Edit 12/9/2017: With new photos, a new description and apparently a few things fixed, the current owner of this ‘346i’ that we looked almost exactly one year ago has it back up for sale in a reserve auction format. Last time it didn’t meet reserve at only $10,000. Will it clear the reserve this time around?
The E21. By far, it is the 3-series we feature least frequently (barring new models). In U.S. trim, it is also by far the least sporting 3-series. But don’t throw the baby BMW out with the bath water, because it’s still a classic BMW, it looks nice and it’s quite affordable relative to some other hyperbolic models.
For one, I really like the E21. I’ve even enjoyed driving a few. Of course, never once did I think when driving one “You know what this needs? A M60 V8.” And certainly, even in the very unlikely scenario that idea sprang into my head, there’s no way I would have said “Right, now, off to Dinan to bump it out to 4.6 liters!”
But, if nothing else, this Golf Yellow example of an extreme E21 dispels the myth that they’re all underpowered?
Looking for a subtle performance sedan? Today’s not your day.
You probably haven’t heard of iDing Power, because odds are that if you’re reading this you don’t live in Japan. And even if you’re an afficiando of M3s, you’d probably dismiss this particular car as a M3 GTR replica for the street like I did. But this car is far more than that, and much more interesting.
The M3 GTR launched in 1994, and the United States did (technically) see it in the form of the Prototype Technology Group-run team in IMSA race series. The same year in Japan, iDing Power revealed the plans for their turned-up E36 M3. They had acquired an early production second generation model; production started for the E36 M3 in February, 1992 – and the particular example you see here was produced on February 3, 1993. iDing then added a plethora of unique touches, from upgraded suspension, wheels and brakes, special interior items, and some body modifications. By “some”, of course it’s hard to look past the W201 190E-Evo inspired rear wing and massive tacked-on flares. iDing also took the S50B30 European motor, rated at 286 horsepower stock, and modified it to a claimed 330 horsepower. iDing widebodies are pretty rare finds, but even among them this one is particularly special. With only 7,600 miles on the odometer, this example appears to be the original prototype and test car:
Continuing on today’s green theme and moving up the pecking order a few notches from the E12 duo from the other day, here we have something of a monster. Alpina offered E24 fans a special treat with a turned up turbocharged variant of the 635CSi that was good enough not only to rival BMW’s own M6/M635CSi, but indeed to better it.
The M88 was already a bit of legend before BMW offered derivatives in the /3 and catalyst-equipped S38. With 256-286 horsepower depending on tune, it was about as good as non-exotic normally aspirated motors got in the 1980s. But Alpina had always had a knack for outdoing the cars their creations were based upon, so in went the turbocharger. The result was impressive in any form; the Turbo Coupe/1 was good for 300 horsepower and could match the acceleration of the M cars. But matching wasn’t enough, so Alpina upped the power with the B7S. Now up to 3.4 liters and good for 320 plus horsepower and nearly 400 lb.ft of torque, it was a car which could rip your face off anytime, anywhere. Like all Alpinas, they were lovingly crafted and full of exquisite detail work and limited to only 30 examples:
I’ve featured a few of RAUH-Welt Begriff’s Porsche creations, but this one might be my favorite. It’s an interesting mix of old and new, borrowing its colors and interior aesthetic from vintage Porsche hues and fabrics, then wrapping that in a body that is anything but vintage 911. In addition, unlike many of RWB’s builds this one has the performance to complement the wildly aggressive design.
For this build they used a 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe. The design remains unmistakably that of Akira Nakai with its swooping hand-formed curves, very wide fenders, and huge wing. Under the hood this is a very different beast with the standard 3.6 liter flat-six now built to 3.8 liter RSR specs. I’m always curious if such statements mean precisely what they say because I believe that would mean around 350 hp from this engine. At the very least we can assume there’s going to be a decent bit of extra power going to the rear wheels.
Last week I checked out a great SL73 AMG which the mad men at AMG took an already hearty 6.0 liter V12 and converted it to a 7.3 liter. Today we have another 7.3 liter 140 chassis, although this one was converted by another tuning house. This 1997 CL600 for sale in Hamburg, Germany was sent to well-known Brabus where it not only underwent the conversion to 7.3 liters, but gained some body work, wheels and giant brakes as well. Because of all this, the price tag steep. But you probably won’t believe how steep it really is.
There are a few select automotive tuners who can take an impressive package and refine it into an even better entity. That group includes legends such as AMG, Alpina and Ruf – all of which are staples of this segment.
Yet they are far from alone. Given the task of improving on what is generally considered to be one of the greatest sedans ever made is no small feat, but if there was one group up to it, it was Steve Dinan’s eponymous company in California.
