BMW E46 323i
Owner: Carlos Molina, Jr.
Organization: Projekt Cars
“Reinventing the Wheel”
In the years we’ve know Mr. Carlos Molina Jr. we’ve noted that he never stops moving forward. He is, in a word, a perpetual motion machine of automotive customization. He never rests on his laurels, and is never content to simply say “There, it’s finished now.” If he’d been around when the wheel was invented he’d probably have been the first to say “Thanks nice, but have you considered doing it this way instead?” An excellent example of his persistent obsession is his long term project, this E46 sedan. It’s gone coast to coast for car shows for the better part of fourteen years now. It’s had more costume changes than a Miley Cyrus concert (and a better looking rear, we might add), and it’s still soldiering on like a trooper.
For last year, Molina embarked on an extensive revisualization of the entire car, starting with the exterior. Years ago he put the effort into obtaining a custom, all-metal wide-body conversion, with the wheel arches flared four inches front and six inches in the rear. To update that look, Molina dropped the car off at DB Auto Body in San Francisco, who updated the nose to a 2004 model, with fenders, headlamps and hood. He then added a Strictly Foreign from bumper, a Seibon carbon fiber hood, Seibon carbon fiber CSL trunk, RD Sport mirrors, and BMW clear turn signals and side/tail lamps with BMW Titanium headlight trim. The entire package was resprayed in House of Kolor frost white pearl paint. In honor of its M-Sport brethren, and with a nod to the wild “chuco” lowrider Impalas which once cruised Alameda Avenue in El Paso, Texas, where he now resides. In order to fill those wheel arches, Molina called upon Forgeline for a chrome set of their SP3P three-piece wheels with anodized blue inner barrels which match the blue stripes and roof. These were shod with Toyo NT555 tires for the maximum amount of grip that the 10” and 13” wide front and rear wheels can handle. “DTM Gearhead” was born with a love it or hate it, in-your-face, spicy attitude. It is, however, certainly unique and eye-catching.
The engine really didn’t need a revision, what with the RD Sport competition cam, Evo Sport racing pulleys and headers, Dinan high-flow throttle body, Ignition Solutions Plasma Direct coils, and RD Sport ECU flash making the most of the 2.5 liter M52’s displacement and Dual VANOS, sucking in the cold air via a K&N cone filter. To finish off the power, there’s a Nitrous Express 75-shot 10lb nitrous oxide bottle with a remote control bottle opener, bottle heater, and purge valve kit. A Stett Performance custom exhaust uses Magnaflow mufflers and Eismann 996 Turbo exhaust tips to provide a freer flow. Transferring the power from the motor to the transmission is a Fidanza lightweight aluminum flywheel and a BMW 330i sport clutch. A Dinan carbon fiber intake with K&N Filter matches the look of the AutoWerks carbon fiber valve and ignition covers and keeps the bay tidy. It’s not a pavement scorcher by any means, but it provides more than enough grunt to make the four-door fly in a respectable manner whenever requested.
None of this would be possible without sponsors who are as dedicated to reinventing the wheel as Mr Molina appears to be. As the founder of Projekt Cars, his marketing organization which coordinates multiple SEMA show builds every year, Molina lives to modify cars 25 hours per day. We’re not sure if he sleeps. Each year, following SEMA, he can be found hovering over his laptop, working on proposals for the next year, because he knows, come January, companies will be allocating their marketing budgets for the next twelve months. The early bird gets the worm, er, truck loads of new products to install. In a game where looking “fresh” is a big challenge, Molina has proven yet again that he’s got the vision to deliver a winning package, no matter the age of the platform.
