However, Nonis told Jalopnik that one of the toughest parts is still left to do: “That’s interior. Making ductwork for defrost, making room for the instrument cluster etc. I’m getting there piece by piece.”

He’s already started recovering the seats in red vinyl, but there’s much more to go from here. He modified a set of Volkswagen R32 front seats to work on the stock BMW seat mounts and fit in the car, as the mounts that came with the seats were too wide to fit. Nonis plans to keep the E30 dashboard for simplicity’s sake, but is having to modify it to work with the franken-car. A customized center console based on the stock E30 parts is also going in the middle—complete with E46 cupholders set into the top.

He’s also slowly addressing the deferred maintenance on the car. “The E30 I bought to use as a donor was pretty neglected and stripped already so I’ve been slowly replacing just about every part on it,” Nonis said.

Initially, the E30 came with an intermittent no-start issue and a slight miss, but those have since been remedied. A full-width radiator was swapped in using custom mounts after he noticed the original one had a small crack. The existing exhaust was a heavy hot mess of piping, so Nonis simply fabricated his own our of aluminum.

Additionally, Nonis looked at some clever upgrades as well. He mocked up how he would fit individual throttle bodies from a GSXR600 onto the onto the E30 engine in CAD first, and then mocked it up in MDF for fitment’s sake. Custom grille plates were cut out of 0.125-inch aluminum plating for the Amazon body’s nose. A custom carbon fiber spoiler was added to the roof of the wagon to match a carbon fiber splitter up front. He wasn’t happy with the old plastic expansion tank in the engine bay, either, so he made his own out of aluminum.

He even added what he called a “budget big brake kit” using 330mm rotors for a 2014 Jeep Cherokee paired with four-piston Wilwood calipers that were just $125 a piece from JEGS. Custom adapters were made to get it to work with the car and boom: bigger brakes acquired.

While it may look like there’s a lot of waste from doing something like this—especially from the Volvo body donor—Nonis told SwedeSpeed that he’s doing his part to salvage and sell off any usable parts that were leftover.

It’s worth visiting Nonis’ full build threads on R3vlimited or SwedeSpeed for this one, if for no other reason than the astonishing photos of all the fab work that went into this build and the absurd attention to detail Nonis has. Some parts were mocked up with MDF. An old oven was kept specifically for vacu-forming and powdercoating parts. Parts were cleaned in the dishwasher, because of course they were. Occasionally whole tools were fabricated to help keep the budget down. The lug nuts were even powdercoated gold to match the letters on the hood. It’s the ultimate bonkers budget build, and a true source of automotive inspiration that we should all aspire to emulate.

You can also keep up with the car on Nonis’ Instagram here.


We’re featuring the coolest project cars from across the internet on Build of the Week. What insane build have you been wrenching on lately? Drop me a line at stef dot schrader at jalopnik dot com with “Build of the Week” somewhere in the subject line if you’d like to be featured here.