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  •   MaxNew reacted to this post about 8 months ago
    #Alfa-Romeo-Giulietta-Sprint
    Year of manufacture #1961
    Recorded mileage 35.444km
    Asking price £43.000
    Vendor Southwood Car Company, Caterham, Surrey; tel: 01883 344226; southwoodcarcompany. co. uk

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £2013
    Max power 80bhp
    Max torque 83lb ft
    0-62mph 13.2 secs
    Top speed 103mph
    Mpg 25-35

    This #Alfa-Romeo #101-series coupe has only just arrived in the UK, having spent its life in Rome or nearby. The vendor describes it as "truly immaculate" the car having been restored about five years ago. As well as likely factory floors, sills and spotwelds, the Alfa Rosso respray is almost flawless. The paint is thick in the bonnet shut, there's a little orange-peel on the door inners and a tiny run on the top of the drivers door, but this is to nitpick.

    The redone chrome is all very bright, with a few polish marks just visible under the plating to the bumpers, headlight rims and grille. Pleasingly, the side window trims are not quite mint but nicer to see than new repros, while the rear glass retains its factory dimples near the top edges and the screen still sports its running-in sticker. The car has almost unused Vredestein Sprint tyres, with a well-treaded XZX on the spare.

    The cabin has been retrimmed in all original-type materials, with new carpets. The only flaw is a small crack in the left steering-wheel spoke, only relevant because this car is so near concours.

    The #Alfa retains its original engine and four-speed gearbox, the motor clean, tidy and almost leak-free with a new rad cap. but to be detailed. There’s a recent £1630 bill from DTR for a full service and brake rebuild, plus respraying the bulkhead and black-painted parts, and exhaust repairs including welding the manifold. The coolant is visible in the top tank as a nice strong green mix, while the oil is clean and just on the maximum mark.

    The 1290cc twin-cam starts easily, running with no untoward mechanical noises. Neither oil nor water temperature gauges worked on our test drive, but the oil pressure remained constant at 60psi warm when on the move, with no nasty smells. All the synchros are good, the steering has a delicious, light yet precise feel and the drum brakes work well #Alfa-Romeo-Giulietta-Sprint-Veloce .

    There's little paperwork apart from Italian transfer documents, but it has just been UK registered, and the MoT runs until 11 August #2015 .

    SUMMARY 1961 ALFA ROMEO GIULIETTA SPRINT 101-SERIES

    EXTERIOR
    • Absolutely straight and lovely.

    INTERIOR
    • Re-upholstered to factory spec.

    MECHANICALS
    • Drives sweetly; good oil pressure.

    VALUE ★★★★★★★★☆☆

    For Gorgeous; it will seduce you.
    Against Gauges need investigating.

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    If you've been lusting (and saving) all your life for a 101 coupe, they're not getting any cheaper. Worth a very serious look, given that there's a similar car for sale at £55,000 with a London dealer.
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  •   Alastair Clements reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    #MG-Magnette
    Run by Alastair Clements
    Owned since January #2010
    Total mileage 7371
    Miles since December #2013 report 351
    Latest costs £37

    CLASSIC SIGNS OF NEGLECT

    New responsibilities at work have unfortunately meant that my classics have not received nearly enough attention - hence the paltry mileage figure above. That’s been accentuated by having too many old cars, so with that in mind I decided that it was time to pare back the collection. Inevitably it was last in, first out - so the #MGB-GT has now gone. The Magnette, however, isn’t going anywhere - my kids would never let me part with it! - but it now needs some TLC.

    That fact was brought into sharp relief when I went to renew' its (not legally required) MoT. I always take the MG to mate Tim Smith in Crawley, not because he’s easy on the car but because he understands classics, and if any post- test work is required I’m confident I'll always leave in a safer car than I arrived in.

    Remembering last advisory on a rake imbalance, before the test I had a good look at the front end and discovered that the nearside drum is ovalled. I freed the cylinder and adjusted the shoes back a bit, which improved feel, but there is still some pulsing through the pedal that I will have to address.

    As a result, I acquired the same advisory. What I was not expecting was for Tim to point out corrosion breaking out at the front of both sills. The fresh underseal I promised the car last year never happened, and I’ve paid the price.

    The cabin of the #MG #Magnette remains its great joy, but keeping it smart has proved frustrating of late. A generous dose of Auto Finesse hide food has revived the cracking driver’s seat bolster, but my attempt to replace the driver’s door pull has been unsuccessful. I did think I’d finally found a set of sunvisors, for which I paid £20, but it turns out they’re not Magnette items, so if anyone has a set for a Z-type they want to donate, please get in touch.

