Madness Or Genius? You Decide

There are ethical and moral topics that divide opinion amongst us all.

Should tomato ketchup be kept in the fridge or the cupboard? Would you rather have legs as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your legs? Is pineapple on pizza ever OK? And, is there anything wrong with putting a Nissan GT-R engine into an E30 BMW M3?

I’m settling these once and for all. The answers to the above are: fridge, seven, yes, and you did what now?!

RB26 E30 M3 Gatebil 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-4466

That was pretty much my reaction when I peered over the front-hinged bonnet and into the bay of this immaculate M3 at Gatebil earlier this month. I actually saw the car roll in the day before, and the exhaust note should have given the game away. I think I was still Gatebil-bamboozled at that point, so I’m glad I had the chance to take a closer look the following day, once I’d regained my composure.

RB26 E30 M3 Gatebil 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-6347

With its pristine deep blue paintwork and shiny Work wheels, I’d already done a quick lap of the car with my camera before the distinctive cam cover caught my eye. Crammed into the relatively small space was the heart of Godzilla – an unexpected find, but something that’s typical of Gatebil.

RB26 E30 M3 Gatebil 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-6358

This is the third engine that Bjørn Werner Larsen’s 1987 M3 has hosted since it came into his ownership. While the first swap, a 3.2-litre S50B32 from the E36 M3, was probably more in line with being acceptable to M3 purists, this latest transplant might upset one or two.

RB26 E30 M3 Gatebil 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-6355

The original plan included an E46 M3 swap, but that wasn’t interesting enough, so the RB26 was chosen. The motor isn’t stock either. Bjørn exchanged the stock twin turbos for a larger single BorgWarner EFR 7670 T4 twin-scroll unit, and MaxxECU management helps boost power output to 452hp and 510Nm torque, at the rear wheels.

RB26 E30 M3 Gatebil 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters--2

The gearbox from an RB25DET-equipped Skyline was also fitted, while the rear drivetrain is all M3, with the exception of the rear differential which has been upgraded with OS Giken internals.

RB26 E30 M3 Gatebil 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-

The rear brakes are from an E36 M3, while the fronts are 325mm rotors with Porsche 996 calipers. They’re tucked neatly behind Work Meister S1 three-piece wheels, which suit the M3’s boxy shape perfectly. Bjørn’s choice of suspension is Intrax Racing 1K2.

A smattering of exterior modifications add a touch of style, such as an M3 Evo front lip and carbon splitter, carbon mirrors and carbon Gurney flap at the back. Inside, a pair of Recaro Pole Position seats help Bjørn and his passenger stay put during spirited sessions on road and track.

Sadly, I only got a chance to have a brief look at this build during this year’s Gatebil Rudskogen. What do you think – do you love it and want to see a full feature in the future? Or is this the sort of behaviour that shouldn’t be encouraged on these appreciating classics?

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters



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Awesome- yes do a feature! As an E30 M3 owner it is refreshing to see something out of the norm of the S14 and this clearly qualifies for that so kudos to the owner for doing this I would love to see more. Even a video to see it and hear it action would be an added plus! Thanks and keep up the great work!!


Check @godzillaschariot on Instagram


Thanks Bjorn-Followed on IG! Love the photos and choice of selection to your M3! I'll watch the videos as soon as I can get away from work today :)


Fridge, fingers as legs (wheelchair... you're handicapped), pineapple is fine try a Hawaiian with pulled pork instead of ham and add bbq sauce, and yeah motor swaps are fine too.

Jordan Butters

Never had you down as a fridge ketchup and Hawaiian man JB, maybe we can be friends?


Do the feature. I'd like to see it. Don't pander to the angry minority lol.
Also, someone care to explain why the front brakes get so much attention here? Seems backwards to me, but then again that's why I'm asking.


