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E46 M3 & E36 M3 DUO 2.7-SWAPPED E30 BAUR

Restored and modded rarity



Saloon becomes classic racer

M5-LOOK 750Li

Custom-styled F01 7 Series


Cold weather tips, tyres & cleaning

Honda-powered fully-custom classic PBMW220.cover_(£5.50).ed2.indd 2


WILD S2000 ’02

700hp supercharged, wide-body E93 M3 is the ultimate winter warmer!



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BMW specialist

World’s largest supplier of BMW & MINI styling, tuning and equipment



World’s best price guarantee 1L/ £ 8.36

5L/ £ 32.44

from £ 266.90

Schmiedmann fully synthetic HIGH PERFORMANCE engine oil SAE 5W-30. Fulfils all the same specifications as the original BMW oil. Quality guaranteed!

Supersprint sport rear silencers firstclass quality handmade in Italy! 100% stainless steel with a nice deep sound.

from £ 46.50 Schmiedmann high quality floor and trunk mats for ALL BMW models. Set inclusive locks and stylish Schmiedmann embroidery in both sides front.

from £ 270.88 Large selection of Z-Performance rims in stock. See more on our website. E.g. 19” Z-Performance -Type 6- rim 9,5x19, Phantom Black FP. 9,5X19 ET35 inclusive Z-Performance emblems! TÜV Austria approval. Available also with tires. 18”Type 8 Gun Metal.......................£ 283.45 18”Type 7 Hyper Silver ...................£ 275.88 19”Type 7 Matte Black ....................£ 296.08

£ 554.23

£ 109.29

E46 Schmiedmann RHD high flow Sport manifold M52/M54 inclusive 200cell sport catalysts. This is one of the most effective ways to gain more power on a 6cyl.

Schmiedmann shortshift multi-adjustable. Adjust the gearshift exactly like you want it! Adjustable in shift length.Gear lever is height adjustable!

19”Type 1 Phantom Black..............£ 271.43 20”Type ZP2.1Liquid Bronze ........£ 519.09 20”Type 7 Hyper Silver ...................£ 363.61

At Schmiedmann we have everything for BMW from the smallest clips, connectors, wishbone, brake discs / pads and body parts. In addition we can offer you best price guaranteed on all our products.

LOOKING FOR USED PARTS? £ 48.02 Black kidneys matte and high gloss, single or double grill spokes for all models. Price example F10+LCI/F11+LCI black high gloss with double spokes set only.

£ 296.09 E34 E32 Headlights black H1 Hella DE, (The lens can be adjusted for RHD). Out of production from factory. Schmiedmann has the last available in stock.

£ 161.71 Schmiedmann sport manifolds are the most effective on the market, 100% stainless steel! Sport manifold RHD Schmiedmann S-Tech. type I.

from £ 103 Lowering springs from German Lowtec e.g. sets with 4 springs. -E30 40/40 mm ............. £ 103

-E36 30/20 mm .....................£ 110 -E46 30/20 mm ....................£ 114 -E90 30/20 mm ............. £ 125 -E34 30/20 mm ............. £ 116 -E39 35/20 mm ............. £ 129

£ 258.63

£ 263.69

Design hoods and trunk lids in carbon, fibre glass, alloy for most models. E.g. E90 Trunk lid EVO with integrated spoiler genuine carbon.

F10 F11 Frontspoiler lip -Edition- for M-Technic genuine carbon. Carbon frontspoilerlips for all models, pls. visit our homepage.

from £ 901.65

from £ 32.88

F20 F22 F30 F31 F34GT F32 F33 Wagner Tuning highflow downpipe catalyst + an upgrade intercooler N20 engines

Schmiedmann alloy pedal set. Exclusive quality. Both LHD & RHD.

from £ 702.73 Original BMW rims with/ without tires. Wide range of designs for all BMW models. We can supply everything in original parts for BMW.

£ 1.399.84

Schmiedmann Odense A/S Herluf Trolles Vej 15 DK-5220 Odense SØ Phone. +45 65 94 15 45 E-mail odense@schmiedmann.com

£ 254.35 Schmiedmann sportsilencers for all BMW generations, stainless steel handmade in Italy. Price example BMW E30 6cyl. SCM30M20-87.

£ 16.64

Schmiedmann big brake kits for many models. Also now available a 400mm front brake kit for F10/F11/ F12/13 please see more at our website. Price example 345X28mm kit with 6 piston front calibers ready to install for all BMW E46 models.


-Grey/Black .................. £ 32.88 -Silver/Red.................... £ 32.88 -Black/Grey ......... £ 32.90 -Black/Red ........... £ 32.90 -Black/Black ................ £ 32.90

Meyle Heavy Duty reinforced spare parts made in Germany. E.g E46 Stabilizer-link front We can deliver stabilizer sets for almost all BMW models.


£ 80.54 E36 Frontspoiler Motorsport II inclusive mesh/ lip/bumper guards. Excl. foglights and brake airducts.


from £ 1.473 Everything in BILSTEIN suspension e.g. Complete BILSTEIN B16 suspension kit adjustable in hardness and hight for BMW 1’series, 3’series and 5’series

Schmiedmann Nordborg A/S Recently arrived cars:

from £ 21.10 Wheel spacers made in Germany – for all models, in all sizes, also available in silver anodized and black anodized.

£ 77.31 Original BMW accessories and spare parts very competitive prices e.g. Logo LED door projector kit for the frontdoors original BMW inclusive 3 different logos.

Schmiedmann Nordborg A/S Lyngmosevej 9 DK-6430 Nordborg Phone. +45 74 49 11 80 E-mail nordborg@schmiedmann.com

BMW E46 Saloon 316I M43/TU 1999 model 1.9L 105HK Car no.: 2021

BMW E39 Saloon 523i M52 1997 model 2.5L 170HK Car no.: 2020

BMW E46 Compact 316TI N42 2001 model 1.8L 116HK Car no.: 2019

BMW E39 Saloon 520i M52 1996 model 2.0L 150HK Car no.: 2018

BMW E39 Touring 530d M57 2000 model 3.0L 193HK Car no.: 2017

BMW E39 Saloon 525i M54 2000 model 2.5L 192HK Car no.: 2016

See our BMW / MINI cars for recycling here www.schmiedmann.co.uk/show-used-products

World’s Largest Online BMW & MINI Catalogue


Reservations are made for goods sold and price changes

PERFORMANCE BMW Kelsey Media, Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent, TN16 3AG EDITORIAL Editor: Elizabeth de Latour Email: pbmw.ed@kelsey.co.uk Tel: 07544 398632 Art Editor: Mark Field Contributors: Daniel Bevis, Igor Polishchuk, Dennis Podmarkov, Mike Kuhn, Raceport, Andy Starkey, Chris Frosin, Viktor Benyi, Mark Brown, Steven Alderson, Thomas Koflach, Mark Riccioni ADVERTISEMENT SALES David Lerpiniere: 01732 445325 david@talkmediasales.co.uk


MANAGEMENT Managing Director: Phil Weeden Chief Executive: Steve Wright Chairman: Steve Annetts Finance Director: Joyce Parker-Sarioglu Retail Distribution Manager: Eleanor Brown Publishing Operations Manager: Charlotte Whittaker Audience Development Manager: Andy Cotton Brand Marketing Managers: Debra Hagger and Nikolas Lovely Events Manager: Kat Chappell SUBSCRIPTIONS 13 issues of Performance BMW are published per annum UK annual subscription price: £59.80 Europe annual subscription price: £72.99 USA annual subscription price: £72.99 Rest of World annual subscription price: £79.99 Contact us UK subscription and back issue orderline: 01959 543747 Overseas subscription orderline: 0044 (0) 1959 543 747 Toll free USA subscription orderline: 1-888-777-0275 UK customer service team: 01959 543 747 Customer service email address: subs@kelsey.co.uk Customer service and subscription postal address: Performance BMW Customer Service Team, Kelsey Publishing Ltd, Cudham Tithe Barn, Berry’s Hill, Cudham, Kent, TN16 3AG, UK Website Find current subscription offers at shop.kelsey.co.uk/pbmw Buy back issues at shop.kelsey.co.uk/pbmwback Buy merchandise at shop.kelsey.co.uk/pbmwmerch Already a subscriber? Manage your subscription online at shop.kelsey.co.uk/myaccount CLASSIFIEDS Tel: 0906 802 0279 (premium rate line, operated by Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Calls cost 65p per minute from a BT landline; other networks and mobiles may vary. Lines open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm) Email: cars@kelseyclassifieds.co.uk Performance BMW Classifieds, Kelsey Media, PO Box 13, Cudham, Westerham, Kent, TN16 3WT DISTRIBUTION Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT www.seymour.co.uk Tel: 020 7429 4000 PRINTING William Gibbons & Sons Ltd Kelsey Media 2017 © all rights reserved. Kelsey Media is a trading name of Kelsey Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden except with permission in writing from the publishers. Note to contributors: articles submitted for consideration by the editor must be the original work of the author and not previously published. Where photographs are included, which are not the property of the contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been obtained from the owner of the copyright. The editor cannot guarantee a personal response to all letters and emails received. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher. Kelsey Publishing Ltd accepts no liability for products and services offered by third parties. Kelsey Publishing Ltd uses a multi-layered privacy notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details, visit www.kelsey.co.uk or call 01959 543524. If you have any questions, please ask as submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we and our partners may contact you about products and services that will be of relevance to you via direct mail, phone, email or SMS. You can opt out at ANY time via email: data.controller@kelsey.co.uk or 01959 543524.

ISSUE: December 2017 EDITOR: Elizabeth de Latour pbmw.ed@kelsey.co.uk

ADVERTISING: Martin Jenkinson martin.jenkinson@talkmediasales.co.uk Switchboard: 01732 445325



It might not be the end of the year just yet, but the December issue always feels like a bit of a milestone within each year because it is always the last issue to bear that year on the front cover. This is our last 2017dated issue and that means a few things; firstly, it means that we are properly into autumn now – the clocks have gone back, it’s getting really dark really quickly of an evening and, despite our unseasonably warm start to autumn, it’s now starting to get chilly out. With winter round the corner we’ve put together a little guide to all things wintry, with a selection of handy winter motoring tips, an in-depth look at winter tyres plus a guide to keeping your car clean during the winter months. Did I write winter enough times? Winter. Secondly, it means we’re gearing up for Car of the Year. Now is the time that we take a look back at the 13 issues of 2017 and start drawing up the list of cars that you will get to vote for from the next issue. It’s not going to be an easy task as 2017 has seen some absolutely spectacular feature cars, this issue included, but while we do the hard work of trying to pick our 26

favourites the winner is, as always, decided by you, dear reader. So that is something to look forward to in the January 2018 issue (it feels so weird writing that…). As for this issue, we’re sticking two fingers up to the winter weather and that’s why you’ll find not one but two convertibles nestled within these pages! Our cover car is an absolutely insane E93 M3 that we know won’t appeal to everyone but which ticks just about every box there is to tick when it comes to a build, while that gorgeous 2.7-swapped Baur is just E30 perfection. We’ve also squeezed in a mental S2000swapped 2002 that we’re a little bit in love with, an E28-based E9 CSL Batmobile replica that’s been built with so much love and loads more. As for next issue, seeing as it’s kicking off your 2018 collection of PBMW it wants to be extra special, doesn’t it? We’ll see what we can do… Elizabeth de Latour, Editor

Performance BMW is available for licensing worldwide. For more information, contact bruce@bruceawfordlicensing.com



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The latest goodies for your BM.






TRAX 2017

76 79

88 98

You wouldn’t be complaining if Santa left one of these treats under your Christmas tree! Our report from this great German-only show.

08 SONNY & SHARE Father- and son-built E30 325is

All the action from this massive modified show.


This show just keeps getting bigger and better.


Our one-stop guide to all things winter motoringrelated, featuring Winter Tips (p80), our Winter Cleaning Guide (p82) and our Tech Guide all about winter tyres (p84)


All the updates from the PBMW fleet.


Father- and son-owned E46 M3 and E36 M3


Awesome S54-swapped E30 Cab.

62 CREAM OF THE CROP S2000-swapped custom 2002


2.7-swapped E30 Baur TC



E28-based E9 CSL Batmobile replica



Subscribe to PBMW magazine and save upto 45%. Go to shop.kelsey.co.uk/pbm or call 0044 (0) 1959 543 747


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700hp supercharged, wide-body E93 M3







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Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Dennis Podmarkov and Igor Polishchuk

There’s a lot of love tied up in this Space grey E30. It’s flawlessly finished and features astounding attention to detail, and it’s all thanks to an unbreakable father-son bond…


he sharing economy’ is a term that’s been appearing with increasing regularity in the press in recent years. What it basically means is that people are renting beds, cars, skills and all sorts from one another using platforms that never before existed; booking accommodation on Airbnb, organising

local car-pooling to get to work, finding someone in your neighbourhood who can fix your boiler while you assemble their Ikea furniture for them – the idea that ‘what’s mine is yours… for a price’ is a thoroughly modern behaviour. Sharing, of course, is nothing new in itself. It’s something humans have done since the dawn of civilisation, ever since

the species stopped beating each other’s heads with clubs and instead roasted a freshly stunned boar together over some newly-discovered fire. And sharing is at the very heart of this CAtuned E30 project – it’s a father-and-son endeavour, but daddy hasn’t bankrolled the whole thing… no, Dan Gastelum and his son, Landon, agreed from the off that everything with this 325is DECEMBER 2017 9

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Sexy Nardi steering wheel

Custom gauge cluster

Custom leather interior

would be split neatly down the middle, 50/50, fair’s fair. Each of them has a unique set of skills and experiences to bring to the table. 20-year-old Landon brings youthful exuberance and a keen eye for trends and timeless modifying styles, while 45-yearold Dan has been around the block a few times, BMW-wise. “My first car was actually a Chevy C10 short-bed pickup truck, given to me by my father-in-law when I was 18,” says Dan. “But I’ve owned multiple BMWs over the last 15 years: a 2002 E46 M3, 2002 E39 540i Sport with sixspeed manual, 2013 E70 X5 M Sport, and I currently own a 2017 F15 X5 M Sport – the wife’s grocery-getter!” As is so often the case, this marque obsession was ingrained from an early age; when Dan was a schoolboy in the second grade, his old man sent him to school in a T-shirt with a 2002 on it. “I love him for that!” he laughs. And now that generational automotive bridge has firmly and tangibly extended onward down the line, as the shiny vision of pride and teamwork here ably demonstrates. This is undeniably a tremendously classy build, focussing on perfecting the details rather than radically altering the concept, and it’ll come as little surprise to

We had been looking for an E30 for a while, and the condition of this car when we found it… hell, this car was roached! Just totally hammered!


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up wheels, and a motor that was tired with 246,000 miles on it – the thing leaked oil all over my driveway. But it had good bones! No rust, E30 M3 seats, and a set of BBS RSs. Count me in!” The first thing to address was that wheezing motor. It had huge oil leaks and there didn’t seem to be any point in trying to plug up one or two holes when it was leaking from every possible place, so CAtuned pulled the M20 and fully rebuilt it from the ground up, adding in a few upgrades along the way. With rebuilt injectors and a Miller MAF conversion it’s far perkier than stock, while the powder coated intake manifold and valve cover make the bay look better than new. Next on the list was to sort those

Adjustable top mounts for air ride

E30 325is ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.5-litre straight-six M20B25, fully rebuilt, powder coated intake manifold and valve cover by Renewed Finishes, Miller MAF setup, CAtuned cooling hoses, Mishimoto aluminium radiator. Getrag 260 five-speed manual gearbox, Z3 shortshifter, CAtuned stainless clutch line


those familiar with CAtuned that Igor and his crew have had a significant hand in this too. For those not in the know, CAtuned is the motorsport and custom wing of Auto Heaven, a full service, maintenance and repair outfit in Sacramento, California, which has truly established itself as a global hub for quality retro BMW builds – and given that Sacramento is just a handful of miles from the Gastelum family home in Elk Grove, this was always going to be a celestial affair. “My son Peyton and I had previously rebuilt and modified an ’87 E28 that had been in our family since 1990,” Dan explains. “Peyton purchased the car from his grandfather - it was a gem! We got to work with a motor swap, fitting an M30B36 stroker motor from BimmerHeads, M5 interior, M5 brakes, M5 suspension, coilovers, AC Schnitzer Type 2s, the works. “Why did I choose an E30 this time?” he continues. “Well, it was the hot car when I was at high school, I always wanted one, and Landon was really keen on the idea of us building one together. He actually found this car in San Diego. We had been looking for an E30 for a while, and the condition of this car when we found it… hell, this car was roached! Just totally hammered! It had dents, torn interior, bald tyres, bent

CHASSIS 8.5x17” (front) and 9x17” (rear) BBS RS wheels with 2” lips (front) and 3” lips (rear), 205/40 (front) and 215/40 (rear) Nexen N Fera SU1 tyres, Air Lift Performance suspension with adjustable dampers and Viair compressors, CAtuned rear poly subframe mounts and trailing arm mounts, CAtuned steering giubo, grooved StopTech discs, CAtuned stainless brake lines

EXTERIOR Full body restoration, full respray in Space grey, M Tech spoiler, glass sunroof

INTERIOR Acme Tops and Tunes custom interior, CAtuned suede dash top and black headlining, Nardi steering wheel, custom JL stereo system, custom cluster by Bavarian Restoration, CAtuned stainless gear knob and handbrake handle

THANKS Special thanks to my wife’s patience, CAtuned, Acme Tops and Tunes, EWheelWorks, and Bavarian Restoration. And to my son Landon this was a blast!