    On the plus side, I’ve tracked down a workshop manual that’s good enough to be complete, and tatty enough that I won’t mind using it with oily fingers. Now I just need to find the time to use it!
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  •   Alastair Clements reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Martin99 updated the picture of the group MG Magnette Club
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  •   Mark Dixon reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Espada 4 doors project
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  •   Alastair Clements reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    #MGB-GT
    Run by Greg MacLeman
    Owned since July #2013
    Total mileage 57,280
    Miles since September report 144
    Latest costs £24.95

    WHEN ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

    Upon receiving bad news most people undergo five distinct stages, or so say the men in white coats. The first of these is Denial, which I displayed with aplomb in my May report. After finding slight bubbling and cracking to the #MG s paintwork, I wrote: ‘I’m currently reassuring myself that its probably just the outer sill, and definitely not anything more serious.’

    Finally manning-up, I decided to see once and for all the extent of the damage, so put on my overalls and grabbed a screwdriver before jacking up the car to have a poke around. The wise old owls among you will have been able to see what came next from miles away: I gently stabbed the dodgiest-looking bit of underseal and put my entire hand through the passenger-side sill.

    Stage Two: Anger - mostly directed towards myself for not carrying out the same exercise when I bought the car.
    I’m only now entering Stage Three: Bargaining. So far, this has involved trawling the internet to try to cost the job, which it seems will cost me a minimum of £700 per side - excluding paint and finishing. The next stage is Depression.

    I’ve got an appointment with a top bodyshop lined up this autumn, so decided to take my mind off bodywork woes by focusing on keeping the car running. Which has proven tricky, given that the clutch problems suffered at #Spa and #Le-Mans have become progressively worse. It got so bad that I eventually decided to replace the slave cylinder. That was a breeze compared with bleeding the clutch, a task for which art editor Martin Port nobly stepped forward, and performed with aplomb.

    The car’s weeks in dry dock did offer me a great chance to carry out a few more improvements, chief among them fitting a Revotec electric fan one lunchtime with help from Port, Page and Pittaway. I was sick of feeling panicky every time I got caught in traffic, so decided to finally take the plunge. When the car is back on the road, I will no doubt be glad that I did - the reassuring whirr should mean that I will no longer come out in a cold sweat at the thought of tackling the M25.

    Despite the improved cooling, there’s still a big part of me that feels as if making improvements such as that to the car in its current state is akin to swabbing the decks of a sinking ship. I’m still a long way off Stage Five: Acceptance.
    It was clear all was not exactly well, but...

    ...close inspection revealed the full horror.
    Port in his role as bleeder of the clutch.
    Control unit for the Revotec electric fan.
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  •   Graeme Hurst reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    #Austin-Healey 100
    Year of manufacture #1955
    Recorded mileage 14,812
    Asking price £56,000
    Vendor Rawles Motorsport, nr Alton, Hants; tel: 01420 23212; rawlesmotorsport. co. uk

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £1063 12s 6d
    Max power 90bhp
    Max torque 144lb ft
    0-60mph 10.3 secs
    Top speed 115mph
    Mpg 30

    This 100 was restored from a left-handed US car repatriated in #1987 , and upgraded to 100M spec (less the cold-air box) by John Chatham. You may recall it from a Best of British sports car test with John Surtees in CASC, November #2001 . More recently, Rawles has fitted a reconditioned four-speed gearbox, and its dyno sheet shows 80bhp at the wheels. So, allowing for transmission losses, that's around a healthy 110bhp at the flywheel.

    The body is very straight, with good panel and door fits, plus the paint is pristine and shiny. It was applied only nine years ago, as part of a bare-metal accident repair by Le Riche when the car was resident in Jersey, The original numberplates are in the boot and it should re-register in the UK quite easily. Jersey is British Isles but not UK.

    The seat leather is excellent, as are the vinyl tonneau and hood, with clear rear window and sidescreens. There's a small Moto-Lita wheel, with the normal ½ in of play at the rim.

    The chassis rails are lightly dinged, as usual, although they're straight and not hammered, plus the big-bore exhaust is in fine nick. The wire wheels pass the 'tinkly-spoke' test - all sounding the same tension - wearing well-treaded Dunlop SP4s on the nearside rear and the spare, with equally sound Firestone F560s on the other corners.

    The motor is clean and tidy with no leaks and various new fuel hoses and clips. Its oil is clean and to the 'Max' mark, with coolant to adequate j level but slightly rusty. It starts readily with a throaty note from the pipe.

