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Gas Guzzling Music

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40

Petrolheads will understand why opening a window and letting rip through a tunnel beats any form of music, especially if you have a car with big displacement and horsepower. I won’t rule out the smaller engines with turbos as many owners (I’ve owned two WRXs) love the sucking, hissing, whooshing and warble of BOV and big exhaust.

However, nothing quite beats the throb of V8 (especially the Ford GT), the scream of Italian V6 or the roar of either a V10 or V12. Having owned and driven pretty much all types of engine, my favourite note comes from BMW’s inline-six from the E46 M3 – it’s raw, raucous, dirty and earth-shattering when the revs go past 5500. The only engine to top this for me is the V8 from the F1 cars before they went all turbo – I attended the British GP in 2010, and the first time they took to the track, I experienced serious goosebumps.

The brilliant video below is a compilation of some of the best engine sounds around. Whilst some are missing, it’s a great way for the petrolhead to kick back and take in the combustion engine’s suck, squeeze, bang and blow sound track.

Is your favourite engine in there? If not, what’s your favourite sounding car?

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Drifting Explained in 11 Minutes

Chris Harris On Drifting

Chris Harris On Drifting

If you’ve heard of British Hoonigan, Chris Harris you’ll know he likes to give a car a damn good spanking, particularly Ferraris and BMWs. Apart from acquiring the legendary E30 Sport EVO M3 last year, Harris has also posted a rather emotional and fantastic BMW E28 M5 video on YouTube.

Chris Harris - BMW E30 M3 EVO

Chris Harris – BMW E30 M3 EVO

So whilst Chris Harris likes to get to grips with a car, pushing it to its limits on track, the man also known as “Monkey” loves nothing more than going sideways, too.

I love drifting, and those unfamiliar with what it takes to initiate and hold a decent slide would do well to watch this excellent 11 minute tutorial. In fact, although I knew how to initiate a drift in various other ways, I did take away one golden piece of advice concerning seating/steering wheel position that I use in everyday driving.

If you haven’t got 11 minutes, try his older 7 minute drifting an E39 M5 instead. I promise you the next time a little rain falls, you’ll be tempted to try some of these manoeuvres – on a private piece of land, of course 😉

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No Sensationalistic Title Needed: 628-BHP Franken E30 M3

BMW Franken M3

BMW Franken M3

The Franken M3

Gargling Gas loves old school BMWs, particularly Pre 2000 M cars. The E30 M3 above is a very special classic indeed. Despite a V10 engine transplant, this ‘Franken M3’ only weighs in 150-lbs heavier than when it left the factory stock, around 3K-lbs.

BMW Franken M3 V10

BMW Franken M3 V10

Franken M3’s Heart

This monster’s modest 4-pot heart was ripped out and a 5.7-L V10 forced in its place. It wasn’t just any heart, either; the stroker unit came from BMW’s performance specialists, Dinan. Along with the massive power comes a tarmac creasing 480 lb-ft of torque, the same as Dinan’s heavier M6 S3.

Of course, the power mongers had to do some serious fettling to allow for a 6-speed transmission, V10 headers and E90 subframes and suspension, but considering all of this only added an extra 150-lbs to its stock weight, I still consider Franken M3 a seriously lightweight E30.

Cost?

Only $224,500.

I usually refer to cars as “her” or “she”, but I’ll end this post by signing off with: Check out the video below and watch this THING in action.

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Two Legends, But Who’s God? E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Mercedes 190E Cosworth vs BMW E30 M3

Before you roll your eyes and yawn at yet another BMW E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth article, consider the prospect of the latter catching up (and dare I say it, surpassing) the BMW in “want” factor. Thanks to the perpetually changing ‘what’s hot”, “what’s not” nature of the automotive world, factoring in the whole Drift/Hipster/Retro movements, could the old Merc capture a little more cool factor and equal that of the Ultimate Driving Machine?

Again, before you write this obvious contender off, a car well known for its performance and constantly compared to the E30, the Mercedes 190E Cosworth boasts both a great back story and amazing racing heritage – the Merc also features the uber cool dog-leg gearing.

Although both cars are luxury German sedans, both powered by a naturally-aspirated in-line 4 engines, both RWD, both punching out around 190-bhp with 170+ft.lbs of torque, their prices differ rather dramatically.

BMW E30 M3  King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

BMW E30 M3 King of Europe ProSeries Drift Competition

A decent BMW E30 M3 will start at around £25K, where a mint 190E Cosworth will set you back only £12-15K. I’ve seen mint E30 M3s go for as much as £40K, with track-spec examples hitting £100K.

Another factor to consider in is how good a car looks drifting. Obviously the E30s look incredible, both agile and sinister, and because of its perfect balancing, fantastic impersonating a crab. I think the E30 looks more like a racecar than the Mercedes, the latter thought more as a businessman’s chariot.

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

Mercedes 190E Cosworth Drift Car

What some may forget are the glory days when Mercedes and BMW duked it out in European Touring Cars – the 190E Cosworth was a winning car, a force that drove BMW to create the M3 in the first place. In fact, the Merc was so good, Ayrton Senna bought one after winning a 1984 Nurburgring race – check out the 190E in action in the video below.

So with its boxy retro looks, its track abilities, its ability to drift and perform on track, could the 190E see its desirability and value increase?

If you’re still not convinced or sure, Motor Trend did an in depth video on the Germans, so take a look and let me know what car you’d rather see in your garage.

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No Substitute For Automotive Passion: BMW E30 M3

BMW E30 M3

BMW E30 M3 – Petrolicious

It doesn’t matter what type of cars you’re into, there are certain models that cast a spell, a collection of nuts, bolts and wires that evoke the child-like emotion: “I WANT, I WANT!”

