Features

RC Levell's E46 M3

Photography by Garrett Wade

For those of you 80’s and early 90’s babies, think back to when you were in high school.  Blow the dust off of your marble notebook and flip through it.  Pull back the wrinkled corners of the pages and somewhere amidst the copious notes taken on the War of 1812 and just below the half-ripped out page you used for note passing you’ll find your dream car list.  Of course it consisted of a Countach or an F40, perhaps Eleanor too, but it is almost a guarantee that the E46 M3 made the cut.   What was so great about the M3 was that it was a realistic, attainable dream car.  Like many of us it was one that drove RC Levell nuts in high school.  It was a car that he idolized and knew that someday he had to own. 

Fast forward years later and the search was on.  With specific criteria required to meet his standards of the perfect car, months of searching ensued.  Conveniently, a fully loaded, Jet Black on Imola Red, SMG M3 happened to turn up literally five minutes away from him.  Not only were all of the vehicle’s detailed maintenance records present, but as the negotiation process progressed so too did his friendship with the soon-to-be previous owner, Pat.

After about a year of ownership, he did some bolt on work to the car.  Full exhaust system, coil overs and wheels were all on the menu, but that only satisfied him for so long.  He had bigger plans for the car and it came in the form of a force inducted, built motor. 

He had his motor built at Active Autowerke with forged pistons, their complete fuel system, methanol injection, and the Generation 7 manifold and charge piping.  After AA reassembled the engine, he went back to his garage at Precision Sport Industries (PSI) in Winter Park, FL and dropped the motor back in.  The rest of the car was built at PSI including the installation of the Active Autowerke C38-91 Stage 2+ Supercharger kit.  At 14psi, RC’s M3 is in the neighborhood north of 520 wheel horsepower with the help of the non-restrictive Active Autowerke headers and Bimmerworld 3.5” resonated Race Exhaust.

He keeps up with his vitals through a custom VEI Wideband AFR/Boost gauge cleanly tucked in the ashtray below the radio and keeps things cooled down in the engine bay with a Motorsport fan clutch.  The convenience of the car having the sequential manual gearbox (SMG) rather than the dual clutch transmission (DCT) is that RC can run traditional aftermarket clutches in his car.  His choice was a Southbend Ceramic Clutch. 

RC chose to focus primarily on the suspension.  Aside from Bilstein PSS coil overs, PSI installed AKG Red RTABs and Red subframe bushings as well as the Turner Motorsports subframe reinforcement kit.   Up front, the Bimmerworld FCABs rounded off the stiffening of vital suspension bushings on the car.  18x9.5 et22 Volk TE37 Super Laps with 265/35 Michellin Pilot Supersport tires stabilize the car at each corner. 

To accommodate their race exhaust, a matching Bimmerworld diffuser was installed, but that is the only bit of body work that was changed minus the blacking-out of the grills, corners and reflectors.  The combination of the massive FMIC, stacked oil cooler, quad FX-R projectors, and 265 tires that are barely containing themselves in the fenders let you know that this car is willing to sign any checks it’s planning on cashing.  RC thoroughly enjoys surprising American muscle cars.  With 6,000 flawless miles on the motor build and all of the components, he sees no end in sight when it comes to having fast cars sleep on he and his dream car.