    There's plenty of lusty prod, with an easy gearchange and responsive overdrive. The play in the steering does become more apparent at speed, although this may just be down to the four-cylinder car's lighter, livelier character. All-drum brakes pull up well, and straight, while the gauges show at least 50psi of oil pressure and temperature steady on 170°F. The car comes with a decent history file including bills and rebuild photos, Heritage Certificate, new MoT and three workshop manuals.

    SUMMARY 1955 AUSTIN-HEALEY

    EXTERIOR
    • Fine panel fit, paint and chrome.

    INTERIOR
    • All smart; leather just settling in.

    MECHANICALS
    • Healthy John Chatham motor; recent gearbox and clutch.

    VALUE ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

    For Looks spot-on; lots of gruff go.
    Against It's not original, but would anyone really complain about the four-speed transmission?

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    Best looks with extra grunt and the BN1's supposed 'shortcoming' eliminated. What's not to like?
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    First time lucky – #BMW #E30 2-doors #M20B25 engine boost. For a first project car, the E30 makes sense. To Karel Silha, so did 726bhp. Words: Joel Newman. Photos: Lars Sikhammar.

    Take a second and try to picture the very first car you modified. For me, that car was a #VW Mk2 Golf Driver. It may have had a measly 1.3-litre lump under the bonnet, the steering was heavier than death metal and the interior looked like a duvet cover stolen from a ’70s swingers party, but it did nothing to deter me. This was my first motor and as such I wanted to personalise it. It wasn’t great but I think I can be forgiven; it takes time and rather a lot of practice to get things right.

    For my sins I popped to the local modding hut, which was like a cheaper version of Halfords (if you can imagine such a thing). Here I selected a set of 17” unbranded rims, a huge exhaust and one of the world’s loudest and perhaps poorest audio systems (complete with MiniDisc player). Not only did the ICE die after six months, in retrospect the wheels were chavvy and it’s safe to say that the 4” pipe out back was not yielding any additional power. I tell you this because, like most, I made mistakes. But for every thousand of me you may be lucky enough to find one Karel Silha.

    Like many of you, Karel picked the E30 #325i for its classic styling and appeal as a true driver’s car. He concurred that for a first attempt, an E30 made perfect sense. The parts are relatively cheap and much of the service and tuning work can be completed without specialist equipment.

    For most, one’s first modified car is generally a styling exercise. Initially, new wheels, bumpers and side skirts, lowering springs and an exhaust system are about as far as most are comfortable with, but Karel had vastly different concerns. Despite this E30 being his first project car, he knew what he was after, and styling just didn’t come into it. Although he was on a budget, for him modifying is about one thing. Power. What’s the point of having the sickest rims, the best suspension, the widest of body kits if, you only have a hairdryer to plough you along? For Karel this side of tuning is fake. A staged world of ‘look at me’s’ and flash idiots; a world he just didn’t want to be a part of.

    “I’ve always loved the E30 because it’s so much fun and it’s not expensive nor exclusive. I paid just £350 for this car and even though it was rusty and in need of some TLC I knew I could save it,” he explains.

    So, what exactly was Karel’s big plan? Amazingly, even from the outset his hopes were pretty out there. He explains: “The line of the attack from the beginning was to turbo it and keep the standard internals. I was told the M20 could handle around 400bhp at the crank in terms of rods and pistons and I felt that would be more than enough.” You don’t say!

    Karel was lucky enough to have a small workshop, something it seems all Swede’s have access to (I wonder if it’s the same one?). Over the next five months he would get to work, and with no prior knowledge of turbocharging, he would attempt to install and fabricate this entirely new setup. Before any of the real work could begin, the #M20 was sent to Engson Motors, which increased the bore to 2.7 litres and welded the head. This was one of the only areas of the entire build Karel did not do himself.

    With the engine back and ready to roll, a huge turbo was required, and you’ll never guess where it came from… The 61mm trim beast was removed from a Volvo truck, which gives us a clue to its capacity!

    As stated, Karel wanted to plumb this in with the minimum of fuss, to work out what could and what couldn’t cope. To this end he first needed to sort out the cooling and fuel delivery, so popped in larger 1260cc injectors, a front-mounted intercooler and got on with the long job of fabricating the required exhaust manifold and turbo tubing.

    With combustion increasing so abundantly, Karel also fitted a race fuel tank in the boot along with two new Bosch 044 fuel pumps capable of running E85 (or 98 grade octane fuel to you and me).

    With such a huge turbo it was essential for Karel to fit two Tial wastgates to keep boost pressure in check, while a decent sized 50mm Tial blow-off valve stopped pressure build-up and turbo surge, which can severely damage an engine. An Aeromotive regulator also made its way into the engine bay, helping him determine and direct boost and fuel pressures, as well as a Nuke Performance fuel rail for good measure. As Karel planned to keep the bottom end standard, he fitted Nuke Performance cam gear, enabling him to match cam timing by advancing or retarding the cam profile in one-degree increments. This meant he could keep his standard M20 cams.

