SpeedKore’s carbon fiber specialists aren’t new to the restaurant scene, with a CV that includes reconstructed classic and modern muscle cars from Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and Plymouth. Notice a trend on this list? They are all Americans. That will change once the world gets wind of this SpeedKore modified 1974 BMW 3.0 CS, specially designed for Robert Downey, Jr.
This isn’t the first time the speed shop has worked for RDJ – SpeedKore has collaborated with the actor on his 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302, as well as a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro the actor gave to colleague Chris Evans . But this is the first time the company has done anything with a German car, and the use of the graceful BMW E9 coupe (in this case, a 3.0 CS from 1974) shows that SpeedKore is serious about Eurosport.
Unusually for the company, Downey’s car is actually steel-bodied, with SpeedKore doing the full metal restoration in-house. Its carbon fiber roots shine through through a custom front air bumper, rocker panel moldings and rear bumper, contributing to the car’s modern and classic appearance. The brick red exterior paintwork pairs with the original BMW grille and window frames in Cerakote Titanium Gray, with a gunmetal HRE three-piece forged wheel set echoing the gloss. Bilstein shocks and a set of Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes hang behind the wheels.
There are a few surprising exterior touches, including the original molding of the beltline in water-regulated woodgrain – ditto the custom-machined rear spoiler. Downey requested these modifications to match the interior. This gray wood tone appears on the steering wheel and dashboard of the Nardi, pairing beautifully with a coffee-colored upholstery that features woven seat centers and door panels. However, we wonder how much the authentic woodwork would have cost.
While it looks relatively stock, SpeedKore has actually redesigned every part of the BMW E9’s dashboard to make room for a cluster of Classic Instruments gauges and a hidden touchscreen infotainment screen. Gone is the rear seat, replaced by a padded trunk, and the trunk houses an integrated Yeti cooler and lined in leather. We can think of worse ways to get to the beach than in this thing with the four windows down, the sunroof open, and the cooler on the trunk full of snacks and soda.
Apparently, Downey’s 1974 3.0 CS can kick ass too. While the original car came with a carbureted 3.0-liter M30 inline-six, the SpeedKore Bimmer gets a fuel-injected S38 (originally found in the E34 generation M5). In this car, the 3.6-liter six-cylinder develops 311 horsepower (232 kilowatts), a significant improvement over the CS’s 180 horsepower (134 kW). If we have a performance issue, however, it’s that the old BMW uses a ZF four-speed automatic transmission, not the high-performance manual gearbox it deserves.
Other than that, Robert Downey, Jr. and SpeedKore once again produced an amazing restaurant – but this time they traded Detroit for Deutschland. We hope this isn’t the last time SpeedKore has done its magic on cars across the continent. How about a Jaguar E-Type with a carbon body?