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WIDE-ARCH M3 FIERCE 400HP 1M Stunningly modified E30

Fully focused, no compromise

ROLLOFACE E92 M3 Hardcore wide-body bruiser


1200HP TURBO E36 Insane Norwegian M3

SLICK E46 Gorgeous Dakar yellow M3




American F80 M3 in Individual Avus blue with lush custom interior packs a 560whp punch

IN THE LAP OF LUXURY Ultra-plush, ultra-rare, ultra-cool E23 L7 on air

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PerformanceBMWMagazine @pbmwmagazine pbmwmag

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE KUHN ISSUE: October 2016 EDITOR: Elizabeth de Latour

ADVERTISING: Adam Young Switchboard: 01732 445325


It was only a matter of time before an F8x M3 or M4 made its way on to our cover. Perhaps you’re surprised it’s taken this long or perhaps you’re surprised it’s an M3 and not an M4 but this car really did it for us. Not only because of the individual paint, the custom interior work and those wheels but also because the owner has really put the work in on the performance front and has extracted the sort of figures that you’d see from a full-on supercharged E9x M3. That’s impressive, even for a turbocharged engine. As is the fact that he’s achieved what seemed almost impossible at one point: making the engine bay actually look attractive. Fighting against all the black plastic is an uphill struggle, but this is one S55 engine bay that’s guaranteed to get your attention. A lot of E9x M3 owners have made the switch to an F8x M3 or M4 and it’s definitely a very different experience, but so far everyone we’ve come across has been happy with their move from V8 to a straight-six and turbos, no matter how backwards that sentence might seem. Considering the M3 and M4 have only been about for two years or so, it feels like the modifying is gathering momentum and we can’t wait to see how far people will push things in the coming years. There’s a lot of potential there, that’s for sure. Just how much

potential? Well, turn to page 8 and the 1040whp E36 M3 could be a glimpse into the future, especially as it is also running a 3.0-litre straight-six. The car’s been built for Time Attack and racing, and we’d wager it’s a lot of fun… For those of you who prefer your motoring more road-legal then we’ve got a fantastically focused 1M for your reading pleasure along with a sharp Dakar yellow E46 M3. We swear that car just keeps getting better with age. Speaking of age, we’re head over heels in love with that bagged beauty of an E23 L7 on

page 38; not only is it rare to see an E23, it’s rarer still to see an L7 and even rarer than that to see a modified one. Handily, it’s been beautifully done and looks absolutely fantastic. We love the usual classic car suspects, but it’s great to see someone casting their net wider and having fun with something a bit different. Enjoy the October issue of PBMW wherever in the world you may be and whatever you may be driving, we’ll catch you next month for the November issue! It’s basically Christmas…

SUB EDITORS: Christian Shelton, Rachael Harper MANAGING EDITOR: Bob Harper SENIOR DESIGNER: Lorna Mansford DESIGNERS: Dave Powney, Kelly Rodgers JUNIOR DESIGNER: Jon Lawrence PRODUCTION MANAGER: Jo Claydon-Smith PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Georgie Lewis REPRO CONTROLLER: Tom Jackson SENIOR RETOUCHER: Laurence Green FINANCE DIRECTOR: Helen Lawson CONTRIBUTORS: Andreas Wibstad, Mike Kuhn, Daniel Bevis, Peter Wu, Denis Podmarkov Faiz Rahman, Viktor Benyi, Anna Taylor, Rash Bajwa, Scott Paterson, Jack Smith @ Exquisite, James Barrett, Patrik Karlsson, Sam Ratcliffe, Piers Clarkson, Adam Beevers, Rob Edmed, Ben Koflach

Subscriptions Dept: 01732 748084 Distributed by Seymour. Printed by William Gibbons & Son Ltd. While every effort is made in compiling PBMW, the publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. If you have a complaint pertaining to the content of Performance BMW please contact

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any storage or retrieval system, without the consent of the publisher. Registered at Stationers Hall Copyright. Direct Input by Unity Media Communications Ltd.


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INDEPENDENCE PBMW is published by Unity Media plc for all owners, drivers and enthusiasts of performance BMWs. It is entirely independent of manufacturers, dealers and associated clubs or affiliations. And we speak as we find… One year subscription price UK £43.20, EUR £60, ROW £71 (with 30% off UK cover price worldwide). Periodicals postage paid at Champlain, NY and at additional mailing offices. Subscribe online at: Permit number: 021-039

PBMW (ISSN: 1462-3110) is published monthly (12 times per year) by Unity Media Communication Ltd. c/o USACAN Media Dist. Srv Corp at 26 Power Dam Way, Suite S1-S3, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.

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PBMW is available for international licensing and syndication. Email: PBMW (established in January 1998) is published by Unity Media Communications © 2016 Unity Media plc Digital edition from:


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08 NUMBER CRUNCHING 1040whp turbo E36 M3

006 FEATURE MY CAR Send us pics and spec of your car and it could be in the mag!


The newest products for your BMW.


Pop this double-sided dose of BMW goodness on your wall!


Bimmers of Sweden, Bimmerflex and VanityBMW show reports.


PBMW delivered at a discount!


Catch up with the PBMW fleet.





This month’s selection of reader submissions.

Supercharged Z4 M Coupé goodness!

Finely-honed 400hp 1M

Air-ride E23 L7



AND SAVE 30% Subscribe to PBMW magazine and save 30%. Go to or call 01732 748084





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560whp Avus blue F80 M3

44 Rolloface wide-body E92 M3

66 Stylish E93 M3 Convertible

58 Wide-arch E30 M3

72 Bagged E46 Coupé OCTOBER 2016 5

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Want us to

Feature your Car? Email:

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We see a lot of modified cars here at PBMW but a 1000hp E36 M3 is something that never fails to impress‌ Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Andreas Wibstad

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hey say that you shouldn’t chase numbers when building a car. You should build a car that will drive well and suit your needs rather than delivering big peak power but becoming undriveable in the process. Of course, if you happen to be building a car where big power is your need, then why not aim high and punch through the 1000hp barrier? It’s the sensible thing to do. If we told you that Ole Ivar Seem, the owner of this E36, comes from Norway you probably wouldn’t be surprised because it would seem that Scandinavians have a predisposition for building stupidly powerful cars. And, unlike those of us having to find time during evenings and weekends to work on our cars due to our 9-5s taking up the vast majority of our time, Ole works on offshore oil platforms, which means he works hard but then has plenty of time to play hard when he’s back on dry land. And play hard he does. Funnily enough Ole says that while he’d always liked BMWs he didn’t become properly interested in them until about 2003, when Vidar Strand from V.S Motor hit 1000hp with his E34 M5. That got his attention and got him thinking about the possibilities of what could be achieved with a BMW. And judging by one of his previous projects – a 426hp Sierra Cosworth, which was featured in our ex-sister title Performance Ford back in 2003 – it was


clear that unless big power could be achieved Ole wasn’t interested. Of course, his first BMW project was never going to make anywhere near that power output, being as it was an ’86 E30 320i, but then again Ole only bought it for a bit of winter fun and threw a few mods at it. However, it started the sequence of events that mean we’re now standing here today with his 1000hp E36 M3. With the Cosworth sold and a lump sum burning a hole in his pocket, Ole cast his car-catching net to see what he could snag. That’s when he came across this M3. “I found the car on a BMW forum here in Norway,” he explains. “It was a virtually completed street build with lots of good parts but that looked completely stock on the outside. Initially the plan was really to run with the parts that were on it but a thought crossed my mind about building a car for Gatebil Extreme [Gatebil’s own time attack and racing series]. After driving the car for a bit back in summer 2008, I got problems with water in the oil, leaking between the pyramid rings and water channels. So the real story of the car and engine you see today started when I picked up the phone to Vidar at V.S Motor. “The motor building began with solving the problem of water in the oil. Vidar had a separate patent which, in principle, removes the head gasket and uses rings in a special metal. Vidar also fitted new custom cams

from V.S Motor, new custom V.S Motor pistons, uprated Pauter con rods built to V.S Motor’s specifications, stainless steel valves, tighter valve springs and he did a general update of the whole engine. He then put it on the dyno bench at V.S to get it mapped properly. With it running perfectly we went for a power run and it made 772hp and 723lb ft of torque at 1.3bar, but tremendous back pressure on the exhaust side prevented any more power. The problem was an exhaust manifold that was not quite optimal and a Turbonetics turbo that was completely the wrong setup. I drove the rest of the summer and next spring running this setup but I was bothered by the fact that it did not deliver optimally when I knew I could get much more from the engine. “After a few more conversations with Vidar we agreed that he should build a new manifold and a new turbo, then test it. The engine was ready in April 2011. This tested Vidar’s patience to the limit as it’s really cramped around the engine for building a manifold. You really need a lot of space. I think someone would have to pay him a lot of money to do this again!” laughs Ole. “On test day the engine really stood up to our demands, and on E85 fuel it delivered 1039hp and 817lb ft of torque at 2.1bar. You can say we were delighted with it.” And who wouldn’t be with over 1000hp on tap? But Ole and Vidar weren’t finished with the engine just yet. “In summer of last year we

That’s what you need for 1000hp. S50B30 has been fully built and features massive Precision 7675 turbo


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My goal has always been to retain the original lines I like so much

found out that we were going to start with new fuel as E85 was phased out from petrol stations in Norway, so we chose to use the Ignite E98 race ethanol fuel that Vidar sells. We counted on a power increase so in July 2015, before going to the E30 meet in Rudskogen. I went with Vidar to Jonus Racing to run the car on the dyno. After roughly four to five hours of fine-tuning, the numbers that it put down really made our eyes pop! We got 1040whp and 855lb ft wheel torque which, when converted to power at the crank, becomes 1196hp and 959lb ft at 2.2bar. It goes without saying that were extremely pleased with this outcome,” smiles Ole. We would be too. That’s an absolutely monstrous amount of power, especially considering he’s still running the 3.0-litre S50. That works out at 399hp per litre; that’s like the E39 M5, with its 4.9-litre V8, making all of its power from a 1.0-litre engine, which is a bit mental when you break it down like that. As far as engine spec is concerned, we simply haven’t got

the space to go through all of it here, just take a look at the spec list and you’ll see it’s exactly as long as you would expect it to be on a powerful engine like this. Highlights include the Precision billet 7675 turbo – such a key part of this incredible build, adjustable cam pulleys, a Tial 60mm wastegate, 4.5” downpipe, 3.5” Edgeperformance exhaust, ARP bolts, a 26-row oil cooler, custom header tank, Griffin radiator, custom 6” thick intercooler, 580lph Aeromotive lift pump, twin A1000 fuel pumps, and a set of six absolutely ridiculous 1699cc flow matched fuel injectors. All of which is really just scratching the surface. It’s as heavy-duty a build as you can imagine. You can’t just make a 1000hp engine, stuff it into an E36 M3 and hope for the best because things would go south in a big way almost immediately. You need to put in just as much work on the transmission and chassis fronts to make sure everything works in perfect harmony. There’s no messing about when it comes to the gearbox

on this car, with Ole fitting a Sellholm MPG sequential ’box made specifically for this car and combined with a Tilton 7.25” threeplate, 26 spline rally clutch and Alcon hydraulic release bearing. A 3” chromoly propshaft rated to 1500hp delivers all that turbocharged power to a modified 210 diff from a 3.2 M3 sitting on reinforced mounts, and a pair of 38mm driveshafts. As for the suspension, well, we’ll let Ole explain: “Everything under the car is solid mounted or uses aluminium uni ball components. I run custom road coilovers from Sellholm Tuning made specifically for the weight of the car and supporting chassis mods. These include: Sellholm Tuning front and rear fully adjustable blade anti-roll bars; custom front suspension turrets and custom adjustable top mounts; Turner Motorsport aluminium bushes and rear lower control arms; and PeeBee Motorsport adjustable rear upper control arms. “When it came to choosing the parts, Vidar knew exactly what was required, having been involved in so many builds, not to OCTOBER 2016 11

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mention his racing experience. I trust him 100% and he is the man to talk to when one is stuck with ideas or problems, although these phone calls can be expensive. That’s how I ended up with the sequential gearbox!” With over 1000hp on tap, you need some seriously big brakes to haul the E36 down from the sort of speed it can achieve, and Ole hasn’t cut any corners here. Up front, eight piston K-Sport calipers have been fitted, clamping 355mm discs, while at the rear sit six-pot calipers with 330mm discs and EBC’s BlueStuff track day pads have been fitted all-round. Wheel choice was guided by necessity rather than aesthetics, as you’d expect on a build like this. “The choice of rims came after lots of searching


on forums and chatting with acquaintances in the racing world. To make most of the rubber on the ground, without extending the arches or anything like that, the wheels had to be lightweight, withstand a lot punishment and with widths matching the chassis. I chose the Apex EC-7 as there were really no other wheels that matched the car. They fitted well with the look that I had in mind for the car.” The tough, lightweight wheels measure 9x18” up front and 9.5x18” at the rear and are mounted on the car via a set of NMS Racing 75mm studs. Just by glancing at the outside of this E36 you’d really be hard pressed to tell what’s going on beneath the surface as Ole has kept

everything looking extremely stock. “My goal has always been to retain the original lines that I like so much,” he says. “Generally original but sassy, a look with a little more muscle. There’s a fully removable carbon bonnet, a carbon sunroof blank and the only change to the body itself is that the rear wheel arches have been rolled.” Of course, the interior is another matter entirely and there was only ever going to be one direction to take it in. “The choice was easy,” says Ole. “It should be for racing! It had to be as light as possible and, ideally, with parts that no one else in Norway or Europe had tried before. Plenty of time went into building the roll-cage, which was done by a colleague and myself with Vidar

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almost seven years of work, it’s unsurprising that the end result was so damn spectacular. What is surprising, though, is that Ole sold the car not long ago but, he says, it’s gone to a man who really knows what he’s doing so it’s in good hands and will be used as intended by its new owner. So, what’s next for Ole? Time to give up the modifying game and relax with pipe and slippers watching gardening programmes? In a word, no. “I already have plans going around in my brain but one thing is for sure, it gets wilder!” he exclaims. “This car will probably take a few years to finish. And I have a problem: I’m never satisfied until I have spent a lot of time on everything from planning to execution, so those who wait will see. The rest is a huge secret,” he adds with a grin. We’re instantly as excited as he is. Judging by his track record, it’s going to be something special ●

