Shawn Robertson's E46 M3 sedan

Photography by Shawn Robertson @shawnrphotography

When I first got back into a BMW from a couple year break (2009) I had chose an ‘03 330i sedan. I promptly stumbled onto the E46fanatics forum to dive deep into my new obsession and research everything that I possibly could about E46’s. It was pretty fast for me to realize that an E46 M3 was my new “realistic” dream car, but at the time it never looked obtainable. So I did pretty much what the majority of people do with non-M cars and upgraded with OEM+ modifications to make it look as much like the M as possible. At that time I dreamt of eventually building my car into an M3 sedan (because of JeppeJ's Interlagos Blue M3, look it up if you haven’t seen it before.)

Anyway, S54 swapped E46 non-M’s aren’t that uncommon nowadays… but a full out conversion is a little more rare. So I was extremely happy to see that Shawn was in the process of doing this to his ZHP. I was already a huge fan of his car in its ZHP form so I knew it was going to be great. The attention to detail and goal to build it as close to a factory M3 is very apparent. This is one of the cleanest conversions I’ve seen since JeppeJ’s, as I hold that to the highest standard in which one should be done in.

Shawn originally was in the market for a stock ZHP 6 speed. He bought the car sight unseen from a ZHP dealer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was excited to drive the car since it had been about 11 years since he last owned a BMW. His last car was in 2005 which was a 1995 Avus Blue turbo E36 (making 601whp). Once he started looking at forums like E46fanatics, ZHPmafia, and M3forum it didn't take long for the itch to set in and before he knew it he bought an M3 parts car from Copart… before he even knew how to do an S54 swap mind you. So Shawn had his buddy at Lins Specialty Automotive perform the full mechanical S54 swap since he had a lot going on in his life and he needed some help.

He drove about a year on that and during that year he decided to retrofit and equip the car with every rare option he could think of. Once he completed that he picked up a wagon and another parts car to make an S54 wagon to sell. Before he tossed that sell he scavenged all the body parts to start his M3 body conversion. He had Superstar Customs in Lilburn, Georgia do the rear fender flares and contacted 2M Autowerks for their fiberglass front M3 sedan fenders. Born2doit customs painted the car in Imola Red and then he decided he wanted something close to an E46 M3 CSL sedan.

Currently the car has 174k miles and though he wished he had started with a lower mileage chassis, he loves the car and the work that went into it. It’s his one of a kind car. For now he just wants to enjoy it and would love to eventually pass it down to his son in the future.

2003 E46 ZHP/M3

Chassis 165k miles when S54 swapped with 128k miles


- S54 (131k miles) with new OEM VAC Motorsport coated bearings installed

- E46 M3 cluster coded and modded for 4 doors and corrected mileage

- 6 speed Getrag Transmission (131k miles)

- 3.62 M3 LSD w/ axles and complete rear end

- GSR CSL Carbon Airbox with intake snorkel, CSL Map sensor and IAT

- OEM CSL Software with Oil Level readout

- ///M Track DSC System Enabled

- S54 Stock header

- S54 midpipe with Jones Universal Maxflow Muffler in place of midpipe

- Custom 3rd Rear section with Quad exhaust


- Porsche 996 4POT Brakes front and rear

- OEM CSL Rotors front and rear

- E46 M3 Coilovers (DGR Suspension)

- AKG Bushings: Spherical RTAB, Front Control Arm Bushing, Differential , Engine Mounts

- Turner Motorsport front and rear swaybars

- ZHP Steering Rack retained

- E46 M3 lower FCA

- E46 M3 Rear trailing arms

- SPC adjustable rear control arms for camber

- BMW Performance Carbon Fiber Strut Brace


- OEM CSL wheels (square) 19x9.5”


- Fresh repaint 405/3 Imola Rot II

- Seibon Carbon Fiber CSL Trunk

- M3 Body Conversion

- 2M Autowerks M3 front fenders

- Status Gruppe CSL diffuser for Mtech II bumper


- N6NG Natur Braun leather M3 Seats (Custom LSeat covers installed)


- Eonon Android 7.1 Double Din Radio

- HK Amp audio system



Photography by Matt Petrie @crosshair_nightmare

IND is a household name in the BMW community.  From minor cosmetics like painted reflectors and custom trunk badges, to all metal wide body projects, OEM carbon fiber roof swaps, and full interior transformations, there is no task too big or small for the great folks out in Illinois.  On top of that impressive résumé as a distribution center they are responsible for brands such as Challenge, RKP, 3D Design, and Eventuri, just to name a few.  The list of greatness could go on, so upon its tenth anniversary this year, how does a company celebrate?  By creating a mobile trophy culminating all of their strengths into one flowing art form in the shape of a F82 M4.  It is a daunting task to find a way to out perform previous SEMA builds and project cars that have graced the pages of well-known BMW and European sports car publications.   With a fantastic color, incredibly rare and exclusive parts, and a well thought out plan, the IND “GTS-Plus” was executed flawlessly with the hard work and dedication of many individuals.   

