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CARSPOTTING> AC Schnitzer E34 BMW 5 Series

BMW E34 Work 525i Work Wheels AC Schnitzer

For some people, a car may be just a way to get from one place to the next. However, for guys like Adam Luong, it’s all about how you look on the way. If you were driving around town in this 1995 E34 5 Series, you can understand how a guy could feel that way.

It’s a rarity to see a 16 year old car in as pristine condition as this. Since my encounters with most 5 series bimmers leave much to be desired, it’s always a pleasure to discover one that has been built right – call it a pleasant surprise. This specimen is so clean that, to the untrained eye,  it appears almost to have just rolled off the Bavarian assembly line yesterday.

You may recall that, back in the 1990s, the BMW 5 Series was the top mid-sized sedan in its class – a class with very little competition. It was a must have for dads all across suburbia. Well, little has changed since then except that the 5 series has grown up to become a more elegant machine jam packed with enough gizmos and gadgetry to make a technologically inclined person go into mental overload. I could go on and 0n about my take on how the technological interface in modern BMWs dilutes the driving experience, that’s not what we’re here for. Today, it’s all about Adam Luong and his little piece of 5 Series heaven.

It was actually Antonio who first spotted this fine specimen at the Wek’fest in San Francisco. When he saw it again at the Bimmerfest in Pasadena, he told me about it and caught my full attention when he said that it was the cleanest E34 he’d ever seen. With a guy like Antonio saying that, I just had to see for myself. When I saw the car in person, I just had to agree.

BMW E34 Work 525i Work Wheels AC Schnitzer

Adam’s story of his inspiration for the car and the manner in which the build evolved reads like the stories of so many auto enthusiasts, so I thought I’d briefly let him speak for us all. Maybe you’ll read your own story in his words. “The first time the E34 body caught my eye was when one of my best friends rolled up to San Jose State to pick me up for dim sum. He had a 1995 black 525i similar to my currently owned E34, which he soon started to fix up. His clean yet classy style had a real influence on me as it was very rare for me to see anybody rolling around in a 1995 e34 all fixed up – especially clean styled ones. The inspiration for my build came from him. His name is Robert Kane and I give thanks to his style and his old E34 for making me jump into my current BMW 525i. I bought this car all stock, and the paint and body weren’t good at all. At first I just wanted to make it a clean car – lower it with a nice front lip and some wheels and call it a day.”

Sound familiar? For Adam, and many other enthusiasts, what starts as “a simple lowered daily” usually doesn’t end this way. Time and time again, I’ve heard stories of guys who start off with this mind-set only to scrap it and push the boundaries a little further – bit by bit. As you can see in the pictures, this car deviated from the original plan by a long shot.  In addition to a simple lowering there’s been a fresh re-spray, a full body kit and a complete pushing of the limits with his choice of wheels. The end result – a super clean daily… but not so “simple.”

As you may already be aware, when you push the boundaries you’re sure to pick up skeptics. It just comes with the territory. In Adam’s case, the E34 community wasn’t rocking 19″ wheels because some found it difficult to tuck such a large rim. With Adam’s positive attitude and balls to the wall mind set, he set forth on a journey to go where no man had been before – call it a wheel trek.

BMW E34 Work 525i Work Wheels AC Schnitzer

Over time, small bits and pieces found their way onto the car – the Personal steering wheel, the Momo shift knob (pictured above), the mint black hood. As the story goes, car guys will never really feel content once that tuning bug hits and, in Adam’s case that bug eventually led to a full blown case of tuner-itis causing the purchase of a full AC Schnitzer aero kit. The beauty of tuner-itis (when combined with a good sense of style) is that it leads to beautiful things. To be honest, the AC Schnitzer kit really adds to the character of the car. It’s subtle, yet not too flashy – clean and streamlined. Well done.

BMW E34 Work 525i Work Wheels AC Schnitzer

Now, back to the wheels! According to Adam, nobody in the E34 community really wanted to rock 19 inch rims since they were so big. However, Adam threw caution to the winds for the sake of proper stance – his words. He felt the wheels would tuck and look proper so he preceded to engage in many trials and test fittings eventually culminating with the introduction of a Japanese wheel brand to a German car. For some Bavarian purists, that might be considered shameful but, in this case, I think it suits the car rather well. Adam’s choice of wheel is the Work Super Wheels LS 406 (19×8.5 F- 19×10 R) and, as with all things that don’t fit neatly into the categories that tradition assigns, it caused the haters (posing as bloggers and forum bashers) to… well… hate. However, Adam’s response is as graceful as it is true, “I’m building this thing for myself and for no one else.” Isn’t that what it’s all really about in the end?

BMW E34 Work 525i Work Wheels AC Schnitzer

Keeping to the theme of creeping tuner-itis, Adam couldn’t be content with the stock exhaust tips and was able to source AC Schnitzer exhaust tips for the car. This cleaned up the look of the rear while adding that signature 2.5L inline-six throaty sound that most Bimmer owners crave. Nice touch Adam.

BMW E34 Work 525i Work Wheels AC Schnitzer

Adam wants to give special thanks to Robert “Shragon” Kane and his 525 for giving him the inspiration to build his own unique BMW 5 Series. And, for all of you current/future 5 Series owners, here’s a spec sheet of all the parts on Adam’s ride. Check it out and maybe you’ll be inspired to take that next step as well.

