We are fortunate to work with customers from all over the spectrum of automotive enthusiasm. Some want simple upgrades like exhaust and aero, others build strictly track day cars, and a select few go all out and pour their efforts into a full blown show car.
We recently went out with Andrew and his Atlantis Metallic F80 Competition to document his story with the car. We’ve been helping to make his vision a reality over the last few months. It’s exciting to watch a project go from factory stock to whatever the builder has dreamed up, and we’re happy to be a part of that process with our passion driven vendors.
Below is our interview with Andrew about his build, its current state, and where it’s going in the future.
Performance Technic: What is your history with cars and building cars in general? Was it always BMW, or did you start elsewhere?
Andrew Kahrimanian: The first BMW I ever drove was my dad’s 1988 E28 528i in Cirrusblau Metallic. I actually remember the day he brought it home. When I finally had my license I would find every excuse to drive the E28, and I fell in love the first time I drove it. Ever since then I have been a BMW enthusiast. My own first BMW was a black 1993 E36 325i with a manual transmission. From there I had an E30 325is in Bronzit, an E39 530i in Toledo Blue, an E46 323ci in Titanium Silver, an E60 525i in Titanium Silver, an F10 550i in Alpine white and now my F80 M3 in Atlantis Metallic. I have always loved BMW but I also had a heavily modded VW GTI 1.8T in between my BMWs. That was definitely a fun car but there’s nothing like getting behind the wheel of a BMW.
PT: Can you talk about how you decided you wanted an F80? Did you know you wanted an Individual, or were there any other options for you?
AK: All of the cars I have ever owned prior to the F80 have been used cars. I am in the car business so when something came into the dealership on trade that I liked, I would try to take it home with me. However I never had the opportunity to choose the exact specs I wanted in any of those cars. I always told myself that I would one day get a new car that was “mine,” where I would choose every last detail. I got to the point with my F10 where I was ready for something different and I knew it was time to step it up. I had always wanted and M3 and one day while I was at the dealership getting service on my F10 I decided to take one for a test drive. I was hooked immediately and went inside to put a deposit on an Individual F80 M3—my first new car. This was to be the car that I got to choose everything, from start to finish… MY car.
PT: Did you have the build plan for this car “mapped out” in your head before you got it, or did it evolve after you purchased it?
AK: Ordering an Individual car takes lots of patience since you have to wait months for it to be built overseas. The silver lining is that you have lots of time to plan out your mods! I spent the months waiting for the car stockpiling parts in my garage. It is definitely an ever evolving project but I had the basics planned out before the car even arrived at the dealership.
PT: Briefly, list some of the modifications on the car. What mods are your favorite(s)?
20” BBS LM-R’s
KW V2 Coilovers
AWE Carbon Fiber Intakes
M Performance Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
M Performance Carbon Front lip and lower splitters
M Performance Carbon Side Mirror covers
Remus Valvetronic Exhaust with Carbon tips
Active Autowerke Midpipe
RKP Carbon Side Skirt Extensions
IND Blacked out front and rear roundels
Vortsteiner Rear Diffuser
Sterkenn Upper Carbon splitters
Downstar Billet Dress up engine bay hardware
Dinmann Carbon flat bottom Steering wheel, Carbon Seat backs, Door pulls, window switches
M Performance Pedals, shift knob and alcantara boot, e-brake handle and alcantara boot
BPM Stage I Tune
My definite favorite major mods would be my five wheels (the four BBS wheels and the Dinmann steering wheel). I also love the small details like the Downstar engine bay hardware and the black painted roundels. I feel that the small details actually make a car. It's all in the details.
PT: The BBS wheels seem to be the crown jewel on this build. What specs did you build them to and are they what you imagined they would be?
AK: One of my best friends was in contact with a friend we made during our days showing our VW’s who started a business doing custom, one-off wheel builds. He had a set of custom BBS’s done through him and after going back and forth between different wheels, I decided to have a custom set done for the F80 as well. This wheel build was another “Individual” build, where I got to choose every facet of the wheel. I’ve always loved the LM-R’s so I decided to go that direction and they had to be 20”. I feel that a 20” wheel perfectly fills the arches of the F80. We tried for weeks to source a set of used 20” faces overseas but were unsuccessful. We actually had to order to a brand new set of 20” LM-R’s from BBS just to harvest the faces from in order to do a 3 piece conversion. It took a couple rounds of tweaking them but we got them to the exact specs I have hoped for. BBS LM-R 20”x10” and 20”x11.5” with brushed gunmetal faces, high polished step lips, matte black barrels, half hidden fasteners and gold bolts, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sports. I wouldn’t have them any other way.
PT: What is the purpose of this car? Do you mostly show it, or is there a balance between “for fun” driving and showing?
AK: The purpose of this build is to have fun! I truly enjoy modding cars and making them my own. I take pride in anything I put my mind to and this is no exception. This car is definitely not my daily driver and I try to take it out only on my days off for fun, and to the occasional meet or show.
PT: What do you have planned next for this build? Is there anything specific you have in mind?
AK: I would eventually like to do a roll cage, shave the front and rear bumper reflectors, a GTS hood and an upgraded sound setup. I really like how the car sits as of now so I don’t foresee any drastic change in the future.
PT: How do you go about choosing what parts and modifications go into the car? Are there some brands that you have always had a sort of loyalty to?
AK: Quality over quantity. I would rather have 20 quality mods than 100 eBay replica mods that don’t fit properly. It’s really not about brands to me, it’s about reputation, customer service and quality craftsmanship.
PT: If you didn’t build this F80, would it have been a different BMW?
AK: I almost pulled the trigger on an R8 instead of the F80. But I knew I had to stay with BMW.
We’d like to give a big thank you to Andrew for sharing his story and for having a truly genuine take on building cars. If you’re in the Bay Area, chances are you’ll run into this car at some point—be sure to say hello and see for yourself all of the effort and care that has gone into building this beautiful M3.