Builds: 1982 E21 BMW x Rota Grid V

November 22, 2010 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - Builds

When Matt Jone @ Practical Classics needed a set of lightweight track wheels for his BMW E21 fast road/track project, the latest limited-edition 15x8in Rota Grid V turned out to be the perfect choice. Rota caught up with Matt to find out what’s happening…

‘Keenly-priced vino is a dangerous thing. And it explains why I bought a very rusty 1982 BMW E21 in the snow. Not ideal, I appreciate, but it’s probably the least regrettable thing two bottles of Merlot’s made me do.

Anyhow, after the engine fell off its mounts on the A1 and I discovered the sills were made of newspaper and chicken wire, I thought it was probably due for a rebuild. Trouble was, the car came fitted with the thoroughly disappointing 1.6-litre four-pot M10 engine, which produces about a horse power. So I decided to make it go fast.


The car’s now got GAZ coilovers, RPM camber/caster-adjustable top mounts, Superpro polyurethane bushings, a Safety Devices roll cage, fully stripped interior, LSD from a USDM BMW 323i, 323i vented front discs from EBC, Yellowstuff brake pads, overhauled callipers courtesy of Big Redd, Hel braided brake lines, RKDE flocked dashboard, Samco hoses, Zircotec ceramic-coated manifold, custom engine mounts, powder-coated servo mounts from Cumbria Plating, a thousand new parts from GSF and, of course, some Rota Grid V’s.

And, of course, there’s a new engine. Finished in a unique shade of pink – coined ‘Butch Flesh’ by the staff of Fritz’s Bits, the classic BMW specialists behind the build – the 160bhp 1.8-litre twin-cam four-pot was heaved from a retired BMW E30 318iS.

Currently, the car’s ruining Fritz’s Bits view of Somerset, but the build’s nearly finished and I’m busy tying up various loose ends. It should be finished by early 2011, though. After which I shall drive it until I expire. Then I’ll drink some more Merlot – summer’s project isn’t going to buy itself.  -Matt’

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