How To Make Enemies And Upset People
The perfect villain

What do you reckon the best way to create enemies is? Declare yourself a superhero? Push over a baby whilst flipping the bird at an OAP? I’m sure there are a million ways to take yourself off people’s Christmas card list pretty quickly, but I have to wonder if modifying your car should really be one of them…

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-17

Have you ever considered how odd it is that a hobby which invokes so much passion can also create the total opposite reaction as well? It’s not exclusive to the car world certainly, but I’m pretty sure dog fanciers, trainspotters and stamp collectors don’t really have this problem.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-2

There are also a million and one fashion items that I think look plain stupid, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to tell the person wearing them, or indeed get upset over it. I guess it’s because we all feel so deeply about the automotive world that things we don’t like, or don’t think are suitable, rile us up so much.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-4

The E30 M3 is certainly a car that evokes emotion. I’m yet to meet somebody that doesn’t admire the boxy boldness of the late ’80s/early ’90s Bavarian brute, and indeed, I think it’s one of the most common ‘dream garage’ cars I know of.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-34

So just what is it that’s got people so annoyed by Nick Sahota’s M3 that there have been threats of ‘throwing water balloons of diarrhoea at people who aren’t physically disgusted’, amongst other such ingenious uses of toilet waste?

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-33

At first glance, it’s a bit hard to tell. Ok, so it didn’t roll out of the factory in that colour and it does sit pretty low, but there’s nothing offensive so far is there? No lurid bodykits ruining the lines of the powerful haunches and I can assure you it is a genuine M3, so there’s no deception going on there.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-5

Your first hint that not all is what it might first seem comes when you pop the bonnet. But more on that in a bit. Let’s start at the beginning…

So what’s all the fuss about?
E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-18

It is low. And I mean seriously, exhaust-scraping low.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-28

The rather serious bit of tuck going on is courtesy of a full set of air suspension from Air Lift Performance. Purists – this is your cue to start breaking out the tissues and weeping hysterically.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-10

But should anyone really be that upset? This is just the aired-out look to be used at shows, and who could really deny how badass it looks slammed to the floor on those wheels?

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-21

After all, this is the normal ride height for the car. Low, but perfectly functional. And the car’s no trailer queen either – Nick sees to it that it gets driven hard.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-11

The rolling stock has plenty of racing pedigree too. The Compomotive TH wheels are a classic design from the rally world and look seriously mean in black with the colour-coded decals. If you’ve picked up on the logos not matching to the wheels, that’s because Nick wasn’t keen on the asymmetric Compomotive logos, so used the OZ ones instead (as OZ’s rally wheel is practically identical anyway). It’s all about the details…

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-6

And remember that I mentioned what’s underneath the bonnet? Well, what’s there now is still sporting the all-important M badge, but instead of the straight four that comes in a normal E30, Nick’s creation has undergone a powerplant modernisation, with a 3.2L engine from an E46 M3 now supplying the oomph.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-9

Ok, so strictly speaking, it’s not the exact engine that the car rolled out of the factory with, but I for one like the choice of keeping it in the family. It certainly looks OEM sitting in the engine bay, but a custom manifold and exhaust have the straight six now sitting at around 360hp with 365Nm (269lb-ft), offering an 80% increase in power over the stock lump. What’s not to like about that?

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-3

Mated to a five-speed box from an E36 M3, with a racing clutch and flywheel, and limited slip diff, the result is a lively old-timer that’s more than happy to play along with – and embarrass – its younger siblings. And let’s face it, that’s what we all want to do in our older years.

If looks could kill
E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-15

Of course, it’s the bright bodywork that first draws your attention and deservedly so. But there’s more to it than just picking a fresh modern hue: the Inka Orange is a paint colour that used to be available on the BMW 2002.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-16

The mean and menacing stare of the wide-hipped German is aided by a set of smoked Hella front lights, as well as that chunky E30 M3 Evo II chin spoiler and the blacked out signature kidney grille.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-13

A pair of BMW Motorsport door handles are another neat little touch on the exterior – these are influenced by the versions found only on the rare E36 M3 GT and LTW models.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-20

Smoked Startec tail lights provide the finishing touch to the exterior and I for one am grateful that it’s received only the lightest of tweaks. You just shouldn’t mess with perfection. Just look at those haunches – stunning.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-30

The orange and black theme continues on the inside, where the custom trimmed Recaro M3 seats in charcoal Alcantara with orange double stitching provide a classy but muted counterpoint to the bright exterior.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-25

The re-trim extends throughout the interior too, on the door cards, the headlining, centre console, gearknob, handbrake and parcel shelf.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-31

In the rear, a custom audio install includes a mix of high-end Audison components to keep Nick’s ears amused whenever the custom stainless steel 60mm twin-pipe exhaust’s not providing the aural entertainment. The private plate’s a little ironic hat tip to the purists out there and just goes to demonstrate Nick’s amusement over the whole furore the car has created.

