Lessons Learned, Schmessons Schmearned: Part 1

After a lengthy rebuilding of the rear end on the E30 (something we’ll get into later), the Rivals met their first rival when they hit the ground for the June 20th Tri-State Sports Car Council TrackSprint at Autobahn Country Club. It was their first event of the season in this new COVID-19 world and our first opportunity of the year to embarrass ourselves in front of better cars and better drivers. But in the shadow of such daunting things, there were bright spots. Like when you smack your palm against your face hard enough to see bright spots.

Lesson Learned #1: Install Your Car Parts Correctly

The night was a short one for everyone. With it only being a three-or-so hours, you still get a lot of track time when everything goes perfectly. But timing tent issues and weather acted like a COVID-19: 2 on the nights activities. Conveniently dramatic strikes of lightning played before us like a movie as we came around our favorite turn, The Kink. The looming rain clouds seemed to sneak up on the entire event because our car and the two or three that were released behind us were the last to touch the track that night. It seemed like only seconds after re-entering the paddock, torrential rain hit.

Out of a potential ten, our night consisted of a whopping three laps. Rain aside, we lost a session to the incompetence of your author. The backwards installation of a throttle cable retainer was the accomplice in this case. Slamming the car into second gear after getting that exciting “go” signal from the start line could be likened to getting walked in on by your mother when your just getting to that special scene in James Cameron’s Titanic. The car fell flat and we idled gently to a stop in the grass on the outside of Turn 1. We could immediately feel in the throttle pedal that something was no longer connected and since the engine was still running, it didn’t seem like we’d fallen into a worst-case scenario. For our safety and theirs, we stayed in our car and let the services do their thing.

When we made it back to the service road we popped the hood and found that the throttle cable had simply popped out of the retainer. Being confused as to why it had popped out at all, we chocked it up to they-don’t-make-them-in-West-Berlin-like-they-used-to logic and recycled a small flip-up notepad for its wire and safety retained the throttle cable end into the plastic retainer. Ever so proud and narcissistic of ourselves as usual, we posted the humble repair to our Instagram. Our friend @robotron, with the graciousness and humility of someone who courtesy flushes the toilet, let us know that as heroic as our repair was, if we’d installed it correctly it would’ve never failed. We owe him our lives and our first born children.

Lesson Learned #2: Mufflers – For Your Health

After re-establishing the rear end, the exhaust was re-installed without the muffler. Enjoyment of the sound being of paramount priority, we decided to leave it off and took it easy getting to and from the event so as not to attract unwanted police attention. Without the auditory padding of the rear interior in place, that sound becomes more than a drone as it became a genuine pain. Fortunately, because of the authors habit of hoarding PPE from job sites, we had a set of earplugs in our backpack to save our hearing. The next time we raced, the muffler was pleasantly and jubilantly installed. The ride home was by comparison, delightful. Not unlike falling asleep amongst the gentle embrace of your favorite spouse. Everyone has more than one spouse right? Am I in a cult? Please help me.

Lesson Learned #3: A-B-R-B-R-R-R-D-P-L: Always Be Referring Back to RYE30 Racing’s Race Day Preparation List

Because we’re as clumsy as we look, our phone has been “upgraded” since the last time we raced, which means the notes entry we always used to make sure we had everything ready for the next track day had pined for the fjords. But lo! We remembered we posted once, neigh, twice, what we believed to be the most useful list the average autocrosser will ever need: Preparation – R: The Best Way to Prepare Your Ass for Seat Time on Race Day. We opened the link and within the hour the car was packed and ready to go. So simple. So organized. So RYE30 Racing. If you make it out this season and you need a list that’s optimized for performance and fun, click that link, because we think we’ve got you covered.

Those are the few lessons learned from the few laps we had the opportunity to complete. The night was awesome nonetheless. The friends we got to see again and the friends we made were worth the trek alone. We always recommend racing for those reasons alone.

Thanks for reading! and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, Instagram @rye30racing, and Facebook @rye30racing. If you’ve read this far and you reside in the United States, give us a follow on Instagram and then DM us an address and we’ll send you two free 4″ RYE30Racing stickers! We appreciate your support! See a picture of the stickers below.

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We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

E30 Projects in the Time of Corona: Part 3

If the Pulitzer committee had a category for car blogging titled “Best Automotive Weblog with No Clear Focus or Mission to Maintain or Improve Upon the Art of Journalism”, we’d have a witty intro for you. But they don’t, so go back and read the one from the first article in this series – E30 Projects in the Time of Corona: Part 1. On the other hand, we’re going for the Webby Awards with E30 Projects in the Time of Corona: Part 2.

@_jarrettstone_ – V8 Turbo > I6 Turbo > Getting dropped off at school by your mother

Jarrett’s trash became his treasure. Nearly three years ago, in an incredible stroke of luck, in a place where insurance write-offs and most Chrysler products go to die, he tripped over a rust-free E30 (and only paid $200 at that). Some tinkering got the M20 running. Some manner of Taiwan Wind Whistlin’ later, and it was really running! But that’s all in the past. As of lockdown, Jarrett’s engine bay is snuggling an LS V8, tucked in by a Sikky Manufacturing LS V8 swap kit, and will soon be accompanied by another turbo. Will Jarrett’s BMW be the next Pacific Northwest cryptid with its guttural exhaust, howling turbo, and streak of red as it screams by? Follow him to find out!

#Stayhome Score:
Next-on-PNW-Pickers/10

@e30_char – Artsy Car-Partsy

@e30_char is keeping her white sedan charming this spring with a simple mod and a spit-shine. The 1.6L ’90 got a full set of BC coilovers to give it a humble stance. A little tweaking on the front set in the coming weeks will give it all the more reason to be another of @e30_char’s artistic muses. She was inspired into ownership after attending a few car shows with her friend and E28 purveyor, @ben_aintdead so she’s not unfamiliar with the scene. She tells us a full detail and wax to highlight last year’s respray is in the works to make it stick out at the next Cars and Coffee like a…will there ever be any more Cars and Coffees? Only if you can stay home like @e30_char and her rabbit Alfalfa do!

#Stayhome Score:
follow-the-rabbit-in-the-white-E30-sedan/10

@wilz_restore44 – Wilz in Wales Builds Bespoke BMWs

@wilz_restore44 is the owner of the South Wales restoration garage, Restore44. They take your leaking, sun-faded hot-tub on wheels and turn it into a fancy hotel bathroom shower with 11 different pulse settings and a butler that lets you know when you’ve missed a spot, on wheels. The “Restore 44 Shop Car” gets no less attention to detail just because of its name. In the Time of Corona, he’s done an incredible amount of work. He’s rebuilt the rear axle, the differential, the brakes, installed an airlift suspension, replaced lots of original parts like the sunroof and indicator lights, and even put fresh paint on the pillars, trunk lid, and quarter panels. There’s never been a better time to support small business so give his page a follow and if you’re in the area after all this is over, go see Restore44 in person and ask them how much it would cost us to get our blinker fluid changed.

