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The Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Lands in the UK as its European Tour with CSF Begins
BY Mike Maravilla //
May 14, 2024
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Photography: Brandon Cody
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  • The Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute flexes the best from the automotive aftermarket and highlights Bilstein, Akrapovič, MOTUL, and StopTech components among others.
  • After a successful East Coast tour to Thompson BMW, Turn 14 Distribution, and Bimmer Invasion Orlando, Pit+Paddock aimed to go even bigger in 2024.
  • Pit+Paddock inked a multi-point Euro Trip alongside CSF and as a formidable pair, the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute and CSF 911 will showcase some American flavor to European enthusiasts.

For anyone who’s wondered what the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute has been up to lately: our Fire Orange wagon has been on a boat for the last month or so on its way to Europe. To be transparent, it wasn’t something that we’d planned from the start, but its successful East Coast tour to Thompson BMW, Turn 14 Distribution, and Bimmer Invasion Orlando, gave us the runway to think well outside the box. The result of this deliberation is the E91 Euro Trip, a multi-stop tour of iconic motorsport gatherings with CSF that will culminate at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed. More on all of this later.

ALL THE TRIMMINGS

The backdrop for the E91 may not look like Europe, and you’d be right. We’ve saved a photoset from its time at Turn 14 Distribution HQ to showcase some of the wagon’s finer details. The exterior is undeniably eye-grabbing—the combination of Fire Orange paint, Bilstein Clubsport coilover suspension, BBS E88 wheels, and aero add-ons see to that—but open one of the doors, and you’ll realize that the interior is just as fetching. An über rare set of BMW Performance seats were sourced from Blue Chip Automotive and set the stage for a coordinated makeover throughout. The rear seats were reskinned and patterned to match the front pair, while the grey Alcantara and white contrast stitching were carried over onto the door sills, center console, headliner, and trunk area.

The Precision Sport Industries (PSI) team pulled this off so seamlessly that it could’ve been mistaken for BMW’s upholsterer; every panel and every stitch was millimeter perfect and echoed the meticulous commitment throughout the rest of the wagon.

Still, it wasn’t enough for us to stop there. We wanted to earn the BMW “Sonderlackierung” (BMW Individual) designation, so we went a few extra steps forward. The center console base was redone in Alcantara, which allowed us to adorn our “E91 GTS” logo on the blank cigarette lighter panel. That same laser-etched treatment was carried into the trunk panel area; lift the tailgate and “E91 GTS” appears on the lid. Both trimmings are subtle, but the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute is significant for its attention to detail.

CALCULATED PERFORMANCE

”Enough” performance is always subjective. While this car would undoubtedly lose a drag race to newer BMWs, the E9X M3’s ethos has centered on its signature powerplant. Evoking the S65’s signature notes was a crux of the project—even more so now that it has been bored and stroked to 4.6 liters—and its complementary mods reflect that commitment. The full Eventuri E9X M3 suite ensures our E91’s guttural inhale calls attention. With every downshift or wide-open throttle command, the staccato notes of the motorsport-derived motor are on song. The head-forward induction experience makes you feel like an integral part of the motor’s hard work, while the unique Akrapovič titanium soundtrack booms out the back and through your internal organs. The combination is special and once the revs come down to idle, you quickly remember that you experienced all those theatrics from a station wagon. What a machine.

In many ways, that’s what BMW has always been good at—balancing a Jekyll and Hyde personality within unassuming form factors—but the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute takes that recipe so much further. And like we mentioned on its debut, our desire to create an exacting factory reproduction helped distinguish our build from any other M3 wagon conversion that came before it.

FIRST STOP AHEAD

As luck would have it, the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute’s first stop will pay a visit to BMW Park Lane for a very special Evolve x BMW Park Lane takeover. For May 24-27, the UK dealership’s inventory will be set aside to showcase a very special collection of BMWs that have been hand-curated by Evolve Automotive’s founder: Imran Arshad. You’ll have to wait and see what the theme for its third takeover will be, but knowing Arshad’s discerning taste, it will be one event you won’t want to miss. From here, it will link up with the CSF 911 and the US-born duo will traverse the European countryside together to add new chapters to both cars’ exciting mémoires.


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