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Features

Jan Magnus' S54 E30

Photography by Ole Kristian Stensrud @snapshine

1988 BMW 320i

Engine/Drivetrain

  • S54B32 with custom Arc Asylum exhaust manifold and Kohler catback exhaust
  • E46 M3 6-speed transmission
  • Z3m diff cover
  • upgraded oil cooler
  • 2x 10¨mishimoto electric radiatorfans
  • ESS Alpha-N tune
  • VAC style carbon airbox
  • Mishimoto alu radiator

Exterior

  • Full Mtech 2
  • Hella headlights
  • MHW taillights
  • BMW Sophistogrey exterior color

Interior

  • Mtech 2 steering wheel
  • Front/rear seats, and door cards reupholstered

Suspension/Wheels

  • KW coilovers Variant 3
  • Adjustable camber plates
  • 17¨BBS RS with turbofans (Front: 8.5”/ Rear: 10”)

Features

Landon Gastelum's E30

Photography by Denis Podmarkov @_dpod_
& Igor Polishchuk @catuned_igor

Traditions often tell a story about a family. They teach the children where they've come from and give them an understanding to their culture. There's a special bond created in the teaching of ideas and beliefs from one generation to the next. The Gastelums now have three generations of BMW enthusiasts in the family. The lastest link in the chain is Landon and his E30 325is, but first we're going to dive into where it all started.

When Landon's grandfather was stationed in Germany, it was the first time he had the chance to really experience German engineering. The cars were stylish, fun and ahead of their time. Needless to say he was hooked. He owned an E21 320i Alpina turbo and an E12 535i when Landon's father, Dan was a young kid. Dan was also hooked on BMW's from then on. He owned an E46 M3 and an E39 540i M-Sport when he got older.

Dan would always encourage Landon and his brothers to get outside when they were kids. Besides the usual type of playing they would occasionally help him wash the cars, so they were introduced to bimmers at a young age as well. Landon and his dad first got into E30's when they were out driving. As they passed by one Dan said, "Hey check out this old BMW that I saw near work. I think it would be cool to hook one of those up." As Landon began to check out the car he immediately was hooked. He began asking "How much? What year is it?" and wanted to find out as much as he could about it. 

From there he took his search to the Internet. It took him a couple of weeks, but he finally stumbled upon a black 325is with BBS RS wheels with M3 seats. Landon called the owner up because it just so happened that he was in San Diego with some family – which is where the car was located. After some persistent bothering, his father and grandfather went to check it out for the usual (rust, paint, interior etc.) Landon's dad called back and asked if he was sure because it was pretty rough. Of course he said yes because he was a 17 year old kid who was overly excited and based his decision off of the pictures. They ended up getting the car and when Landon finally saw it for himself he realized how much work it really needed. It had 250k miles leaking from head to toe, ripped up interior, and paint in terrible condition. From the beginning his dad made it clear to him that it would be a project for the both of them. Whatever the cost they'd split it, and they had a deal. 

Ironically Landon's brother was checking out another E30 (he didn't end up buying) but the guy said to him "If you ever need any body work done I would recommend the guys over at CAtuned". They took his advice and are now good friends with owner, Igor Polishchuk. From then on they started the restoration with porting and polishing the heads of the M20 motor. To bring the handling and ride back to life they installed a complete CAtuned suspension.

After about a year of driving the car and saving up their pennies they decided to restore the exterior and interior. They painted the car Space Grey Metallic off of the newer BMW models and having their good friends at Acme Tops and Tunes redo the interior. They wrapped the seats in black crinkled leather with a full thick double white stitching. They also did the custom trunk work where they included a full JL Audio sound system, carpet, headliner and various other things.

They decided to have Ehrlich Wheel Works build them a set of the forever timeless BBS RS. The 8.5" wide fronts with 3" lips and 9.5" wide rears with 3.5" lips set the stance off perfectly. The faces of the wheels were refinished in half white and half polished.

