Nick Dimitrov's E30 M3

Photography by @funkymac

1990 BMW E30 M3
92,900 original miles
Individual Fire Orange U94
All matching VIN panels (minus hood, that came off a DS 1988 e30 m3)

OEM Vert Welded front Strut plates
Rolled quarters
Shaved passenger door lock
Shaved engine bay
Euro smoothen bumpers
Complete soda blasted body
Zero rust
Under Coated black
All brand new OEM gaskets and moldings
Brand New OEM front Windshield
Manual Roll up Windows OEM Conversion
Euro grilles non oem
Euro French Yellow Projected H1 LED, Smileys
Oem Restored Taillights
Oem Smoked front turning signals
Evo Sport Bumper strip (custom)
Evo Sport Fender/Hood OEM moldings
Evo 1 front lip non oem
Evo DTM ducks non oem
318is under hood panel
OEM brand new M3 front and rear badges
OEM brand new front and rear bmw badges
Kessell performance bumper strips
50% tinted windows all around including front windshield.

CCW Forged Classics
Gloss black faces
Gloss black ARP hardware
Gloss black inner barrels
Tinted gloss clear over polished lips/ CCW oil slick stickers
OEM ///M valve caps
Shorten metal valve stems
Rally Road 90MM studs conversion
18x10 et25 225/35/18 Federal 595
18x9 et25 215/35/18 Continental Extreme DWS

Bilstein PSS Coilovers front
8k spring rates
BR racing rear shocks/ Swift/ fortuneauto coilovers set up 12k spring rates
S/T sway bars 22mm F/ 19mm R
RD Poly sway bar bushings
Turner Motorsports end links
Ground Control Street/Track camber/ caster plates
Reinforced front subframe
Reinforced rear subframe
AKG Polly subframe mounts
AKG Polly diff mount
AKG Polly Rtab mounts
AKG adjustable camber/toe welded brackets and bolts
Garagistic rear strut tower reinforcement plates
Garagistic rear powder coated black strut bar
Garagistic towing/dyno hooks
DR racing adjustable front strut bar
E36 M3 96/99 steel lower control arms
Tree house lcrm mounts
Condor Speed shop poly inserts

Porsche 996/911 Carrera Brembos
4 Piston Rebuilt with Gray seals
Soda Pop Orange Powder coated
Chase bays Abs delete set up with adjustable proportion valve and metal tucked brake lines
Ceramic Brake pads
E46 M3 328/330MM Brembo blank Rotors
Rally Road front and rear Brembo brackets
Sps concept modified rear e36 to e30 rear brackets
Rally Road Blue metal brake lines
944 Porsche OEM brand new brake booster
OEM brand new Bmw e32 750il 25mm Master Cyl
OEM E30 M3 Master Cyl Reserver

Black Alcantara catuned headliner
Black Alcantera Suede Door panels
Black OEM handles
Black Carpet
Euro Manual Windows Center Console
Euro OEM non locking glove box handle
Black Alcantara Recaro Evo Sport Rep seats/ Rear seat delete black suede
Black F30 Rubber OEM floor mats
Black Alcantara A, B & C pillars
Black Alcantara rear speaker deck and rear panel
Oem Mtech 2 385mm steering wheel with M tri color stitching (Nappa leather)
E30 UK Alcantara Shift Boot
E30 UK Alcantara ebrake boot
325is ebrake handle and trigger
Oem M3 5speed ZHP shift knob
BavRestoration custom E30 M3 cluster, with digital oil temp gauge, and DTM flat black Rings

