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Reviews

Bagged Bull

1st December 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Ben Walker’s bagged bull.

Add power, attitude and heavily caffeinated graphics to a Scirocco and what you get is a pretty cool VW.

I had spotted Ben’s Scirocco on instagram on the way to work one day. Thumbing through the social network platform, it’s bold graphics and low stance easily grabbed my attention. I fired off a message to arrange a shoot and a couple of weeks later, I was on the way to Nottingham.

I’ll be honest, during the run up to the shoot I was wondering whether I actually wanted to make the 300 mile round trip to shoot another bagged VW. I can honestly say, I am glad I stuck with it.

I met Ben in an underground car park under his flat in the city centre. What I wasn’t expecting to find was the fact that this car park could be plunged into darkness! Did someone say light painting?

I relish any opportunity to get the lights out and create some striking imagery of cars. As I was doing so it was pretty evident that this car looked even better than it had done on instagram. The wrap had been designed by Ben himself along with the help of his Dad.

Impressive given the quality of the wrap job and that Ben had never done this before. But it was the classic father, son story that made me smile. I like the idea of figuring out how to do something on your drive with your Dad.

His Dad actually drove me whilst we did the rolling shots and was nice to hear his perspective on the car too. Clearly he was a petrol head and “just likes working on cars with his son”. The two of them occasionally go on spirited drives together and often have mini drag races between lights. LADS.

 

Back to the car, the wrap gives it a Rally car sort of vibe that I really like. With it’s low altitude and big wheels, you could almost imagine this to be set up for tarmac in the WRC. Those wheels in question are forged Rotiform IND’s measuring at 19inches all around.

Reviews

Feature: Intergalactic Planetar-e36

8th January 2017 — by Dave Cox

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The BMW e36 has always held a special place in my heart. When I first passed my driving test, long before I picked up a camera, I wanted one. And to this day, I would still like one.

The sad reality is that, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, drifting has ruined them. They were launched 27 years ago, rear wheel drive and cheap, This meant it was an easy gateway into drifting being affordable and in plentiful supply. This popularity over the years saw the prices go from reasonable to comparatively stratospheric! This was bad news as it also meant that well kept and nicely modified versions were also becoming rarer and rarer. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a few new drift versions out there but you just don’t see that many of them anymore.

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The overwhelming visual thing you’ll notice when you first see the car is the wrap job. With inspiration drawn from Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic James’ e36 certainly wouldn’t look out of place lurking in the background of Stranger Things. CIAY, who has design wraps for Fail Crew’s cars (we will be bringing you a feature of Max’s Boss s14 later this year) was given a simple brief of “make it look like a mad galaxy car”. I’d say they certainly fulfilled the brief! The base layer has a deep galaxy feel to it, full of organic shapes and cosmic dust. This is contrasted nicely with the sharp geometric prismatic lines. In a way this kind of disguises the lines of the bimmer. The turquoise lines help punctuate it, grounding it back to that distinct ’90s shape.

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Attitude is added by lowering the altitude. This car rides on an Air Lift Performance system which means it can tuck the 18inch Rotiform TMB’s. A wheel design that stands apart from the typical deep dish that is more commonly found on modified e36’s. I think it works, the clean, non fussy design doesn’t do anything to take away from the wrap job but it also doesn’t let it down either.

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One of my favourite and also very subtle additions is the smoothed in deck-lid lip. It reminds me of the sort of spoiler found on the e46 M3 CSL’s. A nice touch considering none of the other original lines have been altered. I feel adding on a bolt on spoiler would have detracted from the clean look. I like the way it just adds the little piece of aggression to the rear nicely complementing the custom built EMP exhaust.

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Other modifications include Corbeau bucket seats, Luke harness, ASD hydro, Pipercross air filter, half cage and modified knuckles for my angle by SB motorsport. I think the end result will look awesome, the colour scheme is clearly loud but it ties so well together that it isn’t too much.

If you want to see this car in person then make sure you are at Autosport International 2017 at the Birmingham NEC this coming weekend. It will be on the Fueltopia stand number 9242 in the experience zone, hall 9. If you take any pictures be sure to tag us #Fueltopia or @Fueltopia, we’d love to see them. I’ll also be there on the Saturday so don’t be shy if you see me.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (Shooting Dave)

Reviews

Tagged and Bagged – Carlos’ e46

25th March 2016 — by Fueltopia

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Words & Pictures: Dave Cox

Purists, it’s time to send your children to bed, close the blinds and prepare to hide behind that pillow, you’re not going to like this…

I want to talk to you about BMW’s. As a child of the ’80s the e30 M3 has always had a special place in my heart. My appreciation of the e36 with the right wheels and a drop has also grown.

To me the 3 series always struck a cord with me but I do feel that after the e46, they sort of lost their identity. Modern variants seem to be a costume of their former selves. Sure they are faster, safer, more fuel efficient but there is something missing.

Last year I visited LA and happened upon an e46 where Carlos (the owner) had clearly thought the same as me. The e46 M3 is an old car now and can be picked up relatively cheaply but it order to bring it up par with today’s trends, what do you do?

Carlos took three simple steps, kit, air and V8. Throw in some Rotiform wheels and you’re onto a make over which transforms the way the car looks. The subtle German lines and chrome faced wheels look positively pedestrian and ordinary by comparison.

The kit adds presence, the air lift provides attitude, the supercharged LSX V8 announces its arrival and the wheels set it all off. Oh and you can’t miss it, it’s bright green!

Built for SEMA, there is clear evidence or workmanship everywhere you look. The interior has remained largely stock with the addition of some cobra seats and Tuerck gear shifter. Sadly I didn’t get to hear this thing running as is the case with many show cars, the engine was still work in progress.

Once done, I am sure you’ll agree that this will surely snap necks. Purest may wretch at the thought of putting the beloved e46 M3 under so much surgery but personally I feel there’s more to that. The Internet is awash with modern super cars and high end coupes all getting modified, it’s nice to see that the old girl can still stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of them.