Here we go. Another crazy one off build. What's it going to be this time? Another wide body? Another motor swap? Another boosted car? YES, YES, YES!!!
So lets start from scratch. Here we have a 1989 325i that recently came in for one of the most insane builds we've had to date. Cody is one of our returning customers, having already done our 2M GT3 widebody just last year. He wanted to turn it up another notch with this E30, and embark on a very adventurous build. The plan all started around making the S85B50 V10 from the E6X M fit on the chassis while retaining much, if not all, of the usability of the original car. As one can imagine, this is not a plug and play motor swap. Inspired by our V10 E46 GTR build, we began working with the body in white that Cody provided us. Almost everything on this build would need to be bespoke, as there are very little parts available for these kinds of swaps.
STEP 1 - THE PLAN
We have the car and the ideas but where does a build like this start? Just like building a home, you really need to start from the ground up. First and foremost, we started by determining the wheels and suspension setup that we would be using. Although they won't be the first parts installed on this car we needed to determine the direction we were headed with this build. Street car? Track car? Show car? Garage queen? SEMA car? It's really hard to choose just one aspect to build off of, so we try to accommodate each client's request. In this case, we focused on building the perfect dual-purpose setup, a street car that is track ready.
STEP 2 - LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
It was decided that this build is going with a S85 V10 Motor from the BMW M5/M6. Knowing that we are going to retrofit this motor into this chassis is a job that will need HEAVY modification in order to not only make work but make it work properly. After we sourced and purchased all the necessary parts such as the engine, transmission, steering rack and suspension. The first mock up began. We started by removing the core support and the front end, and then sliding the motor between the frame rails to determinine how we would need to modify the chassis to make the motor and transmission fit properly. After we were satisfied with the fitment of the motor, we fabricated a custom set of engine mounts that rested the motor low in the car, with room to spare for any vibration or movement. Luckily, the bank angles of the V10 and it's short block length allowed us to have a very low and far-back center of gravity, even more so than the iron-block inline 6 that came in the car initially. Next, we began to modify the front subframe so that we could fit a faster factory steering rack that we sourced from a newer Z3. To accommodate the low mounted engine, we also modified the factory oil pan so that it would not interfere with the newly reinforced subframe. We carefully designed a custom steering steering shaft using gorgeous 4041 Chromoly steel pieces from Flaming River that would travel the least distance with the fewest amount of joints, all while still utilizing the factory splines and clearing the header with room to spare.
Once the headers were clear of obstruction and the motor was mounted properly, we began working on a one-off exhaust setup. We utilized a custom muffler setup while still maintaining true dual flow all the way out the back of the car. The customer wanted an OEM style exhaust appearance, keeping in tune with the aesthetic direction of this build. We opted to use the factory pinch-collector headers while the remainder of the full system would be 304 Stainless Steel in 2.5" diameter, which is the same size as factory. A small exhaust diameter and short length provide the optimum balance of performance, while maintaining that distinct BMW V10 sound. At this point, progress has been made consistently, with relatively little hiccup. The massive motor and CATUNED suspension are fully mounted in the car, and we are beginning to make the plans for the next steps: installing an ESS supercharger, a one-off driveshaft, and a custom-built differential designed to manage all that power.
Our customer Steve from Euroklasse has always been known for wanting to build the most absurd street cars imaginable, so it was no surprise when he presented us with the idea of recreating the venerable FIA-spec Z4 GT3 racecar using his E89 Z4 3.5is as a base. Nothing too crazy, right? The only catch: a short time frame and an impending deadline for SEMA. Never ones to back away from a challenge, we sourced the entire FRP and CFRP kit directly from Germany, including a gorgeous one piece, vacuum-bagged carbon fixed roof panel and the OEM dry carbon fixed wing mirrors pulled directly from the real racecar. It should be noted up front that making motorsports panels fit on a street car is no small feat. Every bracket for the bumpers, quarter panels, roof, functional front splitter and rear diffuser, the 70" APR GT-250 wing, and even the exhaust were fabricated by us in-house, along with the frames and mesh grilles for the front and rear.
Equally as challenging was making the race parts fit as flawlessly as a factory car, especially since motorsports pieces are notorious for strange fitments, questionable exterior quality, and imperfections. These parts are made to work on the racetrack, not look pretty. Still, we took every step and effort to ensure that the finished product would be a polished and well-built road car, that could easily be taken to the track and driven home on the street afterwards without issue. After perfecting the fitment of the kit and finishing the bodywork, the car entered the paint booth with scant less than a week to spare before the 2018 SEMA show. More than enough time to get the time buttoned up and squared away. Always seeking a unique look, we opted to paint the car in Alpine White, with a bespoke satin eggshell blend, utilizing PPG's Envirobase line. The aerodynamic pieces and the carbon roof were painted in frozen black to provide a stark contrast to the sleek body-in-white race panels.
