Genuine – Alex Yoshioka’s 1994 E36

There’s no ignoring the impression left by an outstanding build. Cars of a certain caliber will speak to anyone with even a bit of oil running through their veins. However, often times more important than the car is the person behind it – commemorating and celebrating craftsmanship, skill, thought, and imagination are something StanceWorks has always stuck to. Yet it’s a rare instance that we look beyond the gorgeous car – in this case, a true jaw-dropper, instead to reflect upon character. It’s easy to look on the bright side; to ignore the character flaws of a craftsman when looking at his creation. Be that as it may, when an individual’s character compliments their car, it simply becomes that much better.

There wasn’t much different between the first time I met Alex Yoshioka and the last time we hung out. He’s always been a quiet guy without a ton to say, but I respect him for it. Perhaps I’m fooled by an impressive facade, but I’d go on record as saying that for Alex, it’s never been about being the center of attention. Let’s be honest: everyone loves it, including Alex; however, unlike so many with a goal to be in the limelight and at the forefront, Alex has been preoccupied with simply doing his own thing.

The west-coast BMW scene is lacking in comparison to our friends back east. European cars in general fall to the wayside, as the Japanese marques see far more popularity on this side of the country. Even Alex found himself wanting an AE86 when the time came to buy his first car, but his father had other ideas. Dad’s eyes were set on something newer and a bit more respectable; convincing fathers that mid-80s Corollas are worthwhile is a challenge familiar to many of us. Instead, his father wanted to take him along to look at a 1994 325is – black on black with 190,000 miles.

It was hard for Alex to get excited about the prospect of owning a car his heart wasn’t set on. While such a car is a privilege, and he knows this rather well, tossing out the ideas that come with daydreaming about cars during fourth period in high school is tough. But the two took the car for a test drive, Alex still sporting his learner’s permit, and the car seemed to hit all marks. Alex’s old man did some negotiating, and minutes later, the car was his.

It’s been a full five years since Alex got his hands on the E36, and what started off as the automotive equivalent of an arranged marriage has turned into a true bond between a man and his car. He’s piled on more than 70,000 miles, a decent chunk for a car that has spent the majority of those years rather close to the tarmac. As time went on, the parts list slowly added up, making the rounds at the expected stops: intake, chip, exhaust, coilovers, and a slew of M3 body parts. Wild? Of course not. But it wasn’t what Alex was after.

While the world-class polishing job might push it a bit, Alex is a fan of the somewhat arbitrarily-defined “OEM plus” styling. “I tried to make this car as clean and subtle as possible. Hence why there is no crazy camber, no overly wide wheels… just a nice, clean look.” While his wheel and tire fitment is aggressive, to put it lightly, the car skirts on the fine line between sporty and classy, radical and reserved. It’s hard to not turn a head and watch as it goes by; “Damn,” I caught myself saying under my breath as I watched him pull into the parking lot.

Alex has been through countless sets of wheels before arriving on the Rotiform SJCs. Style 5s, 19s, and 32s have all found their way on to his E36. AMG Aeros, Work VSXXs – he’s tried a bit of everything, but he’s finally hit his stride. The SJCs stand as his favorite thus far. He went with 17x9s on all four corners, a far cry from the folks who are stuffing 11s under their rear arches. However, it falls in line with his character. Alex’s goal has never been to “push limits” and to win a non-existent reward based on internet credibility. Instead, his car has simply been about style. A final offset of +12 for the wheels ensures that the 9s are sitting as good as the best.

It’s only been a few short weeks since Alex bolted on his latest wheels, yet his car has already found its way to the depths of blogs and forums. He’s got some seriously stiff competition with the likes of Shaun Quill and Derek Buehler back on the east coast, arguably trouncing the rest of the BMW world when it comes to stance. Alex’s car isn’t quite there, but it comes with something a bit different – a special and refreshing sense of modesty and reservation from a one-of-a-kind owner. That’s not to downplay the alluring party-on-wheels nature Derek and Shaun’s cars have accrued – instead, we’re celebrating the more refined side of things.

Alex has been a supporter of StanceWorks, through and through, for as long as I can recall. From events to meets, stickers to hashtags, Alex has been part of the SW family, and best of all, he’s carried himself and his car in a way that deems worthy for all to see. His car alone speaks volumes – but its quiet owner speaks far, far more.



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