S50b30 US Spec- 75,000 miles
ZF1 5speed US Spec trans-
(Detent service, shifter select rod replaced)
Schrick 276/270 Camshafts
Dr. Vanos Stg1
TMS shorty track headers
Custom 3inch stainless exhaust
Race muffler 3inch dual exit tips
24 Lbs blue top injectors
Bosh brand new OEM intank fuel pump
Bosh brand new OEM external fuel pump
Semens brand new OEM Fuel sending unit
Oem e30 m3 fuel filter
3.5inch maf
Mishimoto 3.5 inch 90% elbow
JDM racing 3.5 inch 45% elbow
3.5 inch inlet Diesel intake filter
RK-tunes, burble tune
Redline raised to 7,250RPM
FX racing Stg2 Clutch, FXracing 14 lbs alum flywheel, Sachs Trow out bearing.
UUC Evo 3 Shifter
AKG 24v swap Dtm dssr bar
AKG 24v swap 90grade engine mounts
AKG 24v swap poly trans mounts
TMS alum trans mount cups
Brand new oem e30 325 trans cross member
E36 M3 4bolt drive shaft
E30 M3 OEM center support bearing
Oem Spec Febi Guibo
3.15 ratio LSD 188mm differential
Z3M Diff cover
E34 m50 oil pan, pick up tube and oil tub with dip stick
E46 M3 OEM oil cap
Oem oil filter housing gasket
Oem oil pan gasket
Oem rear heater pipe gasket
Oem oil pick up tube gasket
Oem shortened radiator hoses
Oem valve cover gasket
Oem new m54 oil pressure line
Denso spark plugs
AZautohauz heater core
Oem 318ti rear heater core hose
Oem spider hose
Oem rear main seal
Oem pilot bearing
Secured safety wired oil pump nut
Bavarian raceworks oil temp adapter to oil pressure switch
behr 318ti radiator with 1.4 Bar radiator cap
Oem oil filter
5w30 Castrol Synt Oil 6.9 Quarts

You can follow Nick on Instagram @nickyd_69


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.  


Garrett Goldfinger's S54 E36 compact

Photography by Matt Petrie

As we get older we begin to realize that not everything is what it seems, but perhaps more importantly is that things don’t always work out as planned.  While these sound like adages your guidance counselor would tell you in sincere consolation accompanied with a pat on the back, it really pertains to the life led by this little 4 cylinder E36 compact.  Beginning as a rather insipid commuter car turned parts hauler, even Garrett didn't expect to find himself building a 300+ wheel horsepower monster on this chassis. 

The E36 compact is probably best known for its “Kardashian-less” rear end.  When asking someone what an E36 ti is they usually can’t visualize it until you explain that distinctive characteristic.  As soon as it is revealed, however, they know exactly what quirky BMW you’re talking about.  The ti may not have a big booty to be proud of, but that doesn't mean she isn't dignified in her own right.  She proudly sports the shortened wheel base and body due to its design homage of the Neue Klasse compact sedans that saved the brand in the early 60’s.  While that factor may not be enough for those in the states to fall in love with the styling of a compact, its whopping 138 horsepower made for a practical German commuter car in the late 90’s.

Garrett is no stranger to the E36 community; he has parted out dozens of M3’s and Z3 M’s.  If you had an E36 M3 just outside of the New York City region and you needed to find a specific part, Garrett was the man you came to see.  In need of a car that was fuel efficient and had storage space, this 3-door hatch met all of the criteria. This paired with the knowledge he had of the E36 platform made it a simple decision, the California rag top sunroof was just a plus. 

He replaced the stock interior with an M3 steering wheel, black vaders, and gutted out the entire rear of the car for transporting parts such as axles, doors, drive shafts, you name it.  If it was the original equipment of an E36, it was moved in the back of this car. 

As an engineer and a lover of speed, Garrett was interested in building his own project car, but he wanted to go a different route than most.  It was one of those moments of epiphany you see in the movies when the character is trying to come up with a plan, looks around the room and then eureka!  There it is right in front of him: his modest 1997 318ti.  Tearing down and parting out all of those E36’s, Garrett was well aware of the saturation of M3’s.  The unsuspecting size and nature of this car was perfect and the weight savings was already there.  Now it was time to explore just how far he wanted to push himself and his car. 

It is nearly impossible to find a compact in great condition.   These cars are often beat up and used solely in a utilitarian manner; exactly why it makes for such a great sleeper.   He celebrated the one year anniversary of ownership of the car like anyone else would - by pulling the motor in preparation for the new one.   He drove 500 miles north to pick up an S54 engine and 6 speed transmission from an E46 M3 and then drove 500 miles back on his own all in one day.

The engine swap was also done solely on his own, nearly every day after work and on the weekends from February until July.   I don’t have to tell you residents of the North East just how cold it gets in those dark months leading up to Spring, but there he was on his back giving the ti a new life.  Aside from the motor he also installed a Z3 M Roadster rear subframe along with an upgraded 4.10 differential.  For the front, he installed an E36 M3 subframe with PSS9 suspension and finished off the interior with a Z3 M Roadster instrument cluster.  Thanks to their E36 interchangeability, it made for a quick, two minute drop-in.

