Last week I kicked off my first story for Double Apex with BMW 335i Racecar build Part One. Click here to read the first installment. Today I bring you BMW 335i Racecar Build Part 2.
We had the car, we had a basic plan, and it revolved around good old-fashioned racing principles: make it lighter, safer, more powerful, and it should not only be somewhat faster than a standard road-going car, and it should also be a lot of fun, too.
Anybody who has done this will know exactly what I am talking about when I say, stripping a car is way more work than you can ever anticipate. You would think it could be fun, almost stress relieving, loosening things and just tossing them out. A quick little job you tackle on the weekend with a few cold beers as company.
But you couldn’t be more wrong, it is a lot of horrible and dirty work. You know those nice carpets in your car and all that unseen, thick sound deadening, that is heavily glued all over the inside? It has got to come out, too. You basically take the car down to the metal inside, literally nothing remains. So, I won’t even pretend I got my hands dirty, instead, I involved my long-time panel shop friend, who has also been involved in every racecar I have built, Johan Fritz of Johan’s Auto, to tackle this task on my behalf.
This man does not mess around, he gets stuck in and he put his A-Team on the job and in just a few days, I had a very bare car that could now be shipped off for the roll cage to be fitted.
There is a little irony in the fact that you spend so much time taking weight out of your road car, and then spend even more time and money putting tubing back into it so it can start to become a safe racecar. Safety is critical, for rather obvious life-preserving reasons, and you should never skimp here. The best part is that a properly designed and installed roll cage also adds rigidity to the chassis of your racecar.
For this task, I chose to use the racing brain of Sav Gualtieri because as you can see, it’s not just a case of putting a few pipes into the cabin. It is a highly complex system of angles and strengthening in all the right places. And getting this just right means you also need a strong partner to do the actual physical work, and here I went with the many years of experience of Tom Both of TNT Performance Exhausts. There can’t be a performance enthusiast in this country who doesn’t know Tom and TNT. Tom has probably built most of the roll cages in the really fast cars that run on tracks and dragstrips around the country.
In my next update, we will start ordering in some parts like the suspension and brakes…