DECEMBER 2017 11

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Stunning 17” BBS RSs

Single tank and compressor setup wonky wheels – Dan and Landon shipped the iconic RS rims off to Paul Ehrlich at Ehrlich Wheel Works to be thoroughly rejuvenated. What came back was a glimmering staggered setup measuring 8.5x17” up front and an extra half-inch of width at the rear, with 2” and 3” lips respectively. To get these sparkling rims tucked oh-so tastefully in the stock arches, Dan and Landon made a decision that we suspect they’d been plotting all along: to fit a full Air Lift suspension system. “It just makes sense,” says Dan, as if any justification were needed. “Air-ride gives you better flexibility and adjustability in driving height, plus you get that swag look when you park the car - lay them guts in the weeds!” The dented and abused bodywork has been fully refreshed, as you’ll be able to see by gazing down the flanks of the twodoor body in the photos here. The whole thing is as straight as an arrow, it looks as if it could have rolled off the production line last week. The choice of Space grey is inspired as well, accentuating as it does the attention to detail inherent within

this build. This isn’t a car that needs to shout loudly about its credentials, it’s just oozing charm and poise from every pore. Proof positive that you don’t need to be boisterous if your focus is on doing things right. Naturally you can’t perfect the exterior and leave the insides all tatty and forlorn, so the innards have been treated to a full custom job by Acme Tops and Tunes, lavishing the seats with baseball-stitched super-soft leather, complemented by CAtuned’s suede dash top and black headlining. The audio’s been exponentially upgraded too because hey, the E30 was an ’80s icon, and you need the tunes to provide the soundtrack. A bit of hair metal perhaps, or something with a lot of synths – whichever retro fancy takes them, the fellas have the JL audio gear to cope. “My long-time friend Rene Cornejo, owner of Acme Tops and Tunes, put a twist on the interior with the reverse double stitching on the seats and the clean stereo installation,” says Dan. “It took two weeks from start to finish with no problems! These guys are legit.

“The over-arching idea was to keep the car old-school with a touch of new flair,” he goes on, and it’s pretty safe to say that the finish satisfies the brief. “When I was a kid I always wanted my dad to put BBS RS rims on his BMWs – it’s a timeless wheel, and all the badass Beemers in the 1980s and ’90s had them – so I’m happy to have ticked that box now. And of course we had the input of my good friend Igor at CAtuned throughout, he really did help us out a lot with this build.” All-in, the creation of this quintessentially Californian 3 Series took just nine months, which is pretty phenomenal when you consider the extent of the transformation, and it appears to have spurred Dan on yet further. “Next, I want to build a car with all three of my sons,” he exclaims, with some vigour. “We’re going to build my dad’s Euro-spec ’85 E24 M635CSi.” Honestly, this family is insatiable – they won’t be satisfied until all of northern California is liberally sprinkled with gorgeously restored and tastefully updated old BMWs. And you know what? That’s just fine with us ●


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PRODUCTS COBRA SPORT M140i CAT-BACK EXHAUST New from Cobra Sport this month comes an uprated exhaust system for BMW’s turbocharged pocket rocket. The system is made from 3” T304 stainless steel pipework, mandrel bent throughout to ensure there are no pinch points or restrictions, maximising exhaust gas flow. The cat-back exhaust weighs just 16.32kg, a saving of 21% over the standard system as well as offering a deeper, more aggressive sound and the system is finished off with a pair of 3.5”, inward-rolled, highly-polished tailpipes. Cobra Sport offers the option of either a resonated or louder non-resonated centre section, depending on what you’re after, and the exhaust system can be matched with a choice of replacement front pipe options in the form of either a sports cat or de-cat downpipe, for an even more exciting soundtrack.

Price: From £858, downpipe from £660 Web: www.cobrasport.com Tel: 0114 244 7123

MOSSELMAN F8x M3/M4 STAGE 3.1 TUNING PACKAGE Now available from MStyle, the UK distributor of Mosselman tuning products, is Mosselman’s stage 3.1 tuning package for all F8x M3 and M4 models. The package consists of an ECU remap, Akrapovic downpipes and Mosselman hybrid turbochargers with rebuilt internals using uprated hardware. The compressor wheel and turbine wheel are both uprated and enlarged and the turbocharger’s internals are re-machined to suit the larger components. If not already installed, an upgraded exhaust system is also recommended and, when combined with the components of the Tuning Package, increases power to a monumental 620hp along with and 561lb ft of torque. Fitting is available at MStyle’s Romford tuning centre.

Price: Special offer price £5995 inc. Vat, fitting £720 Web: www.mstyle.co.uk Tel: 020 8598 9115

F8x M3 AND M4 ILLUMINATED GEAR KNOB Available from Schmiedmann is this sexy BMW gear knob complete with equally sexy Alcantara gaiter, which features M tricolour stitching. The gear knob itself features a textured front section and Alcantara rear trim and is the perfect addition to your M3 or M4 interior.

Price: £312 Web: www.schmiedmann.com

MSTYLE CARBON STYLING PROGRAMME FOR G30 5 SERIES The G30 5 Series may not have been out for very long but MStyle has already put together a range of carbon styling additions for the executive saloon. These include a front splitter set, rear diffuser set, side skirt extensions and a boot spoiler, all finished in sexy carbon fibre, which combine to give the big saloon an added air of aggression. Fitting is available at MStyle’s Romford HQ.

Price: Front splitter set £795, rear diffuser set £795, side skirt extensions £695, boot spoiler £269, all prices include Vat Web: www.mstyle.co.uk Tel: 020 8598 9115 14 PERFORMANCE BMW

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EIBACH F8x M3 AND M4 PRO-KIT If you’re looking to lower your M3 or M4 then Eibach’s Pro-Kit springs are exactly what you need and the company’s new US-spec springs, straight from its US factory in California, offer more level lowering than the European Pro-Kit springs. The M3 receives a drop of 25mm front and 15mm rear while the M4 is lowered by 20mm at the front and 10-15mm at the rear, making both cars look better as well as lowering their centre of gravity to improve handling. The progressively wound springs are computer-matched to work with the OEM dampers, and also work with the EDC damping units, thus maintaining ride quality and performance. Competition Pack-equipped models need not miss out as the Pro-Kit will also fit these models. In addition to this, Eibach’s Pro-Kit comes with a five-year warranty.

Price: £320.80 Email: sales@eibach.co.uk Tel: 01455 285851

RENOWN CHICANE SERIES STEERING WHEEL Renown is know for producing some of the sexiest steering wheels around and its latest offering is no exception. This seriously sexy threespoke wheel is available in a wide variety of options, allowing you to customise it exactly how you want; choose from leather, perforated leather or Alcanatara finishes with black, gold, red or tricolour motorsport stitching. The Chicane wheel measures 370mm in diameter and 70mm in depth and features a 6x70mm PCD Momo mounting pattern; Renown ships worldwide so you can enjoy this gorgeous wheel wherever you may be.

Price: $205-225 (approx. £160-175) Email: renownusa@gmail.com Web: www.renownusa.com

SUPERSPRINT F3x 3/4 SERIES 16/18/20d SPORT SILENCER If you wish your diesel 3 or 4 Series looked a little more exciting then Supersprint’s latest offering is most definitely for you. This stainless steel sport rear silencer features twin 90mm exhaust tips that will instantly give your 3 or 4 Series a far more sporty look; your rear bumper will obviously need to be trimmed in order to accommodate the second pipe but the good news is that it will fit all 3 and 4 Series body styles.

Price: £1030 Web: www.schmiedmann.com

MSTYLE F30 3 SERIES LIGHTING UPGRADE PACKAGE Winter is fast approaching and with those long nights in mind MStyle has announced that it can now supply a Lighting Upgrade Package for F30 3 Series models. The package consists of a pair of angel eye headlamps and two genuine F30 LCI tail lights. The Upgrade Package is suitable for pre-LCI cars that are currently equipped with halogen headlamps from the factory.

Price: £1499 including Vat and fitting Web: www.mstyle.co.uk Tel: 020 8598 9115 16 PERFORMANCE BMW

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f i n a n c e ava i l a b l e ONLINE






BMW air ride kits e30|e36|e46 e90|e91|e92|e93 1 series | ‘M’ Models


car audio car audio

s e c u r i t y / t r ac k e r

a l l oy w h e e l s




Created specifically for the E46 M3 radiator, these fan mounts can be offset mounted as desired on the radiator, left or right. Simply mark the desired location and drill mounting holes into the top and bottom rails of the radiator. Two versions are available: For those who delete the stock AUX fan, you can reuse the stock controller to control fan speed as a function of temperature and vehicle speed. A mounting bracket is supplied for the controller. For those who already have a fan controller or are running a switched setup, a controller bracket is not necessary and is not included. The fan will be close enough to the radiator such that a gasket will not be required and is far enough from the radiator fins as to not contact them. The mounts are compatible with all 16” SPAL fans and fans with the same mounting dimensions. Please check your setup’s particular clearance needs to choose the best fan profile for your application and cooling needs. The mounts are constructed from 6016 aluminium — very lightweight and sturdy. All necessary mounting hardware is included.

Placed directly behind the radiator, the N15 Design centre bonnet vent brings additional efficiency to the cooling system while providing additional front downforce by evacuating high pressure air under the bonnet. Both function and form were considered in the design process, and the vents complement the lines of the car. Paired with the side vents, water temperatures can drop as much as 8°C on a warm day. For cars with adjustable rear wings, it may be necessary to add more angle to compensate for the additional front downforce for optimal balance. Vents ship flat and in bare unfinished aluminium. They can be bent by hand to the desired angle. They can be mounted above or below the hood, and it is recommended to paint the vents in your desired finish.

N15 DESIGN E46 M3 BONNET SIDE VENTS N15 DESIGN E9x M3 BONNET VENTS N15 DESIGN E36 BONNET VENTS N15 DESIGN E46 NON-M SALOON BONNET VENTS (PRE-FACELIFT) The E46 M3 bonnet vents were designed to bring efficiency to the cooling system while providing front downforce by evacuating high pressure air under the bonnet. Both function and form were considered in the design process, and the vents complement the lines of the car. The vents are based on the vents that came on the E46 M3 GTR street car. Water temperatures can drop by as much as 8°C on a warm day. For cars with adjustable rear wings, it may be necessary to add more angle to compensate for the additional front downforce for optimal balance. Vents ship flat and in bare unfinished aluminium. They can be bent by hand to the desired angle. They can be mounted above or below the bonnet and it is recommended to paint the vents in your desired finish. Package includes: Full set of installation instructions (2) hood side vents (25) 1/8 aluminium pop rivets in black Cutting templates The N15 Design E9x M3 Bonnet Vents also feature an optional gurney flap for maximum air extraction and drag reduction. The gurney flap creates a low pressure area above the first few slats in the vents to make them even more effective. A must-have for track cars!

Package includes: Full set of installation instructions (1) Centre E46 M3 vent (6) 1/8 aluminium pop rivets in black (1) Cutting template

N15 DESIGN E46 M3 FRONT WING VENTS The primary purpose of wing vents is to reduce lift on the front axle and drag stemming from the front wheel well area. Until now, the only such products available for the E46 M3 were integrated on expensive, ill-fitting fibreglass/carbon fibre wings which require a body shop to fit and paint. We spent countless hours perfecting the shape and selecting the right material to achieve a good fitment. It isn’t easy designing flat sheet metal to conform to a compound curve, but we achieved it. Introducing the N15 Design front fender vent: • Reduces drag and increases front downforce • Form-fitting design that integrates with the body lines of the E46 M3 • Easy DIY installation • Instructions, cutting templates, and installation hardware included The vents ship flat and can be bent to shape by hand (installation instructions will show you how).

PRICE N15 Design E46 M3 Electric Fan Mount £150 Bonnet Side Vents £155 N15 Design E46 M3 Centre Bonnet Vent £115 N15 Design E46 M3 Front Wing Vents £165 Prices exclude shipping

CONTACT PSDesigns n15design.com www.psdesignsglobal.com sales@psdesigns.global 07500 900 809


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WIN T his year saw Japanese tyre manufacturer Falken campaign a BMW M6 GT3 for the first time in the iconic Nürburgring 24 Hours. Performing consistently, the M6 GT3 showed excellent performance on its Falken rubber through the heat witnessed on Saturday and in the cooler hours of the night as well as during the sudden rain fall as the race reached its conclusion.


All of Falken’s learning at the Nürburgring is poured into its road tyres that are suitable for BMW road cars. From run-flat tyres that offer safety and performance through to durable, high load tyres designed specifically for SUVs, Falken offers tyres suitable to maximise the driving pleasure of getting behind the wheel of your BMW. That performance is now also possible all-year-round with a range of all-season and cold weather tyres

that deliver grip in the colder and wetter autumn and winter months. Falken in conjunction with Performance BMW is offering a reader the chance to win a set of Falken tyres. Simply answer the question below for a chance to win and good luck!



TO ENTER SIMPLY ANSWER THIS QUESTION CORRECTLY: Who were the four drivers in the Falken BMW M6 GT3 at the Nürburgring 24 Hours? Send your answer plus your name, address, phone number and tyre sizes required to pbmw.ed@kelsey.co.uk with the subject “Falken Competition” TERMS AND CONDITIONS

This competition is open to UK readers only. The winner will be the first correct entry drawn when the competition closes at midday on Friday 8 December 2017. Kelsey Media takes no responsibility beyond promoting this competition, and no cash alternative or adjustment is available. The competition is not open to employees or associates of either Kelsey Media, Falken or Performance BMW. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


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Supply and manufacture of performance parts for prestige and supercars n PSDesigns E46 Chassis Reinforcement/Repair Kits n PSDesigns Bracketry n PSDesigns Velocity Stack Conversions n PSDesigns GTS Style Conversions n High Quality Carbon Fibre Parts n Cobra Seats n Remote tuning by TTFS n RTD Short Shifters n N15 Design Bonnet Vents n Soul Performance Exhaust Systems n Methanol Injection Systems n H&R Suspension n Forged Wheels n Wide range of other aftermarket parts available n Consultancy Service

T: 07500 900809 E: info@psdesigns.global


M-Style DPS v40-275x200.qxp 24/10/2017 11:03 Page 1

Main Dealer Level Servicing


or visit our shop & showroom


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CAR of the MONTH


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FINANCE % AVAILABLE Subject to Status


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Buy from M-Style now and take advantage of the weak Pound ! We can ship parts directly from country of origin straight to your door. You pay in GB Pounds.

Job Sheet

E90 M3, only covered 9,000 miles since new.

•Vorsteiner front bumper kit

•Rear diffuser

•Carbon mirror caps

•Black kidney grilles

•Sideskirt extensions

•Vorsteiner VF103 19” wheels

•Rear diffuser

•Carbon fibre CSL style bootlid

MENU SERVICING REPAIRS & Maintenance at Affordable Rates !

COURTESY CARS available DURING SERVICE Nationwide Pick Up/Drop Off

Telephone 0208 598 9115 sales@mstyle.co.uk Unit 2, Northgate Park, Collier Row Road, Romford, Essex RM5 2BG. UK

Visit our other websites too! www.prior-design.co.uk www.mstyle-3ddesign.co.uk www.autoenhance.co.uk

M-Style DPS v40-275x200.qxp 24/10/2017 11:03 Page 2

Parts, Accessories & Upgrades for all BMW Models

E91/E92/93 Wide vArches


Tyres from just £495 per set




Quantum- 19” Wider rears. Various Colours


LM Style - 18”, 19” ,20” Wider rears. Various Colours E90/E91 £348 E92/E93 £348

F32/F33 Styling

Complete with chrome trims and side indicators E8x 1 series £399 F10/F11 . . . £399

BMW 1 Series Panels




Springs & Suspension Kits



CSL Style-18”19” Wider rears. Various Colours

CSL Style Black 18”, 19” Wider rears. Various Colours

Discs, Calipers, Pads and Hoses

LIGHTING UPGRADES ICI Rear Lamp Upgrades Angel Eye Headlamps Xenon Headlamps



Vented powerdome bonnet Primed £495.00 / Carbon £695.00 CSL style bootlid (for coupe only) Primed £409.00 Carbon £549.00

Apollo - 19” Wider rears. Various Colours

Tyrus - 18”, 19” Wider rears. Various Colours

Part of the

ICI Rear Lamp Upgrade

Carbon Fibre Kerscher front splitter for E82/E88 1M £279.00

E91/E92/93 Rear Diffusers

For early E92 & E93 Includes complete rear lamp units and wiring adaptor to update to late model ICI lights. Update kit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £634.80 Coding to car’s ECU (required) . . . . . . . . £96.00

Various versions including Quad Exhaust. Unpainted from £120.00

Lighting Upgrade Set - E46

Carbon Fibre from £204.00




HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION SUPPLIED and FITTED All prices include VAT. Prices correct at time of going to press but subject to alteration without notice. E&OE.

