He dreams of a Wiesmann GT, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and an SL 65 AMG to name but a few. But Craig D’Silva’s BMW 3 Series is all the car he needs
You were raised on a steady diet of muscle cars while growing up in Canada, right?
Yes, that’s right. It certainly had its advantages being raised there. I remember while I was at high school, many of my friends were huge muscle car enthusiasts and a lot of them owned some pretty impressive machines which I even got to drive.
You did? Which ones?
Well, I have been privileged enough to have been able to drive a vast number of vintage cars so far in my life. These include a 1970 Buick Riviera, 1965, 1966 and 1970 Mustangs, a 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS and a 1970 Chevelle SS.
A Chevelle SS! You lucky so and so! But there are a couple of other cars that have left a lasting impression…
Yep, I was also lucky enough to drive a Wiesmann GT in 2008 and a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, which were simply unbelievable. They were both amazing examples of automotive engineering of the highest order.
You certainly have driven some amazing cars, but how did you get into motoring in the first place?
Well, as a guy, the most common toy you probably have as a kid is a car and I was no different. But cars either turn into a basic necessity as you grow up, or they transform your life and leave you feeling deeply passionate for the automotive world as a whole. For me, the latter definitely applies!
What was the first car that made you sit up and take notice?
It was way back in 1992 during a family holiday here in Dubai when I caught sight of a bright red Ferrari Testarossa. It was parked at the Wafi shopping mall and it left me gobsmacked! The attraction to that car was instantaneous and my passion for cars really just kicked on from that moment.
Great car. And what was your first ride?
My first car was a 2005 Honda Accord SE. It had a 3.5-litre V6 and was really enjoyable to drive. It was pretty quick too and ideal for long journeys, being so comfortable and all. I enjoyed every minute of owning that car. Unfortunately, it met with an untimely demise when I lost control of it one night due to extremely low visibility and totalled it. But the very first car that I drove was a Toyota Sienna mini van and I’m not ashamed to admit that! It was back in Canada and I still remember despite its large size, I would whip it up and around the streets with real zeal.
What made you opt for your BMW?
Well, I was looking around for a new car and had my mind set on the Infiniti G37S. I had seen this car evolve over the years to the brilliant automobile it is today. I always had a soft spot for it and would have bought one, however, based solely on the recommendation of a friend, I grudgingly booked a test drive for the 335is.
And it left me amazed. It was superb on every level. Not to say that there was much between the G37S and the 335is, but the Bimmer had a distinct edge for me. To add to that, I think AGMC is blessed with having one of the most knowledgeable and helpful salesmen in the UAE in the shape of Antony Fernandez. He is a legend in every sense of the word.
You sure love your ride. Tell us more…
Well, it has a wonderful 3.0-litre inline six twin power turbo that produces a whopping 320 horsepower and 450Nm of torque. I opted to get the coupé with the ‘M’ Performance package. I feel this is a must as apart from the aggressive looks such as the front and side skirts, rear diffuser, gun metal exhaust and black exterior trim, you get lowered sports chassis and M Sport sway bars that really add to the experience when you’re taking bends at high speeds. The large 19in light alloy wheels are the perfect finishing touches to a car that commands respect.
The way the car drives leaves you breathless. Most people are aware that the BMW is very much a driver’s car. The 335is lives up to this pedigree. Be it a straight line or on a winding road, the car is extremely responsive and ensures that I am getting the most of it from all situations. From an aesthetic point of view, the car is definitely a head turner especially because of the M package. It simply doesn’t look like your conventional 3 Series.
Do you have any favourite driving roads?
If I have some time on the weekend, I join a group of friends who are just as crazy about their cars as I am and we venture out for a long drive through Kalba and into Fujairah. It’s on these roads that I engage sport mode, get onto the paddle shifters and disengage the traction control. From then on the car becomes an altogether different animal. The long straights and the bends through the mountains are where I really get the most out of the car. They act as a proving ground and the 335is has certainly proved itself to me.
Have you had any modifications done to it?
No, it is currently all stock. However, I hope to make a few upgrades such as the BMW Performance power kit, which adds more torque, more horses and gives it even better acceleration. I’d also like the BMW Performance chassis which includes the ultra-stiff shock absorbers, suspension struts and anti-roll bars are all designed to deliver a pure sports-car ride and the braking system. I’ve been playing with the idea of a chip upgrade too, but I don’t think AGMC would be happy too continue my warranty past that!
Finally, what’s the dream?
I cannot actually peg it down to one car. The task is simply too difficult. If anything my ultimate dream car could be any one of the following; Wiesmann GT, 1967 Shelby GT-350h, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta or the Mercedes Benz SL 65 AMG. Additionally, I am planning on importing a 1966 Mustang fastback which should be here in December if everything goes as planned.