Wow, has it been four weeks already? What did you think about Stephanie’s view of Auburn? That event never disappoints, but there is a slightly bittersweet feeling at the end, as it marks the end of summer.
The end of summer isn’t so bad though, as it also means an end (sooner or later) to the heat and humidity we’ve had this summer….and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! I am sure hoping for a good dose of mild fall weather before winter comes.
Here are the things that are on my mind, both business and car-related:
First, we are making a couple of major changes at the shop! We are rebuilding our website and upgrading to a newer software system to manage all of our work. In the short-term, these changes may be a bit stressful for us at the shop, as we are in effect, learning a new language. The long-term goal is to be more efficient with our time, so we can take even better care of you and your car.
The new website will not be vastly different than our current site, just refined. You should see this launch in the next couple of weeks. In preparation, Stephanie has taken new photos of all of us at the shop. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Our new shop management system was developed by a shop owner in California and has recently been endorsed by Bosch. It will allow us to be even more transparent in our workflow and keep our clients informed with updates throughout the entire service or repair process.
Right now, Nick Howard is working hard to get this system implemented and to get Nick Sartor trained and up and running. We are hoping to see this change take effect next week.
What am I working on? I’m glad you asked!
Well, in recent times I have been investing in old heavy equipment. I recently picked up a 1948 Bridgeport vertical mill and a 1913 South Bend metal lathe. These machines won’t likely play a major role in our day-to-day repair and maintenance at Reggie's Motorworks, but they will allow us to build the occasional special tool or fabricate odds and ends for our vintage BMW modifications. If nothing else, they keep my mind and hands occupied and further sustain my hobby/business relationship:).
A more relevant project is my 1984 BMW 318i Baur TC. Well, it will no longer be a 318i. It will now be a 325i, as it is getting an engine transplant. When I removed the original engine from “Project Varmit” (#projectvarmit), I saved the stock M20 and had it rebuilt with the plan to pass it down to the Baur. Over the past year or so I have been slowly preparing for this swap. First I reassembled the engine with fresh hardware and accessories. I also had the valve cover and intake manifold powder coated in a dark bronze color that is similar to the “zobelbraun-metallic” paint on the car.
The scope of this simple engine swap has increased vastly over the last several months. I knew there was some rust in the driver’s side floor pan, so we pulled the carpet. We ended up replacing both front floor sections and a section of the passenger rear floor. This was a great learning experience for Brandon, who has been growing into a great asset back in our fabrication area. No one makes replacement floor pans for e30's, not even BMW, so here is a shot of Brandon fabricating a pan from scratch, which will look like and have the same structural rigidity as the factory floor.
After removing the engine, and completing the metal work in the floors, I sent the car out to have the engine bay painted with a fresh coat of zobelbraun-metallic. The car is now done and ready to come back to RMW!
Back at the shop, I have been getting prepared for reassembly. As you can see from the photo below, she’s getting lots of new parts. At the same time, the car will be getting a later e30 fuel tank with a bit more capacity, brand new carpet from BMW, and freshly restored and reupholstered seats.
Stephanie and I see our Baur TC as a “forever car”, so I am not cutting any corners in my efforts to make the interior beautiful and the engine reliable.
Another car that I have invested a lot of time and money into is this 1989 BMW 325ix. Over the past year, this car has received an enormous amount of maintenance, while also working out several of the little “bugs” that make owning an old car frustrating. This is not one we plan to keep forever, so if you are interested, please reach out! Here is a link to several more photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/EAramXydwYUHkgqk9
I will be writing again in October and hope to have lots of pictorial updates on the Baur project! Stay tuned!