai picked up the donor shell for this car, a lowly 80 coupé, back in October ’07. “There wasn’t much that we were looking for in a donor since it was all coming apart anyways, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find one of these things without a sunroof!” he laughed. “But once we had that sorted we went straight into it. There was to be no Phase 1, 2 and 3 with this build, we were intent on turning it into a race car from the start.”

    Unlike many of the privately-owned Audibased motorsport cars, Kai was willing to make significant changes to the structure of the car to enhance drivability, not to mention lower the car significantly. “The primary improvements I wanted to make by going to a tube frame design, besides reducing weight, were to improve weight distribution front-to-rear and to lower the center of gravity. Typical Audis of this era have more than 65% of their weight hanging up above or in front of the front axle. This makes the car prone to understeer. By building a custom transmission and designing my own chassis, I’d be able to move the motor lower and further back, hence improving its balance.”

    Of course, to undergo such a dramatic overhaul, it wasn’t just a matter of getting it up on jack stands and going at it with a spanner. “We started by stripping the car down and then putting it up on a steel jig, kind of like a rotisserie,” said Kai. With the car up in the air, all corners and crevices were now easily accessible. Kai and his mates slowly worked through the process of reinforcing the shell with a tubular frame, cutting away un-needed parts of the body, one portion at a time.
    “We started with the cockpit area, building a cage around the driver’s compartment. We then cut away the original floor and welded in a new floor. From there, we built up the front and rear frames to support the suspension and the drivetrain. Since we didn’t have any engineered drawings or schematics to work with, it was often two steps forwards, three steps back, but in the end, we accomplished what we set out to do.”

    The unconventional thinking didn’t stop with the chassis. On a quest to get the most power without making sacrifices in durability, Kai built the motor to withstand much more power and boost than even the 850whp from the previous motors. “Rather than using the standard five-cylinder block, the motor is actually based around a 2.5-litre VW diesel bottom end,” Kai explained. “We then overbored the cylinders to 83mm and designed our own rods and pistons.” The original 20v S2 head was used, but modified to fit the new block as well as to increase flow. “We fabricated our own valve springs and camshafts to work with long, stainless valves and titanium retainers,” Kai remembered. To allow for lower placement in the car, a Peterson dry sump system was incorporated.

    To allow for placement further aft the front wheels, Kai commissioned Sellholm Tuning of Sweden to design a custom, sequential all wheel-drive five-speed ’box and center diff that would mate to the diesel block. A custom front differential was also supplied, which would now reside in front of the motor, allowing for a more centralised placement and minimal axle angle at the car’s race height. “In all, Sellholm supplied us the gearbox with center diff, the front and rear diffs, the driveshafts, the uprights and the majority of the suspension components, so it was an integral part of the build. We spec’d what we wanted and it built it for us.”

    As you’d expect, the chassis and mounts were all custom-designed for the motor, so it fits perfectly. With the motor and transmission in place, the front driveshaft actually sits beside the motor as it runs up to the front diff. With the motor sitting in the bare chassis, the assembly continued, with the custom fabbed intake manifold, upgraded fuel rail and 2200 Siemens injectors now coming into play.

    For the exhaust, an equal-length manifold was fabricated, which was originally mated to a GT42 turbo. That has since been replaced with a lighter and more efficient CT43 Comp turbo with triple ball bearings. This was paired with a 60mm TIAL wastegate and, ultimately, an Autronic SM4 for engine management. “We’ve been using Autronic with E85 for years now with a lot of success. The flexibility of the software makes it easy to work with,” said Kai. The remaining intake, intercooler and exhaust system was all fabricated in-house. Note that the intercooler now sits where the radiator originally did, with the radiator now relocated to the rear of the car, using giant fans to pull the air through.

