Why I am Building My Car. (Instead of Buying One.)

If you have been following me on social media as of lately, you probably know that I am currently consuming all of my free time with a janky, used, and abused 1994 BMW 325is project car. The car was originally owned by a good friend of mine, of whom at the time of purchase owned this car as well as a running and driving 1995 BMW coupe of the same model. He had actually owned this car twice, as he had sold it and bought it back only to blow it up merely days after installing an Ebay turbo kit running an obscene amount of boost as well as being tuned on E85…

cropped joel slide.png
The original owner Joel sliding the car about in a winter wonderland. Photo Credit: Jake Webb

This car in particular sat heartless for almost a year behind a recently closed (for good reason) automotive shop about an hour and a half away from my home in Appleton Wisconsin. Thanks to the help of two great friends and the cars original owner, we were able to dig it out of the bushes and deliver it home with no issues. (Well besides a tire being slashed on the car hauler, a ratchet strap that just didn’t seem to want to hold the trunk down (the hatch was bent and would not close the trunk), and a conflict in time schedules leaving myself and the original owner to sit behind an abandoned shop for approximately three hours) No big deal right? Totally worth it.

The E36, abandoned in the weeds just hours before we took it home to give her a new life.
After hassling with the steering, at about 11pm we finally got her on the trailer.

After getting my new low calorie, engine-free BMW home around midnight that night, we dumped it in the garage, each of us cracked open a fresh New Glarus Brewing Company beer and the only thing I could think to myself was: what did I get myself into?

Freshly parked where she awaits her new heart. We opted for a non-VANOS M50 out of an E34 525i.

Well, I tell myself that I purchased this car to begin my entry into Motorsports. Throughout the last year I had ingrained myself into Drifting where I met some of my newest and closest friends, and after multiple ride-alongs (this one especially) and events, I knew that I had to become a driver. After being offered this roller for a measly $300, I knew I could not wait on nor pass up the opportunity to build a drift car out of my all-time-favorite BMW chassis… Even if that meant it had to sit and wait for me to come-around financially to start the build.

Now, I would like to point out that I am in no way mechanically inclined, and by no means do I have any business building a car from the ground up. I can do basic maintenance as well as some common fixes, but any topic beyond that is foreign to me. I did however grow up with a father who was very involved in the local drag racing scene which had ignited my lust for petrol-powered fun in the firstplace.

I was never really involved in the garage as much as I probably should have been. I spent most of my days playing video games as a child, cars never really spoke to me until after graduating High School. I guess you could say that another one of the main reasons I decided to take on this Bimmer was to make up for lost time. This project is giving me the opportunity to learn a skill that I had missed out on as young kid.

It took us less than a day to begin tearing down the interior.

Piecing together this soon-to-be tire slaying machine by hand is also a great way for me to be able to diagnose and fix problems myself while at the track or out of town. Knowing the engine and transmission inside and out can only help that cause, because as I sit right now I could probably become stranded over something as simple as a dirty Mass Airflow Sensor. (Okay, maybe not something thaaaaat simple). However, to support this project, I have recruited a handful of my grease-monkey friends to help me put this together and to teach me the do’s and don’ts of mechanic’s work which has already helped me learn immensely.

From this angle, you almost can’t even tell she’s cold and heartless. Sort of like your ex’s instagram.

All in all, this car is going to take me places, both physically (in a sideways and noisy manner), as well as philosophically. I will be building this car into exactly what I want it to be. Not what Instagram says is cool this week, not what the purist BMW owners would build, and especially not something LS powered.

Be sure to stay tuned as we will be releasing Vlog updates as soon as the project starts to come together!

Special thanks to Jason, Dustin, Jay, and Cody for all the help getting the car home and for working on it with me!!!

As always, thank you for reading!

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