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-22

So now you know the car’s little secrets, are you similarly outraged? Is the thought of an E30 M3 on air and with a later model engine enough to get you looking at your bathroom and conjuring up alternative methods of recycling? Or, like me, are you struggling to see what all the negativity is really about?

E30 M3 Airlift PMcG-36

Nick took a car with many issues (including the dreaded rust) and transformed it into the unique E30 that you see in front of you. Along the way there have been some changes but the car’s still managed to retain all of the charm and character (plus more than a few nods to BMW history) that have made the E30 M3 into a firm favourite around the world. And if that’s enough to make you enemies, then maybe all the arch-villains of the world should abandon their plans for world domination and start ‘bagging up some classics…

Suzy Wallace
Instagram: speedhunters_suzy

Photos by Paddy McGrath
Twitter: @PaddyMcGrathSH
Instagram: pmcgphotos



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I like this a lot. It's well done and I think there is a good balance. Who did the upholstery?


If anything it's still too much of a purist car. Throw an LS1 or 2JZ in it and see people [fools] break their fingers on keyboards in anger.
Looks clean to me. More of a street car than a track car but that's fine, an E30 m3 is better enjoyed on street than track to be honest. I really like the color too.


You guys need to start getting in a few turns in these new bagged cars. I like ground clearance cos I like taking my shitboxes off-road :)   I didn't like air cos it ruined the handling and in a car that is always #1 for me. If the new tech means they can have a quality ride as I hear is now possible then personal preference is all thats left ay?


At first I smh at the fact of an Airlift kit, then after I saw the video of the performance possibilities. 
If the car is driven hard and not a slouch then that's good enough for me.


I think the "problem" is that the rims are a bit too big.

Also, isn't ironic to modify a part of an automobile (a machine designed to move under it's own power) so the effect is only visible when it's NOT moving at all (air suspension)?


I think its great. I blame the internet and American 12 year olds for the concept of "hating" on someone else's car. Unless its a manufacturer's demo car then someone has built the car as THEY want it, if you don't like it then you can jam it.


PUR35T... perfect!


The provocative colour choice is the only fresh thing about this build... Indifferent about the rest.


Loving that orange and the wheels. I'm still not quite sold on bags on performance cars, but I'm pretty sure my mind is going to get changed at this rate.


I would've much preferred coilovers with a pneumatic lift system like they have in the front of some Supercars for more clearance over gutters etc, but applied to the front and rear... Surely that's possible yeah? No, you wouldn't have the amount of travel a normally bagged system would give, but you'd be able to have a car set up for optimum handling, and then drop it that inch or so for a static, ground hugging show-car look. Is there any reason that wouldn't be possible?
Other than the 'bags tho I really like this. I like the colour, the wheels, the details, the 'unforced' driving force, if you get me =P it's everything an M car should be =)


I think the car is brilliant. He's chosen one of the most iconic BMW engines to be placed in one of BMW's most iconic cars. Who can argue with that? He's chosen to repaint it with a factory BMW color, OH NO!!! God forbid he's done a mild audio install, how dare he enjoy some tunes while crusing around. NOW to the air.....let's face it, the people that find the air install on a "performance car" unacceptable are simply ignorant. These people will continue to be ingnorant until they open their little purist eyes and remove the constricting band from their purist brains. Then and ONLY then will they realize that air suspension is a viable option in a car built to be driven quickly. AirLift specifically, has being making leaps and bounds in the performance air arena. The camber plates aren't just for #MaxCamberYO!
Open your minds people, thats what the automotive world is all about.


Sweeet car - I don't see what the fuss is about, seems more like jealousy to me...


Absolutely spot on... still can't sell myself on air but the rest pretty much what I'd do to an e30 with the money


Chris Nuggets , I thought of the same thing when I saw the title , but seeing BMW L6 makes me a happier . XD


5-speed Manual ? Shouldn't that from E36 M3 instead of E46 M3 ?