The rear brakes were upgraded to e36 items, so they got some attention. As for why the front brakes always get more attention, vehicle dynamics is the answer. Maintaining brake balance is important but in any car the front brakes do the majority of the work, as you brake the front of the car pitches forward putting more weight on the front tires which translates into more grip which allows for bigger brakes and more stopping power. If you were to increase the rear brakes too much you would end up locking up the rears a lot as when the car pitched forward under braking the weight on the rear wheels is reduced thus reducing rear traction. So when push comes to shove and you are spending money on upgrading your brakes then it makes more sense to take care of the front brakes first. It still is important to upgrade the rear brakes as well but less so than the fronts... If that answers your question.

Jordan Butters

Explain your brake question further please?


Mike ^^ answered my question. Essentially I wanted to know why there's more stopping power up front. The more you know.


i mean it’s a straight six in a bmw. in the scheme of things, not that “impure” and still in very good taste. would love to see a full feature on this thing!


Mad Genius, is what it is.


I am okay with all of this....but pineapple does NOT belong on pizza....EVER!


I dont get why people make such a big deal about this... I mean no one is forcing you to eat pineapple on pizza so why do you care if i enjoy it? Why do some people feel that they can tell others how to live their lives? Its one thing to say "i would never eat pineapple on a pizza" its another to say "no one should ever eat pineapple on a pizza"

Open your mind, try new things and don't judge others for living their lives when it doesn't effect you in the slightest.


@ Mike: so true, and a great life philosophy to boot!


You've pretty much described the entire online car community with that analogy XD


Get me some of what you're smoking, as it's obviously top shelf.

Jordan Butters

Tell that to those crazy cats in Hawaii.


This is actually a good time to 'Blame Canada' as it was one of us to make the first Hawaiian Pizza. We have loooong winters.....


Shhh Tim they already don't like us


Yes we do, any country that can think up something as crazy as 'Poutine', deserves a plus in my book!!! I've got a canadian colleague roaming our warehouse, and he's a top bloke!!!


>>> was probably more in line with being acceptable to M3 purists, this latest transplant might upset one or two.

Damned! Again we care about those mysterious purists. Who are they? What so special about them? From my own experience purism is lack of oeuvre, fear of handy work and religious fixations. Cars are iron! It could and should be welded, reassembled and changed. And any way will be rotten to ashes if not in this decade then in couple of following for sure. And why no posts like "perfectly restored e30" if we care so much about purists? Maybe it is boring?

let's enjoy builds and not transfuse this purism sentiment over here.

Jordan Butters

There's no purism sentiment to this story. You've picked out the ONE time I mentioned purism, which definitely DOES exist when it comes to the E30 M3. Just because you don't think along those lines should I not mention it at all? It's not the basis of the story, so please don't cherry pick just for comment section upvotes.


I haven't been intended to be offensive. Sorry if I was. It is just too much lately on SH about purism and purists. Also probably it is my personal inner struggle between purism and desire of creativity.


I miss seeing my reflections

Jordan Butters

Dave Cox, AKA Count Dracula.


The most shocking thing here is learning you put ketchup in the fridge.... just when I thought we could be friends.
Car is cool, people that do these kind of things are the ones that keep things interesting. Genius in my opinion.


The R-35 is why I make the distinction between GT-R and Skyline.

I figured you meant RB, but was afraid it was a VR.

Nicely done.


I was kind of hoping it was the VR. Given that it is at Gatbil i was hoping for a 1100+ horsepower VR motor, maybe even converted to AWD.




Also, did you use a polarizer for those interior shots? I need to pick one up for my Nikon : )

Jordan Butters

Indeed - helps to kill the window reflections, although casting a shadow on the window helps too.


what a nice bit of kit, looks like so much fun and i bet it sounds amazing , top work well done to the guy


Thanks mate!


Dang.... Mighty fine.


Smitten with this M3 GTR ....


