AC Schnitzer

Features

Rafał Sadowski's E30

Engine/Drivetrain

  • M52b28TU
  • carbon Simota Air Intake
  • Custom manifolds
  • Custom 2.5” exhaust
  • 5 speed manual
  • 25% Limited Slip Differential 3.20 ratio

Exterior

  • iS front lip
  • Mtech I trunk spoiler
  • Touring side skirts
  • US front and rear sidemarkers 
  • Side indicators deleted
  • Pop out windows
  • US backplate panel

Interior

  • Recaro speed seats
  • Rear seats reshaped
  • Whole interior retrimmed in leather
  • Nardi Deep Corn steering wheel
  • Matching Nardi gear knob
  • Original radio
  • Second radio hidden in glovebox to keep original look inside

Suspension/Braking/Wheels

  • AC Schnitzer Type I (Front: 17x9" | Rear: 17x10")
  • Hankook tires
  • ISC coilovers with custom springs
  • Rear camber kit 
  • E46 3.0 petrol brakes (Front: 325mm | Rear: 276mm)
  • Copper lines

Thanks to: First of all massive thanks to my amazing wife Monika (love you lots) and Sebastian for getting that car for me. Miker for help with suspension and brakes. Karol, Jakub and Dariusz at Swap Garage for building my car. Marcin Ukleja for helping to pick right color. Exotic, Adams, Przemyslaw, Elvis & Przemek and TeamAF for continued support.

    Features

    Robin Gunnarsson's E31 840Ci

    In September of 1989, one of the most unique BMW's to this day was unveiled to the world. The E31 8 Series was created to be a flagship model that would surpass the E24 6 Series and to directly compete with the Mercedes Benz S-class coupes. It was a car that looked like nothing else in BMW's lineup, yet it fit in perfectly. There were so many distinct features like pop-up headlights, narrow grills, M-style mirrors and those boxy fenders that slightly resembled those on the E30 M3. We can't forget the V8 and V12 engine options either. It's like a drivable time capsule containing some of the greatest things found on BMW's produced in the late 80's through early 90's.

    Even as a kid, Robin took notice to the uniqueness of this vehicle. A friend of his father's stopped by their house with his 850i, Robin ran out to the car and yelled "Look daddy! It has four exhaust pipes!" His dad got him a yellow 850 CSi in 1:18 scale for a birthday present that year. That was one of his favorite, most memorable gifts ever. 

    Robin saw a photo of two 840's in a magazine when he was about 16-17 years old. They looked exactly like his yellow 850 (with the CSi-package) but they were red. Both were equipped with a V8 and a manual transmission. Even though at that time he was really into the muscle car scene, he found himself locking onto a new dream car.

    He bought an E36 325 coupe with M-package when he got his driver's license. After he got a job and had put away some cash for something more fun, he started to search for a mint M3. He looked at several but none were up to his standard. So he started to think of the red 840's again, he found the old magazine with the picture and eventually got in contact with one of the owners. He let Robin come over to check the car out, even though he didn't want to sell it. There were only 479 E31's made equipped with a V8 and manual transmission, (1510 made of the CSi in comparison). The two from the magazine were the only ones in Sweden. He went home, feeling the same way he did as a kid. They were simply dream cars.

    Eventually that 840 was sold back to the original owner in Germany. So only one was left in Sweden. Robin called the owner, who just laughed at him when Robin told him that he wanted to buy the car. The man was a BMW collector, a true enthusiast with many nice models. He wanted to let Robin come take a look at it knowing how badly he wanted the mint 840. After the collector sold his E28 M5 he no longer owned any more M-cars, so the only model he would consider swapping his 840 for was of course the CSi. He knew of a CSi that might be for sale and luckily it was. So he bought it and Robin was finally able to buy his dream car. 

    2016 is the 5th summer of Robin owning the E31. He just drove it as is the first two summers. It previously sat on H&R lowering springs with hand polished one-piece AC Schnitzers (18x8.5/10). Then the stance scene had affected his opinion of the setup and left him with a desire for larger wheels. Robin found a guy that restored 3-piece wheels and wanted to order a set of Hartge Design C's. He didn't have any, but he did have a set of AC Schnitzer Type 1's in 18" that needed some love. Over the winter, the car had to go lower so Robin swapped the H&R's for KAW springs. It still wasn't low enough, but it was never an option to drive it as low as he really wanted because of the risk of damaging the car. With the CSi bumper it's like a sitting duck, so air suspension came to mind. However he figured that would be very expensive, especially the systems with height sensors that he would want. After a few months of searching he found a guy that had the parts he needed. Air Lift Performance universal struts, bellows for the rear and an Accuair system, all of which weren't even unpacked yet and he only asked for half of retail price. With the welding expertise of his brother in law, a lot of measuring and custom made parts, he suddenly had a bagged E31. The response he received at shows and meetings was crazy. 

    The wheels were still not wide enough, so he ordered wider lips for the rear wheels and took the old rears and moved them up front. They're now 18x9.75/11.75". He didn't like the big license plate holder on the front bumper so he removed it and made a mold in the cnc at work and cast a strip out of fiberglass. It took a lot of sanding and a couple layers of paint then mounted it on the car. The overall look of the front was much cleaner. A custom stainless exhaust with x-pipe was made so the V8 under the hood could be heard better.

    Besides upgrading the sound system, the only other thought he's considered was an S62 taking the place of the old M60. Other than that, Robin's very satisfied with the car.