    With the engine working, Karel got on with installing an #Alpina-B7 differential, involving customisation of the driveshaft to enable him to utilise the standard Getrag 260 five-speed gearbox. He also added a hydraulic handbrake so he could compete competitively in the drift events so popular in Scandinavia.

    The car was then gifted FK coilovers, the front end dropped as low as it could go, giving it a brutal dragster look. Finally a Brembo big brake kit featuring 302mm discs and four-piston calipers made their way behind the 18” ASA Pirate rims. These are wrapped in Pirelli P-Zeros, however as they are changed twice a month during the summer often anything goes!

    Karel, of course, stripped the entire cabin, installing a set of Radiopower fibreglass red buckets with Elite four-point rally harnesses, a grippy Momo drift wheel and a new custom-made aluminium instrument cluster.

    Karel then spent two weeks sanding and prepping the car for its new Army green paint job. The car’s only exterior modifications were made in order to reduce weight; although the bonnet and boot look original they are now manufactured from fibreglass. He also replaced the rear windows with Perspex to further reduce weight. Overall he has shaved off some 250kg from the original 1250kg, which makes one hell of a difference.

    So what to do? Test the damn thing! The car and driver were sent off to a street drag show, but not long after, something went bang. It was an ongoing issue; broken rocker cover and arms, which plagued Karel for some time. “Eventually we realised that we were producing far more power than we originally planned. I just had to strengthen the engine internally,” he explained.

    So Karel rebuilt the entire bottom end with the help of Pure Performance Factory, which provided him with race valves and springs, custom pistons and rods, a new heavy duty camshaft and, to quote, “bloody strong” heavy-duty rockers. To make sure history did not repeat itself, Karel also installed a fresh Haltech ECU, so parameters could be kept on check at all times.

    Since that day there have been no issues, with the car returning an awesome 650bhp at the wheels and 726bhp at the crank on E85 fuel at 29psi. With 654lb ft of stomachchurning torque, Karel laughs: “Any more power would be a waste of good rubber and 144 neck muscles. So far at just 21psi we ran a 10.28 at 138mph and that was on old tyres.” He’s even put some videos up, at youtube . com/karel021 .

    There is something so inherently wonderful about an E30 that looks pretty much standard yet goes like the clappers. To many, it is the underlying soul of performance modifying. It’s not dressed in labels; it is as honest as tuning gets and I hope it inspires some heavy-hitting UK followers. It’s time we got in on this performance act because it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Over in Sweden they’ve been doing it for years. And we can all appreciate a lightweight road-legal E30 325i with that kind of shove. It’s a bruiser, not a supermodel, and it’s fun. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: M20B25 engine stroked to 2.7 litres with custom-forged pistons and rods, Pure Performance Factory ( #PPF ) race valves and springs and CrMo retainers, custom PPF camshaft and heavyduty rockers, Nuke Performance fuel rail and cam gear, 1260cc injectors, custom exhaust manifold, #Volvo truck 61mm trim turbo, Aeromotive regulator, Tial 50mm BOV, two Tial 38mm wastegates, front-mounted intercooler, two #Bosch 044 fuel pumps (running e85), Haltech single coils, Haltech e11v2 ECU (with electronic boost control),

    Davies Craig electrical water pump, modified water-cooling system, support Girdle for the bottom. #Alpina B7 rear differential, custom E30 325i driveshaft, standard five-speed gearbox, Polyurethane bushings for engine, gearbox and rear end.

    CHASSIS: 7x18” (front) and 9x18” (rear) #ASA Pirate wheels shod in 245/35 Pirelli P-Zero tyres all round. FK coilovers. Brembo BBK with 302mm disc and four-piston calipers.

    EXTERIOR: Full respray in Army green, fibreglass bonnet and bootlid, Perspex rear windows, boot-mounted race fuel tank.
    INTERIOR: Raidopower fibreglass seats, Elite four-point rally harnesses, custom-made aluminium instrument cluster, Prosport /Autometer gauges, Momo drift wheel, hydraulic handbrake, electrical water pump controller, roll-cage.
    THANKS: Fredrik, Ivars, Ted, Jakobsson, Jansson, Magnus, Johnny, Bayrisch, Dogge, Robba, the guys at BVS, Billy, Limmet, Mats, A&A at PPF, Hilda, Arash, Jocke, Larsson, Nicklas, Stefan, Emil, Armin, Johan, and my sponsors Waarwest, PBZ ,VPM, Däckkompaniet, Raidopower, Racedäck.nu, Swedish woodworks, Engson Motor, Dalhems.

