Features

Features

Sobieslaw Zasada 2002ti Tribute

Photography by Matt Petrie @crosshair_nightmare

The World Rally Championship is the modern benchmark for staged, all-terrain competition. It’s predecessor, however, the European Rally Championship, predates that by two decades. Since 1953, the ERC took place across the continent, pushing the limits of manufacturers and drivers from all over the world. One of those drivers, Sobieslaw Zasada, brought three championship titles home to Poland starting in 1966. Each of the three championships had their own significances, but the last was a multifaceted victory for driver and manufacturer.

In 1967, he was awarded with both the ERC title as well as being honored with the prestigious commemoration of “Poland’s Sportsman of the Year”. No stranger to podiums or championships, he won dozens of other tournaments and races all over Europe throughout the mid to late 60’s. A few years later in 1971, despite an alleged sabotage during one of the rally stages, Sobieslaw won his third and final ERC championship. Not only did this complete the hat trick of ERC titles for Sobieslaw, but the significance was important for BMW as well since it was their first and only ERC title.

While this is not the original 1971 championship title car, this 2002 was built by a Polish motorsports enthusiast named Piotr in 2012 as a tribute to the legend’s final title year. When the time came to restore his 2002, building a conventional street car was out of the question. Instead, he set out to alter the restoration into a performance-oriented, track-ready 2002. He spec’d out the commission for both the chassis and drivetrain to be based on the 1971 championship winning 2002ti. In paying homage to the Polish racing legend, he also earned a Polish National Historic Motorsports Pass upon its completion.

The engine was completely rebuilt from the bottom up using new BMW pistons (9:5 compression), Schrick 292 cam, Ireland Engineering hardened valve springs, and Weber 45 side draft carbs. The car was fitted with an E21 five speed transmission and 40% locking differential, which leads out to 13x8 Compomotive wheels stuffed under the flares. Gaz Shocks coil overs and full polyurethane bushings throughout the chassis tighten up car. The steering is much more responsive and the snappiness in rear can easily kick out if those Avon tires aren’t warmed up properly.

Of course, we can’t talk about stiffening the chassis and not mention the OMP homologated full roll cage. The interior also houses the matching OMP Legend sport seat pair. A Terratrip Classic 202 Halda tripmeter is fixed above the center console, but in true, vintage rally fashion, a cage mounted lamp and pen holder over the dash provides the navigator with the resources needed to guide the driver through the stages.

Piotr sourced the correct Alpina pig cheek flare kit for the project and he told me “the wide body is my favorite part of the car . Stickers or not, I love the appearance, but installing it proved to be one of the most difficult tasks of the project.” It took the body shop a few attempts to get it perfect, but the perseverance paid off.

During the build he had briefly seen Sobieslaw a handful of times, but it wasn’t until after he completed the car that he had a formal sit-down with the rally driver. It was there that Piotr revealed to Sobieslaw that he had built a spec tribute car to his former championship BMW some decades ago. Delighted, Zasada, said laughingly, “nice BMW, looks very much like mine.” Reminiscing on his championship car with a clean revision before him, he signed the hood and dashboard before they parted ways. Piotr went on to participate in rally events as soon as the car was completed until 2017.

Fast forward a couple of years later, where a customer of AutoCouture Motoring in New Jersey was on the hunt for a 2002. For months she had searched for all types of 2002’s across the spectrum. From ratty, original project cars to fully built race cars, nothing was ruled out. She test drove a few different examples and then this car popped up on ‘BaT.’ Winning the closing bid when the electronic hammer came down, she had Piotr’s tribute rally car purchased and shipped from Poland to the states. As soon as it arrived, she had Sports Car Restoration in Connecticut prep it to make sure it was ready to hit the streets of the greater tri state area. The car then briefly made a stop at AutoCouture where we buttoned up a few extra maintenance items while she dropped in to show us her latest acquisition. Even in a shop overflowing with modern M cars, Mclarens and GT Porsches of different varieties, the Polish rally car was a fan favorite by the majority of the customers who came in for those few days.

