Tag Archives: Airlift

VW Days 2018

Date: 16-17 June 2018

Location: Saint-Quentin, France

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Once you go to VW Days, you can’t help but go back every year for the foreseeable future. Last weekend was our third year at France’s premium modified car show, and, although it is a Volkswagen show, it’s started to attract fans of other marques. Why? It’s simple really, VW Days is one of the best weekend’s a car enthusiast can experience. Once you’ve crossed over from the UK into Calais, it’s just a quick drive (under two hours) down one toll road, into Saint-Quentin. You can choose to either camp onsite at the show, or stay in the nearby hotels in the heart of the town. We recommend taking a few friends and turning it into a long weekend / mini break. Every year we are blown away by the quality of cars on display and the chilled atmosphere. Held over two days, there’s plenty of time to see everything. So, here are our highlights from the weekend…

 

Matt Carter’s Audi A5 on AccuAir suspension & Asphalt Dreams x MACHEINS wheels

@stancefaktor

 

 

Marco Pereira’s Audi C7 A6 Avant on AccuAir suspension & Carline CM6’s

@mch1_marco

 

 

Florian Höck’s Porsche Cayman S on HP Drivetech / AccuAir suspension & Asphalt Dreams 5.Star Modern’s

@florian__hck

 

 

Emir Taletovic’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Vossen LC-108T’s

@emir_ggrounded

 

 

Jean Colaert’s Jaguar XJ300 on Air System FR suspension & WORK Equip 3-spoke’s

@caps__5

 

 

 

Joe P’e’s VW T25 pickup on hydraulic suspension & Rotiform CCV’s

@joe_t25

 

 

Jak Johnston’s VW Mk1 Golf G40 on StillStatic/H&R suspension & Ronal Racing wheels

@jak_lowsocial

 

Jessy Morais’ bagged Volkswagen Mk2 Golf G60 on BBS RS

@jessmk2g60

 

 

Stan Jalhay’s Volkswagen Mk2 Jetta on BBS E50.2’s

@stanjalhay

 

Tani Caglayan’s BMW F83 M4 on H&R suspension & Rotiform LAS-R’s

@tani_tr7

 

 

Joao Ferreira Reis’ Porsche 911 on OZ Futura’s

 

 

Connor Hollamby’s Mercedes-Benz W201 190E on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@connorhollamby_

 

 

Johann Pasquier’s BMW E30 on Air Lift suspension & ACS Type 1’s

@jo_cpnt

 

Olivier Bugskull’s ’65 Volkswagen Beetle

@olivierbugskull

 

Benjamin Eddy Michel’s 1971 Volkswagen Beetle

@miniairsociety

 

 

Tiago Santos’ Volkswagen Mk3 Golf VR6 on Air Lift suspension & custom BBS RC041’s

@tiago2800

 

Patrick Rodrigues’ Volkswagen Mk6 Golf R on HP Drivetech / Air Lift suspension & Rotiform YVR’s

@pat_sbx

 

 

Alexandre Galeotti’s BMW E30 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@e30_bggd

 

 

Florian Dmgt’s BMW E28 on A2K Air suspension & OZ Futura’s

@floriz78

 

 

HR Autoworks’ 1971 Volkswagen Type181 on custom air suspension & Radar wheels

@hrautoworks / @littlejakebmx

 

Francois Karikari’s Volkswagen Mk2 Jetta on G.A.S / Mr Airride suspension & BBS RS’

@betefonce

 

 

Popof Vlad’s Porsche 964 on BBS RS

@vlad_srb

 

Mickael Marques’ Volkswagen Mk1 Golf on BBS E50’s

@mickael_marques

 