    Suspension components were mainly borrowed from previous Volvo projects than from the Audi donor, due to familiarity and known durability. Volvo S80 front spindles were used front and rear, supporting a McPherson-style suspension up front and a custom double-wishbone setup out back. The Sellholm coilovers use Bilstein shocks, and Sellholm supplied the adjustable sways as well as the Volvo 240-style steering rack.

    XYZ brakes were chosen for the odious job of bringing the over-powered car to a stop. With the mechanics of the car all in place, Kai and the team then went about re-skinning the car over its tubular frame. Kai took an existing S1-style body kit and modified it, moving the wheel openings upwards and extending the wheel arches three inches per side. This allowed for larger wheels, which were required to fit over the giant brakes. The remaining portions of the body were constructed from carbon fibre, including the fenders, the sills, the hood and, of course, that monstrous rear spoiler.

    Inside the car, a Volvo 240 column was used, but is otherwise all go and no show. OMP supplied the seats, wheel and harness, Tilton the pedals and the handbrake, and a Racepak IQ3/Autronic display is the ‘dashboard’. It doesn’t get much more hardcore race car than this!

    Once the car was at a driveable state, Kai and the KRB team tuned it on their in-house 4WD dyno and gave it its first run at the start of the 2008 race season. Since getting the car running and tuned, the challenges have largely been around in getting the suspension sorted. “We initially had a lot of issues with understeer, but over the past few seasons, we’ve experimented with a variety of roll bars, toe and caster settings to make it easier to handle around corners,” confessed Kai. While running a ‘conservative’ race-tune of 831whp and 659lb ft of torque at 1.7bar, it’s no wonder the car loves the straights. Running a full 2.4bar of boost, the car put down 1061bhp and 753lb ft of torque at the wheels, incredible for an all wheel-drive car.

    Competing at Gatebil and other events around Norway and Sweden, the car has already seen a lot of success. It won the Norwegian Time Attack in 2009 and 2010, taking second this past year due to a few hiccups and against a very competitive field. “The car that beat us was a Porsche GT2 that won Le Mans, so we weren’t that upset by the loss. Overall, we’re very happy with the car and have no immediate plans to build something else. We still have lots of work to do perfecting it and we’re looking forward to 2012” said Kai. Should you find yourself in Norway with a craving for some old-skool motorsport action, this is the car you want to see. This is Group B turned up to 11!


    Huge twin fans out back suck air through to keep the relocated radiator cool.

    Dub Details

    ENGINE: 2.6-litre five-cyl, 2.5L #TDI engine block over-bored, milled steel crankshaft, KRB flywheel, billett connecting rods, custom CP pistons, 10.7:1 compression, multilayered steel head gasket, S2 cylinder head modified by KRB, custom stainless steel valves, custom camshafts, #Piper/KRB cam drive system, KRB intake manifold with 3” throttle bodies, #Nuke fuel rail, #Siemens 2200cc injectors, Comp Turbo CT 43 71/79, 31.2psi (2.15bar) boost, #Turbonetics HP #Newgen wastegate,# K&N air filter, #Autronic-SM4 engine management system, MSD direct fire ignition, Magnecor 10mm ignition leads, Bosch spark plugs, #Aeromotive mechanical fuel pump and FPR, KRB fuel cell, #Spearco-based custom intercooler, 4- 5” exhaust tubes made from rolled 0.5mm stainless steel, Ferrita 4” silencer, dry sump lubrication, #Petersen four-step oil pump, rear mounted PWR-based custom radiator, twin #Bosch cooling fans.

    Race power at the wheels: 894 bhp (907 PS) at 7224 rpm. Torque: 753lb ft at 6244 rpm. E85 bioethanol fuel.

    TRANSMISSION: Three-step Tilton carbon clutch, Sellholm five-step sequential gearbox with integrated centre diff, Sellholm front differential, KRB-modified Ford 9”-based rear differential, Sellholm drive shafts and joints.