He lowered the car aggressively on square 17x9 BBS RC305’s with 245/40 Potenza tires. The fronts needed a 12mm spacer to clear the struts and the Brembo 4 pot calipers he installed from a 996 Porsche.

Focusing on the fundamentals of power to weight, the Alpha N tuned S54 motor puts down 325 horsepower to the rear wheels while the car weighs in at only 2700lbs.  Helping to make that horsepower, Garrett cut open the stock air box exposing the factory trumpets hidden inside, allowing it to breath and perform better, but in actuality he’s just addicted to the sound it makes; in all honesty, I can’t say I blame him.  While we are on the topic of performance and sound, on the other end of the engine he opted for E46 euro headers in conjunction with a Bimmerworld merge pipe, 3” Active Autowerke race resonator and an Active Autowerke E36 M3 muffler to make his unique setup just a little more of his own. 

As you are thrown into the back of your seat with a smile plastered across your face,  the gutted visceral shell of an interior reverberates with S54 exhaust notes unlike any I've ever heard.  The differential out back takes on its own character and makes for one hell of an experience.  If you’re not lucky enough to be riding shotgun in this car, you’re most likely trailing behind it.  Worry not, the reality of you losing to a 318ti will quickly be forgotten as you’ll get to enjoy a show while it spits blue flames through each gear.  His dedication to the execution is what is truly extraordinary about this build, to see more about it in detail check out his build thread: 


Barry Solomon's E30 M3

Photography by Dan Wagener

During the early months of production, the E30 M3 was available in an extremely rare color known as Hennarot -- a very distinct orange-red. The production of this color occurred up until around mid-1987. At that time the number of Hennarot M3's imported to the U.S. is unknown but believed to only be a few hundred. Reportedly it was not a popular color at the time because it didn't suit the US market's perception of the BMW image, so they went to a more traditional red, Zinnoberrot for later years. The rarity of Hennarot caused it to become one of the most sought-after E30 M3 colors by collectors and enthusiasts many years later.

When Barry got the opportunity to purchase one in June of 2011 he didn't hesitate for a second. It was his favorite color of all time and he had been looking for one then. His friend called and stated that his dad had a 1988 E30 M3 (03/87) and he had to see it. So Barry headed up to New Jersey to check it out. It was in excellent shape and had about 129,000 miles on it at the time. It was in stock form with the exception of 17” TSW Hockenheim wheels, a custom exhaust and a chip. He knew that he had to have it as soon as he pulled into his friend's driveway. After a little negotiating took place, he purchased the car and was on his way. 

Once he got home he named the car "Hans Henna" and gave him a proper detailing all the way around the next day. The name was in honor of Hans-Joachim Stuck, a German racing driver who had won numerous races in BMW's in the 1970's until the mid 2000's. 

Barry drove the car around for about a month and then it was time for the transformation to begin. He picked up a new set of 17x8" (et13) AC Schnitzer Type I one-piece wheels and had the centers redone in Mercedes Velvet Silver with black barrels and polished lips. The suspension was upgraded to H&R springs paired with Bilstein Sport shocks. 

The standard seats were replaced with a set of black Recaro SR3's with white lettering. 

The exterior of the car received Evo III euro grills, black chrome kidneys, Evo III front splitter, and an Evo III rear wing. He also installed smoked Hella headlights and the rest of the lights were smoked with a dark clear coat.

As for the engine Barry has removed the stock 2.3L and installed a VAC Motorsports powered 2.5L engine putting down 215rwhp/205rwt. Engine modifications include a 7.5 quart oil pan, Evo III oil pump, port and polished head, ported 46mm throttle bodies, 276/276 aggressive grind cams, CP pistons, Pauter Rods, 2.5 Evo crank and a Kronnenberg Standalone Engine Management system. He's replaced the guibo with an M5 guibo, installed Gruppe N engine and transmission mounts, and a 4:10 differential with M Coupe cover (50% lockup).

Barry says this car is a total blast to drive and he enjoys every minute behind the wheel. It runs so strong with the new motor in it and he loves to put it through its paces. It's inspiring to see or talk to Barry about his E30 M3 because you can tell how much he truly loves it.

Now this feature just wouldn't be complete without a couple of action shots, so Barry threw his friend Yani the keys and let him do what he does best...