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1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb

A fitting homage to a defining moment in European automotive history

Colin Ryan
Feb 9, 2015
Photographer: Jason Manchester

There are some things Jägermeister-related we may or may not be grateful for, but the sticky liquor's involvement in German Touring Cars (DTM) is definitely a plus. This combination of vivid orange livery on one of the most desirable cars in the world is a traffic-stopping, head-turning event.

1988 BMW E30 M3 evo II front chin 02 Photo 2/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb

It's the work of Christian Georg Besemer and his CG Motorsports shop. Based in Richmond, British Columbia (immediately south of Vancouver), Besemer says, "our specialty is anything M." It didn't start that way, though.

1988 BMW E30 M3 S50B32 engine 19 Photo 3/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 S50B32 Engine 19

"I was a big Volkswagen guy back in the day and wanted to work at the local dealers," Besemer says. "But my dad already worked there and didn't want me to get a job at the same place, just in case people thought there might be any favoritism. So I walked across the street to the BMW dealer and they hired me. This was in 1989. I stayed with them and got a journeyman license."

This was also how Besemer grew to appreciate the many virtues of the blue-and-white roundel, although the VW habit was tough to kick. "All the money I earned at BMW went into Corrados and Sciroccos. My true passion was performance. And being a tech, I'd see cars come in that were modified the wrong way. That was sad for me."

1988 BMW E30 M3 recaro sportster CS front seats 04 Photo 7/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb

This frustration led to setting up his own shop in 1999. "We originally did VW and BMW tuning, but eventually drifted away from VW. So did my customers. Now we're only BMW. We do a lot of servicing. BMW is building its cars so well these days that it's extremely expensive to make any worthwhile modifications. This Jägermeister M3 is a treat for us."

1988 BMW E30 M3 sport evo rear wing 14 Photo 8/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 Sport Evo Rear Wing 14

Besemer owns a couple of M3s himself and has built four cars similar to this one. In fact, client Ari Burstein (erstwhile H&R distributor in Canada and now a big man in the steel business) pestered Besemer regularly to sell him an M3. Finally, Besemer suggested that his shop build one to Burstein's specs. So they looked around for the ideal wheels. "The hunt is the most exciting thing," Besemer says. Incidentally, jäger means "hunt" in German.

This car started out as a white E30, but Burstein didn't want to see any trace of the old paintwork when opening the doors or lifting the hood. So it was stripped down completely for the full orange Monty. But what started out as a DTM replica suddenly became an example of mission creep. Burstein wanted a rollcage (it's an OMP unit) and the Euro-spec S50B32 engine from an E36 M3.

"Putting an E36 engine into an E30 bay was fairly straightforward," Besemer says, with a modesty that doesn't even hint at the ingenious use of original BMW components. "We didn't have to build anything fancy. We borrowed from the parts bins of various models, including the E21 (the first-generation 3 Series), E24 ('80s 6 Series), E28 ('80s 5 Series), E32 ('80s 7 Series), E46 (fourth-generation 3 Series), and E53 (first-generation X5). If the techs at BMW had built one of these, they might well have done the same thing."

1988 BMW E30 M3 sport evo rear wing 03 Photo 12/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb

Naturally, the quest for power didn't stop there, not when there's the chance of adding a supercharger. Besemer turned to Active Autowerke. "They're the go-to guys for forced induction in BMW cars," he says. They had a stage one tune all ready to go, but of course, Burstein wanted a stage two, which Active Autowerke had not developed up to that point. "So we transported the car down to their shop in Florida." And in went a methanol injection system as well. Joining the right kind of Miami vice are CP low-compression pistons and a Walbro 400 liters per hour fuel pump.

"The big hurdle was the intercooler," Besemer says. "We modified everything in the kit to make all the pipes fit." Plumbing in general has been a challenge. Take the headers, for example. "It's best to have all six tubes the same length. We found the factory E36 headers were not only a beautiful design, but they also worked the best. We customized a mandrel-bent centersection and that goes to an Eisenmann muffler." As well as servicing the aftermarket, Eisenmann is an OE supplier to Porsche and AMG.

