der Bayerische January/February 2021 - 19

T R A D I T I O N S

(Above) Bodywork and engine refurbishment in progress. Photo by Manny Nieves.
mid-50s, who also owns an E9,
E24, and some other classic BMWs.
He assured me there's no rust in
that car. The car is located down
in Huntsville, Alabama. I'm flying
down tomorrow morning, picking
up the car, and driving it back. The
car was originally sold at BMW of
Huntsville, Alabama. The previous
owner is a master tech at the same
dealer. It has been in Alabama its
whole life. "
The day after that he said, " I'm
about to take off from Charlotte to
Alabama. Talk to you later. " Later
that morning I asked if he had seen
the car yet. He responded with,
" bought it already. It's dirty. The
interior is shot, but I already knew
that. No rust, really straight body,
and runs like a champ " . Manny
made it back home that day with the
car. He said, " it's only a 10-hour
drive " . Only a 10-hour drive in near
freezing temperatures in a car that

January I February

didn't have functioning heat.
Shortly after getting the car
home, Manny began to tackle the
interior as the first big project. He
completely stripped out the original
interior. The dash, the HVAC, the
seats, the door cards, the carpet - it
all had to go. Everything that went
back into the car was either new
or thoroughly cleaned and refurbished. He installed a new heater
core and heater valve. His iX
donated a crack-free dash, seats,
door cards, and carpet that was in
excellent condition. A number of
euro-specific interior bits, like the
M Tech 2 steering wheel and a
centered radio/HVAC bezel, were
installed in the process.
Once the interior was completed, Manny tackled the suspension
and mechanicals.
The 318is
received new Bilstein dampers,
H&R springs (OE-spec as he didn't
want to lower the car too much),

and new mounts, bushings, and
hardware all around. The car also
received a low-mileage rear differential, and a ton of preventative
maintenance was performed on the
already well-maintained engine.
In late March 2020, the car
was running well, but a previous
poor paint job was really letting the
car down. Manny decided to have
a glass-out repaint performed. He
stripped down the exterior of the
car, including glass, bumpers, and
all exterior trim, loaded the car up
on a trailer, and dropped it off at the
body shop. Over the course of the
next few months, Manny regularly
visited the body shop to learn and
help with the body work, prep, and
painting. He took advantage of this
time while the car was apart to also
thoroughly clean the engine and
replace additional parts.
I enjoyed getting updates via
text messages and Messenger

during the time the car was in the
body shop. Manny noted, " Body
work is no joke. I'll probably have
four hours just on the front valance.
This shop is not making a lot of
profit on this particular job. Just
from hanging around at the shop
and actually seeing the amount of
work that goes into these cars.
I'm glad they let me come and be
part of this process. "
After a few months, due to
delays at the body shop, Manny
was excited to bring the car home.
" I'm here (at the body shop) right
now. I'm cleaning things up and
then I'll give it a good wash and
head out. " He noted that he " got a
few thumbs up on the way home! "
Manny moved to Florida at the
end of 2020. Prior to his move, we
met at the CIT building near Dulles
Airport to take photos of the
completed project (though we all
know these are never " done " ).

19



der Bayerische January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of der Bayerische January/February 2021

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der Bayerische January/February 2021 - intro
der Bayerische January/February 2021 - No label
der Bayerische January/February 2021 - Cover2
der Bayerische January/February 2021 - 1
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der Bayerische January/February 2021 - 19
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der Bayerische January/February 2021 - Cover3
der Bayerische January/February 2021 - Cover4
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