Controversial – Shaun Quill’s E36 328is
Controversial – Shaun Quill’s E36 328is
I remember first seeing Shaun Quill's E36 several years ago - what began as a white coupe found itself wrapped in red vinyl, and sat atop OE BMW Style 5s. The wrap job has never fallen into the "impressive" category, and as a whole, the car did little to stand out amongst the E36 that were, for better or worse, stealing the show at the time. Shaun's E36 was a car that, frankly, I never expected to come into prevalence; however, it wasn't until he took his car one simple step further that his car launched straight to the forefront of the "E36 scene." Much to the chagrin of others, Shaun's car, despite its lengthy list of imperfections, is now considered by many as the E36 "end-all." It seems all but impossible to go lower, wider, or more carefree, and it is that very attitude which Shaun's car embodies to no end.
My opinion took a complete 180* towards Shaun's car when he changed his wheel and tire setup. While Style 5s are, and have been for quite some time, one of the best solutions for blending style and quality with a good cost, they're far from anything that can be considered truly "head turning." When it comes to E36s, Style 5s are the status quo - when photos of a jaw-droppingly low E36 on top of fully-polished OZ Breyton splits made their way to the StanceWorks forums, I failed to make the connection between the two cars right away.
The photos showcased a red E36, and under it, a set of wheels I've dreamed of for quite some time. OZ Breytons, which share the design family with AMG Aeros, fit the lines of the E36 perfectly. However, this E36 was leagues different from any others that have managed to catch my attention. The wheels span out to 9.5" wide under the front fenders, and with a +2 offset, anyone with an E36 is sure to be scratching their heads. Wrapped in a 205/40 Falken, the front end is nestled tightly. The truly impressive side of the equation comes from the tail end - 17x11 et13 wrapped in 215/40 Federals are crammed into the rear arches.
Fitting such wide wheels under the bodywork is an impressive feat in and of itself, but Shaun's car truly snags my attention - and holds it - with the height at which it drives. It'd be an overstatement to call Shaun's setup the "widest" or "craziest," but my own E36 can't come close to combining everything into such a low, tucked package. The end result is a car that many may argue is bagged, whereas others may argue that it truly is a "ruined" E36 - entirely purposeless. For me, his car is simply ridiculous, and I mean that with the best of intentions. It is ridiculous in every way.
It's clear from the get-go that Shaun's car lies at the opposite end of the spectrum from "clean." Where some strive for aesthetic perfection, ranging from paint and trim to achieving the perfect mirror polish, Shaun keeps things... simple. In fact, it was the subject of much debate, even amongst ourselves. As we sat in our condo at H2Oi, Andrew, myself, and friends sat around discussing some of our favorite cars of the weekend. While there are many high-profile seemingly-flawless builds that were both displayed and unveiled across the event, Shaun's car holds a special, albeit hard to justify place for me. Shaun's car is unquestionably rough around the edges, mostly due as a direct result of driving a car with wheel specs that wouldn't come close to fitting on my own car - and his car is significantly lower to boot.
The rough-and-tumble, carefree nature of Shaun's car oozes style, embracing a "who gives a ******" attitude that, while many present only to make a fool of themselves, seems right at home. That, of course, is the essence of the controversy that surrounds Shaun's E36 - I found myself at H2O, struggling to justify why such a car stood out to me over some much more meaningful and admittedly impressive builds. The sides of the room went back and forth, with one pushing towards one word: style, while others pushed towards the notion that it is cars like Shaun's which give the purist communities a reason to knock our own community down.
The evening was spent drinking and talking shop, but with the discussion of Shaun's E36 came a tangent that lasted hours. That alone was reason enough for me to schedule a shoot and to share the build. Shaun's car had us talking at lengths. While I'm happy to admit that his car exemplifies the pushing of the envelope, at least in my eyes, I also am happy to admit that his car deserves a certain form of scrutiny. I've stated my thoughts, and now I want to know yours - is Shaun's E36 ridiculous to the point of awesomeness, or is it a blunder? You tell me.