“I still like to drive, it’s the whole reason I do this. I mean, it’s a business, but I like to drive cars fast.” So says Steve Dinan, head of Dinan Engineering. His company is based in Morgan Hill, California, and has forged a reputation as one of the premier BMW tuners in the world.
Dinan has been in love with BMWs for most of his life, ever since he took a job working at a BMW repair shop. He says that while other cars might be faster, no car provides the kind of responsiveness and communication that a BMW delivers. Sounds to us like he knows exactly why we call them the Ultimate Driving Machines.
The process of making great cars greater begins with Dinan doing what he loves best: Driving. His outfit buys a new Bimmer and then he spends time whipping it around the California countryside, taking notes, and discovering where the car is already in harmony with the driver and where it needs work. Then he brings it back to the garage where the highly skilled crew takes it apart, all the way down to a digital level. They have a digitizer to upload the BMW part into a computer, where an AutoCAD technician and a designer work with it and Steve’s notes to unlock the piece’s potential.
You can see the rest of the process in The Downshift video from Motor Trend above.
If you want to go more in-depth on the Dinan S3-R BMW 1M featured in the video, Autoblog posted a road-test review of it not too long ago. Keep in mind that BMW only ever produced the 1 Series M Coupe for a single year. It was gone before people knew what they were missing. At stock, the 1M could make 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. After Dinan and his guys got their hands on it, the inline-six cylinder engine makes 444 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The Autoblog writer says that “The resulting acceleration makes the 1M feel quicker than a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray or a Porsche 911 Carrera S.” Enjoy the full review, here.
We’ve got to hand it to Steve Dinan. We take care of BMWs, and we’re proud to sell them, but his love for these cars is something else entirely. He’s a master of the art of adaptation, somehow managing to perfect a machine that most already consider to be perfect. “It’s not about getting it out the door, it’s about making it right,” he says. For the pure joy and dedication with which he approaches his craft, Leith BMW salutes Steve Dinan.