E46Fanatics.com is home to some of the the most unique and rare BMW E46s and the their owners. Spdu4ia
decided to take his E46 to a new level, not in terms of simply bolting on modification but creating a one of a kind ride out of his own artistic and creative genius! This is his story
y name is Travis Todd and I live in South Louisiana. I could not be farther away from the custom car scene of California or the East coast. I am a Phlebotomist at my local hospital were I met my wife who works there as a Registered Nurse. So to answer the question, yes, I stab people for a living and my wife and I modify cars in our spare time.
I've always been an artist and enjoy working with several different types of abnormal media. I've done paintings, drawings, metal sculpture, old school pinstriping, and I've even been known to turn trash into art. Luckily I have a very understanding and supportive wife who not only allows, but requests that I display all of my art prominently in our home. For just as long as I've been into art I've also been into cars. I've owned and modified everything from domestic muscle cars, lowrider trucks, and sport bikes to imports, and now euros. Recently my wife had the idea to morph my two passions of art and cars into one, and the "Artcar" was the culmination of the two.
I purchased my 2001 BMW 330ci in September 2008 from a local individual after much searching for what I believe to be the perfect car. Being the picky one that I am, I had a list of things that were required: Black leather, coupe, 330, alumnium trim, and 5-speed were at the top of the list and were all non-negotiable. I drove the immaculate, but bone stock coupe straight home and immediately pulled the kidney grills, reflectors, and window trim off to be "blacked out" on the dining room table. I never had plans to daily drive the car and only would be bringing it out in nice weather on weekends. One day I decided to break my own rule and drove it to work. On the way home from a long day thinking about my car in the parking lot, disaster struck. In an unavoidable accident, I struck a concrete cinder block with rebar sticking out of it that had been thrown from a truck in front of me on a bridge at 70mph. The aftermath led to the beginning of the more serious modifications. First off, an M3 front bumper, M3 mirrors, smoked corners, and m3 spoiler were purchased. After a failed vinyl wrapping attempt of the roof that involved my wife, me, a lot of four letter words, a squeegee, spray bottle, and a hairdryer, we decided to have the roof sprayed jet black while the car was at the shop getting the other pieces painted. This "incident" also allowed the purchase of 18" CSL wheels and Tein S-tech springs.
Once the car was back on the road and would never see the parking lot at work again, I made various smaller modifications to include: 30 LED angel eyes, upgraded HID bulbs, HID foglight conversion, LED license plate lights, DIY intake, DIY front lip, UUC shift knob, Aluminum pedal set, and various stock exhaust configurations. Against the norm, I decided to DE-tint my car for a cleaner look. I also got a set of //M floor mats from my beautiful wife for Christmas after she went through ten kinds of hell to get them (Love you honey). I pride myself of doing everything I can by myself , and if I can't, I will break everything trying.
The BMW art cars have always made an impact on me, and my wife would give a kidney for the Sharpie Lamborghini. Since you cannot go out and buy an artcar , and my wife really needs to hang on to both kidneys just in case, it was only natural for me to create something beautiful to call my own. It all began on a Saturday afternoon after pulling the hood off of the car and propping it up in the living room. After prepping the paint with denatured alcohol, I used an oil-based Sharpie brand paint marker and just started drawing. I had no plan , no stencil , or predrawing of any kind. Believe it or not, I only went through one and a half markers for the entire project. My wife was working an overnight shift and I had to keep her updated on my progress via cell phone pics. Being my greatest fan and also greatest critic, her support kept me going through the 12 hour project. I simply drew until there was no more metal to draw on.
The art is being protected via five-or-so layers of wax. I have contacted Sharpie and the paint is oil-based and UV resistant already so the art can be washed with mild detergent. Since I do not daily drive the car, she spends most of her time under a cover in a carport so I am not too worried about sun fading. I do carry a Sharpie in the glove box for quick emergency touch-ups.
After the artwork was finished and the car was put back together, we stood back to take it all in, and we discovered that the wheels stood out like sore thumbs. The bright silver competed with the artwork for the spotlight. I sold the wheels and tires with 400 miles on them to fund the purchase of the current set of 19" staggered Forte Phatty F23 wheels in black chrome finish. These not only look amazing alone, but flow perfectly with the overall theme of the car.
I hope you enjoy these pictures because less than an hour after shooting them, my wife and I went to dinner to celebrate. After making it home from dinner, I noticed what would bring most men to their knees. Some lowlife decided to see if anything interesting was residing in my trunk for him to take. He did this by making peepholes the size of my thumb with a claw hammer or similar object in the top of my trunk. When he could not see through said holes, he proceed to remove my emblem, m3 lip spoiler, and trunk handle with his "tool". In the process of creating his window into my trunk, he drug his "tool" across my art, destroying it. Police reports have been filed and insurance claims have been made and life as we know it will move on. Now three days later I am able to say that things happen for a reason, and I will take this chance to further my ideas and vision of what I want my car to be.
I would like to take this time to thank E46fanatics.com for the opportunity to share my artcar with the world. I'm greatly appreciative of the overwhelming amount of positive feedback I have received already. Above all I would like to thank my wife. Without her I would not have attempted this project. Through every step she is there giving opinions, criticism, and even helping out with a wrench. I hope this will inspire others to step outside of the box and create something beautiful for themselves.
Enjoy the beautiful shots of Travis's E46 BMW 330ci Art Car-