Turbo E36 M3 ENGINE 3.0-litre straight-six S50B30, Autronic SM4, MSD coil packs, Autronic boost solenoid, V.S Motor custom exhaust manifold, Precision billet 7675 turbo, Edgeperformance Vanos block-off kit, adjustable cam pulleys, Tial 60mm wastegate, V.S Motor 4.5” downpipe, Edgeperformance 3.5” stainless steel exhaust, Tial 50mm BOV, ARP bolts throughout, Pauter Motorsport H-rods, V.S Motor spec valve springs, V.S Motor spec custom cams, JE custom pistons built to V.S Motor spec, original intake manifold modified for forced induction, Samco intake hose, head and block modified to remove head gasket, special head gasket replacement rings designed by V.S Motor, Turner Motorsport oil cooler hoses, Earl’s 26-row oil cooler, GS Performance oil distribution block, Griffin aluminium radiator, AN-20 fittings, custom header tank, custom three-litre oil catch tank with AN-16 fittings, 2x12” Flex-a-Lite fans, V.S Motor design Precision bespoke 6” thick intercooler, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, 19-row Ethanol cooler with 10” fan, Edgeperformance fuel rail, 6x flow matched 1699cc E85 injectors, VEMS wide band lambda sensor and EGT

POWER AND TORQUE 1040whp and 855lb ft wheel torque at 2.2bar

Interior is slathered in sexy carbon panels

TRANSMISSION Sellholm MPG sequential gearbox, Tilton 7.25” three-plate 26-spline rally clutch, Alcon hydraulic release bearing, 1500hp 3” chromoly custom propshaft, M3 3.2 210 diff modified by V.S Motor, 38mm drive shafts, reinforced diff mounts and suspension attached to roll-cage, Omega gearbox/diff oil

CHASSIS 9x18” (front) and 9.5x18” (rear) Apex EC-7 wheels with 255/35 (front) and 265/35 (rear) Nankang Sportnex NS-2R tyres mounted on 75mm NMS Racing studs, custom Sellholm asphalt coilovers, Sellholm adjustable suspension turrets, custom top mounts, Sellholm fully adjustable blade anti-roll bars (front and rear), Turner Motorsport aluminium trailing arm bushes, aluminium front control arm bushes, PeeBee Motorsport adjustable upper rear control arms, Turner Motorsport adjustable lower rear control arms, aluminium diff bushes, K-Sport eight-piston calipers with 355x32mm discs (front), K-Sport six-piston calipers with 330x32mm discs (rear), EBC BlueStuff pads (front and rear)

Apex EC-7 wheels were chosen as they’re light and tough; massive eight-pot K-Sport calipers sit up front with six-pots at the rear

EXTERIOR Removable ACM carbon race bonnet, carbon sunroof blank, rear arches rolled

INTERIOR Full chromoly 4130 roll-cage connected to suspension turrets, diff and throughout the chassis, QSP steering wheel with Sparco Group N quick-release steering wheel boss, OBP pedalbox, Sellholm hydraulic handbrake, Cobra Suzuka seats with six-point 3” harnesses, Racepak UDX dash data logger, Autometer Sport-Comp gauges for oil pressure, oil temperature, boost pressure, fuel level and water temperature, OMP 4.24-litre central fire extinguisher, ACM carbon doorcards, carbon fibre firewall, complete carbon dash and carbon DTM centre console, Fibervac carbon panels, 580lph Aeromotive SS series lift pump, 2x Aeromotive A1000 fuel pumps, Aeromotive fuel filter/holder, Aeromotive 60-litre aluminium fuel cell, aluminium swirl pot, Earl’s fittings and hoses

THANKS An extremely big thanks to Vidar Strand at V.S Motor, without him this car would not have been possible, he has always been cheerful and helpful no matter what time I’ve called. Thanks also to Robin, Kay Ove, Stig P, Kurt Magnar, Kjell Inge, Jørgen, Terje, and Thomas at Edgeperformance

OCTOBER 2016 13


providing all the technical information. It is made from about 80 metres of chromoly 4130 tubes and has been built down towards the chassis to really get it rigid, to the suspension turrets, to the diff and many other reinforcements against the chassis, which you can’t see in the pictures. In reality it is a tubular frame inside the car.” Beyond that there’s a QSP steering wheel mounted on a Sparco Group N quick-release steering boss, Cobra Suzuka seats with six-point harnesses and a Racepak UDX data logger dash with auxiliary Autometer gauges. To keep things as light as possible, the car has been fitted with ACM carbon fibre doorcards and even a carbon firewall, carbon dash and carbon centre console while the boot is home to fuel system, with a 60-litre Aeromotive aluminium fuel cell and aluminium swirl pot. After a hell of a lot of planning and

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PRODUCTS FIDANZA 3 SERIES SHORT-SHIFT KITS Fidanza has just released a new batch of short-shifters for the E30, E36 and E46 models. The short-shift kits offer a shorter throw, resulting in quicker, more positive gearshifts. Each kit comes as a complete bolt-in assembly that totally replaces the original shift; all you have to transfer is the gear knob and the gaiter.

Price: From $93.32 plus shipping, VAT and import duty Web:,,

ZUMAC Z10 FORGED WHEELS Swiss wheel manufacturer, Zumac, has launched its latest wheel design, the forged and Swiss-made Z10. This extremely sexy three-piece custom wheels feature a ten-spoke design and is available in a huge range of fitments and colours, in sizes from 13-23”, allowing you to make a truly unique set of wheels. It’s pictured here on an i8 in 8.5x21” and 9.5x21” with gloss black centres and polished lips.


Price: £4750 (for wheels as shown in pictures) Web:

MStyle has just released an M Sport-look front bumper kit for the E90 and E91 facelift models. The kit comes complete with lower grilles and air ducts and will fit all E90/91 LCI models, with or without headlight washers. Painting and fitting are available at MStyle’s Romford HQ at additional cost.

Price: Bumper kit £329, foglights £89, all prices include VAT Web: Tel: 020 8598 9115

MOMO QUANTUM AND QUANTUM EVO The Momo Quantum and Quantum Evo wheels are now available in BMW fitments, and also allow you to fit your existing BMW centre caps. The classic twin five-spoke design is enhanced with the addition of some angular detailing on the spokes, giving them an almost knife-like appearance. The Quantum is finished in matt anthracite, while the Evo features a combination of matt anthracite and diamond cut surfaces. The wheel itself is low pressure cast and is compatible with OEM tyre pressure sensors and comes with a oneyear warranty. Both wheels are available in 8x18”, 8.5x19” and 9.5x19” sizes.

Price: From £199.99 including VAT Web: Tel: 01268 764411 14 PERFORMANCE BMW

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Hose expert, SamcoSport, has released a new replacement silicone upper and lower radiator hose kit for the M44 engine. The kit offers the superior longevity, reliability and durability of silicone hoses together with the ease of a wipe clean finish to enhance the engine bay.

MSTYLE F32 4 SERIES M SPORT-LOOK BODY KIT New from MStyle this month comes this body kit that will instantly give any 4 Series Coupé that M Sport look. It consists of a grille and front bumper complete with air intakes and mesh grilles, a rear bumper with diffuser ready to accept quad exhausts, (with MStyle offering quad exhaust conversions as well) and a pair of side skirts. The kit can be bought as a complete package or the parts can be purchased individually and painting and fitting are available at MStyle’s Romford HQ at additional cost.

Price: Complete kit £960, front bumper £395, side skirts £295, rear bumper kit £395, all prices include VAT Web: Tel: 020 8598 9115

Price: Kit £71.93, clamp kit £9.84, all prices include VAT but not shipping Web:


MILLTEK VALVESONIC PLUS EXHAUST VALVE CONTROL If you’ve got a factory exhaust system with valve control or a Milltek system with electronic valves, the company’s new ValveSonic Plus exhaust control will definitely be of interest. After several months of development and testing with its technical partners in central Europe, Milltek has been able to create a completely new upgrade system that offers even greater control of exhaust tone and flow characteristics with increased levels of integration to the vehicle’s CAN BUS system. What’s unique about the ValveSonic Plus system is that it integrates exhaust valve control into the existing multi-function steering wheel buttons. It also allows over 138 parameters to be adjusted; these new settings include options to control the system by the drive, control for the valves while the car is in warm-up or cold start cycle, throttle position and within each gear. ValveSonic Plus is available for a wide range of BMW F models from 2012 onwards, including the M135i and M3 and M4. The mighty M2 may not have been out for long but that hasn’t stopped KW from launching its three-way adjustable Clubsport coilover kit for the hottest 2 Series. Designed primarily for track use and developed on the Nürburgring, the kit comes complete with adjustable top mounts and offers independent compression and rebound adjustment along with a height adjustment offering up to a 40mm front and 45mm rear drop in ride height. In addition to this the Clubsport coilovers are made from stainless steel for unparalleled corrosion resistance.

Price: £3680 including VAT Web:


Web: Tel: 01332 227 280

EUROWAGENS F3x XENONLOOK HEADLIGHT UNITS The non-xenon F3x 3 Series headlights are a little lacking in style, doing without their more expensive counterparts’ projector lenses and angel eye halos, but now you can get all the style of the xenon headlights without breaking the bank. New from Eurowagens come these xenon-look headlights, which feature projector lenses and white angel eye

halos, but use normal halogen bulbs. They utilise your old headlight motors to enable the electric height adjustment and are fully plug and play, making installation quick and easy, and they look great with it.

Price: £399.99 Web:

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BMW E9x 3-Series Front Kit #78510 Shown





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KIT FEATURES 1. 2. 3. 4.

Adjustable camber plates with high-quality spherical bearings depending on application Compact double-bellows air spring or sleeve-style bags Red anodized aluminum accents 30 levels of damping adjustment, monotube threaded strut with independent ride height adjustment

5. 6. 7. 8.

Black powder-coated strut bodies and lower mounts Up to 5.8” (147mm) of drop, depending on application Vehicle specific upper and lower mounts to ensure an OEM quality fit. Most kits also come with braided stainless steel air lines, and all necessary fittings and hardware for mounting | UK Distributor - Car Audio Security - Tel.: 020 8561 9485

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With ferocious looks, a stunning colour scheme, an opulent custom interior, and massive power, this awesome M3 is not a machine to be trifled with. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Mike Kuhn


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3 or M4? We wager most of you will be in ‘camp coupé’, the two-door’s sleek lines proving irresistibly seductive, with every design element focused on making it look as low and wide as possible, with more than a little success. But don’t write-off the M3; it’s no ugly duckling and the narrower body but identical track mean that it boasts swollen arches that are hidden in the M4’s wide bodywork, giving it a pumped-up look that makes other saloons cower in fear. And there’s something cool about ultra-powerful four-door saloons that surprise the unsuspecting with the sort of firepower they only expect from a coupé. Of course, it’s a lot less of a surprise these days as the ‘cult of the super saloon’ is now less of a cult and more a family-friendly club where everyone



knows your name. However, the enduring appeal of the saloon, as sparked by legends such as the Lotus Carlton, Brabus EV12 and, of course, BMW’s own M5, remains. Just ask Shaun Fulton, because this is his F80 M3 and it’s awesome… Although Shaun grew up around Volvos, the reliable Swedish marque being his dad’s choice of wheels, the sole reason he’s not currently hauling Labradors around in a rapid wagon is down to his dad’s mechanic friend. “He was a Master Tech at BMW for over 30 years,” Shaun explains. “He would help fix our Volvos on the weekends. Every time I would see my father’s friend, he would be in the latest BMW and I fell in love with the brand at an early age.” With BMWs on the brain it’s no surprise that, after graduating and landing his first job as a stock broker, his thoughts turned to

splashing out on an M3. “My senior broker kept talking about getting a new E92 M3 with his annual bonus cheque. Aspiring to be like him, I set my eyes on that same goal,” Shaun explains. In 2011 he bought himself a 2009 E92 M3 with 20k miles on the clock, in Space grey, with a six-speed manual gearbox. “I was so excited to get the car and achieve my goal that I ended up getting a pretty basic model with no EDC, and no M Drive. But I didn’t care, it had everything I needed: three pedals, Fox red seats, and a carbon roof! I was all set, or so I thought…” You see, it was the E92 M3 and its extensive aftermarket catalogue that introduced Shaun to modifying and, as he found, it was a very slippery slope. The final mods list for his M3 reads like your dream performance shopping list and highlights included: KW V3 coilovers; a custom 1M

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bumper; a carbon bonnet; BC Forged HB29 19s; and an ESS 625hp supercharger kit. So why on earth did he sell his fully modded, crazy-powerful M3? “I was undecided about what to do,” reveals Shaun. “I didn’t know whether to a) keep my E92 M3, which had grown to be an icon on the East Coast through Instagram and other social media or, b) part my car out/sell as is and get the new F series M car. At that point, I wasn’t entirely sold on getting a the new M car and it wasn’t until I raced against a few at MPact East 2015 and Slipstream RO2RO 2015 that I was sold!” A few weeks later the E92 was gone, sold to one of Shaun’s Instagram followers, and the hunt for a new car began. Shaun knew whatever car he got, it had to make a big impact: “I had a hard act to follow coming from my E92 M3 build so I decided to go big or go home: I made the decision to order an

F80 M3. I ordered a Frozen blue metallic car with the six-speed manual and Sakhir orange seats. About three months into my six-month wait for the car, I got a call from my Customer Adviser stating that BMW had denied my individual colour choice. Saddened by this news, I was ready to pull the plug on my order. However, the wonderful service advisors at BMW North America really went above and beyond and, with three days left before the production of my vehicle, they sent me a list of over 200 BMW blues. In the end it came down to Macau blue or Avus blue. Both were colours that I had never seen in person, and both were colours that had not been done on the F80 M3 platform before. With the help of my close friend and fellow BMW enthusiast, Reggie, I decided on a classic BMW blue, and went with Avus. I was thrilled with how vibrant the colour turned out to be.”