While just about anyone can take a turbocharged engine and crank up the boost, slap a few stickers on it and call it done, the E39 M5 didn’t come with forced induction. On top of that, it was a motor which wasn’t exactly underdeveloped before it went into production. Nor were the brakes, suspension, or any other aspect of the third gen M5. But Dinan thought they could improve upon them, and with a tremendous amount of work, did.
Dinan went to town on the S62 from start to end. Out came the factory air boxes, air meters and velocity stacks, replaced by Dinan units of larger diameter and better flow qualities, along with larger throttle bodies bored out by the company. This necessitated reprogramming of the computer controls for the engine to match the new flow characteristics. To help the exhaust side of the motor, unique tubular headers were fit to a free-flowing, lightweight exhaust system. While this sounds a bit like old-school engineering, it was successful; the result was an additional 76 horsepower and 51 lb.ft of torque – basically, this was like adding a 1980 Rabbit’s worth of power to an already powerful car.
Dinan coupled the engine mods with a shorter final drive and higher rev-limiter to reach fantastic speeds. The S2 was capable of 0-60 runs around 4 seconds flat and, in unrestricted mode, geared out around 190 mph in 6th.…
The last two weeks we’ve looked at the wilder side of the Porsche tuner world with cars from Gemballa and RWB. This week we’ll go a little more traditional with the styling and make a return to RUF. RUF likely is the most well known and highly regarded in the Porsche world, so much so that RUF is not just a tuner, but a manufacturer utilizing blank Porsche chassis for its cars. In some ways, RUF is the inverse of RWB. Where RWB goes over the top with styling and leaves the performance mostly alone, RUF keeps the styling changes somewhat minimal (at least from the perspective of how much they depart from a 911 itself) and goes over the top with performance upgrades. Over the years they’ve produced some blistering fast machines capable of competing with the best cars in the world. Even capable of competing with the likes of Porsche’s own 959.
The one we see the most often is the BTR and that’s just what we have here. However, this is not one of the very rare RUF VIN BTRs, but one of the more common converted examples, which in this case was based off of a 1984 Porsche 930. That’s a nice base with which to begin and with the RUF upgrades you get a car that can make even the prodigious 930 seem tame.
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.4 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 35,014 mi
Price: $225,000 Buy It Now
1984 Porsche 930 RUF BTR DOCUMENTED
This remarkable example has remained unrestored and original until today. Only 35k miles and 2 owners since new this 930 is in beautiful condition! Full RUF BTR conversion with letter of authenticity from RUF, this 1984 Porsche 930 is not your average 911 Turbo.
Last week: Gemballa. This week: RAUH-Welt Begriff. We might as well look at something from the two most divisive Porsche tuners in back-to-back weeks right? I said in last week’s post that I don’t mind over the top designs from tuners and along those lines I typically enjoy the work we see from RWB. While many don’t like them, Akira Nakai’s builds do follow a line that is recognizable within Porsche’s own racing designs. Of course, those are purpose built race cars and RWB builds street cars. None the less, the look itself is not necessarily off base.
And here lies the primary criticism of many RWB designs: they are all show and no go. For many, in fact most, of their builds that is true; RWB focuses much more on the appearance of the car than on making it faster. This build addresses that criticism, and it addresses it pretty significantly.
Model: 911 Carrera 4
Engine: 3.6 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 77,795 mi
Price: $149,999 Buy It Now
– The only fully branded RWB in United States signed and documented by Akira Nakai
– Most desirable model RWB 964 Street Version
– Latest Project by World Renowned Car Builder Vincent Wong
– Rebuilt Top and Bottom Motor to 0 mile spec
– Single Turbo System making 400 WHEEL HP 393 FT LB OF TORQUE ON PUMP GAS
– Painted by the World Famous LT Motorwerks in El Monte California
– One of the lowest mileage Rauh Welt RWB Cars in the World
– SEMA 2015 Booth Car Rauh Welt Begriff Booth
– SEMA 2016 Booth Car CCW Wheels Booth
– Rauh Welt 15pc widebody kit hand crafted and installed by Akira Nakai
– Full Respray to BASF Glasurit Porsche Guards Red by World Famous LT Motorwerks in El Monte California
– Porsche OEM Clear Corners
– Custom Bi Xenon HID Headlights with RWB etched in the glass housing
– Single Turbo Kit Designed by Bisimoto Engineering 400 Rear Wheel Horsepower
– AEM Infinity 6, 30-7106 ECU
– AEM Infinity 6 pin kit, 30-3704