That is just the effect this car has on people. The color combination and aggressive stance is enough to attract people old and young. Piotr said that his favorite part of this car are the wide arches and for the right reason. The appearance and sound match the car’s performance in perfect harmony. Even while I was shooting this set, as remote as this location was, people still approached me to get a closer look and discuss the details around it. That is exactly what the current owner is looking forward to the most. She is embracing this car as a driver, but more importantly she loves passing on the history and what this car represents.

Features

Jonny Reiswig's E24 635csi

Photography by Dan Usmanoff @dusmanoff

Jonny’s E24 is one of the most unique examples that I’ve seen in awhile. When it was first unveiled on the internet, it immediately caught my attention. It’s so clean, but full of character at the same time. All of the small details flow really well to create a look that I’ve not really seen done before. It’s got the perfect blend of stance and vintage motorsport with a style I would expect to see coming from Japan.

Jonny used to have an E36 convertible that was distinguishable as well. He eventually sold it with plans to later obtain his (affordable) dream car. The first generation of 6 Series, the E24 was BMW’s flagship coupe of the 80’s.

Jonny’s 1987 635csi has 255k miles on it, but visibly shows little aging. He bought the car a year ago and originally wanted to make it his daily driver. At the time he was dailying an M4, so the goal was to fix up the E24 and make it reliable. The M4 was sold so it was time to fully focus on the 635. The first thing that needed addressed was the transmission, which was on its last leg. He found a good deal on another automatic transmission and had that installed. Once that was done, all he wanted to do was maybe throw on some sport springs and M-Parallels and call it a day.

Since his E36 was on air it was an option that he took into consideration. After seeing a few great examples of bagged E24’s out there though, it proved to be the winning solution. Brendan Stouffer’s @b_stouffs and Alvin Louie’s @nicmosh cars convinced Jonny to pull the trigger. He went with CAtuned’s airbag kit with Bag Riders management. Group 2 Motorsports did the install, so it was time to dial in the wheels.

Jonny worked with Austin Seeling @austin_8p to build a set of BBS RS’s. They went with 18x9” fronts and 18x10” rears with slant lips. The turbofans on the front wheels were custom designed and printed by Austin, originally meant for his Audi last year. He wanted to create something different than you usually see. The vintage BMW Motorsport center caps were a nice touch as well. Typically my excessive preference for things to be symmetrical or matching would cause me to not fully enjoy seeing two different wheels on the car. But it actually works really well and make sense with the overall theme somehow. It’s one of the details about the car that helps make it so unique.

One of the other details that really made this car was the side graphic designed by Austin. The stripes were originally going to be the same style as the ones found on Austin’s E28. However he decided to design something new to flow better with the E24’s body lines and overall look. On the rear quarter panel is the BBS logo and Katakana characters which translate to “Motorsports”. The graphic is one of Jonny’s favorite parts of the car and I completely agree. Another mod that may at first go unnoticed is the custom rear window blinds handcrafted out of wood by Austin. He took some measurements and cut them with a scroll saw in his garage. Once the fitment was perfected he finished them off with a torch to give them the black look.

Jonny said now that the car is where he wants it, the next step will be to swap a manual transmission into it. Other than that and getting euro bumpers it’s done. I’m glad that he didn’t just stop at wheels and a sport drop, because this is one of my favorite cars ever. It surely sets the bar for how nice you can make an E24 look.


Features

Sam Van Heest's E90 M3

Photography by Matt Petrie @crosshair_nightmare

It is hard to believe that the E90 M3 is rounding out the tenth year since it’s production. Yes, ten years have gone by already and it is being celebrated by ill fitting bolt-on wide body kits and flame shooting, burble tunes that bounce off the rev limiter. Sorry for the spoiler alert, but you won’t find that in here. No, instead Sam chose a cleaner approach. The phrase that comes to mind and best describes his E90 is “elements of traditional ways”. Each of these individual components are not contemporary by any means, but he carefully chose each aspect and perfected them uniquely, reintroducing excitement for the chassis a decade later.