Having lost a 194hp moving from his supercharged E92 M3 to his factory-fresh F80 M3, it’s unsurprising that performance modifications were at the forefront of Shaun’s plans for his new build. “My plan was to beef-up the power output while not entering the detonation zone,” says Shaun. “I chose to go with Maximum PSI air intakes (custom painted Sakhir orange), RK Tunes three-piece charge pipes (also custom painted in Sakhir orange), RK Tunes cat-less downpipes, and an AWE Tuning nonresonated exhaust with the 102mm Black Diamond tips. For the tune, I went with a stack tune from DME Tuning and a Burger Motorsports JB4, so that I could really make the car a monster. “Because I had to wait six months for the car to arrive, I had the pleasure of amassing a plethora of parts in the meantime, so the

OCTOBER 2016 21

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engine build took me all of one day after my 1200-mile break-in service. The swap was done with the help of my mechanic, Angel Munoz, and painter Danny Hernandez in Philadelphia, PA.” The engine bay is really what sets Shaun’s M3 apart. Almost all engines these days are covered in swathes of black plastic and, being honest, we didn’t think there was anything that could be done to make the F8x M’s engine bay look interesting… but we were wrong. The combo of custom Sakhir pipes is stunning, transforming the S55 and making it look like the serious performance engine that it is. The addition of the Avus engine cover and gold detailing is inspired and the whole lot is topped-off by BMW’s carbon boomerang brace. And, as well as looking good, thanks to that comprehensive list of modifications this engine really delivers. It produces a massive 560whp, a huge gain over the stock power output,


taking this M3 to the same sort of power level as his E92. However, according to Shaun the driving experience is very different. “It has more low end torque,” he says. “My E92 also had around 560-570whp but the way the F80 feels in comparison is night and day different. In the E92 you had to wind the engine up to around 4500rpm to start feeling the power but here the power comes on immediately; as soon as you step on the gas at around 2300-2500rpm you feel the torque and the power.” Picking out engine details in gold to match the wheels was inspired, as was the choice of wheels itself. Let’s be honest, you really can’t go wrong with HREs as they are among the top-tier wheels that money can buy, and they’d always been on Shaun’s shopping list. “For this build, I wanted to be the most noticeable F80 M3 in the game,” he says, “and I had always wanted a set of HRE wheels, the S101 model to be exact. I had

the opportunity to pick a set up with brushed gold faces and polished lips. I knew that the gold against the Avus blue would really stand out.” It really is a killer colour combo and the style of the 20” S101s looks awesome on the M3, with the wide spokes allowing Shaun to show off his custompainted Sakhir orange calipers. But it’s not just the wheels, everything about this M3 looks so right. That’s thanks to the numerous styling touches he’s added. “The styling had to be classis BMW, at least for this first iteration,” explains Shaun. “All the M3 badges were painted Avus blue while the front grilles were custom painted with Avus blue faces and gloss black sides. The side gills were touched with the same theme: Avus blue faces and gloss black sides. For the front of the car, I went with the BMW M Performance front lip and lower carbon splitters. I left the carbon alone and custom painted the polyurethane lip Avus blue and I

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I wanted to be the most noticeable F80 M3 in the game

OCTOBER 2016 23


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F80 M3 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30, Maximum PSI intake, RK Tunes chargepipes and downpipes in Sakhir orange, Burger Motorsports JB4, DME Tuning stack tune, Avus blue engine cover with gold highlights, AWE Tuning non-resonated exhaust with 102mm black tips, six-speed manual ’box, UUC short-shifter

POWER 560whp

CHASSIS 9.5x20” ET20 (front) and 11x20” ET37 (rear) HRE S101 wheels with brushed light gold centres and polished lips with 265/30 (front) and 305/25 (rear) Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, KW H.A.S sleeve kit, custom painted Sakhir orange calipers

EXTERIOR Full BMW M performance kit consisting of front carbon splitters, lower front lip, side skirts, all custom painted, M3 badges painted Avus blue, custom Avus blue and gloss black kidney grilles and side gills, BavGruppe custom headlights in gloss black with M tricolour stripes, Vorsteiner rear diffuser, Mode Carbon rear spoiler

INTERIOR ESH Upholstery full Alcantara interior and M stitching including headlining, A- and B-pillars, door inserts, full dash, rear deck, door pulls, and gaiters, seat backs finished in Sakhir orange leather with Alcantara panels

THANKS Danny Hernandez Paint Work, Angel Munoz Installation, Roman at Exclusive Vinyl, Alex at ESH Upholstery, Kourtney at Adam’s Polishes, Tom at BavGruppe, Mike Kuhn, Chad from Pristine Auto Leasing, Eric Keuhn, Reggie Balmir, and god


custom painted the M Performance side skirts in Avus blue as well. For the headlights, BavGruppe in New York gave them a custom gloss black finish with M tricolour stripes. For the rear of the car, I went with the Mode Carbon F82 M4-style rear spoiler, and I went with the Vorsteiner rear diffuser. Again, this was all made possible by Danny Hernandez. “Finally, to protect the paint and all of the hard work we did with the colour matching, I had the whole car covered in Expel Tech paint protection film by Exclusive Vinyl in East Meadow, New York.” The styling is absolutely on point, all those details add up to make a big impact. It’s further helped by how well the cars sits over those HREs, with Shaun opting for the KW height adjustable spring kit, allowing him to retain the EDC whilst also giving him control over the ride height and letting him eliminate any unsightly arch gap in the process. If it looks good from the outside, you ain’t seen nothing yet because a vast amount of work has gone into making the interior as special as possible. “I wanted to do something to the interior that had not been done to an F8x model before,” says Shaun, “so, I reached out to the guys at ESH Upholstery in Maryland to help bring some ideas to life. With 1200 miles on the car, we pulled the dash, the door panels, the headlining, the A- and B-pillars, the rear deck shelf, the seat backs, the door pulls, the gear lever, and the handbrake gaiters out

of the car. We went with a custom black Alcantara to cover all of these panels. For the dash we wanted to go for something eyecatching and one of a kind, so we went with M tricolour hand-stitching, which continues onto the door pulls. We also wrapped the seat backs in Sakhir orange BMW leather with Alcantara outer sections. All this was done in just 72 hours so the car would be ready for the Philadelphia Auto Show, where the car made its first East Coast show debut in the DUB show.” Considering how nice the stock interior is, the Alcantara has really taken the interior of this car to a whole new level of luxury. As far as we’re concerned, this M3 is pretty much perfect. Everything from that gorgeous colour to the additional aggression of the styling, the knock-out wheels, and that beautiful interior makes it impossible for us to tear our eyes away. That all this was accomplished in just two weeks is pretty mind-blowing, really. With this being such a fresh project, it’s no surprise when Shaun rattles off a list of money-no-object mods he now wants (“GTS Racing seats, upgraded turbos, air-ride…”). Neither do we raise an eyebrow when he says he’s already planning stage two. “As this show season is coming to an end, I am coming up with new tricks and ideas to kill the game next show season. Stay tuned to my Instagram (@M3NahRich) for more updates,” he grins. We will, because we can’t wait to see where this beast of a build is going next ●

025 PBMW 1016 16/08/2016 15:46 Page 25


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SIMPLE Man, machine, open roads, fulfilment. That’s pretty much the formula for happiness, is it not? Ah, if only life were so simple‌ Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Peter Wu

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1M Coupé ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six twinturbo N54B30TO, GruppeM intake, Forge intercooler, Forge dump valves, Evolution Racewerks chargepipe, full stainless steel Akrapovic exhaust system with cat-less downpipes, BMS oil catch can, Cobb V3 with PTF custom map, six-speed manual gearbox. 400hp

CHASSIS 9.5x19” (front) and 10.5x19” (rear) BBS FI forged alloys with 255/35 (front) and 275/35 (rear) Michelin Pilot Supersport tyres, MRG titanium race studs, M valve caps, Öhlins Road & Track coilovers, Brembo Type III BBK

EXTERIOR Revozport carbon fibre bonnet, OSS DTM headlights, lightweight carbon fibre front lip, Dinmann carbonfibre side skirts, Vorsteiner carbon fibre diffuser, BMW carbon fibre spoiler, BMW carbon fibre mirror caps, BMW Blackline tail-lights, Macht Schnell tow straps, XPEL clear wrap protectant film and stripes, WeissLicht LED indicators

INTERIOR BMW Performance pedals and footrest, LED interior lights, BMW electronic Performance V2 steering wheel, illuminated gear knob, BMW Homelink/Compass rearview mirror, BMW Euro visors, M handbrake handle, BMW Performance seats, Euro foglight switch enabled, carbon fibre centre console, Euro MDM

The build list comprises many brands. No compromises were made

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ll you really need to know is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.’ So wrote Douglas Adams, and he was a man of sufficient wisdom to have a decent handle on such matters; the world and everything in it (not to mention all the things outside of it) are so mind-numbingly crammed with incomprehensible minutiae that when you start to consider the logic of anything beyond what you’re having for dinner or which Kardashian’s up the duff this week, it can get a little overwhelming. What we need is simplicity. Clarity. Binary black-andwhiteness. And in the case of this crisp and clinical 1M, simplicity is exactly what you get. It is what it is, and nothing more – no complexity, no ambiguity, just a snapshot… …except, no, that’s not actually the case at all. It’s a cunning illusion, an exercise in smoke-and-mirrors shadow play. “Many people can’t tell what came with the car and


what I’ve added,” says owner Manu Sethi. “I take that as a compliment, because the goal was to always keep the car looking OEM, even after such heavy modifications.” Part of this is thanks to the obscurity of the 1M itself, of course – they’re such a rare sight that most onlookers don’t know what they’re seeing in the first place, let alone that it’s a rambunctiously tweaked example. And this is all just the latest in a long line of BMW affection for Manu. “I’ve had a love for BMWs all my life,” he enthuses. “My first car was an E36 M3 – I had to take two jobs to afford that car, and I was happy to do it. I had a smile on my face every day I drove it! And I’ve gone through a number of BMWs along the way, from 3 Series to 7 Series. I have a deep love for the brand. My next BMW will surely be a European Delivery, it’s been an unfulfilled dream for far too long.” Manu’s is a bona fide success story, going from those early days of working two jobs to afford the used car he desired to the present day situation that finds him with a

gleaming new Lamborghini Huracán on his drive, bullishly flanked by his Audi R8 V10 and his Mercedes E-Class. But while it’s simple enough to stroll into a Lambo dealer and pick up the latest exotic ride, tracking down something as obscure as a 1M isn’t quite so easy… “I bought the car brand-new in 2011 and, like most 1Ms, it was not an easy find,” he recalls. “I got lucky, really – I drove all the way out to Las Vegas to get mine; the dealer was initially allocated eight cars and ended up only getting two! I was fortunate enough to buy one of them – number 88 out of North America’s allocation of 740. The model was rare to begin with, and its scarcity is only increasing. From day one my car has garnered plenty of attention. Leaving the gym one time, a guy said to me ‘Is that a 1M? How the hell did you get a 1M? You must’ve had to sell your left nut!’ Lucky for me that was not the case!” Manu’s right when he says that the scarcity of 1Ms is increasing – global economic instability has seen people

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investing in cars like never before over the last half-decade or so, and anything that fuses quality and desirability with lowvolume obscurity is firmly in the crosshairs of the speculators. More than a few 1Ms have been wrapped up in cotton wool and locked away in private collections, making the disheartening shift from driver’s plaything to investor’s cash cow. Thankfully, however, some people bought them because they actually wanted to use them. And in Manu’s case, that was only the beginning. “I was excited by the idea of the project,” he says. “I wanted to make a limited car even more limited. But I bided my time to ensure everything was right; I waited two years before I hit the mods hard. The idea was to wait until every aftermarket company released parts for the 1M, and then pick and

choose what I thought was the best. As you can see, the build list comprises many different brands. No compromises were made. The BMW Performance seats are a case in point: by the time I was ready to make the purchase, I was notified that they had been discontinued. It was a struggle to locate a brand-new set but the project wouldn’t have been complete without them. After an exhaustive search I got the very last set and they were worth every penny.” Manu’s approach is founded in a refreshingly honest appraisal of the car, one which may be anathema to some of you but will resonate strongly with the values of others: that the 1 Series isn’t exactly a looker. That’s not to say it’s a fugly mess by any means but it’s arguably not as cohesive as, say, an E9x – the swoop and flow of the

bonnet into the wings, the banana-shaped sills, to some eyes it all seems a bit fairground. To others, naturally this suggests brilliant uniqueness and visual drama, and we’re not going to argue with that either. It’s all about perspective. “The M division definitely helped out with the looks on the 1M, but still there was a lot lacking,” reckons Manu. “In modifying the car, I paid attention to the existing lines and made sure to stay consistent with them. For example, the flat-bottom, half curved headlights were specifically designed with the lines of the car in mind. Similarly, the Revozport bonnet, the radial stripes on the tyres, and the BBS FIs were also chosen to complement the curves on the car.” This is all in-keeping with his optical-illusion approach, he’s basically just toying with

I wanted to make a limited car even more limited


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people’s perceptions. It works brilliantly. The game plan wasn’t purely aesthetic, either. Manu was keen to build on the mighty drivetrain of the 1M to create something that’d truly earn its place in his stable of supercars; as such, the feisty N54 now sports freer-flowing Akrapovic pipes, a GruppeM intake, a Forge intercooler, and various other natty little tricks in order to crank that peak performance figure up to something that begins with a four. And while he has almighty respect for the M Division’s chassis-honing abilities, you’ll find a certain forthright reworking underneath the skin too, principally in the form of Öhlins Road & Track coilovers and a Brembo Type III bigbrake upgrade. “I definitely hit a few hurdles in the course of the build,” Manu admits. “Even though I

went with top-notch brands, things still went wrong. You have to expect this when you’re dealing with aftermarket modifications! It’s part of the journey. Through the process I gained a lot of knowledge of the 1M and cars in general; moreover, I forged invaluable relationships along the way. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people. Sometimes products don’t fit or perform like they should but what makes a company great is the people that stand behind it – that’s what you pay extra for, the service. “The 1M really is a fun little pocket rocket, but practical at the same time. The rear seats can comfortably fit two and the boot is spacious; I don’t use the car as my daily driver but I certainly don’t baby it either – it goes on the canyons and on the track. It’s a hoot to drive! At times it can be scary,

unforgiving even, but it’s always a thrill. It’s the immense amount of torque attached to a short wheelbase that makes it a hooligan!” Mission accomplished, then – Manu’s created a perky little foil to the biggerbrother supercars, and achieved his goal of tricking the eye of many an onlooker. While the 1M may look relatively stock to the casual observer, the robust spec list certainly suggests otherwise. So where does he go from here? “Oh, one is always tweaking to achieve perfection,” he says, a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous grin curling the corners of the mouth. “I have some plans, just wait and see.” We guess we’ll be needing to keep an eye on his Instagram page (@msethi88). This illusion of simplicity could soon break whole new realms of complexity ●

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orking for the largest Corvette dealer on the East Coast, as Nick Dimitrov does, you’d naturally expect to find him cruising the New Jersey coast in something very American. But that’s not the case because, as you can plainly see from the picture above, his ride of choice is a


bicycle. Although sometimes he drives a BMW too… This Individual Dakar M3 is Nick’s third M3 and with that his third BMW, which came after a torrid affair with some VWs, as he explains: “Before BMWs I was in the VAG scene for a while; at the age of 17 I owned a modified Mk4 VR6 Jetta and I also owned a 16-valve Mk2 GLi at one point. I also had a

modified Mk4 R32 and an Audi B5 S4 (never again!) before I discovered the E36 M3. I’ve been interested in BMWs ever since I was young. Since day one my favourite BMW has been the E30 M3, which will hopefully be my next build,” he grins. Nick’s first foray into BMW ownership was a supercharged E36 M3 finished in Ferrari red before he moved on to a Carbon

