Sometimes you have it all figured out from the beginning. The project car goes from idea, to purchase, to vision in a linear fashion. Niels Christiaens started off building this '92 BMW 320i into a drift project, but when things went sideways, it wasn't as literal as he had planned. "After some serious mods, I decided the car was too expensive of a build to drift it!" he tells us.
Coughing up the hard-earned cash for this kind of project might make you think twice about taking it out drifting and tapping a wall. The Belgium native, however, had a much more personal reason to think twice: He did all the labor himself, including the bodywork. Niels is a welder by trade but admits he basically had no idea what he was doing when it came to aesthetics. You sure wouldn't know it, though!
The Felony Form four-piece widebody kit is one of the few "bolt-on" options for the E36 that extends the arches 45mm from factory. However, the fiberglass fenders do require some trimming and filling to get 'em to line up with the body perfectly, which Niels revealed was one of the hardest things he's ever done.
Next, Niels had to get the stance just right for his drift-car-turned-street-car. A set of KW Variant 1 coilovers was modified by Kean Suspensions to get the car down to where the BMW sits perfectly. For wheels, well, they're a bit unorthodox. A good friend offered him something truly unique: a set of 17-inch Speedline Mistrals-OEM Ferrari wheels commonly found on the Testarossa and 308 GTB/GTS. The three-piece wheels were modified with wider barrels, resulting in 8.5 inches up front and a whopping 11.25 inches out back. A set of wheel adapters accepts the odd 5x108 bolt pattern of the BMW, and the results are nothing short of stunning.
Inside the cabin, you can tell Niels was going for the drift look. The hydraulic handbrake is offset by the flocked dash and carbon-fiber center console pieces. There's also a set of cradling Sparco seats, a small-diameter Sparco steering wheel, and a custom rollcage.
Niels admits his 320i doesn't have a lot of power, but its 2.5L straight-six has been rebuilt to be reliable and lightly upgraded with cams and valves from the 2.8L iteration of the same engine.
So while this project didn't turn out to be the drift missile it was originally intended to be, it does have a character of its own with modified Ferrari wheels, an Audi-inspired wrap, and priceless hours spent by its young owner to make it one of the coolest BMW builds in Europe right now.