SpeedKore-Built 1974 BMW 3.0CS for Robert Downey, Jr.
Custom performance shop SpeedKore is most often associated with incredible domestic (American) car builds and they are certainly no strangers to putting together some incredible machines for celebrity clients.
Of the most visible, Robert Downey Jr has been a notable and frequent customer for the Wisconsin-based outfit. We have been lucky to see some of SpeedKore's latest creations for Ironman at HRE Open House over the past couple years, including the vintage Boss 302 Mustang pictured above.
But this build for RDJ caught us off-guard. Instead of the more commonplace American muscle base, a selection from BMW's vintage catalog was selected to lay the foundation for their latest creation.
BMW 3.0CS Images via Motor 1
Like with most SpeedKore projects, this one began with meticulous restoration. Once complete, the unique touches were added throughout: the original BMW exterior accents were treated to a Cerakote titanium grey coating, which contrasts nicely against the brick red paint. Gunmetal HRE wheels tie those Cerakote elements together well and bring a modern flair to an otherwise vintage aesthetic.
We'd be amiss to ignore the other modern touches: carbon fiber dominates the front air dam / rear bumper and, whether you like it or not, the belt-line moulding is hydro-dipped in grey wood grain which ties in with the treatment inside. We're not exactly sold on hydro-dipped parts, but we can absolutely get behind the Recaro LX seats with woven centers. Love it.
Although it's tough to see, a ton of work was performed on the interior without ruining the vintage appeal. The entire dash was recreated to accommodate a new gauge cluster and a hidden touchscreen infotainment display. The rear seats were deleted to make way for an upholstered deck a-la GT3 while the trunk houses an integrated, leather-lined Yeti cooler to keep the important things cool.
Although the lackadaisical 4-speed auto carries over, the 3.0CS's original motor has been yanked to make way for a more potent workhorse—the 3.6L S38 from the E34 M5. It's a swap that looks right at home within the E9 and probably something that even BMW purists can stand behind.
It's not exactly our favorite project from SpeedKore, but it's awesome to see them stepping out of their comfort zone to create something from Bavaria with their own signature flair.