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Bagged BMW E23 7 Series Shows Long Mod Lists Don’t Mean A Thing
BY Kyle Crawford //
May 25, 2021
@mrkylecrawford
Photography: Jeroen Willemsen
@jaccojeroen
Owner: Denis Goleszny
@dengol93
  • The E23-chassis was BMW’s first foray into the 7 Series starting in 1977.
  • A one-off air suspension system complements custom three-piece 18-inch TRX bottlecap wheels, with rare BBS, Pfeba, and Hartge exterior pieces.

We all tell ourselves the same lies when purchasing a car that’s new to us. I’m going to leave it stock. This one is only for daily duties. Maybe I’ll just put coilovers and perhaps some wheels on it — nothing else, well, except spacers… and an exhaust. However, it doesn’t take long before the endless customization examples present on the Internet take over our brains and force those hopes of stock enjoyment into the pitfall of another project car. Quite honestly, it’s not the worst vice to have. It’s a shared sickness for modification that brings us all together, even when the intention is not to mod at all. That’s what Denis Goleszny figured out with his beloved 1982 E23-chassis BMW 735i.

SET IN MOTION

What began as a search for an old Mercedes quickly about-faced when Denis laid eyes on this Bahama Beige E23 equipped with BMW’s 218hp 3.5-liter straight-six M30 engine.
“When I saw this BMW, I fell in love. This colour and version with a very good engine. I had to buy this monster,” says Denis.
He had all intentions of keeping this car stock (as we all claim to do) especially because it’s a vintage car (what European enthusiasts refer to as an oldtimer), but Instagram and Facebook offered too many possibilities of what his 7 could become with additional modifications.

MODIFYING BEGINS

From the moment the build started, Denis focused on adjusting specific details like the TRX bottlecap wheels custom-made into three-piece variants by 2Polished and wrapped in Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tires, which would become one of his favorite pieces on the car over time. The attractive specs (18×8.5-inch with 3.25-inch lips up front and 18×10.5-inch with 3.75-inch lips in the rear) are the perfect balance for the often underappreciated factory bottlecap wheels and suit this classic 7 Series so well.
The remainder of the car has been fully restored using quality parts to remodel the aging sedan. Correcting every visual inch of the chassis was a vital point of the resto project. By the end of its initial transformation, a fresh coat of Bahama Beige covered the car, and there is no evidence of rust. In addition, a rare BBS front bumper, authentic Pfeba side skirts and rear bumper, and a Hartge rear spoiler ideally finish off the exterior in exquisite fashion.

THE STRUGGLES

While finding authentic period-correct pieces might not be an easy task (let alone in a nice enough quality to use on a restoration), at least the rare pieces existed in the first place. Such is not the case for modernizing this vintage vehicle with air suspension.
“When I was looking for air ride, I couldn’t find the struts for an E23. So, I had to look for a company to make a custom set,” says Denis.
Eventually, finding Willy’s Car Parts (WCP) in Austria, the E23 was treated to custom Air Force air suspension struts with an Air Lift Performance 3H management system to hunker the chassis overtop of the wheels.
The extremely low ride height makes this massive sedan have even more presence as it seems to glide just over the ground.

MEMORIES

Since buying the car in 2015, his 735 has seen its fair share of memorable moments. Near the top of the list is a 2018 road trip with friends from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom for the Players Classic event. However, it’s the memories he creates every time he gets behind the wheel that keeps his passion moving forward.
“Each minute driving in my BMW is very special, and in my memory. Meetings or just cruising, it’s not important; I just like feeling at one with my BMW,” he says.

FUTURE PLANS

As with most other project cars, Denis claims this one is never finished. He plans on keeping the vehicle and confidently declares, “I will not sell it.” Which is a good thing considering he just found very rare wheels in a 5×120 bolt pattern and he can’t wait to rebuild.
What started as a stock, classic car with no plans of modification has turned into a project with no signs of sale or slowing down. Which, if we’ve all learned anything at all about ourselves as enthusiasts, is just par for the course.


Denis Goleszny's 1982 BMW E23 735i

Engine:Full 3.0-inch exhaust
Suspension:Custom Air Force air suspension struts (made by Willy's Car Parts), Air Lift Performance 3H management
Exterior:Resprayed Bahama Beige paint, BBS front air dam/bumper, Pfeba sideskirts and rear bumper, Hartge rear spoiler
Wheels/Tires:Custom three-piece TRX bottlecap wheels by 2Polished (18x8.5-inch w/ 3.25-inch lip front, 18x10.5-inch 3.75-inch lip rear), Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tires

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