Okay, I figure it’s time to tell you guys what I’ve been spending most of my time and money on. This ’97 BMW 323i Touring has been my ongoing project since November 2009. Let’s start with a quick recap to get you up to date, as there’s been LOTS of changes.

I bought the car bone stock with 200.000 kms on the clock. Lots of the options boxes ticked: automatic a/c, power sliding roof, 4x power windows, heated leather seats, on-board computer, front and side airbags, arm rest, etc.

First thing I did, was to swap out the suspension for the set of AP coilovers and Wiechers strut brace I still had from my previous 320i sedan. At the same time, I also swapped in the headlights and smoked turns and fogs from my sedan as well.

After some intensive searching I managed to source a set of rare smoked taillights made by MHW.

A few months went by until I finally had all the parts together to complete the oem M-Technic package. Starting with the rear bumper…

… side skirts and mouldings on the doors …

… and finally, the front bumper.

I bought a set of wheels – OEM BMW Styling 32 from a 7-Series E38, meaning they measured 8×18 ET20 and 9×18 ET22. I promptly had them powder coated in RAL 9022 light pearl grey.

I wrapped the wheels with 215/35/18s, adjusted the coils and rolled the rear fenders and this is how Project Touring sat from now on.

A few weeks later, I finally mounted the missing front lip to the bumper.

After that, I drove the car for the next few months without anything major happening apart from a few maintenance items like an oil change and a clean up of the engine bay.

That’s when things started to turn sour. I hit a fox on the road and it ripped my foglight out and broke the bumper. I stitched it up using some zip-ties, lol.

It started to get frosty and I swapped on my winter tires and put my 18″ Styling 32s up for sale.

I bought a set of Rial Type A mesh wheels in 8.5×17 ET13 and 9.5×17 ET20. I decided to run these in 2011. They would be polished with a few black accents… but like most things in life… things never turn out the way you expect.

In December 2010 disaster struck. Gracefully, I slid into a sign pole and had damaged my precious car. The rear quarter panel was dented next to the tail light (I was lucky I didn’t damage my rare MHWs!) and I broke the rear M bumper.

And this is where I’ll leave things for now… stay tuned for part 2 of the recap!

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September 11, 2011

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