E36s in the UK drift scene often get a lot of stick and, sometimes, it’s for good reason. There seems to be a very fine line that separates well-presented, almost show standard cars from mangled missiles that are fit for the scrap heap, complete with their fluorescent coloured OEM wheels and amateur graffiti sprayed up the sides. When you do see an E36 that walks this fine line between presentability and balls out usability though, the result is often fantastic. Mark Hughes’ Saloon is one such example.
The first thing that you’ll probably notice on this car is the addition of the HM-Sports E36 Saloon Aero kit. Mark wanted to bring some Japanese flavour to his car and fitting the kit was definitely a step in the right direction towards his end goal.
The HM-Sports Front Lip has been bonded to the M-Sport front bumper to ensure for a snug fit. The quintessentially Japanese Buddyclub P1 17×9 front wheels are rarely seen on BMWs, mainly due to the requirement to fit PCD adapters in order for them to fit (they are usually found in 5×114.3 or 4×100 PCDs). They are, without a doubt, another key aspect of Mark’s build that helps to tie the Japanese aesthetic together.
Moving along to the rear and you’ll find a pair of 17×9.5 Rota Kyushas. While these aren’t exactly what you’d call the real deal, they do at least evoke the feel of classic Japanese five-spoke split wheels.
The HM-Sports Rear Lip has been bonded to the rear bumper and helps to bring some additional depth, aggression and individuality to what is a very familiar rear end for most.
Looking upwards and you’ll spot the HM-Sports Roof Spoiler, another key addition that is relatively small and simple, yet provides great visual gains.
What sets Mark’s car apart from the vast majority of modified E36s is that it doesn’t sport the ubiquitous forward-facing rake that most suffer from. This has been dealt with by modifying the HSD rear springs (that also feature heavier spring rates than usual) to allow the rear to sit as low as possible. Rear camber arms have also been fitted to ensure that the rear wheels and tyres are sitting as best they can within the heavily butchered rear arches, even when the car is squatting heavily.
It’s also hard to ignore that black-over-red paint job that pays homage to Supermade’s classic demo cars; another piece of the puzzle that sets this BMW apart from countless other E36s with comparably dull factory colours.
And there you have it. Without breaking the bank, Mark has created an E36 that gets a huge amount of well-deserved attention wherever it goes, be it on the road or on track. It’s great to see that this car is no show pony either and frequently gets dealt the abuse that it deserves, all while standing out like a sore thumb on the grid in comparison to the other BMWs present.
Engine & Drivetrain:
M52B28 engine with M50 manifold and remapped ECU
ZF gear box
318 welded diff
Aluminium radiator with electric fan
Chassis & Suspension:
HSD DualTech coilovers with custom spring rates
Rear camber arms
Destroyordie extended front lower arms
4mm steering rack spacers
17×9 Buddyclub P1 front wheels
17×9.5 Rota Kyusha rear wheels
HM-Sports E36 Saloon Aero kit with Roof Spoiler
Honda Milano Red paint (lower half), Ford Jet Black paint (upper half)