E46Fanatics - View Single Post - /// The #33 Car. From dream, to daily, to track car and beyond...
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:56 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,428
My Ride: M3 (F80 & E46), S3R
/// The #33 Car. From dream, to daily, to track car and beyond...

Seeing as I just dropped my baby off at the shop for the most extreme mods to date, I figured I'd reminisce on the journey that got me here.

Kinda hard to believe it's been 3 1/2 years, 40,000 miles and 25ish track days.

I've always wanted an E46 M3. I think it was in high school that a friend gave me a poster (that LSB one from a car-and-driver I think). It followed me through college as the motivation that someday, I could probably buy one.

Well, after a nice internship I got bored senior year, and since my best friend had just bought a B6 S4... I started looking.

After test driving a few, I settled on a 2002 Carbon Black on Cinnamon with 38k miles from a nice owner, and bought it.

Day 1 of ownership, after having not owned a car for 5 years. Or really driven one. Seems to be the ideal car to take into traffic in rainy seattle.

Week later. First mod. Old school ghetto dice.

It's nice being friends with folks with a shop.

And then I bought this thing.

And this.

And this thing. Which was way too expensive, but made sense in the long run.

Came out okay too.

And then Inspection II happened. And the stealership was out of BMW loaners so I got this.

Then I realized how good I had it.

And that's the S4 that made me jelly enough to buy the M3. It doesn't look anything like that anymore.

Then I took the car home, washed it, and broke the news to the parents (they had been conspiring to get me a graduation present of a Kia Sportage. Yeah I don't think so).

Originally Posted by Dave B View Post

Gotta love buying your own car in college.

(Of course, it didn't work out for me... I had the same attitude that housing bubble victims had back then.... "I'm making big money at my internet company and I haven't even graduated. When we sell I'll be rich, but if we don't, no biggie, I'm still all set!" Yeah, right... good on you for going with a used car, unlike me. It makes me laugh that I just got a better car for about half of what I paid for my original 330 back then.)

Looking forward to seeing the evolution. Some day mine may follow the same path. Though it may kill me to start gutting the car as you're doing.
It might be worth noting that I was also doing the start up thing at the time, and had managed to pay off my student loans. I wouldn't suggest anyone else buying 30k worth of car senior year This was actually sort of a compromise from the higher end (135/335/Evo/Sti) and the comparably priced (GTI).

I sort of just sat in it, not really considering it THAT hard, and the shifter (well, SMG nub) was just in the right place.

So I bought it, about a third cash, for oh $30k after tax and cried when it was worth $22k the next year.

Thought about moving on a few times. E39 M5. E92 M3. And finally, just this last year... 997 GT3. But then I got realistic...

I've basically decided to keep this until the wheels fall off, especially considering the welding thats going on currently...

but I digress.

Then we got them CCFL angel eyes.

Then I went for start up to 'real' company and moved to California.

Partied all night, threw up, and left for a straight shot to San Francisco at around 11AM.

Excuse the boom boom techno music.

People drive crazy in California.

California can be nice.

I made some BMW friends. One of them was an instructor for the local CCA. He convinced me to take a car control clinic and try out an auto-x.

In hindsight, this was a really expensive idea.

I was painfully slow and uncoordinated. But I was hooked.

I was soon at my first track day Laguna Seca.

I got my buddy with yellow S4 a job and we got a place together. It was full of car parts.

His car had been vandalized while I was in CA, and is now a B7 bodied wide body monster. He's got a build thread somewhere else.

I also weighed the car.

3,480 lbs wet.

We pissed off the HOA a lot.

And saw most of the backroads in the area.

I went to Thunderhill.

Chasing my manager at Laguna Seca, we both cut T10 hard and apparently hit the same red junction box. He shattered a wheel. I bent a strut, had crazy camber and ate through my passenger front tire in like 2 laps.

After an emergency alignment (no where near factory) and a new tire I limped home and called my mechanic.

He took a look and said he had good news and bad news. The bad news was he'd never seen anyone bend a strut like that. The good news is it was a good time for coil overs.

So I got those.

And my Taiwanese M6 reps that came with the car were bent all to **** and had cracks, so I bought some Hamann HM2s.

I won some Toyo R comps at a auction. So I bought some Apex ARC-8s to go with them... essentially going from a stockfish car to a pile of parts.

And then there were more track days...

I started slow.




Streets of Willow.

CCW. Dunlop. Ground Control. StopTech. Hawk. Vorschlag. Rogue Engineering. Recaro. TCDesign. RaceTech. VAC. Motul. Vorsteiner.
Find me on track: 10/19-21 Sonoma Speedway // 11/10-11 Thunderhill
The story so far...

Fund my track car:

PM me about my: stock diffuser, stock trunk, e46 m3 part out

Last edited by invictus; 07-12-2011 at 05:56 PM.
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