When Julian Bednorz brought home his 1971 2002 in October 2013, he didn’t have a vision for its transformation, but he knew he wanted to lower it. “I just thought if I could get it to sit right, I’d be happy.”
He also knew he didn’t want to take the usual route with restoration, which his sister had just done with her 1972 2002. As beautiful as that car was, Bednorz wanted to do something different to his 2002, which had already had its original Colorado orange body sanded and primed for painting.
“I was tired of looking at dull gray and heavily under the influence of Stanceworks [the website featuring cars slammed low and sitting on fat, cambered wheels and tires],” Bednorz recalls. “Instead of ‘just painting it,’ I wanted to use an organic approach that could sort of transform over time, much like Mr. Slammington [an E28 customized by Stanceworks’ Mike Burroughs, whose Ford-BMW truck was featured in Bimmer #117], a kind of character development, rather than typical car restoration, using the surface to tell a story, where it’s been and what direction it will go.”
For an artist like Bednorz, who started drawing and painting at an early age, dabbled in furniture design and ceramics and then studied architecture at USC, the 2002’s 42-year-old body would serve as the ideal blank canvas. He wasn’t sure how he’d go about getting the look he wanted, and he wouldn’t know the look was right until he hit upon it.
Sand and stain, sand and stain
He started by sanding off the primer to get to the old Colorado orange as well as the Fjord blue beneath the primer on the trunk, which had been sourced from another ‘02. From there, it was an adventure into the unknown. Burroughs’ Mr. Slammington had been stripped and treated with diesel oil, a method Bednorz tried himself along with a few other methods.
“I didn’t want to do the same thing. As an artist/designer, you always want your narrative to be original, but at the same time still be able to connect with people on a personal level,” he says. “I tried used oil, though, coffee grounds, dyes and all kinds of other weird sh*!, supplies mostly found in the hardware store paint section.”