While the car was in the shop we also installed some ultra-wide (and ultra light!) Litespeed Racing GT10 wheels, which are a whopping 18x13 in the rear! We fitted them with some 335/30R18 R888R rubber to put down the Z4's newly acquired 700hp, thanks to a Pure Turbo Stage 2 kit for the N54, a custom modified Meisterschaft stainless exhaust, downpipes, a cast DOCRACE intake manifold, a CSF oil cooler, and a CSF intercooler, all of which were installed by our resident mechanic. A Meth Injection tank and pump were also routed to compliment the Burger Motorsports tune. Absolutely no way is this car all show and no go. To ensure the car would remain safe with the new fixed roof, we also added a Studio RSR roll cage setup. Finally, a set of Status Gruppe coilovers with their optional front lift cup, Turner Motorsports control arms, H&R sway bars, a set of F8X monoblock calipers, and ECS 2-Piece rotors were fitted to ensure the car could stop and handle like a real track car should.
Never ones to leave out details, we commissioned our in-shop upholsterer AP to help finish off the interior and truly give the car that completed touch. He built custom trunk panels and flooring to house the meth tank and cover the spaces where the factory collapsible hard top would normally be stored when it was retracted. He also covered the entire roof inside with gorgeous black genuine Alcantara, along with the roof pillars. Finally, we added a Dinmann forged carbon GT style steering wheel and carbon-finish interior trim.
The car headed off to SEMA in Las Vegas with a motorsports-style livery designed and installed by our local friends and wrap geniuses at Viral Vinyl Works. Our Z4 GT3 build was placed in the main entryway hall under the sponsorship of CSF Radiators, and was well-received. Most importantly, Soofy loves his new car, and another build has left 2M Autowerks that we are proud of. What more could we ask for?
When Jorge from Bespoke Teknic approached us in early 2018 about Guaczilla 2.0, we began drafting the plans for what would eventually become one of the most outrageous GT-R builds on the planet. Though the thought of installing the Liberty Walk Version 2 kit seems far from groundbreaking, we set out to be the first company to fully mold the Japanese company's kit to a car. Not satisfied with the ever-popular riveted flare trend, we decided to partner with Bespoke Teknik, ACG Automotive and SD Wrap to truly break the mold and deliver a car to Youtube sensation Tanner Fox that would stun the car community. The build took months of difficult work, especially perfecting the fitment while trying to protect the original body lines of the car. The Liberty Walk kit is designed to be very distinct and identifiable on their own, and they are not really made to flow seamlessly into the factory GT-R bodywork, so blending the two was a test of both talent and patience. Upon completion, the car was repainted in its beautiful factory Nismo Pearl White, and then received a striking green and matte black wrap for its SEMA debut. KW Clubsport 3 Ways, Michelin Pilot Cup 2s, Vossen wheels, and a gorgeous IPE titanium exhaust were also installed to support the 4.1 Liter AMS Alpha 9 engine build. The car was well received at the 2018 SEMA show and placed in Top 10 for the Sport Compact class of Battle of the Builders. Builds like this help us challenge ourselves, and really push the envelope of the aftermarket. We certainly hope Tanner enjoys the wonderful car we set out to create for him.
Location: Dubai / London
Built: 7Th Row Customs / Wrench Studios. London UK.
-2M GT3 widebody
-HC Performance tune
-OSS Design Headlight
Thanks to Perfomance BMW magazine for the feature on the first 2M GT3. This super clean set was shot by Brian Mc Gee in Los Angeles.
The 2M Autowerks E46 carbon fiber race dash was designed and modified for our GTR track car. It was created with a focus on weight savings, strength and functionality, keeping the center functional air conditioning ventilation for an OEM like finish. Our race dash weighs only 6lbs and is shortened by 3" each side to accomodate any standard roll cage.
2M Autowerks F8X GTS hood is now available and probably one of the most unique by having the ONLY half/half finished hood. The bottom of the hood is a dry carbon fiber finish while the top is FRP for an easy paintable surface while retaining an affordable price.
Every year we host our annual open house, a day where we feature a few of our builds and invite everybody to come enjoy a relaxing day at the shop, checking out some of the great cars that have come through our doors and spending time with good company. This year, our centerpiece was the GT4856 driven by Ryan Tuerk, one of the craziest builds we've every taken part in. Enjoy some great footage brought to you by our good friend Derrick (Instagram: @derkm).
Our blog posts allow you to get an in-depth view at just a fraction of the amazing cars that have come through our doors