Finally, some words of advice to all project car builders: keep striving. At times it can be hard and a bit frustrating to deal with the everyday problems we face with our cars: whether sourcing those hard to find parts, dealing with the headaches of mechanics and body shops, or just plain old money issues. I’ll leave you with the words of one of the great hip hop poets, Tupac Shakur… Keep your head up!

:: Tamer Omran

Read more BMW related stories on MOTORMAVENS!

Spec List

Car: 1995 BMW E34 5 series

AC Schnitzer full kit
AC Schnitzer mirrors
AC Schnitzer exhaust tips
Hella smoked ellipsoids with 5K HID
Stock foglights with 3K yellow HID
Smoked turn signals front and rear
M5 rear license filler plate
European bumper Trim
Ground Control / Koni Sport coilovers with camber plates
Work Super Wheels LS 406 19×8.5(f) 19×10(r)
Advan racing tires
Wheel stud conversion with Project Kics Neo Chro lugnuts
Cross drilled / slotted combo rotors front and rear with Hawk pads
Shaved front emblem
Carbon fiber BMW roundel in the rear

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35 Responses

  1. Clean. I like in the first pic how the biker is checking the bimmer. haha

    The wheels fit the car perfectly. You wouldn’t know they were Japanese. They are VIP, which fits perfectly with the euro high end stylez!

  2. shragon

    congrats adam! well deserved! awesome article and pics!

    adam’s e34 is definitely the cleanest around. i remember rolling up to bimmerfest 2009 with adam and the amount of people who flocked to check out this fine ride was amazing! from the pics, one could see why. it’s not everyday you see an ol skool bimmer as fine as this! especially an e34!

    i really like adam’s choice of using acs parts for his e34. one of my favorite tuners for the e34. too bad acs has gone down hill on the newer bimmers, lol.

    i’m really glad to see where adam went with his e34! execution was great! i love seeing his car and it definitely makes me miss mine. maybe, someday again i’ll get another.

    again, congrats brother!!

  3. Lanna Montanna

    I got to meet Antonio of Motor Mavens! And assist with the photos by holding the camera equipment. Haha. Proud to have been behind-the-scenes of this excellent feature of this clean car!! Adam continued the tradition with a large amount of people flocking to his car in Bimmerfest 2010 as well. Big ups to Antonio, Adam, and Rob! Yeeeeeeee!!! :)

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  5. Kevin T.

    This car is done up with some love man. What I call passion for this old skool 5 series. Klean and definitely focken klassy. thumbs up!

  6. @Adam: Rob Shragon is my boy! We used to chill at DeAnza! haha. If I remember correctly, I think he had a Toyota truck back then, though.

    @ Lanna Montana: Thanks for your help! hehe

  7. PS: I remember asking Adam why his steering wheel and shift knob didn’t match. (Momo wheel with a Momo knob, etc. He said that Personal wheel was just a temp steering wheel taken out of a Civic! LOL

  8. Yeah, that steering wheel came out of my Civic cause I had to tear out my stock one (broke it off cause of stripped bolts). :( That wheel is sooo temporary.

  9. Pingback : ACS E34 « shragon :::: blog

  10. nismokid_5

    that biker is gonna quit biking after seeing that clean-as-fack E34. welcome to the wonderful world of stance, friend. :)

  11. congrats on the feature Adam. If you guys come to so cal again and go to roscoes without letting me know, I’ll kill you.

    kthx bai =)

  12. hey om1kron,

    like i was telling adam and james… i think roscoe’s is HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLA overrated. people need to go there just to see what all the fuss is about, but as a connoisseur of fried chicken and southern food, i think it’s hella whatevs.

    have you ever been to Donahoo’s in Pomona? THAT is the shit. Or Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken in Culver City?????? BANGIN ass fried chicken with honey biscuits. SOOOO DOPE. And if you absolutely NEED to eat waffles or something with the fried chicken, Honey’s Kettle Fried has blueberry pancakes, with school the hell out of those normal ass waffles at Roscoe’s.

    Edward Uche and I constantly argue about this. Ed LOVES Roscoe’s. Even though I argue that their quality hella sucks! Their collard greens are embarrassingly flavorless too, cause they’re frozen. wack.

    Next time Adam and them are in LA, we should all roll out to one of the good spots. Not lame ass Roscoe’s.

  13. Jon

    Cleeaaaan! Easily one of my favorite E34s out there. I especially like the fact the windows are NOT tinted. I know I’m part of a minority there, but IMO, with untinted windows it provides a nice contrast to the black paint and makes the lines and shape of the body stand out more. It’s not your usual black tank that rolls around (dime a dozen of these in SoCal). I’m also incredibly jealous of that prestine Dove Grey interior! Before seeing this one, I thought the E36 pulled it off the best with the 2 tone, but I stand corrected. All in all, I love this car.

  14. CoolHand Luke

    Nothing worse than wack flavorless collards from a can. You can’t have a name like “Roscoe’s” and put out wack collards…

  15. tamer this should be mor low no hate cuZ. but that shit should be on the ground! at least to get the tim of day. hollla i hate for the peeps that wanna be legit!

  16. Alex

    Hey the car looks great. I have a 525i and want to buy the AC Schnitzer S5 Silhouette kit too. Where can I look for one? I checked out the AC site and didn’t find anything for the E34’s. Please help a brotha out.

  17. Pingback : Bmw E34 Ac Schnitzer | BMW Photos Blog

  18. James B

    My car is almost identical to this. the exterior is 100% identical except the wheels. Interior is the same colors but I have an evo3 shifter. and a steering wheel from an e30 :) Lovin the car man. Go to hyperfest this year. I would love to see your car there

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