Photography by Sylwia Klaczyńska
I know a few people out there who switch cars every few years. Come to think of it I've only held on to each of my cars for 3-4 years tops. There are some owners out there though who don't grow bored of their "pride and joys", like Adam Tokarski. He picked up this Topaz Blue 330Ci in April of 2007 and stated how easy it is to remember back to the beginning like it was yesterday.
For some people it's a long and tedious task to find a new car to buy. You have a specific color or model in mind and just months ago they were everywhere, but now that you're ready to buy one, they're nowhere to be found. Adam was lucky enough to not have this problem. He found a good example on his first look—at a used car lot in south Poland. The E46 was bone stock without any special equipment. It was imported from sunny Italy, bought from an insurance company after a minor crash in Treviso. Repaired at that current car dealer, he decided to take the car with all its pros and cons. The pride, happiness and love started to set in on his drive back home with it... the start of their long journey together.
The first mods to go on to the car were an Alpina lip, Weitec Springs (40/30), Weichers strut bar, and 18x8" Alpina Softlines. A short time later Adam added the silver Alpina decals to the body. Now I know the E46 chassis gets a love/hate response from many enthusiasts, I think mainly because it was one of the first to stray from the traditionally boxier BMW appearance. The other reason is the cookie-cutter type of modding done to these cars. There's a very large group of E46 enthusiasts and the copying of mods is quite apparent. So when I first saw Adam's E46 it really made me stop and appreciate the originality. Maybe a little part of it was also because I got into BMW's during a time when it was standard to modify the entire car around the quality companies like AC Schnitzer, Hamann, and Alpina. (Photo: Adam's car with full Alpina theme)
Anyway, a pair of E46 M3 seats (with full options) were added to the interior, as well as an M3 steering wheel which was custom wrapped with new leather and Alpina stitching. The carpets and headliner were changed to black, a two-tone conversion was done to the door panels and the OEM interior trim was painted Piano Black. Adam also managed to find an Alpina gauge cluster and kick panels. Basically he had every Alpina add-on that he could get for the car. Later on the Softlines were also upgraded to a set with E92 specs: 19 x 8.5"/9.5".
Around this same time, Adam also stumbled upon a G-Power supercharger kit on an online auction site with a deal too good to pass up. He admits that it wasn't something that he needed, but because it came with all the necessary mounting parts and a discounted price he had to have it. It was installed by Maria MTG and now produced 290HP / 272 lb-ft of torque. The clutch was upgraded, plate was renewed with organic friction pads and pressure is from an LCI 330d so it can handle more torque. The differential was also changed to a 3.38 from an automatic model.
A 3" single pipe exhaust system, full catback from Vigtech was installed, but Adam is no longer satisfied with the loudness of it so he plans to add headers and remove the cats next season. The rear of the car also sports an Alpina boot lid spoiler and M-tech II rear bumper.
The suspension changed a number of times over the years. Like I noted earlier, Adam started out with Weitec springs, but later went to Weitec coilovers. Next was a set of Vogtland coilovers with front camber plates and customized rear Koni Sports. Followed by KW V2's on Inox, and after that custom-made coilovers on Bilstein B8 shocks (fronts were monotube with custom racing springs). For now though, he believes he's found the best set for his requirements, but wouldn't be opposed to switching them again if something better came along. The current setup is D2 Racing coilovers with external nitrogen reservoirs. They're 32-way (continuously) adjustable for rebound and he can adjust the pressure on the go, setting it for either street or race use.
This past year Adam got rid of those beautiful Softlines for a set of equally seductive Work Meister S1's. He plans to buy larger lips next season to drop the huge spacers and high offsets from the 8.5"/10" wheels. He received them in silver, but had a friend polish the faces and lips.
As for the rest of the exterior modifications that I haven't mentioned yet, the Xenon projector shrouds were custom tinted and black crosshairs were added to the high-beam bowls. The headlight trim and rear diffuser were painted gloss black to match the shadowline window trim and newly added black Alpina body decals.
While there are many very well-done E46's out there, there are a few that still manage to truly stand out from the rest. A lot of quality time has been spent on this vehicle and there's no question that it shows.