When it comes to suspension, there are so many ways to lower the car. Despite all of the possibilities, there was only one option for Sam. The Ohlins Road and Track coil overs were selected to ensure that his ride remains smooth and capable to tackle the tri-state roads while sitting tightly over the wheels. It is no secret that BBS is synonymous with BMW. Although you need to count on your toes for E9x’s with BBS wheels, Sam still manages to keep the bar elevated. The wheels are not the standard, concave face that is more commonly seen. His are the rarer, flat face RSII’s, which gives the wheel more of a traditional RS appearance. It allows the wheels to be built wider while clearing enough room for big brakes. On the other hand, something that is rarely seen on this platform, are the velocity stacks. Even though trumpets have been married to independent throttle bodies since their conception, his 8000+ revving V8 is packing a little more than just the orchestra horn section. His design and execution with factory functions are what etch its rank in velocity stack comparison conversation, but we’ll get to that in more detail later.

The use of color is so crucial in any build and a three-color pallet requires a specific eye, but more importantly, the right taste. Although white is a neutral pallet to work with, it is Sam’s use of the red and brushed silver that solidifies the execution. Throughout the car, the coordination is so seamlessly integrated, that one can miss the cues or just simply take them for granted.

Against the Alpine White slick top, the contrasting interior is merely a glimpse away.  This car was originally equipped with black leather, but it was since fully replaced with the more desirable Fox Red leather.  To take it a step further, he completed the conversion with the fold down rear seats, which were previously affixed in the back of the cabin. Along with the color swap, he updated the navigation system to the LCI spec, which changes the screen and menu format as well as the better idrive control unit in the center console. Also occupying the center console are the F10 M5 shift knob and an AEM gauge cluster to monitor vitals. Even their silver bezels were kept in mind to tie in with the silver accented components around the interior.



The red on the outside of the car is minimalistic, but extremely effective. Red StopTech ST60 calipers hover millimeters below the brushed BBS faces. On those brushed faces, sit custom height hexes that house red BBS center caps.  When the hood is opened, his valve covers, dressed in wrinkle red, provide a vibrant base for the trumpet display.  Another item that is not normally red, nor in the S65 for that matter is the physical dipstick.  Those of you unfamiliar with the S65 and wondering why a dipstick is being written about, is because these cars only have electronic ones that read on the instrument cluster and are hardly accurate at that.  Sam’s S65 oil pan had been given the VAC treatment of baffled channels and a good ol’ fashion dipstick to pull out and wipe down. He made the swap during his upgraded rod bearing replacement.

Of course, we can’t pop the hood and only talk about the red valve covers or a silly dipstick.  Matching the brushed finish of his wheels are the 2M Autowerks machined velocity stacks for the S65’s independent throttle bodies. The sound of throttle bodies grabbing the open atmospheric air before you is glorious and intoxicating. All you want to be doing is driving the car two gears below where you should be, but simply running the machined trumpets was not Sam’s end goal.  His thought process was thorough and very definitive. On a functional side, it had to mimic the factory plenum plumbing to keep the car happy and have no irreversible modifications to make it work. While brainstorming the layout, he did not want to incorporate any covers or trays around the trumpets. “I don’t want to loose the mechanical feel of this, I want the engine to look like an engine” he said adamantly. No disagreement here. Although succinctly stated, he’s completely right. Seeing the fuel rails and linkage along side the newly introduced oil air separator AN lines or the bullet shaped oil catch is a beautiful thing.

He drew up some sketches for the cylindrical oil catch and then handed it over to his friend and local machinist, Eric of Tribal Iron Customs. Carrying out the brushed finish, the bullet shaped conversation piece also integrates the factory drain mount in the same location below the plenum. Focusing on the details, he even made a little bracket to hold the filter in place above the valve cover. Equally as impressive as it looks and sounds, is that attention to detail. He is not finished with this project either as there is still more to come.  The plan is to utilize the factory air ducts from the bumper and kidney grills by having filtered channels 3D printed to his specifications in order to feed it with as much clean air as open ITB’s can get.

