- Capital City
- Architecture & Style
- Always Alive
- Sunny Afternoon
- The End
1. Capital City
And so, here we are. Final chapter of our tour, back where it all started, to the ever-beating heart of Romania. Bucharest, the main point of attraction, be it for business, tourism, events or culture. We left this city for our last episode, since it’s also the town where Tunedside has its office, or, as we like to call it, home.
The most populous city in Romania, with a unique vibe and an intense lifestyle, Bucharest is surely the main go-to point for all things, including, of course, automotive culture. From art to nightlife, from the people to the buildings, there’s always something new around the corner, and a different story to tell, every day.
We tried to capture the essence of what Bucharest is really all about, and we got to ride in a car as mad and as unique as the town itself. So, for the next minutes, enjoy our side of the story, as we walk you through one last adventure on the “A Tale Of Three Cities” tour. Enjoy!
2. Architecture & Style
Bucharest is surely a lot of things, an eclectic blend of styles and cultures, variety lurking around every alley, on every street. With old buildings hailing from WW1 and even before that, with huge constructions to always remind the world about the communist regime and its megalomaniac leader, with luxury villas sitting next to abandoned factories, it provides a diversity specific to eastern Europe, yet still remembering the Latin roots of the Romanian people.
On one side, there’s a fresh, young, cultured and emancipated Bucharest, represented by a good part of the younger generation, who opened up to Western Europe and its values, while on another side, Bucharest has people and places that are still trapped in the 50s, and will most likely remain that way forever. It is, if you want, a city divided, as some parts of it have moved forward, while others remained trapped in a time that should have been long gone and forgotten.
However, as in many big cities, especially from this part of Europe, all this diversity has found a way to blend and live together, and, although lots of things are light-years away, there seems to be a place for everything and anyone, in Bucharest.
3. Always Alive
Sometimes, just sometimes, though, some old things never fade away and they keep progressing with grace and style. Kind of like the special guest of this story, a 1995 BMW 3 Series, which could seem like the dullest and most common car you could see on the streets. Until you get closer, and take a good, long, hard look at it...
The engine swap features the iconic M3 S54 engine (343 bhp at 8000 RPM), as well as other elements from said M3 generation: six-speed manual gearbox, lock diff and full engine mechanics, as well other new elements, all OEM, ready to take on the avenues of Bucharest: gas pump, water pump, spark plugs, ignition, fuel dosage and many, many more. For the full restoration project, you can check out a detailed gallery and walkthrough here.
The cars’ exterior has also been revived and improved, with a full body electrostatic paintwork, full OEM trims, new headlights, new taillights and to top it all off, an original LTW rear spoiler, just like the M3 used to have.
As far as the track-oriented elements go, we should mention that the red rocket has a D2 RS M3 suspension, fully adjusting for damping and height, Eibach M3 anti-roll bar and a front / rear M3 wishbone. All these are fitted to BBS RS2 R18 10” wheels on the back, 8.5” in the front, from 1995.
4. Sunny Afternoon
Enjoying the spring sun, right in front of the Romanian Athenaeum, while talking about the project car we had in front was our way to spend a perfect weekend. Just like the city it rides in, the bimmer stays firm to being the best. It’s literally not an M3, but better. And while it still holds true to the 90s and the original style the Bavarians intended, it has a certain modern appeal to it.
Last, but not least, sitting in this BMW feels like something you’ve never experienced before. It’s the perfect blend between track and comfort, featuring a full M3 interior, with custom carbon trims, suede leather Recaro Pole Position seats, mounted directly to the floor, that have an ABE homologation to be road legal and are also heated.
As far as modern options go, the old-school coupe has plenty of them: AC double climatronic, plug & play type C used on the G30 3 Series, central locking, comfort windows, optioned steering wheel with nappa leather from BMW, custom-made red seat belts, backseats with privacy curtain, door covers from an M3 Individual and a steering wheel spacer, specially made in Italy, for better accessibility and comfort.
5. The End
Well, it’s been one hell of a ride, but like all good things, the wrap-up is something unavoidable. There will be future tours, that much we can promise, but A Tale Of Three Cities remains our best work so far. Road trips, new friends, hotels, amazing cars, even more amazing places, all blended into one big project which took a lot of effort, but came out exactly as intended. Perhaps, even better, we reckon.
Thank you, Sibiu, thank you, Brasov, and last but not least, thank you, Bucharest. Three very different experiences, three one-of-a-kind vehicles and tons of good memories, to last for ages. Keep an eye out on our social media channels, unedited materials and exclusive photos will be available all year-round. Until the next time we ride to tell special stories, we bid you farewell, stay safe, stay tuned!
Written by Mihai Dumitrescu / Instagram
Photographed by Anna Dumitrescu / Instagram
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