After a long time of loving CAtuned's "Miss Blue" E30 and seeing how bags looked on E30's, they bagged the car. They're now running a full Air Lift performance bag kit with struts and the Autopilot V2 air management. So that brings us up to date to where he and his father are finally proud to take the car to shows. They were recently accepted into SEMA 2016 this year and are ecstatic about that accomplishment.

They've already changed the wheel color since this photo shoot, but other future plans may include forced induction. Regardless of where the car ends up, it was the "building" process that was important. It was something that brought them closer than most other activities could. A father and son were able to share something special and partake in the family tradition together, and that's pretty awesome because not everyone gets that opportunity.

Features

Nick Tabeta's E10 2002

Photography by Faraz Mughal @faraz_mughal

I first met Nick through e46fanatics.com when we both owned E46 sedans. This was around the time the stance "movement" was beginning to hit the BMW scene. The E46 was Nick's first BMW, although he has always been into cars, having owned an old school mini and a few Hondas. He decided that he would try out a European car. Through owning the E46, he made a lot of new friends, most who loved bimmers as well. After 3 years he decided to move on to something new. Since he fell in love with the style and comfort of BMW, he knew it had to be another.  3 days after he parted with his E46 he purchased an E90. Knowing beforehand that he didn't want to change the exterior parts on such a new car he made sure to get the M-Sport package. Being that it was the newest, most modern car he had owned to date, he felt that it deserved quality parts so it was done once and correctly. He did some subtle mods including wheels, coilovers, front lip and exhaust.  It was around this time that his friend picked up an E30 and they decided to twin, so Nick picked up an E30 as well. He freshened up the car with new suspension, Recaro interior, genuine BBS wheels, and a respray. His cars have always been well put together and his 2002 is no different.

Nick remembers seeing a photo of a 2002 when he was younger and never thought too much of it then. It wasn't until social media kicked into high gear that he started noticing them more. The little Bavarian coupe with timeless style that you can't help but love. I think it's safe to say that we all gain a greater appreciation for the older models as we get older ourselves. Nick never thought he'd actually get to own a 2002 due to their rarity in Australia. Crazy enough, a couple years ago a lady moved into a house down the road from him and actually owned one. Each day that he passed by he would take a second to stare at it. One morning he decided it was time to begin his search for his own. He looked on an online used car sales site and found this 1971 2002. He made a call to inspect it after school and that night he became the proud new owner.

After purchasing the car he started with maintenance work. It was running and road registered, but it wasn't up to his standards. He began with upgrading the carburetor to a Weber 32/36, re-did the clutch system, new brake lines, and other general service. Another downfall of the car was the paint job. So Nick did a bare metal respray in his own backyard. It took a total of three months since he was stripped the paint, prepped, and painted whenever he had free time from school work.

He then began working on the suspension. Initially he wanted to get coilovers, but couldn't find a set that were a direct fit. So then he thought that if he had to do a custom coilover setup, he might as well go with an air suspension setup instead.  He took some measurements and researched possible suspension candidates. Nick ended up installing a D2 Airbag suspension with upgraded Airlift shocks in a way that he can revert it back to stock easily. No cutting or modifications were needed to install it, which was one of his main requirements. This is his favorite mod to the car because it's practical and somewhat different. He loves the ability to drive low and park lower. It's also entertaining to see the look of people that walk past it and have a confused expression as to how it even moves. 

Nick then moved on to the wheels. He built a set of 15x7.5/8.5" BBS RS so that when the car aired out, it would sit guard on lip all around. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you've ever dealt with fitting wheels or tires (meaty or stretched) you can probably imagine the time and work that it took to get this right where he wanted.

Another area that he wanted to improve was the car's old and outdated interior. He replaced all of the carpet, installed Recaro front seats and a classic wooden Nardi steering wheel. A custom center console was made to hold a modern headunit, gauges, and air suspension controls. Nick also added rear venetian blinds to top it off. All of the window and door seals were replaced with new OEM parts as well.

