BMW Bavaria Takes a Stance in impressive fashion

Igor Polishchuk’s Inka Orange Bagged BMW Bavaria

If you attended the SEMA show in Las Vegas in 2015, you might recognize this brilliantly orange BMW Bavaria. The Inka Bavaria belongs to Sacramento-based BMW shop CAtuned. The first time we encountered it was when it made its first appearance at Bimmerfest a couple of years ago. Since then, the car has undergone minor cosmetic changes but mostly remains the same as you see it in these photos.

The BMW Bavaria was the manufacturer’s answer to a luxury sedan. At the time, the E9 was adored for its sporty build and exhilarating drive. The Bavaria was in some ways a calmer, settled-down sibling to its E9 counterpart. Later, BMW released the E23 — the first generation of the seven series — to replace the Bavaria.

Initially, from the east coast, the BMW was acquired by CAtuned after that aforementioned Bimmerfest show. The essential theme of the build seems explicit: less is more. The car has quite a few quirks and unique features that give it a personality all its own.

The Bavaria’s exterior is straightforward, with no flashy bells and whistles. There is hardly a chrome piece to be found, and the paint and bodywork are finished off exceptionally well. Keeping in mind the car’s heritage of practical luxury, this E3 sedan is centered around timeless elegance and style.

BMW Bavaria CAtuned | fuel curve

As if it wasn’t obvious enough, the bold Bav sits incredibly low, wheels tucking themselves comfortably into the arches. With a little help from a custom air suspension set up, plus the right wheel sizing and offset, the car lowers itself to the pavement with ease. Aired out, the body sits mere inches from the ground. While this look may not be for everyone, there is no denying that it’s an eye-catching stance.

It’s easy to wonder what exactly you might find inside the cab of the BMW. The interior greets viewers with a muted, nostalgic aesthetic. Aged chestnut leather is wrapped around the seats, while the door cards and dash show signs of character inducing wear. A couple of stray wires here, some peeling dash material there — but none of that really matters. Those who drive the car engage with it in a way which dismisses its imperfections.

The Bavaria is by no means perfect, but it wasn’t intended to be a concourse quality restoration. Built with the intention of chugging along to shows and meets, the heavy lifting has been applied to making the exterior look its best. Today, you may see it on a set of AC Schnitzer wheels, but it still remains a wonderful example of modified BMW and European show culture.

Courtney is a freelance automotive photojournalist + creative based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For her, cars have always been more of an art form than simply a method of transportation. Over the last several years, she’s worked to find ways to combine her love of both photography and classic cars. Now, she spends most of her time shooting and driving classics, collecting cameras, and enjoying the communities that surround both fields. Her primary affliction centers around classic Datsuns and BMWs, but she has a well-rounded appreciation for almost all aged autos.