#Stayhome Score:
where-there’s-a-wilz-there’s-an-E30/10

@essexcargirl – When the Temperature Goes Up, the Windows Go Down

Emilia and Betty (her white 318i coupe) go together like fish and chips. Like tea and biscuits. Are those proper British collaborations? “Tyre” is spelled with an “i”, ok?! If you see a white E30 fly by with the music loud and glistening in the spring sun from no less than two days of lockdown detailing, you’ll know exactly who it is. Put down that newspaper you were about to throw at her you old grouch. Just relax, and admire those fresh and classic BorbetAs” as they roll by. Go be jealous somewhere else because @essexcargirl, Bett, and her French bulldog Ocean are keeping calm and carrying on. That’s a British thing too, right?

#Stayhome Score:
follow-my-Corona-Virus-playlist-on-Spotify/10

@bmw_e3.0 – So Cool in Socal

Californians are into some weird stuff. Instagram user, @bmw_e3.0 was not immune. It was @bmw_e3.0’s dream to get…an STI (thanks Gymkhana 2). Don’t be so quick to judgment though, because he taught himself how to drive a manual transmission in the only car with a dirtier stick than an STI; an E30! The red ’87 325e sedan became more than just a driver’s ed device for him. Over the years, it’s had the head rebuilt, BC coilovers installed, and the anti-roll bar upgraded. In the mean time, the real mean time (thanks Corona), he’s chucking some old M20 cooling system components and replacing them with some CATUNED silicon hoses and a Mishimoto radiator. He also tells us he plans on doing our favorite modification; a Z3 steering rack! Hopefully, all of the fun he has in his E30 will act as a prophylactic against trading it in for that STI in the future.

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#bmw #e30 #e3.0 #325e

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#Stayhome Score:
roses-are-brilliantrot-violets-are-blue/10

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, Instagram @rye30racing, and Facebook @rye30racing. If you’ve read this far and you reside in the United States, give us a follow on Instagram and then DM us an address and we’ll send you two free 4″ RYE30Racing stickers! We appreciate your support! See a picture of the stickers below.

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We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

E30 Projects in the Time of Corona: Part 2

This is a continuation of E30 Projects in the Time of Corona. Please see Part 1 so that we don’t have to think of another clever introduction.

@the_realporthos – Welcome to the Lippincott Estate

@the_realporthos is the proud owner of our personal Holy Grail: An E30 Touring. Unless you’re a die-hard Volvo brick fan, this is the raddest estate model you can get your grubby little hands on. He tried to TL;DR us on why he was doing his Corona-coaxed E30 project, but we squeezed the story out of him anyway. While on deployment with the U.S. Navy in 2015, he came across a white Touring about an hour outside of Orlando, Florida. Don’t jealously dox him after you find this out, but he won the ECS Spin To Win Contest back in 2018. He used those resources to upgrade the car’s power plant from an M40 to a built M20. Yada-yada-yada, and today, Eurospec Autowerks in Englewood, Florida is dropping in its third engine swap (an S50) for him, along with a lightweight flywheel, custom right-hand-drive compliant exhaust manifold, Mishimoto radiator, and Magnaflow exhaust. You may jealously dox him now.

#Stayhome Score:
Yes-we-yada-yada-yada’d-over-the-best-part/10

@e30scrappy – Unicorn Wrangler

What could possibly be worse than slopping a big wad of whipped cream down on a warm piece of apple pie, taking a big bite out of it, and finding that it was actually mayonnaise you’ve slathered all over grandma’s secret family recipe? A blown head gasket! Instead of just replacing the obliterated head gasket, e30scrappy bit into his engine rebuild by pulling the whole turbo’d lot out, swapping his 325e head with a 325i head, and adding an MLS head gasket and ARP head studs before plopping it back in. He “sprinkled a little unicorn poop in the paint” to polish up the engine bay and right now he’s finishing the wiring on the reinstalled M20. Ground Control coilovers will keep it on the ground and a MeqaSquirt stand-alone tuning system will keep the engine humming.

#Stayhome Score:
mayonnaise-in-the-oil-means-the-head-gasket-is-bad/10

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Corona stay home prep..😁

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@mesc_coffee_e30 – Restomodder

Mesc_coffee_e30, we’ll call him Mesc for short, was…short and to the point when we asked him about what his plans were for his heavy-cream-in-your-coffee colored 318i. The long story is that he was the victim of Fast-and-Furious crime when his Acura Integra was stolen back in the early oughts. His dad sold him his hamster-wheel powered E30 shortly after and it’s been with him now for long enough that most Gen Z’ers can vote for president. Like most of us E30 lifers, he’d been throwing nickles and dimes at it, and eventually decided it was time to throw whole dollar bills. Just before the outbreak, he got with Bimmerspeed in San Diego, California and decided that completely restoring the car (oh yeah, apart from squeezing an S50B30us in where the M10 used to be) was the only option if he wanted to enjoy driving it for another decade-plus.

#Stayhome Score:
we-like-our-E30s-how-we-like-our-coffee/10

@projext.e30 – Dutch with a new clutch

Projext.e30 has been fighting valiantly against rust since 2016 on his ’86 316. He has one of the more well documented E30 restoration Instagrams out there. You get a great sense of his journey from the last time this lower countryman’s car sat proudly in his driveway as a whole car, to right now getting an M20 and transmission ready for installation. He was just about to install the clutch when we first approached him last week, but a missing pilot bearing has since stalled the process. He’s doing it as right as one can given the circumstances and only travelling from home, where he works, to the garage where he works on his E30 on the weekends. This is one of the most ambitious E30 restorations we think you’re going to see on Instagram so give him a follow after you follow his example by staying home!

#Stayhome score:
everybody’s-workin’-on-their-E30s-for-the-weekend/10

@nbre30 – Nurburgringer

We don’t know if Nick has children, but we know for sure they wouldn’t be treated as well as his E30! Every year before he makes the rounds with his black M52-driven coupe at tracks like Circuit Zandvoort and Nurburgring Nordschleife, he has BMW E30 Specialist in Nijkerk, Netherlands service the car. This year we’ll see the installation of some go-fast parts. A surge tank to rectify a fuel starvation issue and an IRP short shifter because in his words, “…it’s epic!” He says they only get to drive it on the weekends right now because of the virus, but sooner or later, you can catch this photogenic E30 and its BMW Motorsport banner as it rips by you at The ‘Ring. He’s out there doing our favorite summer activity; racing his E30!

#Stayhome Score:
live-every-day-like-you’re-in-Gran-Turismo/10


Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, Instagram @rye30racing, and Facebook @rye30racing. If you’ve read this far and you reside in the United States, give us a follow on Instagram and then DM us an address and we’ll send you two free 4″ RYE30Racing stickers! We appreciate your support! See a picture of the stickers below.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mg_0021.jpg

We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

E30 Projects in the Time of Corona: Part 1

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed everyone’s way of life. For those of us that love our E30s, it’s made life practically unbearable. The worst thing to happen to anyone, EVER, has happened to us collectively as enthusiasts of this particular car and its variants. Without warning, we pounced on the inboxes of some of our favorite Instagram accounts to see what they were up to while they are self-isolating. We haven’t had much opportunity to work on ours, but these folks have, and if you’re one who enjoys being forced to live vicariously in this digital age, oh boy, do we have something for you. Enjoy!