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Bright enough to sear your retinas, bold enough to turn heads and with plenty of bite to back up its bark, this Dakar E46 M3 is a slice of sheer East Coast BMW joy. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Denis Podmarkov

black E46 M3 and by that point he was clearly hooked as here we are with another E46 M3. “I mean, why not buy one of the few Dakar Individual E46 M3s in the States?” he laughs, when we ask about his motives for purchasing this car. “There were no questions asked; the cash was pulled and the trip was made.” The advantage of going from one car to a

different example of the same car is that you know where you are, you feel at home. You’ve popped your shoes off, put the kettle on and settled down on the sofa to watch Corrie before you’ve even put the key in the ignition. Or whatever the American equivalent of that would be… playing punch face with your bros, drinking brewskis and eating Pop Tarts while watching someone

do a touchdown? Maybe. The point is that Nick knew exactly what he wanted to do to his new M3 from the moment he bought it and, as the car was in decent shape but nowhere near how Nick wanted it, the build began… In the monochromatic automotive world we live in, a Dakar yellow M3 is as shocking as being slapped in the face while someone

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E46 M3 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six S54B32, rebuilt Vanos unit with titanium bolts, ceramic-coated bearings, K&N air filter, Evolve tune, Dixis titanium exhaust, Euro mid-section, six-speed manual gearbox

CHASSIS 9x18” ET20 (f) and 11x18” ET20 (r) HRE 545 threepiece wheels with metallic bronze centres, gloss piano black bolts and lips with 225/40 (front) and 285/30 (rear) Federal Evo tyres, KW V2 coilovers, BMW M Performance carbon fibre strut brace, reinforced rear subframe, UUC engine and transmission mounts, CSL callipers with two-piece cross-drilled Brembo discs (front), Brembo discs (rear), Cool Carbon brake pads (front and rear)

EXTERIOR Dakar yellow, Status Gruppe carbon front lip, deleted boot lip spoiler

INTERIOR Coby Alcantara steering wheel with yellow centre stripe, Coby Alcantara gear and handbrake gaiters, AC Schnitzer silver carbon trim, manual half-leather seats, Pioneer head unit

THANKS My cousin Ivo for finding the car, my two best friends, Mike Maslanich and Dan Diani along with DianiMotorsports for helping me make this build happen from start to finish, and of course my family for always supporting me with what I do, and thank you guys at PBMW for making a dream come true

steals your wallet but, being an M3, it instantly has the credentials to back up that posturing and with an S54 under the bonnet it would be rude not have a little bit of a tweak. Because power is nothing without reliability, the often troublesome Vanos unit has been rebuilt with titanium bolts to ensure it stays in one piece and the bottom end has been beefed up with the addition of some ceramic coated bearings. A drop-in K&N air filter is joined by an Evolve no-restrictions tune and a super sexy and ultra light Dixis titanium exhaust has 34 PERFORMANCE BMW

been fitted, along with a Euro mid-section. You really can’t go wrong with a titanium exhaust, it’s about as exotic as you can get and, having watched some videos of the Dixis system in action, it sounds awesome as well. What more could you want? Engine finely honed and performing at its best, Nick turned his attention to the chassis because, sharp as it is from the factory, there’s always a little room for improvement. “The car has been fitted with a set of KW V2 coilovers,” says Nick, “as well as Eibach anti-roll bars, Turner anti-roll

bar links and every bush you can think of has been uprated with items from Bimmerworld and Turner Motorsports. I chose all of these upgrades because to me this is the perfect street and track setup for an E46 M3.” Nick has also reinforced the rear subframe because you have to when you own an E46 M3, and has added a BMW M Performance carbon strut brace and UUC engine and transmission mounts. It’s a killer lineup of chassis mods that help to take this M3 to true handling nirvana and ensure it’s

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Why not buy one of the few Dakar Individual E46 M3s in the States?

impossible to drive without having a big smile on your face. Sticking with the serious stuff and the serious issue of stopping, Nick’s fitted a set of E46 M3 CSL calipers with two-piece cross-drilled Brembo discs up front and plain Brembo discs at the back with Cool Carbon brake pads and colourcoded calipers all-round, naturally. That’s all very impressive, but it’s clear that this car isn’t just about the serious stuff, it’s about having fun and looking good doing it. Bearing that in mind, it would be no good if Nick had cut corners when it came to the

wheels, but there’s no fear of that because he’s pushed the boat so far out it’s sailed way over the horizon. Now, we don’t know about you, but where wheels are concerned there are three little letters that make us go weak at the knees: H, R and E. They’re about as high-end as you can hope to get, a real aspirational wheel manufacturer and Nick’s slapped a set of ridiculously sexy three-piece 545s on his E46, 9x18” ET20 with 3” lips up front and massive 11x18” ET20 rears boasting 4.5” lips. The combo of gloss black lips and metallic bronze centres

with gloss black bolts is to die for. Playing with the styling on an E46 M3 is always a tricky affair, mainly because BMW did such a good job on the car in the first place and it’s definitely a machine that you couldn’t ever accuse of being short on visual muscle. Nick hasn’t messed around here too much, just giving the styling a slight tweak to personalise it, with a Status Gruppe carbon fibre front lip making the car look even lower and meaner, while at the rear he’s removed the standard E46 M4 lip spoiler. It’s an interesting move as most OCTOBER 2016 35

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To me this is the perfect street and track setup for an E46 M3 owners tend to add more spoiler to their M3s, but we have to admit that smooth end result works surprisingly well. The interior is equally subtle but it’s obvious from the off that Nick’s been busy in here. There’s a Coby Alcantara steering wheel, with an AC Schnitzer silver carbon lower trim section and yellow centre stripe, Coby Alcantara gear and handbrake gaiters, ACS silver carbon door trims, a custommounted Alpine head unit with factorymatched amber illumination and a set of


half-leather seats, which are a strange sight in an M3 for us in the UK used to seeing leather on everything. The silver carbon additions lift the interior while the Alcantara adds a touch of ‘race car’ to proceedings and the end result is an interior that really makes you feel like you want to give this M3 everything it’s got once you’re behind the steering wheel. From start to finish it’s taken a mere six months for Nick to get his M3 exactly how he wanted it, to create the perfect car he

had in his mind when he first collected his Dakar dream machine. While there are a few money-no-object mods he wouldn’t mind adding, like an Evolve CSL air box, Euro headers and a four-point roll-cage, the car is otherwise finished, finely honed and ready to be enjoyed, which is what Nick plans on doing. When it comes to trying to improve on something that’s so good to start with, that pudding could end up over-egged, but the perfect selection of mods here means this M3 is as tasty as they come ●

037 PBMW 1016 16/08/2016 15:46 Page 37








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LAYING Achingly cool and visually awesome, this bagged E23 L7 really is a thing of beauty.

038-043 PBMW 1016 15/08/2016 16:00 Page 39

G LOW Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Faiz Rahman

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ld cars are cool. Just take a look at the number of E30s, E28s and E34s that are cropping up on the BM scene all around the globe. These are all cars that look great as standard, and just a few simple mods are all that’s required to get the head-nodding seal of approval wherever you may go. However there is life beyond the well-worn paths of the E30 and E28 and there are numerous treasures nestling in BMW’s back catalogue that serve as excellent candidates for some thoroughly modern modifications, and you’re looking at one of them right now. Regular readers may recognise the name Darren Hattingh because back in the June 2015 issue we featured his supercharged E38 740iL, and what a fine machine it was. Now the man with the 7 Series penchant is back with his latest creation, and it’s a modern twist on a classic that is most definitely not a regular on the scene. “Ever since seeing pictures of my dad after he brought home his E23 I’ve wanted one for myself,” says Darren. “He’s had every body shape Seven up to the E66, but the E23 and E38 have always made me double-take! The thing that really draws my attention to the E23 is the shark nose, I love the way it encapsulates the grilles, and the staggered headlights have such a presence about them.” He’s certainly not wrong. The E23 is a fantastic-looking car with a distinctive design that really sets it apart from its contemporaries and really makes it stand out on the road. E23s aren’t exactly easy to come by, though, but fortunately for Darren he just so happens to have a friend who is as keen on Sevens as he is. “My buddy Stephen owned the car previously, and he and I traded cars: my E32 750iL for his E23 L7. The condition of the car was very well used, which was perfect for me. It made changing almost every aspect of an already rare car easier and the day I saw Stephen pull up in the car, I instantly had a completed concept



in mind of how I wanted it to look,” he says. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, just what on earth is the L7? In E23 speak it means luxury, which is what we assume the L stands for. That includes a leather dashboard and leather in place of the wood trim on the doorcards, a powered glass sunroof, electric everything and BMW’s first ever driver’s airbag, which results in a massive steering wheel. Seriously, it’s massive. So, the American-market exclusive L7 is basically an ultra-luxurious and extremely rare version of an already rare and luxurious car. It’s an E23 but more. So, with his hands on an E23 Darren was ready to start modifying according to his plan, and that plan involved air. “Currently the L7 has a fully custom built Air Lift air ride suspension setup, with Air Lift V2 management.” Keeping classic static is cool,

but bagging them is even better and judging by the result of this pairing we can safely say that air and E23 go together like toast and jam. That long, sharkey 7 Series shape looks so good slammed into the ground, and it really does go outrageously low. But mad lows alone aren’t enough, you’ve got to get the right wheels to go with your drop and here Darren has absolutely nailed it. “The wheels are Impul Silhouettes,” he explains. “I chose these wheels because of the period correctness of the style, the fact that they are functional, and of course their rarity. I honestly didn’t consider any other wheels because I knew I had to have these to complete the concept I had in mind.” Trying to pair the right wheels to a car like the E23 is a lot like trying to match the right wine to a particularly complex dish – in isolation both could be brilliant but bring

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I really enjoy the M30’s subtle grunt and its great sewing machine noise while idling

them together and it could all go wrong. The fact that Darren didn’t even consider a classic cross-spoke is laudable and we wager that the Silhouette is not a wheel many people with a BM of this vintage would have floating around at the forefront of their brains as a go-to wheel choice. But we’re so very glad that it was the only choice for Darren. On paper, a full-face, arguably motorsport-themed wheel would seem like an odd choice for a classic luxury cruiser and, having had a gander on Google, it’s not an instant win on every car it’s applied to but here, against all odds, it looks absolutely killer. On the chassis front, beyond that custom air-ride setup, Darren has also completely rebuilt the steering system, adding E24 and E28 polybushes and there’s also a Bavarian Auto front strut brace. OCTOBER 2016 41


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Air-ride E23 L7 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six M30B34, fully rebuilt with all new parts and gaskets, rebuilt cooling system, Pro Tuning Lab fuel pressure regulator, MSD ignition coils, MSD 9mm wires, M62TU injectors, Dinan Chip, brand-new factory full two-piece exhaust system and Silverline tips, four-speed automatic gearbox

CHASSIS 8x17” (front) and 9x17” (rear) Impul Silhouette wheels with 205/40 (front) and 215/40 (rear) Falken tyres, custom built Air Lift air-ride suspension, Air Lift V2 management system, Powerflex polyurethane bushes, factory BMW steering parts, Bavarian Automotive strut brace

EXTERIOR E38 front bumper, Euro front shark nose, Euro rear bumper, Euro rear quarter trim, new old stock Formuling Wind Splitters, Hella yellow French foglights in factory high beam location, bi-xenon high/low beams in main beam housings, xenon bulbs in the foglight housings, early E23 factory chrome mirrors

INTERIOR Complete interior tear down and makeover in Burnt Sienna Spice leather on centre console, dashboard, A/B/C pillars, rear parcel shelf, front seats, rear seats, headlining, sunroof panel, doorcards, door arm rest pulls, glovebox, driver lower dash, new old stock Italvolanti Formal steering wheel, E38 Contour front seats, heated rear seat kit, Harman Kardon speakers, Kenwood head unit, new old stock factory switches and custom-made chrome door lock pulls, E38 factory front under seat fuse panel placed in boot for air-ride system, custom wood flooring in boot, twin compressors, single air tank, E38 boot cargo net and rubber grips, re-wrapped leather bootlid liner to match the interior

THANKS Firstly a big thank you to Stephen Sayer for bringing the L7 into my life, as well as connecting me with the air-ride system, Italvolanti (through Rennstall), and the Impul Silhouettes, Timothy Polljonker at Bavarian Retro Classics for the hookup on difficult to find Euro trim pieces, Jason McAllister for, once again, bringing his amazing skills to the paint and bright work, Mark and Carlson for helping me grab and store the E38 front seats, my wife, Alyssa, for dealing with my late nights cutting out leather for the interior, and my mother in law Janet for helping me learn to sew complicated patterns

As far as styling goes, this E23 is definitely a looker but at first glance you might not be able to put your finger on exactly what it is that’s making you feel so right about looking for so long, but once you start picking apart the details you realise that Darren has put in a huge amount of work… but work that only true aficionados will be able to appreciate: “I wanted to keep the styling of the car very subtle, almost to the point where you can’t really tell what has been changed.” Well, mission accomplished as far as we’re concerned! “My buddy Stephen converted the nose and rear bumper to Euro spec while he briefly owned the car. I added the E38 front bumper, which was problematic as I had to design and weld up a frame that mounted the E38 bumper reinforcement to the factory 42 PERFORMANCE BMW

E23 bumper shocks. I also fitted rear Euro quarter trim, ’79 E23 chrome mirrors and Formuling Wind Splitters,” which might possible be the best name for anything we’ve ever heard. In case you’re wondering, those are the CSL Batmobile-style fins that sit on the front wings either side of the bonnet. The high beams have been given the classic French look and are now actually foglamps, with Darren converting the dipped beam housings to a bi-xenon setup and there are new old stock front grilles keeping things period and fresh. The changes are subtle, almost to the point of being invisible just as Darren planned, but together they really do make a big difference in terms of how the E23 looks, giving it a smoother, more dynamic appearance that you’re definitely unlikely to see anywhere else, anytime soon. If you find all that a bit too subtle for your liking, don’t worry, because the interior is where things get wild. Being an L7, everything is covered in leather and the distant mooing of the ghosts of the cows that gave their lives for the greater good of upholstering this E23 can be heard drifting through the interior on a still summer’s evening. But more eyebrow elevating than even the concept of ghost cows is the fact that Darren has redone the entire interior himself. “The factory interior was dark grey carpet, light grey and dark grey leather,” he explains, which is clearly isn’t that anymore. “I wanted to keep the interior as factorylooking as possible because I love the factory styling of the L7, but I also wanted to bring it into modernity with the new leather and colour change while keeping the original stitch patterns and style. I did a

complete interior tear down and makeover with new leather everywhere, including the seats, centre console, dashboard, pillars and headliner.” The colour, Darren tells us, is not red but Burnt Sienna Spice, a sort of orangey-brown hue that just happens to look very red in pictures but is awesome nevertheless. However, simply retrimming his entire interior wasn’t enough for a man like Darren and he’s gone all-out in here. The rear seats are now heated and there’s a rather sexy Italvolanti Formal steering wheel along with new old stock factory switches and custommade chrome door lock pulls: “I added 2000 E38 7 Series Sport Contour heated front seats, an E38 factory homelink, E38 PDC, completely keyless ignition with push button start/stop, and iPhone app control for remote start.” To drown out those ghost cows, the speakers have been upgraded to Harman Kardon items and there’s a Kenwood head unit supplying the soundtrack to E23 life. “All switches are housed in a custom panel that I made along with the V2 controller for the air-ride. The sound system has all-new wiring to each of the Harmon Kardon speakers as well as the head unit. I have done absolutely everything inside the interior myself by hand – leather, electrical and sound etc. The biggest issue I had was learning to sew leather seats and console parts and understanding BMW’s technique, all while not wasting the limited amount of leather I had to do everything”, he laughs. The ample boot houses the twin compressors and single matt black air tank, complete with chrome L7 emblem, mounted on snazzy custom wood flooring. The work

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that’s gone into creating this interior is really exceptional and the end result is utterly spectacular, the sort of interior you dream of doing. It’s what the cows would have wanted… The M30 nestling under the bonnet is a great engine that really suits the nature of the L7 and Darren is in full agreement there. “I really enjoy the M30’s subtle grunt and its great sewing machine noise while idling,” he says with a smile. While there are no plans to swap or change anything under the bonnet, he has carried out some work on the big six to ensure it’s operating at its very best. “The engine has simply been rebuilt and the internals have been set to factory specifications,” he explains. “I added a Dinan chip, M62TU injectors and an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator and ignition parts. After I converted to the M62TU injectors the car started to run rich, so I had to add an uprated MSD coil and build my own MSD spark plug wires so I could run more spark through the thicker wires to the late style Bosch Platinum 4 spark plugs.”

