“VIP” E38 BMW 7 Series on The Smoking TireMay 1, 2017
Personally, my favorite BMW 7 Series is the E38-generation. It’s the best looking 7, it’s the best driving 7 and it’s incredibly affordable nowadays so virtually anyone can own one. Its looks are timeless and its handling is unmatched since. So if you’re looking for a cheap but luxurious BMW from an era that is largely considered BMW’s best. Check out the E38 7 Series. But maybe don’t do this to it.
In this recent video from The Smoking Tire, an owner out in Arizona decided to modify his E38 7 Series for “VIP” status. This VIP trend of tuning cars is to make the over-the-top, silly luxury cars to the point of being funny. Typically, they have rear window curtains, tray tables and refrigerators in the back seat, stuff that’s just crazy in a luxury car from the ’90s. While this particular owner’s car isn’t that extreme yet, it does have the basics down.
The idea is for it to be slammed as low as possible and as luxurious as possible. This owner has the first part down. Normally, people choose adjustable air-ride for this sort of suspension, as it can be slammed to the ground while parked but lifted a bit for driving, so as to make it more comfortable and functional. However, this owner went with fixed coilovers to get it literally slammed to the ground and it looks as if driving over a sheet of paper might be challenging. It might be the lowest car I’ve ever seen on coilovers in my life.
Farrah gets in wondering if it’s going to drive terribly because of it. It looks so low that leaving the gravel parking lot they’re in seems difficult. However, once they’re out of the gravel, it’s actually not bad at all, which is shocking. The ride is actually pretty good, according to Farrah and the tires don’t really rub. There’s almost zero suspension travel but the coilovers must be tuned well because it doesn’t seem stiff and it doesn’t seem to handle poorly. It’s amazing. Seriously.
Normally, I’m completely fine with any tuned car, no matter how extreme, because if an owner wants to do it, it’s their car and they can do whatever the hell they want. And I feel the same way about this car. For the most part. It’s so nuts that it’s silly, it works far better than expected and is somehow charming in its insanity. However, my only beef is that it takes away from the fundamental nature of the E38 7 Series, which is to be a luxurious executive car that can also handle like a proper BMW. Despite being better than expected, this car can’t handle like the E38 is supposed to and that makes me sad. But at least it’s funny.