In the October Issue | Meet the Bergsteiger, the Most Radical E36 Ever

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Aug 5, 2020 | BMW, BimmerWorld, Bergsteiger

The project started with a seemingly simple question: What’s awesome?

The “what” referred to the motorsports events that make up our scene. The question was posed by Optima, the battery company popular in the enthusiast market. James Clay, owner of BMW tuning house BimmerWorld, was the one being asked. The question basically represented a blank slate for his next giant motorsports project.

Pikes wasn’t anything I really thought I’d do,” he now recalls. But he couldn’t deny it: Racing up Pikes Peak sounded awesome.

Killing It: The Need to Do More Than Just Participate

That original conversation took place early in 2017, and that summer James made his Pikes Peak International Hill Climb debut in a relatively mild E92-chassis BMW M3. The project more or less represented the standard track build: a little more power for the naturally aspirated V8, a bit less weight courtesy of some carbon-fiber parts, and then some proven aero add-ons. The car could have been built right out of the catalog, since just about everything was a bolt-on part.

It was a solid rookie car,” James recalls. It was reliable and fast enough to put him in the top third of the field. “But I find it hard to do events like that and do it once,” he continues, explaining how people can dedicate years to winning or even dominating an event. “It’s like the 24 hours at the ’Ring. That was fun. Now I want to kill it.”

The dream of killing Pikes Peak meant that James needed a faster horse. “Number one, we need a turbo,” he explains while looking back. The Pikes Peak course starts at 9390 feet above sea level, with the checkered flag coming at 14,110 feet. “The only way you’re going to do well at that mountain is with a turbo.” And then it would need some serious aero.


Subscribe now to get the rest of this story and more in the October issue of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine.


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Cedricn New Reader
8/7/20 3:26 a.m.

Most radical E36 Ever, thats a bold claim, there are some wild E36s over here. Well see when the magazine eventually makes it way over the atlantic and into my mailbox, i think the shipping goes by some rowing boat :)

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/7/20 9:00 a.m.

In reply to Cedricn :

I don't want to spoil anything, but yeah, this E36 is pretty rowdy.

You'll have to let us know what you think when you get a chance to read about it. wink

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