@CooperAutoworks – Soon-to-be M54-powered Rally Racers

Calvin and Kelsey of “Cooper Autoworks BMW” fame, were already facemask-deep in preparation for the upcoming rally season by the time most people had started isolating. On top of swapping out their M50 for a tuned-up M54, they’re also documenting the Frankenstein-monstering of their shop-yard E46 in their new Project Schmutzwagen YouTube series. Kelsey is also the focus of a recent RYE30 Racing article on women in motorsports and you can check that out here!

#Stayhome Score:
Flatten-the-Crest/10

@grant_baumg – West Tennessee Drift King

Grant took his grocery-getter from grandma-uses-it-to-get-to-singles-night-at-the-bingo-hall to grandma-uses-it-to-lure-young-men-into-her-BDSM-dungeon by tossing a “fat turbo”, BC coilovers, and a rollcage at it. Now he rather impressively rips skids while representing Retro Race Co. at drift events like Slammedenuff’s Stoopicold. Right now, he’s cleaning out the engine bay and dropping in the only thing that’s more American than bald eagles; the LS. Check out his team’s Instagram below, or if you’re worthy, beg Grant to let you follow his private Instagram here.

#Stayhome Score:
No-replacement-for-displacement/10

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Opinions??

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@off_joeeAlmost Literally From the Ground Up

We’d be doing Joe a disservice if we tried to sum up his build better than he already has:

…I’ve always worked on cars since I was young, I spent most of my life with my grandad, so we would work on cars and other stuff through the summers. The first time I saw an e30 was when I was watching and listening to Tyler, The Creator. So I said to myself one day I’ll have one of those and me and my grandad will fix it up. In the last few years my grandad has developed dementia and now lives in a home. So I’m fixing mine up because I know he’d be proud of it and we would have done it together 🙂

Check out his Instagram below and follow the very detail oriented restoration of this Brits M40-powered E30!

#Stayhome Score:
You’re-honestly-going-to-make-me-cry/10

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🤖

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@robsgarageisfull – Full of Cool Stuff, That Is

Rob is in the final stretches of the most pain-in-the-ass repair you can do on an E30; the sunroof. But he won’t be friends with boredom for long because an old outboard motor and a classic GSXR are next on the to-do list. Rob comes across our Instagram feed often, but not so much that he doesn’t get lost in the scroll, so we’d advise you give his profile a good read because it’s not just his garage that’s got cool stuff. You can check out his bikes, him and his wife’s adventures in nature, and if you were told that no man is perfect, he’s also an artist!

#Stayhome Score:
We-wish-our-garage-was-full-of-cool-shit/10

@robotronan – They’re basically us, if the three of us got married to each other like in Netflix’s Tiger King.

The Robotronan crew members are our spirit animals. Josh and Amanda race their M42-driven E30 in Texan autocrosses (yee-haw) and do very well (2019 was an award winning season for both of them), as you’d expect from a team driving a car that’s set up almost exactly the same way our is! There will be more on that later when we dig into their story for a future article. In celebration of the virus, Josh refreshed the power steering system with Chase Bays equipment. Josh was also going to pick up an engine with the intent of rebuilding it, but was coughed on by the universe, and has resorted to, eerily, another RYE30 Racing-similar activity; fussing about with Alfa Romeos.

#Stayhome Score:
When-the-Alfa-Romeo-is-al-dente-you-know-it’s-fully-cooked/10

Unfortunately, @robotronan was the victim cyber-crime and the newness of his current account seems to be causing some issues with our ability to embed his page, so follow his new Instagram here. Hopefully you’ll get the same kind of ‘autocrushing’ updates you’ll be, again, hopefully, be getting from us in the summer.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, Instagram @rye30racing, and Facebook @rye30racing. If you’ve read this far and you reside in the United States, give us a follow on Instagram and then DM us an address and we’ll send you two free 4″ RYE30Racing stickers! We appreciate your support! See a picture of the stickers below.

We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

Those Dang Kids and Their Hotrods: Reminiscing on My Time as a Tire Rack Street Survival Instructor

If you’re not familiar with the Tire Rack Street Survival curriculum, you need to go back in time, pop on a slap bracelet, down a Surge, and ask your parents to sign you up. Authored by BMW CCA Foundation, it’s likely (and we don’t offer any exaggeration here) saved the lives of hundreds of teens since the screeching tires and soapy skid pads first hit the biggest lot available back in 2002. Any autocrosser or road racer could tell you that there’s no replacement for embracement. Taking the car to its limits is the only way to truly learn what the car is capable of. And most importantly for the new teenage driver, what harm the car is truly capable of when you don’t take Uncle Ben’s advice seriously.

Photo courtesy of Duncan Millar

The 9-hour course is split even chunks of classroom and course time. The Milwaukee Region SCCA program has the privilege of getting their classroom portion administered by a real-life physics teacher who (as far as we’re aware) engages the students well, with the help of a lot of video accompaniment. On course, they’ve had the privilege of the upper echelon of local car club amateur racers and volunteers, and ‘yours, truly’ to toss them feet first into the thresholds of braking and handling by way of slaloms, skid pads, split-decision exercises, and ABS-function tests.

Please grab a cup of tea, wash your hands as is customary in these trying times, and enjoy these memories I recovered during my latest hypnotic regression session with my therapist.

The Spinny Thing with the Horn On It

Having been one, I can tell you that teenagers are effectively mindless, eating, shitting, SnapChatting robots that contribute no more to society than a crumpled Taco Bell bag with a half-eaten chicken quesadilla in it. So it’s no stretch to say that you take your life into your own hands when you willingly share the road with 16 year-old’s that could only make a bowl of cereal for themselves if they were told that the prize in the bottom of the box was a Juul pen.

One recent summer, as I stood aloof on the banked asphalt corner that looped around the off-road access of the hill that the fire department used for rough terrain training at the Milwaukee Area Training Center facility in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, I heard a-tumbling of wheels and sheet metal. In my blindspot, a compact sedan had roughed the very terrain the fire trucks did, but only after carving its own path, by sideswiping the concrete base of a streetlamp and climbing the side of the hill like a frightened mountain goat. Only once it planted itself on top of the approximately 15 foot high hill, did I see it jerk to a stop and sit calmly until I and others fell over each other to see if the occupants were O.K. Once everyone was declared “only embarrassed”, we got the story. Along the edge of the hill ran the slalom portion of the course. The instructor, wisely, told the student to keep positive control of the wheel by always keeping a grip on the wheel. With a new driver, letting the wheel spin freely back to a neutral position can be dangerous. The assumption that the wheel will track back to straight and not wildly steer the car into the unknown can be more hazardous to their health than being deadass for real about how lit the Tide Pod Challenge is.