£499.00 Carbon rear diffuser for all F32 4 series 435i models or cars with the dual exit exhausts. £499.00

1 Series Carbon Splitter MStyle Racing 3 piece splitter

Fits F20


Lighting Upgrade FROM Package Includes LED Rear Lights .60 (4 Pieces),Side Repeaters and Front Indicators in clear or smoked. Saloon (all) & Coupe >2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . £177.60 Convertible >2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . £234.00



Smoked £59.00


Fits BMW 4 Series F32/F33 Coupé & Convertible models . . . . . .£879.00

Eisenmann Exhausts

Quad Exhaust Conversions from £975.00

H&R Lowering Springs Angel Eye Headlamps .00 for E30 & E32/E34 Black or Chrome . . . . from £129.00

Projector £79.00 Foglamps £59.00

Lighting - E30 & E32/E34


Front Foglamp Sets Fits E46 and E39 Sports and M3/M5

Digital Data Displays . from £599.00 Cars with Exhaust Flap from £995.00 Available for most BMW’s from 2006 onwards including the E46 M3






4 Series Sportlook Kit


Awron Data Displays


Evo carbon vented bonnet for all F32 and F33 models excellent quality and fitment. £798.00

www.prior-design.co.uk • www.mstyle-3ddesign.co.uk • www.autoenhance.co.uk



£69.95 F32/33 gloss black kidney grilles with the double slats (M3 look) £69.95

E92/93 HID Xenon Conversion Superbright HID Xenon Conversion for E92/E93 supplied £195.00 fully fitted £295.00

Lowering Spring Kits available for most BMW models from £169.58 per set Examples: E46 lowering springs . . . from £175 E92 lowering springs . . . from £199 F10 lowering springs . . . from £250 F80 M3 F82 & F84 M4 lowering springs . . . . . . . . . . . . . from £219

Shop on-line at www.mstyle.co.uk or visit our store & showroom

Showroom & Service Centre: Unit 2, Northgate Park, Collier Row Road, Romford, Essex RM5 2BG. UK


s there such a thing as too much? Too much of a good thing? Too much of anything in general? Sometimes, maybe, but for Auvee Bhattacharjya we get the feeling that doesn’t compute. You only need to look at the E93 M3 that he’s created to realise that, because this car almost isn’t real. It’s the sort of car you might dream up if you sat down to write your ultimate fantasy mods list on a rainy afternoon and got carried away, or the sort of car you might hope to be able to

afford to buy in Gran Turismo for 1 million credits. It’s a fantasy brought to life, a creation built without any real limits or restrictions and we’re very glad it exists because without cars like this and people like Auvee, the world would be a very boring, grey place indeed. Auvee loves cars, always has done, always will and it’s BMWs in particular that have been floating his boat ever since he first started driving, all of eight years ago (yes, he’s young, deal with it). “When I

first started driving, I viewed BMWs to be highly desirable and luxurious cars - but as I delved deeper into the car scene, I gained quite a bit of appreciation for BMWs’ other strengths, including a high level of customisability, their high-performance motors and unparalleled handling” says Auvee and it was this that sucked him into the inescapable Bavarian vortex that we all know and love so well. “The first BMW I purchased was a 2007 E92 335i, which I bought when I was still in college,” he


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LIMIT Outrageous, outlandish and completely over-the-top, this wild, wide-body, supercharged E93 M3 is the kind of insane build we love to see Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Mike Kuhn

continues. “The 2007 Acura TSX I owned prior to that had just been totalled in an accident (I was OK, thankfully!) and, as a result, I was forced into the market for a new car. Having previously owned Japanese “grocery-getter” type-sedans I decided to look for a vehicle that was a departure from these cars. As I started to do research, I quickly came to realise that the 335i was relatively fast from the factory, with a highly-customisable twin-turbo motor and was gaining lots of

traction from an aftermarket perspective. I was sold after my first test drive - the motor performed incredibly and sounded great, and the tight steering and handling were like nothing I’d experienced previously,” he says. For a lot of people a 335i would be a great place to be car-wise but Auvee had set his sights that much higher and the impetuousness of youth meant that, after two years of twin-turbo shenanigans, he was itching to move onto the bad boy of

the 3 Series family and get himself into a full-fat, V8-powered M3. While it wasn’t the only potential purchase on his shopping list, jostling for his attention alongside an Audi RS4, Merc C63 and Nissan GT-R, the M3 ticked his boxes as far as price and performance were concerned. The only decision that remained was deciding which body style to go for. “I initially set out to purchase an M3 Coupé; however, after test driving the Convertible, I was instantly sold on it. There’s nothing like being able DECEMBER 2017 25

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Inside you will find a pair of gorgeous, Kevlar-backed Bride GIAS V2 seats with Corbeau race harnesses and a customised Autopower roll-cage, finished in striking yellow, along with fully-upgraded audio

Air Lift 3H controller

Interior dominated by yellow roll-cage and Kevlar-backed Bride buckets

to drop the top on the car on a summer day,” he says. So, with Auvee now the proud owner of an E93 M3 the modding could begin. Except that Auvee didn’t actually have any plans for the car at all. “I actually told myself that I wouldn’t modify this car at all. The plan was to keep this car stock for as long as I owned it. Clearly, I deviated from my plans a tad…” he laughs but it’s OK, we’ve all been there and, secretly, we’re all pretty happy about that – a stock car is a sad car. Auvee breaks the subsequent madness that ensued into two phases: phase one, which we’d like to call mild but it isn’t really because phase one alone would be a complete project car on its own; and phase two, which we’d like to call wild and that’s a bit more accurate but


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still falls short of accurately describing just how comprehensively this car has been transformed. Things started off sensibly enough with the sort of mods that your average E9x M3 owner might well decide to spring for. One of the first items on Auvee’s shopping list was an exhaust and, as we always say, if you own a V8 then it’s the law that you need to get an exhaust on it. That was pretty much his thinking too, especially with the added bonus of a removable roof allowing him to enjoy that V8 soundtrack with minimal obstruction. Auvee opted for a custom valved exhaust setup from Lowered Congress, which was later complemented by the addition of a Gintani Extreme Burble Tune for maximum aural pleasure. Next up came

the air-ride; obviously Auvee wanted to get his M3 sitting nice and close to the ground but his geographical location meant that coilovers weren’t going to cut it. “Living in New York City, having the ability to raise the car to get over bumps (read: craters!) is key, especially with low front and rear lips,” he explains, so that made his mind up for him on the suspension front. His kit of choice was Air Lift’s all-singing, all-dancing height-based 3H setup and, as we all know, once you’ve got air on there you need some wheels to go with that ultra drop. With an E9x M3 the wheel choice you’ve got is truly vast, so vast as to possibly be a little overwhelming, but Auvee had his sights set on one set in particular. “I initially purchased my Work Brombacher wheels during the first phase

of my build. I opted for a set with polished lips and matt gunmetal faces and they are one of the few Brombacher sets made in a 5x120 bolt pattern,” explains Auvee. The Brombachers’ classic cross-spoke design is timeless and looks great on any car, the E93 included, and the gunmetal centres and polished lips work together so well while being three-piece meant they gave Auvee the flexibility to upgrade them to suit phase two… At this point the M3 was coming along nicely but there was still room for improvement and Auvee now turned his attention to the styling. Whichever body style you prefer, the E9x M3 is a goodlooking car so for phase one the plan was to enhance those good looks with a little bit of carbon fibre, because you really DECEMBER 2017 27

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Gintani Stage 2.5 supercharger kit makes 700hp

Supercharged Liberty Walk E93 M3


can’t go wrong with carbon. While still in slimline mode the M3 was enhanced with a GT4 front splitter, Varis upper and lower rear diffuser – which it still wears and which frames the fat exhausts perfectly – and a number of other additions. With that fine selection of mods, Auvee and his M3 were in a good place and all was right with the world. Well, for a while at least, because the dangerous combination of burgeoning modding addiction and youthful exuberance meant that he was never going to be satisfied with his work thus far and so the ante was well and truly upped as Auvee began to take his M3 into phase two… There’s no point attempting to beat about any bushes of any kind because the main component of phase two was what you see in all the pictures, boldly and unashamedly slapping you in the face with its outrageous width and taking this M3 from mild to wild, and that’s the Liberty Walk body kit. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that it makes a big impact and turns heads like nobody’s business, cranking this M3’s styling concept up to 11. “After I decided to go with a wide-body build, I had two options I could choose from: either a sleek, subtle design (for example: flat duckbill spoiler and a dark, satin vinyl wrap) or a wild design - I think I ultimately opted for the latter,” says Auvee with masterful understatement and we’d second that. “Roman from Exclusive Vinyl was critical to the design of my build,” he continues. “We ran into a few problems along the way, primarily with installation of the wide-body kit, due to the fact that the E93 chassis differs from the E92 chassis, but Exclusive Vinyl got the job done for me in time for the car’s first show, where it won two awards (Best Euro and Best BMW).” Of course, fitting the kit was all well and good but Auvee needed a hit of something extra to really push the envelope as far as it could possibly go – and then a little further still – and that was the colour. Subsequently, the car has been wrapped in Signal green, originally a Porsche colour, and it’s absolutely awesome. It’s a solid shade that’s a visual smack in the face, that makes such a nice change from your usual colour suspects and which works so very well not just with the kit and the wheels but with the whole look of the car. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that opting for such an eyeball-slapping shade was a master stroke that brings all of the elements together. We mentioned that the Brombachers’ three-piece build meant that they could grow with the car and now, via a set of


Custom valved exhaust delivers a sensational soundtrack serious lips, the 19s have been widened to a mighty 11” up front and a frankly scary 14” at the back, wrapped in similarly ridiculously wide rubber all-round, and absolutely necessary in order to fill out those absolutely enormous arches, which they do with aplomb. Auvee’s M3 now had the sort of looks that stop traffic but he wasn’t done with it yet and now it was time to turn up the wick, keep turning and then just burn the whole house down for good measure. “During the second phase of my build, I wanted to take things up a notch,” says Auvee, casually. “I was looking at superchargers closely, as they are the most reliable way to make big power with the S65 motor. I spoke with Alex at Gintani who sold me on Gintani’s Stage 2.5 Supercharger kit. A short while later, I had the supercharger kit sitting at my front door. Needless to say, I’m more than happy with the level of power the car is generating at this point - approximately 700hp to the crank,” and that would be enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Pop the bonnet and you’re greeted by the

4.0-litre V8 S65B40, Gintani Stage 2.5 Supercharger kit with water/methanol injection, custom Gintani tune, custom Lowered Congress valved exhaust setup. Seven-speed M DCT gearbox

CHASSIS 11x19” (front) and 14x19” (rear) Work Brombacher three-piece wheels with gunmetal centres and polished lips, 245/30 (front) and 325/30 (rear) Hankook Ventus V12 Evo tyres, Air Lift Performance 3H air suspension, StopTech ST60 BBK with sixpiston calipers and 380x35mm discs (front), ST40 BBK with four-piston calipers and 355x32mm discs (rear)

EXTERIOR Liberty Walk wide-body kit, full exterior wrap in Porsche Signal green, Mod Emporium custom carbon headlights, carbon side repeaters, Aeroflow Dynamics carbon side skirt extensions, Vorsteiner carbon boot lid, Battle Aero wing with custom end plates, Varis upper and lower carbon rear diffuser

INTERIOR Bride GIAS V2 Kevlar Seats with Corbeau seat harnesses, customised Auto Power roll-cage, upgraded Focal component speakers and tweeters, JL Audio amplifier, RE Audio subwoofer mounted between rear seats

THANKS I have to give thanks to Roman at Exclusive Vinyl in Long Island for helping me bring my vision to reality and keeping my car show- and street-ready at all times. I also have to thank Alex at Gintani, who has been immensely helpful in supporting my build as well!


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I was looking at superchargers closely, as they are the most reliable way to make big power with the S65 motor. I spoke with Alex at Gintani who sold me on Gintani’s Stage 2.5 Supercharger kit

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sight of that bright red plenum, swooping carbon fibre intake and, of course, the supercharger itself, tucked away in the corner and the whole lot is topped off with water/meth injection to help keep things cool and keep the power coming. Of course power is nothing without control, as the old adage goes, and so lurking behind the spokes of the Brombachers you will find a mighty StopTech BBK, with six-pot calipers and four-pot calipers fitted front and rear respectively, capable of matching the Gintani supercharger’s massive amounts of go with equally large

amounts of stopping power when Auvee demands it. Now the end was in sight and Auvee began to apply the finishing touches, though that’s a relative term in the context of this build. The interior had, thus far, remained untouched but all that was about to change and to go with the wild exterior and ferocious power output he decided to opt for a race theme. Inside you will find a pair of gorgeous, Kevlar-backed Bride GIAS V2 seats with Corbeau race harnesses and a customised Autopower roll-cage, finished in striking yellow,

Custom carbonlined headlights

Monster BBK lurks behind 19” Brombachers

along with fully-upgraded audio. The final elements of the build were the exceedingly sexy, custom, carbon-lined Mod Emporium headlights and that absolutely enormous Battle Aero rear wing with custom end plates, because when you’ve gone this far why not go a little bit further? After all that we feel like we need to give ourselves five minutes just to take it all in because this is without doubt an absolutely monster build. Auvee has put a lot into this car and the result has absolutely transformed it into a true one-off. It’s incredibly comprehensive and Auvee has left no stone unturned, no component unmodded in the pursuit of modded M3 perfection. So, is it done? “Though I am keeping a close eye on up-and-coming aftermarket parts, I don’t have any plans for major changes at this time,” he replies. “I like the car as it sits right now - aside from potentially changing the wheels next season and vinyl wrapping the car differently.” Were money truly no object he says he would have skipped the supercharger and jumped straight on Gintani’s twin-turbo kit but even with a build like this you have to draw the line somewhere. Besides, that money could be better spent elsewhere because, once you’ve built a car like this, very few others could possibly follow it and so Auvee has set his sights a little higher for his next purchase. “I am considering a Lamborghini Huracan or Aventador, or a Ferrari 458 in the near future,” he says and we reckon one of those might just live up to the widebody, supercharged E93 M3 experience, which is saying something. For now, though, Auvee’s built himself one hell of a green machine and it’s never not going to put a smile on his face, which is what this is all about ●


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No matter what BMW you drive, we’ll get the most out of it.

BimmerWorld stocks a huge range of hand-picked, thoroughly tested performance and replacement parts for your BMW

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Stuck for what to get the petrolhead in your life? You could do a lot worse than treating them to one of Pioneer’s new-for-2017 audio offerings, including cutting edge multimedia players, speakers and subs.


here’s a lot to be said for treating the petrolhead in your life to an audio upgrade this Christmas, not least because Pioneer, easily one of the most respected names in the business, has recently unveiled its expanded range of brand new, cutting edge audio offerings. Not only do the products below groan under the (figurative) weight of advanced features and industry leading functions, they will transform the manner in which your nearest and dearest listens to their music, making it a doublewhammy of a gift!



Pioneer’s AVH-Z5000DAB is able to strike the perfect balance between performance, technology and price, making it something of an audio legend (and a bit of a bargain to boot) and more than capable of holding its own against more expensive offerings. In line with the other units mentioned here (and kick-starting something of a Pioneer theme), the AVH-Z5000DAB majors on ease of connectivity, meaning it can be swiftly and seamlessly connected to smartphones, in turn allowing the user access to the myriad applications supported by modern Apple and Android hardware. The unit’s 6.2” clear type touchscreen can be used in conjunction with Apple’s much-vaunted CarPlay system, an addition which makes listening to music while on the move a doddle, and this is never more apparent than when using Spotify. Indeed, the world’s most popular music streaming application is intuitive to access and configure, while Bluetooth capability allows for seamless streaming of music while on the move. Pioneer feels that there’s little worse than being left ‘out in the cold’ technology-wise, which is why the AVH-Z5000DAB can function just as seamlessly with Android smartphones as Apple, and it’s all down to Android Auto. Similar in concept to CarPlay, Android Auto enables Android users to stream music, access and utilise appropriate apps, all without distracting them from the most important task at hand, driving. Spotify, CDs and Bluetooth are all well and good, but Pioneer also recognises the continued importance of radio to the majority of drivers, hence the AVHZ5000DAB’s built in DAB/DAB+ Digital Radio, a handy feature which will doubtless become all the more so if the government goes ahead with its planned ‘digital switchover’ in the coming years. Factor in the Auto EQ, Auto Time Alignment and Optimised PCB layout, and it becomes all too clear why Pioneer products have been the audiophile’s choice for generations.

King of the 2017 range and a unit with the power to slacken-jaws at the press of a button, the AVH-Z7000DAB is a true audio powerhouse. We’ll get into the technical aspects of this unit in a second but first it’s important to address just what makes this such an amazing bit of kit, its fully motorised, ‘flip-up’ screen. A full 7” across, the touchscreen is mated to what must count as one of the most impressively engineered multimedia player chassis currently on the market. It effectively transforms from a single DIN unit into a double DIN, allowing owners of the former access to a wealth of features normally restricted to those with double DIN dashes. It’s an action that never ceases to amaze and stubbornly refuses to get old! In line with the other AVH-Z units in the Pioneer 2017 range, the mighty AVH-Z7000DAB can support an array of useful third-party applications, one of the most exciting (not to mention useful) being Waze, a community-based navigational app. Already a proven product with a massive community of dedicated users, Waze can be accessed via AppRadio mode and effectively means that it can effectively double as a navigational unit as and when required… and at no additional cost to you. Spotify can be utilised by both Apple and Android users (the former via CarPlay, the latter through Android Auto), with the music streaming services’ song libraries now able to be controlled directly via the headunit itself. With the AVH-Z7000DAB, the days of getting lost while fumbling for your favourite music are utterly banished! It also sports a built in DAB/DAB+ radio, further underscoring its suitability for those that value music above all else.

SRP £629

SRP £559


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The SPH-DA230DAB is Pioneer’s premier mechafree unit and builds upon the company’s long history of developing lightweight players with a plethora of trick functions. It can handle all the connectivity options enjoyed by its AVH relations mentioned previously (including navigation via Waze), and comes complete with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity technology. The former was something Pioneer, well, pioneered on the SPH-DA230DAB’s sibling, the SPH-DA120, and it continues to be a key factor, certainly if the intended recipient of your gift is a fully paid up Apple fan. In line with the AVH duo mentioned earlier in this feature, the SPHDA230DAB has a deeply impressive Bluetooth receiver nestled within it, one which is perfect for permitting music streaming via Spotify and, in a further nod to on-the-road safety, Siri Eyes Free technology. Said Bluetooth receiver has also been overhauled and can now handle two separate smartphone connections at the same time, ideal for those with business and personal phones, and it enables hands-free calling and automatic phonebook transfer. Last but by no means least (seriously, there’s nowhere near enough space to go through all of these units’ capabilities here, you’ll have to pop over to Pioneer’s website), the SPH-DA230 boasts an advanced DAB/DAB+ radio receiver. This of course allows access to the staggering variety of digital stations operating in the UK today, and will also stand the person you’re buying it for in good stead when the FM switch-off comes into force sometime in the next decade.

