– Photography by Romar Hiensch –
Born as a homologated touring car, the original BMW M3 has motorsports blood coursing through its veins. From its boxed flares to its high-strung S14 4-cylinder engine, it stands stark in contrast to its base-model brethren. It comes to a surprise to some, then, that there are indeed authentic E30 M3 convertibles, produced by BMW. 786 convertibles, to be specific.
In 2011, Rilber Li left the Audi dealership with an all-new A4 Avant. Optioned just the way he liked – black on black – most would find that adequate. In fact, for a time, it suited Rilber just fine. However, now, 4 years later, Rilber can point to little in the way of what’s left of his once-stock estate. The exterior has been molded and shaped, sculpted to his liking. The interior has been fine-tuned, suited to his tastes.
When often asked why I’m into automotive photography and modified cars, there are a handful of people that I bring up in my answer. One of those key people is Aaron Stuk: skilled in the art of what I call “mirage builds,” Aaron’s passion is to build cars, not show them off. Hype has never mattered for Aaron, and before he receives any, there’s a good chance that the car has already been sold and he’s onto modifying the next one.
There’s something doubtlessly special about understated, overlooked, high-horsepower, tire-burning five-door estates. It’s a niche market, but those who find themselves in it tend to commit, through and through. From factory offerings to garage built beasts, hatchback sedans are rarely described as more than “unassuming.
-Photos by Egil Håskjold-
It goes without saying that for any car enthusiast with a brand preference, (let’s be honest, we all have one in some way or another) the rare and odd-ball models and versions of our favorite cars are the ones we lust after. Perhaps it’s a car that came in a unique factory color, or there’s a chance it came with special body cladding.