I like all the ingredients, but personally I'm not mad keen on the car as a whole. That said, it's not my car so that doesn't matter. I think it's ridiculous there were folks at UD slagging it off so much and even giving the owner grief. If you don't like it - move on. At least respect the time, money and effort it clearly takes.


I've got nothing against this. It's a showcar/street car and he likes it, yay. And it looks very nicely done.
I'm not a fan of bags and audiostuff, but this is done so well that I don't feel the car is spoiled in any way.


I'd love to have the cover/top image as a wallpaper please...


@auron  You know every image is available as wallpaper, right? Just open it in presentation mode (either roll over an image and select it from there, or click the little screen button in the bottom-left of the cover image).


RDS  Ack, my bad. Good spot - fixed now. :)


Wait, don't you mean how to make friends and ALIENATE people?


it must be something with the photos or my monitor etc because that color looks shithouse, everything else is mint!


Love all the nods to other BMW's on this build. If you have a serious problem with this car, I say find yourself an E30 and show him how it should be done. I could bet that most anyone who took this up wouldn't be able to produce a car as nice as this.


Awesome, awesome E30, even though it's more of a mosaic car, who cares, I'd love to have it. I already own an '89 325is, but it will remain in its OEM state as long as I keep it. My track E30, on the other hand, wishes it would look this good. :)

I'm most impressed by the interior he's done. Reminds me of my BRZ's interior.


To me this car is awesome!!!


Love it! Purists be damned. It is his car and he should be able to personalize it to his liking. Thanks Suzy, this has given me even more inspiration to modify my E28 M5!


I enjoyed the photos and your article dearly Suzy. Thank you for posting this story.


SuzyWallace  Yes I know every image is avaiable as wallpaper, just never opened in presentation mode so I couldn't get it, thank you.


InnerToxicity  This wouldn't really give the desired look. Looking at the ride height photo the owner actually drives it a reasonable height. If he used the system you describe it wouldn't get him any lower but would get him higher in the event he need too. But again considering his ride height that would be really unnecessary.
He wanted to park lower than his ride height which is only really possible with a set up like he has now.
I mean alternatively he could just have coils and fiddle with them at ever show but who wants to do that?


Some people are just close minded, upsetting them is just a sign that you're thinking outside of the box and might actually have done something new, interesting or different. Good on you, this is a beautiful car!

25+ year old cars either get restored, rot away or get modified. I hardly see any mods that can't be reversed, if anything, it's another shell that is rust free and will last another 25 years, then the next owner can decide to restore it back to stock, or maybe he'll do a a Group A inspired replica...


As l'm reading about this gorgeous M3 l'm having for breakfast scrambled eggs tacos... My day has started properly


Oooh! What a lovley E30! Looks ruddy brilliant and as Suzy wrote, purists be damned lol!
And here is another M3 E30 that makes purists weep:


You're not really serious, Suzy. Not many are gonna hate on this beautifully executed piece of artwork. After all, there are people who swap LS3's or F20C's into E30's or convert them into Rat Rods.


Im not the biggest fan of air bags and big audio most cars but, consider me friendly and influenced.


Not really any issue with the car at all, the issues I usually have in these situations are if the owners of cars like this try to convince everyone that he's king of the hill in the race or the show worlds. Yes in hp it's faster, yes in having better rubber then stock it's faster. But you'll have never reached the potential it could of attained from a performance oriented standpoint. Race guys will always say it could of been faster, could've handled better. The show guys could then argue he'll never attain full show status without going more outrageous, more chrome or forms of bling, needs a rare engine, a cleaner engine bay, bigger fenders with huge flares and blah blah blah. He's a man in between and as long as he likes the car that way then who cares if he makes either camp happy. It's fast enough for what he wants and is showy enough to keep him happy. The car isn't falling apart and looks nice, well executed.


cleanly executed show car, I don't find the paint garish, and while it's a sporty car, can't fault a nicely done audio system.  Only criticism off the top is.....why have a sticker on the wheels at all?  Compomotive makes nice wheels, so does OZ.  The car doesnt need to stand out at all


Nostalgia Ultra


How is putting the stickers of a different brand on the wheels "all in the details"?  

Car is super nice though apart from that!

Gianluca FairladyZ

Killer Car, but throwh the Audio System out of there !!! :)


@Beany  why? It's just the way the OWNER wants it.


