As some of you may know, APEX will occasionally run Group Buys for our classic BMW fitment ARC-8 wheels. However, many of you are unaware of the fact that if it wasn’t for these wheels, the APEX brand would not be what it is today.
The story behind the ARC-8 started when APEX’s owner, Eddy Pintacsi, realized that the aftermarket at the time did not offer a wheel that met his desired specifications for his personal E30 M3 track car. In the spirit of the group buy, we sat down with Eddy to further discuss his E30 M3 build, the initial ideas behind the first ARC-8 wheel, and the origination of the APEX brand.
What initially drew you to purchasing an E30 M3?
Eddy: The sound of the carbon air box and it’s boxy fenders.
How long have you owned the car for? Do you intend to ever sell it?
Eddy: I’ve had it for about 15 years now. I’m pretty sure I’ll never sell it, and will be buried in it.
How often have you tracked the car in the past? How often do you track the car currently?
Eddy: I used to take it 1-2 times a month, but recently it’s mostly been in storage. Now that I have space to work on it again, It will get back out to the track once or twice a year.
What kind of challenges have you run into maintaining and regularly tracking such a high mileage example of the E30 M3?
Eddy: The chassis was already high mileage when I purchased it, but most everything has been replaced at some point recently in terms of mileage not years. The low mileage engine and dogleg transmission were brought over from Europe and installed by the previous owner. Because the car wasn’t pristine anymore with a gutted interior, focus really went to just keeping driveline and suspension components fresh. It will need a going-over once again before it gets to it’s next track day.
Have you ever considered swapping a different engine into the car? Why or why not?
Eddy: When I got this car I knew I would never swap anything else into it. When I pop the motor I’ll do an extensive performance rebuild. I know the ROI will be terrible, but I’m not interested in this car for just its body. It may not be a pristine garage queen but it will be respected for keeping the S14 in it.
Do you currently track any other cars regularly? If so, how do they compare to your experience tracking the E30 M3?
Eddy: I regularly drive a SPEC E46 (330ci). I could feel the weight difference with the lighter e30, but the torque was much lower than the E46. Having tracked an F10 M5 before, I much prefer light weight and low power vs. wrestling with power and weight. It was very rewarding to drive the E30 as it’s very much a momentum car, which is what people respect about Miatas. The S14 is low on torque, so momentum is even more important than in a non-M E30. At this point it’s an impractical and expensive BMW equivalent of a miata.
What was your mentality towards developing a wheel specifically for the E30 M3? Were there no other wheels on the market that met your requirements/preferences?
Eddy: The E30 has an unusually shallow brake hat, which means the rotor is pretty close to the wheel’s face. When you put a BBK on the car, the caliper hits the spokes more easily than newer generation BMW’s. The style of the period was wheels with lips and concavity, so it was very difficult to get a light, affordable wheel that could clear a BBK spacer free. APEX’s first ever group buy was to help get a batch of wheels made to solve that problem.
How have APEX’s classic BMW wheels evolved since the original E30 M3 wheel was conceived?
Eddy: We first started out with flat faced wheels only for max BBK clearance and focused on track only fitments, but as time went on people were a fan of these fitments and we release more concave and more aggressive fitments for street use as well. We even went back and offered concave wheels for the e30 m3 since many people were still running the stock brakes and could make the concave style fit. The benefit of concavity is that the wheels are often lighter, so it’s a win-win as we were able to release a style that people preferred. We lowered the weight even though we widened the fitment from 8” to 8.5”.
Year: 1987 build
Mileage: 298,000 miles
Engine: 2.3L S14
Transmission: Euro dogleg
Wheels: 17×8″ ET20 ARC-8 in Hyper Silver
Tires: 235/40-17 Nitto NT01
Safety Equipment: TC Design roll bar, Recaro seats, and Schroth harnesses.
Notable extras: Euro front and rear bumper. Evo front fenders. Evo adjustable splitter and wing. Custom exhaust with Burn’s Y pipe.