Rather than removing the chrome accents around the car like the headlights and the grills, Sam kept them to compliment the polished lips of his wheels. A European inspired shaved front bumper and NLA original Challenge diffuser are just more examples of how little details go further than radical aero and body work.

Sam did not rewrite ‘the book’, he just pulled a few chapters out, added some vibrant illustration, and put them back in to show the rest of the community how it’s done.

Features

Shawn Robertson's E46 M3 sedan

Photography by Shawn Robertson @shawnrphotography

When I first got back into a BMW from a couple year break (2009) I had chose an ‘03 330i sedan. I promptly stumbled onto the E46fanatics forum to dive deep into my new obsession and research everything that I possibly could about E46’s. It was pretty fast for me to realize that an E46 M3 was my new “realistic” dream car, but at the time it never looked obtainable. So I did pretty much what the majority of people do with non-M cars and upgraded with OEM+ modifications to make it look as much like the M as possible. At that time I dreamt of eventually building my car into an M3 sedan (because of JeppeJ's Interlagos Blue M3, look it up if you haven’t seen it before.)

Anyway, S54 swapped E46 non-M’s aren’t that uncommon nowadays… but a full out conversion is a little more rare. So I was extremely happy to see that Shawn was in the process of doing this to his ZHP. I was already a huge fan of his car in its ZHP form so I knew it was going to be great. The attention to detail and goal to build it as close to a factory M3 is very apparent. This is one of the cleanest conversions I’ve seen since JeppeJ’s, as I hold that to the highest standard in which one should be done in.

Shawn originally was in the market for a stock ZHP 6 speed. He bought the car sight unseen from a ZHP dealer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was excited to drive the car since it had been about 11 years since he last owned a BMW. His last car was in 2005 which was a 1995 Avus Blue turbo E36 (making 601whp). Once he started looking at forums like E46fanatics, ZHPmafia, and M3forum it didn't take long for the itch to set in and before he knew it he bought an M3 parts car from Copart… before he even knew how to do an S54 swap mind you. So Shawn had his buddy at Lins Specialty Automotive perform the full mechanical S54 swap since he had a lot going on in his life and he needed some help.

He drove about a year on that and during that year he decided to retrofit and equip the car with every rare option he could think of. Once he completed that he picked up a wagon and another parts car to make an S54 wagon to sell. Before he tossed that sell he scavenged all the body parts to start his M3 body conversion. He had Superstar Customs in Lilburn, Georgia do the rear fender flares and contacted 2M Autowerks for their fiberglass front M3 sedan fenders. Born2doit customs painted the car in Imola Red and then he decided he wanted something close to an E46 M3 CSL sedan.

Currently the car has 174k miles and though he wished he had started with a lower mileage chassis, he loves the car and the work that went into it. It’s his one of a kind car. For now he just wants to enjoy it and would love to eventually pass it down to his son in the future.


2003 E46 ZHP/M3

Chassis 165k miles when S54 swapped with 128k miles


ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN

- S54 (131k miles) with new OEM VAC Motorsport coated bearings installed

- E46 M3 cluster coded and modded for 4 doors and corrected mileage

- 6 speed Getrag Transmission (131k miles)

- 3.62 M3 LSD w/ axles and complete rear end

- GSR CSL Carbon Airbox with intake snorkel, CSL Map sensor and IAT

- OEM CSL Software with Oil Level readout

- ///M Track DSC System Enabled

- S54 Stock header

- S54 midpipe with Jones Universal Maxflow Muffler in place of midpipe

- Custom 3rd Rear section with Quad exhaust

SUSPENSION / BRAKES

- Porsche 996 4POT Brakes front and rear

- OEM CSL Rotors front and rear

- E46 M3 Coilovers (DGR Suspension)