    CHASSIS: KRB tube chassis, Volvo S80 front spindles fitted front and rear, McPherson front suspension, double wishbone rear suspension, #Sellholm coilovers with #Bilstein shocks, Sellholm knife adjustable sway bars, Sellholm ‘Volvo 240 type’ rack and pinion steering. #XYZ brakes: 380mm discs and eight-piston calipers front, 375mm discs and six-piston calipers rear respectively. #Zito-Grand-Prix 10x18” wheels, Michelin SX 27/68-18 slick tyres.

    OUTSIDE: #Audi-Coupé windshield frame, front half of roof and b-pillars, all other body panels carbon fibre designed by KRB, plexiglass side and rear windows.

    INSIDE: Aluminium floor below tube chassis, removable transmission tunnel, Audi Coupé dash top, KRB/Volvo 240 steering column, OMP steering wheel, seats and harness, Sellholm/KRB gear change mechanism, Tilton pedal assembly, Tilton hydraulic handbrake, Racepak IQ3/Autronic digital dash logger.

    SPONSORS: KRB Trading AS, Nordisk Dekkimport, Elite Bil, Nuke, Drammen Karosseri, Profilbyraa AS

    SHOUT: My family, friends and everyone that lent a hand.

    EDITORS NOTE: That was a reference to Lindsay Lohan and her appearance in Herbie, Fully Loaded in the second paragraph. It was reaching a bit, we know..

    1061whp. We’ll say that again. 1061whp! Power like that kind of makes your Stage 1 remap look a bit silly doesn’t it?

    If it isn’t needed to go faster, make more power or lap a track quicker, it’s gone.

    Audi RS4 seats? Check. Quilted leather retrim? Check. Highend audio install in Alcantaratrimmed boot build? Check. Oh, no... wait...
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    NEED FOR SWEDE #BMW-M5

    It’s a fast E34 from Sweden so we make no apologies for that title… and with a massive 886whp courtesy of its equally massive turbo, this really is one fast and furious M5. If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… because there’s an 886whp turbo E34 M5 doing massive burnouts in it. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Patrick Karlsson.

    If there’s one thing you can always count on from Scandinavia it’s a regular supply of suitably insane, massively powerful, forced induction BMWs. The Scandinavians seem to love BMs, with good reason obviously, and the only thing they seem to love even more is strapping massive turbochargers to them and then going mental with them in the vast Nordic wilderness. This, as far as we’re concerned, is most definitely a good way to spend your time and we heartily applaud anyone indulging in this sort of tomfoolery… like Mikael Dahlbom, for example.

    The 22-year-old Swedish truck driver is most definitely a BMW fan, his first being an E36 320i, which he still owns. This was joined by an E46 328i and this monstrous E34 M5. Young Mikael has been interested in BMWs since he was a tender 17, although his car history is not exclusively Bavarian. His first car was a Volvo 240 which is a) to be expected and b) pretty cool… but not as cool as owning an E34 M5 with a honking great turbo strapped to it, we reckon.

    Looking at the spec on this car, you might be thinking that Mikael is a seasoned tuning pro, even at such a young age, but in fact this is his first full-on modified project, having never done anything more than suspension and wheels on previous cars. To crank out such a beast on his first attempt deserves credit for sure. It seems like the whole process was relatively spontaneous – the M5 belonged to his brother, so there was no big search to find his perfect project car.

    He bought it when the engine went pop and his brother wanted to get rid of it. “My plan was to rebuild the whole engine, install a small turbo and go and burn some rubber,” Mikael says with refreshing honesty and admirable matter-of-factness. And that’s exactly what he did, although we suspect the Swedish definition of a ‘small turbo’ might be open to interpretation…

    Let’s get one thing straight here: this car is all engine. The exterior is stock, bar the retro Euro yellow painted fogs and high beams. The wheels are reps (which Mikael’s brother put on, so we can forgive him) and the interior is basically stock, too. Yes, there’s a tall, knurled gear knob attached to the short-shift kit and an Android tablet that acts as a display for the MaxxECU readouts but beyond that it’s straight-up E34 M5. At least it is until you open the boot but we’ll get onto that later…

    We’d say Mikael’s E34 is the opposite of the vast majority of builds we tend to see, where people have put a lot of effort, all their effort in fact, into the styling and presentation of their cars, getting the stance and fitment right, the styling spot-on etc but have left their engines bone stock. This, however, is the anti-show car; there’s no airride, no massive wheels, no ICE install, just pure, unadulterated performance and that’s just fine with us.


