All posts by Mitchell Weitzman

Inside Origin Autoworks

Vinyl wrapping vehicles seems to be all the rage these days. The idea is you can make your car any unique color imaginable while preserving the paint beneath. If you’re an owner of a $400,000 Lamborghini, you wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to find rock chips now would you. There’s a reason many hypercars are rocking wraps.

How is this not a factory color? Let’s call it BMW Frozen Dakar

Wrapping has become very popular in the BMW crowd as well. Here in the greater Sacramento area, Tyler Curley runs the company he founded, Origin Autoworks, a premier wrapping and detail service. Tyler started wrapping  two years ago on his own car for fun. After the success of his own creation, his friends asked him to do their cars as well. Soon, he turned his hobby into a fully-fledged business.

Wrapping has brought many a cool car into his studio; His second car he ever wrapped was a Ferrari 360. A huge chunk of his clientele happen to be BMW owners as well. Luckily, Tyler was kind enough to share photos of several  BMW’s he has wrapped the past couple years. M4’s, M5’s, M6’s, he’s done them all.

More recently, a friend had his entire E46 M3 wrapped by Tyler in a stunning electric blue. Originally a Carbon Black car, the striking blue sets it apart from the crowd with a serious whiff of exotica. All panel edges are of a beautiful detail from Tyler with zero signs of bubbling nor stretch marks. This is some professional quality stuff.

Tyler also has recently started detailing cars, providing paint corrections to remove swirls and scratches and ceramic coatings. If you have a Jet Black BMW, you know the pain of swirls. Ceramic coatings have proven to be much more durable than traditional waxes with a serious shine along with it to protect from the elements. They can last several years instead of only several months.


Ceramic Coating applied to 2018 M4 Competition Package

I asked Tyler about cost as well. Most full vehicle wraps are in the $2,500 range, a fraction of what more established shops will charge, who can charge upwards of $5,000. Now for those wanting to do simple roof wraps though, it’ll run only about $200. I’m currently trying to talk my friend into having his silver E46 M3’s roof and mirrors done in black. It represents an easy and cheap way to dramatically transform the look of your street fighter.

However, the best part about vinyl is the fact it’s completely reversible and will keep the paint underneath looking like new for years to come. Plus some like to change it up a bit too. Maybe you’ll want your car red for a couple years, grow tired of it, and then try blue instead. The possibilities are endless.

You can find Tyler here at his page: Origin Autoworks

This car was actually chrome before. Wrapping allows ability to change up colors


How are those Cooper’s Doing?

I have not exactly been the best at updating how my Cooper RS-3 G1’s have held up the past several months. So I thought about it: why have I not written more about them? Tires are a pretty important component of the performance car after all. Then it hit me: It’s because they’ve been so damn good. Seriously, it came to a point where I didn’t know what else to say about them.

Last I checked in, it was winter time, and the G1’s handled the California rain onslaught with ease. Credit to the all-season design. Living in the Sacramento region, we received the gift of well over 30 inches last season. Over THIRTY! Normally, Sacramento gets the south side of twenty, so this past year has been wet to say the least. I didn’t mind, however, as I saw more chances to perform subtle oversteer corrections through corners. Yes, they did disconnect a little on roads with an inch deep of standing water, but besides that special circumstance they were quite amiable. Cruising at 70 MPH in the rain? No problem. Even when I did hit the deeper puddles, the car tracked straight and true right through it.

Then summer came with the heat. I literally do not think I ever got these tires to squeal, that’s how much dry grip they possess. My ZHP would show serious body roll in spirited driving and yet the rubber was dead silent, as if they were saying, “oh come on! Let’s go!” They’re named the G1 as to say that they can carry 1 G of lateral grip. And I believe it; They far outperformed the capabilities of my ZHP’s stock chassis and suspension.

Communication through the wheel was terrific as was steering response. The steering could be a bit busy, wandering a bit on the road sometimes but that’s more down to the fact the odometer rolled over 140,000 miles. They were far less meandering than the aging Sumitomo’s fitted prior. Furthermore though, the Cooper’s were dead quiet at speed and comfortable as heck over bumpy roads. Larger impacts of road reflectors and potholes still could cause a shudder throughout though, but that’s to be expected.

But the best part was the tread wear. Even after about 8,000 miles, the tires looked brand new. Wear was very even throughout as well, being not even close to halfway worn. On a staggered setup like on the ZHP, Cooper guarantees the tread life to 25,000 miles, a number that should be attained with ease. On a square patter, that number rises to an astounding 50,000 miles as long as you rotate tires.

So there you have it: Cooper’s Zeon RS-3 G1. For an everyday tire with some serious performance, and longevity, it’s a world class affair. And it’s an all-season compound too, that’s why it works so good in the inclement weather too. Price is quite competitive too and they’re available now on Tire Rack, so if you’re in the market for some rubber, put these on your shortlist. Well done, Cooper.

A BMW Blitz at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion

All photos by Daniel Blodgett and Mitchell Weitzman

Another year, another Monterey Car Week. Like a good Scotch, it never gets old. Besides the usual car shows that engulf the Monterey Peninsula, there is one jewel that seems to grow in popularity each year: The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. What is it? Historic racing at its very finest. All the famous racing cars you read about or see pictures and videos of head to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to prove they’re not just museum pieces. Sure, some do cruise in their prized collectibles, but some truly are there to race.

BMW is built upon its storied racing heritage, so of course a legion of Bavarian bombers take to the Corkscrew. We’re talking 2002’s, CSLs, and M1 Procars. These are simply the best of the best. Seeing them in person, to be brutally frank, is SO much better than a YouTube video. Compressed audio and even HD can’t come close to capturing the magic of one of these beasts. Here in person, the sound alone of the screaming ‘sixes raises hairs all over.

Competing with the BMW’s on track are period-correct models from Porsche, Ferrari, and even Chevrolet. And this is only one small group out of the dozen that runs over the weekend; That’s how much the Monterey Motorsports Reunion has to offer. The classes are diverse enough that, when coupled with short 30 minutes races, boredom is literally impossible.

The BMW CCA has a large presence as well, with a lavish camp overlooking turns 4 and 5. The car corral is equally impressive, with examples of the most desirable BMWs on display. Truly a show on its own.

Almost as good as the racing itself is the paddock. Here, no special passes are needed to wander through the garages and racing cars while they’re being prepped. It’s a brilliant chance to see all the legendary cars up close. Owners and drivers are of the utmost friendly nature too. Vendors are out in full-force too with racing memorabilia and apparel. I even bumped into sportscar superstar Marino Franchitti and his wife Holly, a racer of vintage cars herself, at the Nicolas Hunziker tent.

The facilities at Laguna Seca are world-class, being very clean and the access to almost any part of the circuit is tremendous. With it came perfect weather too, settling at about 70 degrees on a sunny, August day. Further highlights included seeing Mika Hakkinen race Emerson Fittipaldi’s McLaren M23 for demonstration laps and Mazda’s shrieking 767B.

The best part, though, is the price. While events like the Concours D’elegance, Italiano, and Quail run hundreds of dollars, the Historic’s are only double-digits. How’s that for bang for your buck? And this is more exciting. The racing resumes next year August 23-26.