As out of left field as they come, I got an opportunity to last minute, drop everything and fly out to the bay area. Unfortunately this trip wasn't centered around what I'd like to consider a normal photo journalist agenda... Well, more the opposite.
However, that wasn't going to stop me from making my way out to Sacramento to pay a visit to Igor at CAtuned. To this point I had only interacted with Igor over social media and our interactions were few. I realized as I pulled into Sacramento that it may have been a good idea to give him a heads up that I was coming. Then, I remembered before getting pulled over, that it's illegal to mess around with cell phones while operating a moving vehicle in California. I realized it was too late.
I got out of the car with camera in hand and approached the shop. One door was open and as I stepped inside, I caught Igor first.
I introduced myself and Igor immediately dropped what he was doing and showed me around despite my poor planning and bad post SEMA timing. I had about 45 minutes before I had to make the trek back to the bay area so I had to make it count.
I didn't make it far before I was already stopping to take photos.
I'm never disappointed to see an E30 M3 dirty or clean.
The shop was full of cars at various stages of restorations and builds. Judging by previous builds this E3 and E28 have bright futures.
After navigating through the shop, I finally arrived in the showroom, finding the 2016 SEMA builds nestled in with good company of previous and future builds.
As I'm sure many did, I followed CAtuned's roundie build on Instagram quite stalker-ish. Since I'm building a round taillight 2002 myself, I clearly had a high level in interest in seeing this car get completed.
I'll start by saying that seeing this car in it's completed state wasn't a let down. The M20 they used has been stroked out to a 3.2 liter which for most would be plenty of power for a car that's stock curb weight is just over 2,000 pounds. That's where things get a little crazy. They turned it up past 11 by throwing a Garrett GTX turbo on and then decided to detuned the car to a modest 400 wheel horsepower. Well, in reality, that's anything but a modest figure but considering the set up, an easily achieved number.
The interior was the next piece of the puzzle that I followed closely. The customized dash and gauges seem to fit well with the modern yet classic styling of the car.
Moving back outside of the interior and around the back of the car, I couldn't get enough of the teardrop shape of the side exit exhaust. A subtle detail that really stands out.
The further I photographed and the deeper I dug I found this car to be sort of Weezer's "Sweater Song". Not really some over polished, auto tuned smash hit, but something more fun. A car that was built with less of the "giving the people what they want" mentality but building something that CAtuned wanted to build and I really dig that.
Couple that with the fact that I was welcomed into the shop with open arms not forgetting I arrived unannounced. I have truly become a big fan of this shop and it's team. But at this point I was running out of time but I couldn't leave without snagging a few quick photos of the Mint E30. To be continued...