By Alexis Morales
Hearing someone butcher your name is not something that would excite most people, but when it meant being recognized by the head of BMW’s North American Performance Division as having one of the Top 12 cars of the 2018 Rallye BMW show, Adyan Rahman couldn’t help but smile-just a little bit.
Adyan Rahman, a Jersey City native and honors student at Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business started Corsa Auto Design in Dec. 2017. This peer-mentor and assistant teacher of a freshman seminar class at his university is also an animal-loving, foodie who works alongside his mother with the Corsa name.
Together, they create unique designs for their clients and their cars, of both personal and professional use. Corsa Auto Design specializes in the creation and installment of vinyl wraps, or a paint job in the form of a large sticker.
After receiving an overwhelming amount of praise for the work he did on his own car, Rahman decided to share more of his passion. After months of discussing the idea with his family and friends, Rahman made Corsa official after registering it as a limited liability company, also known as an LLC. He knew it is was real once he booked his first client, the owner of a white BMW i8.
Rahman described the process. Once he is contacted about a car and sets up a meeting with the owner, he likes to get a general idea of what the client is hoping for, whether that be a theme for the car or even just a color scheme.
After taking an initial deposit, he starts creating a mock-up design, using programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, skills he has learned along the way. For more illustrative, intensive designs, his mother and co-designer, who has a background in interior design, takes the lead.
Following a little back and forth with the client to ensure they are pleased with the design, Rahman sends the design to Moe Modz, Authentic Vinyl Wrap Corporation, or other installation companies he works with. Rahman says sometimes getting the ‘go-ahead’ from clients can take as little as a week, but other projects can go on for over a month.
Every so often, Rahman’s creativity gets put to the test when a client says ‘Do something cool with my car.’
“It gives me the opportunity to take risks and try new things but it can get a little tricky when you don’t know the client like that,” said Rahman. “Everyone is different and you never know how the client is going to act or react to something you’ve worked really hard on.”
In the last eight months, Rahman has created around 30 designs. Costs for these designs can range from $500 for a basic pinstripe design to $5,000 for more intense, less geometric designs.
Cars are nothing new to Rahman. From a young age he has always been obsessed with them. In fact, he even recalls his mother telling him about a time when he was younger when he would just play with the wheels of his stroller for entertainment.
“Driving a fast car is a powerful feeling,” said Rahman. “You don’t even have to go fast to know what the vehicle is capable of, through the noise, the sensation, the way the seat holds you down as you grip corners or get on the throttle. It’s a good feeling when you know you can make that quick lane change or overtake a slow poke in traffic without even much driving effort. That’s not to say you need to drive recklessly to enjoy the car – power comes with responsibility – but just knowing how fast the car is is what makes the experience all the better.”
Rahman was inspired to start Corsa Auto Design after his own award-winning car, @TheBlackGT, received hundreds of likes and comments on Instagram, from friends both in and out of the car scene.
Over the last year and a half, via the 70-80 car-focused events he attended including the Rallye BMW show, Rahman has gained a following of 50,000 people on Instagram, and sponsorships from numerous companies to continue the work on his car. His fan base reaches all the way to Russia, China and India.
He continues to get support on social media. Rahman’s posts on the TheBlackGT instagram page receives an average of about 150K impressions weekly. Although he does have plans to sell the BMW F07 550i GT, Rahman has not grown tired of this car.
“Your project car is almost never finished,” said Rahman. “There is always more to do, even just slight subtle changes can make all the difference. The thrill of modifying a car and making it your own is such an intense feeling. I don’t just pick a car off the street and drive it the way it is.”