The GTS-Plus started off its life as a Yas Marina M4 built around the aftermarket community highlighting all of the latest parts being designed and developed for the next generation BMW, more specifically the brand new introduction of the F82 M4 to BMW’s lineup. Sporting the highest caliber pieces front to back, there was no doubt this car stood out and did its job of showing what is available for the community.  It wasn’t until it underwent its Porsche Ultraviolet transformation that it became an iconic poster car, surpassing any expectation anyone could have held.

With the release of the limited production M4 GTS in its infancy and only a handful of people currently receiving them around the world,  the excitement of seeing one in person and the delivery to their owners has enthusiasts eager with anticipation.  Since the M4 GTS is not yet readily available and replacement parts only being available to those with their VIN numbers even remotely able think about getting backup parts, certainly you won’t find a car sporting any GTS components just yet, right?  Not quite, IND found a way to get their hands on the OEM GTS wing, half cage, and hood.  Where they didn’t get authentic GTS parts, they delivered alternative ways to impress.  They “settled” (insert proverbial air quotes and eye rolling in jealousy) for the last existing new set of genuine E46 M3 CSL buckets from a Motorsports warehouse in Germany.  Rather than the double staggered, acid orange wheels of the GTS, they chose the new BBS FI-R in double staggered sizes with a custom hand brushed finish.  BBS center caps were also custom machined to match the high luster finish of their FI-R’s.  The regular skinny and extremely strong spokes of the FI leave no where for Brembo GT’s to hide.  Add in the 5-axis procedure that the FI-R requires during production and now the holes in the windows add for another dimension of visibility and weight savings.  

Upholding their stellar reputation of their paintwork, there is not an inch of the previous Yas Marina Blue left to be found.  The car looks as though it was painted from the factory as an Individual car and it basically was.  The entire car was disassembled inside and out.  Along with the respray, 3D Design full carbon fiber bumpers were added to the front and the rear with matching 3D Design side skirt extensions along the bottom of the rockers.  An adjustable carbon fiber lower aero tray is much like the GTS’, but much larger to fit the shape of the 3D Design bumper.  Also identical to the M4 GTS,  KW Club Sport coil overs are dialed in, inside each wheel arch of the Ultraviolet M4.

The purple accents are continued into the interior of the car.  Most noticeably on the OEM GTS half cage sitting over custom made carbon fiber dead panels.  It is also found in the stitching along the doors and across the entire dashboard, that happens to be fully reupholstered in alcantara.  Lightweight components were brought into the car to replace areas like the center console and door cards.  Competition seat belts out of Germany run the Motorsports stripes down the length of belt with identically matched door pulls.  Pop the GTS hood and below the large weave pattern on the underside, you’ll find much more Ultra Violet matched pieces and trim work.  The color coordinated bits are all around the upgraded intercooler, which is one of many of Fall Line Motorsports’ newest performance upgrades this car is sporting.  On the business end of the car, Fall Line Motorsports also designed front spherical bearing conversion bushings, sway bar end links, rear toe adjustment arms, rear upper arm bearings, an oil cooler guard for the F8x chassis.

I had the pleasure of receiving this car when it first arrived early one warm summer morning a few months ago at AutoCouture Motoring.  It arrived and stayed at the ACM home base to be used for a couple of shows during the 2016 show season.  All of the hype and excitement on social media and the forums took nothing away from the experience and presence this car commands.  Even to the point that we caused mini traffic jam the first morning it was sitting out in our parking lot.   Inside ACM, all of the mechanics and sales office enjoyed it day in day out, as did customers who excitedly embraced the surprise when they dropped their car off for work.  There were also those from the Tri State who migrated there just to see it for themselves in person.  The more time you spend around the GTS Plus, the more detail can be seen.  You can really see the thought and hard work that went into every detail and why IND is ‘IND.’  It is currently in the BBS Wheels booth at SEMA 2016 so if you’re lucky enough to be out in Las Vegas enjoying the show this week, be sure to navigate your way to their booth to have a look at it for yourself. 