I know what you’re thinking… Yes, the quality of cars was indeed incredible, so you know you need to get it in your diary for next year – trust us, you won’t be disappointed! Furthermore, if you’re a fan of nightlife, then the onsite festivities are highly recommended by many, equally, if you decide to stay in a hotel, there’s plenty going on for the three nights surrounding the show. Regrettably, some Brits went a bit too far this year… let’s calm it down guys, we don’t want this show disappearing due to the stupidity of a select few. Again, thanks to Ilce and the organisers at VW Days for being so welcoming, see you next year!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on VW Days / Club Golf IDF:

Club Golf IDF website

Club Golf IDF on Instagram

Club Golf IDF on Facebook

 

 

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Car Audio & Security’s Open Weekend 2018

Date: 28-29 April 2018

Location: Car Audio & Security, Hayes

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Last time we popped down to Car Audio & Security, it was summertime, the sun was shining, and it was glorious. This time, however, we were met by the typical dull British weather. Fear not though… Being the UK’s biggest car audio retailer, the forecast seemed to have no effect on the turnout – the CAS HQ was packed all weekend, as usual! Held over two days (Saturday 28th and Sunday 29thh April), they opened their doors to host their annual SALE event – the perfect opportunity to grab some absolute bargains from Air Lift, Rotiform, Kenwood, Alpine, JL Audio, Hertz, JBL, Rockford Fosgate, Pioneer, GoPro, and more. It’s also an ideal chance to check out CAS’s updated lineup of demo vehicles along with a whole host of incredible guest cars. For that reason, we never miss it. Enjoy a few of our highlights from the Saturday…

 

Parm Panesar’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & forged Rotiform LAS-R’s

@parm_m3

 

Players Show’s 1950 Ford F1 on Air Lift suspension

@players_shows

 

 

Jake Stanford’s Volkswagen Tiguan on Air Lift suspension & cast Rotiform IND-T’s

@jake_stanford91

 

Raj Sangha’s BMW E30 M3 on Air Lift suspension & forged Rotiform LHR’s

@rajsangha964

 

 

Amal Patel’s BMW E93 on Air Lift suspension & cast Rotiform LSR’s

@100ud_amz

 

Kenwood’s Voomeran-kitted VW Scirocco on Air Lift suspension & forged Rotiform VCE/LHR

@kenwooduk

 

 

Steve Fraser’s Audi S3 Saloon on Air Lift suspension & cast Rotiform SIX’s

@s30bmx

 

Ben Chandler’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & forged Rotiform SIX’s

@ben_scenemedia

 

Car Audio & Security’s BMW M4 on Air Lift suspension & forged Rotiform LSR’s

@rajsangha964@caraudiosecurity

 

Jay Patel’s Nissan 350Z on Air Lift suspension & cast Rotiform KPS’

@f16jrp

 

Parm Panesar’s VW Mk2 Golf on BC Racing suspension & BBS RS’

@parm_m3

 

Meguiar’s Ford Crown Victoria on Air Lift suspension

@meguiarsuk

 

Keil Critten’s R32-swapped VW Mk3 Golf on Air Lift Suspension & custom-built Mk3 GTI splits

@keil_mk3

 

Our clothing collection now available in store at Car Audio & Security!

 

As you can see, the lineup of cars was nothing short of amazing. There were customer cars popping in and out all weekend as well, so make sure you check out the Bonus Gallery below for even more snaps. What made the weekend even more special for us, was the fact that CAS are now official stockists of Slam Sanctuary clothing – which means you can now head down to their store whenever you like to check out and purchase our gear in person, pretty cool right?

