Imagine you’re standing in front of a potential purchase: a 30, 40, or 50 year old car you’ve dreamt of owning for quite some time. You open the driver’s door, which makes an audible ping as the door latch releases, and the hinge itself faintly groans as it opens. You climb in, met with the muted and muffled squawking of the seat springs compressing beneath you.
Historically, it’s coupes that get the love. There’s something iconic about a two-door’s profile and their sportier disposition. Sedans, on the other hand, are born and bred as a means to an end, a way from point A to point B with the capacity to carry a family. As such, the E9 Coupe has found its way to the spotlight and is heralded as Hagerty’s 2019 top car to invest in. The E9’s four-door counterpart, the E3 “Bavaria” as it is known stateside, seems all but forgotten.
Every niche of the automotive world has that company: the one that has been around for ages, catering to enthusiasts with factory parts, race parts, and appreciation for their customers. For us vintage BMW fanatics, that company is Ireland Engineering. This past Saturday, Jeff Ireland and his team opened the shop doors for an afternoon of burgers, brats, and BMWs, to show support for his customers with the 2015 IE Open House.
“The first time I saw a Bavaria, it was not love at first sight, and frankly it did not catch my eye,” Brian Hoehne tells me. It wasn’t quite what I expected, coming from the owner of one of the few classic BMWs present at H2Oi. Instead of a long-term love affair with the car and the marque, Brian’s love for cars has flourished in a different way; a story dissimilar to the average tale of car and driver.
“Before I could even walk,” Shea tells me, “I had this little highchair on wheels that my pops would sit me in so that I could roll around the garage while he worked on restoring a 1972 Chevy C20.” Where some infants find solace in latching their tiny hands around rattles and bottles, Shea’s were clutched to the shank of a wrench, covered in grease and grime. It was evident from the get-go to the Weidlers that their son wasn’t going to stray far from his old man’s passions.