Gianluca FairladyZ  Why throw it out if its what the owner wants?


@Brandon Anthony Gianluca FairladyZ  Because it's not what *guy on the internet* wants, obviously!


Absolutely mind-blowing car.
Everything in 1 package, so perfect. The original M3 body with a newer gen engine, these wheels, the air ride and the audio, this is outright porn.
i'd prefer plain white for color, but thats just me.

one question, is it possible to still drive this car very hard while being on air? i mean what about the stiffness?


@Brandon Anthony  Discussion much?


Maybe I'll put BMW emblems on my S2000 as people often get them confused, or Miata owners put S2000 emblems on their cars?

I like the car, a lot, just the sticker thing is a bit silly.


AdamBezzegh  This video will answer most of your questions. Modern air suspension is a completely different ballgame to a few years back.


I ain't even mad. 

Plan foiled.


PaddyMcGrath thanks a lot!


This is nasty in a good way but I would have liked a bit of commentary on whether the bigger lump up front has messed up the handling or whether it is still a jewel to it has some barking bite!


@Jake Laird  Where is Jake and what have you done with him?


Tinj  Frank Ocean is the coolest man on the planet


I think it looks pretty cool, but i'm not a big fan of the heavy lump of an engine nor the audio. No reason for hating though. In the end it's just another mass produced marketing exercise.


I guess I was a little confusing there, I was imagining the system I described reversed, so that the ride height is normal normally, and then where the Lambo' driver would hit a button to jack it up a little, the non bagged system would hunker it down a little instead =P


PaddyMcGrath AdamBezzegh  : But still doen't come close to a good "normal type"suspension setup. It's like comparing apples with peaches. Same spec springrate and damping rate on both types of suspension and there is a weight differance of allmost triple in unsprung weight. So yeah it's better then years ago, but still doesn't come close....


Love everything about it. ;)


Minus the smoke, audio and Non OZ wheels with OZ stickers I'd hoon it very hard.


I adore this car, and I can't wait to spend a little quality time with it next week... Surprised about the OZ stickers on Comps, but a minor detail really.
As A BMW fanboy, I'd be upset to see one cut up for a rocket bunny kit or similar, purely because the numbers must be dwindling now.


Luka024  I have already produced a car as nice as this, if not nicer, and I still have the genuine 2.5L S14 engine in it. 
This is a very nice looking car. Great BMW Orange, even though it didn't come on this model. Nicely done interior. You can't really source genuine OZ racing wheels to match these, so the relabeling of the Compomotives make sense. I'm not a fan of the audio system, but it probably sounds great. Interesting putting the air suspension on it, but obviously this is not a track car so although I think it is a questionable mod, it doesn't generate the animosity that the engine does.

The real problem is when you take a Genuine E30 M3 and put a non-S14 in it. That pretty much negates the E30 M3 moniker. It is no longer an E30 M3. THAT is what the purists REALLY object to. Including me. But I have learned that people who do this, just make the M3's with the genuine engine in it more valuable and unique. The numbers are dwindling. The sound and the ride of an S14 M3 are unique, and not matched by the modern BMW 6 cylinder engines.



i think i just died. this car is gorgeous


I really don't see how anyone can hate on this car.
This is one awesome build.


Great car! That interior wow!


InnerToxicity  I completely agree. Car is gorgeous but I would have personally gone another route with the suspension work. Nonetheless, huge props to this guy for bringing out the beauty of the E30 and not destroying it.


I think what "saves" it is the whole package...imho those "questionable" modifications wouldn't have cut it on their own.


Don't like :/


I have no problem with this car, air ride is removable and the motor is BMW as is the what??

If it was on something like crazy hydraulics, had a 2JZ and was pink, then yeah I'd have issues with it.


I would have left the decals off. I don't understand why you would label it something that it's not. I don't like the rear tail lights either. Could have smoked them for a milder result, but hey, I guess he wasn't going for that mild look. I don't get the air suspension, wheel tuck and all of that static, form over function stuff. I don't mind the engine and transmission transplant, though. The colour is mad.


the only thing i don't like is the o.z. decals on non o.z. rims, but thats a pretty minor thing really. apart from that this cars fine by me, its not like hes riced it up or anything and theres heaps of cool little bits from beemers that came before and after in the parts used to modify it so i don't see why people should have any major issues with this, unless these "purists" would prefer this to be stock, in which case they might want to look for another car culture website (just sayn')...


oh and i didn't mean for that last bit to sound quite as blunt as i typed it out, i just don't like it when people bag on things people have put alot of love, attention and money into, thats not what speedhunters is for.


