“I’ve had the car for almost four years now. I’ll be nineteen on the 29th of September.” If you thought there was just one type of car owner on the lawn at Legends Of The Autobahn, meet Skyler Bizzare and one of his BMWs—his 1984 E30 325e.
“I’ve been a member of the BMW CCA for almost a year now,” Skyler explains. “I wasn’t really sure what it was, exactly, until a good friend of mine, Cameron Colyer, the Golden Gate Chapter East Bay representative, told me about it. I joined because I wanted to be more involved in my local BMW events, to be around people who have the same love and passion for BMW as I do.”
Skyler jumped in right away with events and involvement, most recently with Legends Of The Autobahn and this fine E30. Nicknamed MadBiz, in part because of Skyler’s last name, this little 3 Series got its fair share of attention in the display corral this year.
“This year’s Legends was actually my first year! I missed out on last year; I wasn’t a member yet, but also high school got in the way,” Skyler says—with a rationale with which few can compete. “Cameron mentioned that it was a ‘must-attend’ event. It was great being surrounded by fellow BMW enthusiasts. My girlfriend, Hannah, came with me and had a great time, too! She loved seeing all the 2002s, E24s, E9s and E30 convertibles; she wants one some day. Plus she just loves joining me at events to learn more about my passion for cars. It was an awesome time being there displayed on the green.”
Cameron was excited to see Skyler and his E30 there. “I’m really glad Skyler came out to Legends. It was a great event to show him a diverse and accepting crowd of true enthusiasts beyond what he’s seen at the weekend car meets. Skyler saw that even though he has more of a stance set-up on his E30, there was a lot of interest and respect for the car. He really thinks about every decision he makes in regard to that car, and it shows.”
Cameron knows a bit about Legends and Car Week, too. He arrived this year, his fifth in the BMW CCA, and parked his E24 M6 near Skyler in the display corral. “This was my third year at Legends, and I don’t plan to ever stop. It’s my favorite event during Monterey Car Week. Everything about it is top-notch. As far as the club goes, it’s a great group of people, and it’s constantly growing. Skyler is a great example of that!”
As both Skyler and Cameron noted, MadBiz got plenty of attention. MadBiz wasn’t in the judged classes, but we know at least one judge took note. Fred Larimer, who’s attended every Legends since its 2010 inception, commented, “As one who has shown cars at Legends and now am honored to serve on one of the teams of judges for the BMW classes, I loved seeing this E30 on the field this year.” Fred attended this year with his own E30 M3. “It’s no secret that I like E30s, and to see this one made me smile. Perhaps even more impressive for me was learning this is a youthful owner who has done much of the work himself, and it shows. The attention to detail and preparation really speaks highly of Skyler’s efforts. I for one look forward to seeing Skyler and this E30 at more CCA events in the years to come.”
Fred should have his wish soon. In 2018 alone, Skyler has already put plenty of miles on MadBiz—some of the 40,000-plus he’s driven in the four years he’s had the car.
But more is on tap. “This year, Hannah and I drove up to Washington for the E30 picnic—my second year—with folks from Sacramento Euro, a new and upcoming group that host monthly Euro meets in downtown Sacramento,” Skyler said. “We also went to Bimmerfest 2018 and are currently planning to attend SoCal Vintage 2018.”
When you see MadBiz and hear how far and how often Skyler drives it, you’d be amazed to learn the car’s condition when he acquired it. “When I bought the car, it had been sitting for about a year and a half,” he says. “We paid $750 for it, not knowing what we were getting into. The clear coat had failed across the entire car, the interior was shot, and it needed a clutch and big tune-up. Once I got it home, I did a major service to the vehicle to get it to a solid running and driving car.”
It didn’t stop there, as Skyler kept the improvements coming. “I eventually ended up getting the full exterior resprayed to its Polaris Metallic factory color. I added the 1987 iS front airdam and trunk spoiler, Zender rear apron, and custom-fitted Ford Taurus side skirts. I’ve also changed my headlights multiple times, starting with US sealed beams to US ellipsoid to DEPO smoked smileys and finally to my favorite, Euro non-ellipsoid H1s. I’m really an indecisive person, but it helps the car’s evolution. I sourced a black vinyl sport interior to replace my shredded Pacific Blue sport fabric, and then eventually swapped to Anthracite houndstooth interior after trying to find seats in good condition for years. The driver-side bottom bolster had a tear, and it’s been a total pain to find material to
match the aged anthracite fabric.
“Earlier this year, I was accepted to WekFest San Jose 2018, and wanted my car to be as presentable as possible, so Hannah ended up stitching it for me after a year of exposed foam. I now have collected an entire spare houndstooth interior with material from a comfort seat that I’ll eventually use to repair my bolster.
“I’ve kept the Eta drivetrain stock. It still has the 2.7-liter low-rev, high-torque M20 and a 2.79 open differential. It makes it a great freeway car, averaging 35 mpg!”
Hannah wasn’t the only one close to him to be involved. “My dad, Jason, restores and services classic Volkswagens for a living. He and I bought the car for a father-and-son project,” Skyler adds. “Both of my parents helped support the build, and I also was working part-time after school saving my money to get it up and going.
“Even though I have a soft spot for air-cooled V-Dubs, I wanted something different. It had unknown mileage with the odometer broken at 183,210 in the late ’90s (according to service records), and it was barely running and driving.”
It’s doing more than running now, especially with added touches like BC Racing Custom coil-overs, Garagistic strut bars, full custom catback straight pipe, and a set of AME Fatlace Addition Fzero wheels. It doesn’t just sound good outside; he has a full Kicker sound system with a Kenwood head unit. The interior is rounded out with a Bavarian Restoration custom instrument cluster and Euro clock.
The indoctrination into the BMW world has been a quick one for Skyler. “I bought my E30 knowing nothing about it besides thinking it looked like an awesome car,” he continues. “Once I purchased it and did more and more research, I became more in love with BMWs. MadBiz was my daily driver for three years until I recently picked up a 2003 525i Touring, which is now my daily driver. I’d say I feel accomplished, having two BMWs at age eighteen!”
BMW CCA involvement has helped accelerate that learning curve. “I’ve attended Saturday-morning chapter car meets in Moraga hosted by Cameron,” Skyler added. “The members I’ve met have always been nice and actually seem interested in my car, though it is different from most. Being a member also gives me great opportunities like events, gear, and discounts on companies I love. I’m a people person, so making new friends is definitely my favorite so far.”
And now he’s applying all that BMW enthusiasm and people-person energy as a service porter at Concord BMW, too!
“I’m glad I was part of the Display Corral getting to show off MadBiz,” he said. “I can’t wait for next years Legends and Car Week.
We can’t either! Oh, and Skyler: happy birthday!—Kyle van Hoften