Lesson Learned: Keep control of the car by keeping your hands on the wheel. Seems obvious, but is only slightly more complicated than it sounds.

Photo courtesy of Duncan Millar

Left, Right, Center

Early in my career as a volunteer instructor, I hopped in the car with one of the few prospective begrudged commuters that truly seemed to “get it.” He suffered my convoluted explanations on following distances and keeping your hands on the god-damned wheel, and genuinely seemed to engage with the subject matter critically by asking questions that showed he understood. But the one thing he did the best, was follow directions.

As you come around the bend and enter one of the two or three areas designated for hard maneuvering, you come into a sea of cones. While not unlike the wall of rubber-streaked orange that would greet you in a balmy weekend morning parking lot autocross, it was different in a large way. You had a choice of going left, or get this, right. After a short run-up to get the car to a modest speed, the instructor would yell “LEFT!” or “RIGHT!” at the last possible moment to simulate the necessity for split-decision making. The cones would diverge and then reconverge on the other side where the driver would then come to a full stop. After a few successful, and honestly quite fun, trollops through this section of the course, my student and his father’s Audi TT-S made another routine go at it. For true authenticity in the exercise, I hid the decision made in the final moments from even myself. Almost too well. As the car geared up into second, and picked up speed, I waited only a millisecond to long to reveal the punchline. The student, unphased, plowed right through the middle section of cones that made up the inner border of the exercise’s boundaries and inevitably popped out the other side, demolishing the cones on that end as well. After some tug-of-war between me and the cone caught underneath the car, we shrugged off the event, but only after a quick fist bump for following directions.

Lesson Learned: If you only have two choices, and the third choice is to be cool, then be cool. Don’t let extenuating circumstances pressure you into not weighing all of the options. You might hurt other people when you could’ve just hurt your ego.

Photo courtesy of Duncan Millar

Street Survival is an incredible program, administrated by incredible people who at the least volunteer their day to empart the knowledge they’ve learned as racecar drivers, but just as importantly, as every-day drivers. If you happen to be from the Chicago or Milwaukee area, watch out for programs to pop up from the Milwaukee Region SCCA or Chicago Region SCCA. Special care goes into the Milwaukee program because the sister’s that started the program, Kay and Jane, do so at the need to counter the loss of their sister years ago to a senseless car accident so they do it out of true compassion for the safety of students that wheel their way through the classroom.

Catch Kay and Jane hocking the good word of Street Survival on TMJ4 here, and be blinded by the author’s authoratative brilliance here as he doles out that solid gold following distance advice to the next generation of Nissan Altima driver’s we damn well know need it.

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Photo courtesy of Juliana Marciniak

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, Instagram @rye30racing, and Facebook @rye30racing. If you’ve read this far and you reside in the United States, give us a follow on Instagram and then DM us an address so we can send you two free 4″ RYE30Racing stickers! We appreciate your support! See a picture of the stickers above.

We’ll be racing plenty over the summer (Corona Virus permitting) so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

When E30s Play Dress-Up: 5 Famous E30 Racing Liveries (Including Our Pick for Favorite)

Many things are “understood”. It’s understood that the Earth is round. That plugging a USB connector into a slot will take at least three attempts. That the E30 M3 was a devastating Iron Age implement that changed the tides of war so completely that they nicknamed it, “God’s Chariot.” How did they fuel it? Program the ECU? We may never know. What we do know, is that it was as ruthless of a weapon in competitive touring car racing!

Our, likely contentious, pick for Honorable Mention – The Marlboro/Sony

Bursting onto the scene in 1987 at 8,200 rpm, it graced the Australian Touring Car Championship, then the freshly minted World Touring Car Championship in stride. Tragedy struck immediately at the WTCC showing however, when the judges disqualified each E30 M3-owning team for thin body panels. The hiccups lasted all of one race with Roberto Ravaglia going on to win the driver’s championship in a factory-backed car. In Australia, it poled at the inaugural race of the 1987 ATCC. Even more impressively, it took fourth overall in the 1987 Australian James Hardie 1000, punching up at cars like the Holden Commodore and Nissan Skyline. After the folding of WTCC at the finale of its single season (don’t worry, they come back), the M3 went on to make itself synonymous with the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, or, for those of us who took Spanish as an elective, the German Touring Car Championship.

It didn’t only make kidney shaped dents in DTM though. It went on to dominate plenty of other touring car series and endurance races (and didn’t do too bad in rally) from 1987 to 1993. We’ll give you a few examples of the most recognizable cars so you can impress your friends by mispronouncing the driver’s names in front of strangers at the next Radwood. We’ll ask you to leave politely in Spanish, after we leave you with the official RYE30 Racing “Favorite E30 M3 That We’d Gladly Wake Up in a Tub of Ice with a Missing Kidney to Own” pick.

#1 – The Warsteiner

If you’re seeing a Warsteiner livery, you’re usually looking at a BMW-blessed workhorse. The classic BMW Motorsport stripes bifurcate the front end of the car and are most often accompanied by the Warsteiner logo. This livery donned cars driven by the likes of Roberto Ravaglia and Eric van de Poele. It would be easier to name the championships it didn’t win during the E30 M3’s reign of terror.

Eric van de Poele at the Nürburgring

#2 – The Jagermeister

Armin Hahne deserves to be as well known as the Linder Team E30 M3 “Sport Evo” he piloted in the 1992 DTM season. He raced several touring car series and endurance events across several continents with respectable results that included two wins at the Spa 24 Hour, driving cars from our favorite manufacturer; BMW. The “Sport Evo” underneath all of that orange sported the adjustable rear wing and of course, more power. Other drivers included Wayne Gardner and Frank Schmickler.

Armin Hahne in the Linder Team Jagermeister E30 M3

#3 – The Bastos / Castrol

While the Bastos-Motul livery had been around since the beginning of the E30 M3s career, it’s probably best know for its appearances in rallies like the Tour de Corse, World Rally Championship, and Rally Isle of Man. Drivers like Patrick Snijers and Marc Duez carved out E30 M3 sized ruts in the dirt in blurs of white and red.

Snijers and Colebunder at Rally Manx (Rally Isle of Man) in 1988

#4 – The JPS (John Player Special)

Your eyes do not deceive you. That is the same JPS-styled livery that coated several Lotus F1 chassis throughout the ’70s and early ’80s. Interestingly, unlike with the F1 cars, John Player & Sons was deeply involved in the utilization of the cars via the namesake JPS Team BMW. Apparently opting out of works cars, the team built their own M3s to replace their 635 CSi fleet in 1987. Because we’re still blown away by the brashness of it all, we’ll mention again how it took first in class and fourth overall at the heavenly Mount Panorama on October 4, 1987 by drivers’ Jim Richards and Tony Longhurst.

The JPS Team BMW Richards/Longhurst E30 M3 at Bathurst in 1987

And now for the awarding of the “Favorite E30 M3 That We’d Gladly Wake Up in a Tub of Ice with a Missing Kidney to Own” prize. Otherwise known as the FEMTWGWUIATOIWAMKTO Award, we take great pains to be sure that we knight only the most worthy of this distinction. In this case, that worthiness is bestowed upon the Listerine/Securicor Omega Express E30 M3!