PaddyMcGrath AdamBezzeghreally? this video again? obviously not biased am i right?


kurko PaddyMcGrathAdamBezzeghHaha pretty much, Kurko. Airlift will big-up their own products won't they? Somebody unbiased would be good.


@auron SuzyWallace  Once you're in presentation mode, you can move between all the images using the keyboard (there should be a guide).


Sonikku  The interior's gorgeous isn't it? I'm rather prone to some dark Alcantara myself, and I'm so glad he didn't go with something very bright but instead used the orange as a subtle highlight.


jungle168  Do it! :)


@Mr Apex  As I said, I really don't see what the big deal is (as it seems, most people here don't either), but Nick already had a lot of negative comments just from a video of the car airing out and the comment about the water balloons is genuine. People can be strange sometimes. ;)


@Beany  Because he chose those decals because he didn't like the asymmetry of the Compo ones, so in this case, went for something that was more aesthetically pleasing. Most people wouldn't care about it being asymmetric, no?


mrwicksy kurko PaddyMcGrath AdamBezzegh  Having spoke to the Airlift guys about it, they never set out claim superiority rather just to show that there is a certain amount of parity now between air and coilover type suspensions. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. 

If I was building a dedicated track car tomorrow, I would no question go with a coilover suspension setup. On my street car though, it's getting harder and harder to look past a quality air suspension system. For a car that spends 95% of its time on the road, I would be willing to sacrifice that slight level of performance (if any?) for the sake of convenience. I'm currently running KW Variant 1 coilovers and whilst I could never bemoan the ride quality or performance (they're the best modification I've made to my car), I live in a country that is not very friendly towards low cars. 

Some of us would like to have our cake and eat it, too. 

Bryn is someone whose opinion I've always respected and talking to him away from the realm of the internet, his impressions of Project Double Down (a Mustang RTR on Airlift) were overwhelmingly positive. It was probably his review more than anything that sold me on the idea of air suspension. Now I just need to find the money...


Decent car, let down by some details like the OZ decals, white on black number plate, weird BMW badges and smoked rear lights. Not a massive fan of the air bags or the sound system, but it's his car, fair play that he wants to enjoy it in more ways than just a stripped out, stiffly sprung, loud track car.


stylez nz  well, could it be OZ racing wheels with OZ decals because its OZ racing wheels?... just wondering


SuzyWallace It would be oh so different if they were Rota wheels instead..


I really don't see the problem.. At least its a S54, wonder what would happen if he would have put a audi 5cyl turbo engine in it.


The people that say negative comments are normally ignorant, with the world vastly changing they think that old stuff (although certainly has it's charm) is better than new stuff, but with technological advances comes many great new ideas . The point I'm trying to make is that people should start to embrace new ideas , have an open mind about things , instead of putting Down somebody's hard work no matter what it is ,(because the car didn't get built by itself right) the problem with purist cars they all look boring and the same, this m3 however is fresh,exciting a different outtake to anybody else that to me is noble enough , I salute the builder/owner of the car ! There's not enough people that want to go to the extremes these days , hence why everything looks the same rant over :D


Here's what I'm upset about- "all conversion work done by Ergen Motorsport". I think it's unfair to say that Nick "transformed" this car. If my inferences are correct, he simply threw a bunch of money at a shop to build him a badass M3. And while I love the car, I don't respect it the same way I'd respect a car built by the owner's hands. But hey, if you've got the money, right?


Big Pooky  Sometimes it's more a case of not having the time or talents to put something like this together. It's a big undertaking and commitment. Sometimes, it's best to let the professionals deal with things although I'm sure Nick was heavily involved in the build too.


Spaghetti  Someone, somewhere is going to read your comment and be inspired. When that car arrives on the scene, I'm blaming you.


Vittorio Jano  It's hardly the first six cylinder E30 in the world and an S54 isn't that heavy. It's also not mass produced at all?


With that kind of logic, just get a newer car and outfit it with what the latest trends demand, so in 20-30 years time it can at least be deemed as period-correct.


Here we go again...


How about a Pink mk3 supra with a bimmer motor?