Three years of work have resulted in Darren creating a marvellous machine and it has not only been a journey of discovery but a learning experience too and, if you can come out of a build having created a stunning car and are now able to trim an entire interior, well, that’s a job well done as far as we’re concerned. So complete is Darren’s L7, in fact, that the only thing left on his ‘to do’ list is a complete respray in Moonstone metallic, which is silver with a dash of pale frosty blue, that he says will happen eventually. But whilst this project may be all but complete it certainly won’t be his last. This is no surprise; what is a surprise is that his next build won’t be a 7 Series, with Darren fully committed to adding an E3 saloon, aka Bavaria, to his collection. Though really it’s a 7 Series in everything but name, being as it is the E23’s predecessor. While he hunts for one, though, Darren can enjoy the fruit of his labours and when that fruit is an L7, there’s a whole lot of enjoyment to be doing… ●

OCTOBER 2016 43

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erformance Through Precision’. That’s the company mantra of Rolloface, and it’s one that neatly dovetails with BMW’s own ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. This is a relatively new company on the scene, establishing itself in the performance aftermarket back in 2012 and putting in a solid few years of R&D before unleashing some frankly staggering


hardware into the eager grasp of well-heeled enthusiasts. Its big brake kits are phenomenally effective, the forged wheels are pretty spectacular, and this latest E92 wide-body kit is a brutal work of art. ‘We take immense pride in what we do, just like you,’ asserts the company mission statement. ‘Let’s roll.’ So yes, let’s. The car you see before you effectively draws together the best and

brightest of the Rolloface product line-up and allows it to coalesce into one supersharp, laser-sighted racer-for-the-road. Because, while it’s a formidable machine, if you thought the E92 M3 was good enough in factory-stock form, you’re probably reading the wrong magazine. “The wide-body kit took three years to develop,” says company founder Ken Ho. “We started out with hand sketches, then

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Rolloface isn’t one of those companies that will just rush to market with fresh, untested ideas. Sure, this isn’t the first wide-body E92 you’ve seen, but years of development have ensured that it’s one of the best… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Viktor Benyi

computer renderings, moving onto clay renderings before, finally, production fibreglass items. We wanted a smoother look than you find with other wide-body kits too, so there are no exposed bolts here; instead, everything’s neatly moulded to the swage line.” The RF GT3 kit comprises front and rear bumpers, front wings and rear quarter panels, vented bonnet, and boot spoiler, with the option of adding various splitters

and aero add-ons; indeed, Ken’s proud to say that the design offers genuine downforce, rather than merely looking race car mean. It’s been extensively tested on track, and offers impressive high-speed stability. This, then, is a track car that just happens to be a road car too. For while the widebody kit is a flawlessly-fitting and genuinely functional piece of work, this is very far from simply being a bunch of fibreglass

bolted to an otherwise standard M3. When it comes to company demonstrators, it’d be nuts not to go all-in. “This is our R&D test mule, really,” Ken explains. “And the body is just part of that…” It only takes a cursory glance beneath those engorged, glossy arches to see just how in-depth the project became. Most obvious under there is the set of forged 19” wheels – Rolloface’s own ZR-1 design, a

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three-piece split-rim that exudes menace and purpose in equal measure. The specs are all customisable, as you’d expect, and in this instance the M3’s wearing a square setup that’s rocking 12” of width apiece. Which is bonkers, frankly – have you ever seen an E9x running 12s on the front axle? It’s just as well that Ken’s smoothed on such broad bodywork… This volume of surface area allows a fairly robust contact patch, something Ken’s capitalised on with the deployment of sticky Toyo R888s to maximise the advantage of all that downforce; whereas many RWD hooligans like to kick the tail out and make some smoke, this M3 is all about grip and precision. And with supercar-aping 305section rubber, there’s certainly plenty of adhesion to be found. Peeping through the spokes of those ZR-1s, you’ll spot Rolloface’s trump card: those mighty brakes. Again, we’re looking at


something that was the subject of years of research and development before the firm was happy to unleash them, and their performance reflects this. The discs are floating two-piece items measuring 380mm all-round, while the calipers are fully forged and sport eight-pistons up front, with six at the rear. With the wheel widths and disc sizes being the same front and back, this is the sort of setup you don’t normally find on cars like this, but it’s evidently all fit for purpose, as its extensive research will attest. Like the wheels, these brakes are also nearinfinitely customisable and built to your own specs (a three-week delivery time is the trade-off for both performance and uniqueness) and you can even spec the calipers and disc centres in such fancy finishes as Candy Brass, Sparkle Burgundy, camouflage, two-tone fades, you name it. Form and function, working fluidly. Now, it might seem a bit of a leap to

compare this car with a Lotus, but there is one kernel of wisdom from ol’ Colin Chapman’s legacy that fits this build like a glove: ‘Simplify, then add lightness’. Ken and his team have managed to dump an impressive 180kg from the E92’s kerb weight via the brutal and uncompromising method of tearing everything out of the interior and throwing it in the bin. The dash has been replaced by a simple and sophisticated carbon fibre item which was customfabricated by GruppeM (who you might assume is a German firm; it’s actually Japanese), and everything beyond that is, well… missing. No carpets, no soundproofing, no interior trim panels – there’s a pair of bucket seats with harnesses, a meaty green half-cage with harness bar, and that’s about it. Oh, and if you look inside the boot you’ll spot the mighty bracketry for that formidable APR wing.

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‘Aggressive’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. With so much weight being shorn, Chapman’s ghost will be mollified that Rolloface didn’t see fit to monkey about with the motor too much. The S65 bent-eight wears a carbon fibre GruppeM intake and a custom titanium exhaust system, but is otherwise stock; the guys estimate it has around 450hp, and every one of those horses makes itself heard with a sonorous bark through those exotic pipes. It’s all it needs to be, and with so much mechanical grip it’s not as if Ken’s frivolously wasting power by spinning the rears up and shimmying the tail on every corner. This thing just points, squats, and goes. And then stops, obviously. Because the brakes are massive.

We wanted a smoother look than you find with other wide-body kits

OCTOBER 2016 47

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What’s perhaps most impressive about this car is that, while it’s unashamedly touted as a development car, its fit-andfinish is sufficiently flawless to allow it to happily sit on a show stand and have the crowds gasping with delight. It’s a clear embodiment of the ethos of those customisable brake components, the E92 acts as evidence that you can have form and function in equal, forceful measure. The suspension likes to elbow its way to the front at this point too, as the car’s running a full Air Lift Performance setup. Any of those naysayers who reckon air-ride is for posers and serious drivers run coilovers may now bitterly eat their collective hats. With the amount of testing this car’s done, it’s pretty safe to say that airbags are up to the task of deploying and controlling whacking great gobs of grunt. BMW’s own power output has only been


marginally tickled here, but Rolloface’s reimagining of the M3 platform proves that all that power was pretty much enough, and the way to amp the thing up is to strip out some mass and find means to get the power down more efficiently. All very old-skool thinking. Right, Ken? “Well, actually we’re looking to turbocharge it next,” he grins. Honestly. Some people don’t know when to stop, do they? We get the feeling that three years of R&D is just the beginning for these guys – who knows how insane this M3 may become in the future? All the signs are pointing toward the answer being ‘really quite insane indeed’, but there’s one thing we can be totally sure of: it’ll be looking utterly flawless throughout. Performance through precision? Yep, that ties it up in a neat little bundle. Rolloface’s story is only just beginning ●

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ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 S65B40, GruppeM carbon fibre intake, custom titanium exhaust system (de-catted when on track), six-speed manual gearbox, est 450hp

CHASSIS 12x19� (front & rear), Rolloface ZR-1 three-piece forged wheels with 305/30 (front & rear) Toyo R888 tyres, Air Lift Performance 3H air-ride, Rolloface SR-C BBK with eight-pot (f) & six-pot (r) forged calipers with 380mm two-piece floating discs, Pagid RS pads

EXTERIOR Rolloface RF GT3 wide-body kit comprising front & rear bumpers, front wings, rear quarter panels, vented bonnet, boot spoiler, carbon fibre side skirts, carbon fibre front splitter, adjustable APR GT-50 rear wing

INTERIOR Stripped full carbon fibre dash, Recaro driver seat with Sparco harness, Rolloface passenger seat with Takata harness, green half-cage, rear wing mounts in boot floor

This is our R&D test mule really and the body is just part of that‌

OCTOBER 2016 49


Rolloface E92 M3

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With its flawless finish, custom wide arches and blood-red innards, this E30 M3 is a rare beast indeed. And Ricardo Oliveira’s lengthy unicorn hunt has certainly been quite a journey… Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Anna Taylor

hen we interview feature car owners, we always ask if they have anyone they’d like to thank – and it’s very telling that Ricardo Oliveira chooses to thank ‘all the people that laughed at my plans’. His, you see, is a tale of following his own path, cutting against the grain, and numerous other inspirational fridge-magnet clichés that have led to one of the cleanest and most eye-watering E30 M3s we’ve seen. Oh yes, and it is a bona fide M3. Haters be damned, Ricardo’s ‘ruined’ it to his own dream specs, and he really couldn’t be happier about that: “This whole thing dates back to 1997, when I was 11 years old,” he explains. “My brother, Pedro, purchased his first E30 M3; it was a 1989 car, Alpine white, with 60k miles on the clock. I fell in love with it as soon as I laid eyes on it, there was something about the box arches and the way the little four-cylinder engine sounded coming down the street. I would wash it and go for rides in it any chance I had. I still remember the smell of the fresh leather and sitting in the rear seat listening to the Borla exhaust like it was yesterday.” It’s safe to say that this early obsession showed little sign of abating; Ricardo was in deep, and there was no way he wouldn’t own an M3 one day. He was totally single-minded about that. “By the time I was 20, I had saved up enough money to buy one,” he says, “and heard of someone local selling a Lachs silver


example that had a salvage title. It needed work, but was fairly priced… although as I prepared it for restoration, I began to have doubts about spending money on something that had been a weekend track car – which had evidently seen a barrier or two!” As you may have deduced, that car is not the M3 you’re looking at today. Ricardo pulled the cord on that one and set about hunting down a better example to fulfil that childhood dream. In the course of his search he happened across a Henna red shell with matching numbers and all the right bits which he ended up buying, but then selling once he realised that the magnitude of the work, combined with his having been accepted into police academy, meant that realistically it just wouldn’t get done. Fast-forward a few years and, at the age of 24, our man found himself graduating from police academy and, of course, the E30 fire was still very much burning away in the depths of his soul. “I began working my regular night shift, along with countless morning overtime shifts,” he recalls. “I remember going to bed at 4pm and waking at 10pm, only to grab a bite and head right back to work – just so I could purchase another E30 M3!” Ricardo really was committed to this dream, and those previous false starts did nothing but spur him on. And so, having saved enough money (rather more than the $7500 he paid for his first one – these cars certainly aren’t getting any cheaper) the search was resumed and, after quite some

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hunting, a 1990 Diamond black car presented itself in Clearwater, Florida. “It was being sold by a guy named Mike, who was getting progressively sicker from cancer and could no longer enjoy the car,” Ricardo explains. “I bought the car sight unseen after numerous hours on the phone discussing every detail – and a week and a half later, it was home with me in New Jersey!” A fairytale ending? Er, no, not quite. Unfortunately it turned out that Mike had been, shall we say, a little creative with the detail, particularly in his use of the word ‘perfect’. Knowing E30 M3s inside out by this point, Ricardo started to feel some serious buyer’s remorse when he began to comb through the car. “I’d been told it was perfect, 100% rust-free and had recently been repainted,” he laments, “but it had been sprayed at a MAACO body shop where even the window trims had been painted over; it was a very poor masking and spraying job, and in addition to that it’d painted over some surface rust that was already starting to bubble. I began to feel like Nicholas Cage in Gone In 60 Seconds – just like he continuously ran into problems with Eleanor, his ‘Unicorn’, so was I with the

E30. That’s why I nicknamed it ‘Unicorn’.” Ricardo tried to take these issues up with Mike, but he understandably had bigger fish to fry; shortly afterwards, word came through that he’d succumbed to the cancer. A sad turn of events, but it served to harden Ricardo’s resolve: the car would get sorted, and done right – Mike’s work would be finished properly, and Ricardo’s own childhood dreams would be fulfilled. So, where to start? “I spent the first year ordering and collecting parts,” he says. “It was so bad, the house looked like a BMW parts department! I became a regular at the local BMW dealership, and the guys there now all know me by first, middle and last name. Probably even by credit card number…” In addition to all the new OEM stuff, he was hoarding period aftermarket addenda like some kind of eager magpie. It was all leading to the end-goal vision he had in his head. And so with parts collected and boxes ticked, the work began in earnest. “The first step was the engine bay overhaul,” he says. “The engine came out along with all the sound and heat insulation, the bay was shaved and wire-tucked, and the motor was

fully rebuilt. All the brackets, covers, pans, throttle bodies, belts, wires, gaskets, housings and bolts were either galvanised, polished, powdercoated, or replaced.” While stalking through the shell with militaristic force, it goes without saying that any rot Ricardo came across was swiftly eliminated and remedied with fresh metal. This was to be a better-than-new finish, no compromises. With the bay sorted, Ricardo chose to focus on the wheels and arches. “I knew I wanted to do something no-one had done before,” he grins. “I decided to widen the rear arches to match the curves of the front wings – look closely and you’ll see that the standard rear quarters are flat while the front wings are round – and I aimed to extend them 1.5” further than stock. I basically wanted to widen the car, but to look as if BMW had originally done it.” You’ve got to admit that it works. The finish is flawless, and you might be hard pushed to put your finger on exactly what he’s done, had he not just explained it to you. Impressive arches demand impressive

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It was so bad, the house looked like a parts department!