SRP £399

Trick features, displays and app connectivity are only one part of the Pioneer puzzle though, and the firm is just as well placed to offer all manner of supporting audio hardware, including active subwoofers. Which sub you should buy your nearest and dearest rather depends on your budget and how much space they have in their car, hence why we reckon the TS-WX70DA is such a good bet thanks to its compact size, innovative design and considerable audio punch! Pioneer Digital Bass Control lies at the heart of the TS-WX70DA, a unique feature which effectively allows for a pair of unique bass modes to be toggled between as and when the user feels. The two modes in question are DEEP and DYNAMIC, with each able to produce bass that’s not only strong, rich and deep, yet also distinct from one another. The latter point is of particular importance, as it’s what allows the TS-WX70DA to handle such a massive variety of different musical genres, all of which offer different demands and unique characteristics. It ensures that whether you’re buying for a Metallica or a Mozart fan, they’ll be well covered by the TS-WX70DA. The TS-WX70DA is far from a one trick pony, and the aforementioned Digital Bass Control facility is backed up by good, old fashioned, 200W power, not to mention Pioneer Class-D sub technology and a pair of 16cm drivers. This immense power doesn’t come at the expense of practicality however, and the TS-WX70DA’s compact chassis actually measures a mere 97cm in height. This ensures that it’s easily small enough to fit the vast majority of installs, even those where space is at a premium. It’s so small that it doesn’t rob boot space, to the extent that luggage can even be loaded on top of it.



Pioneer started out as a dedicated speaker maker back in 1937 so it should come as no surprise to learn that it still makes some of the best in the business! In fact, the firm’s speakers are often seen in fully paid up audio competition cars, meaning the petrolhead in your life will be in very good company indeed.

From £21.99



The Pioneer speaker range is nothing if not inclusive, and the company prides itself on being able to offer advanced audio upgrades for all, no matter their budget. The TS-D speaker series is a case in point; the units contained within it are very affordable yet make use of much of the technology found in the TS-Z series, including the much vaunted Open & Smooth concept. TS-D speakers also boast soft dome tweeters for extended high frequency performance, their hemispherical shape proven to reduce dome breakup due to excessive vibration. The upshot of this is exceptionally low levels of distortion and smooth, natural sound.

As you might have twigged from the products mentioned above, the ‘Z’ at the end of a Pioneer product’s name signifies extreme audio capability, hence why the new TS-Z range is already winning praise from audio geeks around the world. They benefit from Pioneer’s Open & Smooth sound concept which promotes smooth off-axial frequency response, superior directivity and an extended frequency range. While those phrases might mean very little to anyone not a fully paid up audiophile their impact is impossible to mistake, with the TS-Z series offering an incredibly pure sound that’s about as close to the original performance as it’s possible to get.


CONTACT www.pioneer-car.co.uk

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Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Raceport

THE IMP O All is not as it seems with this CSL because it’s actually based on an E28 and allowed one man to get as close to owning his dream car as was possible.


hat would you do if there was something that you really wanted but you couldn’t have? We’re not talking about something that didn’t actually exist, just something unattainable, completely out of

your reach and which you’d never be able to have. It’s highly likely that you’d just give up and move onto sometime else and we wouldn’t blame you, because it’s very likely we’d do exactly the same thing. But for Alexey Davydov, that wasn’t an option, he couldn’t move on and we’re glad that

he let his obsession take over because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the car you’re looking at here. You see, Alexey wanted a Batmobile, specifically a full-on E9 3.0 CSL Batmobile racer and who wouldn’t want one of those? If you have any appreciation for


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P OSSIBLE the classics, which you absolutely should have, then you’ll appreciate it for being the absolute icon that it is, a racing legend but as well as being incredibly desirable it is, for the vast majority of us, completely and utterly unattainable. Perhaps, with enough time and some seriously hardcore saving, you might possibly be able to afford a road-going CSL at some point in your life but you might as well forget

about ever owning a genuine racer. Alexey, however, couldn’t forget about his dream car but living in Russia made buying one, even a road-going Batmobile, virtually impossible. “I always wanted to have in my garage one of the E9 cars,” says Alexey, “but unfortunately we do not have such cars on sale and certainly there is no racing modification of the Batmobile. For the statistics of such cars in Russia

there are only two and both in the road specification.” That put paid to any plans of actually being able to own one of these mythical beasts but it wasn’t going to stop Alexey from achieving his dreams and he started looking at other ways of making Batmobile ownership a reality. “About two years ago, in Norway, some guys made something similar to a CSL out of an E28, but they cut the metal body and welded

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M20B20 has been rebuilt and cleaned up


E28s are not very rare in Russia, a few thousand were imported in the early ’90s and they are cheap and look similar (more or less) to the E9. Our ‘donor’ was in an average state E28 CSL Batmobile ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre six-cylinder M20B20, rebuilt, painted intake manifold and valve cover, custom side-exit exhaust. Five-speed manual gearbox

CHASSIS 11x15” (front) and 13x15” (rear) BBS RS wheels with 285/40 (front) and 345/40 (rear) Yokohama AV1-40 tyres, lowering springs, front strut brace

EXTERIOR Custom fibreglass front and rear wings, front bumper, roof spoiler and boot spoiler, wind splitters, rear pillar badges, respray in white with M tricolour racing stripe livery

INTERIOR Fully-stripped, Raceport half-cage, aluminium floor panels, OMP Racing Silverstone seats, fuel cell in boot

in metal inserts and the car retained its angularity. I wanted to do something similar but I wanted to get as close to the appearance of a Batmobile, with all its beautiful, smooth lines,” he explains and so the seeds were sown and Alexey began his epic CSL quest. You might think that Alexey is a millionaire, an eccentric, slightly obsessive perhaps but actually he’s a pretty average sort of guy, not to do him any sort of disservice, you understand. We just mean that he’s a lot like any of us and that includes being a BMW fan; “I like them because of their technical excellence, driving pleasure and design,” he tells us. His BMW ownership journey began with an E34 520i Touring, which remains in the family to this day, and he currently also owns an E38 740i, E36 M3 and an E36 Z3

Coupé while his E36 M3 track car, now sold, was a heavily upgraded machine that won a lot of time attack events in Russia. What sets Alexey apart is that he’s that little more committed than a lot of us, which is why he’s driving around in his own custom-built E28-based E9 CSL race replica and we’re not… With plan in hand, Alexey set about getting to work on making his dream a reality and the most important ingredient in his CSL recipe was a car to build his creation around; thankfully, obtaining an E28 is Russia is somewhat easier than attempting to obtain an E9. “E28s are not very rare in Russia,” he says, “a few thousand were imported in the early ’90s and they are cheap and look similar (more or less) to the E9. Our ‘donor’ was in an average state; at least the body panels consisted not only of rust,” he laughs and he’s not wrong as the brown death is one of the E28’s greatest weaknesses. “From beginning to end, the car was built by Raceport here in Russia, I just outlined what I would like to see,” he says and that was pretty straightforward as all he needed to do was to give them a photo of his dream CSL Batmobile and let them get on with it. Of course, turning a four-door saloon into a two-door coupé is no easy task


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From up here it really looks like the real deal

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so the rear doors have been welded up and smoothed so that the only signs of their previous existence are the larger rear side windows and inner door cards and then the process of building up the bodywork could begin. The first thing that needed to be done before the E28 could be transformed into an E9 was it had to be completely restored; while Alexey describes its original condition as “acceptable,” all that means is that it had a body worth restoring in the first place and there was still a hell of a lot of work that was needed in order to bring it up to standard. Once that had been completed, the Raceport team could begin work on actually creating the custom bodywork that that E28 needed to wear in order to transform into a CSL replica. “We went through the whole process of working with the bodywork, prototyping the panels, working with plastic before creating them in fibreglass,” Alexey explains and the results are spectacular and deliver all the drama of the real-deal racer. Custom front and rear wings give the car the massive width that the Batmobile was endowed with, complete with vast intakes and vents, while the custom front bumper gives the E28 the fat, wide chin it needed to complete the look. The body has been treated to a respray in white before the multitude of M tricolour stripes were meticulously applied. There’s attention to detail here that goes beyond just the bodywork itself, with the E28 wearing the CSL’s roof and boot spoiler combo, the period-correct rear pillar badges, wind splitters along with that awesome custom side-exit exhaust. Of course, with such an incredibly wide body and such massive arches to fill, wheel choice was critical for this very special project and that proved to be a bit of a challenge for Alexey. “There is no great choice of vintage wheels in Russia, we were lucky to find these,” he says, by which he means the BBS RSs that the now E28 wears. Finding what is really the perfect set of wheels for this car, in the perfect size and massive widths required to work with the bodywork feels more like fate than mere luck. These 15” RSs measure a mighty 11” wide up front and 13” across at the rear and they look awesome on the car, working so well with the racing theme and really are perfect in every way. “We bought them with two sets of tyres. The bad news is the 345/40 rear tyres cost a fortune and are impossible to find,” says Alexey but that inconvenience is worth putting up with when you’ve got such an awesome set of wheels on your

Massive arches add masses of visual drama

Of course, turning a four-door saloon into a two-door coupé is no easy task so the rear doors have been welded up and smoothed

hands. While the suspension has been completely refurbished with all-new parts throughout, the only modifications here are a set of lowering springs, which do a good job of delivering a decent drop and giving this E28 that raked racer look, along with a front strut brace. This being a 520i under the bonnet you will find an M20B20, which has understandably been left alone because there’s really nothing you can do to enhance the performance of this two-


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OMP Racing Silverstone seats really look the part

Interior has been completely stripped-out DECEMBER 2017 39

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litre straight-six, but Alexey is pragmatic about the power plant situation. “At least we cleaned it and repainted the intake manifold and the valve cover. We also replaced all the engine seals, of course. A show car which leaves large oil puddles is not very nice,” he laughs, before adding, “This engine is enough for a show car and beating lap records is not our target, yet.” He makes a good point and just cleaning the engine up and giving it a coat of paint has made a big difference. The interior, on the other hand, has been given plenty of attention and is now exactly what you’d expect to see in a car like this. For a race car-inspired build the E28’s standard, family-orientated furnishing would have never worked so Alexey had the interior completely stripped, which included ripping out the rear seats, leaving just the dashboard in place. The cabin’s bare metal has been finished in the same shade of white as the exterior and a Raceport half-cage as been fitted, also finished in white to match, while aluminium sheets have been added to the floor. “With the roll-

cage we achieved two goals: the body stiffness is now enough for some serious driving – in future – and now the car will not fall apart which, when we bought it, was a possibility,” laughs Alexey. The unsupportive stock front seats, meanwhile, have been replaced with a pair of OMP Silverstone seats, which look fantastic and finish off the interior perfectly. After more than a year of work, Alexey’s E28 was finished and his CSL dream was as real as it was ever going to get. Is it perfect? No, of course not because the only way to get a perfect CSL would be to buy one in the first place but it is absolutely as close as you can get starting out with an E28 and you have to agree that it looks fantastic. The most important thing, and the only thing that really matters, is that to Alexey it is perfect; this is as close to owning a CSL Batmobile as he could ever get and that’s close enough. Of course, there is a lot that he would have loved to do to make this build even better, but it just wasn’t realistically possible, which is saying something when you’ve built a car like this. “We would

like to install the proper engine, gearbox, rear axle with LSD, racing suspension, and plenty of tyres, to test the car on the track,” smiles Alexey. “The most serious problem is the engine. Just five-ten years ago it was easy to find the S38 engine. That was a cheap, wonderful six-cylinder engine, and it was good enough for a real racing car. Now they are gone. The older M engines are even more unavailable. If we try to get a vintage racing engine from BMW Motorsport, if it’s even possible, we don’t think that it will be affordable for us. The cheapest way to put 400-500hp in our car would be to install an American smallblock V8 (or similar), but that would ruin our idea of CSL Batmobile replica,” he says and while we’re usually all for wild engine swaps, we’re totally with him here. This E28 is a magnificent machine, one that has been built with love and passion and it really shows. It embodies what modified cars are all about and it’s spectacular to look at. Alexey has done something that few of us have or ever will and that is literally made his dream come true, which is something truly special ●


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Only the best results for your BMW... ff for 10% o code rs, use reade hen w 0 1 PBMW g in in k o bo online

ECU Remapping/Software tuning Performance intercoolers, exhausts, suspension, brakes, turbos, clutches Tuning packages available for all models In house rolling road/dyno Contact details: telephone: 01902 324584 email: info@p-torque.co.uk web: www.p-torque.co.uk Unit 2, Heath Mill Close, Heath Mill Road, Wombourne, Wolverhampton, WV5 8EX

GROUND CONTROL_hh 24/03/2016 12:20 Page 1

With fast-moving fashion trends and the ever-present pressure of the show scene calendar, it’s not uncommon to find people rushing out projects to meet self-imposed deadlines. But there’s a lot to be said for taking a step back and playing the long game…


f you saw these cars rolling together, you’d know straight away that they were cut from the same cloth. It’s not just the flawless finish and the fastidious attention to detail – the number plates are a dead giveaway: RAW4N and RAW8N. Brothers, perhaps, or best mates, or car

club kingpins? In fact, they’re father and son – 45 year-old Sukh Rawan drives the E46, and 21 year-old Parmi Rawan is the one grinning in the E36. These automotive enthusiasms do tend to pass down through the genes, don’t they? “My first car back when I was 17 was a

BMW – a 728i,” Sukh recalls, immediately winning the my-first-car game with no small degree of flair. “It was an E23 with BBS wheels and full Zender bodykit. Then, back in 1997, I bought a Dakar yellow E36 M3. I didn’t really have the modding bug back then, although I did fit some lowering


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TIME WELL SPENT Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Andy Starkey

springs and AC Schnitzer alloys.” It was the turn of the 21st century that really kicked Sukh’s passions into overdrive. The launch literature for the E46 M3 featured a Phoenix yellow coupé, and that sunshiney colour just drew him in. He instantly knew he’d found his dream car, and before very long that dream came true: a 2002 Phoenix M3 was purchased, the dealership demonstrator just six months old at the time, and it’s been with him ever since. “I bought it for my birthday

from the BMW dealer,” he grins, clearly still tickled by the memory. “It ticked all the boxes for the spec I was looking for at the time, except for its 18” wheels – the only thing I was planning to do to the car was to swap on some OEM 19” rims, although as you can see I got a bit carried away.” To be fair to him, Sukh did stick to the plan for a good few years – it was only when he joined the M3 Cutters forum that he found himself being led astray. We’re pretty sure he didn’t mind though.

It started gently, with a swap to later LED rear lights, and the whole process was a gentle downward spiral from that point onward. Some angel eyes found their way into the mix, then the kidneys and side grilles were ousted for carbon fibre replacements, and before he knew it he was surrounded by an AC Schnitzer diffuser, full carbon interior trim and Depo front indicators, all just begging to be bolted on. The back box was swapped out for a Milltek item, and the carbon DECEMBER 2017 43

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Carbon trim and CSL seats among the interior highlights

E46 M3 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six S54B32, BMW CSL carbon airbox, Alpha N remap (359hp), carbon fibre engine cover, Milltek cat-back exhaust system. Six-speed SMG gearbox

CHASSIS 8x19” (front) and 9.5x19” (rear) BMW Style 67 wheels with 225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, 15mm (front) and 12mm (rear) hubcentric wheel spacers, BC Racing fully adjustable coilovers, BMW M Performance strut brace

E46 M3 is still a great-looking car

EXTERIOR Original Phoenix yellow, CSL front bumper, Depo indicators, angel eyes, carbon fibre grilles, carbon fibre badges, AC Schnitzer diffuser, AC Schnitzer roof spoiler, CSL boot lid

INTERIOR CSL Recaro seats, E46 Coupé Alcantara rear bench, full carbon fibre trim, retrofit rear sunblind, retrofit OEM BMW Bluetooth

THANKS My wife and kids


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I took a trip to Evolve in Luton, who fitted my airbox and remapped the engine with an Alpha N map tune.The car was put on the rolling road and produced 359hp

theme continued with the bonnet vent and badges. All of this was enough to satisfy the urges, and once again Sukh was happy to simply enjoy his dream car for a while… until he started getting funny ideas about CSLs, that is. “I happened to come across a genuine CSL boot lid, and that’s when everything changed,” he laughs. And sure enough, with the duck tail in situ, the front CSL bumper was an inevitable addition, as were the CSL discs to go with the new BMW M Performance big brake kit. It’s all about being cohesive, isn’t it? Oh, and it didn’t stop there. Not by a long shot. “I changed the exhaust centre section for a Milltek item, meaning that it

was now a full Milltek cat-back,” he says. “I also fitted a genuine CSL carbon fibre air box and a set of CSL Recaro front seats, which are complemented by an Alcantara rear bench.” It all adds up to a pretty tasty spec – comprehensive, but tastefully chosen. You’ll spot under the bonnet that the CSL airbox is joined by a carbon fibre engine cover – OK, one might argue that a better weight saving would be not to have an engine cover at all, but that isn’t really the point; its appropriateness alongside the other modifications is inarguable. It just looks right. “I took a trip to Evolve in Luton, who fitted my airbox and remapped the engine

with an Alpha N map tune,” says Sukh. “The car was put on the rolling road and produced 359hp – I was happy with this figure! And with the power sorted I started to think about stance; I wanted the car to sit a bit lower than standard so I decided to buy some BC Racing coilovers to drop the car slightly, and also some wheel spacers - 15mm front and 12mm rear, with extended bolts. This got the stance perfect to where I wanted it.” As with so many modern builds, it’s the social element that really fuelled progress. A ‘wanted’ ad on the M3 Cutters forum is what yielded the CSL seats, and another one turned up the rare BMW M Performance strut brace that seemed like

Milltek exhaust and ACS diffuser

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hen’s teeth but actually, thanks to the power of community, turned up pretty much straight away via a contact in Ireland. “I’ve owned the car for just over 15 years now, and the general progression has occurred as and when all my parts were found in online ads,” he explains. Of course, it’s not just about modding his own car for Sukh. No, this is a family affair and the apple really hasn’t fallen far from the tree at all… “I’ve been into BMWs ever since I was a kid,” Parmi confirms, surprising precisely no-one. “It was dad’s Dakar yellow E36 that started it all off, and then growing up with the E46 it was inevitable that this would happen to me one day. “This M3 was actually my first BMW, at the age of 19,” he continues, making our jealousy needle flicker uncontrollably. “I’d promised myself I’d own one by the time I was 23, but I guess I was in the right place at the right time! I bought it even though I couldn’t insure or drive it and people thought I was mad, but with M3 values going the way they are it was definitely the right decision. The insurance at the time would have been over £8000, so I decided to store it away for a couple of years; it was killing me not to be able to use it, but it did give me plenty of time to

E36 M3 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.2-litre straight-six S50B32. Six-speed manual gearbox

CHASSIS 8.5x17” (front) and 9.5x17” (rear) Hartge Design C three-piece wheels with 205/35 (front) and 225/35 (rear) Falken Ziex ZE914 tyres, HSD Monopro coilovers, uprated rear camber arms, Powerflex bump stops

EXTERIOR Full respray in original Techno violet, custom double-projector headlights, amber indicators allround, smaller number plate recess, arches rolled and slightly flared

make plans.” It also gave Parmi time to hone his modifying skills on other cars. He’s as much into Fords as BMWs, and dabbled with Fiestas for a while before getting the first BMW he could actually drive at the time – an E46 318Ci. “To be honest, I hadn’t even been looking for an M3… I was after an RS Turbo,” he laughs. “I’d even bought some rare 17” Rondels to fit. But this E36 came up and it just felt right – completely standard, unmolested, a few minor things to fix. And when the time was right, it came out of storage and I was able to enact all of the plans I’d been making.” It started with a few detail changes, just so Parmi could ease himself into the project; grilles, lights, that kind of thing. Then the coilovers and wheels arrived, and this fella has a thing for rare rims – “I always wanted a set of three-piece Hartge wheels for the car,” he says, “and even now they are mega-rare to get hold of. At the time these ones weren’t for sale when I wanted them, but I let the previous owner know over social media that I was keen and a few months later we made a deal. Dips at Custom Cars refurbed them – he really is second-to-none, he chose the colour and got them just perfect.”

