In no way is Dirk Deppen’s approach to building cars subtle. The idea of a “sleeper” is lost on him; the importance of aesthetics and the cohesion between style and performance are paramount in his list of build plans. Just one glance at his main project, an E30, gives it all away: a turbo 5.3 LS, enormous fenders, wild wheels, and everything in between make for a wonderfully ostentatious machine. His E28 on the other hand, is admittedly a bit more nuanced.
Towards the end of last year, I hauled Rusty Slammington out to the Los Angeles Port. There, Keith Ross and Jared Houston exercised their talents, snapping photos and videos which later culminated into one of the best pieces of 2017. It was the first time I had ever had someone else shoot the car, and with that, I stood back and let them work. As the light faded, though, I couldn’t help but grab my own camera and snap a few.
Since finishing the “Parts Car” in November of ’16, I’ve been on a constant quest to improve it. Alignment changes, spring rate changes, and sway bar adjustments have all helped to hasten the car around the track. Its constantly-improving compliance and neutrality have yielded incredible results, helping me to set a new “personal best,” or “PB,” at nearly every track day over the past year.
It was a few weeks ago, with the shop door wide open, that a fellow BMW enthusiast spotted the slew of E28s inside the StanceWorks HQ. Driving an absolutely gorgeous 535iS of his own, he pulled up outside, eager to talk shop and gather opinions. It wasn’t long before he asked about suspension options, having eyed a few different setups, but expressing some doubts about the results they might offer.
If there’s one thing BMW did extraordinarily well in the 1980s, it was perfecting the grand tourer. That is, of course, if you ask me. I may be alone in suggesting there’s no better example of both era and machine that represent a perfect balance between the driving experience as an enthusiast, and the driving experience as a traveller, but I mean it.