Tag Archives: Bagged E36

Tradition. Recrafted. – A day with Meguiar’s Mirror Bright range

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

If you’re a car enthusiast, it’s highly likely that you endeavor to keep your pride and joy squeaky clean. However, with so many different cleaning products on the market, it’s hard to decide which products to start with. Luckily, Meguiar’s have released a new kit with all the essentials for keeping your car clean. Founded all the way back in 1901, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of the brand… And with so many years experience in the car care industry, you know you can feel safe using their products. In fact, we already use their gear on our cars, so when we heard that they’d had just released a new range, we were eager to try it! The Mirror Bright collection sees the company revisit their roots, mimicking their old school glass bottles and metal screw tops with a modern-day plastic interpretation, for a vintage feel. With classic branding in black and white, the kit is designed to fit right in with classic cars. The Mirror Bright products are made up of completely new formulas too, for a premium performance and user experience – Meguiar’s tell us that these are truly high-quality items. Of course, with such a cool looking product range, we had to get our hands on it to try out on some classic cars. Our friends at Meguiar’s UK kindly sent over some gear, so we called up a few friends and decided to make a day of it and use the products on the cars.

 

The classic style Mirror Bright kit bag looks right at home in Doey’s classic interior

 

The Mirror Bright range consists of all the cleaning essentials: Polishing Wax, Detailing Spray, Automobile Shampoo, Wheel Cleaner and Leather Lotion

 

Naturally, we needed some Meguiar’s essentials to fully test the new range; microfibre wash mitts and towels, Water Magnet drying towels and a few Applicator pads (not pictured)

 

AUTOMOBILE SHAMPOO

 

First up, we got to grips with the Mirror Bright Automobile Shampoo. With a hefty 1.4 litre bottle, you’re getting a lot for your money (RRP £18.00). It’s formulated for all automobile finishes, and Meguiar’s states that it’s been refined by over 110 years of experience and R&D. The texture of the shampoo itself is equally awesome – a carnuaba milk formula that cleans AND waxes while washing. It’s also designed specifically to work hand-in-hand with the Mirror Bright Polishing Wax, which we’ll look at later.

 

 

The Meguiar’s Microfibre wash mitt makes it easy to apply the shampoo

 

 

Chris showing that the Shampoo works just as well on his vinyl-wrapped Lexus IS200

 

Doey rinses the shampoo off of his BMW E21

 

The Meguiar’s Water Magnet drying towel worked wonders, soaking up any remaining water

 

 

WHEEL CLEANER

 

Next up, we tried out the Mirror Bright Wheel Cleaner (650ml bottle priced at RRP £13.00). All of our friends run polished wheels and they often have trouble finding a wheel cleaner that is actually safe to use on their valuable wheels. Luckily the Mirror Bright Wheel Cleaner is gentle enough that it’s safe on all types including painted, aluminium, chromed and polished wheels.

 

Doey rinses down his wheels first before applying the product

 

The pH balanced soaps and special ingredients easily dissolve brake dust remnants, with the liquid turning purple after a few minutes

 

Another essential rinse was required to wash away the remaining product once it had done its job

 

The results were brilliant, with no harm done to Doey’s polished CCWs

 

POLISHING WAX

 

For the best clean, polishing is absolutely essential for a proper shine and overall paint protection. The Mirror Bright Polishing Wax is sold in a 414ml bottle, with an RRP of £22.50. Meguiar’s use unique natural and synthetic ingredients to gently polish all painted finishes, revealing a maximum gloss, depth of colour and “Mirror Bright” reflections. Once again, this product is safe for all glossy paint types including lacquers, enamels and clear coats.

 

The screw-top bottle makes it ideal to pour onto the Meguiar’s Applicator pad

 

Sean applies the product to his BMW E36 using the Applicator pad, and buffs with a Microfibre towel

 

The result is a true mirror-like reflection!

 

DETAILING SPRAY

 

Detailing spray, or “quick detailer” as it’s known to most people, is probably the most essential item for any car-show goer. It’s the perfect finishing touch to get that show-shine finish super quickly on arrival to an event, or simply in between washes. The Mirror Bright Detailing Spray (650ml bottle for RRP £13.00) cleans both exterior AND interior surfaces. It’s made up of a non-scratch formula and safe for all paint types. Seeing as we already cleaned the cars properly, we decided to try the Detailing Spray on an interior.

