Feature Car: Team Menace BMW 545i
Photos and Words by Josh Mackey
On a nice day near Alki Beach in West Seattle, you might find Richard, likely with 2 or 3 of his counterparts, cruising the infamous strip along the water. Today wasn’t one of those days. We caught up with Rich, and his newly acquired 2004 BMW 545i on a typical, about to rain Seattle day. We were sipping coffee provided by BMW of Seattle; not only did they provide the free buzz but they also provided their brand new facility to us for the shoot. Our guy, we’ll call him Tony, well, because that’s his name, graciously showed us around the new building (literally, just opened weeks prior to our shoot). A quick chit-chat with the GM and we were on our way hopping from one building to the next (the Service building and garage is next door to the showroom and showroom garage, pretty slick).
Richard isn’t new to the scene: if you’ve been around for awhile, you probably remember his striking blue Acura TL. He still owns it, but that’s another article. Following the same idea behind the Acura, Rich took a similar approach to the 545. Keep it simple, keep it clean, but make a statement. Team Menace has followed that tradition from day one (except for Ian Shoel’s Flaming Orange MR2 S15 Headlight Conversion Monster). This car is just clean and sophisticated; what it doesn’t have in power, makes up in form.
The car is covered with carbon fiber, a lot of it hard to find, and godly expensive. From Hamann carbon fiber front bumpers, side skirts and rear diffusers to Seibon Hood and Trunk, the carbon just doesn’t stop. While you might see a lot of white BMWs stomping around the Seattle area, not all of them are sporting black IForged wheels that are neatly tucked under the fenders. We’ll admit that Richard could spend a little bit more time under the hood, but he’ll even admit “the car isn’t finished yet”. Well if that’s true, we can’t wait to see the final product. Here’s more from the man himself…
NWMotiv: How does it feel to be the first cover feature on NWMOTIV?
Rich: There are a lot of quality cars in the NW that could have gotten featured and for them to pick mine, I feel honored.
NWMotiv: No problem, we love what you’ve done with the ride! As I’m sure a lot of the NW guys know that you’re not a newcomer to this game! What made you make the jump from your crazy TL build to the 5 series?
Rich: Well I’ve always loved clean lines of the Euros and I knew that when I was done with my TL, I wanted to pick up the new 5 series I hardly saw any that were modified and I’ve always tried to modify cars that aren’t of the usual platform.
NWMotiv: As I’m sure this is only the beginning, what can we expect to be in store for us for 2010 and the next phase for the ride?
Rich: I have a couple of ideas in mind, but noting set in stone, but I will tell you this I will try to keep pushing the envelope on this car, while keeping it clean, creative and functional.
NWMotiv: We can’t wait! Let’s take a few steps back and talk about how you got started in the scene!
Rich: Let’s see this all started off with the purchase of my first car which happened to be a 96 Civic EX. I started reading super street magazines and saw all the parts they made for civics and integras and I knew I wanted my car to stand out from the rest so I started ordering parts such as Wings West, Greddy, and DC Sports to name a few. Then, I started seeing what the guys down in Cali were doing to their cars and that just opened a whole new vision on how I wanted my car to look like and from that point on I’ve been hooked.
NWMotiv: Well it seems like you and your crew has come a long way since that 96 Civic really setting new trends and setting the bar for the scene in the NW! To set the record straight what’s different about the Team MENACE today from the MENACE back in 99?
Rich: Menace in 99 was a group of close friends who wanted to share the same passion in modifying cars and hanging out and little did they know that their passion would push the envelope for modifying cars in the import scene because to them they were just having fun. The Menace of today still has the same philosophy of keeping the crew close knit and family orientated, but I think we’ve accomplished so much during the years that we’ve set the bar so high in the import scene that sometimes it’s hard for us to keep up with the standard that we’ve set for ourselves while still being innovative.
NWMotiv: I definitely think you guys have come a long way, your dedication to the scene and your rides show the change! Any final words or shout outs?
Rich: I gotta give shout outs to my wife Vanny for putting up with me and my obsession and for also putting in some wrench time when needed. My family for keeping me grounded and for supporting my hobby. Big props to my other family Team Menace, this car wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for my crew and their support! I would like to also thank Josh @ Mackey Designs for taking the sickest pics of my ride, S&P Designs, Speedlawyers, Intec Racing, Dunlop Tires and to all the friends I’ve made along the way, and a big thanks to the guys at NWMOTIV for the feature and for creating a site that showcase’s what the NW has to offer!
|2004 BMW 545I ALPINE WHITE
Owner: Richard Furigay
Team: Team Menace
Location: Seattle, WA