Yes, full feature on this please. I would rather read about these wild swaps with performance in mind over cars that are, for the most part, stock with air suspension and cosmetic modifications only. I really do like those vehicles and am not hating on them one bit (most recent the Porsche and S2000) but when reading articles on here, I prefer the articles of cars with more go than show as the emphasis.


Hi. Yes, I'm building with performance in mind. That is why there are no cheap china parts on this car. Like K-Sport or XYZ etc.

Going to further develop the engine this winter. Not the power figures in mind, but how she runs. This car has so much grip, that it do not spin the wheels when you slam it in 2nd gear. It just squats and away you go....till the driveshafts snaps.


A mad genius, he is! Never thought I'd see this unholy fusion!


Glad you like it. Check @godzillaschariot on Instagram.


'seven' because of adam? funny


I still don't get it.


The Meisters really suit it! A nice change from the usual BBS mesh.


"seven" haha, weird answer(dunno if there's a story behind it).

As for the e30, yeah, it's cool, but the fellow Norsk 2JZ E30 M3 is crazier(and they're both blue lol). I like the mix of Germany for the safety(brakes) and Japan for the power, makes for a nice contrast. The bay is super tidy, but I can only imagine the nightmare of trying to squeeze the exhaust and steering column in the same area.

Oh, and ketchup in the fridge, extremities as is and pineapple why not if it's a tropic pizza?


Madness or Genius? Only big balls that's it. Any plans for going AWD?
I have no problem in swapping the engine but for the tome being (sure it will get further upgrades) it a little bit shy, for myself i would prefer the S65 or a VR-38 and in case of straight six i vote for JZ-series or bmw engines (any of them) according to local market availability.

Jean-Michel Thise

Swapping a GT-R engine in an E30 is fine. But swapping a GT-R engine in an E30 M3? I'd say madness. Here is the point : The only real difference between a non M3 and an M3 E30 is the engine. M3 also got brake/suspension upgrade, better diff and different bodywork. All in all, you can upgrade your standard E30 to M3 except the engine for... 6-7k? Now you're going to pay around 40k (i'm gentle here) for an M3, and swap the engine when you could have had a 320i, swap the engine, update bodywork and suspension to look like the M3 for what... 10k maximum?
Everyone's take on it i guess, but not worth in my opinion.


Just wondering how the handling is affected with a 6 cylinder in place of a 4 cylinder? Must be a little nose-heavy now in the twisties.


Weight is not 56% at front and 44% at rear. So nothing to worry about.
The original S14 engine sits in the middle of the engine bay. I have build this with that in mind, as well as center of gravity.
The RB do not build much in the hight. So it sits lower in the bay than the S14B23. Gearbox is also very long.

She is an animal to drive. I have 4300rpm of full power. Top power is at 7100rpm and she have good grip. Putting that power down from second gear.


*now 56%...


Awesome build!


Thanks mate! Be sure to check @godzillaschariot on IG for more.



As long as it makes E30 M3 owners angry it's genius.
This is maybe the best thing you could do to a purist's $60k 80s four cylinder.
I wish the fenders were puled.



Also, in response to the guy who said the only difference between an E30 and the M3 is the engine- you're wrong. You can't just bolt up M3 panels to any old E30, it is a different car.


He didn't say bolt, there would be welding involved. And I agree, it just makes sense.


Then his numbers are way off. 6-7k might get your custom fabricated car painted if you find a good deal.
Double that figure, or more, is what it would cost to get a decent M3 replica. Body work isn't cheap, and making fenders is above most garage level fabricators skill set.

Marius Engen Skinnes

This needs a feature. The coolest thing about this is that it's road legal with the swap, here in Norway...


I believe it's an great swap and a thing I've got in my mind for so long in both ways. I mean the philosophy is the same: straight six. The last cooperation between BMW and Toyota showed that. I'm totally fine with that. One thing I would love to see is a Datsun 240Z swapped with an M50 or N54 both turbocharged. Anyway I would love an in depth feature. Especially the amount of fabrication that went into.