    The engine, then, is the dominating force and the centre point of the entire build and it’s as impressive as you’d expect, even if some of its ‘M-ness’ has been diluted in the process. “The engine uses an M30B35 block,” says Mikael, “which has been bored and stroked to take it up to 3.6-litres. I fitted new bearings, a balanced 3.8 crankshaft, Pro H-beam con rods and forged pistons with heavy-duty piston pins, while the head has Mira machined valve seats, turbo valves and a Cooper ring head gasket.”

    All this work enabled the fitment of a suitably massive turbo. The item in question is a Precision 7675 turbo, rated for 1200hp, and Mikael is making full use of its capabilities. It sits on a PPF exhaust manifold, fed by a BMC dual cone air filter with a front-mount intercooler that’s just visible through the lower slats of the front bumper, passing air into the stock intake manifold. There’s also a PPF 75mm BOV and a Nuke Performance Blackline vacuum station, which lets you connect up numerous components to the manifold without having countless hoses draped across the engine bay.

    The exhaust system, meanwhile, is as subtle as the rest of the car, comprising a three-inch system with a single, stubby round tip hidden beneath the rear bumper. Remember us talking about the boot a little earlier on? Well, it’s definitely not your common-or-garden E34 boot as it is home to the extensive fuel system, mounted on a wooden floor. Hidden beneath the bootlid is the extremely comprehensive fuel setup comprising a fuel cell, catch tank, two DeatschWerks DW350iL fuel pumps and two Nuke Blackline filters, which is all hooked up to the Nuke fuel rail and FPR under the bonnet with Precision 1260cc injectors running at 3bar.

    This M5 is running some seriously heavyduty hardware throughout and it all adds up to some serious numbers, namely 886whp and 762lb ft of torque at the wheels, which means it’s going to be nudging past the 1000hp mark at the flywheel – an awesome amount of power to have at your disposal. Looking at the dyno graphs, we wager it’s one hell of a wild ride, too. At 4000rpm the engine makes just over 200whp but just 1000rpm later it’s making over 600whp. That means going from the sort of peak power you’d get from an E46 330i to more power than any production BMW, ever, in the space of just 1000rpm. This must be an incredible experience and one that requires a delicate right foot so as not to vaporise the rear tyres. Or a heavy one to do just that. Mikael has done very little in terms of helping the E34 to deploy all that power but then he did say his aim was to burn some rubber.

    Speaking of which, the wheels measure 8.5” and 9.5” wide front and rear respectively but with 235 tyres at the back there’s not a whole lot of rubber to hold onto the road. As a result, massive burnouts are never more than a flex of the right ankle away. XYZ coilovers with 30-way damping adjustment have been fitted to allow for a drop and to sharpen up the handling, as Mikael is planning on venturing out on track with his M5.

    As the transmission has so much to cope with, Mikael has again focused his attention here. As a result, the gearbox is a six-speed manual from an E60 530d mated to a Sachs 765 clutch cover and a six-puck sintered clutch, while the propshaft comes from an E60 M5. Mikael has retained the stock diff and final drive.

    It took Mikael just nine months to go from broken E34 M5 to 1000hp monster and he’s clearly caught the bug as he’s already got another project on the go – the E46 328i we mentioned at the start, which will be transformed into a drift car. As for the E34, Mikael has no further plans for it other than to head into the forests and have some serious fun.