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Car Audio & Security:

Car Audio & Security website

Car Audio & Security on Instagram

Car Audio & Security on Facebook

 

 

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Ultimate Dubs 2018

Date: 11 March 2018

Location: Telford International Centre, Shropshire

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Show season truly kicks off for us in early March, when we make the trip up to the Telford International Centre, this time playing host to Ultimate Dubs (UD). There’s always a ton of anticipation regarding what has become the season opener. Although it’s predominately a Volkswagen/Audi-group based show, you’ll find all sorts of custom car fans at the event, there to check out what’s current in the car world, and catching up with old friends. Now our fifth year attending UD, it’s clearly become more of trade event than a typical car show, but, that’s no bad thing… We see it as the perfect opportunity to check out what’s new in the car industry, including new demo/project cars that the host of traders are showing off. It could be described as a mini-SEMA Show for the modified scene in the UK, in fact. With plenty of non-VAG cars on trade booths, a large selection of pre-approved show-cars dotted about throughout the halls, as well as outdoor space with car clubs and more pre-selected cars (don’t forget to check out our Bonus Gallery), we’ve done our best to capture our top-rated slices of metal, enjoy…

 

Kiran Mistry’s S2-converted Audi 80 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform SIX’s

@blackman_k

 

Car Audio & Security’s Nissan GT-R on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform SFO’s

@caraudiosecurity

 

RIIVA Design’s VW Arteon on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform ROC’s

@riivadesign

 

 

Raj Sangha’s BMW E30 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LHR’s

@rajsangha964

 

Alex Wright’s static BMW E36 328i Sport on ACS Type 1’s

@a4lexx

 

Russ Whitefield’s VW Mk2 Jetta on BBS RS’

@russ_droppedndriven

 

Aaron McMahon’s Audi RS5 on ABP/AccuAir suspension & Rotiform LAS-R’s

@aron_rr

 

Faye Collins’ Audi RS3 on ABP/AccuAir suspension & Rotiform BUC’s

@xofsc

 

 

Plush Automotive’s VW Caddy on ABP/AccuAir suspension & Rotiform HUR-T’s

@plushautomotive

 

Plush Automotive’s VW T6 on ABP/AccuAir suspension & Rotiform HUR-T’s

@plushautomotive

 

GepfeffertUK’s VW Mk1 Golf on Gepfeffert V3 suspension & Eta Beta’s

@gepfeffertuk

 

 

Ryan Stewart’s BMW E92 M3 ‘Frozen Edition’ on Bilstein suspension & BBS E88’s

@7.nth

 

Justdents’ VW Mk1 Caddy R32 on Air Lift suspension & BBS E50’s

@justdents

 

 

MMR Performance’s BMW M4 GTS on Air Lift suspension & Ispiri FFR6’s

@mmrperformance

 

Jordan Forbes’ Mini R50 on Bags by OCD/KNTRL suspension & BBS RC041’s

@jordan_onlychargeddubs

 

 

Peter Kornelis’ Audi S4 Avant on KNTRL suspension & RAD48 LR 2.0’s

@kntrl_system

 

Only Charged Dubs’ Audi C5 A6 Allroad on Airdynamiks/AccuAir suspension & 3SDM 0.09’s

@onlychargeddubs

 

Carl Atkins’ VW Mk2 Golf on Bags by OCD/Air Lift suspension & BBS RM’s

@carl_onlychargeddubs

 

Jak Johnston’s VW Mk1 Golf G40 on StillStatic/H&R suspension & BBS E76’s

@jak_lowsocial

 

 

Raj Sangha’s Porsche 964 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform STR’s

@rajsangha964

 

Nathaniel Warth’s bagged BMW E28 on BBS RS’

@oldbeginningsengland

 

 

Jamie Webster’s ’83 VW Santana on Air Lift suspension & custom-built P-Slot’s

@santana__jamie

 

Ben Kmita’s supercharged Mk3 Golf VR6 on Air Lift suspension & ACT’s

@benthecarpainter

 

Tom Raybone’s Audi RS3 on H&R CCK/Air Lift suspension & MBDesign LV1’s

@tommyblue82

 

Neil Chapman’s VW Mk7 Golf GTI Clubsport on H&R suspension & BBS GT’s

@neil220182

 

Rebecca Sweetland’s VW Mk7 Golf GTD on H&R suspension & MBDesign KX1’s

@stillstaticbecks

 

