Car of the Month - November 2008

Cars of the Month

The Car of the Month for November belongs to:
Peter Kilner

  • Model: E12 520i

  • Build Date: May 1975

  • Exterior Color: Inka Orange

  • Interior: Black

  • Milage: 116000 M

  • Show-N-Shine

    The Overview:
    1975 e12 520i
    This car was originally purchased in Tasmania (Australia) where it stayed with its first owner for 19 years. The owner relocated to Nowra on the NSW South coast and traded the car in to buy a car with an air-conditioner. I then purchased the car from the dealer and it was used as a daily driver for 4 years. The 520i was flooded with water during a cyclone in Townsville in 1999 when the carpet and front seats were damaged beyond repair. The car then began its new life as a track day car with the North Queensland Marquee Sports Car Club. The car was stored for some time while I was overseas and fell into a slight state of disrepair. On returning to Sydney in 2004, I set about returning the 520i to its track duties. It was registered as a historical vehicle (as it was then more than 30 years old) and made its return to track day competition with the BMW Drivers Club of New South Wales at Wakefield Park in January 2006.

    The mighty 4 cylinder

    The engine is essentially stock, but was rebuilt in 1997 and was given a "freshen up" and an over-bore taking it out to 2100cc. The only mods to the engine since have been the addition of custom made stainless steel extractors and converting the Kugelfischer mechanical injection to quad throttle body, electronic injection. Timing of acceleration runs indicate that power levels are only slightly higher than standard, with the modifications just overcoming the deterioration due to wear and tear! The body work is an ongoing story. I have removed some of the rust from the body myself and done all the re-spraying at home. The colour matching is not perfect, but a complete re-spray will have to wait until the budget allows. The only mod to the body is the fiberglass trunk-lid which I made myself. It's far from perfect, but it did save an astonishing 10 kg (22 lbs)!

    First Ever Track Day - 2000

    The car has performed beyond anyone's expectations at the track. Most people ignore it at best and many poke much fun at her. The laughter tends to fade away when the times come in though. She has embarrassed many an e30 owner, including many of the 323i and 325i owners. The suspension is well sorted with a set of custom made coilovers running Eibach springs and Bilstein shocks and a set of larger sway-bars. The brakes have been upgraded from the original solid discs to 3.0CSi discs and callipers which has been essential to handle the additional grip from the Toyo Proxes R888 semi-slick track tyres.

    Plans for the rest of this year include a set of strut braces which I have to fabricate due to mods to the suspension towers. Next year will see the old motor replaced with a dedicated track motor - big cam, high-comp pistons, ported head, etc. Target is 180 (reliable) bhp. The ongoing evolution of the 520i can be seen on my blog at

    Brief Specifications:

    Body E12
    Motor M10
    Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection
    Capacity 1990 cc
    Rated Power 95.6 kW (130 bhp)
    Rated Torque 177 Nm (131 ft/lb)
    Original Weight 1250 kg (2750 pounds)
    Gearbox Getrag 242/4 4 Speed manual
    Suspension Front Macpherson struts with lower control arms and anti-roll bar
    Rear Semi trailing arms with anti-roll bar
    Brakes Front 280 mm solid discs, 4 pot calipers
    Rear drums


    Suspension Custom fabricated struts with Eibach race springs front and rear
    Front Camber/caster adjustment
    Up-rated sway bars (with links replaced by adjustable springs)
    Engine Injection Perfection 48mm side draught quad throttle bodies
    Microtech LT10s computer
    Converted points type ignition to electronic
    Removal of Kuggelfischer injection pump
    Custom stainless steel extractors
    2.25 Exhaust
    Straight through muffler
    Thermo fan (removal of original fan)
    Brakes 3.0CSi Vented rotors and 4 piston calipers
    Stainless steel braided lines
    Track spec pads
    Cool air ducting
    Driveline Stock gearbox
    4.1:1 LSD

    Wakefield Park Supersprint

    Front coil-overs

    Team Orange

    On the dummy grid

    Body Repair

    Eastern Creek Supersprint

    John Savage
    © 2008, ™