Original Wesbank Winfield BMW E23 745i Modified

Then: 1986, BMW 745i Modified driven by Tony VianaYear Raced: 1986
Owner: BMW South Africa
Built and prepared by: Tony Viana
- M88 Type 3.6 litre Straight Six
- 24 Valve DOHC
- 450 BHP
- MoTeC Electronic Management System: M84 ECU, PDM and CDL125 Dash with Shift Lights
Power Output at Flywheel @ Sea Level: 340Kw
Top Revs: 7500 rpm - 8000 rpm
Gearbox: Getrag 5 Speed Dog-leg Close Ratio
Differential: Standard type 3.9:1 Limited Slip Differential
- Front: Racing Discs and Calipers with Performance Friction Brake Pads and Braided Hoses
- Rear: Standard Discs and Brake Pads
- Shocks: Bilstein all-round
Exhaust System: Branch and exhaust system made by Van Der Linde Systems
- Front 10.5x16 BBS E55 Centre Lock 3-Piece Split Rims
- Rear 12.5x16 BBS E55 Centre Lock 3-Piece Rims
Weight with Driver: 1250kg

Restored: in 2015 - 2016, by Evolution 2 Motorsport   
Current Owner/ Driver: Paolo Cavalieri of Pablo Clark  

Interesting Facts: 
- Built 4km from Welkom Race Track, in Odendaalsrus by Tony Viana and Kobus van der Watt for the 1986 season
- Competed in the Wesbank Modified Championship, driven by Tony Viana. A decision was made late to move from Group 1 to Modifieds. Competitors had a 3 year advantage on Tony
- Raced against Willie Hepburn (Ford Sierra V8 "The Animal"), Ben Morgenrood (Mazda RX7), Hennie van der Linde (Nissan Skyline). The Modifieds reached similar speeds to Formula 1 cars at the time, down the main straight at 'old' Kyalami
- South African Champion in 1986. Replaced in 1987 by the E28 M5 Modified
- Tony revved the car to top: 8900 RPM during qualifying, otherwise 8200 RPM
- May/ June 2017: the Group 1 Winfield BMW E23 745i and Wesbank Modified Winfield BMW E23 745i are invited by BMW SA to the BMW M Media Track Experience
- 2018: the BMW 745i Modified becomes an "Art Car" (see picture below)

During the restoration

Seventh Heaven: South Africa is unique for biltong, braai's and bakkies... 

You can also add: two racing 745's. The 7 Series is known for luxury, power and showing off the latest technology (relative to it's time in history) - not going around corners sideways. But no one told Tony Viana this.

Tony will go down in South African motorsport folklore that raced the only two 745i's in the world (2 different 7 Series, for 2 different championships). He first raced a Group One BMW E23 745i in 1985 to the championship title. He wanted to make use of the mighty ///M Powered M88 E23 3.0i litre engine, which was found in the South African produced 745i road cars. Tony only raced the car for 1 season, parking it and using the muscular M88 engine in his next BMW racing project: a BMW E23 745i to compete in the Wesbank Modified championship in 1986. Once again Tony dominated the 1986 championship, before BMW forced him to use a E28 M5 body for the 1987 season. They didn't approve of him racing the "flagship".

In 2006 Alec was approached by motor racing connoisseur Paolo Cavalieri to restore the original Group One Winfield 745i. This car, fondly known in the Evolution 2 workshop as "Oubaas" still delights so many people when it is seen in the flesh. On-the-Track Racing Magazine thinks it is "possibly one of the best looking cars in South African racing history" (Edition #42 - February/ March 2015).

Now: January 2016, race debut at Zwartkops Raceway driven by Paolo Cavalieri

Turning our attention to December 2014, and once again Paolo came knocking. After a few years of negotiations he managed to buy the original BMW E23 745i Modified of Tony Viana. So he now proudly owns both racing 7's.

They say you should never compare family members, but where the Group One vehicle is beautiful and imposing, the Modified is just a brute. Evolution 2's Head Technician Wade comments: "It's special".

Credit must go to previous owner Nick Sherwood, who had invested a lot of time and money into the project. As with all our race car restorations the team doesn't deviate from how the cars were built and raced in their day. As the chassis, suspension and body work was in good condition, no changes were made. One notable piece of 'engineering' by Tony and Kobus in the chassis is the square (gutter-like) tubing for the roll-cage!

Many will remember the noise this car made down the main straight at Kyalami clocking over 240km/h (click here to view on YouTube). So Alec and Paolo decided that this should be our main focus-point of the restoration. Alec set about stripping the engine in the car, from where it went to Shaun and Hennie Van der Linder of Van der Linde Developments for the necessary machining. Etienne van der Linde was tasked with making the full exhaust system. The ///M Powered engine is run by a MoTeC system installed by MJR Technologies.

At Evolution 2 we pride ourselves on attention to detail whether its a road or a race car. There are so many elements in a restoration. We know the amount of late nights and weekends that our mechanics Wade, Kyle and TUKS University student Andrea "Pedro" put into readying the 745i Modified. We hope that Tony was smiling down on the 30th January 2016 at the Passion for Speed Festival at Zwartkops Race Track, where the 745i Modified was unveiled to the public flanked by "Oubaas". Tony Viana, we salute you.

Now: Unique BMW 745i Modified "Art Car"Unique BMW 745i Modified Art Car

In 2018, owner Paolo Cavalieri put the Winfield BMW E23 745i Wesbank Modified into hiding, and commissioned famous South African artist Sam Nhlengethwa (winner of the Standard Bank young artist award in 1994) to designed and then paint the rear of the car. The artwork is a reflection of the people and culture of Johannesburg.

BMW is renowned for creating a selection of "art cars" for special occasions and motor races across the world. Who knows, maybe this unique race car will make it into this prestigious collection?


Our Location

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