Pistons & Pivots
Pistons & Pivots: Noah's BMW E30 Pickup
Pistons and Pivots features cool vehicles with character, and a little about their owners and the bikes they ride.
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We'll get in touch to work on featuring them on the site.
Sometimes there is a man, he is a man of his time and place. He doesn't think like all the others. Grinding through the day from 9 to 5, working for the man. The desire to create and make something different just tugs at his being. Rather than regurgitating the same old porridge, he takes what's good and makes it better.
This man is Noah Wilcox.
I was directed towards Noah's existence through a mutual friend who knew about the Pistons and Pivots series. My desire to find something unique and beautiful is challenged daily by the utilitarian handsomeness of the Toyotas that surround me.
Noah is a creative young man. Like creative young men before him, he took a path less traveled by while creating Das Camino.
in 1986, the M department at the Bavarian company decided to have a bit of fun with the cars they had access to and possibly facilitated by the lax management of those days, chopped the rear half of an E30 into a pickup truck/ute. Their actions were fueled by the need to haul parts around the expansive factory, and having a unique toy to play with. This toy actually managed to stay in the workforce until 2011 when it was restored and put away to make space for the next gen ute they would release.
BMW makes exciting cars to drive. There is an unlimited amount of footage of M3s plowing into crowds and curbs all around the world at car meets. The desire to drive a BMW sideways is the epitome of reckless youth exercising their freedom to hurt, and get hurt.
Noah picked up the 1986 325e that had 360xxx kms on the clock with bad paint and was the less than desirable "eta" model that output significantly less horsepower than the 325i. Noah decided he wasn't going to be angering any purist German car lovers with his sawzall parade. In November of 2019, Noah broke his scapula racing flat track motorcycles. With his arm in a sling, he taped the saw to his hand and cut the back right off of the unsuspecting E30. As 2020 rolled in, the lonely time that was the COVID pandemic gave him the opportunity to focus his energy into building something unique at his East Vancouver garage.
As the car started to deconstruct, it began to turn into a local interpretation of the cult famous E30 factory pickup. A first gen Dodge Dakota provided the back of the cab but after that Noah wandered around the wrecker with a template in his functioning hand looking for the best donor truck. Once the fab work was done, he sprayed the Camino with Tremclad thinned through a spray gun. His desire to mix his own green was met with the possibility of having to re-paint later on as he would be driving the shit out of it. So he stuck with the paint that came out of the can rather than the deeper green he was after. And we all know what happens to cars painted in BRG, a cursed colour that is.
The hand riveted rear lexan was eventually replaced by custom cut tempered glass.
Noah rebuilt the motor, keeping it mostly stock but running a new fuel management chip. The running gear has all new bushings and the truck runs tight and snappy, especially with the lack of rear weight and 4.10 lsd rear end. With the bigger tires and all the backroads to explore, Noah may change the gearing to 3.73 down the road.
You won't be surprised to hear that the man who converts a perfectly good sedan into a pickup also welds his own frames. Doing it the way he likes, the bikes Noah envisions have a unique taste to them.
The 'Cave Man Special' was a surprise for his buddy's 40th. Built for the Shore, it had to be slack and tough. Rocking a 150mm fork and a 65-degree head angle, 77-degree seat angle, 420mm stays and 482 reach, plus 810mm front center and a 650mm stack. The bike was designed around a 240mm dropper post as the pilot is tall and likes the seat completely out of his butt's way.
For these boys, the saddle drop is of the utmost importance, so Noah also chopped his own Ti Tyaughton's seat tube to be able to run a longer dropper post (moves that can't be taken back are Noah's specialty). The tubing on his bikes are a mix of butted stuff from Bike Fab Supply. Noah digs the custom bent seat tubes he offers. "They are nice and thick at the top," Noah tells me as he pings the tube with his fingernail.
Noah goes for straight gauge tubes and then does his own bending for the bikes he builds. The head tube badge on the Caveman Special is a collection of Canadian coins adding up to 40¢ from 1983 - his buddy's birth year. A sweet touch and such a nice gift.
Noah is a unique man living his best life in the lower mainland. Building, riding, chopping and creating something cool daily.