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BMW E21 Racer

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    BMW E21 Racer

    I've been into old BMW's for many years now, but while M3's and 635's are definitely cool, the real interest for me has always been in the E28 and E21. I bought an M535i and did my first track days with it then decided I wanted a fulltime track car and that it had to be an E21. I'd never owned one before, never even driven one, but that didn't matter. E21 it is. There were a few false starts and difficult times, but I eventually ended up with a great starting point - a 323i with a later model 2.5L motor and coilovers. I did two track days in that spec and loved it, so started down the road of going full race spec.

    Most of the work at this stage has been based on safety and consistency, with a full cage, better seat and big brakes being the main items, as well as the little things like bushes, fuel lines, brake lines etc getting done along the way. The initial plans involved heaps of go fast bits, but that would have left me sitting in the garage for much, much longer than I really wanted to. I'm not in it to win trophies, it's about having fun and getting out there and just doing it.

    First race meet is at the Lakeside Tribute this weekend and I'll be running in the QLD Touring Car Championship. Goals are to finish all the races and drive it back onto the trailer with all the bits where they were when we started, but we should be able to have some fun along the way. It's a pretty diverse field so it should make for an entertaining way to get started! If you're going to be there that weekend, feel free to come say gday in the pits, as this is all pretty new to me and while I'm confident and excited, I'll always appreciate experienced advice and constructive criticism. Can't wait to be out there! :D

    It first looked like this:


    And now looks at least a little more like a racecar:










    Been a long journey with plenty of hiccups along the way, but it feels great to finally be where we are. Cheers!
    Leo

    (better pics to come when someone with superior snapper skills to mine points a thing at it)
    BMW E21 Racer

    ATCC & V8SC Results, Data, Statistics and Discussion from 1960 to now

    #2
    Best of luck for the weekend
    Originally posted by brasher
    TJ is 99% African American.

    Comment


      #3
      Cool little car. Have fun on the weekend. I admire anyone out there having a go.

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        #4
        In. I remember chasing one of these in an etype, had him on the straights but it was amazing in the corners and under brakes!
        Originally posted by thebluerx7
        The fact they want to ban cash makes me want to go out and use it full time again now .

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks TJ, mph, DJ.

          Have a full day of practice, a qualifying session and then 4 races ahead of me. Feeling great about it all, as long as we don't have any little niggles with the car (which is always possible in racing I guess!). Goal is to learn the car, be consistent and walk away feeling like I did the best I could regardless of the result.

          DJ - I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs against the rest of the field I'm with. Running in QTCC group B, which is a minimum 61 second lap at Lakeside. Mostly Commodores and E30 BMW's, but with a few other cool entries like a Datsun 1600, RX7, Alfa GTV, etc. I should be better in the corners than some cars, but not others, so in theory it should make for some pretty good racing.

          Originally posted by mph View Post
          I admire anyone out there having a go.
          For ages I was sure that I wasn't going to go racing until I knew I was going to be competitive, thinking "Whats the point in doing it if you're just making up the numbers?". But then I saw the guys that are out there every meet and having a blast no matter what end of the field they're at and realized those are the blokes with the right idea, that I want to be like. I won't win any trophies, set any lap records or bother any podiums...but the grin on my face will be just as big as anyone else will ever have...
          BMW E21 Racer

          ATCC & V8SC Results, Data, Statistics and Discussion from 1960 to now

          Comment


            #6
            Good story to date and right attitude toward it all.

            It's better and alot more fun being out there amongst it on track 'making up numbers' as you put, then waiting to complete your ideal build.

            Good luck for the weekend!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Rascasse View Post
              Good story to date and right attitude toward it all.

              It's better and alot more fun being out there amongst it on track 'making up numbers' as you put, then waiting to complete your ideal build.

              Good luck for the weekend!
              Thanks and yes, absolutely. It very easily could have turned into one of those perpetual builds that is never finished - I don't have the hands on skills or money to do too much at any one time so it easily could have been left sitting for even longer than it already has...
              BMW E21 Racer

              ATCC & V8SC Results, Data, Statistics and Discussion from 1960 to now

              Comment


                #8
                Great stuff, sensible approach.

                Looking forward to the story as it unfolds.
                " Racing cars don't have doors. Toilets have doors" : Keke Rosberg

                Comment


                  #9
                  Had one of these as a first car because I couldn't afford an E30 like the cool kids. Seem to be rare as rocking horse poo these days.
                  "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

                  "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
                  (TM - AVENGE)

                  "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
                  Juha Kankkunen - Rally of Argentina '02

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm a nut for e21s, have had several road going ones and a heap of parts ones over the years. Shame now they becoming hard to find and people actually want money for them.

                    They handle surprisingly well with the short wheelbase, they can get taily and bite from it too. I prefer non power steering and it works on such a light car. Won't be the fastest but will be quite nimble.

                    What have you done for braking?
                    Originally posted by Faux Forg
                    I agree with Rdyno

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I've heard all the stories about E21's and wild oversteer but l haven't had any troubles with it myself. We'll see how it all goes come raceday but I wouldn't say I'm intimidated by it or worried at all, despite having multiple people carry on as if I'd signed my own death warrant for not buying an E30.

                      Front brakes are VT Commodore discs and calipers and standard 323i discs on the rear with E30 calipers. Seems to work much better than the standard setup.
                      BMW E21 Racer

                      ATCC & V8SC Results, Data, Statistics and Discussion from 1960 to now

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I had a pretty big tank lapper incident when on my Ps (20 years ago). Scared the shit out of me and luckily only damaged a control arm. Might have been the Chinese Pirelli 6000 copies on the "big" 13" alloys though. At least the chrome dress rings didn't fall off (again). :D
                        "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

                        "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
                        (TM - AVENGE)

                        "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
                        Juha Kankkunen - Rally of Argentina '02

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by leothedrummer View Post
                          Running in QTCC group B, which is a minimum 61 second lap at Lakeside.
                          Good group that and 61 seconds at Lakeside isn't exactly fucking about.

                          Good luck.
                          The most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. - Randy Komisar.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Interesting start to the weekend for sure!

                            I hate rushing things, so planned for heaaaps of preparation time. Wanted the car all done mid-late last year to do at least 2-3 sprint days before racing. Was told "Car is pretty much finished, just been sent off for some final details, you should have it in a fortnight" in about June last year....finally got it back last Friday.....but that's ok, we'll make do with what we've got!

                            Practice starts well, car seems good, hand timed it to a 65 flat which is a good starting point given that I haven't really driven the car properly yet! Then we get a misfire under load during the next session. Hmm. Start going through the list, everything seems fine, accidentally found out that it definitely was not low on fuel, spark plugs are ok....battery. Battery isn't charging, alternator is dead. There are worse things that could happen! Organized another alternator which I'm about to go pick up, confirmed this was the issue by running a different battery in it...ran like a dream, then got worse over the session and eventually died again.

                            So didn't really get any proper practice in today thanks to spending most of my seat time trying to figure out if it the car actually works or not, but if we get this new alternator in tomorrow and that's the end of our problems, I'll be a very happy man. (But this is racing, so I would not at all be surprised if something else comes bites us along the way...just hoping it isn't too painful!)

                            Edit: And the forecast says rain, which will certainly make things very exciting! :D :knock:
                            BMW E21 Racer

                            ATCC & V8SC Results, Data, Statistics and Discussion from 1960 to now

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Looks good. Hope you can get some good racing on the weekend

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