HVOLLAN stylez nz the cars got compomotive wheels with O.Z. decals on them, the comps logo didn't look as good as O.Z.'s so he slapped the O.Z. logo on them instead, if i were him i would've tried to source the O.Z. counterparts of the wheels he has on it just to make it look a little more correct, but, its his car, not mine so its down to him...


PaddyMcGrath Vittorio Jano  Didn't mean to sound too negative about this car. What I meant was that people shouldn't get too emotional about mass produced goods (17000 units counts). There were over 2 million e30s made and over 17000 of them were M3s. Hardly a unique piece of art then. So my point is that no matter what the owner of this car does to it, it isn't worth of anyone's hate. I have to say I find this "f*ck u purists"-attitude quite childish.

About the engine. It's just my personal opinion that I would prefer a lightweight and especially short four cylinder engine instead of a long (but glorious, of course) six cylinder. I happen to be one who worships balance, elegance and efficiency and I base my opinion on that. Of course your opinion may differ and you for example may prefer brute force and that's totally ok. It is quite irrelevant if someone has done something before.


stylez nz HVOLLAN  You really can't source the real OZ wheels anymore. I've been trying for a number of years. In fact, it is hard to source the Compomotive wheels. They only run production of these wheels intermittently.

I would love a set of the real or Compomotive wheels…….


That is exactly the situation. I'm still looking for the oz versions which are pretty much identical. Find me a set of oz racing wheels in the right fitment. It is easy to comment on the internet, another thing entirely to actually source them.


@BastosBill Same colour as the e30 m3 jagermeister dtm car


@Big Pooky yes the engine conversion was done by a reputable company with more knowledge, expertise and experience than me. Yes the trimming/audio/interior work was done by another reputable company and the paint work by another.
But who decided on every detail with meticulous attention to everything? While I don’t have the levels craftsmanship of the guys at StudioIncar, Ergen Motorsport and Stylehaus. It was my brain child. This car is an expression of myself. Built exactly how I wanted it, down to the finest details.
And do not get it wrong I was as hands on as I could be, throughout the build without compromising on quality as my skill doesn't stretch as far as the shops that did the mass of the work.
Why would I attempt to do it all myself when I can achieve a much better result by having it done by skilled professionals. Not to mention this whole build was started and finished within 5 months. I couldn't have done that on my driveway, even if I didn't have a day job.
So in response of your statement. I did transform this car with the help of a few professionals.
I can't thank StudioIncar, Ergen Motorsport and Stylehaus enough for the work put in.


NickSinghSahota  This is one fine build ! congrats! and the fact that you've done it in 5 months, while i've been killing myself to get my 83 starlet ready and it's nowhere near and I started 5 months ago ! I find it astonishing! awesome engine swap on one of the most beautiful cars i've seen lately.


NickSinghSahota  There you go! And I believe the same color as a couple of the older 2002's and the recent 1M. I do love this color :)


That is simply stunning , I simply don't understand the purists getting all worked up.
It's not their car to start with and if anything the guy has improved the original recipe, ok not a lover of the aired out look but it's defo got the whole dtm look going which I love


I like this car. Looks good and something unique. Props to you and the companies you worked with this to make your dream come to fruition. Whoever did the trunk gets a 10/10. Awesome details.
Question for the owner: I noticed that because of the larger engine transplant that you have the stock radiator right up against the engine with no fan either. Do you encounter overheating issues at all? I would assume in heavy traffic or stops that temperatures would climb.
Maybe there is something that I'm not able to see from the pics. Note rested to know. Looking forward to a response. Thanks.
Great build!


prazzi  I can think of worse things TBH. A JZA70 with a turbo S54 would be my sort of thing :)


PaddyMcGrath Yeah fitting KW Variant 1s to my 2k Caddy was the best thing I've done to it. Covered 60,000 miles in 4 years on them without issue and am expecting many more years/miles - it's the reliability that does it for me. It's not "dickhead low" (If i could manage another half inch to an inch I'd be happier but I'd also scrape EVERYWHERE rather than just every now and again, it's pretty close!), but it's low enough for Britain's shit roads. I wouldn't use it as the daily or work van that it is on air, purely on reliability stakes. I know people whose air has failed and have seen other examples on the internet and I do wonder whether that's air's problem or the use -  they aren't (all!) total idiots.


