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    There’s a lot to be said for individuality and this bagged, wrapped #BMW-E61 Touring embodies that perfectly. Brown, bagged and not shy with it, this E61 Touring definitely makes a statement.

    Supermodels come in all shapes and sizes; this is established. The last 40 or so years has seen stickthin figures sashaying down the world’s catwalks as best they can, wearing the latest clothes from the most popular designers. With all the world of fashion’s finery hanging off their frames and bottles of fragrances glittering in their eyes, they sell us all the things, including the cars, we lust after.

    Meanwhile, as if in some sort of parallel alternate reality, the cars we drive have increased in size as the supermodels have shrunk. There are many reasons for this, such as safety regulations, but initially it was because car size was a symbol of status. Cars expanded as manufacturers established themselves while beginning to profit rather than simply survive, and the public increasingly paid out for big cars to use as status symbols.

    Once upon a time, before physiology was fully understood in terms of general wellbeing, it was the same with the human form. A large man or woman was telling the world that they were successful, that they could afford the fine foods that most people could not. This is actually still the case in a lot of the developing world. However, as for the car and its safety regulations, increased size is a necessary evil that designers are having to work hard to disguise in exactly the same way as a designer will use the lines of a dress to accentuate the human form. Obviously, people have different preferences to their neighbour in all areas of life and cars are one of the primary ways that people choose to express this aspect of themselves. One person might prefer minimalism and a svelte profile, whereas another (such as yours truly) might prefer a bolder approach featuring curves and larger forms in all the right places.

    In fact, my personal preference is for cars with the larger rear ends, and it would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise. Most people would struggle to deny that, when a Touring comes into view with a wrap job such as this, one gets sprung.

    One such car is Emil Ryding’s #BMW-525d-Touring #E61 Touring as shown here in all its Euro scene glory. Emil is in his early 30s and runs his own truck company located in the outskirts of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, and this big, bold supermodel is a daily ride for his girlfriend, young child and dog. It is certainly an eye-catching tool for promoting a small local business.

    Emil’s love of BMW was initially inspired by Volvo, in a roundabout way. Let’s be honest, the Swedish car manufacturer was always going to crop up in this feature. “My first car was a #1979 #Volvo-244 , only because it was cheap!” he said. The first car Emil ever tuned was an #1986 744 turbo with an estimated 240hp: “I bought that one to be faster than my brother’s #BMW-325i !” So he hasn’t ever been one for mucking about. Sibling rivalries aren’t fly-by-night deals either, and the competition rumbled on to the point where Emil eventually realized he would have to buy in to Bavaria. “My first BMW was the #M535 from 1986, in Diamond black with yellow leather interior. It was, and is, one of my all-time favourite cars, and has one of the most beautiful bodies.” He’s certainly not shy of an Eighties classic and has no particular brand loyalty as he also runs an Audi ur-quattro, the legs of which he stretches on track and shows off at meets as often as possible. Our admiration for Emil is established as he demonstrates a depth of variation in his preferences, not discriminating by age and also knowing when to modify and when to keep it straight and original.

    The start of his journey into modified modernity began with a relatively specific remit. “I wanted a stanced car with air-ride as a daily driver that both fitted my kid and dog and could tow a car trailer behind,” he explains. “In 2012, my friends Jan Axelsson and Richard Klarby convinced me to go with them to an amazing week at the pre-meet in Wörthersee, a big VW meet in Austria, and after that I knew that I wanted a stanced car.”

    The quest for a car with a quality air-ride system that suited his practical and aesthetic demands began. “It took me a year before I found this one,” Emil said. “I found it about 300km from home. It was really beautiful and though the carbon fibre splitter in the custom front was cracked and one of the rims was scratched it was easy to fix!” He had settled on a #2004 #525d #E61 Touring with the body kit seen here under the wrap. Credit for the fantastic detail on the air install and the addition of the rare Gnosis-1 rims from US-based Work Wheels goes to Henrik Schmidt. Legend has it that these wheels are the only such examples in all of Sweden.

    Like so many fashion designers and auto modification aficionados before him, Emil took the opportunity to take in some shows and have a look at the prevalent mode du jour in the wider scene. “That summer we were invited down to the XS CarNight meet and also as VIP guests at Felgenoutlet BBQ in Dresden, Germany, with my quattro. So we put the Audi onto a trailer behind the BMW, drove 1300km down there, and displayed both cars at the shows. People could not believe their ears when I told them that I drove the whole way from Stockholm, Sweden in the BMW dragging a car and trailer behind it!”

