SpeedKore’s carbon fiber specialists are not new to the US restomod scene. Her references include remanufactured classic and modern muscle cars from Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and Plymouth.
Do you notice a trend on this list? These are exclusively US car brands. That’ll change as soon as the world gets wind of this modified 1974 BMW 3.0 CS, built by SpeedKore specifically for Robert Downey, Jr.
It’s not the first time the company has worked for “RDJ” – SpeedKore worked with the Hollywood actor on his 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro that the actor gave to colleague Chris Evans (NOT the Chris Adams who once screwed up Top Gear!).
But it’s the first time the company has made a name for itself with a German car, and the use of the graceful BMW E9 Coupé (in this case a 1974 3.0 CS) shows that SpeedKore can speak German too. And that is extremely convincing.
What is unusual for the company is that Downey’s car actually has a steel body, with SpeedKore doing the extensive metal restoration in-house. The carbon fiber roots of the tuner show through a specially made front air flap, rocker panels and rear bumper and contribute to the modern-classic look of the car.
The brick-red exterior paintwork is paired with the original BMW radiator grille and the window surrounds in Cerakote titanium gray, with a set of three-piece HRE forged wheels made of gunmetal reflecting the shine of the vehicle. Behind the wheels are Bilstein shock absorbers and a set of six-piston brakes at the front plus four-piston brakes at the rear from Brembo.
There are some surprising exterior details, including the original waistline shape made of water-dipped wood and the custom-made rear spoiler. Downey requested these changes to match the interior.
This gray wood tone appears on the Nardi steering wheel and the dashboard cover, which can be wonderfully combined with the coffee-colored upholstery and the gray tone on the seats and door panels. However, we wonder how much authentic wood paneling would have cost.
Although it looks relatively standard, SpeedKore has actually reshaped every single piece of the BMW E9’s dashboard to make room for displays from the Classic Instruments company and a hidden touchscreen infotainment display. The rear seat has been replaced with a padded luggage rack, and there is an integrated, leather-lined cool box in the trunk.
We can think of worse ways to get to the beach than in this wonderful car with all four windows down, the sunroof open, and the trunk-mounted refrigerator packed with snacks and soft drinks.
Allegedly, Downey’s 1974 3.0 CS can kick some people’s bums as well. While the original car was equipped with an M30 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder with carburettor, the SpeedKore conversion gets an S38 with petrol injection (originally found in the E34 generation of the M5).
In this car, the 3.6-liter six-cylinder developed 315 hp (232 kilowatts), a significant improvement over the 180 hp (135 kW) of the CS. If we have one complaint, however, it is that the old BMW uses a ZF four-speed automatic transmission and not the high-performance manual transmission it deserves.
Aside from that nagging, Robert Downey, Jr. and SpeedKore have once again produced an incredible restomod – only this time they traded Detroit for Munich. We hope this won’t be the last time SpeedKore works its magic on cars from Europe. How about a carbon-bodied Jaguar E-Type next?