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Many of my close friends would call me a BMW enthusiast though like all car enthusiasts I can appreciate a little bit of everything. I don’t profile cars based on what country they’re made in or how many doors or cylinders they have. Enough about me, let’s talk more about this extremely attractive 1996 BMW 328is that belongs to my friend Lawrence Maerina. It’s got all the small details going for it as well as the overall look. It’s one of those cars the speaks for itself so I won’t get too into it. As always, you can check out the entire spec list on the very bottom of this feature.

Photos By: Watson Lu exclusively for

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This car falls nothing short of stunning at first sight. The first time I saw this car was at a car show in Richmond, Crafted Fitment Lawrence won best BMW. The second time I saw this car at a show was at Drop that Frame in Vallejo this time around it won Best Euro, Best BMW, Cleanest Engine Bay and Best of Show. Bay such as the one above clearly explains why it was everyone’s favorite. It received a full wire harness tuck and shave down to clean things up, but not before a whole lot of things were replaced and upgraded.

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Starting with UUCmotorwerks underdrive pulleys to Spal 16inch electric puller fan & wiring kit, to Bimmerworld belt driven Fan Delete kit & M50 manifold install kit to things such as that beautiful Carbonio Carbon Fiber Intake you see on the right side and even smaller things that truly helped transform the entire bay such as the genuine BMW Euro radiator cover and polished front timing cover & thermostat housing. Like I said, this beauty has a ton of small details going for it that many non BMW enthusiast will easily overlook.

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Lawrence has owned this car since his junior year in high school. The car started its life as a white 328is with tan interior driven by an automatic transmission, or “autotragic” as we know it in the BMW community. Over time, just about all that has changed. The interior was transplanted with black “luxury package” from an M3, the transmission was replaced with a 5spd manual and of course, the paint. Lamborghini Grigio Telesto. The wheels on this car are 19″ Braid 8F series (9.5” rear 8.5” front), fitted with a 380mm Brembo big brake kit up front. Aesthetically, this set up is a match made in heaven in my opinion.

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Interior is just as beautiful as the exterior as you’d imagine. It features plenty of suede (headliner, pillars, rear shelf) and a beautiful MOMO hub & competition steering wheel. Other things that Lawrence upgrade was the Recaro SRD with optional harness sub-belt holes Passenger/Driver including the Recaro sliders and brackets. Extremely clean just like the exterior.

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That brings me to the way this BMW sits. As mentioned before, the wheels pretty unique Braid 8F series sized 19×9.5” in the rear and 19×8.5” up front. They are wrapped in Falken 215/35/19 up front and 225/35/19 in the rear tires. It sits on E36 M3 Ground Control Coilovers with E36 M3 Eibach front and rear adjustable sway bars and many other suspension components such as Rogue Engineering RSM & Ground Control Front & Rear Sway Bar endlinks

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It also has many subtle modifications including windshield wiper deletes, shaved rear trunk hatch, relocation of the fuse box & jumper junction. They’re small things that make the car just a little bit more awesome. Special Thanks to Alfred David of Illamentals for helping this build become a reality. For now, Lawrence is happy with his build but word on the street is he’s planning to do a 6.0L V8 with a T56.

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22 Responses

  1. Sam

    Just got my 98 328is. This is beautiful, not to big on the rims but this car is clean.

  2. projektzwo

    don’t like the wheels, especially the size… 19’s are just too big for E36, and probably could work with tons of tuck…

    • 509zFINEST

      Absolutely not true… I had 19 in bmw m6 rims on my alpine white e36 in it looked fuckin beautiful!

  3. 671

    @projektzwo, look at the brake upgrade up front, I don’t fancy the wheels at first glance either, but a second look really says why. Loving everything about this, wish there were more interior shots.

  4. linfoot

    Car is pretty dope but wheels are way to larg for it i had a set of c4 5 spoke vette wheels. On my old 328is 17×8.5 in front and 18×9.5 in the rear tucking about a inch in the back and the 18’s were almost pushing it running 205’s up front and 215’s out back looked perfect on the car another great thing about these cars is how high the pan sits I just had the stock lip on my m3 bumper and it could push a cig pack accrosd the ground and I didn’t have one scratch on my pan.

  5. JohnyGezony

    I think everything about the vehicle is spot on. I love the wheel choice too. Perfect decision to go with a good looking 5 spoke like he did.

  6. projektzwo

    @671 i saw the brakes, i’m not blind, but after all 388 brake kit is… just over the top, no sense at all for me, and even with 388 you can fit smaller wheels ;)

  7. rush

    i see Lawrence put a lot of money in his car, also a lot of great parts but overall this bmw looks strange. these wheels doesn’t fit to sport/agressive look, rear led lights ruined the back of the car. put here original rear lights and more sporty wheels like these for exaple
    and this bmw will rule

  8. javon

    seen this car in person at pretty much every show i’ve attended here in nor cal. its so prefect its unreal. oh and by the way drop that frame was in fairfield

  9. 509zFINEST

    Props for that engine bay bro.. iv been working on mine and u did one immaculate job!!!

  10. Matthew

    Not a huge fan of those fenders at all. I think the vented fender should be left to the E46 and beyond. The mashaw hood looks bomb though esp with the emblem delete. You dont need a roundel to let people know what it is! I am super interested in the wiring delete, but would never do it to mine because its a pure show thing and not worth the cost IMO. But looks cool! Just getting ready to do a full black suede interior swap with the same recaro speed seats in my 328i sedan. Cannot wait! I would have avoided the stupid CF center console cover too, but Im a sucker for the wood… And the exterior colour is Mint! So mean looking. Tune on!


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