I had this emotion the first time I took a ride in an MGB GT. I climbed out of that car and wandered around like the Toad in Wind In The Willows, “Poop, poop!”

MGB GT

MGB GT

Thanks to my father, and much to my mother’s dismay, my first car was a rebored orange 1978 MGB GT.

There are a few cars that have this hold over me, chief among them the Buick GNX, but rather than list the others, check out the video below and listen to this guy’s story on the BMW E30 M3 (also on my list). If you’re into cars you’ll know the E30 M3 is a classic with perfect balance and handling, a great looking car with more than enough hooning power. A decent one with average miles will set you back around £30K, which may sound a lot to some; to those in know like this guy in the video, it’s a small price to pay for a car you’re smitten with.

I’ve used a video from Petrolicious to highlight the special bond us petrolheads have with our cars before. The YouTube channel is worth subscribing to for it’s fantastic filming and great selection of cars, all of them boasting some kind of cool story – and as far as Gargling Gas is concerned, car stories are the best.

Enjoy!

Wings, Box Flares & Lots Of Paint

Not only is the BMW pictured above a thing to behold, this 1976 3.0-L CSL boasts a splendid array of colours that somehow work and highlight the car’s features. Art purists will smirk at the idea of using a car as a canvas, but artist, Alexander Calder, known for surrealism, modern art, and his kinetic sculptures, represents his chosen genres well here.

 

1976 3.0-L CSL

1976 3.0-L CSL

The above image may not be to everyone’s taste, but take in the style and compare with the rather brilliant image below. I know which “canvas” I’d rather have presented/parked in my living room.

Calder isn’t the only artist to take inspiration from the Bavarian Motor Company. Everyone has heard of Andy Warhol, right? He’s the chap responsible for Pop Art – take in the piece below and you’ll immediately recognise the style.

So what does a modern (slightly mad) artist do when he takes hold of a 1979 BMW M1 and some brushes? Take a look below and marvel at the solid German engineering combined with the insanity of an artist let loose with his paint box.

The M1 was BMW’s supercar, a fact Warhol seemed to know when he went to work on it. What would look ghastly on a human, this mix of clashing colours just looks right on this boxy retro sports car.

I’m a big BMW fan and have owned a black E46 M3 and currently drive a black E36 325i coupe. I couldn’t do a Bimmer art post without including one of my favourite looking cars, the E30 M3. Not only is the E30 iconic, this collection of car art boasted a wonderful example of simplistic and solid German design painting by an artist known for his simplistic shapes and colours.

I’d never heard of Ken Done until I saw this collection featured on BMWism.com – click the link and check out the other BMWs and the varying styles lavished and embellished upon their boxy and retro bodies.

 

My New Girl, HeLLga

Hellga

I’ve been very busy of late. My mind has been 24/7 on cars… mine in particular. The picture above is my latest affair, a German coupe that took a lot of searching for and a lot of changing of minds. Up until purchasing her I’ve also been very confused, and now she’s mine, I still am. You see, it’s all to do with drifting…

HeLLga takes the place of my Subaru WRX. I loved my Scooby and it’s surge of turbo but the AWD didn’t allow for drifting unless you entered at high speed, murdered the engine and felt the horrible resistance of Jap technology – a lot of noise and unsettling vibrations – reminding you a trip to the bank was imminent. As we all know, RWD is the only way to go if sliding is your game, so I watched more videos, read more articles and had my mind on something a little different. However, HeLLga wasn’t on the list at the beginning.

I ended up dismissing the RX-8 and S2000 because of their low torque compared to other rivals. The RX-7 and Nissan 240ZX were out of the question, as were the Skyline R32 & 33 because I simply couldn’t bring myself to butcher and abuse such great classics. As for the Silvias, meh, they just don’t do anything for me. Although the S13 could’ve been a possibility, finding a solid example that wasn’t automatic and painted gold was impossible – they’ve all been snapped up, slammed, and had their innards ripped out by hardcore drifters.

So I was 100% sure I wanted an MR2 Turbo, the mid-engined lunatic above I knew could be drifted (albeit with some different approaches and methods). Yeah, I was going to be a little different and the MR2 Turbo was going to be my daily/drift missile…

…until I remembered the late Giorgi Tavzadze and his BMW E34 M5. I then found myself re-watching the E34 325i chase scene in Ronin. I’d seen some mean-looking old-school Bimmers as drift missiles before, and the decision was finally made after witnessing The Ugly Duckling, a stock-engined E36 325i climb a carpark sideways.

Having owned an E46 M3 and remembering how powerful yet planted it was, I did a little research into why the former E36 M3 and 325i models were so popular as drifters. Because they are lighter, have a 50/50 weight ratio and good torque, the E36 chassis was perfect for the job. The 325i seemed the most popular because of its bombproof and revvy 2.5-L inline 6, plus its cheaper repair and maintenance bills over the M3. Many welded the diff, too, something I was thinking of getting done. Although turbos were a popular add-on to the 325i, I’ve seen enough videos to know they can be drifted with the right set-up.

However, after I handed over the cash and sunk into HeLLga’s leather embrace, I realised what a beauty I had aquired. Spotless, 62K miles all accounted for with 8 BMW stamps in the service book. The small white torch, tool kit and first aid kit were all present, and as for the interior, well, I knew I wouldn’t be ripping it out any time soon. I realised all of this whilst driving her home, a car I couldn’t believe was 19-years-old. She was solid, taut and her 6-cylinders hummed and let out that familiar hiss and BMW rasp at high revs.

So what do I do now?

After a rather reserved effort but enough to maintain a slide (this was on a quiet road in the evening with no traffic whatsoever), I came to only one conclusion: Buy a high mileage 325i beater, of course.

 

Ed: If you enjoyed this post or love old school Bimmers, check out the 2nd part with HeLLga.