    But whatever happened to that yellow CSi he received as a kid? Well it's long gone but now he has a replica of his own 840 in 1:18 scale. He even painted the interior black and mounted the wheels. You can check out more of Robin's E31 on his instagram: @keckonen

    Features

    Jorge Hernandez's E46 330i

    Photography by Ryan Lee

    As a car enthusiast, growing up in a family loving cars and having toys in the garage is not a new concept, but something that few are lucky enough experience. Jorge’s father was and still is fanatical about cars previously owning a line up of 60’s and 70’s iconic names such as “Impala", "Road Runner", and “Cougar" just to name a few.  So often when people have kids they sacrifice their sports cars, completely doing away with their passion, but not in this case.  Since Jorge was born there had been American Muscle in the driveway and his father would take him out in his Camaro when he was just a toddler. There is no question that this is where his passion for cars stems from.  

    It wasn’t until Jorge was ten years old, he recalls, while making his weekly visits to his cousin’s house, that he was introduced to his first BMW.  Now while this was most likely not the first BMW he was exposed to, a purple BMW in his cousin’s driveway certainly etched it’s place in his childhood memories.  That purple BMW was a brand new 1999 Techno Violet over Dove M3. Instantly, Jorge was in love and that is totally justifiable, Techno Violet has that effect on people. 

    Many years later when the time came to get behind the wheel of his own, he chose this 2004 Mystic Blue, 330i Mtech 1 off the showroom floor.   Yes that’s correct, Jorge is the original owner of this gorgeous sedan, putting every mile on it from the beginning himself.  His cousin built the Techno E36 for show and Jorge always admired that.  He enjoyed watching the progression of putting a car together and transforming it from an ordinary car to a personal work of art. 

    It is not easy to hand pick parts from various aftermarket manufacturers and have them flow together so seamlessly.   For most E46 non-M owners the choice for the front bumper was typically M3 or Mtech 2 (mine was the latter), but Jorge decided to stick with his factory bumper and take it a step further.  He got his hands on a Rieger front lip and molded it to his Mtech 1 bumper.   The Rieger front has a very broad appearance with pronounced edges squaring off the lower end of the front of the car.  To continue that around the car, Jorge picked up some Hamann GTR side skirts that hang lower than the factory rockers and have vents cut out in them.   Out back he has an SRS rear bumper with their ribbed quad diffuser.   For those of you familiar with the E46 non-M’s, they all came from the factory with single sided exhaust.  In Jorge’s crafty nature and with the help from the crew at AUTOcouture Motoring, they somehow got their hands on a discontinued Remus quad tip system from the manufacturer themselves.  The muffler system was designed for his car specifically and was used on one of their SEMA builds from years before.  

    Sitting atop of the SRS bumper is a EuroSpec CSL trunk.  That carbon fiber deck lid conceals a JL 12W 6V2 subwoofer enclosed in a custom built box painted OEM Mystic Blue.  A JL 500w amp and Stinger Capacitor are surrounded entirely by black suede.  As a matter of fact, everything that once was grey carpeting in the trunk has since been replaced by the supple black suede for a show ready ICE system that is controlled in the cabin by a Kenwood DDX371 Double Din Head Unit.  

    Continuing over the rest of the car,  AC Schnitzer roof spoiler and AC Schnitzer mirrors provide euro accents to often overlooked areas of the exterior.  Lastly, he ties it all in with the Vorsteiner GT-R carbon fiber hood painted Mystic Blue.  Since there is no exposed carbon fiber on the exterior of the car, Jorge had his long time friend and expert body shop manager, Tom Gillespie, paint the hood vents gloss black with a large serving of metallic flake.   Another note on the overall execution of the exterior is the fact that he kept the stock chrome kidney grills, clear blinkers, and chrome window trim for contrasting color continuity around the car.

    Under the Vorsteiner hood is where all of the carbon fiber resides and in rare fashion none the less.  Radenergie engine cover and matching strut bar are the predominate focal points when looking around the engine bay.  The EAS ecu cover, 'drug bin’ cover,  air box cover, and oil cap accent the authentic Gruppe M intake.  Hidden from sight, but most certainly audible are Technik Gen 3 headers which free up some horsepower out of the M54. 

    Undeniably, this car’s appearance is solidified by its stance.  Perfectly matching all of his period correct authentic parts are the Hartge Design E wheels in 19”.   The funny thing is, for about the first seven years of ownership he had DPE LS5’s on the car.  Once he broke it off with that set of wheels, he literally swapped wheels out annually. That is until he found these Hartge faces.  He had the faces and center cap/lug covers painted and then handed them over to SD Wheels to build them to 9” up front and 10” in the rear and are wrapped up by his tire sponsor, Toyo Tires.  They sit over 996 Porsche Carrera Brembo calipers in their iconic yellow with E46 M3 CSL floating rotors. 

    Jorge’s E46 is slammed on Broadway Static coil overs, which believe it or not, he actually raised from his previous wheel setups.  Not cutting corners while accommodating the ride height, spring rates, and wheel sizes, he installed Bimmerworld camber arms, Rogue Engineering shock mounts, and Turner Motorsports adjustable sway bar end links off the end of his H&R sway bars.  Inside the cabin Jorge added one of the best driving mods to an E46 - the M3 steering wheel.   He is currently collecting all of the parts to complete the 6MT conversion and he will soon have an additional pedal and proper gear selector coming up from the trans tunnel.  

    Needing minimal descriptive adjectives to explain his car to another late model BMW enthusiast, there is no surprise as to why this euro.techniks sedan is so well known and recognized in the community.  When it comes to this chassis, which has just turned 17 this year, it is extremely difficult to find one that is modified in such a distinguishable manner, yet classy enough to be appreciated by those young and old, but Jorge executed this with ease in his own style perhaps inspiring the next generation after him to do the same.