Faahbio Faah’s Audi B7 RS4 Avant on Air Lift suspension & Damnraw Lobomotive’s

@faahbiio

 

 

Beth Halsey’s Audi S1 on Air Lift suspension & Fifteen52 Formula GT’s

@hxlsey

 

Sonny Frost’s Audi A3 on H&R suspension & BBS RS861’s

@sonnyfa3

 

Tom Waller’s static ’59 VW Beetle

@toms59vw

 

 

Jack Royston’s ’71 VW Type 3 Notchback on Air Lift suspension & BBS E30’s

@notchjack

 

The UK car scene is distinctly alive and well… it wasn’t difficult to find cars that we’ve never seen or photographed before, although we typically had to throw in a few of our all-time favourites that just keep getting better and better every time they go on display. But for all those that we missed, fear not… show season has only just kicked off! We can’t wait to get stuck in with more events throughout the year – 2018 is going to be a big one for us. Catch our Pop-Up Store and new demo car soon!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Ultimate Dubs:

Ultimate Dubs website

Ultimate Dubs on Instagram

Ultimate Dubs on Facebook

 

 

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Ultimate Stance 2017

Date: 5 November 2017

Location: Telford International Centre, Shropshire

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

The Telford International Centre has become something of a second home for us. Starting the show season off with Ultimate Dubs in March, and finishing it in November with Ultimate Stance, both shows are certainly a must if you’re interested in custom cars – the perfect opportunity to see what’s new in the car scene. If you’re not an avid Volkswagen/VAG fan, Ultimate Stance might be the preferred show for you, however. Being open to all marques, there’s plenty of interesting stanced cars on display to take your fancy, whereas the display cars at Ultimate Dubs are strictly ‘VAG’. Being the final event of the year, we’ve typically seen most of these cars throughout the year, nonetheless, there were still a handful of gems that seemed to have appeared from nowhere, as well as a few European cars that made the long journey over. Overall, there was plenty to look at, including a UK Lowrider display keeping everyone entertained outdoors (check out the Bonus Gallery), and the carpeted hall which we were based in also hosted a retro car display and retro arcade and pinball zone. Here’s a few of our highlights…

 

Dan Taylor’s BMW E46 M3 on Air Lift suspension & BBS E88 centrelock’s

@dte46 / @wheel_unique

 

Jorge Lupton’s Honda EG Civic on Air Lift suspension & BBS RM’s

@jxrgey_

 

 

 

Connor Hollamby’s Mercedes-Benz W201 190E on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@connorhollamby_

(Click here to check out our feature on Connor’s 190E)

 

Hoho Chan’s BMW E92 330d on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS2’s

@hoho15_nmls

 

Parm Panesar’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LAS-R’s

@parm_m3

 

Micheal Evans’ Lexus LS on Air Lift suspension & WORK Durandal DD5.2’s

@v8fag

 

 

Kenny Germeau’s Jaguar XJ40 on Epsilon Southern Way’s

@kenny_germeau

 

Karel Spijker’s Mercedes-Benz W201 190E on Air by OCD / Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s

@karel190e

 

 

Mark Allen’s Volkswagen Mk4 Golf estate on Air Lift suspension & Eta Beta’s

@markvw89

 

Jack Royston’s ’71 Volkswagen Type 3 Notchback on Air Lift suspension & BBS E30’s

@notchjack

 

Monique Chadwick’s Audi A3 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s

@moniqueadele_

 

 

Tom Lilico’s BMW Z3 on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & BBS RS’

@droppokesmokedope

 

Liam Elmore’s Audi TT on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s

@elmo_rs_

 

Kenneth de Bock’s BMW E92 335i on AccuAir suspension & OZ Futura’s

@_kaydibee_

 

Matt Hollands’ bagged BMW E38 on WatercooledIND JB1’s

@matt__hollands

 

 

Ben Walker’s BMW E28 on Broadway Static suspension & OZ Breyton’s

@bnjmnwlkr

 

