If the 2016 M3 I just looked at was relatively understated as M3s go, today’s E92 is…not. It’s not a wild color like the last Dakar Yellow E92 I took a peek at back in January, but what this loses in exterior pizazz with its sedate yet attractive Alpine White exterior it more than makes up for in mods. That’s because this car is one of a claimed 12 that were produced by Racing Dynamics with a full suite of modifications, including a body kit, special seats and interior trim, upgraded brakes, suspension, and wheels, and…oh yeah, they punched the motor out to 4.6 liters, resulting in a claimed 525 naturally aspirated horsepower. Yikes! Even more yikes? The pricetag…
The late 80s and early 90s was a great time to be a fan of German cars, as each manufacturer advanced in leaps and bounds. Volkswagen had the succession of 16V, supercharged, and then VR6 engines. Porsche launched the supercar 959 and beefed up the 911, 944 Turbo and then 968, and the 928 GTS. Mercedes-Benz had the audacity to replace the stalwart R107 with the R129, launched the W124, W201, and finally the W140 and generally remained the benchmark of the world. Audi’s success with the Quattro proliferated the model range, and the company that dared to be different ended the 80s with the wild quad-cam all-wheel drive V8 quattro and introduced the S and RS model ranges in the 90s.
BMW was not to be outdone. While the M brand had its roots in the 70s, it was really the 80s where they stretched their legs; the introduction of the definitive sports sedan and coupes of the M3, M5, and M6 still have repercussions today. But they weren’t about to let the go-to W126 and the upstart V8 quattro have all the large-executive limelight. The E23 had been an interesting alternative all along, and it was quite advanced in many ways. But it was its successor, the E32, that really took BMW to the world stage in the large executive market. And the top-tier model was nothing to sneeze at. Gone was turbo power, and in its place BMW sistered two of their M20 inline-sixes together on a common crank, creating the M70 – a 5.0-liter V12 with an aluminum block and the best part of 300 horsepower. This was 1987, mind you, and that was still a pretty big number. Complex, expensive, and not without fault, the 750iL generated a lot of headlines and more than a few headaches for the other brands and its owners. Finding a clean one today can be tough, but this one with some period Racing Dynamics mods looks swell:
Such was the depth of BMW’s great designs from the 1980s that often the E32 is overlooked. Unlike the E23 it replaced, the scaled-up Claus Luthe-inspired design really worked and the heavy-weight look of the 5-series in a fat suit was met with more aggression, yet still elegantly. As you’d expect from a car intended to challenge the W126, BMW threw the kitchen sink at the 7-series, upping not only the technology, luxury and interior materials utilized in the E32, but the engine offerings, as well – the M70 and later M73 V12s beat Mercedes-Benz to the market with silky smooth and powerful twelve cylinder motors that were the trump card with the Trump types.
Yet while popular and well built, finding good examples of especially early 7s has become quite difficult. Today we have two interesting examples to consider. Both are far from original, though each in their own way is compelling. For those who like subtle speed, there’s a M70-powered, low mileage 750iL Alpina B12 5.0 clone from Japan. If you’re a little more in-your-face and like to row your own, there’s a Racing Dynamics-inspired 735i 5-speed. Which would you choose?
Here’s an interesting one that has had me scratching my head quite a bit. What originally caught my eye was the bright Estoril Blue Metallic sitting on some refinished E46 Style 67 wheels. It was worth a second eyeball, which resulted in me noticing it was a 4-door. CLICK – I’m interested in seeing more. Once in the posting, the title became even more interesting – Racing Dynamics RD Sport? Lesser known than Alpina or Hartge, but still producers of some pretty trick products. 3.6 liter motor? 6-speed? TELL ME MORE!!!
I have a soft spot for the Bavaria. It’s not because it’s the best looking BMW from the 1970s, or the fastest. It’s not the most collectable, either – but as a result, the Bavaria might just be the rarest of the 1970s BMWs. To me, I can appreciate this coming from a background of loving Audis – most of which are quite rare today. The look of the Bavaria is even very similar to the Audi 100, and like the 100 very few examples are left kicking around. But the Bavaria was nonetheless an important move for BMW, taking on the larger executive market with an upscale big-body 4-door:
Modifications to cars can either be a tremendous improvement or a spectacular failure, and the Porsche 911 has occupied both sides of the coin. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of lovely slantnose 911s and 930s, but they can also verge on the tasteless in their excess. It seems that the 1980s really was a period where cars that were the envy of most suddenly became the outward expression of decadence; a cry for help even. There was a great Dave Chappelle skit called “True Hollywood Stories”, where Charlie Murphy recounted some tales of Rick James – describing him as a “habitual line stepper”. To me, tuners in the 1980s were habitual line steppers with how far they would push cars. They passed nip and tuck in order to achieve the dipped look. Thankfully, this all-steel slantnose 911 has avoided the color-matched windshield wiper arms – but still, outwardly it’s a reminder of how Rick James explained his behavior, eerily laughing the whole time; “cocaine’s a hell of a drug!”
