Homies for life, brothers from another mother, BFFs...call it what you will, but Wendell Willkom and Andrew Kahrimanian go back a long way when it comes to building cars together. We originally met the duo back when Editor Sam Du was at eurotuner magazine and their VW Golf projects were featured. Once they parted ways with the Dubs, they switched gears for team BMW and again decided to tag team in order to put two of the best M3 sedans the West Coast has ever seen on the road. As good as they are together, though, each car has its own unique story to tell.
Car Goal Achieved
Wendell Willkom | BMW E90 M3
Though Wendell's car origins are tied to the VW/Audi community, the E46 M3 was always an aspirational dream for him. After separating from his Golf, he not only purchased the E46 but was also able to add the E90 to his garage. "I was on a date with my wife when I jokingly asked if we could check out this E90 M3 I saw at our local BMW dealership," he says. "It was this one: a 2010 with a six-speed manual, Space Gray exterior/Fox Red interior. After a thorough inspection and testdrive, I was hooked. The S65 is intoxicating, and I had to have the car right then and there." He traded in his barely used B7 Audi A4 quattro and drove home a much happier man in his newly acquired M3 sedan.
Wendell's goal for the M3 project is broken down into three specific tiers, a triple threat if you will: the ultimate street car to take to local meets and enjoy spirited drives with, a show car with a fit and finish worthy of being displayed at the most respected events, and one that can handle the occasional weekend track day. "We're blessed to have access to so many great tracks in California. What's better than driving the hell out of it after putting all that hard work into building it?" A triple threat it certainly is: A Harrop supercharger kit tuned with an RK-Tunes ECU flash gives the V-8 a major punch in the horsepower department, producing 550 hp without any lag, which sends Wendell's M3 screaming (but that could be coupled with the harmonic sounds of the Akrapovic titanium exhaust).
A self-proclaimed motorsports fan since he was a kid, Wendell felt the most appropriate approach for styling would be race inspired without "going overboard." Every area touched not only improved aesthetics but also provides functionality, making his E90 a complete car. "Even the smallest details are important to me," he explains. "They are what makes the biggest difference when you take a step back and look at the whole picture." GT4-style carbon aero is fitted all around the chassis, and with Ohlins coilovers and custom 19-inch BBS RKII wheels, the triple threat is fully realized. Another surefire sign of success is the brakes. The front has been retrofitted with OEM Gallardo eight-piston calipers while the four-piston rears are pulled from a Cayenne.
Being the perfectionist he is, Wendell couldn't have been happier with the outcome of his E90 build. "I achieved every goal with this, and it's going to stay with me forever."
2010 BMW M3
OWNER Wendell WENDELL WILLKOM
HOMETOWN FREMONT, CA
OCCUPATION CLINICAL DATA MANAGER
POWER 550 hp, 372 lb-ft of torque
ENGINE 4.0L S65 V-8; Harrop TVS1740 supercharger; Akrapovic titanium exhaust with carbon-fiber tips; RPi GT stainless X-pipe and intake scoops; BMC air filter; WPC-treated rod bearings with ARP rod bolts; BimmerWorld power steering reservoir; do88 coolant hoses; Vibrant Technics engine mounts; Tecnocraft carbon-fiber headlight access covers and cabin air filter covers; Downstar dress-up hardware; custom-painted red wrinkle coat ignition coil covers; Level II MDM (Euro MDM coding)
DRIVETRAIN MFactory carbon-fiber driveshaft; DEFIV differential brace; Powerflex race differential mount bushings
ENGINE MANAGEMENT RK-Tunes custom tune
FOOTWORK & CHASSIS Ohlins Road & Track coilovers; Vorshlag front camber plates; StudioRSR rollcage with custom rear seat panels; custom red strut tower rings; Hotchkis Sport front/rear sway bars; SPL PRO rear sway bar endlinks; Ground Control adjustable rear guide, wishbone and toe arms; ECS Tuning performance rear trailing arms; Macht Schnell solid subframe bushings; Powerflex street rear trailing, lateral and control arm bushings; CPM lower reinforcement brace
BRAKES Brembo eight-piston OE Lamborghini Gallardo front calipers with custom AK Motorsport adapters, four-piston OE Porsche Cayenne rear calipers with custom AK Motorsport adapters; ECS Tuning two-piece cross-drilled/slotted rotors; StopTech street pads; HEL Performance stainless brake lines
WHEELS & TIRES 19x9.5 front, 19x11 rear BBS RKII wheels; 255/35R19 front, 285/35R19 rear Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 tires; APEX 90mm studs; Project Kics R40 lug nuts
EXTERIOR PSI Motorsports GT4-style carbon front lip; PSDesigns GT4-style carbon canards; Arkym Aerosport carbon rear diffuser; Forcewerkz carbon side skirt extensions; Varis carbon rear lower diffuser; Turner Motorsport aluminum skidplate; BMW Motorsport GT4 MKII carbon rear wing with Bomiz GTS-style mounts; OEM BMW Performance carbon rear spoiler and mirror covers; OEM BMW Edition black chrome kidney grilles and fender grilles; custom shaved front bumper reflectors; Gloss Black painted roof, trays and antenna fin; BayOptiks custom DTM headlights; AutoTecknic matte black hood vents; Macht Schnell front/rear tow straps; IND front/rear front tow hook covers, dark tinted side markers, painted keyhole cover, and Gloss Black front/rear emblems and M3 badging