BMW CCA Festorics 2016

BMW News

The new 2016 BMW M4 GTS

The new BMW M4 GTS joins a family of exclusive BMW M3 Special Editions which have been setting the pace for 30 years. Production of the first BMW M3 (E30) got under way in 1986, establishing M on both the street and the track. The BMW M3 – and now the BMW M4 – has since set the benchmark in its segment throughout its lifespan and across every model generation. The BMW M4 GTS is the first Special Edition M3 / M4 to be made available in the US market. Approximaterly 300 cars will be available to US customers with delivery starting in the second quarter of 2016.
With its powerful, motorsport-inspired looks and high-performance technology, the BMW M4 GTS has its sights set squarely on the race track. Thanks to an innovative water injection system helping boost power to 493 hp and track ready chassis, this Special Edition M vehicle recorded a lap time of 7 minutes 28 seconds around the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the world’s most challenging race circuit, making a clear statement about this model’s exceptional dynamic abilities. BMW M GmbH will produce approximately 700 units of the BMW M4 GTS worldwide.

“Special Edition models sharpen the character of the BMW M brand and embody an emotionally rich and exclusive driving experience. We’ve taken a radical route with the set-up of the BMW M4 GTS to create a sports machine for the race track that delivers top-end dynamics and inspirational performance. It allows us to demonstrate what is possible today with a road-legal car. Owners can drive their BMW M4 GTS to circuits such as Spa-Francorchamps, the Nürburgring or Laguna Seca – for clubsport events, for example – and then set lap times there that raise the bar to extremely high levels for road-legal cars.” says Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH.