    “Any more power would be a waste of good rubber and neck muscles”
    There is something so inherently wonderful about an E30 that looks pretty much standard yet goes like the clappers.
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  •   Chris Nicholls reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Greek Chic. With a supercharged #M54 sitting up front and #Z4 M underpinnings, this is one Compact that’s got the bite to match its bark. Words: Ben Koflach. Photos: Alex Lychnaras.

    Compacts are, we have to say, not something often seen in Drive-MY. Whether it’s because they’re rarely a choice for the more hardcore tuners, or because they look like they’ve been reversed at speed into a brick wall, who knows? What we do know, though, is that George Theodorakopoulous (yes, he’s Greek) has built one hell of a Compact, combining force-induced six cylinder power with aggressive looks and intelligent chassis mods for the perfect all-rounder.

    Things started in May #2002 when George bought the #E46 #316ti brand-new; he takes up the story: “I have been interested in BMWs ever since I drove a 2002, which belonged to an ex-girlfriend’s dad. The handling of that car made an impression on me and pulled me towards rear-wheel drive later on in life. I bought the best brand-new model I could afford at the time, as tax laws back in 2002 didn’t allow for me to buy a car with a greater engine capacity, and I really appreciate the Compact concept as a lightweight four-seater with potential for big upgrades.” It’s a big step on from George’s first car, an ’82 Ford Cortina with a 2.0-litre bolted in place of the original 1600cc engine (which had expired after 200,000 miles). However he doesn’t count the engine swap as a mod as “it was so crude and incomplete” – which, in his eyes, makes the Compact his first properly modified car!

    “When I bought the Compact I was instructed to run it in carefully for 2000–2500 miles, but after 1000 miles I couldn’t help but floor it!” Of course, back then the car was running around on a relatively insignificant 115bhp – enough to keep the light, rear-wheel drive chassis interesting but hardly enough to set the world on fire. “Two years after I bought the car, I started to upgrade it with slight modifications – an air filter, exhaust, ECU remap and so on – but I was disappointed by the lack of results. To make matters worse I had to endure the scorn of people telling me that a decent modification couldn’t be done to this model!” he explains.

    Because of this, it was time for an upgrade… and George didn’t do it by halves. The M54 is a proven powerplant, and in the biggest 3.0-litre version it packs quite a punch: 230bhp, in fact. With the help of his local authorised BMW outlet, the staff of which all own modified BMWs, plans were made to squeeze the big six under the bonnet. With the Compact’s chassis being closely related to the Z4, the ultimate solution for a gearbox was the six-speeder from the Z4 M, from which many other parts were taken, too, something we’ll come to later.

    Not content with merely doubling the Compact’s output, George took the decision to gift the engine a 1.6-litre European Supercharging Systems Stage 2 Twin Screw supercharger, providing a huge lift in power and torque thanks to a constant supply of boosted air. A custom aluminium intake and a Setrab intercooler channel air into the engine, whilst a Snow Performance stand-alone water/methanol injection system keeps inlet temperatures ultra-cool when George puts his foot down. Controlling the whole lot is a remapped ECU, supplied by ESS Tuning, which governs enlarged Bosch injectors for optimum results, while Schrick cams help get more air in and out of the cylinders. The exhaust has been completely upgraded, too, with a Supersprint manifold taking waste gases to #BMW E46 M3 cats, behind which sits a Bastuck quad exit rear section for more efficient flow and a tasty exhaust note.

    Channeling the power of the new supercharged lump to the ground effectively would certainly have proved too much for the standard drivetrain but George has been very intelligent in his way of solving the problem. Not only has he used the aforementioned six-speed gearbox from the Z4 M, but he has taken the propshaft and entire rear axle out, too. This means that it now has a limited-slip diff, perfect for providing the traction he needs with such an increase in power, not to mention a lot stronger over the standard transmission.

    Underneath, the entire car is more Z4 M than #E46-Compact . All the suspension arms, braces, hubs and brakes have been transferred over. Combine this with Bilstein PSS10 coilovers and SRP strut braces front and rear, and you’ve got a very interesting setup indeed! The wheels are currently 8.5x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) M6 replica wheels, shod in 225/40 and 255/35 Contintental SportContact 2s respectively which, although they suit the car well, will be due for replacement soon. “I am still looking at new wheels – #BBS , Breyton, you name it – although when I saw these M6 wheels first fitted to my car I really liked them,” says George. Exterior-wise, the Compact has been a largely custom effort. The front bumper is based on the standard one but with the centre vent cut out to make it larger for better cooling. As well as that, George has added AC #Schnitzer corner splitters, but the front end looks are really completed by the work that’s been done to the bonnet. Gone are the separator sections that usually sit between the headlights, and instead he’s added bad-boy style extensions, which sit nicely over the outer light units. As well as that, there’s hand-made vents which also help channel the air through the engine’s radiator and the heat exchanger for the intercooler.