E30 M3 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.3-litre four-cylinder S14B23, fully rebuilt, new CP Pistons (stock compression ratio), polished throttle bodies, powdercoated valve cover and air plenum with polished script, shaved engine bay with wire tuck, Miller Performance MAF conversion/chip, custom air intake for Miller MAF, Evo plug wires, Mishimoto aluminium radiator, Samco silicone hoses, custom aluminium reservoirs for power steering and coolant, stainless steel braided lines with AN fittings, electric fan, custom stainless steel exhaust with V bands, Supersprint silencer, ceramic-coated headers, new OEM engine mounts, water pump, ignition coil, cap and rotor, five-speed manual gearbox, Sachs clutch

CHASSIS 9x18” (front) and 10x18” (rear) BBS RS three-piece split-rims with 215/35 (front) and 235/35 (rear) Continental ExtremeContact tyres, BC coilovers, Ireland Engineering 25mm anti-roll bars and links (front and rear), Ireland Engineering polished front strut brace, rear subframe and trailing arm urethane bushings, new control arms, cross-drilled StopTech discs

EXTERIOR Full respray in original Diamond black, widened and rolled front arches and rear quarters, shaved boot and numberplate panel, shaved window cowl with AC Schnitzer single wiper, shaved rear bumper to delete USDM city lights, new Euro front bumper with shaved tow hook covers, Evo III front spoiler and splitter, Evo II and Evo III rear spoilers and ’92 carbon fibre DTM rear spoiler flap, Evo III brake ducts, AC Schnitzer power/ heated mirrors, conversion to pop-out quarter glass, new BMW roundels and M3 badges, powdercoated window trims in satin black, all rubber seals for windows, doors, bonnet, boot and sunroof replaced, Hella smoked E-code headlights, custom rear smoked/red tail-lights, smoked indicators, LED city lights, LED numberplate lights

INTERIOR Cardinal red leather retrimmed by Branch Brook Auto Top (complete dashboard, front and rear centre console and Evo steering wheel also trimmed in Cardinal red leather), headlining, pillars and rear shelf trimmed in Cardinal red Alcantara, Euro sunshade on rear shelf, OEM Cardinal Red carpet, E46 M3 floor mats, Evo door sills, Alpine head unit, Alpine front and rear component speakers

THANKS My parents who gave me the support to complete this project, my brothers for their support – Joao Oliveira and especially Pedro Oliveira, who made me fall in love with the E30 M3 since 1997, Wally the painter, Paul Ehrlich from Ehrlich Wheel Works, Charlie ‘Suede’ from Branch Brook Auto Top & Interiors, Ben Barron, Mike Chin, and Francois Rodrigues from BMW of Springfield, Don Fields of Mr. M Car, Rich the machinist, Sidney Almeida for assisting me in building the engine, and all the people who laughed at my plans…


wheels, so after a period of head-scratching and careful consideration, Ricardo acquired a set of BBS RS faces and sent them over to Paul at Ehrlich Wheel Works; a proven favourite design for the E30 M3, but these were to be finished with a twist. “To set these wheels apart from others, Paul and I planned to not only have the normal 3” slant lips people use for their rears fitted to the fronts instead, but we’d also be doing 4” lips on the rears – and we’d be doing them on a set of soon-to be-18” BBS RSs.” Much like the treatment of the arches, this is an exercise in tricking the eye – onlookers will see something familiar, and perhaps not immediately notice how radically different it actually is. This is Ricardo’s style – the car’s packed with features that fly under the everyday radar, but consistently drop the jaws of true-blue enthusiasts. Once Ricardo got started on the exterior, it seems he couldn’t quite restrain himself from spreading yet more custom touches throughout the build. The rear panel was shaved to mimic the period AC Schnitzer offerings, a Euro front bumper arrived which was quickly shorn and smoothed,

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I knew I wanted to do something no-one had done before…

custom tail-lights were made up, and the rear spoiler received an Evo II lower item, an Evo III upper (with its famous threeposition adjustment – Monza, Normal, Nürburgring) and even a ’92-spec carbon fibre DTM flap. “The custom bodywork took up most of the restoration, two years to be exact,” he recalls, “which then gave me the time to start the interior.” Oh, and what an interior it is! Sending the parts out to Charlie of Branch Brook Auto Top for refreshing, Ricardo admits that he may have “decided to go a little crazy”, choosing the M3-correct shade of Cardinal red as his colour scheme, he opted to imbue a little Porsche style into the cabin by 62 PERFORMANCE BMW

making literally everything red. Everything. “I had Charlie wrap the dashboard, headlining, pillars, rear deck, and the Evo steering wheel in either Cardinal red GAHH leather or Alcantara, along with installing the discontinued BMW Cardinal carpet,” he smiles, like a cheeky schoolboy who knows he’s done something a bit mischievous. All-in-all, Ricardo’s restoration and programme of modification represents a hell of a lot of work, and every last minute of it shows. The car’s certainly come a long way from that first disheartening meeting, when he found himself with a tired car that had been partially rotted out by the harsh Florida sunshine. His commitment to

crafting a sort of OEM++ vision is what sets this car apart from regular M3s; it took four years of hard graft, but he finally has the E30 that his 11-year-old self dreamed of. His own personal unicorn. Sure, he may get grief from the purists about how he’s ‘ruined’ a classic, but who gives a tuppenny squat about that? When the mission is this personal – and the ultimate results this stunning – then it’s okay to relax the rules a bit. In European folklore, the unicorn is fabled as a creature of purity and grace, and we just love how Ricardo’s turned that on its head in a US context – old world values, new world thinking. It’s the American dream ●

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Convertibles can't be shy, meek or discreet, they need to big, bold and proud and an Atlantis E93 M3 is all of those things‌ Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Rash Bajwa

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ypical. You wait ages for an Atlantis blue feature car and then two come along in a row! Last month we had the pleasure of Brad Wherrett’s turbo E36 and this month it’s the turn of Jags Bath and his E93 M3. As a show regular, you’re likely to have seen Jags’ M3 doing the rounds for years and there’s certainly no missing it, finished as it is in that striking shade of blue. Atlantis is a rare but much-loved colour, and with good reason, with this Individual shade adding a striking turquoise flash to proceedings. It’s the sort of colour we need to punch through the sea of silver and grey we see day-to-day. It’s the sort of colour that a sun-seeking ’Vert deserves to be finished in, the sort of colour you’d expect to see gliding along a West Coast beach front but which is welcome everywhere. As seems to be a trend with this month’s features, Jags did not grow up around BMWs at all and, in fact, his first motoring adventures involved Fords – an Orion that his dad bought for him as his first car and later a Sierra Sapphire, the first car Jags bought himself and which, unsurprisingly, had its fair share of mods. But despite his time with the Blue Oval, BMWs have always been close to his heart: “I have been passionate about BMWs since I can remember,” he begins, “as I have been into cars from a very young age and BMWs have


always been my favourite. I am very much a petrolhead in the sense that I love all things cars, motorsport and especially modifying cars. I have always been buying mags like Autotrader etc to check out cars and Performance BMW, Max Power, and Fast Car to check out the latest products and ideas on the modding scene.” Modified BMW ownership was, therefore, inevitable and Jags got his first taste of Bavarian ownership with an E36 M3 Evo Convertible in Estoril blue, his other favourite colour, and at the time his dream car. Not a bad way to get a taste of what BMW has to offer. That he owns another convertible M3 comes as no surprise, though he actually started out looking to buy an M6 before the ample charms of the M3 won him over. “After a short test drive in an E92 M3 I was completely sold on the car; the V8 rumble combined with the handling and grown-up interior and the fact that the car is full of so much tech had done it for me, especially the sound! The M3 has always been my personal favourite BMW so the fact that the E92 was so good and had so many improvements, especially the DCT gearbox, meant it was the only option for me.” There followed a nine-month long search for the perfect E93, Jags having decided he definitely wanted a convertible, but every dealer he turned to told him the same thing: there were no Individual E93s on the system.

Just as he was about to give up, what seemed to be the perfect car surfaced at a Scottish dealership, an Atlantis blue E93. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out how the story ended and, after a road trip to Scotland to check out the car Jags arranged to have it delivered to London and that’s where the real adventure began. “I knew I was going to modify the car before buying it,” laughs Jags, “but I wanted to enjoy the car as it was first, so kept it standard for around a year to enjoy how it drove prior to modifying, and used this time to decide what I wanted.” While Jags was keen to enhance the car’s styling, he didn’t want to go down the route of body kits and, with some help and advice from the MStyle team in Romford, a whole heap of carbon goodies was obtained and added to the M3. Up front there’s a carbon splitter, which helps to fill out the bumper plus it looks awesome against the Atlantis bodywork, as does all of the carbon. The kidney grilles and bonnet vents have been changed to carbon items along with the indicators, while the headlights have been treated to a smoke tint. At the back there’s a carbon diffuser along with an LCI tail-light upgrade, the lenses having also been tinted, and the finishing touches are custom roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue and window tints. The carbon additions alone look fantastic, but the little details really add those

“The M3 has always been my personal favourite BMW”


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20” Cades Calisto wheels look great on the M3, as does all that carbon

finishing touches and make all the difference. It’s also the details that have given the interior a bit more personality and individuality; the custom steering wheel roundel matches the exterior ones, finished in black and Atlantis, while the flatbottomed M Performance steering wheel has been treated to Atlantis stitching and a matching centre stripe. Jags has also added BMPedals brake and accelerator pedals and a matching footrest with M engraving finished in Atlantis blue and finally a pair of BMPedals extended shift paddles with Atlantis plus and minus engravings. While Jags hasn’t done much on the engine front, he’s added a few underbonnet bits, with a pair of RPI scoops, painted yellow and with custom Atlantis RPI logos, helping to funnel plenty of cool air to a BMC drop-in air filter. And, as there’s a V8 under

the bonnet, there has to be an exhaust. “If I have to pick my favourite modification it would be the Eisenmann Race exhaust,” Jags smiles. “Funny, this is one mod I was never planning on doing as I have always liked the way the car sounds, even standard and didn’t want to change it unnecessarily. I first had the OEM mod done to the standard exhaust as I had heard a similar system on a friend’s car at a BMW meet and was impressed by the more aggressive sound. “After a few months, I decided it was time for a change. I have always wanted an Eisenmann exhaust and when I found that it makes a system for the E93, it was a must!” he exclaims. “I absolutely love the look and sound of the exhaust, two years on and the exhaust note is still just getting better and better,” he adds with a grin. The full fat Race exhaust means maximum volume, with an

Evolve X-pipe and primary de-cat, for even more noise and with a V8 under the bonnet, that’s a very good thing indeed. With styling and soundtrack sorted, we come to the wheels, an essential part of any project. Jags knew he wanted 20s with either a race or performance look to them, not too many spokes and nothing in black. “I was first thinking of going for something like BBS Le Mans wheels, as I wanted to go for more of a DTM look,” he says, “however after a long time looking I decided to go with a five-spoke wheel, as I have always liked five-spokes – they show off the brakes and calipers well and look best in concave, which is what I wanted as it makes them look more aggressive. “In the end I decided to go for the Cades Calisto wheels as they ticked all the boxes for me: five-spoke, concave, staggered OCTOBER 2016 69

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in the same shade of yellow as appears elsewhere on the car. On paper, you might not think that yellow and Atlantis blue would work together but they really do, and with such a bold colour you need some bold elements to grab your attention. With a selection of choice mods, Jags has put together a fantastic-looking car in a fantastic colour, but he’s far from finished yet, this M3 being very much an ongoing project. His shopping list for future mods include some carbon accessories for the engine. “I’m also planning an Evolve Stage 2 remap,” he tells us, “a custom plenum, which has been delayed so many times now, and custom front headlights, which have also been delayed.” Jags is also thinking about trying out some different wheels, as the Cades have been on the car for four years now. All that sounds like an awesome lineup of future mods. That’s the fantastic thing about the E9x M3, it’s an awesome car straight out-of-the box but start tapping into its potential and the sky really is the limit… ●

The car has to flow and all the various components should complement each other


E93 M3 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre V8 S65B40, RPI air scoops resprayed in yellow with custom RPI stickers in Atlantis blue, BMC air filter, Evolve X-pipe with primary de-cat, Eisenmann Race exhaust, seven-speed M DCT gearbox

CHASSIS 9x20” (front) and 10.5x20” (rear) Cades Calisto wheels with 245/30 (front) and 285/25 (rear) Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta tyres, Eibach lowering springs, EBC pads, callipers painted yellow

EXTERIOR Smoked headlights, carbon fibre front splitter, grilles, bonnet vents, indicators, rear diffuser, custom BMW roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue, smoked rear LCI light upgrade, tinted windows

INTERIOR Custom BMW roundels finished in black and Atlantis blue, custom M performance flat bottom steering wheel finished in black leather with Atlantis blue stitching and centre stripe, BMPedals footrest with M engraving and finished in Atlantis blue, BMPedals brake and throttle pedals, BMPedals shift paddles with Atlantis blue +/- engraving


fitment, and with a diamond cut finish with grey inserts to break it up. Most importantly the wheels went well together with the overall look of the car, which is very important when modifying. The car has to flow and all the various components should complement each other. I feel the wheels added to the car and helped to achieve the look I was going for,” says Jags and we’d have to agree with him there. Wheel snobs might look down their collective noses at Cades, but if you said the Calisto didn’t look good you’d be straight up lying because it’s a fantastic looking wheel, it really is, and it looks way more expensive than it is, which is definitely an added bonus. The style really suits the M3 perfectly, especially with a drop in ride height courtesy of a set of Eibach springs, and the combo of polished elements and grey areas works so well; it’s a wheel that’s definitely got a lot of presence. And, with those widely spaced spokes, it would have been rude not to give the brakes a bit of a makeover, the calipers having been painted

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With US-influenced styling, air and killer stance, this E46 CoupĂŠ is one sweet daily. Words: Aron Norris Photos: Scott Paterson

