I think the Automotive Enthusiast world is in some ways similar to architecture. There are different levels: Your average sub-division might be built to a cost, but its pretty much spec and no one expects it to last forever. These are our mass-market cars, where with time we may add a custom tweak or customization here or there, but they’re basically appliances. Spec isn’t just for the entry-level, there are plenty of million-dollar mansions that are based on a standard set of plans. Then there’s the custom-home world, where people sit down with designers and contractors to see their dreams visualized in bricks and mortar. This can cost multiples of a simple spec house, but the value is in creating something personalized that reflects the tastes & values of the person commissioning the project. If he was a home-builder, Marc Norris would be the Architect, Interior Decorator, General Contractor and he’d cook you dinner in your new kitchen when you’re ready to move in. This guy is definitely 5-star.
Bavarian Workshop makes dreams into reality, and for our my first post, I’m going to focus on some of the builds we weren’t involved in. Marc’s got a knack for building the cars BMW never, but but probably should have built – at least in a world were time and space provided. Take for example, the E46 M3 and its glorious 340hp straight-6. Available only as a 2-door coupe, this car just wasn’t practical for many. Well, Marc wanted a wagon, and besides all the performance bits, the regular BMW 3-Series “touring” didn’t have the fender flares, vents or rear trunk floor that the M3 had. So Marc painstakingly had the metalwork cut and grafted from one to another. After transferring all other drivetrain components, he came up with this beautiful and very capable “family truckster”, built exactly as BMW would have done it.
Its no secret that Marc is a fan of E30 M3’s, with their lightweight and high-strung 4 cylinder engines wrapped in bespoke bodywork from nose to tail. Of the over 17,000 cars produced between 1986 and 1991, less than 800 were convertibles. Marc has one, and here’s a picture of two of them at his shop!
Bavarian Workshop’s show winning BMW “M2” has been featured in magazines and media before, and recently caught the eye of Jay Leno, who featured it in his show, Jay Leno’s Garage.
This car features a 230hp S14 with suspension and brake upgrades to match, but one of Marc’s biggest accomplishments was retaining the look and character of a mid-1970’s BMW with the performance of a modern car.
You can see many more of Marc’s creations on their webpage, Facebook and Instagram:
In our next installment, I’ll detail some of the cars we’ve done with Marc & Company, stay tuned!