Art / Car Culture

Parts as Art


You know a true car guy when everything is a reflection of the motor oil that runs through his blood. Where some people see junk and scrap metal in old parts, a car guy sees soul and maybe even art.

My piston business card holder tells a thousand stories.

The object that now does duty as a business card holder on my desk began its life powering my friend’s 1986 BMW 325e. This piston withstood a 20 year, 200,000 mile beating before some bad rod knock ended its life.piston_fullres

With the car’s “economy” motor officially dead, we set to tearing ‘er down. Spurred by a late night fit of “why wont this nut fit onto that bolt, and where is the 10mm wrench I was using 4 seconds ago”, we decided it was time to take a break.

The old motor on the floor in front of us was calling. And, like kids with a junk washing machine and our first set of tools, we decided to tear it apart because, well… we could!

In the end, we had a pile of useless parts to store, but also several cool decorations for our desks. Mine has been greeting passers-by for a couple years now, regularly getting compliments and questions.


I don’t think the Bimmer misses its original guts. It’s now stuffed with a 2.8L M20 engine, fed by 19lb Bosch flowmatched injectors and breathing through Bavarian Autosport Headers. A great car stays on the road, and a tired old piece of metal gets a new lease… a car guy’s fairy tale ending.


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