Project RED E36 – Frank Castaneda’s ’94 BMW 325i

This car was found with a tree on it. Yes, a tree. The poor, little E36 thought its life of just 20 young years was over. But then, something happened. A car-scene veteran saw the ill-fated BMW crippled in the driveway, and thought, “I cannot let you wither away before my eyes. I must save you”. Or, at least that’s what I imagined Frank Castaneda said at the moment of his discovery. We caught up with Frank at Import Expo AC 2017 to find out more.

Three years ago, Frank found this car and asked the owner — an elderly lady — if he could purchase it to save it from its junkyard fate. She agreed, and Frank took her home. Three years later, the car is up and running and has begun its car show journey. Frank has chosen to modify his 1994 BMW 325i in an unconventional way.

I believe his formula is: Think differently + modify accordingly + gleam happily

The results of such an equation appears to be placing within the top three in his car show class and piss off E36 purists. Sounds like a formula I can get behind. There is nothing more satisfying that angering someone by doing what you love, and then getting a trophy for it. That’s the scene though — well, some of it, the bad part. It’s the enthusiasts that ask questions, share ideas and appreciate each other’s build whether or not it matches their personal taste that makes the car scene a great place. Those are the true enthusiasts, the people that take an interest in other’s builds and not just want to show off their own.

The car community is a growing, changing and evolving place. A place where we can meet people we would have never even talked to. A place to exchange knowledge and ideas. A place to escape into a world disconnected from the norm, where we can freely express ourselves and what we are passionate about — Cars.



If you don’t know Frank by name, that’s probably because he is better known as Sonic. The name came from his Sonic the Hedgehog themed Trailblazer. The car was built in the height of the radical modding era, before the 2008 recession hit. He’s kept the style but added to and revised it over the years, keeping it fresh. He is also the president of Team C4 — Custom Creations Car Club — founded on June 19, 2000, making it one of the oldest active car clubs.

Take a moment and watch Frank explain his view of the car community in the video above. Learn what makes him, and maybe you, a true car enthusiast.

Find out more about the Project RED E36 here:


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