Level Motorsports BMW E30: Part 1 – safety, aerodynamics, and grip!

E30 BMW Built by Level Motorsports: Part 1 – Safety, Aerodynamics, and Grip!

Italians do it better

by Pablo Mazlumian Photos by Martin Gonzales

As a MotoIQ reader, I hope you can agree with me when I say that a single car can change a human life. In some cases, that one car can change several people’s journey—even generations after—whether it stems from meeting new friends and where that leads to (perhaps their kids end up hanging out years later or even marrying); or maybe it involves a chain of events that drop you to where you are in time today (meaning that you're reading my words here—I’m sorry).

I can relate, as ownership of my first BMW in December of 1996 led me not only to what I do today, both in the tennis world in Kansas City and the car media world—but also to the family I now have, which includes my wife and three girls. Yes, none of it would have happened had I not gotten that car!

Maybe some day I can bore you with the real details of the story but today I wanted to share with you Rocco Bocchicchio’s story, and how a BMW E30 project he started with his dad turned into what Level Motorsports is today.


Rocco Bocchicchio bought this car just over three years ago to start a project with his father, who sadly lost his battle to lung cancer just a few days after the purchase. Rocco then utilized the opportunity he had to build the car anyway as a means to cope with not only the passing of his dad, but also with the complexities and hassles of day to day life.
MotoIQ's Martin Gonzales ran into Rocco during the ProAm Global Time Attack event at the California Speedway, and was impressed enough with his car and story that he wanted us to share it with you. This is the final result. Yes, it's the same car! And now that we've got the deeper stuff out of the way, let's get geekin' and check this sucker out in detail!

When the 1989 BMW 325i was purchased from Pennsylvania, it was full of rust. In fact, Rocco says he had to cut every fastener that attached to the chassis, including all of the brake line connections. He also turned every bolt and every laid bead of weld on this car himself. No one else has ever wrenched on the car!


The first order of business in building a race car is safety, and being that Rocco aspires to enter this car in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, he spared no detail here (thoughts of that Pikes Peak-climbing Mitsubishi Evo tumbling several hundred feet down the mountain enter my mind here). In fact, he tells us there is over 153 feet worth of tubing in this little sucker!

When building a car like this, you're not going to get by with just a four-point roll cage. In fact, this whole cage is a 10-point system. Here, Rocco has made sure that the car is safe from either side impact or major roll with reinforcement around the tubing.

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