My ongoing search for a clean E46 M3 continues, and despite the relatively high number produced it does indeed seem more difficult to track one down than it probably should. Early cars are typically more suspect, with many owners, dubious modifications and higher miles. Additionally, my criteria for getting into an M3 is admittedly limiting. The car must be a manual gearbox, and given that I have a preference for some of the more expressive colors like Laguna Seca Blue and Phoenix Yellow, that seems to be more difficult. But in my search I happened upon an unexpected gem that threatened to turn my head from the Crayola-toned early examples; for the most part, I’ve ruled out the later M3s because they demand higher asking prices and there seem to be less in wild colors. This car stood out for not only being the last model year of the E46 M3, but also because it was a ZCP car. Though I’ve sworn I’d never voluntarily buy into another black car, the ultra dark midnight blue hue of Carbon Black Metallic is compelling enough to consider. Add low miles, careful ownership and some discrete modifications from the best in the business to the recipe and this appears to be one of the nicer E46 M3s on the market.
All posts in Dinan
The E28 is a great chassis, no doubt, but often the normal 535i gets overlooked as a potential classic. We search out instead examples of the M5-look 535is or indeed the S38-motored legend itself, but today’s example will give those that dismiss the “normal” 535i a reason for pause. Upgraded with the full repertoire of Dinan bits and given a European specification makeover and repaint, this is one seriously good looking and well built 535i:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Dinan 3.9 on Craigslist
Wagons are the GCFSB car of choice, if you haven’t noticed. Only our resident Volkswagen/Audi guru Carter is flying the five-door flag, however, with his 2002 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T Variant 5-speed manual. While I sit here and wait for the perfect 1995 Audi S6 Avant to come along, I’ll admire this 2002 BMW 540i Touring for sale in Portland, Oregon. It looks like a real beast, and with Dinan engine mods and a worked over suspension, it’s almost like the M5 Touring that never was.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW 540i Touring on eBay
Most E28 M5s have experienced some level of modification, whether it’s removing the self-leveling rear suspension, adding a chip and exhaust, or getting a little crazy with more displacement out of the S38. There are plenty of tuner options out there, but Dinan is one of the most respected names out there and this owner went to town with their catalogue. The usual suspects are all there from chip to short shift kit to intake, but one of the more interesting mods is the SLS upgrade by Dinan as opposed to the more common complete removal. It also has some amazing, blocky Dinan 5-spokes, which remind me a lot of Ruf’s classic rims. It all adds up to a modified M5 that appears loved rather than abused and looks every bit the late-80s hot rod it was meant to be.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
The Great Schism was a time of religious crisis for Europe; between 1378 and 1417, there were two Popes. In the early 1300s, a French-born Pope moved the head of the church from Rome to Avignon in France. This was significant for many reasons; Rome had been the spiritual home of the aptly named Roman Catholic Church since the establishment of the 5 main churches by the first Council of Nicea under Roman Emperor Constantine; the first Christian Roman Emperor and the one mostly responsible for converting Europe to Christianity. There are many more stories wrapped up in the ensuing 1,000 years of religious history, but ultimately let’s just say it was a pretty big deal to move the Chair of St. Peter. Ultimately this period, sometimes known as the period of Babylonian Captivity (itself a reference to the actual Babylonians capturing and enslaving the Jewish population about 500 years before Christ was born, if you’re into that sort of thing), resulted in a poor reputation for the Papacy and the Church, as corruption ran rampant through the higher positions in religion. So, in an attempt to correct things, in 1378 the new Pope tried to undo this by returning to Rome. This, of course, pissed the French off. So, they simply claimed they had their own Pope. And since this was during the Hundred Years War, this ultimately split Europe into religious waring factions, each aligned with a different Pope. Not to be outdone, the trading city of Pisa (yes, that leaning tower one…) also briefly claimed they also had their own Pope. Though it ultimately was resolved in 1417 by Church-wide decree that the true Pope was indeed back in Rome, it was the beginning of the end of the omnipotence of the Catholic Church in Christianity, which 100 years later would experience the Protestant Reformation, completing the religious divide of Europe.
Where am I going with this? I think the same divide exists between automobile enthusiasts; two camps, both of whom see their way of expressing enthusiasm as the right way. And, in general, at least one camp doesn’t like how the other camp does things. Ten years ago no one would probably have blinked an eye at someone modifying an E30 M3; however, ten years ago E30 M3s were still effectively throw-away performance economy cars to most people. So that someone hacked one up and threw a Dinan-stroked 5.7 liter V10 and 6-speed into one wouldn’t have raised eyebrows until they were the darling in the marketplace: