wagon

Events

Klasse & Kaffee I

Photography by Dan Wagener @dan_wagener

This was our first Klasse & Kaffee event that also kicked off the first Open House of the new Kassel Performance & Coyne Performance facility. We are going to try and do one of these events each month (weather permitting) and possibly spread these to other regions with friends and partner companies. Follow us on IG @klasse_and_kaffee to stay up to date.

Features

Jim Herrold's S54 E46 Touring

Photography by Dan Wagener @dan_wagener

I met Jim through a mutual friend and as soon as we talked I knew instantly that we'd get along. He's a die-hard BMW enthusiast and has an impressive collection of cars, most of which are bimmers. His company Kassel Performance (@kasselperformance) specializes in BMW DME ECU modifications. Jim tuned my E46 M3 and is my first go-to for all engine-related questions. My car was having a strange idle issue off and on all through 2017 with much confusion and frustration I asked Jim to take a thorough look at it.

Since we live about 45 minutes away from each other he let me borrow his wagon to make the vehicle drop-off more convenient. It's an Orientblau pre-facelift 323i touring with a little surprise under the hood. An S54 motor from the E46 M3 now powers this unsuspicious grocery getter. It also has the M3 6-speed manual transmission and diff to make it a proper swap. The work was done with the help of Bimmer Buddies.

A Rogue Engineering rasp pipe and an E36 Active Autowerke Gen3 muffler was modified to fit. Although it's a little on the quiet side, the exhaust note sounds great and has almost zero rasp that the S54 is notoriously known for.

Eibach springs and Bilstein shocks provide a nice drop that improves aesthetics while keeping it practical enough for daily duties. Out of Jim's car collection the wagon is used more as a "truck" for hauling larger items.

The exterior received OEM-plus upgrades like M-tech II "ZHP" front/rear bumpers and side skirts. Jim also changed the indicator lights to euro clears including the third brake light. The latest exterior mod that completed the look was a set of BMW Style 135 wheels from the E46 330i ZHP.

The car was a blast to drive around when I borrowed it. The handling was nice and the power delivery was spot on for an S54. The one thing that I really liked that my car doesn't have (yet!) was the Rogue OCTANE short shifter. Shifts felt more solid, precise, and smoother over the factory shifter.

I think everyone can agree that we all wished BMW would've made a real production E46 M3 touring... or at least a sedan. Oh well, at least there's people out there like Jim making them anyway.

Features

Scott Paterson's E36 Touring

Photography by Scott Paterson @scottpatersonphoto

I will be the first to admit, before buying my Touring, I was never a “BMW Guy” I was too busy restoring two Classic Mini’s with my father at the time. It wasn’t until I found, my now good friend, Alex McArthur’s 328i Sport Touring on StanceWorks in 2009/10.  It all changed after that. Back then, Alex’s Touring was super low on staggered Style 5’s and it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I made the tough decision to part with the Mini’s, using the money to pay for the Touring and my first year of insurance. 

I knew I wanted a 6 cylinder, manual, relatively low miles and the colour didn’t matter too much, as long as it wasn’t Boston Green. After a few months of looking, the car you see before you showed up not too far away. A completely standard, 323i SE in Titan Silver. Being this would be my first car and at 19, I didn’t want to attract too much un-wanted attention, so the plan was to keep it subtle and not too flashy with an OEM+ approach. 

I was working part time at a body shop along the road from my house and shortly after, the car was in for paint. I had a full M Sport kit from a 3.2 M3 Evo to go on, I also had the arches rolled at the same time. Once the body work was sorted, I fitted some coilovers and a set of Staggered 17” Style 32’s and was super happy with the look. I gradually dialled the ride height as well as other things on the car. 

A year or two later, I took a job just north of London, 450 miles from my current place. The Touring was stored for a year as I got another Touring to daily instead. Before finally moving the Touring to London, I went back to the bodyshop with it and with my father, replaced both the sills, shaved the side indicators as well as shaving and relocating the washer jets and tidying up a few rough edges that showed up after driving it through the winter.

After I was finally happy with the bodywork again, I set about fitting my dream wheels - E31 M System 2 or Throwing Stars as they’re most commonly called. I spent a lot of time getting them to look as good as I possibly could, I had the covers finished in Titan Silver with micro rainbow flake. I ordered some BC Coilovers with some custom spring rates, but I have modified them a little bit, to get it sitting just how I want. I am trying to track down some M System Turbine covers, to hopefully complete the look.

Over the last year I’ve accidentally spent most of my time on the Interior. I managed to source and fit a lot of Extended Leather parts, so the centre console/arm rest, glove-box, drivers side kick panel and door cards are all leather – It is quite a stark contrast to the grey cloth it had as standard. I re-trimmed the M Sport headlining in new black material, as the one I got started to sag – That combined with all the extra leather, really makes it a nice place to sit. There’s still a few bits yet to find, however I am having thoughts about changing up the colour, as the black tends to get a little lost. 

I’ve also replaced most of the exterior trim from BMW. I think I just have the window rubbers left to do and a few little bits on the rear.

As far as future plans go, I just want to enjoy the car. I don’t plan on selling it, so the “To-do” list is about as long as my arm, I’m always doing little bits here and there, so I am happy for that just to continue. I’d just like to extend a quick wee thanks to Alex McArthur and Bastien Bochmann, without their advice and knowledge on Touring’s, I probably wouldn’t have mine. So thanks lads. And a thanks to my father as well, who’s been helping me ever since I got in to cars, his patience and willingness (sometimes un-willingness) to help has been amazing. 

Features

Alex Siren's E28 535 Touring

Photography by Antti Eskeli @gleasygraphy

 

1987 BMW 535i Touring

Engine/Drivetrain

  • M30B35 with a Hartge exhaust manifold
  • 5-speed getrag

Exterior

  • Full Pfeba bodykit

Interior

  •  Mtech 1 steering wheel
  • Front/rear seats, rooflining, carpet, and door cards reupholstered

Suspension/Wheels

  • BC Racing coilovers and bolt-on air bags for BC
  • Hartge Type A (front wheel: 9”/rear wheel: 10.5”)

Features

Mike Hack's E30 Touring

Photography by Jackson Keam & Ollie Strong @hardparkedproductions

Mike Hack's fondness for the E30 platform all started when he bought a 318is coupe. He had intentions of keeping it clean and stock since his daily/track Honda Civic was deemed "un-roadworthy" by the local police due to illegal modifications. Like most of us, the mod bug bit him shortly after the purchase was made and the coupe quickly became another less than ideal daily driver. After owning the 318is for a few years, Mike was truly engulfed in the local E30 scene. He had come into the E30 scene completely ignorant of the chassis's many variations. He had no idea which modification options were out there, which companies to trust or which local shops to go to. But over the 2 years of owning the coupe, he learned a lot. He was also unaware of the wagon variant, until after buying the coupe and this intrigued him tremendously. Since Australia never received the wagon, it made the thought of owning one there even more enticing. He knew of a handful of private imports that were getting around Australia, so he knew it was possible. And so the search began.

Initially the search didn't get far, he couldn't find any for sale through the usual sources and money was a bit tight anyway. At the time he realistically had no chance of actually getting his hands on one, but he continued the search anyway. After a few months he stopped looking and life went on, then one day he was just casually wasting time searching for random cars on a car selling website/app. It was out of curiosity more than having any intent to purchase and boom a 325i E30 Touring popped up for sale in Sydney (10 hour drive interstate from him). It was not cheap, but it was in fantastic condition with low miles and had a manual transmission. It also had all the electric options, sunroof, windows, etc. and complete with a genuine M-Tech 2 bodykit. The icing on the cake was that it was in Alpine white, Mike's favorite color. A call was made and not long after he was on a plane to Sydney, driving the newly purchased touring as its first Australian owner, back to Melbourne.

Not all was as rosy as it would seem though, when it came time to get the required engineer's certificate in order to register the car for Australian roads, some poor handiwork was found. In order to legalize the car for Australian roads, side intrusion bars needed to be welded into the doors. When Mike bought the car he was told by the seller that all of the work had been done and was ready to go. Turns out the (unnamed) Sydney based shop had sikaflexed the bars in (rather than welding) and the job had to be done again from scratch. This took a big chunk of time and money from his life. Once registered and driving, modifications began almost immediately. The first set of wheels had already been ordered before the car was on the road and basic bolt-on engine mods were underway. Coilovers were swapped out from his old coupe and installed into the touring. The car stayed reasonably mild for a year (lowered, wheels, bolt on engine mods) or so while he planned on upcoming changes.