    The side skirts, mirrors and rear bumper are far simpler affairs, being pretty much off-the-shelf M Sport items, although the rear bumper has been trimmed to accept the quad exhausts and its pert rump has been further enhanced by way of an AC Schnitzer roof spoiler and matching three-piece bootlid spoiler. The arches have seen many hours of work, though, subtly adding extra width and a much more muscular shoulderline.

    “My idea was to give the car a sporty look without the basic concept becoming lost,” explains George. “I used the existing lines and curves of the car and intensified them so that the look is more distinctive while trying to avoid changing the basic dimensions of the car. The ideas were mine and limited only by the capability of the garage and by the support of my mechanic, who agreed not to take the body kit to extremes.” It’s certainly worked and when combined with tinted windows and smoked lights, it’s safe to say this is one Compact you wouldn’t get in the way of. Inside, things are relatively standard as the red leather looks great as it is. Having said that, the car wouldn’t be complete without a few additions – perhaps the most noticeable of which is the instrument cluster. The clocks themselves have been swapped for Schmiedmann items. There’s also an E-pod system, housing an AEM boost and oil temperature gauge, to keep a closer eye on the under-bonnet goings-on.

    George has, without a doubt, created one of the best Compacts we’ve ever seen. Running an estimated 400bhp, it’ll show even M Division’s latest baby a thing or two – not bad for something which once boasted less than 120bhp. George has shown that the baby of the E36 and E46 3 series line-up has more to show, which is by no means an easy feat. Taking suspension and the underpinnings from an M Division sibling, and then fitting a mighty supercharged M54, has been a simple and effective strategy that’s been executed to perfection. Whoever said Compacts were inferior? Not us…

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 3.0-litre straight-six M54, Schrick cams, ESS TS2+ supercharger with custom aluminium intake, Laminova filled Setrab intercooler, Supersprint exhaust manifold, E46 #M3 cat section, Bastuck quad-exit DTM-style rear exhaust section, Snow Performance water-methanol standalone injection system, larger Bosch injectors, mapping by ESS. Full Z4 M transmission including six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential.

    CHASSIS: 8.5x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) #M6 replica wheels shod in 225/40 and 255/35 Contintental SportContact2 tyres respectively. Complete #Z4-M suspension setup front and rear, #Bilstein PSS10 coilovers, SRP strut braces front and rear. Z4M brake setup front and rear.

    EXTERIOR: Custom bonnet with hand-made air vents and bad-boy style extension, custom front bumper with reshaped central vent, AC-Schnitzer corner splitters, M Sport side skirts, mirrors and rear bumper, #AC-Schnitzer roof spoiler and three-piece bootlid spoiler, Sport mirrors, custom hand-made arches, custom vents in front wings, matt black kidney grilles, OEM xenon headlights with CCFL angel eyes, clear front indicators, smoked side repeaters and taillights, LED number plate lights, carbon fibre roundels, tinted windows.

    INTERIOR: Red leather interior with electric seats and Sport steering wheel, U-turn trim panels, Schmiedmann clocks and chrome surrounds, E-pod system with #AEM boost and oil temperature guages, AC Schnitzer pedal set, handbrake lever and gear knob.

    “I had to endure the scorn of people telling me that a decent modification couldn’t be done to this model!”

    “I used the existing lines and curves of the car and intensified them so that the look is more distinctive”
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  •   George Dziedzic reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    BMW's cheapest fuel-injected car, the #318i #E30 , has a new engine amongst other Improvements made to the 3-Serles for the 1988 model year. But Is this competent and refined medium-sized saloon's £11,000-plus pricing putting too much value on the BMW badge? John Henderson reports models do not have mid- or restyling’s: they ‘evolutionary changes‘, which usually means that improvements on later models find their way to other parts of the range.

    So with the #7-Series #E32 attracting top end sales, it is not surprising that BMW’s best selling range, the 3-Series E30, should benefit from the seven- up technology. So from now on all 3-Series E30 cars get impact resistant bumpers and a new front end housing ellipsoid headlamps. To that you can add less chrome-work, new rear lights, deeper front and rear aprons and different side styling with lower wheelarches.

