The BMW e36 has always held a special place in my heart. When I first passed my driving test, long before I picked up a camera, I wanted one. And to this day, I would still like one.
The sad reality is that, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, drifting has ruined them. They were launched 27 years ago, rear wheel drive and cheap, This meant it was an easy gateway into drifting being affordable and in plentiful supply. This popularity over the years saw the prices go from reasonable to comparatively stratospheric! This was bad news as it also meant that well kept and nicely modified versions were also becoming rarer and rarer. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a few new drift versions out there but you just don’t see that many of them anymore.
The overwhelming visual thing you’ll notice when you first see the car is the wrap job. With inspiration drawn from Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic James’ e36 certainly wouldn’t look out of place lurking in the background of Stranger Things. CIAY, who has design wraps for Fail Crew’s cars (we will be bringing you a feature of Max’s Boss s14 later this year) was given a simple brief of “make it look like a mad galaxy car”. I’d say they certainly fulfilled the brief! The base layer has a deep galaxy feel to it, full of organic shapes and cosmic dust. This is contrasted nicely with the sharp geometric prismatic lines. In a way this kind of disguises the lines of the bimmer. The turquoise lines help punctuate it, grounding it back to that distinct ’90s shape.
Attitude is added by lowering the altitude. This car rides on an Air Lift Performance system which means it can tuck the 18inch Rotiform TMB’s. A wheel design that stands apart from the typical deep dish that is more commonly found on modified e36’s. I think it works, the clean, non fussy design doesn’t do anything to take away from the wrap job but it also doesn’t let it down either.
One of my favourite and also very subtle additions is the smoothed in deck-lid lip. It reminds me of the sort of spoiler found on the e46 M3 CSL’s. A nice touch considering none of the other original lines have been altered. I feel adding on a bolt on spoiler would have detracted from the clean look. I like the way it just adds the little piece of aggression to the rear nicely complementing the custom built EMP exhaust.
Other modifications include Corbeau bucket seats, Luke harness, ASD hydro, Pipercross air filter, half cage and modified knuckles for my angle by SB motorsport. I think the end result will look awesome, the colour scheme is clearly loud but it ties so well together that it isn’t too much.
If you want to see this car in person then make sure you are at Autosport International 2017 at the Birmingham NEC this coming weekend. It will be on the Fueltopia stand number 9242 in the experience zone, hall 9. If you take any pictures be sure to tag us #Fueltopia or @Fueltopia, we’d love to see them. I’ll also be there on the Saturday so don’t be shy if you see me.
Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (Shooting Dave)