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Introducing: Griot’s Garage World’s Fastest Detail Wagen

Our Detail Wagen is set to make a big splash at SEMA but in order to maximize its impact we’ve had to keep it under wraps for the last 10 months. It’s been excruciating, but the day of reckoning is here. We will quickly rundown the specs but rest assured we have a series of buildup articles in the pipeline. This thing rocks.

The basis of the build is a 1989 E30 Touring, which is Euro-speak for station wagon. The car took a serendipitous route to our workshop. From its Bavarian birthplace it was delivered to Japan and eventually found its way to America, then finally to Tacoma.

Our plan was to make the world’s first two-door M3 wagon with an emphasis on quality. We wanted concours, coachbuilder level fabrication not a fender swap and sprinkling of emblems… the car had to look like BMW actually built an E30 M3 Touring. We tapped J-Rod & Custom of Auburn, WA to handle the Bavarian’s transformation. Jared Hancock and crew did a masterful job removing the stock front and rear doors of the 3-Series wagon and replacing them with coupe doors that are 9 inches longer. We will outline in more detail how this was pulled off in future Detail Wagen articles. In the end, a total of six coats of PPG Deltron “Griot’s Red” and six coats of clear were sprayed onto the car.

Naturally, as a car care maker we love sculpted body work and making it shine, but we are also into performance in a big way so we knew our Bimmer build was a “more than skin deep” proposition… after all we’re calling it the World’s Fastest Detail Wagen! Needless to say, the original 2.5-liter M20 Inline 6 and its 170 horsepower were not long for this world.

Project lead Forrest Davis of Griot’s Motors dropped a 4.0-liter M60 V8 sourced from a 1995 540i into the engine bay. The swap represents a 112-horse bump in output and includes a 540i 6-speed manual, custom driveshaft, and 2.92 LSD rearend. Forrest also shaved and filled the firewall and inner fenders and took the time to fully wire tuck the harnesses for an impressive clean and minimalistic look. A custom stainless steel header-back exhaust system should easily push power from 282 to well over 300 when all is said and done.

Detail Wagen also has the footwork of its svelte namesake, the mighty M3. Custom coilovers from Ground Control, upgraded anti-sway bars, and a Brembo big brake kit enhance the handling of our newest delivery rig. Rolling stock consists of custom offset HRE 501M alloy wheels and Falken Azenis rubber. The bold gold meshies measure 17×8 up front and 17×9 out back. They are wrapped with Ultra-High Performance Azenis RT619K tires (215/40-17 front, 235/40-17 rear).

The theme was taken all the way into the cabin as McFarland Auto Upholstery used genuine BMW M-Tech fabric to wrap all pertinent surfaces. Out back, the rear seat has been deleted and replaced with a custom product display rack that affords complete access to Griot’s Garage detailing products. The cargo area is also adorned with a 15-gallon water tank and hose accommodations so we can pull up, gear up, and detail any car from head to toe.

This is just a handshake introduction to the newest member of the Griot’s team and we will follow it up with a series of articles that show what went into creating the World’s Fastest Detail Wagen. Stay tuned.

Have fun in your garage!


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