#5 – The Listerine / Securicor Omega Express

The British Touring Car Championship is likely as known for its swarms of E30 M3s as DTM was. Even today, ze German autos sweep the British circuits up like angry governesses upset that the children have again made a mess of the pantry. Why do we like this Vic Lee Motorsport car so much? It just looks cool! In our opinion, it’s only trailed by the classically liveried Marlboro E30 M3 rally cars. But we love its historic drama just as much. The eponymous Vic Lee pulled a John DeLorean in 1993 after £6,000,000 of winter wonderland dust was recovered from one of their car haulers by British customs after suspiciously numerous testing sessions at Zandvoort in Holland (Holland being arguably not-a-country-with-any-BTCC-tracks). Jalopnik has more on the scandal here. Considering the pink Listerine dragon on the hood, you’d think they would have been busted for more than cocaine, but don’t let the teams’ sordid history distract you from the gorgeous and bold Helvetica-esque styling of the black-on-blue Listerine/Securicor Omega Express E30 M3.

BTCC driver William Hoy, in one of the last appearances of the E30 M3 in professional touring car racing

Tell us your favorites in the comments or visit us on Instagram to make fun of our final choice on that platform.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, Instagram @rye30racing, and Facebook @rye30racing. If you’ve read this far and you reside in the United States, give us a follow on Instagram and then DM us an address so we can send you two free 4″ RYE30Racing stickers! We appreciate your support! See a picture of the stickers below.

We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

Featured photo by BMW

The Future is Flat Out – An Interview with the Cooper Autoworks Stage Rally Navigator, Kelsey Stephens

Kelsey Stephens and Calvin Cooper are the squishy internals of the Cooper Autoworks M50-powered E30. Calvin pilots while Kelsey preaches from the pulpit of The Peaceful Pace Notes. We pulled a notepad out of our public radio tote bag to ask Kelsey the tough questions.

Photo courtesy of iheartfast

RYE30 Racing: Tell us about the E30! Could you give us a timeline from acquiring it to where you two are with it now?

Kelsey Stephens: The E30 started life in 1991 as a diamond-black 318is. 23 years later it was saved from landing in the salvage yard by Jesse Yuvali who turned it into a rally car. After a roll cage, engine swap, and historic inspired livery the little BMW made its stage rally debut in 2014. 

In July of 2015, Calvin and I went on our first date. We hit it off over our love of cars.
The next year in 2016 I wanted to take Calvin to see a stage rally for the first time. The rally in the 100 Acre Wood happens near my hometown. Calvin has been passionate about BMW’s since he was in tech school but we didn’t expect to see any at a stage rally. As we walked past countless blue Subaru’s suddenly the little M-striped E30 appeared. If it wasn’t love at first sight for Calvin then it was love at first straight-6. No other car sounded quite as incredible as the S50 as it flew past slinging gravel. We came home and immediately began dreaming of building a rally car of our own.

The next year Jesse posted that he was looking for crew for the 100 Acre Wood Rally. I volunteered us to help as part of his team since Calvin has so much awesome BMW knowledge. Working as crew we got to learn about the sport from Jesse who had so much rally experience. We started competing in Time Speed Distance events and rallycross with the SCCA hoping to get us closer to our stage rally dreams. In November of that year Jesse had a new project car and decided to sell the E30. We were over the moon to be able to purchase the very same rally car that had helped us fall in love with the sport from someone who taught us so much. Jesse had competed in 9 rallies with the car with various engine and suspension setups.
February 2018 the car arrived, leaving us less than a month to prepare for our first stage rally the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood! Since novice rules did not allow us to run with a 3.0L engine the car had to be swapped to an M50. We did 3 events that year with the goal of learning and finishing each event. 

2019, we decided to run our first full season to contend for a championship in the car. We decided to run under the number 723 which is the anniversary of that first date. This was such a big undertaking for us being such a small grassroots team. The season taught us so much. The car and rally community did more for us than we ever could have imagined. As driver and co-driver Calvin and I both achieved championship wins in East Open 2 Wheel Drive which was incredible.
As I type Calvin is in our shop working on an engine upgrade from the M50, we will be sharing more of that as we work out sponsorships. He had better hurry though our next event is coming up mid March! Last season we put our tired old K-sport suspension to bed by hitting a jump at over 76 mph. The landing bent a few things and when we arrived at the finish we decided the car (and our spines) had earned some real rally suspension. We now run Samsonas 3-way adjustable rally suspension. The majority of the upgrades to the car are to strengthen it to withstand the abuse and keep us safe. 

The Cooper Autoworks Crew at an ARA Rally in 2019 – Photo courtesy of Kelsey Stephens

RYE30 Racing: Did you see yourself in motorsports when you were younger? Did you have any influences that you could say motivated you?

Kelsey: My mom was a diesel mechanic in the National Guard and my dad was an engineer in the Navy. I assumed everyone’s folks made them do basic maintenance on the family cars. I didn’t realize I had a real interest. In 2012, I went to the 100 Acre Wood Rally near my hometown with folks I knew. I signed up to volunteer, they handed me a clip board, and let me help inspect cars. I was 20 years old and I saw women in race suits for the first time. Seeing women as drivers and co-drivers was so inspiring! That was when I really started having motorsports dreams.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pescarella

RYE30 Racing: You’re the navigator in the Cooper Autoworks E30. When do you feel you’ll be ready to take the wheel?

Kelsey: There are professional co-drivers who are highly respected in the sport because co-driving is key to a driver’s success. Some folks co-drive that do wish to drive one day, but many others know that the silly seat is where they belong. When Calvin and I started, I dreamed of driving the car. After getting to know my role as a co-driver and completing 13 rallies, I have never felt more confident and successful. I would love to try driving an event at least once because it would be fun, but also I think it could help me be an even better co-driver. The excitement of racing down gravel stage roads in these beautiful forests can often feel like a dance. Calling notes is almost like music because the timing has to be just right so the driver can process them and not get confused. You have to be in sync. As for getting behind the wheel, I currently drive in rallycross and if our schedule allows I’ll start doing track days this year when we have time.

Kelsey’s stage notes – Photo courtesy of Kelsey Stephens

RYE30 Racing: Ideally, everyone you’ve encountered in motorsports culture has treated you as a competent and motivated peer, whose impression of you on first-sight is unprejudiced by preconception of gender. Has that been the case for you?

Kelsey: I honestly feel that once we are in the car we are all equals. I feel that age, experience, and confidence has helped me become more respected. Occasionally, I meet someone who has the assumption I just came along because my boyfriend drug me. After a few minutes talking with them and pointing out all the other women who came to compete in what is one of the toughest forms of motorsports in the world, I can usually turn those assumptions around. If anyone has hateful comments, I remind myself I am too busy trying to make a positive impact. I don’t have time to deal with hateful people and move along.

