“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.
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
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
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 666M 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.”