You’ll often hear Yanks say everything is bigger in Texas, but I’m not so sure. Personally I reckon you have to look a little further west to see everything go completely and utterly batshit.
And I’m not talking about Las Vegas in Nevada, which most people think is the craziest place on Earth. They’re wrong. Nope, cast you eyes in an even more westerly direction and you’ll land on California, home to some of the biggest, baddest and most insane stuff you’ll find anywhere on the planet.
Only in Cali can you witness places like Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach where even the women can crack your skull between thumb and forefinger with less effort than squishing a grape. And then there’s Beverly Hills, where the houses are just as massive as the implants tucked under the Victoria Secret underclangers of the ladies inside ’em, especially in the one where Hugh Hefner lives. They even have the world’s largest box of raisins in California. I bet you didn’t know that eh? (Thanks Wikipedia!)
The cars are a tad on the huge side too. Everyone and their dog has a F350 or a Hummer in LA, usually with an Uzi in the boot. And even those are dwarfed by the military-spec Humvee driven by their former governor, a huge Austrian fella with arms like boulders, who’s actually a sophisticated robot, sent back through time to chang… (okay, stop it now – Ed).
My point is, California is properly bonkers. Which makes it a place where standing out from the crowd isn’t as easy as you might imagine. So what do you do, say, if you’re the CEO of one of the most awe-inspiring custom wheel companies out there, and you’re looking to build your perfect daily driving demo car? You simply have to go even bigger than everyone else. And I guess that goes somewhere to explain David Nguyen’s crazy wide-body BMW Touring. I suppose, as the boss at VIP Modular, he can’t exactly tool around town in a clapped out Chrysler Neon right?
Now it has to be said the 5 Series ‘Wagon’ may be a big ol’ bruiser here in the UK but in the States it’s seen as a relatively mid-sized motor. What makes David’s car the biggest and baddest out there though is a spec list that’s relatively short but thoroughly distinguished. That and how quickly he achieved his legendary status on the streets.
Have you ever seen that classic film where the kid wishes to be big and ends up as Tom Hanks? What was it called? Oh yeah, Big. Well, that’s pretty much what happened with the build. David made a little wish, got in a shed load of his industry mates, and three weeks later his Beemer wasn’t just bigger. With it’s 20-inch hoops and more than a couple of inches of extra girth on the body it was nothing short of colossal.
The car’s actually been through a few wheel and colour changes since then but, as a whole, every single mod is as high-end as is humanly possible and installed by some of the biggest names in America. Of course David’s industry status must have helped. You don’t run a wheel firm without knowing how to make a deal with the right people… a set of wheels here, a custom interior there – you know the score. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s more than a couple of folks at Buddha Concept Designs and Ranz Industries rolling around on a fresh new set of forged rims.
Speaking of high-end hoopage. You would think, as the car perfectly showcases them, those enormous 10 and 11×20-inch forged hoops, in all their lovingly machined and hand-brushed glory, would be David’s favourite mod. In fact, it goes against every fibre of my being not to call this feature ‘Wagon Wheels’ – a little obvious maybe, but it certainly fits. That’s not the case though. David freely admits it’s the one-off steel bodywork that really tickles his sensitive bits. I guess seeing some of the world’s finest hoops everyday must get
a little old… Yeah, okay, maybe not.
The interior is pretty big on the money- spent side too. There’s been absolutely no expense spared on the custom audio, air ride install or retrim. And as for those brakes – I drove to work this morning in a car with wheels smaller than the 16-inch front rotors… or the 15s on the rear for that matter. Come to think of it, who’s ever heard of wafer-thin 295/25 tyres too? Yes 295 wide. I didn’t know they made rubber that big this side of a Cali porn studio!
If you need any more proof that things only get bigger in the USA, by the time you read this, a mental turbo upgrade will see the 370bhp lump hitting more like 650bhp. Then again, this guy works fast. By now it could be sporting the 200mph M5 V10 he’s also got his eye on.
I guess those Visit California TV ads have been right all along. In America there’s no prizes for dreaming small.
￼OWNER: DAVID NGUYEN
TECH SPEC: BMW TOURING 535XI
Custom metal wide body by Buddha Concept Designs; Ranz Industries custom Cali blue paint; Prior Design body kit; BCD custom roof spoiler; Extreme Dimension hood.
Wheels/tires: 10 and 11×20-inch VC13 with flat lips and full handbrushing; Toyo Proxes 255/30×20 (front) and 295/25×20 (rear); #becausebags custom Air Lift struts; AccuAir management; 16-inch Rotora discs with 12-pot callipers (front) and 15-inch Rotora discs with 4-pot callipers (rear).
OE tuning performance program; Injen intake; Evolution Racewerks intercooler and exhaust.
MV Designz custom audio video; Sony PS3; motorised 24-inch LCD TV; custom octagon pattern in leather and suede by Deluxe Interior.
VIP Modular; Ranz Industries; Buddha Concept Designs; Deluxe Interior; #becausebags; AccuAir; Toyo Tires; MV Designz; MFest; Heavy Hitters; Sexy Wheels.
Words Midge Photos Kevve.be