No announcement yet.

July 2018 Car of the Month: IronJoe

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    July 2018 Car of the Month: IronJoe

    Editors Note: Ive been waiting a LONG time to feature this car. I actually wanted to feature his old M3, but obviously those plans never worked out, but I think what we have here is a worthy substitute. One word. Perfection. You're welcome R3V

    Factory options:

    This car started as a bone-stock 325i convertible. The only factory option would have been the automatic transmission.



    Interior color:


    Engine modifications:

    Comprehensive 2.3L S14 engine swap

    TMS Conforti tune

    Evo III plug wires


    Factory S14 header and mid-pipe with Rogue Engineering Diablo muffler


    Original E30 M3 Getrag 265 5-speed manual


    Original E30 M3 4.10 LSD


    H&R Race & Bilstein Sport with 15mm drop hats all around. Original E30 M3 5-lug


    E28 M5 wheels with 225/45R16 tires (factory correct size for a 16" wheel on E30 M3, from the Sport Evo)

    Exterior modifications:

    100% Full E30 M3 OEM sheet metal conversion.

    New E30 M3 front fenders

    New E30 M3 cabrio specific side skirts

    New E30 M3 rear quarter panels

    Door molding recess deleted

    New inner fender arches

    New hood

    Euro front & rear E30 M3 bumpers (no side markers)

    One-piece Evo front bumper seal

    All new undertray/air dam plastics

    Sedan trunk lid (without 3rd brake light as E30 M3 cabriolets were delivered)

    Interior modifications:

    E30 M3 dash & interior padding (S14 cars were built with extra sound deadening in the dash, console, and interior panels to reduce the buzziness of the motor)

    E30 M3 factory gauge cluster

    ZHP shift knob

    Mtech 1 steering wheel

    Story Behind the Car:

    In October of 2010 I purchased a rare 1988 Henna M3. It didn't run, it was collecting moss and had sat outside neglected for at least a year. I begged and begged the owner who finally let me buy the car and pushed it home (literally) and began the restoration process. I got it running great and kept it as a daily driver/rolling restoration for years - today you'd be looked at crazy for daily driving an E30 M3 but this was before the insane price increases over the past few years. It was never the cleanest or nicest car, but it was mine and I poured everything I had into it.

    Fast-forward to October 2015, I had a different job with a stop & go commute and had bought a TDI as a daily driver. I drove the M3 to shows, events, GTGs, and fun things on evenings and weekends. I never drove the M3 to work - maybe once or twice in a year. One fateful night out in the garage, I saw my wife's Miata had a low tire. I found part of a razor blade stuck in the tire, so I told her to take my TDI to work and I'd drive the Henna into work for one day. What's the worst that could happen?

    The worst happened. At around 5:30AM, traffic slowed in the usual place and I came to a stop. The Subaru Forester behind me was too busy texting to notice and plowed into me at full speed, pushing me forward into a truck (and pushing that truck into a taxi). It was the hardest hit of my life, I was completely in shock and had to be physically removed from the vehicle. The memory of this still haunts me.

    After the insurance battle, I ended up with a small cash settlement and I bought the car back at salvage value. I immediately knew I was going to try to save the car, so I put in orders with BMW and several online parts distributors for all the necessary body panels I'd need, the most critical being the rear quarter panels.

    Unfortunately as we began tearing down the car, we found more and more issues. Under the carpet, the floor was buckled. The structure behind the A pillars had collapsed. The more we took apart, the more damage we found. It was deemed too serious to rebuild with anything besides an unlimited budget, and even then I'd be left with a salvage-title M3 that may or may not drive the same ever again.

    At this point, I considered the possibility of a re-shell project: using the good bits of my Henna car in a new chassis. I had leads on a few M3 shells, but all were in much worse condition than I had desired. Instead I considered building a "tribute", maybe a sleeper e30 with a M3 drivetrain. I looked at a few coupes, and even a grey-market touring before deciding on this project: building a 100% replica E30 M3 cabriolet.

