Home / Social media / News / Hendrik Performance NASCAR V8 in a BMW Z4? Only in SA!


I’ve been in the game for a fair amount of time, and that’s given me the opportunity to see and shoot some amazing cars built by various workshops and private individuals. Years back a family I know of turned its passion for motorsport into a business called G&H Transport Racing. The original company is the G&H Transport side, but the family had some special cars that needed maintenance and upgrades and so it made more sense to build a dedicated workshop filled with great staff to keep the cars and projects on the go while being able to have hands-on input. Over the years the cars have gotten bigger, better, faster and more insane. The performance side has created some epic rides, and the company is even a title sponsor to a local race series that now goes by the name of G&H Transport Extreme Supercars. The family also competes in the series - one of the brothers campaigns a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo. These guys are serious. The main man is Jimmy Giannoccaro, he’s the father and boss, and he loves his unique cars. In his personal collection, he has an E39 BMW M5 that saw the German powerplant chucked in favour of a twin-turbocharged V8 Chevy lunch. It’s bonkers. For (one of) his own racecars, he went a similar route. Jimmy sourced a BMW Z4 and again chucked the OEM lump in favour of some American muscle, on steroids.

For his track and hillclimb exploits, Jimmy’s BMW Z4 was set up to be fast and powerful, which is the point of a racecar. With a penchant for deviating from the norm, the OEM BMW powerplant was replaced with a NASCAR-derived lump in the form of a second-hand,10-year-old, normally-aspirated 5.7-litre V8 from Hendrick Performance in Charlotte, USA. This has been mated to a sequential transmission to make shifts fast and reliable, and as expected, power is sent to the rear wheels. In the current setup, the car makes a rather healthy 440 kW of power with a high 635 Nm of torque. Oddly, it’s a little down on power from when the car was carburettor-fed, but with the newly fitted electronic fuel system, a bit more tweaking and tuning will see the power figures rise again. Not that it’s needed yet, the compact German coupe is already quite a handful that needs feathering around bends to keep it going in the intended direction. The car was entered into the prestigious Simola Hillclimb in 2022 and had a few issues that hampered the race performance. Things were sorted for the 2023 instalment a few months back and the car did well, but there’s definitely more in it. With things running as they should now, Jimmy can get some proper seat time in the car which should result in an improved performance. We’ll be keeping an eye on it for sure. In the meantime, check out the vid from the chaps at Cars.co.za so you can see and hear all about the car from Jimmy himself. 

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off one of the coolest engine swaps we've seen in a BMW. Locals often opt for a 2JZ, but G&H Transport Racing head honcho decided to shoehorn a 5.7-litre Hendrick Motorsports NASCA-spec V8 into the German coupe - and it's quite the track-prepped, hillclimb-worthy, normally-aspirated monster: BMW Z4 With a Nascar Conversion | Cars.co.za

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