I bought it even though I couldn’t insure or drive it and people thought I was mad, but with M3 values going the way they are it was definitely the right decision

INTERIOR Vader heated seats, full interior retrim, AC Schnitzer-style gear knob, AC Schnitzer handbrake lever, AC Schnitzer dash insert

THANKS I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this build in any way, shape or form, especially: Shrewsbury Rybrook BMW for supplying me with all the parts that I needed and on time too, Dips at Custom Cars for putting up with my constant messages about the wheels and doing a top job, Aldridge Repair Centre and Aldridge Trimming, Dave at AAT Performance, and lastly and most importantly to my parents, for everything they have done for me and putting up with my obsession with cars


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Full Champagne Nappa leather retrim

ACS dash insert DECEMBER 2017 47

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Plea on th show well Gold hardware and valves

Vader seats fitted up front Parmi was getting pretty keen on the notion of perfection by this point, so he decided to go all in and have the car fully resprayed in its original Techno violet, a job carried out by Jon at Aldridge Accident Repair, as well as renewing all the window seals and anything else that may have perished with age. The focus with this build was always full-on show car, and that’s just how it transpired. The finish is outstanding. “I managed to track down a set of Vader seats at this time too,” he recalls. “I don’t understand why they were never an option for the convertibles.” To give the interior

a unique twist, the whole thing was then reworked by Aldridge Trimming into a fresh vision of Champagne Nappa leather with M tricolour and purple stitching. All of this brought the tale into early 2017, at which point Parmi was able to actually insure the car and start having some real fun with it. “All I’ve done since then is drive it,” he beams. “I had a brilliant summer! But I do have a lot of plans, it’ll never be finished. I’ve just bought a set of 18” Type 2 AC Schnitzer wheels for it, and I’m planning air-ride and a big brake kit… but the car’s a keeper, and I’m in no rush to do everything at once. It’s all part of the

fun, taking the time.” He’s completely right about that. Parmi has a keen sense of the importance of biding your time, and making sure things are done right rather than done fast, and when this is coupled with an ingrained familial enthusiasm it can only lead to success. These two cars look awesome rolling together, and it’s not just because they’ve got matching plates or matching smiles on the drivers’ faces. It’s because they’re all heart. Father and son, enjoying life. Many of us could learn a lesson from this – there’s no need to rush… take your time, it’s time well spent ●


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HALF THE SIZE... BUT ALL THE FUNCTION! • Single Din 7” Motorised Touchscreen AV system

• USB (Audio/ Video/ Smartphone)

• Apple CarPlay*

• iPhone video playback via AppRadio LIVE+

• Android Auto*

• Bluetooth Handsfree/ Audio Streaming

• Waze smartphone navigation*

• Dual phone BT connection with easy switch

• FM/AM & DAB+

• 13 Band EQ

• CD/DVD(Audio/ Video)

• New customisable user interface

• Spotify

*Compatible phone required




Dee Barwick’s lush 123d

LOWCOLLECTIVE 2017 Once a year the LowCollective show comes to the Suffolk countryside and it’s a very fine show indeed.

Words and photos: Elizabeth de Latour

Tony ForbesMarsden’s 2.7 E30 Baur TC 50 PERFORMANCE BMW

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Sumil Pancholi’s stunning E39

Sam Sandhu’s sexy M6

THE SHOW-DOWN WHAT IS IT? A show all about that modified German goodness so as long as it’s from Germany, it’s in.

WHERE IS IT? Stonham Barns in Stonham Aspal, near Ipswich, Suffolk here in the UK.

WHEN IS IT? An annual bash, LowCollective always takes place on a Sunday in early September, which this year was the 10th.

Incredible interior in this Six

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? LowCollective was started in 2013 by Nathan White, Gordon Milne and Tom Healey and the trio’s plan was to bring together like-minded fans of modified German metal with monthly meets. The meets were a massive success and off the back of that the guys went ahead and decided to create an annual event bearing the LowCollective name and so the show was born. It’s been running for a few years now and growing progressively larger every time, with fans and owners of some seriously fine German rides travelling from far and wide to participate and spectate. Expect plenty of trade stands, loads of food on offer plus the whole Stonham Barns Leisure & Retail Village to explore should some of your party not share your enthusiasm for modded cars.

ANY BMWS? Yes indeed and some really exemplary ones at that. We loved the ferocious-looking E36 M3 Evo racer of Ultra Auto Services, Sam Sandhu’s slick M6, which scooped a Top 20 prize, Gursh Chohan’s very sexy E30 Cab, Ben Wellfare’s Eaton supercharged E36 318i, a V8-swapped E36 track car we’d not seen before and Tony Forbes-Marsden’s 2.7-swapped E30 Baur TC, which not only won an award but which you can also read about on p52.

IN A NUTSHELL? A great day out for the whole family, so they can’t moan at you for being taken along, and an especially great day out if modded Germany machinery makes your heart beat a little faster. Plenty of very tasty BMs to enjoy and lots more cars to ogle if you’re happy to look beyond Bavaria for your German kicks. A great show and one that definitely wants to be on your calendar for 2018. DECEMBER 2017 51

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TOP CLASS An unconventional beauty for sure, the E30 Baur is a rare beast and this perfectly presented example is a rare treat in so many ways Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Matt Richardson


ime for a history lesson. If you’re a dedicated BMW fan (and if you’re here, reading this then we’d like to think you would be) then you’re probably familiar with the Baur name and might have seen a few of its quirky softtop creations. Karosserie Baur, to give the company its full name, is a German coachbuilder based in Stuttgart; notice we said is because it’s still around today, impressive considering the family business was founded in 1910. Baur has been building sot-top BMWs since the 1930s, starting out with full-on convertibles before switching to targa-style bodies in the ’70s. Porsche owned the “Targa” name so Baur came up with its Top Cabrio (TC) name and it’s probably what the company is best known for, despite

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Cloth interior has been replaced with black leather 54 PERFORMANCE BMW

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Tony started the Essex E30 Collective three years ago

Analogue pressure gauge and manual air-ride switches

Sexy Alpina gear knob

The finish of the Zinnobar red paintwork, the car’s original colour but resprayed by Tony’s own hand, is absolutely immaculate

having developed the E30 Convertible design for BMW as well as having built most of the M1s. Love it or hate it, the Top Cabrio concept is pretty cool and gives you greater flexibility than you would otherwise have with a straight-up softtop. There’s a removable hard targa roof panel that can be stowed in the boot and a separate folding rear panel, with the two being able to function independently of each other. This means you can roll along with the rear folded down but the roof in place, or vice-versa, or everything off and it’s this versatility, along with the rarity, that makes Baur’s creations so appealing to fans like Tony Forbes-Marsden. Tony is a lifelong BMW fan and has been involved with Bavaria’s finest in both professional and enthusiast capacities; 30 years ago he started working for the Sytner group as a panel beater before moving onto paint, spraying his own cars and now he works for himself painting cars fulltime, with a hefty waiting list testament to his skills and attention to detail. As for his personal love for BMW, he’s owned somewhere between 50 and 60 of them

over the years, he estimates, but while many models may have come and gone, it’s the E30 that is undoubtedly his one true love and his passion. He’s currently got four of them for starters; he established the Essex E30 Collective three years ago, he owned an E30 320i Coupé for 15 years that he competed in sprints and hill climbs with and then we have this, quite possibly the jewel in the crown, his E30 Baur TC. “It’s actually my second Baur,” Tony tells us, “and I just happened to be browsing eBay when it popped up. This was about two and a half years ago; a trader in Chelmsford was selling it, it was up for £700 and it was in very bad condition, really rusty, the sills and arches were completely rotten,” and while most of us would have run a mile at this point, for Tony it was right up his street. “My plan was to tidy it up and let my wife drive it; it wasn’t daunting and buying it so cheaply and doing it up myself I saved a fortune over buying a mint one, as this one is now valued at £18k,” he explains. So that’s all good but the fact that we’re talking to Tony and not his wife, and the car is clearly

very far from having just been tidied-up, indicates that things didn’t quite go to plan. “My inspiration to turn it into a project came from Daniel ‘Ginge’ Davison, who had the only Baur on air-ride in Europe,” he says and so a new project was born. Before he could get his E30 build off the ground, the first thing Tony needed to do was to take care of all the rust and rot and get the car as good as he possibly could in order to give himself the best possible base from which to begin modding. It takes all of five seconds looking at the car to tell you that he’s done an absolutely incredible job of it. The finish of the Zinnobar red paintwork, the car’s original colour but resprayed by Tony’s own hand, is absolutely immaculate, and the colour is so bright and bold, delivering that intense visual hit that you only get with solid colours. All rust has been removed, all rotten parts and panels have been replaced and both the engine bay and boot area have been sprayed while the undercarriage is now like new. Before it was modded, this car was completely restored and while for some that would have been enough, for DECEMBER 2017 55

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14” bottle tops transformed into 17” splits


Tony it was just the beginning. It’s taken him two years to get the car to where it is now, unrecognisable compared with how it looked back then, and while the work involved has been seriously full-on the results inside, outside and everywhere you look speak for themselves. One thing that won’t be immediately evident, however, is the engine but it’s most definitely worth noticing as there has been some serious work going on under

2.7 E30 Baur TC ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.7-litre straight-six M20B27 Eta, enlarged throttle body, 289° Piper camshaft, adjustable camshaft vernier pulley, BTB, six-branch exhaust manifold, 2.7 ECU chip. Getrag 260 five-speed manual gearbox, LSD

CHASSIS 8x17” (front) and 9x17” (rear) Style C bottle top three-piece splits by CR Customs with 205/40 (front) and 215/40 (rear) Falken Ziex ZE914 tyres, D2 analogue air-ride setup with single tank and compressor, all suspension parts stripped and powder coated, new brakes all-round

EXTERIOR Full body restoration, full respray in original Zinnobar red, new hood, Jimmy hill front spoiler, M Tech 1 boot spoiler, Shadowline trim, tinted front indicators, side repeaters and rear lights

INTERIOR Carpet dyed to black with black leather seats fitted, Alpina gear knob and steering wheel, Alpine head unit, custom-mounted pressure gauge and air-ride switches

THANKS All the guys from Essex E30 Collective for their support and also Daniel ‘Ginge’ Davison for the inspiration, James Aston at Cotswold BMW for the great service and tracking down the hard to find parts, Dan, Rob and Dick at WTC and the wife for not leaving me seeing as it took two years to build the car!

the bonnet. “This was a 318i originally,” explains Tony, “and initially I was planning on doing an M52B28 swap but I decided I wanted something more period. A guy on the Collective was selling a 2.7 Eta block so I snapped it up and built the engine that you see here myself over six months.” The way Tony drops this into conversation so casually makes it all the more impressive and while we know he’s a guy who likes to do things himself, building up an engine is no small job. The 2.7 Eta block has been fitted with a 289° Piper cam and adjustable camshaft vernier pulley, an enlarged throttle body, a BTB six-branch exhaust manifold and the whole lot is topped-off with a 2.7 ECU chip. It’s an impressive lineup and it gives this E30 Baur some decent punch and a stirring soundtrack to match. It’s not just the engine that’s changed – this car also started out life as a Chromie but, as you can see, that’s no longer the case. “I Shadowlined the car as the original chrome was in a bad way,” says Tony, “and was no longer available (NLA) from BMW.” The end result works really well, the black detailing offering the perfect contrast to the bright red bodywork and it ties in especially well with the roof. With replacing the chrome not an option, we ask Tony if getting hold of other parts along the way was equally difficult; the E30 may be extremely popular but it is an old car now and BMW has a habit of even casting parts from newer models into the NLA void, rendering them unpurchasable. “Actually no,” he replies, “a lot of the parts I got straight from BMW, genuine, new and still available; I even managed to get the last set of headlights! James Aston at Cotswold BMW was very helpful when it came to getting hold of all the parts I wanted; I ended up spending £12,000” he adds and while that’s serious wedge, the


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A guy on the Collective was selling a 2.7 Eta block so I snapped it up and built the engine that you see here myself over six months

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car is literally worth more than the sum of its parts so it was money well spent. Tony’s not just focussed on the bigger picture here, he’s also paid attention to the details, and these always make all the difference. At the front of the car you’ll find a Jimmy Hill front lip, with an M Tech 1 boot spoiler at the rear end while the indicators and rear lights have been smoked and gently tinting away the clashing amber and bringing these elements in line with the car’s black and red visuals makes the whole look of the machine that much more cohesive. This is a good-looking car, of that there can be no doubt, and a big part of its success comes courtesy of the one part that some people might take offence with, that being the air suspension. “I got stick for it,” says Tony straight away as we chat bags, “but people like it. I actually wanted coilovers but I wouldn’t have been able to get the car on my drive with it sitting as low as I would have wanted it so I went with air purely for practicality.” Tony has opted for a manual D2 setup, which he fitted in a day with a friend, and the first thing you’re likely to notice is that, unlike most bagged BMs, this one isn’t sitting absolutely on the ground. “I didn’t want to go too low,” he explains, “as you get rear suspension problems and you can also crack the sump” so instead the lowest his E30 ever goes is as you see it here in the pictures, sitting with just the right amount of tuck and lower than most people would ever go on coilovers while still being able to revert to a daily-drivable ride height. Once you’ve got your sweet, sweet lows on the go you need the right wheels to add the finishing touch and, while the Borbet Ts that Tony initially had on the car are a classic design, we reckon what opting for what he’s rocking now was the right decision. “I decided to split some 14” bottle tops,” he explains and so he turned to CR Customs, the Polish company that is a dab hand at taking plain old single-piece wheels and turning them into three-piece works of art, and that’s exactly what they’ve done here. The original 14s have been stepped up to 17s via the use of some highly-polished lips and they look fantastic, period correct but with a modern twist and they suit the car so incredibly well. Previously, this E30 Baur had been fitted with a cloth Sport interior but, with such an exquisite build, that would never do; Tony, therefore, decided to hunt down a black leather interior and it looks superb, much nicer than plain cloth and obviously it had to be black to tie in with the whole colour scheme. The analogue air pressure

Simple single tank and compressor setup

Targa roof panel stows away neatly in the boot gauge and two-way switches are mounted discreetly below the heater controls while an Alpina steering wheel and sexy wooden gear knob add a touch of class. The boot, meanwhile, houses the simple single tank and compressor setup, leaving plenty of room for the targa roof panel to slot in above it. The E30 Baur TC is a quirky, charming machine that’s easy to love and Tony’s superb example is so good it’s impossible not to. The changes he’s made throughout are subtle but they add up to create a bold, bright, beautiful car that carries its classic lines with ease and the numerous subtle enhancements only serve to bring out its absolute best. While everyone goes gooey over Chromies, taking the Shadowline stance in the pursuit of restoration perfection has given this E30 a tough look and Tony’s commitment to the colour

scheme – even the tips of his Scorpion exhaust system are black – has worked wonders. Two years of work have totally transformed a tatty soft-top that would only have been fit for the scrapheap had Tony not come along and rescued it from a rusty fate and he’s not about to stop just yet. “My jobs for the winter are a full ICE install,” he tells us, “all the seats are going to be recovered in new leather and the car is also being fitted with individual throttle bodies. I won four trophies this year, “ he beams, proudly, “and I’m hoping that with the changes there will be many more next show season.” Considering that you’d have to invent time travel and head to an ’80s showroom in order to find a cleaner E30, we don’t doubt that and every single one will be absolutely deserved. This E30’s story is only just beginning and it’s only going to go from strength to strength ●


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10-15% Discount on most exhausts for a limited period


TRAX 2017 A wide mix of modified machinery descended upon Silverstone for the annual Trax performance car show.


A celebration of all things modified, with cars of every make welcome along with club stands, show and shine displays, trade areas as well as plenty of track action.

Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Chris Frosin

WHERE IS IT? The legendary Silverstone Circuit right here in the UK.