The final piece was a custom front airdam which Nick says transformed the car, and I have to agree. It is a perfectly subtle yet aggressive addition to the front end that demands your eye's attention.

Future plans for the E10 would possibly be an M42 engine swap from an E30 318is. Nick's putting that off for now since it's more difficult on right hand drive cars due to clearance issues with the steering box and sway bar.

Either way it's already perfect in our book. We're glad to add Nick's 2002 to our ongoing collection of elite BMW's. It reminds us to not cut corners or take shortcuts for instant gratification. Whether it takes one year or ten to "build" your car, be patient and do it right.

Features

Austan Luna's E24 L6

Photography by Brandon Primes

We'll start this story back around November 2014 when Peter Kaczynski purchased this L6 because I think it's an important part of the car's history. Peter wasn't actually looking for an E24 at the time, but he had always wanted one. He used to look for them occasionally when he was in college, but never pulled the trigger on one. A week after buying himself a motorcycle he was browsing through cars on Craigslist at 1:30am laying in bed. He found this one relatively close to home and got in touch with the owner.

The car wasn't running properly but the interior made him fall in love. The car came with all service records including a binder from previous owners, which is always a plus. Unfortunately the hood, trunk, and rear quarter were keyed and the rear wheel well and front of the hood had developed some rust. They finally made a deal and Peter's dad drove it home, as he followed behind in his car. The timing was off so it was very jerky, now that he thinks about it, it was an extremely amateur move and he should've trailered it.

They couldn't figure out why the timing was off so they had a specialist look at it. After many hours the specialist figured out that the pin from the automatic flywheel was broken off. This pin adjusts engine timing and is adjacent of the speed and reference sensor. After that was resolved she was stating to "get there", but the electronics in the car were out. They had to get it rewired, along with the blinkers and headlights.

Shortly after Peter started working on the body, a friend of his took care of the rust removal and paint. the car was equipped with Broadway Static super low setup custom coilovers with high spring rates. He also installed a race skid plate, and began looking for wheels. A local friend was selling his chrome BBS RS with 17" faces stepped up to 18"; this was just the look he was after. He played with the spacers and adjusted the coils only a million times but he finally got it where he could drive the car and still have a nice stance. 

One day Austan Luna messaged Peter on Instagram to see if he was interested in selling the car. Peter put it off and delayed the sale for a few months but Austan was persistent. Peter picked Luna up from the airport at 11pm and had him drive them back to Peter's house for a beer. Peter planned on proposing to his girlfriend for the longest time, but he knew he'd have to sell his gem. After the car was sold he bought the engagement ring. He's neither sad or bitter; he had his fun and got to meet a lot of great people because of this car, "I have my photos and videos and more importantly I got the girl" Peter said. He's content and wishes Luna the best.

Austan grew up loving BMW's because his dad drove nothing but BMW's and Volkswagens. He bought Peter's E24 because he fell in love with it from the moment he saw it. It was everything he wanted in an E24. He actually owns three of them, two E28's, and a 1991 E31 850i 6 speed.

Something he's proud of is that they have never taken their cars to a shop to be worked on. All work is done by him and his dad. Once the car was in Austan's possession they replaced all of the belts and hoses, thermostat, water pump and fan clutch. They also installed a full air ride suspension from Air Lift with AutoPilot V2 Management. Being an advocate for coilovers I was curious why he decided to switch over to air. Well if you own a classic bimmer, I'm sure you're aware of their oil pans lack of clearance. Long story short, Austan's busted an oil pan before and didn't want that to happen again. Plus, he's always wanted a bagged E24.

He says he has more plans for the shark and they consist of a shaved engine bay, wire tuck, steam punk trunk set up, possibly different wheels, and a full respray. We can't speak for everyone but this is one of our all time favorite E24's out there.