Passionate about mechanics and especially BMW, Simon and Pierre renovated a 320 i cabriolet from A to Z and were invited by a specialist parts distributor to present it at the prestigious Epoqu’Auto show in Lyon.
Simon Dalla-Rosa and Pierre Gailhanou are cousins, both in their thirties, but they don’t just have a family connection… No, they have a real passion, if not a cult, for BMWs. Not just any old ones, the ones from the 80s/90s. “Real” BMWs? There is a bit of this… “Yes, we love the cars of that period, especially BMWs, with beautiful engines, the famous inline six cylinders with an incredible sound, timeless lines that we recognize among thousands”, they assure in chorus. If Simon is knowledgeable in car mechanics (CAP and Bac Pro, anyway), Pierre defines himself as self-taught. Enlightened anyway, he admits that he “messed up” a bit… Except for this 1991 BMW convertible, which he barely bought the license in his pocket, for €2000. “A few months later, I bumped into someone who bumped in front of me… And it was Simon who bought it from me.” Cabriolet 320 has been waiting for them for several years. And then there was the isolation… “We were a little world, we decided to start its restoration.” With a third thief, Florent Venier.
Mechanical and video
But don’t just fix it. Or better if, but in original condition. “It’s very simple, we broke it down from A to Z. And we reviewed everything.” The engine, the suspensions, the brakes, the painting, everything goes, for two and a half years… The two cousins and their friend do not count the hours and above all they make videos, quite funny, which show the progress of the project, and which they post on their Youtube channel, Pyrenées BMW. And then, at the beginning of 2021, they entered a competition, organized by Mécatechnic, a large distributor of parts for vintage cars. “We ended up at the foot of the podium, other projects were selected. But two days later, Mécatechnic contacted us and offered to provide us with both the parts and the tools, provided that we present them in our videos. We also make some videos for them. , which they broadcast on their website.” Little by little the project is moving forward. “Fortunately we had the support of Mécatechnic, we estimate that there are around €20,000 of parts in the 320 i…”
Seduced by the project, and especially by the quality of the restoration, Mécatechnic goes further: “They invited us to present our BMW at their stand, at the Epoqu’Auto show, at the beginning of November in Lyon.” Epoqu’Auto, Mecca of vintage cars, 4 days, 85,000 visitors… “Honestly, we are back, it was very good, we met many people, many enthusiasts who follow our videos. We were surprised at the number While we, these videos, make for fun, for pleasure, to share our passion, to arouse the desire for catering, to show that it is possible.” The test… And when you see the result, you fall head over heels: the BMW is newer than new, you’d think it left the factory. Everything is perfect, the engine compartment is clean, the paint is perfect and the passenger compartment, upholstered in leather, is excellent. “We were well helped by top-level local craftsmen, Manu, the coachbuilder from Vic-en-Bigorre, and especially Alain Péres and his daughter, who made the leather upholstery, which was highly praised at Epoqu’Auto. And I take this opportunity to thank David, the head of the Sécuritest technical control center at Arsenal, where I work, who helped us and even encouraged us”, specifies Simon, “and of course our families, who supported all this.” And now? Despite several requests from individuals to carry out restorations, the trio has no plans to trade in them. “No, it has to remain a passion, we make our cars just for fun. We have a beautiful project, a 2002 BMW from 1970. it’s been intense.” But it was worth it, wasn’t it?