The BMW E30 is an iconic and increasingly popular shape amongst petrol enthusiasts today. You have your purist, M3-driving type, then you have the half-arsed modders who reckon an exhaust and some $500 wheels make your car the business, then you have people like Alexander Williams and his old man, who are the ones behind the creation of this 413rwhp European piece of perfection.

The following is what Alex has to say about the life of the E30…

“Where do I start haha. I grew up with my old man and his love for old school cars, this showed me the way to purchase am XY at the age of 15 in 2007. In early 2008, I came to the conclusion that I would not be able to daily the car, so the search of a cheap and fast car had started. I wanted a KE70 but they seemed to be the in thing at the time. The car needed to be a little 4cyl, cheap yet able to play with. After alot of searching around I decided I wanted an e30. Later that day I posted on boostcruising (of all places) a wanted to buy ad for an e30. A now good friend of mine and Mini nutcase Sam Goodson spoke up of an e30 in his backyard he was too lazy to fix. So I got the old man in the car and next thing it was home. I drove the car for a year and thought “I really do like this”; so it was time to sell up the Falcon and invest in a project.

The e30

After I sold the Falcon I made the choice of wanting an e30 coupe to either buy half done or build from ground up how I want it and nothing else. I found an SR20 e30 for sale, so once again the old man and I jumped in the car and had a look. The car turned out to be pretty straight forward but for what it was, it was over priced and the owner was not willing to compromise so we had the idea of building one and this is what its come to. I found a shell locally in December 2009 and then the long haul begun. It started out little and simple and a matter of a 1yr build was spoken about. This soon blew out of proportion.

It turned out to be a nearly two year project with a lot of doubt from people of actually finishing it, with myself even listing it as a part out EOI for a matter for 3 hours then thinking what the hell am I doing. So I powered on with the build and glad I did.

The body work got all sorted during 2010 and then was painted on Christmas Day 2010 and we then set a goal of making Drift Matsuri 2011 at Queensland Raceway. This was where my bank started hating me. Anything and everything that could be bought new, was. We learned the hard way, the poor man pays twice, so buying new was just easier. The amount of time over weekend and weeknights spent got to the point of myself loosing sleep over if this was done or that was done or was this tight. If we didn’t make the date it wasn’t like we didn’t try.

Up to the week before Matsuri the car was looking well on track, until work informed me I had to fly to Sydney and not return until the Friday night. I told my old man not to contact me about any dramas with the car as i needed to focus on work. This still didn’t help me keep focus, all that goes through your head is “what’s happening?”, “will I make it?”, “was it done right?”, “will it last or will it break?”. So I fly in Friday night and get into the car and drive home. I drive in only to find my car on a trailer all ready and packed for a weekend which turned out to be the best weekend in the car community I’ve had/seen. The car got tuned on the Friday afternoon at midday making 413rwhp and it scared the living daylights out of me. The first time I drove it was around QR pits at 8pm on the Friday night with a lovely night sky upon us, only to wake up to bucketing down rain. Let me be the first to say, light car with horsepower in the rain is never a fun thing however I loved every moment. The relief the car is done and no more hassle and money has to be spent for a while was a good feeling, but the satisfaction of completing such a long and different build to what we are used to was nothing shy of amazing. Yes there was a lot of fighting, blood, sweat and tears but in the end that feeling you get… words can’t describe it.

The car lasted all weekend with only a broken harmonic balancer late on Saturday afternoon and a broken axle early Sunday morning. We finished up the day around 3pm with nothing but smiles and the thought that we made Matsuri 2011. I guess a big factor in the build process of the car was that we did everything here at home, from panel work to paint to cooler piping to half cage. My father can do alot more then just mow the lawn and cook a good BBQ and I thank him so very much for the time and effort. Since Matsuri the car has been taken to a Friday night practice and still had no issue but broke another axle. The car is currently registered however is rocking a rear plate and will only be driven on the road once i’m 100% comfortable with how the car performs and being legal to drive it, given I’m only 19, haha. So this is pretty much my 4 year story and how I’ve got the car where it is today.

