In years past and over the course of this summer, we’ve given you a taste of Gatebil. I’ve still got a bunch of content to come from my time at Mantorp Park, and the biggest Gatebil event of the year, Rudskogen, so now that the tire smoke has cleared and rubber dust has settled, I thought we’d start getting back into it.
First up, it’s a look under the hoods of some crazy cars that made it out to the first Swedish event on the 2022 Gatebil calendar back in June.
I know what you are thinking, most drift builds look the same – wide bodies, big wings, flashy liveries, angle kits… we’ve seen it all before. But it’s often what you find under the hood that’s more interesting.
Because they’re a very common daily sight for me in Sweden, I almost always overlook Volvos at events. A Volvo 240 to me is what a BMW E46 is to someone who lives in Germany – they’re everywhere and, most of the time, they are nothing special. At Gatebil, however, it’s a completely different story.
I mean, sure, your teacher probably drove a Volvo to school everyday in Sweden, but I can guarantee none of those cars were packing a turbocharged Mercedes M104 engine good for 707hp like this 940 does.
Or how about a Volvo 945 powered by a 900hp S50B30 BMW M3 engine? This one’s boosted too, of course.
BMW swaps are common at Gatebil, but you can’t deny their appeal, especially when there’s two snails in the mix.
Engine swaps from other manufacturers are cool, but I still think a Volvo with a Volvo heart is the best combination. Is anyone with me?
Regardless of the motorsport event, walking around in the paddock is my favourite thing to do. To any newcomer, it’s the perfect way to see what it takes to compete. Mechanically, I barely understand any of it, so I’m often in awe at some of the repairs people can achieve at the track, especially when time is critical.The Weird & Wonderful
The great thing about Gatebil is that anything goes, not matter how bonkers it is. I spotted this thing heading towards the track entrance, so I ran after it in the hope I’d be able to grab a closer look.
This Mercedes-Benz E-Class is obviously far from stock, its neatly cut hood showcasing an SL55 supercharger sitting atop a M120 6.0L V12. Home-cooked builds really are the best.
I haven’t seen a Lada since the early 2000s, so Anders Fallingen’s 1987 2107 brought a huge smile to my face.
Years ago, Anders spotted the Lada rotting away in the woods and immediately thought about saving it. He managed to get in touch with the owner, who happily let Anders have it for free, as long as he salvaged it himself.
The rest is history and today the Lada is living its best life on track with a Mercedes-Benz OM606 diesel engine mounted up front. Turbocharged with a Holset HX40, the engine produces somewhere around 450hp. Other upgrades, including a BMW 5-speed ZF gearbox, Volvo 240 rear axle and electric power steering from an Opel Combo have transformed what was once an abandoned bucket of rust into a little rocket that’s awesome to see on track.
Have you ever seen a fully-built Nissan S15 being chased by a Lada? I have and it’s glorious.
The Mantorp Park paddock had everything from turbocharged scooters to unidentified time attack monsters and everything in between.Show & Tell
Another build that caught my eye was Markus Viinikka’s EG Honda Civic.
The Civic has been fully rebuilt with a turbocharged K24 engine that Markus told me is producing 511hp and 530Nm. There is just something about a K-swap that will never get boring. Is it the small form factor that produces an insane amount of power? Is it the looks? It might be a bit of both…
The engine itself features CP forged pistons, Manley Turbo Tuff rods, Skunk2 valve springs, and a Nuke Performance fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator, dump valve and oil catch. The exhaust manifold is a custom item made by Jalkelid Motorsports, while the turbo is a Pulsar GTX3582R Gen2 paired with a 50mm Turbosmart Gen-V wastegate.
Oh, and did you spot the ‘AWD’ badge below the right tail light? Yep, this one puts the power down to all four wheels thanks to a CR-V derived driveline.
Two drift builds stood out to me at Gatebil Mantorp this year, the first of which was Kazum Radhi’s Nissan S15. It’s Toyota 2JZ-powered, the inline-six built by KZR Fabrications now producing 1,070hp thanks to CP Ultra Series forged pistons and Carrillo rods, Power Division cams, a Hypertune intake, Garrett G42-1200 turbocharger and an Emtron ECU.
The drivetrain features a Samsonas RS90 sequential gearbox and Winters Performance quick-change differential, while the steering benefits from a Wisefab Drift Angle Lock Kit.
The other drift-spec standout was Fredrik Larsson’s wide-body BMW E30 in Atlantis Blue.
The BorgWarner S369 turbo-equipped BMW M50B28 setup is not as wild as the S15’s 2JZ engine, but the bay looks great nonetheless. That being said, it wasn’t the engine that initially caught my attention…
It was the interior, which features a BMW F31 dash modified to fit the smaller E30 cabin. The center console was made by Fredrik himself using a water-cutting machine.
Mixing old with new is often a bold move, but in this case I feel like the modern interior fits perfectly with this 30-plus-year-old car.
There was another engine I had to shoot, but you’ll need to wait for the full spotlight on this one…
Scandinavian motorsport events always have something special to offer, and when it came to engines, Gatebil Mantorp did not disappoint. It’s only half the story though; stay tuned for my look under the hood at Gatebil Rudskogen.
These are my favorite posts every year.
I do have a couple of corrections though. It's a Mercedes M104, not BMW. And that's a twin turbo BMW M60, not an LS.