Kiran Halsey’s BMW F80 M3 on Intermotiv suspension & OZ Futura’s

@lord_halsey

 

James Brown’s Mercedes-Benz 190E on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform MBZ’s

@jamesyesyesbrown

 

Leroy Goddard-Fletcher’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W126 on custom Mercedes Intra splits

@the_royal_w126

 

Raj Sangha’s BMW E30 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s

@rajsangha964

 

George & Jack Heath’s BMW 1602 on hydraulic suspension & BBS RS’

@e10low

 

Reece Parr’s BMW E30 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@e30_parr

 

Lucy Barlow’s bagged BMW E21 on BBS RM’s

@lucybarlow1994

 

 

Alex Wright’s static BMW E36 328i Sport on ACS Type 1’s

@a4lexx

 

 

Nick Sahota’s BMW E30 M3 on Air Lift suspension & BBS Bugatti EB110’s

@nicksinghsahota

 

Carlos Gomez’ BMW E36 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s

@carlos_g88

 

 

 

As always, Ultimate Stance had an incredibly high standard of cars to drool over… the show never disappoints. It also marked the launch of our Winter clothing collection which went down an absolute storm – big thanks to everyone that popped by our store and picked up something, whether it was anything from a sticker to a hoodie… we couldn’t do what we do without you guys and girls. We’ll be back in the same location for Ultimate Dubs on March 11 with our new Spring collection – you’re not going to want to miss it! Get those cars finished and we’ll see you soon!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Ultimate Stance:

Ultimate Stance website

Ultimate Stance on Instagram

Ultimate Stance on Facebook

 

 

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The Learning Curve – Ethan Sexton’s 1990 BMW E30 318is

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Looking back on 2017, I think it’s fair to say that the E30 has easily been one of the most fashionable cars in the ‘stance’ scene, which is kind of weird, considering how much prices have soared. That said, buying one now would be a justified investment for the future, as values are only going to continue to rise, so maybe that’s what everyone’s doing? Or could it be down to the fact that the E30 is still one of the most enjoyable, driver-oriented, and beautiful, cars that money can buy? Probably a mixture. Well, with so many examples out in the wild, you do have to filter through them to find the real gems, which brings us to Ethan Sexton’s gorgeous 318is, one E30 that’s been on our radar for a while now. Having owned the car for almost five years, Ethan has put it through several guises during his ownership, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I felt the car was at its best, so, naturally, I was eager to set up a shoot.

 

 

Ethan’s story is like that of most BMW owners, it was a family affair. His dad happened to own a beaten up 325i Sport for a brief period, but long enough for Ethan to fall in love with BMWs… “I’ll never forget drifting around in it and realising how fun cars could be” he exclaims. The E30 was the car that truly sparked his interest in all things automotive, and when he turned 18, Ethan bought an E46 318ci. Although he loved the car itself, he was disappointed with its lack of power for a new, heavy car. That constant want of an E30 was at the back of his mind, and after seeing lots of modified examples online, he knew he had to have one for himself. The search was on!

 

 

It’s worth mentioning that before buying the E30, Ethan had no experience with modifying cars. It was the BMW that changed everything and allowed him to learn so many new skills. “I’ve had access to a fairly big workshop for the last few winters and I’d spend pretty much every evening there with friends just messing around with each other’s cars”. So the E30 that Ethan ended up buying, was a 1990 318is, which he selected over the normal 318 due to the “is” model being a fair bit quicker and sportier looking. Unfortunately, a straight-six model was out of the question at the time because of high insurance prices. Amazingly, Ethan found his Alpine White example under an hour away from home, owned by a Volkswagen enthusiast who had only owned it for a short period.