WHEN IS IT? Every year on one Sunday at the beginning of October, which this year happened to be the 1st.


S54-swapped Time Attack E30

Just a great excuse for fans of modified machinery to get together and enjoy modified cars and plenty of people are on board with that as this year’s event attracted 18,000 visitors and over 4500 cars were on display. Trax is absolutely enormous and the selection of cars on show is incredibly varied, with something for everyone regardless of what you’re into. As well as taking their own cars on track, visitors could try their hand at drifting in the Toyo Tires Live Action Arena while the Toyo Tires Challenge let you try your hand at changing a wheel against the clock plus there were also demos by the British Drift Championship teams.

ANY BMWS? Yes, a really nice selection of some quality machinery. While there weren’t as many as we’re used to seeing at some of the other shows there was plenty of Bavarian machinery on show to keep German fans happy, especially when it came to the track stuff, with a wide variety of wild circuit-stomping creations on show.

IN A NUTSHELL? If you love modified cars, Trax is a show you have to get yourself along to because it’s an awesome day out. While it might not be dominated by BMWs or even German machinery the sheer scale of it has to be seen to be believed and there really is something for everyone at this event. In addition to that the track time, drift demos and chance to have a go at some activities yourself means no chance of anyone getting bored. A great day out and no mistake. 60 PERFORMANCE BMW

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Public track time meant plenty of circuit action

Monster truck passenger rides

Edward Johnston’s wild E36 Touring

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CREAM The S2000 engine might divide opinion but this fully-customised 2002 is an absolute riot and impossible not to love.


here are going to be some of you reading this right now who really aren’t going to get on with this car and that’s fine, we totally get why you’re not happy about this, one man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that. But, if you can’t enjoy it then can you at least respect what Dan Melchner has done here and admire the work he’s put into it, because there’s an absolute boatload of that? If you can’t, best move on to another feature then but the rest of us need to just

Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: Viktor Benyi

take a moment to enjoy this 2002 because it’s so good, so very good. Just look at it, it’s absolutely awesome, completely outrageous and unequivocally fantastic with it. You know what this car is? It’s fun. It’s all about building the car you want to build, doing what you want to do and in many ways it is the very embodiment of what the modified scene is – or certainly should be – about. It’s not about making other people happy, it’s not about building the car that other people think you should build or want you to build, it’s about

building for you because that’s the most important thing. Build the car that you know that you want to build, in your heart, and you’re going to have such a good time. Dan and his 2002 live in California and this is exactly the kind of car that works out there, basking in the sunshine, and it absolutely has the sort of laid-back, carefree vibe about it that you usually associate with The Golden State. It’s been built to an incredibly high standard,


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S2000 2002 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 2.0-litre four-cylinder Honda F20C, custom intake, custom exhaust system. Six-speed manual gearbox

CHASSIS 8x16� (front and rear) Avid 1 AV-12 wheels in black and bronze with 205/45 (front and rear) BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 tyres, stud kit with extended nuts, Bilstein Sport shocks, sport lowering springs, front and rear strut braces, Wilwood BBK with cross-drilled discs (front and rear)

EXTERIOR Custom two-tone paint job in Pear White and Root Beer Brown, front spoiler, black kidney grilles, carbon bonnet roundel, carbon trim strip, carbon rear strip, custom E9x M3 wing vents and carbon side repeaters, custom wheel arch flares, front bumper bar with spotlights, folding roof

INTERIOR Honda S2000 front seats re-trimmed in black leather, custom rear E24 635CSi bucket seats re-trimmed in black leather, custom two-tone ostrich dash, door panels, and rear side panels by ACME Tops and Tunes of Sacramento, California, S2000 digi-dash with custom carbon surround and ostrich-trimmed binnacle, carbon and perforated leather steering wheel, boot floor trimmed in ostrich leather

Custom S2K2 engine cover


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The F20C fits perfectly in the immaculate engine bay

My engine choice was to use a Honda S2000 F20C with the matching Honda six-speed manual transmission

that’s obvious from the moment you look at it, and what’s all the more impressive is that this is Dan’s first ever BMW, not that he’s a stranger to modifying, mind. “I believe I have modified everything I have ever owned,” he says, before running through a list of Japanese machinery: 1977 Toyota Corolla – his first car – then a Suzuki Samurai, Mazda MX-6 and a Toyota 4x4, all given the wheels, suspension and custom stereo treatment but, as you can clearly see, this 2002 is different to everything that has come before. Aside from being one of Bavaria’s best, it’s also an incredibly comprehensive build, without doubt Dan’s biggest to date and his most spectacular. “The 2002 is one of my favourite BMWs and this model is becoming very rare and increasing in value,” Dan tells us. “It is also a classic; in addition, I like classic cars. I found the car in Wheatland, California. It was in desperate need of complete

restoration, but the car was unmolested and complete, meaning it has never been in an accident, and all the parts were on it. It was a complete vehicle. I disassembled the entire car and performed a complete restoration from the ground up,” after which he proceeded to modify the pants off it, which was always part of his plan, except it wasn’t just modding, it was full customisation and it’s mission accomplished on that front. With Dan’s extensive bodywork restoration came the comprehensive transformation of this 2002’s styling and there’s so much to take in and enjoy here. We absolutely love the two-tone paint, so unconventional and unusual but the 2002’s design lends itself perfectly to splitting top and bottom halves; the combination of Pear White and Root Beer Brown makes the car itself look like a frothy beverage and that brown is just so rich and luscious and absolutely comes alive in

the California sun. There’s a lot more than just the paint that sets this 2002 apart from the crowed and everywhere you look you unearth yet more hidden design touches. The moulded wheel arch flares give the diminutive ’02 a pumped-up look while the carbon E9x M3 wing vents and side repeaters work better than they really have any right to and blend perfectly with the rest of the car’s styling. Beneath the roofmounted, colour-matched two-tone trike you can just spot the sliding roof that’s been installed and sitting between the white top and brown bottom is a carbon trim strip with further carbon detailing on the bonnet roundel and rear panel. We also love that front bumper bar, complete with spot lights, which just finishes the whole exterior off. The interior, meanwhile, is an absolute riot and the amount of work that’s gone into it is absolutely mind-blowing. Everything in here is either completely DECEMBER 2017 65

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The moulded wheel arch flares give the diminutive ’02 a pumped-up look while the carbon E9x M3 wing vents and side repeaters work better than they really have any right to

custom or has been transplanted from the S2000 that gave its engine for this project and it all works incredibly well and looks absolutely fantastic. What you immediately notice is that wild leather and the dash, door panels and rear side panels have all been covered in ostrich leather. Yup, genuine ostrich leather, which has been given the same two-tone treatment as the paintwork. Up front you’ll find S2000 seats that have been re-trimmed in black leather while in the back are a pair of custom bucket seats from an E24 635CSi, also trimmed in fresh black hide and new black carpets have been fitted throughout. The carbon and perforated leather steering wheel carries over the carbon theme into the interior while the S2000’s digi-dash is framed by carbon and pale ostrich leather in a custom pod, complete with engine start button. For such a small interior, the amount of work that’s gone into it is amazing and the results are really

astonishing, and that’s something you can’t argue with regardless of your stance on ostrich leather. Even the boot floor has been trimmed in pale ostrich leather while the boot-mounted rear brace and battery cage has been finished in Root Beer Brown; that’s the level of attention to detail that has been lavished upon this build and it really helps elevate it to the next level. Up to now we can’t imagine you haven’t been enjoying this build but now we reach what might well be the bone of contention, that being what you’ll find lurking beneath the white bonnet, within that immaculately-finished, Root Beer Brown engine bay. “My engine choice was to use a Honda S2000 F20C with the matching Honda six-speed manual transmission,” says Dan. “I had access to the parts to perform this conversion, that is partly why I chose to do it. Also I intend to add a turbo soon which will help

this engine produce in excess of 350hp and the parts are readily available and somewhat affordable,” he adds, which will be nice. Or rather nicer, we should say, because even with the almost entirely stock F20C four-cylinder engine mounted up front, Dan still gets to enjoy 237hp and an 8800rpm redline, which must make driving this firecracker of a 2002 an awesome experience. The engine bay itself is gorgeous, with minimal clutter to really show off that alien power plant, with its tubular exhaust manifold and intricate custom air intake piping. Of course, while the engine swap itself is extremely impressive, going by the rest of this build you know that Dan couldn’t simply have left it at that and the chassis has also been attended to, ensuring he’s got the whole package to enjoy because this car is most definitely not all about looks. On the suspension front you will find a combination of Bilstein shocks


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S2000 seats trimmed in leather

Carbon and leather steering wheel DECEMBER 2017 67

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Below: custom pod houses S2000 digi-dash

Whole interior covered in two-tone ostrich leather and sport lowering springs, which deliver a pretty serious drop and get those fat little arches hunkered right down over the tyres to great effect. The wheels are AV-12s by Avid 1, 8x16s all-round finished in two-tone black and bronze and it’s a colour combo that works really well with the car’s paintwork and and a design that suits it perfectly, the classic cross-spoke look working so well here. But that’s not all; peer through their tight mesh and you might just spot the beefy Wilwood calipers that have been fitted all-round lurking behind the wheels, complete with drilled discs, endowing this pocket rocket with

some seriously impressive stopping power. We weren’t kidding when we said this 2002 is the complete package. It almost seems an injustice to squeeze so much work and effort – seven years’ worth, no less – into just one brief magazine feature. This is the sort of build that doesn’t come about very often, it’s a real treat, and not just because it’s so comprehensive and Dan’s been so thorough and meticulous at every stage, putting in so much attention to detail. It’s because so much time has been spent on it, the greatest luxury of all, and he went in with no budgetary restrictions,

Boot floor also trimmed in ostrich leather

which is rare even for some of the cars we feature. To be able to build a car and say that you’ve done absolutely everything you wanted to, exactly as you wanted, is an amazing feeling and the resulting builds are never anything less than utterly spectacular, as is the case here. Sure, it won’t be for everyone, but if you’re openminded enough to be able to appreciate a build like this, it’s the sort of car that will just put a smile on your face. As the slogan for a similarly two-toned alcoholic beverage goes, good things come to those who wait, and Dan and his delicious 2002 are living proof of that ●

Inboard fuel filler


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+01.517.322.2144 @AIR_LIFT_PERFORMANCE facebook.com/airliftperformance






“Look at me. Know what you see? You see a bad mother…” If James Brown were still around, he’d undoubtedly be driving about in something like this. The levels of boss-man badass are off the charts. Words: Daniel Bevis Photos: Viktor Benyi


retty gangsta isn’t it, this 7 Series? There’s a certain tangible brutality to cars like this, be they owned by the Mafia, the Yakuza, an East End crime lord, or the fellas running operations in South Central LA: these motors are imposingly big, low, sleek, shark-like in their menace. They pull off the neat trick of being simultaneously stealthy, with their black-on-black-on-black colour schemes and impenetrable glazing, and ostentatiously showy; a demonstration of wealth and status. Because that’s what being gangsta is all about. This 2009 750Li is in fact a bit of a creative departure for the man behind it, Ary Minassian. Regular readers will be familiar with the name, as a few of his creations have appeared in these pages before over the years. A couple of months ago we featured Ary’s insane wide-arched E36 Compact; last year there was the E46 M3 with a bespoke wide-body kit, and before that was a bright green E30 track monster with a stroked and turbo’d M20 and oodles of carbon fibre. Each of these builds were crazy, in-your-face and dripping with race car aggression. This 750Li, though, dances to a different tune. Or rather, it fires its weapon toward people’s feet and makes them dance. Ary’s own trajectory to this point is


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Custom, carbon-clad M5-style front bumper

Interior is stock but super luxurious

an intriguing and impressive one; today his business card lists him as the owner of DTM FiberWerkz, ESM Wheels and Afentiko Wheels, the kernel of which all grew from his business AutoStopUSA back in 2002 and has spawned numerous successful offshoots since, specialising in custom body kits, bespoke wheels and all sorts. “Through my many years in the automotive industry, I’ve been given the nickname ‘Boss’,” he explains. “This, in part, led to the founding of our new venture, Afentiko Wheels; Afentiko is Greek for boss, and I purchased this 750Li because it’s a boss car – the luxurious nature of it caters to the exact sector of the market we’re aiming to reach, so you can see why it’s a good showcase for our new line of wheels.” He’s right, it’s a perfect fit. And we’re not talking about

Alan Sugar or Richard Branson here… this is the kind of murdered-out urban cruiser that’s most likely got Courvoisier in the cupholders and an inert snitch in the boot. “We found this car on Craigslist,” says Ary, rather dampening the gangsta vibes but nevertheless soldiering on; “it was all stock and had been owned by an elderly guy who always kept it garaged. The body was really clean, although that actually didn’t matter either way as we were planning a full repaint regardless – but it was good to find a solid base.” So in just a mere twinkling of an eye, Ary and his team had the car stripped down and ready for a fresh and sumptuous coat or two of Sapphire black paint. But wait… before that could happen, there was something the guys needed to address. As you can no doubt appreciate,

this would be a pretty dull feature if all they did was to buy a used 7 Series and give it a respray. No, before that classy paint was laid down, something needed to come from the revered DTM FiberWerkz workshop – something unique, something seismic, something evocative. After much deliberation over the nature and potential manifestations of the very principles of being gangsta, Ary decided that the way to go would be to create a custom body kit that emulated the aggressive lines of the F10 M5. That’s right – what you’re looking at here is, in essence, an M5 that’s been scaled up to Mafiosi size, as if it’s been photocopied at 120%. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t all as easy as it sounds. Thankfully, of course, these people have form. Creating spectacular shapes out of exotic materials


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The first thing we did after purchasing the car was to start designing the F10 M5-style body kit

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 N63B44O0, custom F10 M5-style exhaust system with quad matt black 4” tailpipes. Eight-speed automatic gearbox


F01 750Li

CHASSIS 9x22” (front) and 10.5x22” (rear) Afentiko Concave wheels, 255/30 (f) and 295/25 (r) Toyo Proxes tyres, H&R springs, adjustable rear end-links, OEM air suspension


4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 makes 407hp

Full re-spray in Sapphire black, DTM FiberWerkz F10 M5-style front bumper with carbon fibre lower section, DTM side skirts, DTM F10 M5-style rear bumper with carbon fibre diffuser, DTM carbon fibre rear spoiler, all trims and grilles blacked out

INTERIOR Black extended leather, anthracite ash wood trim DECEMBER 2017 73

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Menacing 22” Afentiko Concave wheels

Carbon diffuser and quad exhausts is all in a day’s work. “The first thing we did after purchasing the car was to start designing the F10 M5-style body kit,” says Ary. “We used an OEM M5 rear diffuser on the back which we modified and extended onto the OEM 750Li bumper; the front bumper was also beefed up with a larger opening and an M5-style lower lip in carbon fibre. Then we designed side skirts to flow with the height of the front and rear bumpers - once the design was finished we removed the bumpers, preparing to make the mould and casted production. When that was completed the car headed over to the body shop for fitting and a complete respray.” Given that the intention from the outset was to use the car as a showcase for the new Afentiko wheels, the team were making some very strong headway indeed in creating a striking canvas onto which this new brand’s values could be artfully painted, and now it was time to start investigating the nuts and bolts of actually getting those wheels to sit right. There were to be no half-measures here, the plan was to fit a staggered set of 22” rims, and with tyres running a decent amount

of sidewall – lo-pros, for sure, but not comical rubber bands. So the poise of the chassis had to be precise and perfect. Harnessing the 750Li’s factory rear air suspension, Ary added adjustable rear end-links and threw some shorter, uprated H&R springs into the mix, and as you can see it now sits splendidly over its outrageously massive wheels. “They’re the most innovative concave wheel designs offered in 22” staggered sizes,” Ary reckons. “We are the industry’s first to offer such a dominant concave face with a bevelled edge for maximum depth on 22” sizes!” It’s this bevelled edge that’s particularly noteworthy; if you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to an edge which is angled rather than running perpendicular, like you might find on a household mirror or skirting board – this counterpoints the concave wheel face by leading it into a distinct ridge, while also giving a nice big space adjacent to the tyre to emboss the company name. Have you ever seen anything like it? Given that the long-wheelbase Seven is already a formidable base, the team have exercised restraint elsewhere in the car;

that twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 was considered angry enough without requiring further embellishment, although it has to be said the custom M5-esque exhausts really do accentuate its rumble – less luxury cruiser, more mob getaway vehicle. The interior is bone-stock but, when it’s as luxurious as BMW’s flagship, what more do you really need? “We wanted a classy VIP luxury look,” says Ary, and that’s exactly what’s been achieved. Never let it be said that these guys can be pigeonholed, however. Does adding a mafia boss car to their fleet of widebody track cars mean they’ve made the shift toward low-down urban cruisers with a menacing attitude? No, not at all. “We’ve actually now sold this car,” says Ary, “and we’re planning to build another one to similar specs in Alpine white.” You see, you’ve always got to keep people guessing. What was it Henry Hill said in Goodfellas? ‘For us, to live any other way was nuts. If we wanted something, we just took it.’ That’s what this car’s all about. Intimidating and enterprising in equal measure, with enough attitude to silence all questions ●


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Rob Goodwin’s lush E28

Edward Johnston’s mental E36 Touring


We told you anything goes…

With a wide variety of modified machinery on show, Players has something for everyone. Words and photos: Elizabeth de Latour

The Car Audio Security E30 M3

Gursh Chohan’s sexy E30

Super Duper Garage’s E46 M3


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Neil’s E36 M3 Cab

Alex Radford’s bagged E23

We were loving this ’02

THE SHOW-DOWN WHAT IS IT? Arguably one of the biggest and best-known modified shows in the UK with an anything goes approach where nothing is off-limits.

WHERE IS IT? North Weald Airfield in Essex.

