If You Really Want To Make Your 3 Series Stand Out…

There I was, walking past supercar after supercar at the Unlim 500+ in Russia, when I noticed something unfamiliar and very intriguing.

It looked like it could have been made by Rolls-Royce or a company of similar stature, but the front grille logo proudly announced Bilenkin Classic Cars, which didn’t provide any answers to me.

But after talking to the guys who were showcasing it, I was told that I was actually looking at an E92 BMW 3 Series coupe, albeit one now wrapped up in modern Russian coach-built bodywork.


From my conversation, I learned that Bilenkin is a restoration workshop in Moscow, which often modernizes classic cars. The company was founded in 2002 by Kirill Bilenkin, and in the time since then, hundreds of beautifully restored classic cars have came out of its doors. This one is a little different, though, as it’s Bilenkin’s own creation.

The guys Bilenkin knew that adding modern touches to a classic car doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the sort of vehicle you could comfortably and reliably drive every day, so in finding a solution to that problem the design team came up with the Bilenkin Vintage. It looks like a 1960s grand tourer, but is as easy to live with as any other modern BMW.


The start point for one of these builds is a basic E92 coupe, but creating a Bilenkin Vintage out of an M3, a 4WD version, or even a diesel variant is no problem, because nothing is touched mechanically. Instead, Bilenkin puts all their effort into the bodywork and interior, and what they do here is really only limited by imagination and the client’s budget.

It was no coincidence that the Vintage was debuted at the Dubai Motor Show in 2015, as that’s the kind of audience it’s marketed at.


In creating a Bilenkin Vintage, every panel is reshaped, and completely new front fenders house a pair of round headlamps. There’s also a two-piece chrome bumper with integrated turn signal up front, chrome moldings on the side, and dramatic retro fins with taillights at the back.

What surprised me, was that not only did Bilenkin leave the mechanicals of the base car untouched, but the safety side of things as well. Yes, the interior has been totally reworked, but all the airbags are in place. BMW’s iDrive system is fully functional, too; the switch has just been redesigned for a more upmarket look and feel.


I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of retro-styled modern cars, but there’s no way I can deny the quality of the Bilenkin Vintage. Milled aluminum, real wood, real leather, and nacre are the sort of things you only find in very luxurious cars. Hence the price tag of $145,000, not including the donor E92.

Mind you, that’s only the base price…

Vladimir Ljadov
Instagram: wheelsbywovka



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I know where the inspiration came from: Volvo P1800 (1961-1973). Would still rather have the original!


Looks like it has a bit of Borgward Isabella in the front end as well.


Ok but why is there a shot for every angle except for the whole car..

Vladimir Ljadov

because it was parked next to other cars and I couldn't get a clean shot. Sorry guys ;)


Probably because it's incredibly ugly.


No way!
I can't believe that this is a 3-Series especially a E92


Why do these type of cars always turn out so ugly? This reminds me of that horrid thing that was built on an s13 chassis, the Mitsuoka Le-Seyde.


I felt it was going so well until that shot of the roof. Then it looked like an E92 with a weird dress on.


I think it's pretty damn cool.


This is exactly what I hate in Russian (and all the post-Soviet) scene. Plenty of working hours, even more money, exceptional skills, but total lack of taste and sense of style. I think it is coming from an irrational desire to be exceptional and ignorance in world car cultures. My eyes are bleeding, and my heart is in pain when I think how much time spent to build this...


Look for Volga V12 850CSi from Autolak - that's a beauty!


that Volga is beautiful


There is no reason to hate another person's personal style. Ditch the wheels and I think it would look pretty great, much like older customs from America.


There is no reason to hate another person's personal style. Ditch the wheels and I think it would look pretty great, much like older customs from America.


Its kinda cool in a weird way. The rear end could do with more integrated styling but the rest works


Just did a Google to see a picture of the whole car. Instantly regretted it. What a steaming lack of style...


No no no no nooooooo! Too disjointed, and no elegance at all. Save $150,000 and get an E92 done properly, or even an Alpina!

Vladimir Ljadov

I'll tell you a scary story. Some are making a Bilenkin Vintage out of an Alpina.


Why would they do that? After all the work Alpina put into making the original car better, just to stick an ugly bit of coachwork on top does not then make it worth more. Some people have too much money and no taste! I guess there's always going to be someone who will take advantage of that fact though


Talking about Volvos, they never made a 2-door version of the 160-series from the factory. Although here in Finland we have one example of what it could have looked like, of course with some more modern chassis and drivetrain.


Kevin Reynolds

It's not the looks of the car (which I think are terrible but everyone has different taste) but the price tag!! I think it was mentioned here that with that amount of cash you get an Alpina or something original that's way cooler. Can't imagine there's any resale value either.


Honestly the bodywork looks pretty awkward. Though the interior is awesome! Keep a stock E92 exterior with this interior and that would be sweet!


This thing is downright gorgeous.. Can't deny the lines of a fine coachbuild especially when put on a pretty damn good chassis


You know, English isn't mother tongue for some people.


>he just've
the idiot here are you :^)