You know that feeling when you have a day off, and you think of all the fun you're going to have by not doing a damn thing? I totally had that feeling Tuesday morning as I arose from slumber sometime in what I suspected to be the afternoon. Until I realized I never have a day off from Dub Empire, not to mention we have so much stuff in the works! So as I mustered strength to understand what was actually going on today, I came to realize we had to shoot Alex Bukalo's incredibly sophisticated Alpine White BMW M3. At this point I had no care in the world that I had to actually get out my house, because seeing this car in person is absolutely worth it.
Around 5:30pm we met up with one of our photographers and good friend George Malioras, also known as the Stanciest guy in the league. After waiting a couple minutes, and staring at the BurgerFi across the street with our mouths watering, up pulls Mr. Bukalo. Honestly, the presence that his car delivers absolutely commands the attention of all the eyes in the nearby vicinity. So much in fact that a homeless person, who mind you had asked me for $.25 fifteen minutes ago, pulled out his Boost Mobile flip phone and snagged a pic of Alex's car. To which Alex and I tried our hardest not to fall out in tears.
For those of you who don't know the M3 is not Alex's first rodeo with a European car, nor is he new to the Orlando car scene. I remember first meeting Alex just by seeing his MKIV GTI around the Valencia East campus multiple times when I had my first MKIII Golf. He came out to the local Saturday night meets at Vitamin Shoppe quite often. After owning the GTI he changed up the pace with a hammered static Miata, before owning the current beauty that is his 1999 BMW M3. If you're familiar with Bimmers, then you might know that this car is equipped with a S52B32 engine. This is unlike most other US Spec E36 M3's because those generally came with S50B32's or the S50B30. But no matter what it is that Alex has owned, he's always stayed the same person and has seen the community go from what it was to what it is now.
I asked Alex what he felt about how the community is now, versus from when we were younger and just coming out to meets/shows. And his opinion was just like the majority of ours. Both of us agree that the scene has changed from being a community of people who help and give advice to one another when they need it. To a scene where people act better than others, "build" their cars from others opinions, and just flat out try to become famous over social media instead of realizing that its not what its all about. You see we fell into the community in a time where Instagram had no meaning, and the only way to appreciates ones work was to view it on Vortex or StanceNation or at local shows/meets. The times have changed, but we want to bring back the community and show people it's not all about the car or how many likes you get.
With that said, and after getting to know who Alex is, why don't we talk about his M3. The color is that of all the great M3's, the pristine Alpine White. To contrast the white Alex went with Imola Red leather Vader seats and door cards. You'll also find a white multi-point roll cage for added racekor effect. For even more fast car feels, Alex went with a LTW Wing that absolutely captivates your eyes to the rear end. The car is lowered via Broadway Static coilovers and sits on Carline CM6's in 17 x 10.5 in the rear and 17 x 9.5 in the front. Possibly the coolest thing about the car is the Dinan Intake, which was purchased at a whopping $75. That's right, you didn't read that wrong, your eyes didn't deceive you, Alex purchased the intake from someone who was not as knowledgeable as to what it actually was.
We couldn't stop telling Alex how photogenic his car is, and instead of saying some cocky smart remark, he just thanked us and was just as pleased to have us shooting his car. It's always nice to catch up with old friends and gaze at our new projects. We know Alex has more in mind, and we are truly excited to see how he executes it. We are very thankful for the opportunity to shoot his car and we look forward to seeing it again soon at the upcoming Simply Clean 6 event! Mark the dates guys & gals, November 15th at Destination Daytona! Who knows! Maybe a homeless person will take pics of your car too!
Photos by George Malioras
Words by Sean O'Connor