Inside the Business: The Sum of its Parts

Dec 3, 2009

Even a two-decades-old BMW 635csi takes on a life so new, the car looks and feels, well, new.

Isn’t that one of those things restylers do?

Maximilian Macdonald, who owns Maximilian Motorsports in Chehalis, Wash., has made this daily driver – no hiding in the garage waiting for pretty spring days – fun, comfortable and up to date, still keeping its original “DNA” as a 1989 import. In fact, Macdonald says this Beemer “has the DNA and parts from many other BMW cars – four plus – that live on in this vehicle, helping the outright costs as well as the environment by recycling.”

That’s one of Maximilian Motorsports’ hallmarks: being environmentally responsible wherever it can, including mixing recycled/refurbished parts with more modern, perfected ones.

While the exterior holds true to the overall look of the ’89 635csi, the body turns blue pearl, has its fog lights deleted and gets air ducts added. And how about custom-fabricated black angel eyes headlights? Indeed. At the rear, a factory BMW Motorsports rear spoiler is installed.

Underneath continues the modernization. Start with the suspension: H&R lowering sport springs with Bilstein dampeners, with the rear self-leveling hydro system removed and converted to a conventional system. Update the exhaust with custom, twin 2-1/2″ Magnaflow unit with stainless tips.

Put on bigger front and back brakes converted with a Maximilian Motorsports conversion brake system from an E32 750il including master cylinder, cross-drilled rotors, braided stainless-steel/Teflon brake lines and racing ATE blue brake fluid.

Those brakes work well with the rolling stock: ASA 20″ mesh wheels with Pirelli P Zero Nero ultra-high-performance 235/30/20 all-season tires.

Under the hood a 3.5L straight-six motor with heavy detailing and performance upgrades including mechanical fan delete using a Spal electric fan and fan controller, Maximilian Motorsports performance silicone ignition wire set and a K&N panel air filter.

Slide inside onto the sport seats of custom tan-and-black interior with suede, diamond-sewn seat centers. Full Schroth harness belts keep passengers in place. Grasp the Momo steering wheel and shift knob to get where you’re going. 1989 sound was good for its day, but this is 2009, so the restyler upgraded the audio with a Motorola system along with hands-free Bluetooth. And to help serve the new electronic demands an Optima Red Top battery was relocated to the trunk from the engine bay – it might even help a bit with better handling because of the weight distribution.