Modifying a less-common platform is always a challenge. A few more cuts than most would be comfortable with are required. When Rob stepped up to the plate of his 2001 7-series, he knew what he had gotten himself into. The ’01 740iL marks the very last year of the E38 generation. Rob’s love for the platform was sparked by inspiration. Ever since Jeremy Whittle of StanceWorks had debuted his 740, Rob knew he had to try his hand at one.
It motivates me to do stuff that isn’t common. Sure it’s been done before, but it’s not just another bagged Mk4 VW on Rotiforms. *shots fired*
Rob’s enthusiasm for the custom life came about in high school. It was helped along by Rob’s uncle, the only other “Car Guy” in his family. Immediately, Rob’s tastes were turned towards the Euro scene. He began modifying VW’s, each more progressively than the last. Next, he dove head first into the world of BMW’s modifying two 3-series models back to back. Finally, the chance to own an E38 7-series presented itself to Rob. He leaped after it without a moment’s hesitation.
Words: Michael Phillips | Photos: The Dub Dynasty
In order to fit the Airlift Performance struts in the front of the E38, a bit of customization was required. The struts were designed and manufactured with the E65 (2002-2008) 7-series. The transitions from the third to the fourth generation BMW flagship was extremely dramatic visually, as were most 21st-century redesigns. The E38 body-style has aged infinitely better than its descendant. Rob’s choice to put his E38 on the ground speaks for itself.
Up front, the Airlift struts have been machined to remove 2mm of material from the housing. This additional bit of clearance allows them to work with the older front suspension configuration. Additionally, the spindle hook and sway-bar link have been removed from the OEM strut and carefully welded to the Airlift unit. The sway links were shortened half of an inch to fit. For the rears, the struts themselves lined up with no problems and bolted on as a direct fit. The excessive camber, however, caused the rear lower mounts to fail after some time. Rob then replaced these with units from a set of Megan Racing coilovers.
With the Airlift Performance struts in place, the 740 sat beautifully. The suspension kit is rounded out with a 5-gallon seamless tank and Airlift’s kick-ass 3P management system. To match the capability of the suspension, Rob sought for a set of rollers that would take full advantage of the stance. What he found was a beautifully unique choice, a set of VSP class 2, 3-piece wheels. The custom forged wheels are a completely one-off fit for Rob’s car. Their broad domed 5-spoke design contrasts elegantly with the proud hardware and j-style lip. The front wheels measure 19×10.5-inches with the rears boasting an extra inch of width.
The color combo of Rob’s build is timeless yet striking. The fully polished wheels glitter from beneath the fender arches. The wheels help to highlight the polished body line and window trim without overwhelming the minimalistic style. For a slightly more aggressive front-end presence, Rob tracked down an AC Schnitzer front lip. Schnitzer has long been the industry standard in the BMW aftermarket. Rob’s commitment to authenticity and quality pays off in full. The lip was paint-matched to the body and strikes the perfect balance of OEM/custom look. The whole car is painted BMW Cosmos Schwarz Metallic. The factory black paint has a series of blue metallic flakes that in sunlight, make their presence known in dazzling fashion.
Rob, what’s you favorite part of the project?
The overall ride and feel of the car. Big body sedans just feel/look wicked when they’re dumped. Best enjoyed at night in the city with a cigar and Tupac’s music.
With the original paint and trim restored, the project was for the most part complete. From a visual standpoint, the BMW does everything and more that Rob wanted of it. It sits perfectly, fits the wheels with elegance, and caries a timeless simplicity. Rob wanted to OEM-like feel in his bagged big-body and made it happen. The original interior is wonderfully clean and comfortable. The factory V8 provides all the power it would ever need. Rob’s favorite use of his prized BMW is cruising low downtown, with a cigar in hand and a bit of West Coast gangster rap to serve as the car’s anthem. And we certainly can’t argue with that!
A few future modifications are on the books for Rob and his 740. He has already completed a muffler delete, giving the motor a bit more breathing room. He is currently prepping for a 6-speed manual swap to gain full control of the gears and give a next-level custom character piece to his project. Finally, he plans to take advantage of Calgary’s winter season and re-construct the front suspension set up for a bit more negative camber. We at #TeamSlamd can’t wait to see the updates but are happy to spend the time drooling over the pictures we have!
Special Thanks from the Owner
My wonderful girlfriend Jerilynn for putting up with and fully supporting months of work on this car, the guys at Dent Squad in Calgary for a phenomenal job restoring the 17 year old paint and fitting my front lip, the guys at Sheni’s Auto Trend in Calgary for their support and help with tires and alignment, my sponsor Bagged Proper for making the air setup possible, and last but certainly not least Jesse and Mike from The Dub Dynasty for the awesome photos!