BMW M52 2.5 liter motor with Dual VANOS, Stett Performance custom exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers, AutoWerks carbon fiber valve cover, AutoWerks carbon fiber ignition cover, Dinan carbon fiber cold air intake, Eismann 996 Porsche Turbo exhaust tips, Nitrous Express 75 shot 10lb bottle, Nitrous Express remote bottle opener, Nitrous Express purge valve kit, Nitrous Express bottle pressure gauge, Nitrous Express GENX-2 accessory kit , Nitrous Express bottle heater, Ignition Solutions Plasma Direct coils, Fidenza lightweight aluminum flywheel, Dinan high flow throttle body, RD Sport ECU flash program, RD Sport competition cams, Evo Sport lightweight racing pulleys, Evo Sport headers, UUC Motorwerks aluminum oil cap , UUC Motorwerks Evo III short shifter, BMW- 330i sport clutch
SPARCO fuel door, DB Auto Body sheet metal wide body conversion, Albert Custom Paint full respray with House of Color, DB auto body ’05 BMW headlight conversion, DB Auto Body ’05 fender conversion, Strictly Foreign front bumper, Seibon carbon fiber 2004 model hood, Seibon carbon fiber CSL trunk, Frost White under Blue flake, Country Club B&P all moldings shaved, Folia Tec chrome tint, RD Sport sport mirrors, BMW clear signals/side/tail lamps, BMW titanium headlight trim. M-Striping with airbrushed gears in each stripe by Albert Custom Paint
AutoWerks Alcantara suede headliner, AutoWerks Alcantara suede trunk upholstery, AutoWerks Alcantara A and C pillars, AutoWerks Alcantara suede door panel inserts, AutoWerks-Alcantara suede shift boot, AutoWerks Alcantara suede e-brake boot, AutoWerks carbon fiber type carpet, Axis Power carbon fiber steering wheel, Axis Power carbon fiber B-pillars, V Racing race seats, Sparco four-point harnesses, Evo Sport carbon fiber trim panel Set, Evo Sport shift frame, UUC Motorwerks aluminum e-brake, UUC Motorwerks Magnum shift knob , UUC Motorwerks race pedals, UUC Motowerks three gauge cluster, BMW black leather rear seat, BMW black door panels, BMW black interior trim set. Custom air bag suspension set-up in back seat showing the four VIAIR- 480c Compressors and two VIAIR- 2.5gal Tanks
AUDIO and VIDEO:
Pioneer AVH-P7500 DVD head unit, Q-Logic crossover network, three Vibe Audio BlackAir 10″ subwoofers, two Vibe Audio four channel Space Stereo 4 amplifiers, three Vibe Audio BlackAir Bass 1 Monoblock 1000 watt D-class amplifiers, Vibe Audio Space 3D 5 component speakers, Space 3D 6 component speakers, Vibe Audio BlackDeath QB69 6×9 speakers, Accele 8″ monitor, Accele 7″ LCD monitor, Accele FM modulator, Accele video amplifier, Accele video switcher, Accele rear view camera , Sony Playstation 3, Vibe Audio capacitors, Vibe Audio all A/V wiring, Vibe Audio sound deadening
Tein coil-overs with custom air bag suspension system from Air Ride Equipment using
Air Ride Equipment – Custom Install
Air Ride Equipment – Switch Box
Air Ride Equipment – Brackets
Air Ride Equipment – Hoses
Universal Air – 4 Air Springs
VIAIR- 4 480c Compressors
VIAIR- 2 2.5gal Tanks
H-Sport front and rear sway bars, AutoWerks carbon fiber strut brace, Powerflex control arm bushings, Brake Man Storm front big brake kit, Brake Man F4 Tornado front calipers, Brake Man Storm rear big brake kit, Brake Man F2 Tornado rear calipers, Brake Man billet aluminum brackets (front/ rear), Brake Man Procast two-piece convoluted rotors for front, R1 Concepts drilled rotors for Rear, Goodridge steel braided lines, Brake Man H2 ceramic competition pads (front/ rear)
WHEELS & TIRES:
Nitto- 19″ NT 555 tires, Forgeline SP3P three-piece wheels, 19×10 front, 19×13 rear, chrome outer barrels and faces, blue anodized inner barrels