Can we occasionally slow down just to take in some car culture? | E46-chassis BMW M3 project

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the BMW M3 project car
Apr 22, 2022

Photography by David S. Wallens

Going fast is fun, sure, but how do we feel about gatherings and car shows, whether a local get-together, an organized Cars & Coffee or something bigger like Radwood? Is it okay to slow down for a few, kick some tires and just, you know, look around and be social?

Ace Cafe Orlando, located about an hour away from GRM HQ, hosts something just about daily: Porsches one evening, BMWs the next. We regularly join Orlando Roadsters’ monthly meets in our Garage Rescue Miata.

Earlier this week, Ace Cafe hosted its monthly BMW event, so we cruised over in our E46-chassis M3.

The response to the car was very positive–like, overwhelmingly positive. Yes, it’s original paint. No, not in a rush to sell it.

The car scored high praises for originality, cleanliness and presence–and we have to thank BimmerWorld, Bilstein, Vorshlag, Apex and Falken with helping get the look just right.

What’s next for the M3? We still need to tell you about our new rod bearings and diff mount.

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View comments on the GRM forums
06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/21/22 4:42 p.m.

That looks soooo good!  That's what I see when I think about M3.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/22/22 10:02 a.m.

In reply to 06HHR (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks. Yeah, the M3 came together even better than expected. 

Here's a photo from I picked it up. 

wspohn SuperDork
4/22/22 11:26 a.m.

If I had to own  a BMW sedan it would probably be an M3 (although for some reason the E31 850s appeal to me too) but on styling alone I prefer the E86 Z4M, which is basically an M3 suspension and driveline installed in a sports car (but in coupe form it has almost double the torsional stiffness of the M3).

I like the looks of the M3, though - both are Bangle era cars which met with some dubious looks when released but they have a solid following today.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/25/22 11:47 a.m.

In reply to wspohn :

Thanks. I think the E46 has aged well and bridges the gap between then and now. Plus it's the right size. 

6/10/22 9:26 a.m.

snapped my space gray E93M! add me on ig. would love to follow the build. 


docwyte PowerDork
6/10/22 4:23 p.m.

I enjoyed the Radwood show I went to last summer.  It was fun seeing the cars and talking with the owners but honestly I'm not all that excited to hang out in a parking lot these days.  I'd rather be doing something, whether that's riding my mtn bike, KTM, driving on track or hanging out with my family...

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/10/22 4:29 p.m.

We have a local group of BMW owners who meet in a parking lot one evening a month to shoot the breeze and kick tires.  It's very informal and small, but still enjoyable - anywhere from two to a dozen cars will show up in any given month.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/10/22 6:22 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

I have hosted a few car meets locally–really informal stuff. I'm thinking about restarting it, even if it's just like two or three of us. 

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