The Touring has had 4 different sets of wheels since he's owned it, starting with a set of 16" Schmidt TH lines, a brief stint on 16" Alpina wheels, a few years on a set of Compomotive TH1780, 6 months on a set of 3 piece Work Emitz and then back to the Compomotives which it is currently on. He actually repurchased the Compo’s from the guy he had originally sold them to.

Being a Honda fan/owner for the prior 10 years, Mike was very much into the whole wire-tucked engine bay look and wanted to attempt something similar on the E30. He looked around online and apparently wire-tucking E30's wasn't too common, which would help set the car apart just that little bit more. What he assumed would take 3 weeks or so, turned into a 3 month, 400+ solder nightmare job. Although in saying that, once completed, the car fired up first try with zero issues and has been without issues for the last few years.

A little more power was then desired as well as something special under the hood. Rather than taking the much more common and arguably much better money/power ratio option of an engine swap or going with a turbo upgrade, Mike decided to take the road less traveled by going with an ITB setup. Call it a hangover from his old ITB B20VTEC powered Civic race car. He hungered once again for that undeniable ITB scream. He knew that the cost/power ratio was not ideal, but since the car would be 95% street/show car, real power numbers were not a big concern. Luckily for him, there was an upcoming Australian company that was developing an ITB kit for the BMW M20 engine and he managed to get a hold of a kit before they officially hit the market. The only problem with getting it in so early is that the kit wasn’t 100% and some custom fabrication was needed to make them work. The car was dropped off to a shop for the ITB install/head rebuild/ECU install, etc. and this is when things started to take a very slow turn. Without having a real deadline or agreed finishing date, the car ended up sitting in the shop for well over a year (16 months to be exact). Multiple calls and surprise visits were necessary to put some pressure on to get the job finished. But good things come to those that wait and the result was a whole lot of fun and plenty of noise.

Unfortunately the car didn’t last long after the original install/tune and drivability went down fast, to the point of the car being completely undrivable. It stopped idling, it was running extremely rich and pumping out excessive smoke on every drive. In the end he believes it was a combination of poor ECU choice, lack of complimentary sensors/modifications and a poor tune. Regardless of what was at fault the car needed some serious attention in order to get it back on the road and running the right way. So he made the call to MSC Performance, a trusted and known tuner that he had used a lot during his Honda racing days. He didn’t have a lot of experience in BMW’s specifically, but he was a master on the dyno and was happy to take on the job. Again it wasn’t cheap as they decided to remove the original Microtech ECU and ‘upgrade’ to a ‘top of the line’ Haltech Elite 2500 unit. They also added a Wideband controller and cam sensor in order to get the whole setup working right. A month or so passed and he received the car back in perfect working form. Drivability was as good as a standard car, no idling issues anymore, no excessive smoke. The car was a dream to drive and sounded amazing. Still no powerhouse, but fast enough for plenty of fun. After driving the car in this form for about 6 months, he was keen for more. Like most car modifiers, the car is never finished and no matter what you do, there's always something else that needs to be done. He likes putting in the wrench time in the garage just as much as he likes driving the finished product.

Mike was always intrigued about bags, it was one of those mods he would see as a kid and get excited about, and as an adult that excitement never changed. He never thought he would ever actually go down that path though. But then a few things changed and his financial position changed (after no longer needing a car trailer). This combined with the constant risk of driving an "illegally" lowered car around the streets of Melbourne triggered him to give in and go down the bag route. Air bags allowed him to drive the car at a reasonable height to avoid police attention on the roads and then slam it to the ground for the next car event. (Police in Australia are extremely intolerant of modified cars driving on the road, the penalties are harsh and expensive.) So he ordered all the parts needed and began to research how to go about installing the whole thing. He's DIY’d the majority of things with cars in the last ten years, but over that time he had had zero experience working with anything to do with air ride. After a week or so in the garage the install was complete and the car was back on the road driving well once again. 

Not long after installing the bags, Mike and his partner purchased their first home due to having their first baby on the way and as you can imagine modifying cars has slowed to almost a complete halt. So at this stage and for the foreseeable future, the Touring will remain in its current form with the short term goal of just maintaining it and keeping it on the road. He has future plans to pull the motor and get the engine bay smoothed and re-painted. But that is something that will happen in the very far future, in the meantime, he is happy to just drive it as it is and attend as many events and cruises as he can.