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Thread: The $2k Imola/Nat Brown 6MT "Beater" Transformation

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Austin, Tx
    Posts
    226
    Nice find, where was it listed? I try to keep an eye out for these cars and never saw it online.
    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  2. #12
    Nice pick up! I'm doing my own refresh on my $2k ZHP too.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    6,796
    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeH View Post
    Nice find, where was it listed? I try to keep an eye out for these cars and never saw it online.
    He bought the car from a friend, I don't think it was listed.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    152,000 miles

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    678
    Nice pick up, OP! Keep us posted with progress!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by fredo View Post
    He bought the car from a friend, I don't think it was listed.

    That's correct -- I've "known" the car for 10 years and have been courting it for at least the last 4-5!
    My Garage
    2005 330i ZHP 6MT, Imola Red/Natural Brown (Weekend)
    2022 X3 M40i, Brooklyn Grey/Tacora Red (Daily)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    22
    Update! So obviously the first order of business was to get the car running. The previous owner said the last time he started the car, it seemed to hesitate and he saw a small amount of white smoke under the hood. Here's what my mechanic and I figured out in 2 different visits:

    -New battery
    -A/C compressor was intermittently seizing - causing the "smoke" so replaced the compressor and drive belt and recharged the A/C
    -New front brakes
    -Fluid and filter changes
    -Full suspension rebuild front and rear (everything appeared to be original)

    At the time that this service was done, my mechanic didn't see any other obvious issues and did a full inspection on cooling system, VANOS and all hoses, belts, etc. Once I got the car running, I decided to focus on cosmetic items starting with interior.

    At this point, I've done the following on the interior:

    -Re-wrapped both front seats with genuine BMW natural brown leather
    -Replaced entire center console and all attached parts like armrest, etc.
    -Fresh Coby Wheel, shift boot and knob
    -Avant Avant 4 headunit and BavSound complete speaker replacement
    -Relocated climate control and added USB ports for CarPlay support
    -New center vents
    -BMW all weather floor mats

    Still planning to replace headliner which is sagging in some places, fix faded gauge cluster needles and replace all interior lights with LEDs. Then I'll be done with interior work. Here's a quick before and after for some instant gratification:

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    My Garage
    2005 330i ZHP 6MT, Imola Red/Natural Brown (Weekend)
    2022 X3 M40i, Brooklyn Grey/Tacora Red (Daily)

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,955
    So now I need to know... how many mortgages did getting new leather seat covers for the front cost you? I'm dying to know how many years I'll need to save up! lol
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by az3579 View Post
    So now I need to know... how many mortgages did getting new leather seat covers for the front cost you? I'm dying to know how many years I'll need to save up! lol
    Lol -- really not *that* bad. You just have to ask around until you find a solid (but slightly off the beaten path) local upholsterer who has the ability to get BMW upholstery and has good attention to detail. The shop I used in North Austin charged me $1,000 for the whole job and had it done in 2 days. They are also going to do the headliner for me, including all pillars for $700.
    My Garage
    2005 330i ZHP 6MT, Imola Red/Natural Brown (Weekend)
    2022 X3 M40i, Brooklyn Grey/Tacora Red (Daily)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,955
    Quote Originally Posted by cjulian View Post
    Lol -- really not *that* bad. You just have to ask around until you find a solid (but slightly off the beaten path) local upholsterer who has the ability to get BMW upholstery and has good attention to detail. The shop I used in North Austin charged me $1,000 for the whole job and had it done in 2 days. They are also going to do the headliner for me, including all pillars for $700.
    Whaaaaaaaattt???? That leather from BMW is known to be at least $600+ just for a bottom or top half, so about $1200 per seat just for the material... And they definitely used seat covers from straight from BMW? Damn, almost sounds too good to be true.

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    SF Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,062
    Hooooooly chit that before/after is so satisfying
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


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