Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kicking the Tires with an Auto Parts Customer (Part 2)

In part two of our interview, we ask graphic designer Camilo Delay about his goals for his BMW and advice he would give to someone else who wanted to get a 635CSi. You can read part one here, in which Delay talked about what's important in his search for auto parts for his 1985 BMW 635CSi.

What auto parts dealer doesn’t want to get into the mind of the customer to find out what they’re looking for in an auto parts website?

SimplePart first learned of California native Camilo Delay and his 1985 BMW 635CSi through the car enthusiast site Petrolicious

Delay, a graphic designer in the San Francisco Bay area (check out his website), reassembled the BMW himself, so when he needed parts for the 635CSi, he used SimplePart client BMW of South Atlanta’s website. In part two of our interview, we ask him about his goals for his BMW and advice for anyone looking to get a 635CSi.

What goals do you have for your 1985 BMW 635CSi?
I'm out to make it a solid and reliable daily (which it's been, for the most part) and return it to a better condition. I'm also looking for later-model bumpers, even though the big 5 MPH U.S. bumpers are damn convenient for when you need a seat. The car has the better part of 320,000 or more miles on the chassis (engine, an E32 735i's M30B35, has around 160k), so the power's up from stock. I think I bought the car with the intention of keeping it until I die. Not sure how realistic that is, but it's worth a shot. The car's taught me more than I could've imagined.

What advice would you give for someone who wanted to get a 635CSi? Are there issues to look out for?
My advice: do your research on the various types of E24s. There are three main iterations (E12-based, E28-based early-models, E28-based late models), each with a different look, make sure you know which one you want. I was a bit impatient and got an '85 which didn't have the 1988-1989 2.5 MPH bumpers. But that's a minor change. Otherwise, it shares a lot of parts with other BMWs of the time, so transmissions and engines aren't too hard to come by. Where I live (San Francisco Bay Area), rust isn't an issue, but it's a good thing to check for anyway, in the wheel arches, under door panels, etc. The M30s that come in E24s are generally regarded to be pretty bulletproof. It's no supercar, so use common sense. Get a car with good documentation, etc.

What do you strive for with design, 
whether it's your website or a product you're working on?
Design has a function, so I do my utmost to make sure it meets that expectation of function. Whether it be to make the company appear bigger, smaller, more eco-friendly, more upscale--design and branding are really powerful in the end. Sometimes the function is just to look better, and that's strong enough in itself. There was this gentleman in advertising who said that branding is a powerful thing. It makes food taste better, it makes cars run smoother, and he's absolutely right.
Anything currently in the works? With either your car or your website?
Ah yes. I currently sell one double-sided poster on my website, and the poster's been selling pretty well. I'd like to make a whole line of posters and set up a shop page to sell them, so I'm currently looking into that. Otherwise, the E24 needs a new transmission (or throwout bearing, or pressure plate, or clutch. Something's rattling down there.)
Read part one of our interview, in which Delay talked about what's important in his search for auto parts for his 1985 BMW 635CSi.

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