I don’t talk about it often, but my first car was nearly a BMW 2002 tii. It was a bit of a rookie mistake in many ways; I was 17 years old and had been going to the track with my father for many years and wanted my own track car. As my father was in to BMWs, it was a natural thought that I’d end up with one. The search led me to a green over black 2002 tii, and after not much looking at the car or knowing what I was looking for I put a deposit down. When I got home, I told my father who suggested we have a mutual friend who knew the 2002s better than me go look at it before I paid. The friend agreed, we arrived at the seller’s home and after what seemed like a shockingly short amount of time he came over to me and said “walk away”. The car had prohibitive amounts of rust, and it would have taken a miracle to return it to nice condition. Shortly after I ended up with my 4000CS Quattro, and the run of Audis began – but I often wonder what would have come if I purchased that 2002. I’d like to think it would have ended up something like this one:
I was so certain that we I had written this car up before as the Racing Dynamics prototype, I initially wrote the headline up as a “revisit”. But the year was wrong, the wheels were different, and then I noticed something – that earlier car was an R48, and this car took it to the next level. A full bored and stroked 4.93 liters, the RD50 pushed the performance envelope past the M5. With discrete body modifications and some of the best looking aftermarket wheels ever fitted to a BMW, this is certainly a unique alternative to the normal E39:
Want a M5? There aren’t many that don’t right now. And if the E39 wasn’t already appealing enough, pricing on them is quickly becoming more affordable for the everyday Joe. But for some folks, it’s still too much, and let’s be honest – while M5s are pretty special beasties there are plenty of them out there. So perhaps if today’s no reserve RS6 wasn’t enough to have you looking at the grass on the other side of the fence, then maybe this listing will be enough to peak your interest – the claimed development car for the Racing Dynamics R48, this early build 1997 540i is prime for the driving at a very easy to swallow pricetag and is certainly unique:
This selection comes our way from an email sent by Nick. I apologize as I didn’t get to his email until tonight and the auction ends in just 20 hours. That said, it’s an intriguing listing considering where the bidding is currently ($14k +) and how close we are to e39 M5 territory.
This e39 started life as a more garden variety BMW 540i. However that really is selling the car short as the 540i, especially with the sport package and 6 speed gearbox, really do make for a powerful and fun sport sedan. But with a reported $60k in aftermarket upgrades parts, the performance of this car is elevated to very similar numbers as the M5 of the same generation.
Racing Dynamics has always been familiar to me from their ads in magazines like European Car and VW & Porsche before it. They have been making aftermarket parts for a few European marques for over two decades, but BMW in particular has always seemed to carry a deeper product line.
quote from the seller’s website:
This is a Racing Dynamics custom E39 BMW 540i with $60K invested. Modifications Include but are not limited to: -R50 engine rebuild, bored and stroked to 4.93 liter displacement, 11.3:1 compression, high performance cams, tubular headers with custom exhaust, Horse Power – 407, Max RPM – 6,200, Torque – 423, Max Torque RPM – 4,350, Axle Ratio – 3.46 limited slip differential, RDSport RD2 cast off-set front & rear wheels – 19″ x 9.0″ front, 19″ x 10.5″ rear Tires – Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires Tire size – fronts 245/35 rears 275/30 – RDSport (Brembo F40 OEM) 4-piston caliper, NEW 355mmx32mm slotted rotor front brakes -RDSport chassis kit & stabilizer bars -RDSport E39 Body Trim – The 2000 BMW 540i comes with factory options: leather interior, heated front seats, parking sensors, premium sound with DSP and six-speed manual transmission. Much more information is available to purchase inquiries, we have files full of mechanical records and more upgrade information here at DC Motors.
I really love those wheels! The appearance kit is also a nice upgrade without upsetting the understated lines of the e39. And I have no doubt the motor is a wonderful piece of work to put through the paces. My only criticisms would be the terribly out of date clear rear lenses, and the very stock looking interior. The pedal kit and shift knob/e-brake combo just don’t feel like they upgrade the interior enough to compliment the enhancements on the rest of the car. Especially since the M5 does…
Thanks for the forward Nick!