 

 

“I literally knew nothing about cars when I bought the car” Ethan explains… “But I had seen a white E30 online, it was slightly lowered and on BBS RS’. At the time, plans to get the car looking anywhere near similar to the one I’d seen online seemed very unrealistic, but things soon spiraled out of control!”. Ethan started out by doing everything cheaply to get the car looking how he had imagined as quickly as possible, but soon came to realise that it was worth investing more money when buying parts, especially considering he never wants to sell the car.

 

 

At first, Ethan fitted some cheap JOM coilovers, but quickly became sold on the idea of air suspension. “It gives you the flexibility to use the car practically, as well as being able to have it looking exactly as you want it when aired out” Ethan explains. Plus, his girlfriend was living in Birmingham at the time, so driving up from Southampton regularly was out of the question for a very low static car, and the 318is M42 sump sits incredibly low, too. “I still find it surprising how many people expect a car on air suspension to handle extremely poorly… to me at least, I think it’s perfect for a road car. And not soft/sloppy as many people expect.”

 

 

Ethan decided to go for an Air Lift Performance setup with AutoPilot V2 management for his air suspension package. At the time, he wasn’t clued up on air ride, and had heard plenty of great reviews of Air Lift products. He opted to visit his local installer, Shakey at Studio Incar who ended up fitting a completely custom setup, as an E30-specific kit hadn’t been released at the time. Shakey had experience with E30’s, having bagged Nick Sahota’s M3 previously, the first bagged E30 M3 in the UK (Click here to check out that feature!). Shakey also created a bespoke hardline boot setup at the same time, although Ethan eventually wanted his spare wheel and boot space back. As a result, he’s reworked the installation and is now running an air tank mounted on the rear parcel shelf which looks super cool.

 

 

Getting a classic car sitting right isn’t usually just as simple as installing the bags. Ethan has fitted a new shallow sump to allow the car to air out even lower. Plus, the rear subframe was dropped to fit a CAtuned camber kit, designed to remove negative camber which the E30 chassis naturally gains once lowered. Ethan mounted the kit in the opposite way to gain more negative camber. At the same time, he fitted Revshift poly bushes on everything, along with Powerflex front lollypop bushes. The car now sits extremely well. Evidently, it was worth the extra effort!

 

 

Looking into the cockpit, “It’s always been a bit mix and match, due to me always changing my mind about things and cheap seats coming up for sale” Ethan laughs… The E30 actually started off with the standard “is” interior, then to a set of OMP retro/classic bucket seats, and finally to a pair of Recaros removed from a Rover. These grace the car currently, along with a Nardi Deep Corn wood steering wheel and matching gear knob. Ethan then sourced a new carpet to update the original retired example, and dyed it from grey to black, along with the rear bench. Being a bit of an audiophile too, he wanted to update the retro audio system, opting for Hertz component front speakers and a JL Audio subwoofer.

 

 

Believe it or not, the first wheels that Ethan purchased for the car were a set of BBS RS’ reps.. yes, REPLICA wheels. Although we’ll forgive him, as he later saw sense and fitted a set of brand new 17″ Schmidt TH-Lines which he ran for quite a while – they looked great. Now, however, things have been switched up again with a set of 16″ Carline/Dyna CM2’s. “I knew I wanted some new wheels but couldn’t decide what to go for, until my decision was finally influenced by Sean Crompton’s E36 on Carline CM6s, so when I saw that Prakash Thanky was selling his CM2s off of his E21, I just had to go for them” Ethan explains.

 

 

After roughly measuring the car, Ethan let excitement get the better of him and went to pick up the CM2s regardless of not being sure whether they’d fit. Often with second-hand wheels, they don’t. Amazingly, the rears did fit just as he’d imagined, but the front wheels did have to be rebuilt with 3″ lips, changing them from 8J’s to 9J’s, and still required 15mm spacers to get them to fit exactly as he wanted. “Fitting tyres to them was a nightmare, due to the inside design of the barrels, the usual tyre shops were unable to fit the tyre sizes I was after and I ended up driving back to Luton, where I’d bought the wheels from, to see Faz at Specialist Tyres, who had come up with a method of fitting the tyres and got them on with no issues” he recalls. The wheels are now 16×9 up front with 195/40 tyres, and 16×10 rears with 215/40 tyres. As a result of the wheel building and work to get the front end lower and having the arches rolled, Ethan now has that glorious arch-to-lip fitment he desired.