WHEN IS IT? Every September, this year on Sunday 17th.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? Celebrating modified car culture, regardless of where in the world it’s come from. Players is without doubt one of the most diverse events of the entire show season so you’ll find American low riders sat next to huge horsepower, wide-body Japanese monsters, supercars and various exotics mixing it up with vintage machinery alongside the usual array of finely-modified machinery from the entire German spectrum. There’s a big Show and Shine area, club stands and of course the hangar, where you’ll find the best of the best. Players has been going for a long time now and its reputation means it attracts some of the best show cars around.

ANY BMWS? Of course, loads of them and some spectacular machines. Hats off to Rob and his lush E28 which took home the top prize, especially impressive considering this is his first go at modding a BM! Expect to see this one in the mag very soon. We spotted Sal Carter’s S54-swapped E30 Cab, another awesome machine hitting these pages very soon, Edward Johnston’s outrageous E36 Touring showing off its carbon airbox, a wild E21 that raised a lot of eyebrows, Alex Radford’s bagged E23 and Tej Bajwa’s gorgeous Santorini E30 M3 to name but a few.

IN A NUTSHELL? If your appreciation for modified cars goes beyond BMWs and German metal in general then you won’t be disappointed with Players. There is quite literally something for everyone and it’s one of the shows that attracts some of the wildest builds about as well as some of the highest quality cars on the UK scene and further afield too. Definitely one for your 2018 show calendar. DECEMBER 2017 77

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WINTER WONDERLAND Welcome to PBMW’s Winter Wonderland, packed with everything you need to make sure you’re all set for the winter months.



Once the temperature starts dropping it’s good to be prepared and our handy hints will make sure you and your BMW are ready for the worst of the winter weather.



Now is the time to get your BM clean and help it to stay clean over the muckiest months; this guide is guaranteed to help you keep your pride and joy looking cleaner for longer and the worst of the winter grime at bay.



We take an in-depth look at winter rubber to understand why it’s so good, how it does what it does and why you really want a set of winter tyres on your BM once the temperature drops.

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WINTER TIPS As the temperature begins to drop we take a look at the simple ways in which you can make sure you and your car are ready for winter.

BATTERY Your car battery takes a beating during the colder months as it has to work that much harder so make sure it’s in good nick. If your battery has a charge condition indicator window, check it to see what state your battery is in. If you’re using your car regularly, your battery is more likely to be in better shape but not if you’re doing lots of short journeys, especially running lots of accessories, and if you don’t use your car that often then your battery will be in for an even tougher time. If your BM has a cigarette lighter or power socket that’s always live (usually on older models), a solar charger is a good way of helping to keep your battery topped up, even in winter with less sun. It won’t save a dead battery and it won’t provide much of a charge but it will be enough to help it stay alive a little longer. If your car is garaged then hooking it up to a charger like a CTEK is a very good idea but even if it isn’t then and you’re not using it much, plugging it in to a charger periodically to check the state of the battery and give it a top up certainly won’t do any harm.

A charger is a good way to keep your battery topped up

RUBBER When the temperature drops, rubber becomes stiff and brittle so it’s a good idea to lube up your doors, windows and sunroof with a silicone lubricant designed for rubber in order to help prevent damage. It’ll help keep your rubber supple, will help prevent it from freezing and sticking and will generally help keep everything work nice and smoothly. It’s especially worthwhile if you’ve got a coupé or anything with pillarless doors as there’s going to be a lot more rubber to deal with and it will help to stop your windows from sticking and not being able to drop down when you open a door. Spraying it onto the car is messy so instead spray it onto a rag or kitchen towel and give all the seals a good rub.

A solar trickle charger can help keep your battery alive

AIR CON If you have it, keep it on: air con is for life, not just for summer. Far too many people stick their air con on for five minutes during summer and don’t bother running it the rest of the time, which is a great way to damage the entire system as the gas that runs through the pipes has a built-in lubricant that keeps all the rubber seals supple and prevents leaks. The other thing that air con does is it dries the in-cabin air out and that means no windows fogging up while you’re driving along; it might sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many people think air con just means cold air in summer.


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SCREEN WASH Make sure you’ve got plenty of it because you’re going to be using a lot more of it over the grimy winter months, make sure it’s been mixed properly for lower temperatures and whatever you do, don’t use plain water: it’s a great way to get Legionnaires’ disease (not kidding) and it’ll just freeze solid. Once temperature start dropping it’s better to mix your screen wash for colder weather than you’re initially expecting. Unless you’re doing loads of miles it’s unlikely you’ll work your way through your whole screen wash reservoir in a short space of time and trying to be frugal when diluting could leave you with a tank full of screen wash that’s not up to the task when the weather gets properly cold. If your screen wash has been diluted too much it will re-freeze on your screen in the morning after giving it a spray. Also remember that while heated washer jets are great, your actual screenwash lines aren’t heated and neither is the reservoir so, again, if your screenwash hasn’t been mixed properly it’ll just freeze in your lines until your engine heat warms the hoses and melts it.



With the amount of salt and grime out on the roads over winter your wheels are going to take a battering and will be looking pretty mucky in no time so, even if you’ve thrown a set of winters on, it’s worth giving them a coat of something to stop dirt and salt from sticking. You could go down the wheel wax route and there are plenty of good ones out there, but there are also some very effective and quicker alternatives, which are perfect for when it’s freezing cold and you won’t want to be spending time applying and buffing off wax. Sprays like Armor All’s Shield for Wheels or Autoglym’s Wheel Protector are spray-and-go solutions that require almost zero effort (beyond waving an aerosol can around for a bit) but do a good job of keeping dirt at bay and will make it easier to clean your wheels next time around.

Sounds obvious but we can’t be the only ones who’ve had to scrape a windscreen using a loyalty card because we had our scraper at home and not in the car where it should be. So get a scraper and stick it in your boot; you can even get ones with a built-in glove attachment so your fingers don’t get chilly. Same goes for de-icer; yes, have it at home so you can de-ice your windows in the morning but also have a bottle in the car so it’s easier to de-ice in the evening after work or wherever you may be. We’ve tried pre-icer, which you spray all over your glass the night before, but we’re not fans and prefer to attack the ice; it always seems more effective and satisfying. If you are going to pour water on your windscreen, make sure it’s lukewarm at best to avoid cracking the glass. Finally, you can always place an old sheet, towel or some cardboard over your screen the night before to help stop ice from forming on the glass, but you’ll still have ice on your other windows so don’t forget about that.

COOLANT AND ANTIFREEZE Your engine cooling system needs antifreeze in order to ensure the water in your engine block does not freeze solid in winter. Check your levels with an antifreeze tester - there are plenty of them available online. It will quickly and easily tell you the ratio of antifreeze in the system, which will be enough to let you you know whether or not you’re good for the winter or if the antifreeze needs topping up. You can either buy anti-freeze concentrate or get it ready-mixed, which costs a little more but makes life a little easier and less messy. If you need to top up your coolant level throughout the year and don’t have any coolant to hand, you can use water but too much will dilute the antifreeze in the system, leaving your engine vulnerable to very cold weather. Where possible, always top up the system with coolant to ensure that your engine is properly protected and it’s definitely worth having a bottle in the garage or wherever just in case.

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The winter weather can take its toll on your car’s bodywork and wheels but this guide will help you to fend off the worst of the winter road grime.

Words and photos: Auto Finesse

PAINT PROTECTION AND CARE Winter is tough on car’s paint and bodywork; you have wet, loosened road grime to contend with, as well as a build-up of salt, so it’s important to protect your car before winter sets in. In terms of timing, it’s important to get your sealant applied by the beginning of November. The first thing to do is make sure your car is ultra clean. Wash your car as you would do normally, jet washing and snow foaming off any loose particles, then give it a thorough wash using a good shampoo, wash mitt and two buckets. Make sure to dry off thoroughly, before applying a number of layers of a quality synthetic paint sealant. We advise a paint sealant, as opposed to natural carnauba wax, because it’s much more durable, giving it longevity through winter. Following sealing your car, it’s important to wash off everyday grime as often as possible, but do not wash as you would normally. The sealant is doing its job, it’s protecting against grime penetrating the paint’s surface, all you realistically need to do is jet wash and snow foam the car as often as possible to lift road particles and impurities from the paintwork naturally. Snow foams are more popular through the winter; they can get the majority of the dirt off without touching it and also loosen the contaminants so you don’t have to use any force to clean your car, thus creating swirl marks. Once the car is once again clean, you can add additional layers of sealant – the more the better. Avalanche snow foam £12.95 (1 litre) Lather pH neutral shampoo £11.95 (500ml) Glide clay bar lube £7.95 (500ml) Tough Prep pre-sealant cleanser £12.95 (250ml) Power Seal paint sealant £22.95 (500ml) Tough Coat paint sealant £19.95 (250ml)

PLASTICS Protecting your plastics is a fairly easy task, it’s just a matter of keeping on top of it throughout winter. Much like with your paint, you must seal all of your plastics using a sealant. A sealant will remain glued to the plastic longer than the natural wax option and will retain a shine for longer – if you’re after a more matt finish to your plastics, though, we recommend using the natural wax. Make sure to keep on top of this throughout the winter months, topping up every month, then simply back-to-black it all thoroughly in the spring.


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WHEELS Brake dust is one of the worst contaminants and causes of wheel deterioration there is, so it’s important to remove it as often as possible. We know throughout the winter months this task is not so pleasant, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to rinse your wheels on a weekly basis, as well as sealing your wheels. It is best to apply multiple layers of a good, high-temperature-resistant protective sealant once a month. Wheel sealants create a protective barrier to road grime and particles. Synthetic sealants are better used on alloy wheels as they’re generally more durable than natural carnauba wax. Auto Finesse Mint Rims wheel wax and sealant, which is durable while keeping your rims looking tidy, is applied using a microfibre cloth or foam pad and buffed off when dry. Remember that sealing your wheels, though, is not an excuse not to bother removing the brake dust and salt that will inevitably be collected through the winter months. It takes just a few weeks for galvanic corrosion to damage alloy wheels – it’s really not worth the risk for a five minute job. They don’t even need drying off. Simply, jet off your wheels to remove any loose debris, then apply Imperial wheel cleaner and leave to soak, then using a wheel brush add a little elbow grease and rinse wheel. It’s that simple. If the wheels are particularly clogged with grime, Iron Out contamination remover is the product to go for, loosening particles that are more deeply bonded to the wheel’s surface. Remember to only apply sealant when alloy wheels are clean! Imperial wheel cleaner £8.95 (500ml) Iron Out contamination remover £11.95 (500ml) Citrus Power bug and grime remover £9.95 (1 litre) Mint Rims wheel wax and sealant £19.95 (100ml)

GLASS PROTECTION AND CARE It’s important to protect and seal all of your glass. Not only does sealing glass mean added safety when driving in some of the worst winter weather, it makes it look better too. Wiper streaks are a no-no and sealing your glass will mean rain and sleet is repelled, helping it to run off naturally. Despite feeling so under our hands, glass does not have a smooth surface under a microscope. A good glass sealant will essentially smoothen the glass surface by filling in the gaps, enabling water to run off more easily. Crystal glass cleaner £6.95 (250ml) Vision glass polish £11.95 (500ml)


INSIDE Now that the exterior is ready and waiting for that grim winter weather, it’s important to remember the inside. We advise forking out for a cheap set of rubber mats to sit over your carpet through the winter months. Easy, cheap purchase protecting your carpets from the scum of the roads that will inevitably be brought into the car on the bottom of your shoes… it’s either that or take your shoes off. Spritz interior detail spray £8.95 (500ml) Hide leather cleanser £8.95 (500ml)

When it comes to the underside of the car, despite not being aesthetic, it’s important to ensure this is still protected. As you can imagine, the underside of your car is probably the most susceptible area for road chips. You’d think stone chips don’t really matter, as you cant see them under there. Well, you’d be wrong, stone chips in the surface or protective sealants already applied weaken and open the entire structure up to corrosion, and rust! If you can, apply a tough underside sealant yourself, or get a local garage to do it for you. Doing this will protect your car from rust, as well as improving its residual value over not doing it. Another thing to note is even though you clay-barred your car before winter set in, you will need to clay bar it when it’s over too, ready for the summer. It’s also important to get any stone chips repaired sooner rather than later, to prevent localised corrosion.

CONTACT Auto Finesse www.autofinesse.co.uk 08446 931393

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In the second part of our tyre tech guide we take an in-depth look at winter tyres and explain why you want them on your car.

Words: Elizabeth de Latour Photos: BMW, Falken, Nokian, Continental, Michelin, Goodyear

Winter tyres are much maligned or often just plain misunderstood. As their name suggests they are designed for use during winter and vary considerably compared with their summer counterparts in many ways and perform very differently.



This is a common misconception and the simple answer is no. Below 7°C it becomes too cold for your summer tyres to function properly as the rubber becomes hard and, as a result, they aren’t able to generate the same levels of grip they normally do in warmer conditions. This means that once temperatures begin to drop your regular tyres won’t perform as well as you’re used to but it’s unlikely that you’ll adjust your driving habits accordingly and if you are an enthusiastic driver that’s when you’ll begin to experience less control, less grip and less traction than normal. Combine the lower temperatures with often wet or damp roads and your summer tyres can have a hard time of coping, but winter tyres will be in their element. When temperatures drop below 7°C, winter tyres are in the zone; their compounds are designed to remain softer even in very cold temperatures, giving you more grip; their tread patterns are designed to deal with not just snow and ice but also with damp and slippery roads and they are just much more capable in these sorts of conditions. The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association found that a car braking at 60mph on a wet road at 5°C stopped five metres earlier when fitted with winter tyres; that’s about a car length and could be the difference between having an accident and avoiding one.

They’re not cheap, this much is true but, unlike most other car owners, we in the modded community enjoy spending money on our cars and are used to spending a bit more to get the best we can. We do still see a few too many people rolling around on budget tyres for our liking but those with performance machinery that do enjoy driving them briskly can and do appreciate the benefits of high performance rubber and that philosophy should be applied to your car’s winter setup. The other way in which many of us will differ from your average BMW owner is that we’re used to owning and running multiple sets of wheels and almost all of us will have a winter set, which means there’s no reason not to slap a set of winter rubber on your winter wheels.


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JUST HOW GOOD ARE THEY? Very good. When it’s cold and damp or frosty, winter tyres will be performing so well that you won’t be aware of them, by which we mean that if they weren’t fitted you’d very likely know about it. Think of them as a safety net; you might be a very good driver but when that moment happens that catches you out because you didn’t spot the black ice in a corner winter tyres will prove their worth in situations like that. Yes, you’ve got your traction and stability control, but electronics are not infallible and they can only do so much when faced with a zero traction situation. We’ve experienced it first hand, driving an F10 5 Series in Germany (where winter tyres are compulsory otherwise your insurance is null and void) on winters, on roads that had been cleared but in very low temperatures, where we took a corner that looked fine at normal speed only to find that it contained a patch of ice. The F10 got a little out of shape but was very easy to control and gather up; looking in the mirror the FWD Mondeo on summers that was following us (driven by our photographer on that trip) tackled the

same corner at the same sort of speed, hit the patch of ice and came around it completely sideways. Had there been an oncoming car or had the driver not reacted so quickly then it could have been rather messy. You might not notice the benefits of winter tyres in every moment of driving, but you’ll notice them when they step in to help you out and you’d definitely notice if they weren’t fitted in those instances. Of course, where they really shine is on snow and ice, where summer tyres simply stand no chance whatsoever. We’ve sampled winter tyres at their best in the absolute worst conditions imaginable and the experience has always been absolutely amazing, with incredible levels of grip and traction plus the sort of control you’d expect in normal driving conditions. We’ve also tried them back-to-back with summer tyres in heavy winter conditions and the difference was incredible, to the point where the car on summer tyres was virtually uncontrollable. It’s experiencing winter tyres in these situations that makes you appreciate how truly fantastic they are.

CAN I JUST GET AWAY WITH WINTERS ON THE FRONT OR BACK? Absolutely not as you’ll be creating massive imbalance because one end of your car will have plenty of grip but the other end won’t so you’ll either end up with terminal understeer or snap oversteer. There’s a great video online showing the effects of mismatched tyres in winter conditions and why it’s dangerous.

I’VE GOT 4WD, I DON’T NEED WINTER TYRES… We hear this a lot and our response would be: have you watched the video of an E46 M3 on winter tyres and a Subaru Forester on summers attempting to drive up a snow-covered hill? The M3 breezes up the hill with no problems and while the Forester makes it up eventually, it’s sliding about all over the place, is a lot less controlled and has to go slower and takes longer to make to the top. Having four driven wheels does help to a degree, but if none of your tyres can get purchase on the surface you’re sitting on, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got 4Wd or 14WD, you’re going to be struggling. At the end of the day what matters is ensuring you have traction in the first place. A 2WD car on winters will feel more stable and secure and will be a lot easier to drive in bad winter conditions than a 4WD vehicle on summers.

ALL-SEASON TYRES These have been around for a long time but have only really become popular in the UK in recent years when the larger European tyre manufacturers began producing them. All-season tyres are a compromise and previously the big-name European companies hadn’t felt they were a viable alternative to fullyfledged winters. The problem has traditionally been that in the warmer summer months, all-season tyres don’t perform as well as dedicated summer tyres while in winter they don’t perform as well as dedicated winters, leaving you with a middle-of-the-road tyre that doesn’t perform especially well in any situation. The latest all-season tyres from the likes of Dunlop, Continental and Michelin, however, are different and use a clever combination of compounds and special tread patterns that enable the tyres to perform as well as a summer tyre in warmer conditions while still being able to tackle snow and ice. We have tried them and they are good, arguably the best option for those of you who don’t want to go about swapping wheels around twice a year, but still not as good as dedicated summers or winters in the absolute worst conditions. Definitely a viable alternative, though, if you don’t have to face particularly heavy snow every winter.

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TECH GUIDE WHAT MAKES WINTER TYRES SPECIAL? There are a number of key reasons as to why winter tyres perform as well as they do, which we’re going to outline here.