Anyone who gets worked up over this is a child. I drive a plastidipped Volvo wagon with "Prancing Moose" badges running a straight piped T5. If you think this M3 gets hate, lololololol. You have no idea, I've on numerous occasions been called a F**got for what I drive. Dont think this M3 owner has to deal with that.


Not too fond about the AirRide on such a car, but i do get why the owner decided to do it. 
Also im not too fond about the big stereo although it is beautifully done.
Interior, exterior and mechanical i love. It really is a beautiful car and its sitting perfect!


CSFrace its a larger radiator. There is also an electric fan.


NickSinghSahota  Not a snarky response, but it would be more apt to say designed and commissioned by Nick rather than transformed? I think that's fair.


Really enjoyed the feature and loved the car!  Made a replica in Forza 5 and have been ripping up the C class league in my digital orange 1991 M3


NickSinghSahota CSFrace  I think I see the fan on the front side now that I look at the engine bay picture again (pusher fan).. an all-aluminum radiator (no plastic endtanks would be a nice bling touch down the line.. never the less - great build! I like it a lot. 
remember when you have haters, you're doing something right!


Kevski Style PaddyMcGrathAdamBezzeghCorrection: Air Lift suspension is a REDUCTION in unsprung weight (over OEM and most aftermarket) and with a single compressor and the new aluminum tanks, most cars actually LOSE weight when installing our suspension.  Air springs are significantly lighter than coil springs and monotube shocks/struts are also much lighter than their twin tube counterparts. 

Just the facts.


AirLift_Brian Kevski Style PaddyMcGrath AdamBezzegh  : How much does 1 bag weigh? Because I find it very hard to believe that a bag + shock is actually lighter then a coilover. And I'm not talking about heavy duty truck parts, but say a VW Golf, Beetle, Mini or AE86 for example.

Also don't forget that braided lines from the compressor onwards also count as unsprung weight, since they move up and down with the suspension as wel.


Kevski Style AirLift_BrianPaddyMcGrathAdamBezzeghWell,
here is a 2005 Subaru STI front Racecomp (KW) strut with camber plate
versus our air strut WITH braided line.  And...we are lighter.  This
happens with the vast majority of our designs.  Happy to help dispel the
many myths that are out there regarding air as a performance


AirLift_Brian Kevski Style PaddyMcGrath AdamBezzegh  : Damn, Are both of does things that heavy?Thats about 5,5KG for the Airlift and 6,5kg for the KW? Are they made of stone? Then again, I can't argue with does figures and I stand corrected on this one. 

My susension parts only way 1,5KG a piece for the coilovers. Thankfully I stray away from the know path. Same goes for big-ass wheels....


Absolutely nothing wrong with this car. If anything, the purists should be thankful he saved another e30 from just sitting around collecting rust waiting to be crushed.

I don't understand why people hate on other's custom cars. Just be happy they decided to actually do something different with their car than just drive another boring stock commuter car....


AirLift_Brian Kevski Style PaddyMcGrath AdamBezzegh  

That video is heavily biased towards air suspension, afterall it's a marketing video...

Handling caracteristics in a steady state manoeuver (i.e. when the car is settled in a corner) is ONLY dependent on front to rear roll stiffness distribution and NOTHING ELSE since the dampers are not moving. Roll stiffness depends on spring rates, anti roll bar, roll center height and CG height. Assuming you kept the car at the same height and the same swaybars, then it only depends on the springs (air vs coil)

In a transient manoeuver (i.e. on turn in, corner exit, kerbs, slalom,) the dampers play a role since they are moving (compressing and extending). Here the dampers AND springs play an important role. The dampers for the initial transient manoeuver (turn in for example) and the springs for when the car is settled (mid corner for example).

In test #2, skidpad (steady state), how can you state that the air suspension is superior if the roll stiffness is different ? Like I said before, in a steady state manoeuver, the behavior is ONLY dependent on front to rear roll stiffness distribution and NOT the dampers. You could remove the dampers and obtain the same result, assuming the skidpad is smooth enough...

In test #1 and #3, slalom and road course (transient manoeuver), how can you state that the air suspension is again superior ? You changed BOTH the roll stiffness (through the coil vs air springs) AND the damping caracteristics (different dampers). In racing, dampers and springs are a HUGE PERFORMANCE FACTOR, they can account for over 5% difference in laptime, which at certain racetracks like Sebring is around 6-7 seconds on a GT car...(assuming a 2:10 lap).