 

 

Bodywise, Ethan has replaced the bonnet and both front wings due to their poor condition. At the same time, he had the “is” bootlid spoiler removed, although he now slightly regrets doing so. Various front lips have been fitted over the years, including a Reiger-style lip, which ended up in two pieces! He’s now settled for a genuine “is” lip and side skirts. Aside from that, you’ll also notice the euro-style yellow lights which compliment the Alpine White bodywork nicely. The M42 engine remains stock (other than the shallow sump, and the addition of a K&N air filter), but he did, however, have a complete custom stainless exhaust fabricated by Powerflow in Totton for a sportier driving experience.

 

 

Having recently bought himself a remapped BMW 123d daily driver, Ethan can now keep the E30 on the driveway and tinker with it as and when he pleases, without having to worry about it every day. With no plans to get rid, I get the feeling it will be a forever ongoing project. With a car like this, there’s always something do to, and Ethan absolutely loves a challenge and admits that the car is constantly changing (there are even talks of an M50/M52 swap in the future). Props to him for keeping at it for so long, his hard work has definitely paid off and he should be proud to have built himself one of the most eye-catching E30’s in the UK. Let’s see what next year brings!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Ethan Sexton:

@ethansexton on Instagram

 

 

 

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Setting Trends – Becky Evans’ 1983 BMW E21 316

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

If you asked me to list some of the most influential classic BMWs of our generation, Becky Evans’ E21 would be right up there. Both she and this little 316 have become icons throughout the global car community (you’ll probably know her as Queen B on Instagram and her recent YouTube channel). Becky’s E21 is the absolute epitome of the classic ‘bagged BMW’ combo, and although the recipe is nothing mind-blowing, the car as a whole has become a complete trendsetter. Simply introducing a classic to the ground and adding the right wheels (notably, a set of BBS RS), effectively blew people’s minds a good four or so years ago. Now, everyone wants their classic BMW to look like hers – that must be quite the compliment. With the car going through several transformations during her ownership, Becky has finally got to a stage where she’s happy with it. Having known her for years, I’ve watched the car progress, and waited a long time to get this gorgeous E21 in front of my lens. Earlier this year that time finally came…

 

 

Prior to the E21, Becky has been interested in cars since her childhood. With both her parents being petrolheads, she spent a lot of time around motorsport and racing. Naturally, she was going to be into cars. When she passed her test, she got a Mk4 Golf 1.4, and the fascination with the modified scene grew. “People really used to go to town on body modifications. Smoothed this, smoothed that. OEM+ parts, adding in later-gen features to older generation cars.” she explains and admits that her Mk4 got a taste of the times, with US-spec bodywork and smoothed tailgate in addition to all the usual mods of the moment.

 

 

However, when the time came for something new, Becky remembered about her mum owning an E21 back when she was her age. “I wanted to recreate this image of her in my mind” she explains. Plus, she had always been fascinated by BMW’s unique style herself. Unsurprisingly, an internet search began… which led her to a Henna Rot example that hadn’t made its reserve price on eBay. “I rang the seller quickly, and asked ‘Is it really as clean as it looks?’ and she said ‘yes, I promise you!’ – so then we grabbed the trailer and made the trip down to deepest darkest Somerset – baring in mind that I lived in Coventry at the time.” Just a two-owner car, the previous (also a woman) owner had only used it around town and to go to the shops. “She was super cool though, and wanted to know that the car was going to a good home. I promised her that I had a plan for it…” Well, I think it’s safe to say that Becky kept that promise.

