First, a Little Background
My name is Paul Dexter, and I have a problem: I have been a lover of European cars as long as I remember.
Sure, my dad and his ‘50s car club buddies built plenty of American muscle hot rods. But my mom opted to haul us around in various VWs and Volvos.
As I came of age in the ‘80s and ‘90s I began to explore a string of my own European cars. Nothing fancy mind you, I would buy what I could afford, which wasn't much. Always a bit rough, I drove a string of Alfa and Fiat Spiders, Jensen Healey, Triumph, Saab. But German cars were my obsession for their combination of engineering, performance and personality. Plenty of BMWs, Porsche’s VW 16Vs, Audi Quattros, and a few Mercedes passed through my garage. The BMW straight 6 and the Porsche flat 6 engines were so intoxicating for me, they could literally wash away a bad day by joyously going through the gears.
Then Tesla came along.
I was drawn to the refined stealthy, torquey, efficient power. I threw all financial caution to the wind to buy one and it ruined my love for internal combustion engines forever.
Manual shifting is fun sport, but it doesn’t match the gratification of having all the power you could ever dream of at your disposal - at any speed and any time you want it.
But after a few years with the Tesla my soul longed for the one thing I missed from my early cars: Personality. Cars that were drawn by hand, with long hoods and chrome bumpers. Cars that mock wind tunnel tests.
So That Settled It
As Ferdinand Porsche said “I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself”. Similarly, I decided that what I must do is build my own modern classic for my daily driving enjoyment. Two cars that always topped my list were an early 911 and a BMW 3.0 CS. Both have seen remarkable - perhaps obscene - runs on values in the last ten years. The last thing I wanted to do was destroy the true value of a highly collectible car. Then again I wanted to drive my car, not store it in climate controlled environment and visit it on occasion.
Since I still run the kids to school most days, the BMW coupe made most sense. My wife has always wanted a 2002, so building on its big brother checked even more boxes.
The BMW E9 coupe built by Karman from 1969 to 1975 is one of the most classic and iconic designs of its time. Its pillarless design and shark nose front that went on to define the marque for decades. This Coupe's capable performance and driving experience is responsible for the term “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and firmly footed BMW as a sport-luxury brand.
So if you like, read on, and follow the project. We've got a ways to go...