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he modifying world is in a rich vein of form these days. We can’t remember a time when so many different styles hit the pages of this magazine. Take your pick between stretched tyres, wide wheels, negative camber, chunky rubber, big brakes, downforce and weight saving. The choice is entirely yours. To some, the word ‘stance’ is a dirty one. The rise of air-ride has flipped the modifying game on its head. The trend of low cars is here to stay as more and more owners opt for the all-round abilities of bags. Drive low, park lower and all that jazz. One thing we can all agree on is that we all like BMWs and it’s safe to say 25-year-old Alex Hurd is a BMW guy through and through. This is his fourth and they’ve all been E46s. The boy’s got issues. Now, the E46 3 Series has become somewhat of a stalwart in modifying circles. Still modern enough not to look dated but cheap enough to leave money in the pot for modifications. Alex’s first foray into the world of BMW came courtesy of a super-clean bright red pre-face-lift 318Ci at 19 but he would be the first to tell you he perhaps wasn’t the most careful of drivers back then and, well, his first E46 didn’t last long. With his red one having met its sorry



end, Alex was on the lookout for another E46, this time a face-lift. After nearly drowning in a sea of rough 318 Coupés, he’d had almost given up on his search before finding a peachy looking 2004 example with black leather on the internet. Arrangements were made over the phone and before he knew it Alex was on his way from Leicester to Reading to view the car. Thankfully, it was as clean as described and a deal was done there and then to bring it home. Alex didn’t actually buy this car with the intention of turning it into a project. “I bought the car with every intention of keeping it standard,” he says. Famous last words we can all relate to! After falling in with the wrong crowd, however, there was no escaping the RollHard influence and he started to envisage his E46 looking lower, wider and all-round sassier. When it came to getting his E46 sitting lower to the ground, Alex had a game plan from the beginning. In order to achieve his dream fitment it would have to be air – nothing else would do. Following advice from people running this kit his mind was made up and the full Air Lift Performance kit with 3P management was ordered and soon winging its way over to Leicestershire from the

States. With his stock suspension finding a new home in the bin and his shiny new Air Lift kit bolted up, Alex was pleased as punch but the fettling didn’t stop there. Achieving his vision of perfect fitment wasn’t going to be a five-minute job. The fitment in these photos certainly didn’t happen by accident, that’s for sure. Adjustable rear camber arms were added to the mix to allow him to squeeze some serious girth under his arches and to ensure his E46 was nice and taught on the road the wishbones were also polybushed. When it comes to any modified car, we think you’ll agree, wheel choice is one of the most important decisions of any build and Alex chopped and changed his way through several sets before arriving at the setup you see here. Starting initially with 19” BMW Style 132s (X5 five-spokes), he quickly moved over to dishy three-piece 17” BBS RFs after being wowed by Thom Williams’ E46 saloon at Ultimate Stance. Having fallen hard for Thom’s E46, Alex was determined to run arch-to-lip fitment and there was no turning back. His Air Lift struts just wouldn’t let him get the front any lower yet there was still 5mm separating him from his arch to lip goal. This meant only one thing: bigger wheels. Having promised himself

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a set of brand-new wheels this time, Alex had many options. He was after a timeless three-piece, five-spoke design and, after many WhatsApp group chat conversations about offsets and tyre choices with his friends, plans were starting to come together. Alex loosened his purse strings and treated himself to a set of 18” Work Meister S1s; in three-piece flavour, wheel specs are fully customisable and so he opted for 9x18” ET10 at the front and 10x18” ET18 on the rear – wide wheels by anyone’s standards, especially on a non-M body E46. In fact, it took -8 degrees of camber on the rear to stuff those Work Meister S1s inside the arches. That’s dedication. Talking of bodywork, Alex didn’t feel the need to meddle too much with the overall look, with subtlety being the name of the game here. With factory M-Sport bumpers and skirts, his first step was to smooth the front numberplate to clean up the front end and provide some US flavour. The US influences didn’t stop there as Alex was on a mission to hunt down rare US parts. Top of his wish list was a set of ultra-rare, genuine amber face-lift headlights. “It took me ages to find a set as it seems nobody in the UK spec’d ambers on a face-lift from the factory,” Alex explains. After literally months of detective work he

r a c e h t t h g u I bo f o n o i t n e t in with everiyt standard keeping

OCTOBER 2016 75

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However, being a 2004 E46, this 318 is actually powered by the 2.0 16v N42B20 engine which puts out 143hp and 148lb ft of torque, which makes it a perfectly suitable Wörthersee cruiser, whilst keeping running costs down. On the subject of Wörthersee, Alex always had it in mind to use his car to get out on the open road and see Europe. Too many people assume ‘stance’ cars are just for looking at, like expensive ornaments, but the truth is air-ride has changed that. Getting on and off the Eurotunnel/ferry is, with air-ride, a piece of cake. Many air-ride cars rack up the miles exploring mainland Europe. Alex is one of those guys. “I had always wanted to make the road trip to lake Wörthersee in Austria with the E46, so I booked up the trip with the RollHard guys. It’s not a VW but that didn’t matter. It was an incredible experience; nothing beats the feeling of driving your own car round the mountains.” So there we have it, Alex’s E46: a car built for the enjoyment of getting out on the open road and meeting new people and we’re pleased this one didn’t stay stock ●

Air-ride E46 318Ci ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0 four-cylinder N42B20, five-speed manual gearbox

CHASSIS 9x18” ET10 (front) and 10x18” ET18 (rear) Work Meister S1 three-piece wheels with 215/35 (front and rear) tyres, Air Lift Performance struts, 3P management, adjustable rear bottom arms, polybushed wishbone bushes, -4° camber front -8° camber rear, drilled/grooved discs (front and rear)

EXTERIOR Full respray in stock colour, front bumper smoothed, genuine OEM amber lights all-round, US running lights coded in, wiper delete, black kidney grilles

INTERIOR E46 M3 Individual Kiwi Nappa leather, flush mounted 3P controller, US-spec cup holders, Eonon D5150v head unit, E9x gear knob

THANKS My dad, Andy, for all his help and support with the build, the RollHard guys for making cars fun (, Brian at Jackson’s Coachworks for his talents with the paint gun, Rich at Driftworks for providing additional girth, Dale and Tom at Meguiar’s for laughing at 40% of my jokes


finally tracked down what he was after. Bingo. Teamed with US-spec amber LED rears and side repeaters, these provide a subtle flash of colour against the perfect silver paintwork. This car is definitely all about small changes making a big difference. When it came to sprucing up the E46’s original black leather innards, nothing but an M3 Individual interior would do for Alex. After trawling the internet for a full interior in perfect condition, he struck gold, finding the Kiwi M3 set you see here. A straight swap for his existing black leather, the M3 perches really hit the spot by upgrading the boring original trim. On paper, perhaps Kiwi was a brave choice against the silver paintwork but it’s nice to see someone mixing things up and Alex’s outside-the-box thinking has definitely paid off – it looks swish. Alex’s intention for a “nice daily” meant this car was never going to be about driving fast, so engine choice wasn’t a huge factor when he was on the hunt for another E46 to replace his first car. As he was buying purely on body condition and spec level he wasn’t put off by the 1.8 powerplant one bit.

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All BMWs are welcome at BoS, which means a fantastic mix of Bavarian machinery


Sweden’s premier BMW event once again drew in the cars and crowds, making for an awesome show. Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Patrik Karlsson

pparently size matters and if you like it big then you’ll love Bimmers of Sweden because it’s massive. The 2016 event was held over two days in May at the Mantorp Park Raceway. The Friday is what’s known as the ‘welcoming day’. This gave all visitors the chance to relax after their journeys, as well mingle with other BMW owners over a barbecue and some beers (and get into the party mood when the DJs got on the decks!) or alternatively get ready for the serious business of racing on the Saturday. The main event on Saturday saw BoS set a new personal record for attendance, with 1371 BMWs turning up for the show, and the BoS team did a great job of getting everyone to behave and line up properly. Every standard of BMW is welcome to the show, and this attitude of acceptance means that no matter what BMW you own it’s welcome and that means an amazing mix of cars. Thousands of visitors poured through the gates to enjoy the spectacle but there was much more to enjoy than just a static display of BMWs. Out on track 130 BMWs raced all day long across three different classes, with drifting and amateur and professional classic



races. Visitors could also have a go on a Segway, try their hand on the drifting simulators brought along by Mikael Svensson (which had Mantorp Park programmed in as the track), and peruse over 20 trade stands, which included BMW. PBZ brought along its mobile dyno, which had a queue all day, while the burnout ring also proved popular, allowing anyone in a BMW to indulge in some donuts and burnouts. Arne Skaale, CEO of Bimmers of Sweden told us a bit more about the show: “We had Victor Bouveng with us on the Saturday. He is a racing driver for the BMW M team, Walkenhorst Motorsport, and usually competes at the Nürburgring in an M6 GT3 in the VLN and 24 Hour series. For the show, Victor had borrowed an M2 from BMW Sweden and visitors could pay to get two passenger laps with him. All that money was donated to the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, which we were raising money for throughout the day. We had two lotteries during the show, with some nice prizes including the chance to win passenger laps in some of the drift cars, with drivers like Alexander Granlund, Tobias Olofsson, Limmet and Axel Hjalte. We also raised

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Visitors had 1371 BMWs to enjoy looking at, but there was also plenty of track action to keep the crowds entertained

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money through a painting auction, where five photographers had given us BMW portraits for the auction and we donated a portion of the proceeds from the entrance fee. This year we raised £6850 for the charity and this is the seventh time in a row we have raised money for them. We have now raised £25,000 in total for the charity and we are very happy to help them in the search for the cure for cancer.” Finally, you can’t have a BMW show without dishing out prizes, though we


wouldn’t have fancied having to pick winners from over 1300 cars. This year’s Crew Prize went to Jonas Nilsson and his amazing E9 while the People’s Choice awards went to Andreas Nilsson for his E24, Joni Similä for his E21 (which was on our January 2015 cover), and Daniel Führ with his gorgeous E28. Every year Bimmers of Sweden gets bigger and every year it sounds even more amazing. It is definitely worth a pilgrimage as a BMW fan ●

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This yearʼs BimmerFlex event pulled in a good crowd and some great cars... Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: James Barrett ow in its 13th year, it’s fair to say that BimmerFlex is really starting to gain momentum again after returning from its hiatus a few years back. Show founder, Richard Flex, once again borrowed the ample grounds of the Fairmile Arms pub in Cobham, Surrey, for this year’s event and BimmerFlex has now become a staple feature of the pub’s event calendar. While it still carries the BimmerFlex name, these days the show is open to all-comers though BMWs most definitely make up the bulk of the cars that come along, and this year no less than 70 cars turned up in total. We reckon hitting the 100 mark next year is a certainty and Richard has had the foresight to choose



a location that will allow the show to grow. A live DJ was on-hand to provide plenty of atmosphere and the pub had even put on a hog roast and it was delicious. So too were the cars, with some really nice examples rocking up because any excuse to show off your BMW is a good excuse! There were plenty of familiar scene machines along with a few tasty BMWs we’d not had the pleasure of meeting yet and the BMW E39 Club UK, E30 Collective and E46 Zone had all come along. Highlights included Steve Carter’s immaculate 850CSi, which won first place in the top ten best of show, with everyone in the top ten receiving a BimmerFlex goodie bag. We also spotted Daniel Mines’ E30

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Kodeshop’s wild, wide-body, air-ride F30 3 Series demo car

Above: Dee Barwick’s 123d Coupé Here: James Barrett’s E46 M3 Below: Sandeep Gill’s bagged E30 Cab

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Harry from HTS Motorsport’s bagged E30 Touring

320i, Sandeep Gill’s gorgeous E30 Chromie Cab on air, Rupert Smedley’s tidy E28 525e and Leonard Babu’s E30 Baur. It’s good to see a show where modified machinery mixes with super-clean classics and everyone can appreciate each other’s cars. We caught up with Richard after the show who was delighted with the turnout: “I want to say thanks to all the visitors who attended the 13th BimmerFlex show for their continued, kind support. I also


want to thank the Fairmile Arms in Cobham, Angie, the judges Nev and Rob, Carla, DJ Jason from JA Sounds, PBMW, Havair, Meguiar’s, the BMW E39 Club UK, E30 Collective and the E46 Zone. This year’s show is dedicated to Carla, in memory of her father. I’m already making plans for 2017, so watch this space!” Richard’s enthusiasm is infectious, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event ●

085 PBMW 1016 16/08/2016 15:55 Page 85

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VanityBMW First shows can be daunting but the inaugural Vanity event Words: Elizabeth de Latour proved to be a huge success. rganising a show is no mean feat and organising a successful one is even harder but Ed Gould, founder of the VanityBMW show, made it look easy with this first event going down a storm. Part of this was down to the location, in this case Beaulieu National Motor Museum, which is a great spot for a day out and instantly gave Vanity a much broader appeal, giving families lots to do on the day. The show wasn’t just for fun, either, with Vanity raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, with raffle tickets being sold throughout the day. It was also great to see a new BMW-specific show hitting the calendar as, aside from Santa Pod and Gaydon, it’s all German. This was clearly appreciated by BMW fans as the turnout was great with about 1000 people attending


the day and around 500 cars on display. The weather on the day was fantastic, and the ample, elegant grounds of Beaulieu were packed with a huge variety of BMWs that had come from far and wide. Clubs that attended include the BMW E39 Club UK,, Total M Cars, Sump Scrapers, the BMW Car Club GB and the E30Zone, meaning a great mix of cars was guaranteed. There were plenty of trade stands too, including Strictly Clean Detailing, Monster Wraps, Havair and BM Conversions all on hand to assist if you felt your wallet twitching. As well as the general BMW display, there was also a show ’n’ shine area, with a small selection of some of the finest BMWs about, and prizes up for grabs for the best of the best. Peter Sears won Best Classic with his 2002, Dee Barwick won Best

The three show ’n’ shine winners: Best Modified, Best Daily and Best Classic

Photos: Jack Smith @ Exquisite

Sean Crompton’s static E36 Cab on Carline CM6 wheels


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Nina Barber’s beast of a V8 1M, as seen on last month’s cover

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BMWs of all ages rubbed shoulders, from classics to the ultra-modern, like this i8


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You can’t go wrong with an ’02 and the classics were out in force and enjoying the sun

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Below, Ashley Morrell’s striking Z4 Roadster

Stunning E12 racer was definitely a show highlight

Modified with her 123d and Rhys Cleary won Best Daily with his M4. The Best Club Stand award went to the Hampshire BMW Owners Club. In addition to all that, tickets to Vanity also included entry to the fantastic motor museum, with its huge range of exhibits and plenty to keep everyone entertained, plus it offered welcome shelter from the sun. The inaugural VanityBMW event was a

Above: BM Conversions brought along its mobile dyno Below: Tallis Godfrey’s bagged M3 Cab


great day and extremely successful, with a big attendance, fantastic variety of BMWs and plenty of trade stands. The show also raised £1500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which is fantastic. In fact, it already felt like a well-established show, not a first time event, and judging by the turnout Vanity has a bright future and we can’t wait to see how this show grows for 2017 ●

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E82 118d Rob’s

E30 318i Hack Engineering’s


E30 316i Touring Adam’s

E36 Compact Paul’s

E36 328i James’


E36 328i Ben’s


E36 S54 Touring Sam’s

E46 M3 Piers’

