rdsesq's True Custom
By: Tim Jones
Pictures by: Alan Tam
October 29th, 2005
Private Message rdsesq
rdsesq: The car is a true custom. There were several concepts I wanted to integrate into this car.
First it is my daily driver (hell, its my only car. Why do I only have one car? Buy me a beer sometime (Stella Artois preffered) and I'll tell ya about my divorce). So one of the questions was how do you make a car that is "show worthy" but not impact its general utility. It has to look and perform well, and have a some great ICE, but, it also needs to be able to get groceries and take people to and from the airport with luggage, and just be a general purpose car as well as being able to be driven to a show, polished up, and represent well. That was probably the most difficult aspect, was finding the balance of doing both of those things really well.
Second, the visual theme had to have significance and depth of meaning. It had to be something more then just an interesting graphic. It came from a conversation with another "car freak" buddy of mine and the question (often posed on e46fanatics forum) "will I out grow tweaking on cars?" I think some people do, some people do not. I am one of the later. If you have tweaking on cars truly in your blood, it never stops. Is a car ever "done"? Probably not. It may be "done enough". But, by that time you are already planning or working on your next "project". It never ends. It is infinite. One of the most common symbols for infinity in many cultures throughout history is an ouroboros. (A snake eating its own tail) I worked with good friend of mine in NYC who is a graphic designer on updating that image and bringing it into the "car world". I really like what we came up with. (I hope I like it, I had it tattooed on my arm, as well as painted and etched on my car)
Third: The more I got into the project, the more it became clear to me. No product logos!! This car is about the people who brought it together, much more then the parts we used to get there. Every aspect of this car has been a partnership between myself and the people who have helped me bring my vision of this car to life. So a great deal of effort has been spent removing those logos. Shaving, repainting, powder coating, and recovering. I really wanted the car to represent the journey and the people involved. If it wasn't for the people involved, the products on the car wouldn't matter. (There are still a few product logos I haven't been able to get rid of yet, but, its not as simple a thing as it sounds.)
Lets take a look at rdsesq's impressive list of mods:
Wheels and Tires:
And now, on to the interview...
E46Fanatics.com: So, what do you do besides play with cars and chat on forum.E46Fanatics.com?
rdsesq: Working at a really good job that I really enjoy (most of the time), hanging with friends, spending time with my GF, and I do some stage theater once in a while. Mostly classics. I prefer Shakespeare, Shaw, and Brecht.
E46Fanatics.com: What was your first car?
rdsesq: A 1964 canary yellow Ford Ranchero, with a "baby 8", and a great Pioneer stereo with a cassette player (cd's didn't exist yet, for music. Yeah. I know...I'm old)
E46Fanatics.com: What do you do for a living?
rdsesq: I do large scale systems engineering and data center engineering for a global Fortune 1000 company. I have also published a book on the topic of data center design.
E46Fanatics.com: What made you want to compete with your BMW?
rdsesq: I have always tweaked on cars, since before I was old enough to drive. The car is a form of self-expression, for me. I just was at Topline Autofest II and I got first place in the BMW 4dr category. Mostly I compete in charity events. I figure if I am out at a car show, it might as well be for a good cause and try to give something back to the community.Also, it helps the general car modding community as well. I worked for Harley-Davidson for a couple of years in the 1980's. There used to be a very bad social stigma around the "biker community". When the "biker community" started doing events for charity, it really helped lessen some of that bad social stigma attached to that community. I think we have seen the same type of bad social stigma attach itself to the "modified car community" as well. So, by focusing on charity events, I am just doing my small part to help reduce some of that "bad social stigma".
E46Fanatics.com: What's your favorite mod and why?
rdsesq: That is a tough question. I'll give you my favorite mod in a few categories.
Favorite Bang for the Buck Mod: The stainless steel brake lines. Having the firmer brake "feel" and no sponginess is great when you drive the car every day.
Favorite Daily Used Mod: The ICE system. It looks great and it sounds amazing. And I love answering the question I get most often about the ICE system. "Why did you put a movie theater in your car?" Response: Because I can. (Insert slightly evil smirk here)
Favorite Mod that makes other modders scratch their head: It has to be the front bumper. It's a real double take even for most hard-core enthusiasts. With the filling of the europlate recess and what looks like factory bumper trim, at first glance people think it's an M3 bumper, but then they realize it has different brake ducts and fogs then any factory BMW bumper. So then they are not quite sure what it is, because it looks like it should be factory. Then when they realize it's a Kerscher bumper they can't figure out how it is installed. (Because you are supposed to secure it to the front bumper mount with 2 screws that get hidden behind the europlate. With the europlate recess removed they can't figure out how it is even attached to the car. I love doing custom engineering like that.)
E46Fanatics.com: Is there anyone else besides you who's allowed to drive your car?
rdsesq: A few close friends but only if I am in the car with them. The only person who has ever driven the car without me in it is my girlfriend, Retha. But, what can I say, I love her. She is sweet and supportive, especially about my car obsession and she is a self-proclaimed "car chic".
E46Fanatics.com: Do you have plans for a new car in the not too distant future?
rdsesq: Of course. I have been kicking around a few ideas. It either gonna be a muscle car (big V8 good for stoplight drags) or really luxo. Ether a mid 70's C3 corvette, one of the new mustangs with a supercharger (I don't know why), or a Benz.
E46Fanatics.com: What is the fastest you have ever driven?
rdsesq: From the factory the car is electronically limited to 128mph. The SharkInjector software removes that top speed governor, and I had to make sure that the software was installed properly. ;-)
E46Fanatics.com: Do you think your auto enthusiasm will ever die out?
rdsesq: I doubt it. It hasn't for 20+ years, and it shows no sign of even slowing down. Take a blood sample from me. Its 50% 5w30 Mobil 1 (full synthetic, naturally) and 50% DelTaco hot sauce.
E46Fanatics.com: What's next on the menu for your E46? What can you absolutely not wait to bolt up?
rdsesq: I am doing a few more ICE mods, CF headlight trims, a custom gauge cluster using ancient greek numbers for the tach, and a different take on the custom ghost graphics. (I am working with Creative Kustoms on merging a couple of old-school techniques into a new school technique for doing some of the custom paint work.)
E46Fanatics.com: Any shout-outs?
Of course, because its not about the products, its about the people.
-- My girlfriend Retha: you are sweet, adorable, beautiful, and supportive...I love you.
-- George & Elizabeth at Creative Kustoms in San Jose, CA
-- Steve and Matt at Renn Werks Performance in Mountain View, CA
-- Ernie and Junior at SoundInnovations in Hayward, CA
-- Jon at JleviSW (e46fanatics board sponsor)
-- Mike at Kelly Graphic Design in NYC
-- Alan Tam
-- Matt at Umnitza (e46fanatics board sponsor)
-- Eric at SSP (e46fanatics board sponsor)
-- Gary at The Tire Rack (e46fanatics board sponsor)
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