    Having attended those two big shows with the car in its original silver, the call of individuality proved irresistible and the designer cut his cloth. “I wanted to make the car more personal so, in the winter of 2013, I made this version of it because it was to be displayed at the Elmia Custom Motorshow in the spring of 2014. It’s the biggest motorshow in Sweden. So we tore the car into pieces and started wrapping it. With a little help, I picked a matt metallic brown wrap from Avery Supreme and did the trim and some details in gold. We did the job in my everyday parking garage!”

    If you look closely, you’ll notice evidence of Emil letting his creative side fly a little further than the usual wrap job. “We also put stickers under the vinyl, so you can only see the outlines of them if you look really closely. The car has a unique one-off look. You can’t find a similar one anywhere. That was the goal with the car; it looks extreme but you can use it every day. I really do use it as a daily driver; it works perfectly. With the diesel engine, an automatic gearbox, and electric leather seats it’s comfortable, too.” This project was always about form over function, which is why Emil hasn’t altered the interior or the drivetrain, since BMW’s big diesel Touring pedigree is long established as a competent and comfortable breed. The foundations that allow for the functions of form required of it remain, and the form has followed Emil’s inspiration from Europe’s finest scenes. “I wanted it to stand out in a crowd but still be tasteful and, of course, as low and wide as possible.” When pressed on his favourite aspect of this build Emil told us: “It’s the car’s stance. When you park it next to another car and just drop the air out of the system until the arches are touching the aluminium rims… I love that.”

    As with every expression of oneself, the highlights of the experience are usually the initial completion of a project, with the sporadic bursts of attention when you choose to show your work to the crowds that it is designed for. For Emil it was no different. “The best moment was when I drove the finished modified car out of the garage after a long winter, ready for the Custom Motorshow.”

    Nature will mete out the good with the bad, however, and there have been one or two ‘alternative’ moments. “The most frustrating moment so far was on the trip back to Sweden from Dresden,” said Emil. “We got a flat tyre on the BMW about 500km from home in the middle of the night, dragging another car on a trailer behind us! We got towed to a tyre shop in Helsingborg and woke the owner up. He changed the tyre for us, even though it’s not easy to find tyres to fit those rims and at about 2am we continued our journey.”

    After all the hard work he put into this project, it seems Emil’s time with the car is coming to an end. “I think this one is done now,” he said. “I am going to sell this car and probably buy a Marrakesh brown #BMW-X1 so that both my girlfriend and I can drive the car, although I will probably stance that one too!”

    Like any fashion designer, Emil has researched carefully, taken inspiration from the greats, brought his own mind to bear and created something unique and thought provoking. He has then sent it confidently down the catwalk in front of his peers and they have approved. His model hasn’t been the most conventional of choices, being big and, er, practical but the forms in between the lines have taken very well to the colours and highlights his vision had for it. We can’t wait to see what the 2015 season has in store for Emil.

    DATA FILE 2004 #BMW-525d-E61

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.5-litre straight-six #M57TUD25 , standard #ZF6HP six-speed auto.

    CHASSIS: 9.5x19” ET10 (front) and 10.5x19” ET15 (rear) Work Gnosis GS-1 wheels with 15mm (front) and 20mm (rear) spacers, with 215/35 (front) and 235/35 (rear) Nankang NS-2 tyres, BC V1 coilovers custom-built with airbags

    EXTERIOR: M Sport front bumper with #E92 #M3 lower section with carbon fibre lip, matt copper brown metallic wrap from Avery Supreme, tinted windows, gold wrapped exterior trim.

    INTERIOR: Accuair e-Level TouchPad, hand-painted five-gallon tank in boot, twin Viair 444c compressors.

    AUDIO: #Hertz speakers and amplifier, ES 200.5 8” subwoofer.

    THANKS: Klarby and Veegeek for the inspiration trip, Stalle for all help and company, Tvedahl Design for tinted windows, Linda ‘Klisterbitchen’ Sandell for wrapping and saving my ass, Anni for wrapping, Kometfoto, TQR. se.
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