The BMW Ute all started with a 1998 323is left for dead in a field with no wheels and no clutch. Looking for a project to do the Gambler 500 in we had to have it. It fit within our $500 dollar budget for the rally event and was a rear wheel drive with a 5 speed. The coupe was in rough shape with zero interior, one working power window and had 4 different colored body panels.
First step was to pick up the car. We put on the wheels, replaced the clutch then got to work. We knew from the beginning we wanted the car to be a truck so right after we got it running we chopped it. A few minutes of sawsall-ing and grinding later, we had the beginnings of a truck. Next came many, many hours of welding and fabricating to reinforce the body and make a roll cage to make up for all the strength we removed when we cut the roof off. A few cans of spray paint, some cheap plastic fender flares, and some Auxbeam fog lights really finished off the rowdy look we were going for.
Surprisingly, the Ute survived not only the Gambler 500, but also the 1000 miles to get there and back. After so many miles of misery in it, we had fallen in love with this absurd little car/truck thing, so we decided to keep it and keep modifying it when we have time and energy. We rerouted the exhaust up through the bed and added some cherry bomb mufflers to make it sound and look just a bit more rowdy.
What’s next for the BMW Ute? Who knows? Maybe we will get some snow tires and do some ice racing, or slam it and take it to a drift event. stay tuned to find out!