Eh, Was There a BMW Like This? | Unexpected Roadster’s High Level of Completeness Will Leave You Speechless! [Phantom Tokyo Auto Salon 2021]
Published : 2021/02/22 14:03 Modified : 2021/02/22 14:03
A masterpiece oozing with student enthusiasm
A superb fusion of BMW and Mazda!
Today’s machine is a custom car from Tokyo Automobile University School, the “BM★Roadster”. The students wanted a convertible version of the BMW E46 (320i M-Sport). The finish, down to the smallest details is of a very high level.
Put in the simplest of terms, this is an NB6C Roadster (MX-5 Miata) with a BMW face transplant. However, the 50mm difference in width between the two meant a straight body swap would give a top-heavy look. To avoid this, the BMW and Roadster’s bodies were connected behind the front fender. Details like the crease in the fender were carefully redesigned to fit in. Arch flares at the rear lend the design a sense of overall balance.
Of course, the BMW’s lights didn’t line up just so on the Roadster’s frame. The students fabricated the various stays needed to keep it firmly in place.
The Roadster and the BMW hoods are layered together to create a whole. The inner structure of the BMW hood which forms the outside gets removed; the Roadster’s hood forms the inside with the aid of rivets and adhesive.
The doors are a classic gullwing style. The plan was to buy a commercially available kit and just bolt it on, but when they came to install it the measurements were way off. In the end they jumped through several hoops to get it to fit perfectly, such as making bars for the hinges and remodeling bolt holes.
To get the 10J rear wheels to fit, the arches have been cut away and flared ones added in their place. The inner part of the body is welded to the fenders where it was cut, and sealed to keep water and rust away.
Looking at the finished product it looks almost natural enough to be a standard car. This is the most important proof of the level of skill and quality that went into fusing the BMW and Roadster’s fenders together. These students will surely build some superb custom cars when they graduate and enter the professional world.
Tokyo Automobile University School