E46 330i Touring Thorney’s

E82 M4 Lou’s

Z4 2.5i roadster Elizabeth’s

E39 540i Steven’s


SAM’S E46 M3 You know when summer’s right around the corner and you’d like to lose those few extra pounds? I’ve gone with the same philosophy on the interior panels of my M3. This was all spurred on from looking around Robin Welsh from Raw Motorsport’s 330 Challenge race car at Autosport International. A lot of the factory bracing is now redundant from the cage install – let’s face it the parcel shelf unit is never going to be used to house speakers let alone rear seats, so all that can be chopped out. The parcel shelf was the first chunk I chopped out as it was the biggest and heaviest thing, but once it was gone it would free up so much room to carry wheels to the track, whereas before it was impossible to get a

set of slicks in. I must say, though, if anyone is considering taking this out, do it before you get a cage installed and after you have had the glass removed. Moving on from there the angle grinder got carried away and cut excess metal from the sides of the boot, then on to where the rear doorcards used to sit. Everything that has been cut in that area is all just overlapping metal, so as long as you don’t go further back than where the seams join, you can lose all that metal. Lastly I chopped out some metal in the centre of the front doors, just enough to keep where the electric motors bolt to and also the factory door bar was chopped and removed as it is no longer needed as the cage has door bars. I also went over the painted

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areas again with some Peugeot Miami blue. As I had some left over 0.5mm carbon fibre sheet from making another audio and CAE blank I did a better job of making a water tight cap for the top of my Nitron R1 rear top mounts. Now that I’ve no parcel shelf the only thing I’ve missed/lost is the electric rear pop out windows, so I plan to try and retro-fit some manual pop out window latches from an E36 Coupé to keep a bit of low drag air flow. Hopefully I should be close to my target of getting into the 1200kg bracket, I’ll see what we’re at after hitting the weigh bridge. If not, a poly rear window and a Geoff Steel carbon roof skin are on the wish list. In the meantime I have a track day at Goodwood with Players Classic so will be able to see what this little diet has achieved…

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ROB’S E30 318i

ADAM’S E36 COMPACT So, seeing the Compact reappear may be a surprise to some of you, I really can’t believe how fast time flies by, it’s been nearly a year since my last update, I think! Due to having so many commitments I’ve been whizzing around everywhere like a headless chicken but don’t worry, the Compact has seen some use! The car’s paintwork was starting to look tired so the main update is the colour. Choosing a bright turquoise, the car certainly now stands out from the crowd. Hopefully I’ll be arranging some vinyl to go on in the coming months… once my friend’s cutting machine is set up! This should definitely help towards stepping the car up to the next level. Another upgrade I had my heart set on for a long time was the exhaust. The original exhaust after doing the engine swap wasn’t the best of jobs; modifying the OE system to try and fit a Compact meant it was forever snapping exhaust rubbers and it generally hung pretty poorly. So I popped down to my local fabricator, Flux Fabrication, and explained that I needed a new system which would fit the car properly and allow me to disconnect the rear section in case I had to drop the rear beam down, and happily it was


finished three days before a event I was due to attend! Flux did a great job. With no catalytic converters and one, rather short, silencer it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted, especially as it resonates through the inside of the car pretty badly! As the photos show, the interior is also changing colour, slowly, to a dark grey and the footwells will be covered with aluminium chequer plate due to the uneven floorpan. Now, on to more important things, the drifting! Just after completing some work the car went up to Santa Pod for a practice day as I wanted to make sure the car was all up together with no gremlins and I must admit, the car was perfect! The change of geometry had given me so much more grip, which enhanced my confidence further, allowing me to push harder and faster than I had previously. I spent the day looping the track in third happily. Unfortunately the day didn’t get off to the best of starts, after a slight mishap with a Toyota on track, but there no major damage and both drivers involved continued to enjoy the day. I have also recently attended another event at Rockingham Raceway, but with no photos appearing yet, you’ll have to wait till next month to hear more!

The Le Mans Classic is a bi-annual event at the historic La Sarthe circuit just south of the city of Le Mans. Much like the 24-Hour event for the technically brilliant modern hybrids and GT cars, the Classic runs throughout 24 hours but for six different grids of cars ranging from the inception of the 24-Hour race way back in 1923 all the way through to the Group 5 racers and prototypes of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and this year a support race from the awesome Group C cars. The racing is only part of it though, with club stands, live music, a paddock area open to the public and much more. A huge part of the enjoyment for me and the group of guys I travelled there with was the 400-mile road trip down to the circuit from Surrey. This was the fourth time I’d made the trip down to the Classic but only the second I’ve done in the E30 and last time I still had a full interior, minus the carpets, electric windows and a sunroof all of which would have been useful in the 30ºC heat that we had throughout the part of France I drove through. Problems started at Dover when, even in the cool British air at 7am, sat in a traffic jam at passport control after a long motorway run, the engine started to get a little on the hot side. Putting the heater on full blast for ten minutes brought the temperature down to a more sensible level and in the cool morning air it wasn’t too uncomfortable but later on in the journey it would prove very uncomfortable. The channel crossing was gloriously smooth but maybe five miles out of Calais whilst driving along the coastal road I could feel a knocking from underneath the car. Cue a quick roadside check and nothing was obvious, other than a mildly worn ball joint which wouldn’t have created the knock I

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could feel, so we carried on with a view to jack the car up and have a proper look underneath at a service station. After blasting along the coastal road we took to the motorway to get some miles under our belts and at our first fuel stop we got a jack under the car to suss the source of the knock. Lo and behold the exhaust bracket that supports the exhaust downpipe, funnily enough right under my feet, had been hitting against the heat shield above, as evident by the large gouge. After a little more exploring into the cause of this a worn engine mount bush was most likely to blame but certainly wouldn’t ruin my trip. We chose to stay on the motorway until we at least got through Rouen, which if you have ever made the pilgrimage to Le Mans you’ll know it can be a nightmare to drive through. This year we didn’t even make it that far before hitting a big jam. The A28 past Neufchatel-en-Bray was closed causing a huge traffic stoppage with all traffic being forced off at the next junction, through the small town, causing even larger jams. Being stuck in very slow moving traffic the E30 was really struggling again with its cooling and again required me to put the heater on, which was hideously uncomfortable, so when a section of the motorway was slightly downhill it was engine off and let the car roll. After close to two hours slowly creeping off the motorway the decision was made to go the opposite way from the traffic and try and work out a way south towards Rouen and back onto the motorway further down, where hopefully it was open again. After a wrong turn or two we found our way back to the A28 further south where, thankfully, it was open and we made good progress down to Le Mans, using motorways the whole way to make up for lost time. Once we finally made it to our campsite right next to the circuit, I discovered another couple of small problems. First was my aluminium sunroof panel; the urethane I had used to stick it to the roof, possibly due to the heat but mostly due to poor preparation by me, had come unstuck. Luckily I had added rivets for what

turned out to be much-needed added security. The second small issue was with the pins used to hold on my boot panel; the bolts that held the plate on had shaken loose with only one out of the three to be found in the boot. Cue the gaffer tape to hold it on. The racing at the Le Mans Classic was fantastic throughout all six grids, with BMW represented in three of them from the earliest 328 of 1937 through to the 2002Ti and the M10-powered Chevrons of the late ’60s, all the way to the 3.0 CSL and M1 Pro Cars of the ’70s. Seeing these cars race flat-out around one of, in my opinion, the greatest circuits on the planet was something to behold. With the final classification being a combination of all three races from each grid the BMWs put up a good showing, with a 328 finishing third overall in grid one for years 1923-1939. The M10-powered Chevron B8 finished a eighth overall and first in class in grid five for years 1966-1971 with the 2002Ti down in 45th but also first in class. The fire-spitting M1s of grid six (1972-1981) put in a fine showing, not only stirring the senses with sight and sound but finishing 13th overall and second in class. One of the highlights for me was being able to walk around the paddocks at night watching all these historic cars being worked on, engines out, suspension work, clutch swaps and everything in between really evoking what it must have been like when they were racing originally. A walk around the car clubs lined up on the Bugatti Circuit turned up an interesting BMW oddity that I had to research, a Glas 2600. Turns out Glas was a German car manufacturer bought out by BMW in the ’60s with the last-of-the-line cars badged as BMWs before all Glas models were retired and BMW incorporated Glas into the company. There was a whole host of other beautiful BMWs in the club area, my favourite being a nice chrome bumper E30 I caught driving by. BMW also had

a fantastic display in the village behind the pits, using some historic cars from its past and mirrors to create a highly interesting piece of what can only be called art. My photos certainly don’t do it enough justice. After a fantastic weekend, Monday morning rolled around far too soon, I could have seriously spent a few weeks there. After packing up the tent, some belt and braces remedial work was required to the E30 just to make sure nothing flew off on the drive back to Calais. I used a large amount of gaffer tape to ensure the boot panel was securely fixed and the sunroof panel was a little more airtight. The drive back up through France still wasn’t trouble free though. I again noticed the temperature creeping up through towns but then it would return back to normal. After having problems with my electric fan during the engine rebuild I suspected an intermittent fault with the fan was to blame. Pulling into a petrol station just north of Rouen gave me the opportunity to fully diagnose the problem. It turned out to be a loose connection, most likely stemming from when I had the head off and strapped the wiring harness out of the way. No matter, some basic tools and electrical tape sorted it and the rest of the trip went smoothly… apart from yet another huge traffic jam heading into Calais. So, after a long drive, I was finally home and the E30 did me proud. I was especially pleased with how the reconditioned head and new camshaft stood up to the 800-mile round trip. Now with a new list of jobs to do to the E30 along with the improvements I already had lined up, I have plenty to be getting on with…

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Pro-Line Motorsport 0208 4064237 Hack Engineering

BEN’S E36 S54 TOURING It’s been a little while since I managed to put something together for this section, and unfortunately that’s simply because I haven’t done an awful lot with the car! It’s currently serving duties as my daily driver and work van during a workshop relocation. That said, the summer evenings have come in handy for ticking some items off the list – mainly more track preparation and weight reduction. I had previously kept the front half of the car in ‘comfy’ format – the Sparco seats and Momo steering wheel were essentially the only changes, but the time had come to remove the carpet, dash underside trims, headlining and to strip down the wiring loom. The head unit, speakers and associated wiring were also removed, along with the glovebox and the Hack Engineering store cupboards were raided for a Hard Motorsport battery kill switch panel which was duly fitted and wired in, completing the first stage of interior work.


The next addition came courtesy of a fantastic firm local to me, Pro-Line Motorsport. The brainchild of Mitch Plowman, Pro-Line was set up to offer everything from braided brake clutch lines to full motorsport vehicle-outfitting, covering everything from oil lines and coolers to bespoke fuel systems. The mission was simple – I was after one of Pro-Line’s E36 ABS delete kits but I wanted to run it inside the car rather than underneath, minimising potential damage and easing maintenance. I offered to lend a hand and so turned up at Mitch’s unit near Redhill in Surrey bright and early one morning to get cracking. When the fluid was drained I removed the original solid brake lines and ABS unit while Mitch measured up the new lines. The fronts were plumbed directly from the master cylinder, while the line to the rear meets a bulkhead connector on the passenger side of the engine bay. Moving inside, we ran a line down under the

dash to the new Tilton bias valve that Mitch supplied, and into the back. Here it split down to another pair of bulkhead connectors and down to the calipers. To say Mitch is OCD about his work would be an understatement – as the photos will show, everything is precisely measured, incredibly neat and completely symmetrical. All fittings are swaged and, also, all of Mitch’s lines have a lifetime warranty. The system was bled through with Motul RBF600, checked over and I was ready for a test drive. The difference all of it has made is absolutely astounding. I didn’t find brake feel a problem before, but the improvement is night and day, and I’m enjoying not having the ABS cut in at inappropriate moments – finally I can use the WP Pro brake setup to full affect. If you want the same for your car, all you need to do is give Mitch a ring – the under-car kits are also available through Hack Engineering.

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You can order back issues of Performance BMW quickly and easily online at, by calling the back issues hotline on +44 (0)1732 748084, or by emailing Each issue costs £5 (UK), £5.50 (worldwide surface mail), £6 (air mail Europe and Scandinavia), £7 (air mail, zone one) or £7.50 (air mail, zone two) and includes postage and packing charges

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Want to show off your BMW? Send some hi-res photos, a spec list and the story of you and your car to

CAR OF THE MONTH Our ‘Car of the Month’ wins a $50 UUC prize voucher that can be redeemed against any of the company’s products available online. From styling accessories to performance upgrades, there’s a vast array of products to choose from for your BMW. Get on to:

David Harrison E90 320d There’s a lot to like about David’s E90 and he’s put a lot of work in to get it looking spoton. On the outside there’s an M3 front bumper, the grille’s been wrapped in tinted dark chrome, and there are US-spec amber sidelights, LED smoked rear tail-lights and a 335d rear diffuser. It’s been given a 45mm drop all-round via a set of fully adjustable Pro-Sport coilovers and sits on a set of Fox MS007 19” gunmetal wheels with 15mm

spacers up front. The engine’s had a stage one remap and EGR and DPF delete, resulting in 186hp and 307lb ft of torque. He’s also fitted a 335d-style twin-exhaust with 5” tips and a back box delete. The interior features leather heated seats, while red trim along the dashboard, centre console, front and rear doorcards adds a flash of colour. Future plans include painting the calipers silver and adding smoked side repeaters.

Phil Waqairoba E66 750Li Phil’s 2006 750Li is the ultimate luxury machine, which he’s enhanced with a few choice mods. When he bought the car a year ago it was on 22” X5 wheels but these have been replaced with a set of tasty staggered Rohana RC10s, also 22s. They’re nice on their own, but look

better still with the big Seven sitting 30mm lower, while the head and tail-lights as well as the windows have all been tinted, adding hint of menace. Finally, there’s a custom rear box with 90mm pipes, courtesy of MStyle, which gives this 750 a proper V8 soundtrack.

Keith Rogers E61 M5 Touring As an ex-E46 M3 owner, Keith was on the lookout for something a little bigger but still just as fun to fit his expanding family’s needs – and we think he’s found the perfect solution in this M5 Touring. Since purchasing it, Keith has taken it on its fair share of


family holidays, complete with a Thule roof rack to supply even more storage space. As a true petrolhead, he also treats himself to a weekend away at the Nürburging Nordschleife with his friends once a year to stretch that V10’s legs. Performance

enhancements are limited to BMC panel air filters and RPI ram air scoops behind the grille, finished in black to retain the car’s original looks. Aside from regular brake pad changes when driven hard, the car’s abilities are proving perfect in this setup.

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OCTOBER 2016 105

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(Contents subject to us enjoying that sweet, sweet hit of sunshine goodness…)

November issue on sale 06 October 2016 This supercharged Z4 M Coupé will blow you away! Available to download from 03 October 2016

Plus: • Custom wide-body UK E36 • E46 M3 racer • Stunning 123d

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