If you are a woman in motorsports, remember you never know who might be looking up to you as an example. The first time I was approached by a couple of young girls to sign autographs and answer questions about women in racing, it was a real wakeup call. I realized these girls would be watching me and my actions and behaviors had the potential to shape their image of motorsports as a whole and potentially their place in it. Just as those women I saw shaped my view at my first rally.

A group photo of all the female drivers and co-drivers at the New England Forest Rally in July 2019 – Photo courtesy of Kelsey Stephens

RYE30 Racing: I hate to say it, but the RYE30 crew may be outliers as far as believing women have as deserved a role in motorsports as any man. In researching for this interview, we’ve come to realize that some people view female drivers as gimmicks or marketing ploys. And frankly, we’re quite upset about that. What would you say to a female driver who might be discouraged when they hear something like that?

Kelsey: You can find plenty of women who genuinely kicked booty all throughout history if you go searching. One of the reasons I love rally so much is because women have historically been involved in the sport at all levels. Perhaps this makes me out of touch with other forms of motorsports because rally is its own bubble. From my perspective, I believe attitudes are changing. One of the best things you can do is surround yourself with the people who believe in you. Focus on your own goals and the work you are putting in to achieve them. Stay confident, motivated, and passionate. If some folks choose to be negative about your motorsports journey, remember that is their decision and do your best not to let it affect you. Set a positive example of what being a woman in motorsports means to you. As I stated above, you never know who is looking up to you as the example or who might relate to the way YOU drive.

Kelsey and Calvin – Photo courtesy of R1 Images

RYE30 Racing: How can we get more women into the seats of racecars and what can the average person do to support that effort?

Kelsey: Here in the US as the sport of stage rally grows so does its inclusion of women. In 2019 the number of women registered as competitors with the American Rally Association surpassed 100 which was a growth of 62% in one year. Of the 30 championship winning drivers and codrivers 9 were Ladies, including myself. What an honor to be surrounded by so many amazing women!

If someone seems genuinely interested in motorsports, support them. If you hear people saying things or behaving in a way to make others uncomfortable, find a way to call out those actions. Support others with your words and actions and set a good example of how motorsports enthusiasts should behave. Don’t underestimate anyone who wants to be involved or has an interest. 

Kelsey represents a woefully underrepresented and highly underestimated segment of the racing community. Sponsors and teams will often dispose of women the same way the rest of society does and it’s deliberately detrimental to the progress of 51% of the world’s population. Don’t let women and girls like Kelsey just be statistics by supporting them in any way you can. Take Kelsey’s suggestions to the racetrack, and you’ll have the opportunity to make the sport better. Take Kelsey’s suggestions to heart, and you’ll make lives better.

Kelsey: If you are interested in our team’s story and following us through the 2020 season, find our video series “Flat Over Crest” on YouTube.
YouTube – youtube.com/cooperautoworks
Facebook – facebook.com/cooperautoworks 
Online – cooperautoworks.com/

Cooper Autoworks 2020 Rally Schedule – Photo courtesy of iheartfast and Kelsey Stephens

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, Instagram @rye30racing, and Facebook @rye30racing.

We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

Special Thanks to Lyndsay Kirkham, contributor to the Racing Insiders podcast. Follow her on Instagram @captainlkirkham.

RE30urces – A Short List of E30 Tips, Tricks, and Tales

Millenials and Gen Z’ers grew up loving cars in a period of technological transition. Which is to say we know how to rotate the illegally downloaded repair manual PDFs for the era of cars that we consider superior and classic. Whether you grew up on Pole Position, Gran Turismo 2, or Burnout, you’ll have no trouble navigating this list of E30 resources to make you and your car faster, or just get it back on the road. If you’re new to E30s, this is not a comprehensbuyive list by far, but you can use it as a search terminology guide.

R3vlimited.com logo

ForumsSign up for one or more of these sites and be an active part of the online community.
E30 Zone
M42 Club
R3vlimited
BimmerForums (E30 subcategory)

Bimmertips.com

Parts Diagrams, Exploded Views, Manuals
Real OEM
Bimmer Tips

Blogs / VlogsFollow these folks and get the real dirt (especially from the rally drivers) on what it’s really like to own and race E30s.
Caswell Motorsport – Bill raced an E30 in WRC…in 2010!
Cooper Autoworks – St. Louis’ers Kelsey and Calvin rally race their M50-powered E30.
Restore It – YouTube rehab series focusing on the owner’s E30.
Everything Engineering – Interesting E30 M42 build from a UCF engineering student.

E30 Buyer’s GuidesIn all honesty, just go back and check out the Blogs / Vlogs section if you want to see first-hand knowledge.
Classicandsportscar.com
Hagerty.com
BMWBlog

Facebook GroupsI don’t need to warn you that sometimes, people online are assholes.
Midwest E30 Owners Gruppe
SpecE30
E30 Zone (sister group to the forum)
E30 Enthusiasts Australia

AutocrossYou don’t need to own a BMW to autocross with BMW clubs and vice versa. Take a look at these sites for locations, scheduling, and pricing to give you a general idea of whether autocrossing is going to be right for you (which it will be).
Chicago Region BMWCCA Autocross
New York Region BMWCCA Autocross
Los Angeles Area BMWCCA Autocross
Portland Area BMWCCA Autocross
Windy City Miata Club Autocross (I would be doing my Miata-owning heritage a disservice if I didn’t mention my home-turf club)

Thanks for reading. Check us out on Instagram @RYE30Racing or Facebook @RYE30 Racing. Our coupon code for 16% off classic BMW on diagonalt.com is “RYE30”. They have lots of cool prints, coasters, and calendars!

The Who, What, Where, and Oh-My-God Why of RYE30 Racing – Team Profiles

A group of crows is called a “murder”. Pretty metal. A flock of E30-racing autcrossers is called a “dufus.” Membership in this elite organization is limited to the ranks of those who are most willing to sacrifice their precious time, effort, and dedication to safeguarding the sanctity of the bottom of the timing sheet. Please enjoy these interviews with the three co-conspirators of RYE30 Racing. Michael first answers what the meaning of life is, Andy tells us about being asked to leave, and Duncan almost cries at the thought of friendship.

Michael ShadleWeaboo, STI Enthusiast (the car), Lover
Michael and I went to high school together. Our time there was almost identical in experience to that of High School Musical. I was Corbin Blue and he was Zach Efron. He drove a 2nd generation Mazda RX-7 and I have struggled to ever since, be as cool. We’ve recently rekindled our automobile romance and teamed up to build and race the E30. Hopefully you’ve got a dry pair of panties to slip into after you read this; he’s in a band. He daily drives a 540 bhp Subaru Impreza STI and his spirit animal is Keiichi Tsuchiya.

RYE30 Racing: Are you an assman?
Michael: Yes!

RYE30 Racing: What’s your dream car?
Michael: Caterham Super 7.

RYE30 Racing: In what ways do you think you became a better driver last season?
Michael: Getting more comfortable with the car.

RYE30 Racing: What’s your favorite motorsports movie?
Michael: Rush.