– AEM AIT and MAP Harness, 30-3510-00
– Infinity UEGO harness, 30-3600
– 3.5 bar map sensor, 30-2130-50
– Boost control solenoid, 30-2400
– Air temp sensor, 30-2010
– LSU 4.2 wideband sensor, 30-2001
– GTX3076R with turbine part #740902-8
– Turbosmart wastegate, with red 4.35 spring
– Turbosmart 50mm blowoff valve
– Garrett Intercooler core, Part #487085-6002
– Bisimoto Custom 1000CC Injectors
– JDS Porsche SSD Lateral Acceleration Sensor
– Rebuild 964 Engine Top End by Turbo Kraft in Arizona to 0 miles
– * remove, disassemble, clean engine; spec & document all major components
– * reassemble with performance parts listed above
– * time camshafts
– 3.6 CARRERA HEAD GASKET KIT — upgraded all-Viton version
– CAMSHAFT DRIVE GEAR (large sprocket)
– TIMING CHAIN RAIL — 1-3 straight
– TIMING CHAIN RAIL — 4-6 straight
– TIMING CHAIN RAIL — (2x req’d)
– 993 ALTERNATOR (INNER) BELT, 9.5×776 (964 = both, 5sp)
– TK/JE CUSTOM TURBO PISTON SET — lightweight FSR pistons with rings, pins, locks
– PERFORMANCE COATINGS : Coat piston skirts & undersides
– Remanufacture cylinders — strip, bore, re-plate with Nikasil
– ARP RACING CYLINDER HEAD STUD SET with BILLET WASHERS & 12-pt NUTS
– Rebuild 964 Engine Bottom End by Turbo Kraft in Arizona to 0 miles
– COMPLETE MOTORSPORT ENGINE BEARING SET
– 3.6 (964) CARRERA CASE GASKET SET (Viton)
– MOTORSPORT TIMING CHAIN *WITHOUT* MASTER LINK — increased strength
– ARP RACING CONNECTING ROD BOLT SET, 9mm
– Recondition rods incl.
Gemballa has been around for quite a while. Since the early 80’s they’ve been creating designs for a wide variety of Porsches with a few Mercedes and Ferraris thrown in as well. Honestly, most of their designs I haven’t much liked. I like over the top – I mean I’m a fan of RWB – but Gemballa has always seemed over the top in a way that I found unappealing. It’s a fine line for tuners to walk and built entirely upon subjectivity; some find the right balance, some miss the mark.
Here we have one that I do like. At least for the most part. Based off the 911 RS America, this Gemballa build was to serve as a showcase car and, if we’re to believe the ad, demonstrate the more refined style they were hoping to put forth once the excesses of the ’80s were behind them. It’s still fairly over the top, but not too crazy and its likeness to the Flatnose Turbo S makes it look like something the factory may have even produced. It’s sort of a melding of the Turbo S and the 3.8 Carrera RSR, both highly sought after machines that turn the heads of just about anyone who sees one. I imagine this Gemballa will do the same.
Model: 911 RS America
Engine: 3.8 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 16,937 mi
Price: $99,500 Buy It Now
Before Singer’s amazing creations, before RWB’s wide bodies, before Magnus Walker officially made it cool to NOT be a typical Porsche guy, before TechArt, there was Uwe Gemballa.
The Gemballa’s of the 80’s were radical creations with massive body kits and interior customization. As Gemballa moved into the 90’s they evolved into a more performance focused company with more subtle streamlined body work.
Tuners all have their own unique style and personality, those aspects that let you know immediately what designer is responsible and what to expect from the build itself. Of course, even within a particular tuner’s portfolio there can be tremendous variation, but there always are identifying details. Though they can be subtle most 911 fans have little trouble recognizing a RUF 911. Such is the level at which RUF has risen over its many years.
Among Porsches RAUH-Welt Begriff perhaps is the most easily identifiable tuner and also perhaps the most divisive. The man responsible is Akira Nakai who designs each body panel for the individual car to produce some of the most head-turning 911s you will come across. They are not for everyone, especially given that – unlike a tuning house like RUF – the work is largely aesthetic with very little additional performance. As pieces of automotive art they are on another level. The one we see here has been dubbed RWB Hollywood and was based off of a 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe. It would be very hard to miss if you saw it in a crowd.
Model: 911 Carrera 2
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 132,324 mi
Price: $149,999 Buy It Now
This beautiful Porsche 964, known as RWB Hollywood, was built by the world-renowned Akira Nakai-san of Rauh-Welt Begriff. The car is equipped with a 3.6L Air-cooled engine mated to a G50 manual gearbox. No expense was spared on this build, as you can tell by the extensive list of modifications below; Exterior: Complete strip-down repaint in it’s original color Grand Prix White, RWB 964 street kit (fenders, bumpers, rocker panels), Sunroof delete, RSR brake ducts, Clear turn signals, 993 aero mirrors, 993 door handles, Ducktail decklid, H4 headlights, New taillights, New body seals and window seals.