Ade’s New discs and Bluestuff pads fitted BMW 323i E36/4

Ade’s New discs and Bluestuff pads fitted BMW 323i E36/4

I’ve always been a sucker for a Nürburgring trip. I’ve lost count of how many times I have visited, but it’s in the double figures. It’s not a difficult or particularly expensive one to tick off the bucket list, either, as I often tell people who wistfully talk of ‘one day I’ll go there’! Two and a half hours from Glasgow sees me at the Newcastle ferry for a relaxed (or party-spec, depending on your mood) overnight crossing to Amsterdam. Then it’s a four-hour drive down to Adenau, where you’ll find a multitude of places to sleep, eat and drink near the legendary circuit. Before all of that, though, the E36 needed a little bit of attention.


Simple stuff first. A post-Brexit UK-branded plate instead of the old GB ones, and a German Umwelt Zone sticker to allow us to drive into German cities. As much as I love the look of my recently fitted 18” Style 32s, I opted to get my staggered 17” Style 66s refurbished and fitted with some quality rubber for the trip. It may be in my head, but the car just feels a touch more nimble on the smaller wheels. The tyre choice was Falken’s ZE310 in a 215/40. A nice fit with the tiniest bit of stretch on the 8”/9” combo, and from previous experience, I know they are a superbly predictable and grippy option which stays consistent even when used hard and heated up on long sessions. Perfect for the world’s largest racetrack!


Ade’s New discs and Bluestuff pads fitted BMW 323i E36/4

The extra prep involved visiting Simon’s Custom Exhausts in East Kilbride for a replacement rear section and silencer. The old aftermarket one was getting painfully loud; it had been caught a few times, and the tailpipe looked rough. A fresh custom back box with my favourite hooligan-spec 4” outwardly rolled pipe sorted things out nicely. While up on the ramp, it was noticed that the front coilovers were leaking.


Ade’s New discs and Bluestuff pads fitted BMW 323i E36/4

Probably to be expected after four years of constant hard use, but not what my wallet wanted days before this trip. Thankfully, Colin at the nearby Qwikcarpartz had a used but fresh set of HSD coilovers sitting in his personal stash available at a good price. These were immediately fitted, and the difference was instantly staggering. Leaking no-name coilovers are really no match for a proper setup! Those, coupled with a set of Bluestuff pads, grooved discs, and the new tyres had the 323i ready to take on the ’Ring.

The trip was textbook. The crossing a bit drunk, the autobahns both superbly efficient and high-speed fun. Then at the ’Ring, we were confronted with the typical buzzing atmosphere around the track. Our trip coincided with one of the rare days when the GP track was open, so it would have been rude not to have a go. €27 buys a 15-minute session of the 5km track. It’s fast, technical, and on this day also very busy. Still great fun and a very different experience from the lengthy roller coaster that is the Nordschleife. Speaking of which, that’s where our trio of cars headed the day after. Over the years, the type of cars at the ’Ring has noticeably changed. It used to be filled with much simpler cars, but now the likes of late model M-cars and GT Porsches make up a large bulk of the cars on track. Our cars may lack the power and sophistication of the typical traffic, but were absolutely capable. Plus, from the experience of taking cars of various drivetrains and power levels, I have to say that a 200-ish horsepower, front-engine, rear-drive, fully manual car with zero driver aids is by far the most fun way to drive flat-out around this glorious circuit. I couldn’t recommend a trip exactly like this more!


Ade’s New discs and Bluestuff pads fitted BMW 323i E36/4

Simon’s Custom Exhausts sorted a new back box New discs and Bluestuff pads fitted A set of HSDs replaced the leaking coilovers.

An eclectic line-up. A Fiat Coupé Turbo and Porsche Boxster were also on the trip The expression of joy and relief after several laps of the infamous Green Hell are completed hassle-free

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