A winter tyre’s compound will be softer, enabling it to remain pliable even at lower temperatures, thus enabling it deliver grip in conditions where summers remain hard. Winter tyres will use compounds containing more natural rubber and advanced Silica, like Falken’s Eurowinter HS01, helping them to remain supple and provide extra grip in the worst freezing conditions.

While the special compound ensures that winter tyres deliver grip in the worst conditions, the tread pattern is essential when it comes to making sure they can cope with those conditions in the first place and a winter tyre’s pattern is very specialised, enabling it to deal with snow, ice and the worst winter roads. The most noticeable aspect of a winter tyre’s tread pattern is the countless jagged little cuts that you’ll see all over the tyre and these are known as sipes. When you’ve got slippery conditions, you want maximum grip and sipes massively increase the number of edges that a tyre has with which to grip onto the road surface. Think of them as mouths that open up a fraction as the tyre rotates and physically grab onto the snow, biting into it, or latch onto ice. It’s almost as if every single sipe was an additional tread block edge and they are one of the key components to the winter tyre’s success. With so many sipes, you will naturally get more flex in the tread blocks as rather than being solid pieces of rubber they have been opened up by the sipes therefore, something has to be done in order to compensate for this lack of stiffness in order to ensure that the tyre feels stable out on the road during cornering and braking. Looking at the Falken Eurowinter HS01 again, you will notice that the sipes are jagged, which increases the number of gripping edges on each one but, as the cutaway shows, these edges continue down below the surface tread and the interlocking pattern is what helps all the blocks to remain rigid when needed. Winter tyres will also be designed to be exceptionally good at clearing water and slush away through the tread pattern design in order to help provide maximum surface contact at all times. Each tyre manufacturer will obviously have its own take on these elements and further technologies but these are the main components that make winter tyres special compared with summer tyres.



Only tyres bearing the three peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol have met or exceeded defined limits in winter testing and are recognised as winter tyres according to European, American and Canadian regulations.

Don’t rely on the M+S marking when shopping for winter tyres as this alone doesn’t mean they are rated as full-on winter tyres. The M+S rating indicates that these tyres will perform better in snowy conditions than summer tyres, and you will find often the M+S rating on SUV/4x4 and all-season tyres, but they are not as good as dedicated winter tyres and will not perform as well.

FOR MORE EXTREME WEATHER Worth a note is the fact that the winter tyre market varies hugely depending on where in the world you live; in the UK, it wasn’t until the particularly harsh winter of 2010/11 that public interest in winter tyres actually took off and in that time the range of winter tyres available in the UK has steadily increased. However, Nordic countries, for example, have more extreme tyres that have been engineered specifically to deal with their far harsher climates, such as the ContiVikingContact, designed for use in a much lower temperature range than we experience. Then you have studded tyres, which provide the highest levels of safety, stability and traction in the most extreme conditions, such as driving on a layer of ice on completely frozen roads, which would otherwise be impossible.


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AR-1 AR-

• MSA List 1B approved • Ultimate grip without compromising

• MSA List 1B approved • Designed for the track day driver chasing lap times

• Available in 13” to 20” sizes

• Available in 13" to 18" sizes

• 2015, 2016 and 2017 Tyre of choice

• 2017 Tyre of choice for 750MC M3 CUP

wet weather performance

for BMW Compact Cup

www.nankangtyre.co.uk Nankang Tyre UK



Stud kit great value and was fitted in no time



E92 M3 Elizabeth’s

E63 630i Sport Darren’s


E82 118d


E46 M3 Elizabeth’s




E39 540i


E31 850Ci E30 M3 Paul’s


E36 328i Mark’s

E61 M5 Touring Joel’s

E39 523i Rob’s

E30 318i Elliott’s

E36 323i

ELIZABETH’S E63 630i This month is a mix of fun stuff and boring stuff as I have had a stud kit fitted to the Six as well as having a new water pump and thermostat installed; I know I’ve been getting a lot of maintenance stuff done on the 630 recently but it wasn’t exactly perfect when I bought it. I’m as eager to get going with the mods as anyone, but I want to make sure that the car is working properly before I start really enjoying it. Maybe I’m just old and boring. So, water pump and thermostat first. N52 water pumps are notorious for failing, usually letting go around the 70-90,000 mile-mark; with 92k miles on the clock and no receipts or any other way to check if the pump had ever been done, I decided it was just good sense to opt for a bit of preventative maintenance and change the water pump. Not only would it give me peace of mind but it would then be something I’d likely never have to worry about ever again as it’s unlikely I’ll be adding another 70k miles to the 630’s odo during my time with it. It also made sense to change the thermostat while the water pump was out as the two are connected to each other. Preventative maintenance is all well and good but it stings a bit when you’re replacing parts that haven’t yet failed and which happen to be very expensive. A water pump from BMW costs somewhere in the region of £600. Ouch. My next port of call was online where I found the same pump on a few websites for around £500; better, but not by much. So I headed to eBay, cast my net wide across the whole of Europe and picked up a brand new pump and thermostat for £260 delivered. Now that’s more like it. I popped along to BMSport with my

parts and the guys got cracking (once the engine had cooled down, obviously). It quickly transpired that the pump had previously been replaced at some point as it looked new-ish, but not having a clue when the work was done and how many miles had been covered in that time I had no qualms about changing it again for peace of mind. The pump and thermostat were all good and fitted without any problems but when the guys carried out a pressure test of the system after having refilled it, they discovered a leak from the coolant temperature sensor down by the radiator. I had been experiencing a leak somewhere in the system as I’d had to top it up on more than one occasion since I’d bought the car, so it looks like this was the cause. No problem for the BMSport guys, who happened to have another sensor handy and, when that didn’t stop the leak, they managed to find a new O-ring, which did. With the pump and thermostat changed and the coolant leak plugged, that’s almost the last thing on my to-do list of repairs; the only thing left to sort out is the steering wheel vibration I’m getting under braking, which sounds like it’s down to a couple of worn front-end bushes so I’ll be taking care of those soon. So to my stud kit. I’m a huge fan of stud kits, mainly because they make life a lot easier when you’re doing anything to do with wheels. For starters, you don’t have to try and line the wheel bolt holes up with the holes on your hubs while trying to balance the wheel on your knee and trying to screw in a bolt all at the same time; simply line up the wheel with the studs and once it’s hanging from them it’s not going to fall off. Another benefit is that they make running spacers and swapping


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Once spacers have been fitted the studs will barely be visible

Coolant system refilled after new water pump and thermostat were fitted

Replacing water pump and thermostat means peace of mind between different widths much easier; you don’t have to mess about with longer bolts or bolting spacers to your hubs and then bolting your wheels to the spacers. Wheels come off, spacers go on, wheels go back on, job done. My reasons for wanting them on the 630 were threefold: firstly, because the standard wheels sit too far in; secondly, because I have some new wheels waiting in the wings and they need spacers to achieve the right fitment; and thirdly because I have coilovers coming and I know that sometimes the adjustment collars can rub on the wheels depending on where they’re positioned once the coilovers have been fitted. I got my stud kit from CA Technologies International and going by their advice opted for the 75mm kit, which can accept spacers up to 15mm in width, perfect for the 12mm spacers I was planning to run while giving me an option

to go wider if I ever wanted to in the future. The kit costs £58 and comes with 20 studs, 20 nuts and it even comes with a little bottle of Loctite, giving you everything you need to fit your studs in one extremely affordable package. I had the BMSport guys fit my stud kit while I was down there and it hardly took any time at all; it was simply a case of removing the wheels, cleaning the hub holes, applying a little Loctite, screwing the studs in then torquing them up correctly and that was that. What’s good about CA’s studs is that the ends have a hexagonal hole, allowing you to screw them in and torque them up quickly and easily. For less than £60 it’s really a bit of a no-brainer; I’m actually surprised that BMW persists with bolts rather than studs, especially as numerous car manufacturers have been using studs for years and it just makes life so much easier.

What I didn’t do after getting the stud kit fitted was actually fit my spacers, because I really want to lower the car first before I do anything with the wheels, so I will do the spacers at the same time as my coilovers. That means that, currently, the 630i looks a bit weird with the studs poking out from the wheels, not something you expect to see on a car like this, but once the spacers and new wheels are on it will all come together perfectly. THANKS AND CONTACT CA Technologies International 01202 822792 www.ca-int.co.uk BMSport 020 8304 9797 www.bmsport.com DECEMBER 2017 89

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THOMAS’ E46 M3 It seems like every time I write about the car, my opening sentence is about how the build is really progressing and should be on the road soon. Well, once again, I’ll have to say the same. There seems to have been a long list of unforeseen setbacks over the last few months, but things are finally going as expected… sort of. The big news for this month is that the cams are in. Over the last year I’ve been working closely with Hack Engineering to develop some new, Vanos-compatible cams that can drop in and provide a real performance boost. Aimed primarily towards fast road/track cars, the cams will lose some of the OEM cams’ low-speed smoothness and exchange it for top-end power. Exactly how big this shift is will need to be explored, but first the engine needs to run. Not wishing to just copy what’s already out there, we’ve stayed away from just buying in a competitor product, looking at what they’ve done, changing 5% and then calling it our own. The cam profile for the development cams is 100% unique and is the result of some serious

New cams promise big performance gains

R&D and long nights. A lot of discussion when it comes to cams is looking purely at lift and duration, but there’s so much more that can be done ‘behind the scenes’ to make a cam perform differently, making it very hard to compare two directly. The first misconception is that more lift is always better. Whilst to an extent this is true, you can actually harm the efficiency of a port by opening the valve too far. Exactly where that point is for the S54 is hard to say without lengthy flow bench analysis, but as a general rule of thumb ports reach maximum efficiency when the lift is 25% of the valve head diameter – a figure the OEM S54 cams easily exceed, let alone aftermarket cams. Lift-wise, it’s also important to consider the valve spring. Opening the valve further will compress the spring further, putting more work – and therefore load – through the spring. The standard springs are also close to binding as it is, so whilst the development cams have a tiny bit more lift than OEM cams, there was little to be gained by going much further. After

all, the purpose of these cams is to be a drop-in replacement for the OEM units, retaining both Vanos and standard valve gear. Duration-wise, the first set of Koflach Engine Developments (KED) cams run a 290° inlet duration, and 282° exhaust duration. This means that for 290° of crank rotation the inlet valve will be open, with 8° fewer for the exhaust. What the cam does during that period is where it gets interesting, and where the KED cams will differentiate themselves from the rest of the cam crowd. Before anything gets too serious though, the cams need testing properly, as does the engine. So with the prototype cams in hand, this month was spent tidying up the engine bay, installing the cams, checking various clearances and preparing the engine for the first fire. The cams were spec’d with a Parkerised surface, which in simple terms is a phosphate coating that gives them greater wear and corrosion resistance. The Parkerising is applied after final grinding, which is what gives the lobes such a dark surface. Despite the Parkerising, the initial fire up will still be a key time in getting the cams to bed-in correctly, so double and triple checks on various areas of the car were completed to make sure it went without a hitch. With the oil system primed and producing healthy pressures, the time for the first fire appeared to have arrived. That was until the SMG decided to have its say and stop any further progress. Having looked at the various error codes, it looks to be a gear position sensor issue. Unfortunately time ran out to diagnose the issue any further, so running the engine will have to wait until next month…


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OUR CARS Worn gaiters were letting the interior down

Gaiter had to be glued to plastic base frame

New gear shift gaiter (top) and tatty old one (bottom)

STEVEN’S E31 850Ci Last issue I said that the 850 was for sale because it’s finished. I’ve since then spent the last month finding all sorts of niggling little details that either needed doing, or just finishing off to prevent me selling it. Is this procrastination? Oh yes. The first task was the gear and handbrake boots. The leather on them was of a high quality (as you’d expect from a £60k car). However, they were also 25 years old and had perished rather badly. I sourced some replacement leather gaiters from a company called JF Customs on t’Internet, who, amazingly, stock E31 parts. I can’t tell you how rare that is, but I ordered some up and four days later they arrived. They came as cut and stitched leather, and appeared to be of very good quality. They smelled great too. The only slight problem was that I had to remove the plastic framework from the existing boots and transfer them over. This wasn’t a great ordeal however, and a healthy dollop of glue and many, many paper clips to hold it together while it set soon had them attached. What was harder was removing the gear lever head from the stick. This is something I’ve done several times on E36 and E46 manuals, but never an automatic. However, the theory is the same: put it in neutral, press the shift button and pull. Then pull again harder.

Then pull with everything you’ve got. Hard. Fortunately, when it eventually came off, I didn’t punch myself in the nose (a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, lol). Fitting the new boots was a piece of cake and I’m rather pleased with how they look, having chosen white stitching to bring back the white bodywork. The second job I started was to look at the rear blind. This was an optional extra on the 850s which was ticked on my example but, like all electric items on the car when I bought it, it didn’t work. It made a hell of a grinding noise but didn’t actually move. This has always been on my ‘If I get time’ list as I’ve never really understood the point of rear blinds in cars. I mean, what do they actually do? As far as I’m concerned it’s just another electric (therefore heavy) motor that I have to carry round, worsening my mpg. However, If I removed the blind, I’d have an unsightly hole in my parcel shelf, so I thought I’d take a quick look. The good news is that it did work, it was just stiff. So I extended it manually, coated it in grease, raised and lowered it a few times and it’s good to go. If only all of life’s (and the 850’s) problems were that simple. So now I need to find more random small jobs to prevent me from selling the old beast. I’m sure that won’t be difficult.


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Handbrake gaiter was also changed

New gaiters look much nicer

Well it has been a long month and the M3 is still tucked away in the corner at ARM BMW’s workshop. The bodywork is all sorted, with a new front wing and there is also a new hub and a longer stud kit fitted. While we were at it we also did a few of the jobs needed for the MOT, including a lower front wishbone and the EBC Bluestuff pads I bought last month. Another gremlin I noticed recently was an uneven idle speed. We adjusted it a couple of times but it soon became clear that the fault was with the fuel pressure regulator. If honest, I had never been entirely happy with the FSE adjustable regulator and we opted to replace it with a 3bar fixed regulator from Jenvey. Whilst we wouldn’t want to get our hopes up, it wouldn’t be a surprise if replacing it alongside the new TPS makes for a much smoother power delivery. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a little more power too! The FSE was struggling to meet the demand at higher RPM and then there were the bigger jets to contend with. Hopefully we can get a bit of time on the dyno next weekend. Unfortunately, the lower suspension arm

we needed to replace was the other side from last time. This meant £320 plus the Vat for a new one. Much as I love this car, it has cost me a small fortune over the past three years. I daren’t add up all the invoices but I know it’s enough to have bought a pretty mint E46 M3 CS. I know it has been money well spent but sometimes it just seems never ending! Anyway, with it being so late in the year, I need to start thinking about maybe using it a little less over the winter months. I did try taking it off the road altogether but after a couple of weeks we had a bit of winter sunshine, I had a day off and the desire to use it was just too much! Maybe the time is right to get something else to keep the M3 company? In better news, the good people at Tarox may be supplying their latest B33 six-pot calipers and 320mm two-piece discs with alloy bells. Their design is a step or three up from the current brakes, albeit an evolution and the quality looks to be first class. Given that the old calipers have lasted so long without any issues, I don’t really think there is any question about the quality of their components. Fingers crossed for some dry weather and finally being able to use the M3 in the coming weeks, especially now the light pod is fitted.

Rally-style light pod looks great DECEMBER 2017 93

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19” BBS E88s look fantastic on the Touring, even without tyres

MARK R’S E61 M5 TOURING I never intended to modify the M5 Touring. But then I never intended to buy one, either. The real issue here is the fact my intentions and my actions are far from being aligned with one another… But that’s not a bad thing, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Despite the fact BMW only produced 222 of ’em – and despite the fact they’re hideously flawed in many areas – the E61 M5 Touring responds brilliantly to the right kind of modifications. Emphasis on the right part. Since upgrading the OE brakes to AP Racing and switching the springs to H&R the M5 feels like a different car both on and off the track while remaining 100% practical. It’s still an M Car after all, despite the big ol’ boot hanging off the back. The problem with modifying BMWs is it quickly become addictive. After improving one aspect of the car, it highlights a weakness in another. Before you know it you’ve transformed your road car into a track-only fiend and you’re back on Pistonheads looking for a daily replacement. Although maybe not with the M5. For a start, trying to find decent upgrades for such a specialist car is both difficult and terrifyingly expensive. Secondly, with all the weight saving in the world it’ll still be heavier than a stock E46 M3, so why try and make it something it isn’t? That doesn’t solve the urge to modify though. Thankfully there is one area relatively straightforward to ‘upgrade’ without too much hassle – the wheels. Stock M5 wheels aren’t bad by any means, but they’ve also appeared on just about every non-M 5-series for the past 12 years. Wheels can make or break how a car looks, and while that doesn’t make you any faster it does bring a massive smile to your face every

time you look at it. My intentions were to buy some cheap, single-piece track wheels. My actions involved a phone call to long-suffering friend Mitch at Manthey Racing and the words “BBS,” “E88” and “pretty please.” Why the need for motorsport wheels? Every time I’ve visited the Nürburgring I’ve seen a range of BMWs belonging to Team Schirmer, each one instantly recognisable by its no-nonsense approach to tuning which just so happens to include BBS E88 Motorsport wheels. Truth be told these cars have inspired the way I approach the M5 build – it’s not always about big wings and lairy paint, but rather the right high-quality parts which just scream “we’re here to go FAST!” Even offered up to the car without tyres the E88s look ridiculous (in a good way). There

are no spacers needed, no camber and the AP Brakes clear perfectly. Fitment-wise I’ve stuck to the OE size and offset, albeit increasing rear width to 9.5” to allow for a 285 track tyre to be fitted. Next on the list is a set of super-sticky track tyres, just in time for winter… THANKS AND CONTACT Regal Autosport 02380 558636 www.regalautosport.com Manthey Racing www.manthey-racing.de BBS Motorsport www.bbs.de


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