RYE30 Racing: Who did 9/11?
Michael: Terrorists (domestic or foreign).

RYE30 Racing: Where can we follow you and the STI?
Michael: @shadldrifter on Instagram.

Photos courtesy of Michael Shadle

Andy Mullins (“A.M.” for short) – Scientist, Rust Connoisseur, Flat Cap Kind-of-Guy
A.M. and I have a memory of our first meeting not unlike the kind of story you would tell your grandchildren. There was coincidence. we’d both driven our Miatas to the same autocross. Despair! My co-driving sister and I pointed out to him that his rim was bent. Awkwardness. He became angry, and then disparately nonchalant. That emotional roller coaster never ended, and 10 years later we’re still best friends. A.M. is a biologist by trade, has the most impressive motorsports resume out of the three of us, and his project-car Alfa Spider is coming along just nicely. Thanks for asking.

RYE30 Racing: Tell me about your time in pit crews?
A.M.: Too many individual stories for a short Q&A. We raced SCCA Spec Miata, STL, some endurance racing, and finally GT racing. Won the June Sprints once or twice, don’t remember. Won the Cat Nationals a few times, Blackhawk was easy for us. I have fond memories! Those were some super long weekends, a lot of time spent away from home. The work was physically exhausting but (although the pay was just alright) very rewarding. I used to come home from Road America after a 3+ hour drive a sweaty, tired, dirty mess, but sporting a huge smile on my face. Then I would pass out on the couch and be sore for a week. 

Working as a young race mechanic taught me the importance of hard work, commitment, loyalty, and discipline. Those are values that propelled my professional life outside of motorsports in a way I couldn’t even imagine when I first turned a wrench. I am forever grateful to my team. 

RYE30 Racing: What was your first automotive event?
A.M.: As a participant, or as a viewer? My earliest memory of an automotive/motorsport event as a viewer was in Brazil. We used to have a vacation home in the mountains where they held a yearly hill climb event, they had some Subarus and Indy Cars (it was a Penske, I remember the day-glo orange of the Marlboro hurting in the eyes when hit with the sunlight) parked in the central square. Those are some good memories. 

As a participant I’ve first tried karting early on, it was an indoor track with silly little gas powered karts (EV karts weren’t a thing) but structured like K1 speed for corporate events and parties and such. Lost steering coming out of the straight and crashed my kart hard on a column, so hard that I cracked the kart’s frame in half. 
They kicked me out for the rest of the day, which was probably the smart thing to do.

RYE30 Racing: If I say you name three times in a mirror, what will I see?
A.M.: Yourself. 

RYE30 Racing: Which do you like better? Karts or cars?
A.M.: Karting is the king of motorsports, home of killer machines and athletes. It is an incredibly demanding activity, requiring you to be in top physical shape. Shifters are just impossibly quick, requiring superhuman coordination and brute strength. Laydown karts and superkarts murder people at 110+ MPH in full car tracks. 

Unfortunately Karting in America is a terminally-ill sport battling a few issues:

First: Image. Despite the extreme nature of the sport, most American enthusiasts don’t perceive karting positively. The enthusiasts’ exposure is on indoor tracks, low performance yard karts, or casual video games. 

Second: Accessibility and culture. There are not many outdoor kart tracks left with an open-model of arrive-and-drive, it’s getting harder and more expensive to find places to race. Most people you race with are hyper competitive, in it to win it no matter the cost. Those are some terrible people to hang out with (rare exception: Some grassroots-level racers and families, vintage karting. Love you, VKA crew) so the all important cultural aspect of any sport is just… Not there.

Third: Retention: Karting has a weak foodhold in the USA as a long-term sport. It’s always been framed as an entry level thing you graduate from, but that spot is now filled by racing sims and autocrossing – both having much, MUCH higher adoption rate, ease of access, and lower entry level/maintenance costs. So people do karting for a little while, then leave to do something else. 

Cars are stupid, but at least I can race in more places and drive them on the street, without having to trailer a kart to a track hours away (the nearest autocross lot is less than 10 minutes from my house.) Started on vintage Italian/Swiss karts, [then] got really into vintage Italian cars. When the right opportunity came to own something special, I bailed. You don’t have to look too close to find residues of my past karting life on my current build.
 
RYE30 Racing: Spell “ICUP”. 
A.M.: No. 

Photo courtesy of Duncan Millar

Duncan MillarAspiring Cult Leader, Vegetarian, Identifies as an M42
Knowyourmeme.com knows it simply as the “Spider-Man Pointing at Spider-Man” meme. Imagine a gaggle of Spider dudes pointing at each other and you’ll have the following interview with RYE30’s author, editor, photographer, publicist, fluffer, and sous chef, Duncan Millar.

RYE30 Racing: How long have you been involved in motorsports?
Duncan: If I were to put an official date on it, I’d say summer 2009. That was the first time I autocrossed with my ’90 black-and-red rattle-canned Mazda Miata. I was only 20-ish by then but I remember regretting wasting as much time as I had, not racing. It was as inexpensive and accessible at the time as it is now and I wish more people would consider doing it!

RYE30 Racing: Would you consider yourself closer in comparison to Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling?
Duncan: I think that’s an easier question to answer than you think. If I were to answer it respective to his looks and his capabilities, I would tell you to consider Ryan Gosling’s filmography. His brooding, like mine, is integral to his method. Blade Runner 2049. Drive. I often find myself staring out a window, reminiscing motionlessly, and let me tell you; I get chills. And not just because it’s February and I have that window open.

RYE30 Racing: Realistically, what would you be racing now if you didn’t have the E30? Unrealistically?
Duncan: I think realistically, if I were better with money, we’d be in a Lotus 7 kit car. A LoCost or something similar with a Miata drivetrain. Or we’d be in some sort of spec series like Spec Miata, or taking a more serious dive at LeMons racing. Unrealistically? Pod-racing.

RYE30 Racing: What is your mission with the RYE30 Racing brand?
Duncan: Each one of us would love more than anything for this hobby to turn into a career. Procrastination had gotten the better of me in particular and I finally convinced myself that too late was going to be when I took a dirt nap, so I got together with my guys and asked if they wanted to be a part of making RYE30 into something that could hopefully one day become bigger than us, and they were more than willing.

To say tangibly what we want to do with the brand is to say that we want to race. We have the skill base between the three of us to get out on the track and ideally become a traditional race team; drivers, a pit crew, rubber, development, and wins. If we can mold ourselves into something that companies want to throw sponsorship dollars at, that would be the ultimate goal. In the meantime, we want it to be a source of giving back to the community what all three of us have been given from it. Knowledge and bad jokes.

RYE30 Racing: Is that you in the Weinermobile?
Duncan: Why, yes it is. A friend of mine’s brother drove it for a year on contract. The experience was the closest to a religious one as I believe I’ll ever get. Fun facts about it: it’s built on a gas-powered GM 6500 series frame, it’s automatic, and it’s loaded with the little weiner-whistles.

