Act of Congress began with two guys in a garage wrenching on a very beaten 1991 BMW 318is – what hip young gunslingers call an E30. It occurred to them that they were already creating a whole handful of custom, rally-inspired parts for their build, and maybe just maybe someone else would want some of these parts. First up on their build list was some custom engraved door handles.
Now you can buy engraved or drilled door handles all over eBay, but to these two jugheads they were all just too common or too out of place on a BMW – especially the aftermarket drilled handles. So they 3D printed an example of their perfect handle with an M division stylized E30 logo engraved in it and started driving around machining shops to get them made.
To hear them tell it, most of these shops wouldn’t give them the time of day because it just wasn’t worth the shop’s time to crank out two handles on one of their milling machines. However, the shops said the order was for at least 25 pairs they’d be happy to mill out the handles.
So off to the forums, car shows, and social networks they went to see if 25 more people would be interested. Turns out they were. There were 50 pre-orders booked within 48 hours and Act of Congress was born. It was time to start cranking out handles.
Since we’re such big fans of vintage BMWs, especially 2002s and E30s, we had to check these out once we caught wind of the project online. The handles they’ve created are precision milled out of solid billet aluminum for lightweight and corrosion resistance, then powder coated matte black to match the OEM finish. In fact, the Act of Congress E30 handles match the OEM E30 handle dimensions perfectly thanks to some handy 3D scanning.
We threw on a pair to a super secret project car we’re working on (more on that coming soon!) in all of about 10 minutes. Seriously, it’s two phillips screws on each handle. The fit was just like the factory ones, but the handles are more robust. The E30 engraving is nice and subtle, nothing you’ll notice from across the street, but instead something you’ll see every time you open your door. These are a really nice upgrade, and something that’ll help our project stand out at the shows.
Next up from the Act of Congress crew are a lighting upgrade, some more cosmetic pieces for sale, as well as a few secret parts. For now they are concentrating on their handles and setting up their business, but we’ve seen their other rally-inspired parts and they are something special. All that’s left is to ask, can you handle it?