- AKG Bushings: Spherical RTAB, Front Control Arm Bushing, Differential , Engine Mounts

- Turner Motorsport front and rear swaybars

- ZHP Steering Rack retained

- E46 M3 lower FCA

- E46 M3 Rear trailing arms

- SPC adjustable rear control arms for camber

- BMW Performance Carbon Fiber Strut Brace

WHEELS

- OEM CSL wheels (square) 19x9.5”

EXTERIOR

- Fresh repaint 405/3 Imola Rot II

- Seibon Carbon Fiber CSL Trunk

- M3 Body Conversion

- 2M Autowerks M3 front fenders

- Status Gruppe CSL diffuser for Mtech II bumper

INTERIOR

- N6NG Natur Braun leather M3 Seats (Custom LSeat covers installed)

AUDIO

- Eonon Android 7.1 Double Din Radio

- HK Amp audio system

Features

Jarrett Brock's E30 S54 325i

Photography by Richard Mason Hughes @euro_rmh

1990 BMW E30 325i 

140k on chassis, 80k on motor, No rust

Exterior

  • New OEM BMW Delphine Grey Metallic paint
  • Shaved trunk
  • OEM Euro smoothen bumperettes
  • OEM Euro trim front and rear
  • OEM Euro grills
  • Hella Euro lights
  • OEM Smoked front turning signals
  • OEM 318is under hood panel
  • OEM 318is front lip
  • OEM Smoked fog lights
  • New OEM BMW Badges f&r
  • Original OEM Glass all around
  • Driftkingz full aluminum front splitter, black

Wheels

  • BBS RS – Front: 17x9.5" et39 Rear: 17x10.5" et39
    Matte black faces, matte black waffles, gloss black lips, gloss black inner barrels, gold ARP hardware, gold BBS hexes, red/gold BBS centercaps

Suspension

  • Full OEM E36 front 5 lug swap
  • Full OEM 318ti rear 5 lug swap
  • Original Hartge front strut tower bar, full polish
  • Garagistic rear strut tower bar, black
  • Custom Airlift performance struts
  • Air Lift 3p Management
  • Dual Viair 444c Compressors
  • 2 gallon air tank, brushed raw

Interior

  • Full OEM BMW Caramel Leather front and rear seats
  • OEM BMW E9X floor matts
  • New OEM ashtray
  • New OEM switches throughout the dash
  • Hartge Shift Knob, wood grain
  • M-Tech leather Steering Wheel
  • Data Logger
  • Custom Gauge Cluster
  • Black Alcantara rear deck and panel
  • Black OEM handles
  • Black Carpet
  • New OEM Switches throughout
  • New OEM seatbelts
  • Suede gearbox boot

Engine/Drivetrain

  • Full S54 BMW motor swap (2005 e46 m3 motor)
  • Full 6 speed transmission swap 
  • OEM e46 BMW m3 clutch, flywheel, etc.
  • Motor resealed 
  • VANOS rebuilt
  • New OEM rod bearings
  • New OEM Cylinder Head Bolts
  • New OEM Rod Bolts
  • New OEM Rear Main seal
  • New OEM Front Main seal
  • Custom Engine Wiring Harness
  • Stand Alone ECU
  • Custom Powersteering cooler 
  • Tuned by Rk tunes 320rwhp
  • 3 1/2 custom exhaust 
  • Dyno max muffler and electric cutout
  • New Cylinder Head Bolt Set
  • AKG 24V Swap Mounts
  • E34 oil pan
  • New Oil Pump
  • CSF Radiator
  • SPAL Electric Fan
  • Custom Oil Cooler
  • Custom Intake with K&N Filter
  • OEM LSD
  • Custom Driveshaft
  • Reinforced front subframe
  • Reinforced rear subframe
  • 944 Porsche OEM brake booster
  • Full OEM e36 front brake setup
  • Battery relocated to trunk

Follow Jarrett on instagram: @feeels30