1988 BMW E30 M3 euro spec E36 M3  S50B32 05 Photo 16/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb

The few transmission tweaks were a JB Racing lightweight aluminum flywheel and heavy-duty clutch, UUC Motorwerks short shift kit, and the limited-slip differential from a Z3M. "It holds an extra liter of oil," Besemer says. "And the fanned casing helps keep things cool."

This idea of cannibalizing later models to benefit a BMW from the past was repeated with the steering rack. It's another Z3M component, chosen for its close-ratio gearing. And note the front fascia from an Evolution II M3, a variant that never came to the United States.

No go-faster build is complete without the ability to slow down. Besemer installed a Brembo big brake setup at the front, with four-piston calipers biting on 13-inch one-piece cross-drilled discs with Hawk HPS track pads. The rears have 11-inch Brembo cross-drilled discs and the same Hawk pads.

Ground Control coilovers and Racing Dynamics antiroll bars (thankfully, an over-the-counter purchase that didn't need any extra tweaking) collude with Toyo Proxes P1 tires on Fikse Profil 10 forged alloy wheels to provide dynamics, traction, and grip. Which is where the real fun starts. "The widest rear tire you can fit on this M3 is a 245," Besemer says. "This car will light those tires up in Third gear. The power is almost unusable."

1988 BMW E30 M3 evo II front chin 09 Photo 20/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb

Almost, but somehow Burstein manages to drive it, even though the dyno says 414 hp at a screaming 7,300 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque at a similarly busy 6,500 rpm, measured at the wheels. He sits in a Recaro Sportster CS seat, buckles up his orange Graphic Design seat belt, adjusts his E36 side mirrors, squints at Podi vent-mounted gauges, then puts his feet on Hamann pedals.

1988 BMW E30 M3 hamann gear knob 10 Photo 21/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb

And he'll be heading to Area 27 as soon as that project is completed. It's a new racing facility in South Okanagan (apparently one of the warmest and driest places in Canada) with a track designed by former F1 racer Jacques 0.

"It's not just a straight-line machine," Besemer says. "It has the power and the handling. It's the best of all worlds." Not that we should ever think of this build as finished. Besemer says, "This is the type of car that will never be done."

1988 BMW E30 M3 evo II front chin 13 Photo 22/22   |   1988 BMW E30 M3 Evo II Front Chin 13
By Colin Ryan
180 Articles
1988 BMW E30 M3 - DTM Jager Bomb
Tech Spec
Owner: Ari Burstein
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Engine: Euro-spec E36 M3 S50B32, custom Active Autowerke stage two supercharger system w/methanol injection, E36 radiator, oil cooler, headers, Eisenmann muffler
Drivetrain: Z3M limited-slip differential, JB Racing lightweight aluminum flywheel and heavy duty clutch, UUC Motorwerks short shift kit
Brakes: Brembo four-piston calipers, 13-in. cross-drilled rotors, Hawk HPS track pads (f), Brembo 11-in. cross-drilled rotors, Hawk HPS track pads (r)
Suspension Ground Control coilovers, Racing Dynamics antiroll bars
Wheels & Tires: 17x8.5 Fikse Profil 10 forged alloy wheels, 215/40 Toyo Proxes P1 tires (f); 17x10 Fikse Profil 10 forged alloy wheels, 245/35 Toyo Proxes P1 tires (r)
Exterior: Evo II front chin, Sport Evo rear wing, Hamann fuel door, custom E36 M3 side mirrors, Jägermeister livery
Interior: OMP roll cage, Graphic Design seatbelts, Recaro Sportster CS front seats, Podi vent system, Hamann pedals and aluminum gear knob
Thanks: Rudolf Buchler, main technician/fabricator; Walter Siu, Bismark Collision

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