    DATA FILE #BMW Turbo E34 M5 / #BMW-E34 / #BMW-M5-E34 / #BMW-E34-Turbo / #Precision

    ENGINE #M30B5 / #M30 / #BMW-M30 / block, resurfaced, new bearings, bored to 3.6-litres, balanced 3.8 crankshaft, #Pro-H-beam con rods, forged pistons with heavy-duty piston pins, S38B38 head, #Mira machined valve seats, turbo valves, #Cooper ring head gasket, S38 intake manifold, #PPF turbo exhaust manifold, #Precision-7675-turbo , #PPF 75mm BOV, 3” stainless steel exhaust turbo-back, two-piece 3” stainless mufflers, FMIC , Audi 115F ignition coils, #Nuke-Blackline vacuum station, fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator, #Precision-1260cc fuel injectors running at 3bar. 886whp, 762lb ft wtq.

    TRANSMISSION E60 530d six-speed manual gearbox, Sachs-765 clutch cover plate, six-puck sintered clutch, E60 M5 propshaft, original final drive.

    CHASSIS 8.5x18” (front) and 9.5x18” (rear) #BBS-Le-Mans replicas with 215/40 (front) and 235/40 (rear) tyres, #XYZ coilovers with 30-way damping adjustment.

    EXTERIOR Yellow tinted high beams and foglights.

    INTERIOR Knurled gear knob, Android tablet for #MaxxECU readout, fuel system in boot with fuel cell, catchtank, x2 #Deatschwerks-DW350iL fuel pumps, x2 #Nuke-Blackline fuel filters, Nuke Blackline Y-connector.

    My plan was to rebuild the whole engine, install a turbo and go and burn rubber Mikael Dahlbom.

    This M5 is running some seriously heavy-duty hardware throughout Elizabeth de Latour.

    The engine is the dominating force and the centre point of the build Elizabeth de Latour. ‏ — with Gitter at Stockholm, Sweden
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    THE JIGSAW MAN

    Take one exceptionally clean E28 535i, slather it in a whole heap of Hartge goodies and this is the ravishing result. Sweden’s Christopher Björåsen has developed a habit for E28s that borders on the obsessive. This Hartge tribute throws into focus just how easy it is to get carried away with trying to find matching period upgrades… Words: Daniel Bevis. Photos: Hjalmar van Hoek.

    There’s a line between a homage and a poor imitation, and it’s not always a thin one. If you’ve got, say, a bone-stock E36 320i and you replace the badges with those from an M3 and maybe slap on a set of wheels from a better-spec’d model, that’s not going to fool anyone. It’s just a bit embarrassing, claiming it’s something it’s not. If, however, you spent some time collecting a variety of appropriate parts, building the thing up piece by piece, you could be onto something – M3 wheels with the appropriate brakes behind them, the suspension, the body addenda of the superior variant, the interior accoutrements and embellishments, the hallowed drivetrain… you’d be incrementally building something genuinely interesting there. It’s never going to be a real M3, but with care, patience and dedication, you can make a fairly close approximation. That’s a decent homage, a tribute, a job done well.

    So it is with the E28 5 Series you see here. It’s not a genuine Hartge E28, but its owner, Christopher Björåsen, is slowly but surely ticking off the details to make it a thoroughly respectable homage. The idea he’s shooting for here is a sort of modern interpretation of the old Hartge H5S; the legendary aftermarket tuner (who, incidentally, was approved as a manufacturer in its own right in 1985, a couple of years before Chris’s own 535i left the factory) raised the 3.4-litre M30’s power output from 218hp to 240hp, then tweaked various elements of the car to suit. The suspension was uprated and necessarily lowered and some spangly wheels appeared. Front and rear spoilers were bolted on – naturally, it was the Eighties – and a lesser H5 variant was offered based on the 528i powertrain. Most importantly of all, it had in your- face side-stripes. Again, Eighties. All of this forms a neat picture of what Chris sought to emulate and, given the inherently retro nature of the concept, we can assume that it’s an aspiration that’s been simmering away for some time, right? “Er… no, not really,” he says, cutting us down in short order. “The first time I saw an E28, I thought it was really ugly. I was about 12 years old, I was at a friend’s house, and his grandparents came down the street in a stock beige 5 Series. I thought it was horrible. I couldn’t think why anyone would choose to buy such an ugly car.”


