Ira found himself at a precipice.
He knew what he wanted, and he had quickly gathered the necessary tools that would serve him on his journey. The time had finally come to get to work building his dream:
A supercar, disguised in classic hot-rod drag.
Naturally, the pursuit of a truly custom vehicle inevitably leads to the need for truly custom solutions. The key to the build would be it’s subtlety. It was critical that the essence of both the M3 and Factory Five’s ’33 chassis were preserved. Every design decision and modification was made with the intent of being invisible to all but those who were intimate with an FF kit. Once powedercoated, the chassis and drivetrain had to appear as though they were made for each other.
There were no blueprints for what Ira had in mind. However, he was more than prepared to spend hours upon hours fabricating one-off tabs, brackets, and bracing…all within the confines of his garage.
Throughout this stage of the process, Ira encountered a number of issues, and at times it felt as though he was making little to no progress at all. Details like the driveshaft clearance, gas tank placement, and even the aesthetic appeal of the motor mounts all threatened to grind the build to a halt. Determined not to let this happen, Ira worked even harder to overcome all of these with well thought-out, bespoke solutions.
The cradle was raised to accommodate the driveshaft. The fuel tank mounting was dropped down, improving the center of gravity and adding extra trunk space. The motor mounts and brackets were milled from aluminum rather than steel, as the latter would eventually rot through the alloy of the engine block. The final product was as beautiful as it was durable. Things were progressing according to plan, but Ira soon found himself staring at a project-defining crossroads:
He knew his chassis was supercar-worthy. But his motor was still a few ponies short of a dude ranch.
The S65 engine, introduced in the 2008 M3, was a crowning achievement for BMW. Winner of several awards, the high compression, rev-happy V8 announced its arrival with a raucous 414 horsepower and nearly 300 lb-ft of torque. Even shackled to a chassis weighing more than 3,400 pounds, the S65 was capable of hustling through the 1/4 mile in under 13 seconds. More importantly, the individual throttle bodies, lightweight aluminum-alloy construction, and cylinder dimensions that mimicked those of the venerable S85 found in the M5 and M6, provided the perfect foundation to build even more power.
With the explicit goals of a 2.0 second sprint to 60, and 200+ MPH top speed, Ira knew his project’s donated heart, although formidable, was in need of some serious buttressing! After some exhaustive research, he enthusiastically pounced on the one option that made the most sense…Active Autowerke’s 2nd Generation Level 2 E92 M3 Supercharger System. The combination of 640 horsepower motivating the sub 2,150 lb hot-rod is enough to get even the most jaded of enthusiasts salivating, but with the additional mods planned, we fully expect Ira’s V8 to land north of 700 HP.
Getting all these parts to play nicely together would prove to be the greatest challenge yet, but not one Ira would shy away from. Luckily, by contacting Active, Ira not only found the answer to his power problem…he gained a valuable resource, and some great new friends.
Achieving the look Ira was after would require a completely custom radiator and intercooler set-up. Without an off the shelf solution, Active set to work fabricating an all new intercooler, complete with piping, specifically for Ira’s build. C&R Racing is currently fabricating a radiator to slot behind, and complement, the one-off set up. The new pieces will fit perfectly behind the ’33’s old school grill, providing a purposeful yet menacing face to the beast.
Out back (or to the side, actually), Active is putting our breadth of S65 exhaust tuning knowledge to work, building hot-rod worthy Bazooka-style side pipes. These will simultaneously sound off Ira’s presence, as well as make hardcore Muscle Car enthusiasts pull a double-take.
We also put him in touch with our friends at VAC Motorsports, who will be providing their Teflon-coated connecting rod bearings (replacing the notoriously weak stockers), and baffling the oil pan. Finally, Ira has reached out to KMS Racing, an official Cosworth dealer based in Holland, to build a harness and system around the Cosworth-sourced stand-alone SQ6M ECU and ICD Dash display.
Upon completion, tuning duties will be headed up by a deadly one-two combination of our very own chief engineer and tuner extraordinaire, Karl Hugh, and KMS Racing’s own chief engineer. With plans to meet in New York, the two super-tuners will look to have this beast rumble in the Bronx…and beyond all 5 boroughs!
Helping to round out the team is Tyler Pappas, a young up-and-coming BMW Dealer tech who has committed himself to the project by providing Ira invaluable weekend support, and offering a helping hand whenever needed. Finally, the Driveshaft Shop in North Carolina has designed a custom carbon fiber driveshaft, capable handling the incredible demands the final torque output will require.
All in all, we have to admit this is one of the most intense, intricate, and downright impressive builds that we have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. Our hopes for the finished product are high, but surely nowhere near the level of Ira’s. He is determined, knowledgeable, and a master problem-solver. As he continues to make progress, we can only hope to be as much a part of it as possible. We can’t wait to see what the future holds…because as it turns out, nostalgia is highly overrated.
Follow Ira’s build progress on the Factory Five Racing forums, and over at BimmerBoost!
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