 

Carlos sprays the product directly onto a Microfibre towel before applying to the interior of his BMW E36

 

It worked a treat and left a great shine on the whole interior, including the doorcards, dashboard, centre console, instruments and even the front and rear screens

 

LEATHER LOTION

 

Finally, we ended with the Mirror Bright Leather Lotion (available in a 414ml bottle for RRP £12.00). This is an impressive product to clean, condition and protect your leather interior with. It’s made up of gentle cleaners that help to remove dirt and grime that has attached itself to your leather over time. It’s even packed with UV Sunscreens that help prevent sun rays from fading your seats.

 

 

Carlos pours the Leather Lotion onto a Meguiar’s Applicator pad, before applying to his BMW Vader leather seats. As you can see, the pad picked up plenty of dirt.

 

After application, a Microfibre towel was used to buff off the excess product, instantly leaving a revitalised, natural looking interior – no slipperiness or fake-looking shine here!

 

Cleaning done, everyone stands back to admire their work

 

The two bagged BMWs looking super shiny

 

Carlos’ ceramic polished OZ Futuras looking like new after a dose of Mirror Bright Wheel Cleaner

 

 

The static boys, looking “Mirror-bright”!

 

Sean’s Carline CM6s also came up amazingly

 

You don’t often see a wrapped car looking this shiny

 

 

 

After spending a whole day with the Mirror Bright range, we can safely say that these kits will be in our boots for the rest of the show season. Everyone loved the products, from an application point of view (perfect sized triggers on spray bottles, and quick release screw top lids on the others making for easy pouring), and of course from the actual results. The cars were actually left with a true “Mirror Bright” shine. Plus, the products themselves look damn cool, too – The vintage branding goes hand-in-hand with our favourite sorts of cars, classics! All the products tested are available now individually, or as a complete package. Check out the Meguiar’s UK website below and join the revolution of car care products.

 

More info on Meguiar’s UK:

Meguiar’s UK website & online store

Meguiar’s UK on Instagram

Meguiar’s UK on Facebook

 

The cars:

BMW E21 – Steven Doe – @doeboyfresh

BMW E36 coupe – Carlos Gomez – @carlos_g88

BMW E36 ‘vert – Sean Crompton – @s_crompton

Lexus IS200 – Chris Phillips – @chrispy_clean

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Santorini Blues – Barry Smith’s 1998 BMW E36 328i

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Having featured a selection of stunning examples already, the BMW E36 is undoubtedly one of our favourite cars here at Slam Sanctuary. However, you could argue that they’ve somewhat over-populated the modified car scene as of late, but we’re continuing to sift through them and still finding notable builds that we feel are worth highlighting – if they’re done right, they are still one of the best looking BMWs, ever. Today, the spotlight is on Barry Smith’s E36, which has been re-built from the ground up. Thinking about it, it’d be hard to find a cleaner example in the UK that looks like it’s just been delivered from the factory – well, at least one that features a few improvements over OEM. Notably, a healthy drop on Air Lift Performance bags and a set of 18″ 3SDM forged wheels. But don’t worry, this isn’t just another “air and wheels” build… Barry’s car has undergone some extensive refreshing, including a full respray in the gorgeous BMW ‘Santorini Blue’.

 

 

Aged 45, Barry has had his fair share of projects over the years. “I’ve always had a massive interest in cars, mainly subtly modified cars, and I particularly enjoyed attending GTI international – especially when it was based at Crowthorne” he explains. As we’ve seen with a lot of newcomers to the BMW marque, Barry has only recently made the switch from Volkswagen, having owned 2 Mk2 Jetta GTI’s, 2 Mk3 Golf GTI’s, a Mk4 Golf V5, a Mk1 Golf with G40 swap, and a Mk2 Golf with an Audi S3 engine swap! He’s even owned a Porsche 964 which he now regrets letting go, big time, as their values have shot up in recent years.