    Well, that’s a pretty damning analysis. But time makes fools of us all and, as you’ve no doubt guessed, Chris’s sensibilities toward shark-nosed Bavarian executive saloons has mellowed somewhat over the decades. “A few years after that, when I was 18 and working toward getting my driving licence, I was at a local hangout on a Friday night when this maroon E28 with the M package and 17” Contour wheels came drifting around corner with its straight-six screaming… from that moment I flipflopped, and decided that I had to have one!”


    Now we’re getting somewhere. If only that elderly couple had been a bit more aggressive in their beige runabout, maybe the ball could have got rolling a little bit earlier! But heigh-ho, here we are, and things seem to have turned out all right in the end. As luck would have it, a friend of a friend happened to have an 1983 528i for sale at this time, so with a fresh licence in hand, Chris pulled the trigger on a new era of sharkfancying.


    Which is rather a lot cooler than the average first car. “From the first time I drove it I was hooked!” he enthuses, revelling in the heady stew of rich, tasty memories. “I did a few small mods on it – lowering springs, 17” throwing stars and so on – but after a year I managed to slide it into a lamp post and totally trashed the front end. So that was the end of that one.”

    But by this point, of course, the passion was set in stone. Grown-up Chris was thumbing his nose at his 12-year-old self, the enthusiasm for E28s growing ever stronger by the day. That early foray is something he describes affectionately but realistically as “just my first E28”, and there have been an impressive seven more since, ranging from a daily-driven 518 up to an M535i. He’s really been ticking the boxes across the model range, keen to try every flavour. This is beginning to border on obsession.


    The story of this suave Hartge-alike begins with its predecessor, the aforementioned M535i. “That was a Lachssilber example that I modded quite a lot,” Chris recalls. “I experimented with all kinds of different springs and dampers to get it low as well as quick, but one day my eye was caught by a 535i on a Swedish E28 forum. The owner had just bought a 635CSi and was thinking of selling the saloon, so I called him straight away to go and have a look at it! Since I already had a 535 in good condition and this one looked like it’d cost a bit much, I told myself that I was only going to take a look and I wouldn’t be coming home with it. But, boy, was I wrong! The thing was in mint condition. It was love at first sight.”

    The car, it turned out, had been sold new in Nuremburg in 1987, and had stayed with the same owner right up until 2007, covering just 82,000km. At that point it found its way over to a new Swedish owner, who kept it for a couple of years before passing it onto the keeper who ended up selling it to Chris. It’s a pretty rare thing to be able to trace back the entire ownership of a car of this age, so that almost makes the purchase worth it in itself.

    And the fact that the fella who sold it to our plucky hero had thrown a lot of cash at the chassis was the real clincher. “It had E34 M5 brakes and E28 M5 anti-roll bars, as well as new arms and bushes,” Chris says, which made it seem pretty attractive. “He’d started the Hartge theme, too, although when I bought it a lot of things were stock 535i – the wheels, the dampers and so on. So the first thing I did was to throw on a set of coilovers.” The units in question are superadjustable #XYZ Super Sport items, something the manufacturer describes as ‘suitable for daily use and weekend racing’ – perfect for Chris. They also help the car get nice and low, taking the original old-school Hartge stance and refracting it through a modern filter. These new lows were swiftly augmented by a set of Hartge Type C threepiece splits that were already waiting in the garage, destined for the old M535i but suddenly feeling far more appropriate for the new project. And from this point on, the car became a sort of cross between a jigsaw puzzle and a retro treasure hunt.