    All models, except the carburetted #316 E30, get the new Bosch Motronic engine management system, which offers better fuel economy and low speed engine response as well as the ability to run on lead-free fuel without adjustment.
    But the biggest change is in the #1988 BMW 318i, which now has BMW's new four-cylinder #M40 engine, designed specifically for capacities under two litres. With a capacity of 1795cc, instead of the old M10 engine’s 1766cc, it gives the cheapest injection #BMW 10bhp more: 115bhp, developed at 5750rpm. More importantly, torque is improved by 13.3 per cent, from 105lb ft at 4500rpm to 119lb ft at 250rpm less.

    BMW also claim smoother running and reduced maintenance, while the claimed performance is up by 2mph on top speed to 118mph with a 1.6-second improvement on 0-100kph (62mph) to 10.8 seconds. But don’t let that uninspiring sprint time put you off: the improved torque is far more telling on the road.

    BMW reckon there is a 2.4 second improvement on the 50 to 70mph time in fourth (now 10.5 seconds), which is a far better indication of how the car feels on the road. The BMW 318i E30 has remarkably good mid-range response, which makes it feel a lot quicker on the road than the standard benchmark figures would seem to indicate.

    In addition, the new engine shows equally remarkable refinement, staying well down among the background noise when cruising. Even when worked hard it still retains its pleasant sound until well over 6000rpm, never sounding raucous.
    Standard E30 316s and 318is have variable ratio rack and pinion steering to give easier low speed manoeuvrability. Our test car had the optional power steering which, as before, is a little light and lacking in feel and takes getting used to. This combines with the fairly soft rear suspension in making the car feel woolly and less than confidence-inspiring.
    All BMW 3-Series E30 get subtle exterior changes and new lights, but the #BMW-318i also gets a new engine with more power.

    In truth, it is typically BMW in its handling. It tends towards understeer with mid-corner lift-off resulting in a tightening of line at lower speeds or a change to oversteer if you are really pushing it. In spite of this handling softness, ride is quite firm, though not jarring.

    Inside the car, changes have been limited to new scat fabrics. Everything else is as you would expect from BMW, with clear instruments, well positioned switchgear and controllable ventilation. The gearchange is a little notchy when cold but soon eases up. The brakes still suffer from a great deal of redundant pedal travel before delivering the goods.

    And yet the #BMW-318i-E30 seems to lack the essential sparkle4that its more illustrious brethren have to make them appealing driver’s cars. Where you can enthuse about a 325i E30 or even a 320i E30, the 318i is just an efficient saloon car, which also makes you question its price.

    At £11,095 for the two-door we tested - and nearly £500 more for the four-door - the 318i would look very bare without at least some of the extras our car had. These were power steering, heated door mirror, washer nozzles and driver’s door lock, electric front windows, alloy wheels and a manual sliding sunroof, adding £2027 to the car and bringing the price up to £13,122.

    From the Japanese you can have four-valve per cylinder engineering and still save money. #Toyota have the #Camry at £10,749, with most of the BMW’s extras as standard, while Mazda will give you the extremely quick 626 2.0i 16GT for £12,949 complete with the electric goodies and #ABS (though not the BMW’s refinement and ride). #Ford can give you the Sapphire in 2-litre Ghia form for £11,359 while Vauxhall offer considerably more power in the #Cavalier SRi 130 saloon at £10,614. In fact, if you’re thinking of adding the £2000- worth of extras to a 318i, you wouldn’t have to find much more money to get the well-equipped #Vauxhall Carlton 2.0CD at £13,575.

    The opposition wields some hefty competition at this price and all those mentioned are much more roomy, with generally better performance than the BMW. The only thing they don’t have is the BMW cachet which brings with it an undoubted ability to hold resale prices, which should not be forgotten when looking at value for money'.

    Likes: Refinement mid-range performance.
    Dislikes: Soft handling, price.
    Price: £11.095

    Remarkably good mid-range response makes it feel a lot quicker than the standard benchmark figures would seem to indicate.
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  •   Andrew Noakes reacted to this post about 5 years ago
    8+8=400? Self confessed 8 Series nut, Steve Parkes, went all out on this Eight and the supercharged V8 results are pretty spectacular.

    The #E31 8 Series: no one can deny that with its perfect combination of futuristic features and timeless squareedged lines, it’s way up there among Munich’s finest-looking cars, perhaps parallel with the classic, distinctively designed #M1 , #E24 #M635CSi and the #E30 #M3 in our opinion at least. Despite that, once you’re behind the wheel it can be a difficult car to grasp. Contrary to the sporty-looking exterior there’s no hiding the 1,900 kilo kerb weight – if you get it though, and delve deeper into its character, you’ll soon learn to love it. When that happens, it’s unlikely to be long before an addiction takes hold – though there’s no need to tell that to Steve Parkes – he knows first-hand.