 

 

With a BMW E90 as his daily driver, Barry became more interested in BMWs and the way they drove. In March 2016 he fancied a new project car… “I was originally looking for an older model… an E28 or E21, but I got frustrated waiting to source a good one” he explains. Around the same time that he was on the hunt for a car, an E36 popped up for sale which had been kept by the same previous owner for the past 18 years – a solid car which hadn’t been messed around with. For a project car, this is exactly the right sort of base to start with.

 

 

The car in question was a 1998 328i auto, finished in Montreal Blue and generally in great shape. Plus, it had Sport bumpers and sideskirts spec’d from the factory, which made it an even more attractive purchase. Naturally a deal was done on the E36 and Barry took delivery. His first port of call was to spruce up the mechanical side of things, which meant a trip to his friend Colin at Kustom Kolors, where the team added an M50 inlet manifold (the easiest way to get more power from a 328i lump). Plus, an uprated throttle body, Active Autowerke Cold Air induction system and an Eisenmann race-diameter 70mm exhaust & de-cat were installed for a fruitier sound. The dated OEM brakes were also upgraded to Stoptech units for extra stopping power.

 

 

Barry knew that he wanted the car to sit as low as possible from the get-go, but still needed the car to maintain drivability. After years of running static cars, he opted to go for air suspension, allowing him the best of both worlds. Luckily Kustom Kolors were willing to take control of the air installation, too. With so much happening to the car already, Colin persuaded Barry to go even further with it and get the whole car resprayed in the eye-catching Santorini Blue, a rare BMW Individual colour – whilst replacing every single window rubber and body moulding at the same time. During the car’s time at Kustom Kolors, they also had a chance to roll the front and rear arches to fit a set of 18″ wheels that Barry had planned for it.

 

 

Kustom Kolors also had the rear quarter seams welded to the rear panel and got on with smoothing a lot of the bodywork – including welding up the boot and bonnet badges, removing the boot lock and original M-tech spoiler. They even remade the rear number plate plinth, so it has no visible lock and removed the side repeaters too. They then installed a carbon fibre splitter to make the front end a bit meaner, along with black kidney grills and a US number plate plinth/delete. You’ll also notice the distinctive pair of AC Schnitzer aftermarket wing mirrors.

 

 

With the bodywork sorted and new paint applied, it was time to decide on wheels. Barry opted for a set of brand new 3SDM Forged 3.19 FR Series, 18×8.5 up front and 18×9 rears, which he thought were unusual and different to what is out there on other E36’s – they really do set the car off from other examples. The wheels were paired with 215/35 front and 225/35 rear tyres, for some subtle stretch.

 

 

Next, and most importantly, it was time to get the E36 closer to the ground. Air Lift Performance bags/struts were used all round, along with AccuAir SwitchSpeed management to control everything. A large colour-coded 5 litre air tank is situated in the boot, along with two VIAIR 444c Black Edition compressors. The rest of the management system is hidden away out of view. Colin also fabricated some custom air lines which run through the sills and front chassis legs, with custom braided leader hoses to the bags. Barry decided it would be a good chance to upgrade the factory audio whilst the air install took place, so it was replaced with an Alpine head unit, MB Quart components and a Pioneer hidden sub.

 

 

With the outside of the car now looking incredible, Barry wanted to go that extra mile and finish off the car with a full interior re-trim, as well as installing a set of M3 Vader front seats – probably the best OEM+ option for the E36. The contrasting nappa grey leather works wonderfully with the Santorini Blue paint. Finally, Barry added a Momo Jet steering wheel for an improved driving feel.

 

In September 2016, after around four months build time, the car was finally “finished”. That being the tail-end of show season, Barry has only been able to take it to a couple of events (Westside Treffen and Ultimate Stance – where it won in the Top 20), so he can’t wait for this year’s show circuit to kick off. But as we all know, a car is never fully “complete” – there are still plans to upgrade the AccuAir SwitchSpeed to the auto-levelling E-Level management, and smooth the engine bay. This is definitely an E36 to keep your eye on – not that it’s hard to miss!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

More info on Barry Smith:

@santorinie36 on Instagram

 

More info on Kustom Kolors:

@kustom_kolors on Instagram

Kustom Kolors website