I'm not really sure your engineering department can answer this (or that they want to...)  but stating these are equivalent is an absolute lie... Air bags are good for hot rodding and nothing else...


Maybe a few decals would help...


aylmersteve AirLift_BrianKevski StylePaddyMcGrathAdamBezzegh
First off, thanks for the
comment.  You bring up some discussion points which are always good for
educating people a little more on air suspension.  And as the Engineering
Manager for this product line, I most certainly want to address your argument!
Let’s get started:You
claim our video is “heavily biased towards air suspension”. How
so?We took two commercially available
suspension systems out of the box, set them up according to both manufacturers’
recommendations (damping included) and used a third party, highly experienced
test driver to evaluate them.This was
the first time anyone has even attempted to do this.We controlled every variable we could and
reported the results.Perfect, no.But the most comprehensive attempt to
quantify air suspension performance ever done.Even we were surprised by the results!And I sleep well at night knowing that what we did was as scientific as
possible while the results and data are here at Air Lift HQ for anyone to
Next: You discuss dampers having nothing to do with skidpad
numbers.Have you ever looked at shock
pot data from a skidpad run?Guess what…the
dampers are MOVING. If they are moving, then there is damping force being
applied to the system.While not as
relevant to the skidpad results as things like camber, tires and roll stiffness
distribution, it DOES play a significant role, especially as feedback to the
driver and his confidence.. I would hate to run around in a circle without any
damping as it would be scary (no skidpad anywhere is billiard table flat.. )and
would not have good lateral grip.Let’s stick
to reality, not theory.
Continuing: Yes, roll stiffness and damping IS different
between the suspensions.Just like a
Ford Mustang is different than a Camaro!Does that make the comparison invalid?Funny thinking you have… seems “different” products that do the same job
are compared all the time.In our case, we
made all the variables NOT controlled by the parts we swapped out the same,
thus isolating the differences of those components. And THAT is what we are talking about. You are
correct in saying they are the “same” if spring rates and damping etc. are the
same.But they are not and that’s what
makes the difference here.You can’t
create a coil spring with the progressive characteristics of our air springs
and that is one of the interesting and misunderstood attributes. As for stating
the importance of proper damping to lap time, you are correct.And for this test, we didn’t optimize either
brand for the conditions, so it could be stated that one or the other could
have done better if you played with the magic knobs.However, this was an “out of the box” test so
things were left alone.
Lastly: you said,  “but stating these are equivalent is
an absolute lie... Air bags are good for hot rodding and nothing else... “Believe
what you want based on your assumptions.However, your opinion is missing the most key element for your argument:
EXPERIENCE.Until you have been in a car
with our latest technology on it, you really don’t understand how well it works
on the track or even more importantly, on the street!And the number of people who are making the
choice to experience it is growing at an incredible pace.I encourage you to get in a car with our “performance”
product and see for yourself.If you are
in the UK or USA, I bet I can arrange a sampling for you to broaden your


I love this car! Nice colour, wheels, engine, stance, ...

But i prefer the original tail lights & original bmw logo's...

Great build!


I just love the details!! I would change a few things, but to each his/her own.. oh and yea, I really struggle to see whats wrong..


how much cost all upgrades?!


Ben Link For this car or something else?


I declare this the best E30 on the planet.


Always looking to do some nice custom seats or interiors.
Getting better as I get older. Phil

e30 enthusiast

I can't see too many e30 enthusiasts getting worked up about this car.  S54 swaps are loved by most, and everything has been done tastefully - even the inca orange is quite a loved colour in BMW circles.

Fantastic build, but I think the tone of the article shows either the writer, or owner isn't really part of the e30 scene.

It's not like it's a chopped up EVO 2, with a bodgy SR20DET swap?


wheels, partly hidden in archs, causing visual disharmony

meanwhile it's absolutely stylish e30


Sick m3! Hate the audio in the trunk and air bags but the wheels and color are perfect. I don't mind it sitting low, maybe this is a tad to low but it reminds me of the slammed British touring cars which I've always love. Wheels are killer!!!


Really don't see what the fuss is about. It's a well executed car and at the end of the day... It's his fucking car! Let the man do whatever the fuck he wants with his possessions.


BastosBill stylez nz HVOLLAN Compomotive had them sat on the shelf when I bought them for my M3.


cooki_monsta Rear lights are period modification.


I love it but anyone who uses siver and black plates on a car too new needs their erect penis gently broken with a pair of pliers