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Bavarian Bliss

Updated: Jan 26, 2018

Words by Duncan Ward | Photography by CJ Levendal | Video by Michael Rock-Perring

Not many people will have the opportunity to be surrounded by this many unicorns on one day, bar attending a concours event (at which the 2002 likes to show up and break purist necks).

We were lucky enough to get Ozayr, commonly known as Uzzy, and his famous silver 2002, Fayaz and his internet-breaking M-Tech1 kitted 325i, Uzair (known as Ozza) and his B3 Alpina replica E30, and Naeem and his meaty E36 M3.

The beautiful red E30 proudly wears a B3 2.7 Alpina replica kit, and the E36 M3 has been kept in immaculate condition by its owner, as a collector’s item in times to come, if not already.

On to the most graceful old lady present, the 2002 that so many people have grown to love, and look forward to seeing at BMW events, concours days and even the odd appearance at good old CampFest.

The 2002 is a 1968 model, most likely more than double Uzzy’s age. Luckily, Uzzy has been taught to respect his elders, and with his trademark near-infinite patience, waited for the right set of wheels to come along. Sure enough, they did, and the set of deep-dish staggered 7j/8j Compomotive RCs, which look as though they came with the car, were fitted on to the German classic. Uzzy has a knack for finding period-correct mods, which look as though they were factory additions from the start.

Apart from lowering the suspension, the car remains as it did rolling off the factory floor, although with cars from this period, when you’re lucky enough to find one in this condition, taking a knife to the interior is sacrilege. The springs were compressed to bring the BMW closer to the Earth and enhance the look, but wasn’t ‘slammed’ in the usual sense.

The car’s motor was kept original, although it did need a refurbish when disaster struck. Uzzy knew about a slight knock in the engine when he bought the car, however he let it be for the meanwhile hoping it was just the valve stem seals or worn out oil rings. His problems turned out to be a bit more serious than that, when he discovered it was the dreaded rhythmical knocks of the phenomenon known as “piston slap”, which in essence means that the engine once overheated, the pistons shrunk microscopically, and were therefore not a tight fit in the cylinder head anymore.

Upon opening the motor, Uzzy’s inner perfectionist came out and he embarked on redoing the whole motor with brand new parts. As most of you know, South Africa is not exactly a busy hub when it comes to finding rare car parts, let alone obscure engine parts. Thus, when attempting to redo the rare BMW’s 2 litre 8v engine, which is just under 50 years old, setting aside a solid chunk of time is recommended.

Uzzy had to yet again play the waiting game, for both parts and the finances to come in, but finally managed to gather everything he needed, and spent a solid week with his mechanic every day after work, assembling the motor piece by piece until it was time to go back in.

In Uzzy’s opinion; getting the head and block back from the engineers, reassembling the motor, turning the key and hearing the throaty 4-cylinder swing back into life was without a doubt the best part of the build for him. He now enjoys the fruits of his labour with carefree drives, thanks to the refurbished engine. No more worries of piston slap, overheating motors or oil leaks, just miles and miles of smiles. In his own words; “I can get in it anytime, and drive anywhere”. Just how it should be.

On to the bagged and oh so blissful Bavarian beauty which belongs to Fayaz. It started off life as a left-hand drive 325i, a desirable car in its own right, and was transformed into something truly special with the addition of the M-Tech1 bodykit, making it similar to a 333i as far as visuals go.

Fayaz sourced the full kit, from the stupidly hard to find sideskirts, to the EVO2 M3 front splitter and pop-out “butterfly” windows. Small touches have been added to the car from almost every angle, the first of which you’ll notice are the headlight wipers, which just serve to add that much more memorability to the car.

Inside the car, Fayaz has kept with the theme of the racing heritage behind BMW, specifically the coveted M range of cars. The M as found on 1M’s, M3’s, M4’s etc. is actually representative of an entirely separate subsidiary to BMW, and not an in-house tune up specifically. M version of cars were released alongside the passenger cars since 1972, and the E30 platform was no exception.

Perhaps one of their most famous ‘M’ versions, the E30 M3 grew from a rear-wheel drive boy’s toy, to a formidable racing platform, then went on to secure its place in the automotive Hall of Fame as one of the most iconic cars of its era. Fayaz took heed of what he was working with, and thus gave his beloved 325i the attention and changes it deserved.

He built up the interior to be subtle yet impactful to those with a keen eye, especially BMW enthusiasts. The E30 M3 seats were installed in favour of the 325i’s, and so was an M-Tech steering wheel, matched with an M-tech light-up gearshift knob. Throughout the interior, the instantly recognisable triple-stripe M badge can be found, faithfully keeping to the ‘M’ theme Fayaz intended.

Fayaz, like Uzzy, kept all the mods tasteful, and period-correct for the car. As such, when looking for a set of wheels to truly set this build apart, he laid eyes on a set of Work Equip M1s. He had them polished, the hardware cleaned up and polished, wrapped in a new set of tyres, and fitted on the car. As soon as they went on, he knew he had made the right choice.

The stance aspect of this car wouldn’t be complete without a serious drop, and when you’ve gone to the lengths that Fayaz had to source a bodykit like his, you’re not about to ruin it on every speedbump by rolling static. And so, air was the chosen means of suspension, and just as he had done with the rest of the car, he used the finest products available to him for the setup on the E30. From the Airlift bags, to the V2 management, Viair compressors and a simple hardline installation, no corners were cut. A good friend of us and Fayaz, Stratten van Wyk of FS Projects, which at the time was called FatStrat Garage carried out the installation for him, ensuring that not only were the best products used, but they were installed by the expert himself.

These builds have caused a stir all around South Africa, not to mention in overseas BMW groups. Both of these gentlemen can be proud of what they have achieved, and we look forward to seeing if they will rest upon their laurels or set out once again to take on another build, and do it even bigger and better.

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