INTERIOR Custom upholstered Recaro Profi SPG XL seats, seat brackets, and slider; Macht Schnell aluminum floor mounts; IND red M steering wheel button/push-start/stop button; OEM BMW limited-edition start/stop switch; OEM BMW Performance electronic steering wheel, carbon trim kit, and Alcantara e-brake boot; AutoTecknic carbon center console and e-brake handle; DinMann carbon rear center trim; Avin iDrive controller cover; Awron DGA Kompressor 1 gauge; Pedal Haus aluminum pedals; Bomiz M door lock covers; HARD Motorsport RS-style front door pulls; Schroth Profi II ASM harnesses; Turner Motorsport harness retaining guide collars; DTEC interior LED kit; Bavsound Stage 1 speaker upgrade and Ghost underseat subwoofer; BimmerTech PP82DSP amp
THANKS My beautiful wife, Teresa, and awesome son, Liam; my NoFuknJoke brothers; Carlo Cabalquinto; Mark Perrault; Alex Eugenio; Pooya Beheshti; Jimmy Uy; Anmol Jain; Clyne Acosta; Mert Contapay; BayOptiks; StudioRSR; Ray Balingit; Performance Technic; WD Garage; SVBimmer; EAS; VT Motorworks; Future Classic; AK Motorsport; Sonic MS; Auto Talent; DinMann; Bavsound; Bomiz; PSDesigns; Joe Ng; Mike Nguyen; Joe Yazon; Naz Fontilea
Fanatic Since Way Back
Andrew Kahrimanian | BMW F80 M3
Wendell's E90 might be the more extreme looking build of the two, but don't let the subtle looks of Andrew's Atlantis metallic M3 fool you—it's equally as dangerous. And the biggest difference between the two friends isn't so much in the cars, but more so the history Andrew has had with the BMW brand. It goes as far back as 1988, when his dad brought home a new E28 528i, which he drove every chance he could get, until he was able to buy his own - a '93 E36 325i. Since then, Andrew has owned several Bimmers, along the way a show-built VW GTI 1.8T and the F80 M3 you see here.
It was his first new vehicle purchase, an Individual model, meaning BMW allows the owner to select every option from start to finish. This, however, translates to a months-long wait time, considering it's built overseas to your personal specs. "The silver lining is you have plenty of time to plan out your mods," he says. "I spent all that time stockpiling parts in my garage and had the basics dialed in before the car even arrived at the dealership."
One of the standouts from that parts collection is the custom BBS LM-Rs, built by Fortezza Wheels, a shop that specializes in building one-off wheel sets. To keep on theme with the Individual build, Andrew went all-out for his custom set. "I love the LM-Rs so much, I went and chose every piece of hardware needed to build the perfect set of 20s," he explains. "A 20-inch wheel fills the wheelwells of the F80 so well, but I tried unsuccessfully for several weeks to source 20-inch faces from overseas. I had to order a brand-new set from BBS to pull the faces in order to do the three-piece conversion." After a couple different test fitments, Andrew was able to get them to the exact specs he'd hoped for: 20x10 front and 20x11.5 rear, with brushed gunmetal faces built into matte black barrels with polished step lips and gold bolts.
Andrew's other notable upgrades include the collection of OEM M Performance parts that help set his F80 apart from every other M3 on the road in California. He's also added every bolt-on possible, including KW V3 coilovers, AWE intakes, a Remus exhaust, and an Akrapovic titanium downpipe.
Together, Wendell and Andrew have completed two of the sweetest modern-day M3s of our generation by simply employing their impecabble taste for high-quality parts and clean European styling. It's something they've shared since cruising around the streets of Northern California in slammed VW Golfs—and something they've continued to excel in years later, now both happily married with kids and still best friends just as they were back in the day.
2018 BMW M3
OWNER ANDREW KAHRIMANIAN
HOMETOWN BENCIA, CA
OCCUPATION SALES MANAGER
POWER 560 hp, 600 lb-ft of torque
ENGINE S55 twin-turbo 3.0L inline-six; AWE S-Flow carbon intakes; Remus Valvetronic exhaust with quad 102mm carbon tips; Active Autowerke mid-pipe; Akrapovic titanium downpipe with cat delete; M Performance carbon engine cover; Weistec billet oil filter housing cover; Burger Tuning black billet oil cooler cover; Dinmann carbon intercooler cover, upper cowl covers; Downstar engine bay dress-up kit
ENGINE MANAGEMENT BPM Sport Stage 2 performance flash
FOOTWORK & CHASSIS KW Variant 3 coilovers with EDC delete
WHEELS & TIRES 20x10 front, 20x11.5 rear BBS LM-R wheels with brushed gunmetal gloss faces, matte black barrels, gold M-8 bolts, and polished step lips; 265/30R20 front, 305/25R20 rear Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires; Project Kics R40 lugs; APEX 75mm stud conversion; Macht Schnell 5mm spacers;
EXTERIOR M Performance carbon front lower lip, lower splitters, mirror covers, rear lip spoiler, kidney grilles; Sterckenn carbon front upper diffusers; RKP carbon side skirt extensions; Vorsteiner GTS carbon rear diffuser; IND gloss black roundels, color-matched reflector deletes
INTERIOR M Performance carbon shift knob, Alcantara shift boot/e-brake boot/console with rear trim, carbon e-brake handle, pedals; Dinmann carbon flat bottom steering wheel, door pulls, speaker trim surrounds, headlight switch trim, front seatback shells, rear headrest shells
THANKS My wife, Camille; NoFuknJoke fam; Mark Perrault at Fortezza Wheels; Homan Cannan at Dinmann; Joe, Brandon, and team at Performance Technic; Ryan at IND Distribution; Justin at AutoTalent; Vernon and James at BMW Concord; Alex Eugenio at AE AutoSpa; Joe Yazon at AutoLounge; Mike at BPMsport; Jim Bustos at MMI Vehicle Systems