“Not unique enough.” The answer out literally on-top of the question when Chris Marino of Century West BMW was asked about his latest M-iteration.
“The BMW M4 GTS deserves to look different and while there was nothing wrong with the factory colors, I knew this GTS had to stand-out,” Marino said. To achieve this unique look, he enlisted the help of The World Famous West Coast Customs and its owner Ryan Friedlinghaus. “In my experience – and this is what I do for a living – Chris exceeds all standards when it comes the marketing of factory-new cars…Not just BMW’s but all new cars.”
A massive endorsement by Friedlinghaus, renown globally for his legendary designs and automotive creations. “Chris wanted to make sure this car would be easily distinguishable from a production M4 coupe and I think West Coast Customs got him there.”
Both Marino and Friedlinghaus are quick to point out the modifications weren’t intrusive: wrap, wheels and tint only.
“Why cut into a masterpiece or bastardize what’s already one of the best street-performance cars in existence,” Friedlinghaus says. “There’s so much you can do to a car from a superficial perspective to completely change its character without having to reverse engineer or attempt to upgrade the technology.”
Indeed. West Coast Customs applied their Signature Wrap – a process that required a lot of disassembly of the vehicle so as to give all-comers the impression that this car bore a factory painted surface. “Wrapping can either be a drive-by in its workmanship or a timeless piece of art,” Marino tells BMWBLOG. “Ryan and I have been on the same page since our first project – ‘hacking’ is not an adjective welcomed or used at West Coast Customs.”
For the M4 GTS, the wrap had to be perfect. The massive production floor at West Coast Customs, in Burbank California, on any given day, is strewn with vehicles whose owners have exacting requests of Friedlinghaus and his team. Accordingly, the M4 GTS required a long-stay in Burbank.
“A little over two continuous weeks of work.” Friedlinghaus replies when asked how long the M4 GTS was in residency. “We literally worked on it every single day for hours—and every single day, Marino would blow up my phone for updates!”
When Ryan’s shop Foreman Chad Utt showed Marino some of 3M’s latest blue-pallet, Marino homed in on SATIN PERFECT BLUE. From there-on, Utt steered the West Coast team to disassembly, cleaning, prep and, ultimately, the application of the wrap.
“There is actually a production-process that goes into properly wrapping a vehicle,” Friedlinghaus says. “The surgical and precise way to wrap a car begins and ends with the details. If we don’t feel we can make a factory-corner or edge look legitimate and natural, then we are going to digress and remove and treat the piece in question – even if that means a massive stop to the project to accommodate a very small detail. When you add up all of the ‘stop-details’ Ryan’s referring to, it is easy to see why this GTS turned out to be immaculate, it’s probably the best wrap I’ve even seen,” Marino tells us.
Because the wrap wasn’t enough for Marino, he asked Friedlinghaus to bake the Style 650M rims glossy black and to apply carbon-ceramic tint to all windows (windshield exempt). “Normally I go with 35% on most tint applications, but the GTS had to be different and I felt a darker grade would contrast better the wheels,” said Marino.
“Everyone’ knows the M4 GTS’ stat – 493 horsepower, 442 foot-pounds of torque, light-weight, faster than many Ferraris, Porsches and McLarens on the Nordschleife (Nurburgring), but some may not be able to distinguish the GTS from an M4, I wanted to make sure that Century West BMW offered something individual and unique. West Coast Customs made that happen.”