It's a freezing cold February day in Loughborough, England.
We ask ourselves one question; It's not show season, why the hell are we here?
We have assembled TeamRollHard from all corners of the UK, for what...?
Our very good friend Alex Flanagan and his 1996 328i is what; this is a riot on wheels.
Ok so on paper…?
1996 BMW E36 328i manual with hens teeth (for a ‘96) optional LSD.
Coilovers. Overfenders. Spoiler. Wheels.
That simple I hear you ask? Well, yes AND no. Let me explain...
What you won’t know about Alex is he’s a 'thinking man'. He plans his builds in such a detailed way. Nothing is left to chance. Yes this car is a simple formula, but in truth Alex had already planned overfenders, spring rates, wheel widths, offsets and tyre choices before any part for his E36 had even been ordered. The outcome you see here is a result of careful planning and research.
Alex has always loved E36’s and inspired by following builds in the states from Shaun Quill, Derek Buehler and Michal Adamiszym he had a good idea of how he wanted to do his.
"I planned the wheel widths around potential tyre choices to get the fitment how I wanted it..."
This car certainly isn't about being perfect. We don't care and nor should you. She's a rough diamond and gets abused quite rightly so. She's no dainty ballroom dancer, this one's a delinquent striper with low morals and a fat overfender ass.
The Boston Green paint is a rare base colour in a world seemingly overrun with low E36 BMW's. The wider overfendered body goes some way to diverting attention away from THOSE wheels, which Alex is rightly proud of.
"Work Meisters have been my favourite wheel ever since I got my licence..."
They must be 17s surely I hear you ask...? Nope, I'll give you another go.
Flanner's 36 is extremely well heeled, those are 18x9.5 and 18x10 3 piece Work Meister S1 running impossibly skinny rubber. Personally for me, these wheels also hold a special place in my heart too. These are actually 'my' first set of Meister's S1’s. Well, let me clarify, RollHard helped Alex source these from Work Wheels in Japan, which I guess makes us very partially responsible in some way for this debauched beast.
Is this the first E36 to truly pull of 18s? Well, I wouldn't like to make such a bold claim, but I would say if you've seen a better one, please send the owner in my direction.
In the suspension department, what you're looking is a set of Broadway Static Series 500 coilovers. Widely regarded as the best available for the E36, either way they go very nicely low which to you and your eyes, is the only thing that matters.
“...I wanted to try 18s before I even got coilovers... I set myself a goal to be as low on 18s as it was on 17s...”
Running 18k springs front and 20k rear keeps things pretty damn stiff and the additional room created by the Felony Form replica fenders is nicely filled by the 18” Miesters. The changes you won’t notice but make all the difference to the drive-ability are an engine raise and fuel filter relocation. A must for any E36 looking to run low.
The stock M-sport kit is complimented well by the replica M3 GT spoiler at the rear. Like I said, this car is about small changes, big impact.
This isn't the first E36 on overfenders and certainly won't be the last, but this one is a product of sticking two fingers up to those who said 18s couldn't be done with any real aggression. And to those doubters, I'm sorry to break it to you... but Alex Carroll's pictures are proof.
...For that reason alone we're totally in love with this.
Owner: Alex Flanagan
Photography: Alex Carroll
Words: Aron Norris