TMCars creates 'modern' BMW E30Comment on this story
It seems that Cape Town is not the only place in the world where the original BMW E30 3 series - produced from 1982-1990 - has developed a cult following amongst drifters, custom car builders and petrolheads in general.
But the basic shape is now three decades out of date - which means a fair percentage of the hundreds still running around in Europe, the UK and South Africa are now older than their drivers - so TMCars in Hungary (another place where the E30 has a devoted following) have come up with a design for a body kit that brings it right up to date.
It's called the TM concept30, derived from the original E30 model code and the fact that it's celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The kit consists of 12 pieces, which either replace or extend bits of the existing E30 two-door coupé body. The end result is more Italian than German, especially from the front, with a lot of 21st-century styling cues - but the original E30 DNA is still clearly visible.
SHARP-EDGED AND ANGULAR
And that's deliberate, says TM; they've retained the E30's three main horizontal elements - the shoulder line from the headlights to the tail lights, the line that runs from the air intakes to the diffuser and the fine buttress that defines the bumpers and lower edge of the profile body.
The rest is all sharp-edged and angular, especially the trapezoidal LED headlights and shark-like nose with satin black inserts (although purists might see a hint of the magnificent 635 CSI in there) and kicked-up, all-LED tail-lights.
TMCars actually have two versions of the kit in their computer: the street version uses the basic body without alteration, while the wheel arches in its bolt-on front and rear fenders are intended to house slightly wider than original rims, on the factory suspension.
Which should be achievable by any competent DIY car freak and his spray-painter friends.
The 'competition' version looks a lot more the business, because it adds a heavier C pillar, as on the first-generation M3, and the fenders are much wider, with room for proper racing suspension, brakes and wheels.
Incredibly, both versions comply with EU regulations and the resulting cars can be made street-legal.
According to TMCars, whether or not they go ahead and build a batch of kits depends on how many serious enquiries (read 'orders with money') they get.