Photo courtesy of Duncan Millar

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow us here on the blog, and on Instagram @rye30racing. We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting like that of a new romantic relationship so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.

Beautiful Cars, Those Classic BMWs: An Interview with Diagonalt’s Pawel Bilas

Pawel hails from the land of the famous 80’s new wave band a-ha. We get the Norwegian’s “take on” his role as the owner and lead designer of Diagonalt, and its sister design firm Desagn. Our partnership with Diagonalt is a first for us and to celebrate, Pawel has given us his time in the interview below and a discount for our readers.

Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Pawel Bilas

RYE30 Racing: Your products are simple and modern. I feel like that style is a perfect fit for the subject matter because the classic BMWs you feature speak well for themselves. Can you talk about what might have inspired you to showcase the cars this way?

Well, I love the whole sensation of Bavarian cars. I can’t express myself what this nostalgic emotion does to my soul. I’m just simply, very into it. I think it’s the personalities, the mindset, the lifestyle…I’ve always been attracted to the simplicity and pure function. It kind of came out somehow. I wanted to give something from me to the enthusiasts – as a designer and enthusiast myself. It seems that everybody focuses on the most known models like M3 etc. I wanted to expose the cars that enthusiasts truly admire. The rarity, uniqueness and simple forms with personal touches. Back then, I didn’t know how to express it. One day I’ve noticed one drawing of the E30 – it was something. But I felt I can make it better, and here we are.

Photo courtesy of Pawel Bilas

RYE30 Racing: It’s easy to make products at home these days by simply outsourcing, or designing and manufacturing them at home with design programs, high-quality printers, and 3D printing technology. How involved are you in the manufacturing of any of the products?

I do as much as I can! To give an example: I prefer to shoot the real cars in the right angles, that I can later work on. I often spend late evenings getting the lines the way I want. It’s all about showing the basics until the car looks complete. I’ve produced a lot of prints at home. I still do, but now just the custom prints. The rest is produced by a print house that I’ve collaborated for a while. It came to that point that I can not afford doing it at home. It took a while to find good materials and processes that I’m happy with. I also have one friend that helps me with the calendars shipment. To be honest, it’s cheaper to outsource bigger orders. In that way, I get more time to deal with promotions, customers, ideas and design of the new products. It’s my pleasure to do so. 

RYE30 Racing: We noticed some fashionable displays of your One Model Prints on your Diagonalt homepage. What’s the best way to display your prints and calendars? Thank you! I’m trying to display my products in an honest and tasty kind of way. I think my minimalist side is talking there strong. I’m inspired by Dieter Ram, that once said that products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. He also meant that the product design should, therefore, be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression. Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. I would like it if people had that in mind, before displaying my products.

RYE30 Racing: RYE30 Racing has a mandate to practice the Four “R’s” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse) as much as possible in the course of our building and racing. Can you speak to any direct or indirect efforts to be sustainable or use recycled products?

Are we talking about car products? I love to search for used and rare BMW stuff! I like collecting, renovating and reusing old parts. I do also sell them sometimes when I realize that I don’t need them anymore.
This mindset translates to Diagonalt. Living nowadays and expressing nostalgic cars end its era couldn’t exist without a good sustainability story behind. All of my papers and materials are carefully selected to meet my imposed needs. Recycling suits my products very well. I think it’s the only way to do it.

RYE30 Racing: Do you have any products in development that you’re excited about offering?

Yes. I have plenty of car models that are not in the store yet. It takes quite a time preparing a good product presentation. You know, there is this thing, when you do things for yourself, you’re never happy and always find something that could be better. I’ve been planning to extend the horizon for stickers too. Everything is set, I just need to make some decisions about the model and color combination – it’s not that easy as it sounds.

Photo courtesy of Pawel Bilas

About Pawel:

RYE30 Racing: I know very little about Norway. What is the car culture like there?

Different. However, I’m focused on the BMW culture and events. We have strong sociality. There is always something happening. Even during the winter. We tend to have fun with the cars on the frozen lakes. It’s the cheapest way of racing cars and brings lots of fun. I think racing cars are popular in Norway. There are many possibilities to do it safely and legally. The best thing is, that enthusiasts help each other a lot. Have you, for example, heard the story behind the renovation of DTM E30 M3 Jägermeister? It’s the perfect example of how shared passion unites and helps people. That’s why I love being into it. It’s not really about the cars – it’s the people and atmosphere that make it worth it.

RYE30 Racing: I browsed your portfolio, Desagn and was very impressed! How long have you been practicing as a professional graphic designer?

Professional – it’s when you first get paid for your work, isn’t it? Then I’ve been doing it for over ten years I think. 

Photo courtesy of Pawel Bilas

RYE30 Racing: What was your first job as a professional?

I can’t remember. Maybe I have too many thoughts about the future in my head. I’ve started sole proprietorship already during my high school and did different, weird projects for people and companies in my hometown.

RYE30 Racing: What would your ideal BMW be?

That would be a perfect condition Henna red BMW E30 M3. Probably with a few racing and personal relishes.

RYE30 Racing: Do you own any BMWs now?

I own only BMW’s. I do have a Zinobber red 2-Door E30 with M42 engine. I’ve always wanted to have a red IS, almost like from the first catalog page – Meer motor, Meer auto, Meer sport. I’ve renovated engine, suspension and every moving part of it. It took me over a year to have it finished. The paint works are not perfect. Probably that’s why I’ve decided to take it on our vacation trips for the last two years. 
Another one is a 1983 E28 with M10 motor. Bought it cheaply from my friend and rescued from death. It was meant to be my winter car, back when I had the E30 Cabrio M-Technic II. The 5 Series has been with me for about 4-5 years now. We’ve been through a lot together.She brings me the most joy of all the cars that I’ve ever driven. My girl likes it a lot too and she doesn’t allow me to sell it. Funny that I’ve never liked the E28’s until I started to own one.
A few months ago I bought the brown E30 320i. Preface 2-doors.Original car in good condition and low mileage. She needs some love, but I guess she will be fine with me. The only thing is that I’m not sure what to do with her yet. 
And my daily. I’ve been driving classic cars for a long time, every day. But last year we’ve decided to buy a “new” car. The E92 325iA showed up. I said well, why not? It took me about one month and she was transformed as I wanted. It’s so easy to customize “new” cars. You can just go and buy parts, install them and… drive. Very easy compared to the oldies.

RYE30 Racing: Where do you see yourself, and Diagonalt or Desagn in five or ten years?

I hope it grows and I can do it for a living. I recently quit my daily job to start working only with these things. I do have expanding plans and I hope it will go somehow right. It’s still much work to get it all where I want it to be. But I enjoy combining my work and passion to shape my future. The best thing is that I get a lot of opportunities to meet new, fascinating and engaged people.

Check out Pawel’s products and work at Diagonalt.com and Desagn.com, and on Instagram @diagonalt.

We’d like to thank Pawel again for his time! Don’t forget to check out his site diagonalt.com and use our promo code “RYE30” for 16% off everything but calendars (which are our favorite product here at RYE30 Racing). Thanks for reading!