    I figured I could build a factory-quality replica of a E30 M3 cabriolet using all my original Henna M3 parts and brand new OEM body panels I had already purchased from BMW.

    I purchased an original accident-free 325i automatic cabriolet and tore it all the way down. I rebuilt the original S14 from of my M3 and swapped it in along with all the steering, suspension & driveline components. I used every factory M3-specific bracket, bolt, and clip to do the job - no corners cut. I swapped in as much of the E30 M3 interior as possible, including the dash and all pieces with the extra factory S14 sound-deadening. New E30 M3 euro bumpers, front fenders, rear quarter panels, and even brand-new E30 M3 cabriolet-specific side skirts (which are different from coupe skirts!) rounded out the exterior plans.

    With the car running and driving well, I got in touch with the builder of the Griot's Garage Detailwagen to do the body conversion. Using all brand-new OEM BMW body panels, the box flares were grafted to the rear quarters and new rear inner arches at Godspeed Fabrication in Auburn, WA.

    That build is showcased here

    The car was then sent to Chambers Creek Motors in Lakewood, WA for final finish work and paint in the original Schwarz. In less than a week's time, I brought the car home from the paint shop and reassembled it, just in time for the 2018 E30 Picnic where I was selected to be part of their annual Featured Showcase.

    and now the pics specifically for the Car of the Month, another collaboration with a r3v member Christian Bouchez. Absolutely beautiful.

    and the heart of the beast...

    Current Car:
    -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
    -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project

    Make R3V Great Again -2020

    Well deserved! The paint turned out great! Loving that photo shoot as well!


      Love the front strut bar. Nice little tribute there.
      2000 A4 1.8TQ | 1988 325is | 1976 280Z | 1953 CJ3B


        When life gives you lemons you make lemonade.... well executed!

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

        BMWCCA #398608
        IG @yagayo38

        "The Best E30's were built with two camshafts four cylinders and sixteen valves!".


          Portland, Oregon
          E28M5 | E30S50 | E30M3


            Fuck yeah, well worth it.


              Awesome, well deserved!
              Build Threads:
              Pamela/Bella/Betty/325ix/5-Lug Seta/S60R/Miata ITB/Miata Turbo/Miata VVT/951/325xi-6


                Having seen it in person, even the best pictures don't really do this car justice.

                Definitely well deserved!
                Originally posted by kronus
                would be in depending on tip slant and tube size


                  Originally posted by agent View Post
                  Having seen it in person, even the best pictures don't really do this car justice.

                  Definitely well deserved!

                  The guy in the picture in the red shirt is the real MVP [emoji2]

                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                  BMWCCA #398608
                  IG @yagayo38

                  "The Best E30's were built with two camshafts four cylinders and sixteen valves!".


                    Originally posted by getouth View Post
                    The guy in the picture in the red shirt is the real MVP [emoji2]
                    Ha! I didn't even notice that. :mrgreen:
                    Originally posted by kronus
                    would be in depending on tip slant and tube size


                      Incredible, very impressive attention to detail and drive to get this project done. The results look fantastic!


                        Well deserved. Congratulations!

                        [IMG] 8.jpg[/IMG


                          Amazing work and inspiring for my e30 build.

                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                            Originally posted by parkerbink View Post
                            well deserved. Congratulations!
                            If it's got tits or tires, it's gonna cost ya!


                              Thanks very much for the feature and for the kind words, everyone! It has been great sharing this build with the r3v community over the past few years, and I appreciate all the help and support (and parts!) that everyone has offered up throughout the process. And HUGE MEGA THANK YOU to Christian Bouchez for tossing an evening out the window to make this photoshoot happen at the last second, it turned out incredible.

                              This definitely wasn't the easiest or cheapest project, but at the end of the day I wanted to make something special out of the unfortunate situation.

                              There is much left to do on this car, so keep watching the build thread in the project forum for updates ;)
                              '89 Schwarz E30 M3 Cabriolet Build