    “With the Hartge decor on the exterior and the wheels to match, I started hunting for the other period parts to complete the picture,” he explains, casually tossing into the conversation a concept that actually represents months of tireless and exhausting scavenging across the internet and beyond. Inside the car, complementing the leather dash and nifty heated leather M-Sport seats, you’ll find a Hartge steering wheel, gear knob, gauge cluster with unique rev counter, and the sought-after finned dead pedal on the floor. It’s all as Herbert Hartge would surely have intended in there, and the exterior was shaping up rather neatly, too.


    Working alongside the stripes ’n’ rims combo are an M5 front spoiler and a #BBS spoiler on the bootlid, and it’s worth noting as well how utterly, mind-bogglingly clean the whole thing is. It’s a proper period-tuned showcase.


    Now, as previously alluded to, Hartge’s own approach to tweaking the M30 motor was to liberate an extra 30hp+ by fiddling with the fuelling and ignition, as well as reworking the cylinder head and fitting a redesigned exhaust manifold. This isn’t the route that Chris has gone down, although his straight-six is rather feistier than you might expect. “I bought a genuine Hartge exhaust manifold from a guy in Montenegro, and I made a custom 2.5” stainless steel exhaust to fit,” says Chris, eager to assure us that his classic homage isn’t all mouth and no trousers. He’s certainly added some bark to it. “Because I run so low, and the oil pan on the M30 sits so low anyway, I had to modify it to stop it from hitting the ground all the time,” he continues. “It now sits 28mm higher from the road. I’ve had too many close calls, so this just seemed to make sense!” Indeed it does – particularly when you factor in that this car isn’t just harddriven but daily driven, too.


    “The reaction to the car has been great. E28 fans around the world really seem to love it,” Chris enthuses. “I even had Stanceworks’ Mike Burroughs getting in touch to talk about it. But I’m not finished yet, far from it… I’m still always on the lookout for period-correct Hartge parts for the car; I’ve already picked up a Hartge rear wing, and I’d really like a matching valve cover, too.” He seems keenly aware of the performance-oriented nature of the original H5S as well, and he’s certainly not done with the engine. New cams are on the cards, along with some head porting and a fresh management system, which should pull everything beyond that tweaked 1980s power figure. There’s talk of rebuilding the wheels, too, to provide a bit more dish from wider lips. Again, it’s all about reworking that classic tuning for the modern era.

    Subtle, but devastatingly effective. So no, this isn’t a genuine Hartge H5S. But with every day that passes, it gets closer to being a faithful replica, with a few fun tweaks to contemporise it for modern use and a new-wave audience. This is no disrespectful parody. This is a loving and aspirational homage, and it just keeps on getting better.

    Interior boasts Sport seats, leather dash and Hartge gauges, gear knob and steering wheel.

    “With the Hartge decor on the exterior and the wheels to match, I started hunting for the other period parts to complete the picture”

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-E28 / #BMW-535i / #BMW-535i-E28 /

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B34 / #M30 , #Hartge exhaust manifold with custom 2.5” stainless system, custom oil pan, modified oil pump, five-speed manual.

    CHASSIS 8.5x17” (front) and 9.5x17” (rear) Hartge Type C three-piece split-rims with 205/40 (front) and 215/40 (rear) tyres, XYZ Super Sport coilovers, E34 M5 front brakes with braided lines and E32 750i master cylinder, E28 M5 anti-roll bars (25mm front, 18mm rear).

    EXTERIOR Period-style Hartge stripes, #BBS-Sport boot spoiler, M5 front spoiler.

    INTERIOR Full leather dash, Hartge gear knob, Hartge steering wheel, Hartge gauge cluster, #Hartge-RPM gauge, #Hartge dead pedal, black leather electric Sport seats.
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