1JZ non-VVTi
Motec 48 Pro
Motec ignition expander pack
Motec brand new loom and sensors
3x Bosch ignitors
6x Bosch coils
Tuned at 16psi with 20psi boost cut
After market exhaust manifold
After market intake plenum
Custom cam covers, -10 fittings welded on
Sard 800 or 880cc injectors (forget which size)
HKS 3037 turbo
Hybrid 400x300x75 cooler
SR alloy rad
Two 10″ thermos
HKS 50mm external gate with screamer (16psi spring)
One piece stainless cooler pipe each side
Prorflow silicone hose
Stainless rad hoses
Catch can with all braided line
HKS pod
HKS bov
Motor was fully cleaned including 99% of alloy sandblasted and most items powdercoated black
Gates racing belts (main and timing belt)
HKS cam gears
Aeromotive fuel pressure reg

Brand new OS Giken twin plate clutch rebuilt from NPC with pull to push converter
Recoed R154
3″ tail shaft made by Driveline Services

Full recoed e30 medium case LSD running 3.46:1 gears
6cyl axles (keep breaking them though)

40L fuel cell foam filled
Holley blue lift pump
2.5L surge tank
Bosch 044 feed pump
All fuel line is 100 series high pressure braided line in -6
Numerous speedflow fittings throughout the car

1986 BMW e30 coupe shell
Mtech 1 full kit; front bar, side skirts, rear bar & boot lip
Flared metal guards front and rear
Full respray in Fiat gun metal grey in 2pac (clear over base)
Delete side indicators on guard
Custom rear tail lights, orange indicators made red
Smoked front lights with angel eyes
All new grilles and badges
All side mouldings painted black in 2pac
All chrome trim around the windows painted in 2pac black
Mercedes Benz pre-delivery tow hook modified to fit
Smoked front indicators
Spare wheel well welded up

e32 v8 hydraulic booster (changing to vh44 in boot)
Recoed 6cyl front and rear brakes with new green stuff pads (Wilwood 295mm front and rear kit in the post)
Wilwood hydraulic hand brake
-4 100 series braided brake lines, all the way to the back of the car.

WHEELS & TYRES: (the worst part of cleaning the car)
16″ BBS RS wheels that were reco’ed with legit BBS lips and flat caps from Germany. They were 4×114.3 and re-drilled to 4×100 by Dr Wheels on the Gold Coast.
The front has a massive sizing of 16×9.5 -12.5
While the rear is happily supporting a 16×10 -/+ 0 with a 20mm spacer making it 16×10 -20

Im a big fan of Kumho and have nothing bad to say about these tyres
The tyres are Kumho KU31.
The front has a 205/45/16 on a 9.5″
The rear has a 215/40/16 on a 10″
Roy at Bosman Wholesale Tyres at Archerfield did an amazing job fitting the tyres with me sitting paranoid in the corner about them getting scratched.

The front consists of AE86 Cusco weld-on sleeve kit on a 51mm 6cyl front strut with 10kg springs
Short stroke inserts (unsure of brand, but works amazingly)
HSD universal camber plates
Rebuilt power steering rack, will be changing to a manual rack for better feel in my opinion.
Rear was converted to a straight coilover. The strut towers were rewelded and strengthened for support.
Rear strut brace
RX7 FC3S front coilovers with modified top hats to suit the rear with 8kg springs

Half-stripped and resprayed in white 2 pac
Half cage powdercoated red to match tow hooks
Factory dash, console, glove box and door trims painted in black vinyl spray
Black floor carpet
No heater or fan or aircon
Full Defi white series dash, this includes water temp, oil temp, exhaust temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure, tacho and boost gauge while using a Defi 2 control box.
2011 Sparco 368 wheel (380mm)
2011 Sparco 4 point harnesses in black
2011 Sparco evo seats black
NZKW seat rails
Push to start button
Snap-on screwdriver handle for a gear lever
Snap-on double ended ring spanner for the hydraulic handbrake lever
Modified factory hand brake(before hydro was introduced)