 

 

The E21 was clean and rust-free, only requiring a small amount of cosmetic work to make it presentable, which made it the ideal original candidate for what Becky was envisioning. “I knew I always wanted to bag it, having gone through the pain having a static car, bags were really the way to go. I always loved the BBS RS wheel, but never had a car that I could put them on. That was the initial vision.” It only took four months to get the car bagged and on wheels, making its first debut at Ultimate Dubs 2013. However, to get it to the level it’s at now took four years. “The overall quality of the build has been lifted over the years, with an amazing paint job, better engineering of the air system and the final finish on the wheels” Becky explains, which we’ll be looking at next…

 

 

In its latest guise, the E21’s air suspension system was completely redesigned by Henry at RIIVA Design, including re-engineered custom air struts (using universal bags front and rear), upgrading to Air Lift Performance 3P management and creating a new tasteful boot build featuring a body-coloured seamless tank and hard lines, trimmed to compliment the rest of the interior. As a result, the car now drives and handles better than it ever did.

 

 

On to Becky’s beloved BBS RS073’s, which were owned previously by several people within a circle of her friends, so she knew they had been looked after. “These ones are pretty special in that they came stepped from the factory, they are 30-bolt centres, as opposed to 34 which traditionally come on the 16s. So these have that smaller centre, stepped lip look that I love but are original from factory like that” she explains. The wheels are spec’d as follows: 16×8 (2″ step) fronts, 16×9 (3″ step) rears with 195/35 and 215/30 tyres.

 

 

The BBS’ were originally purchased at the same time she bought the car, when they had polished lips and powder coated centres with gold hardware – pretty much the go-to spec. More recently, the wheels have undergone complete refinishing by Elie at Voodoo who has ceramic polished everything along with matching hardware and custom quarter height hex nuts. They now compliment the car perfectly.

 

 

It was time to attack the interior. Becky wanted to keep this as original as possible, but just wasn’t a fan of the original SE-style seats, especially considering one of them was damaged. A massive fan of the Ford Escort Recaro fishnet seats, she knew they would look right at home in the E21, if they were trimmed correctly. She finally found a set of Recaro’s from an RS2000, and began hunting for some original BMW material to trim them in, with the intention of matching the original rear bench.

 

 

Becky opted for the services of Dave Goodwin (Dave The Trimmer) to undertake the re-trim. “I wanted it to be perfect, so in the end, the search took us to some guy in Italy who happened to have a roll of the 83 pergament corduroy that we needed.” After a long time waiting, the seats were finally trimmed and now look like they could have been there from the factory. The interior is finished off with a Nardi Torino wooden steering wheel, naturally.

 

 

After running the car in its original cosmetic state for a number of years, Becky finally saved enough money to get a top-level paint job to match the overall picture she had in her head. She enlisted the services of Steve Denton at Stylehaus to carry out a complete bare metal respray in the original Henna Rot red. “The finish on the car is insane, I can’t thank him enough for the job he’s done.” she remarks. Along with the immaculate paint, you’ll notice a few subtle changes, like the rear window louvre, heckblende, and the headlights which have been converted back to a single setup, creating an overall sublime package.

 

 

Aesthetically, Becky has revised the E21 to the point of perfection… truth be told, nothing else needs to be done to the outside of the car without the risk of ruining it. Unlike a lot of people, she doesn’t feel the need to go overboard by trying to win over the internet, even though she’s had the car for so long (a lot of people would get bored, right?). To Becky, it’s been about refining her dream BMW with that timeless look. Of course, like all project cars, there’s still work to be done behind the scenes… The original M10 engine remains untouched (apart from much-needed maintenance), so her next port of call is to fit a set of carbs that are currently sat in the garage, and shaving/painting the engine bay over Winter time. Until then, the car is being enjoyed whenever she gets the time!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Becky Evans:

@queenb_uk on Instagram

Queen B on YouTube

 

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