    This staggering 8 Series was his second #840i , and he has bought another 840i and an #850i since! After his first he was well clued-up as to what to look for, and this Eight found its way into his hands as a completely standard but clean 37k car. In fact, having suffered from the infamous Nikasil issue, whereby sulphur in the fuel eats at the cylinder liners, the engine was fresh to say the least – it was rebuilt by BMW, under warranty, with a new block less than 8000 miles before Steve took up ownership.

    A full Supersprint stainless steel exhaust system started the car on its modification journey, helping bring out the noise of the 4.0-litre V8 as well as improving the already aggressive rear end thanks to four chunky tailpipes. G-Power cats also help flow and give a slight boost in power. Next, with Steve wishing to give the chassis a bit of a sportier feel, Alpina springs and shocks were fitted, giving the big Coupé a tighter feel whilst also preparing it well for the next step.

    That next step wasn’t a small one either. The 840i was dropped off at Simpson Motorsport, where it was due for a hefty upgrade. Not only were AP Racing six-pot calipers and 362mm discs put behind the front wheels, but a bit of boost was to be applied under the bonnet. With an #ESS supercharger intended for an #E39 in hand, Steve entrusted Simpson with ’charging the M60B40. The bracket for supporting the ’charger had to be redrilled to fit the 840i but aside from that it was a fairly problem-free installation and it wasn’t long before the car was being mapped on the dyno.

    With such a fresh engine, there were no worries over it being able to handle the boost, but getting the power down would be a different matter. To help this, an #E34 M5 limited-slip diff was also installed whilst the car was at Simpson Motorsport. On the rolling road it peaked at an impressive 399.9bhp, but that’s only half the story. A colossal 480lb ft of torque was recorded – enough to propel the car from standstill to 60mph in 5.3 seconds (compared to the standard 7.4 sec), but it was up to 100mph that it really excelled. “Up to 60mph it isn’t much faster than my friend’s 850CSi, but between 60-100mph I can watch him disappear in my rear view mirror,” grinned Steve. In fact, 100mph comes up from a standstill in less than 11.5 seconds – far from shabby for a 1.9-ton tank.

    With the performance well and truly taken care of, Steve’s attention turned to making it look as good as it goes. The windows were lightlytinted by Auto-Asylum in Maidenhead, whilst xenon HIDs freshen it right up and make night driving far less of a stress. Most of the other styling comes courtesy of AC Schnitzer, whilst the bonnet has a little more to it… Steve was after an Alpina louvered bonnet, but when he was quoted £4k for one, he began looking elsewhere. He found a company in the US who built him a replica, so he had it shipped over, but the quality left quite a bit to be desired. After a chat with his local bodyshop, he took it upon himself to measure up the vented bonnet to cut, then the bodyshop tidied it up and repainted it. That’s one way of getting the look you want for less!

    Finally, of course, was the decision of what wheels to put on the car. “I’ve had countless sets of wheels, but it’s currently sitting on 19” Alpinas – or it was at the time I sold it to Clevewood Garage anyway.” Yes, at the time of writing, that’s where it sits, still with a relatively low 68k on the clock. I know if I had USD 15k I’d certainly be sorely tempted!

    With the 840i gone, Steve bought an E39 #Alpina B10 4.6 - a car with enough grunt as to not feel slow after the supercharged Eight, but for Steve it lacked something which his 840 never failed to do: turn heads. To remedy this, he bought his latest toy, a white 850i which he has tinkered with too - though obviously not quite to the level of the 840. A future feature? Quite possibly.

    Now having owned five #E31 s, the last of which is his current car, it’s pretty obvious that Steve has well and truly got the 8 Series bug. Who knows where it’ll stop, but whilst he’s getting asked ‘Is this the new BMW?’ at the petrol station, who can blame him?

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 4.0-litre #BMW V8 #M60B40 , full Supersprint exhaust system with #G-Power sport cats, ESS Supercharger (adapted from E39 kit). Standard four-speed automatic gearbox, E34 #M5 LSD.

    CHASSIS: 8.5x19” (front) and 9.5x19" (rear) Alpina rims, Alpina lowering springs and uprated shocks. AP Racing 362mm BBK with six-pot calipers.

    EXTERIOR: Replica Alpina louvered bonnet AC Schnitzer Aero kit, tinted windows, 6000K HIDs, CSi mirrors and spoiler.

    INTERIOR: Standard E31 interior.

    THANKS: Anthony and Julian at Simpson Motorsport, Roy at CA Automotive, Richie ‘the paint man’.
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