The history of BMW M3 special editions. 
1988: BMW M3 Evolution (E30). 
In 1988, BMW M GmbH brought the BMW M3 Evolution onto the market in a limited-run special series of 500 units. Its four-cylinder in-line engine with 2.3-liter displacement now developed 220 hp – 25 hp more than the standard M3. The increase in power was the result of a series of modifications to components that included the valves, pistons, cylinder head and camshaft. Weight reduction measures included body and thinner window glass. The BMW M3 Evolution had a more pronounced front spoiler than the standard M3 and a larger, adjustable rear spoiler.
1990: BMW M3 Sport Evolution (E30).
The development of the M3 E30 reached its highest mark in 1990 with the arrival of the BMW M3 Sport Evolution, available only in Gloss Black or Brilliant Red. The new arrival developed up to 238 hp from its four-cylinder in-line engine, now with 2.5-liter displacement – up more than 22 percent compared with the standard BMW M3 at the time. The intelligent lightweight construction of components including the front wings, muffler, front spoiler, trunk lid and rear wing brought the curb weight down by around 77 pounds. The adjustable splitter on the front spoiler and 16-inch light-alloy wheels with Nogaro Silver star in the center of the rim were among the most distinctive external features of the BMW M3 Sport Evolution. Inside, the front bucket seats with integral head restraints, red seat belts and suede leather covers for the sports steering wheel, handbrake lever and gearshift lever knob underlined the car’s sporting prowess. Another key mark of this M3 version – of which only 600 were produced – was the “Sport Evolution 1990” badge on the center console.
1995: BMW M3 GT (E36). 
The second generation of the BMW M3 saw a 6-cylinder inline engine take over as the sports car’s power source. With capacity of 2,990cc, four-valve technology and VANOS camshaft timing on the intake side, the engine generated a formidable 286 hp and enabled acceleration form 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 5.9 seconds. In 1995, BMW M GmbH launched the BMW M3 GT special-edition model in a run of just 350 units. Output was boosted to 295 hp and the engine previewed some of the technical details of the upcoming 3.2-liter unit. The car’s doors were made from aluminium and the interior was decked out in Mexico Green Nappa leather. As for exterior paint shades, the special edition was available in British Racing Green or Silver only.
2003: BMW M3 CSL (E46). 
BMW returned to the idea of a limited-run special-edition BMW M3 in mid-2003, this time using the E46 model generation as the donor car. The CSL affix was a reference to the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL (for “Coupe Sport Leichtbau”) of the early 1970s. In keeping with this moniker, denoting lightweight design, the BMW M3 CSL introduced a series of weight-saving parts to the mix. The center console, interior door trim and rear-view mirror were made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), the rear window featured thinner glass, the trunk lid with integral spoiler lip was now lighter and weight had also been cut from the trunk trim. All in all, the judicious use of lightweight parts allowed the car’s curb weight to be reduced by 362 pounds to 3,053 pounds.
The power produced by the 3,246cc 6-cylinder inline engine, was increased to 360 hp. Modification of the intake air ducting was necessary to cool the upgraded engine, which led to the creation of a distinctive circular aperture in the aerodynamically optimized front apron to enhance the supply of air to the airbox. Externally, the BMW M3 CSL stood apart from the BMW M3 with its exposed carbon-fiber roof and special “Sport” 19-inch M light-alloy wheels with Michelin Sport Cup tires.
On opening the door, the two bucket seats and lightweight rear seats in an Amaretta/cloth combination immediately caught the eye. The doors came with carbon-fiber inserts, the M sports steering wheel had a grippy Alcantara covering and the center console was now of a more compact and lightweight construction. Another distinctive feature of the steering wheel was the “M” button used to activate M Track Mode. This adapted the responses of the power steering and the parameters of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to allow an even sportier driving style. The modified Launch Control system helped the BMW M3 CSL to race from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.8 seconds and hit the 200 km/h (124 mph) mark in a mere 16.7 seconds. The CSL chassis brought magnetic pulse-formed rear control arms and some of the tuning work took place at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The result of these modifications could be seen in independent tests. Indeed, the BMW M3 CSL set what was then the fastest lap of the Nordschleife for its output class (7 min 50 sec).
2010: BMW M3 GTS (E92).
In 2010, BMW M GmbH introduced the direct successor to the BMW M3 CSL in the form of the BMW M3 GTS. Like its predecessor, it was designed to deliver the highest dynamic performance. Lightweight construction once again played a central role, reducing the car’s DIN curb weight to 3,373 pounds – 275 pounds lower than that of the standard BMW M3. An increase in the cylinder stroke pushed the displacement of the V8 engine from 4.0 up to 4.4 liters, boosting output by 30 hp to 450 hp.
The BMW M3 GTS came as standard with a bolted-on roll bar in place of a rear seat bench, and this could be optionally upgraded to a full roll cage. Furthermore, mounts for four- and six-point Schroth seatbelts were fitted. And finally, the fire extinguisher holder behind the front seats underlined the clear track focus of the GTS. The car’s racing ability was also enhanced by revised aerodynamics. A front spoiler with carbon-fiber splitter teamed up with the carbon-fiber rear wing on the trunk lid to reduce lift and ensure high cornering speeds.
BMW M GmbH produced the BMW M3 GTS largely by hand, with the cars built individually in the factory to customer specification. Type approval for road use in Germany was on a case-by-case basis.
2011: BMW M3 CRT (E92).
The BMW M3 CRT – produced in a run of just 67 units from May 2011 – combined the technology of the BMW M3 GTS with the body of the four-door BMW M3 Sedan. The CRT also had a carbon-fiber bonnet with apertures next to the powerdome and a splitter below the front apron, but the large rear spoiler on the trunk lid was usurped by a carbon-fiber spoiler lip. In place of a roll bar, the BMW M3 CRT came with a rear seat bench containing two molded individual seats. With a curb weight (DIN) of 3,483 pounds, the BMW M3 CRT was around 99 pounds lighter than the BMW M3 Sedan.
2016: BMW M4 GTS (F82). 
In 2016, BMW M GmbH presented the next in its line of sports car special editions in the form of the BMW M4 GTS. The new car takes the concept of BMW M3/BMW M4 models radically accentuating their sporting genes another step into the future in innovative style. For around 700 enthusiasts worldwide, roughly 300 bound for the first time to US shores, with a taste for extra-high output, sharp handling and unbeatable performance, this will be the most agile, radical and powerful M4 ever.
The BMW M4 GTS sees BMW M GmbH not only celebrating 30 years of the BMW M3/M4 success story but also presenting a perfect model to mark the centenary of the BMW brand.


BMW at Amelia Island Concours 2016

Photography by Imraan Shameem

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2016 was held March 10-13th on Amelia Island, Florida. It's one of the most premiere car shows in the world with more than 300 cars and motorcycles on display. The 21st Annual Event honored legendary race driver Hans-Joachim Stuck.

He is a two-time Le Mans–winner, triple Sebring 12 hour-winner, and 1985 World Sports Car Champion.  Hans is best known for racing Formula 1, Formula 2, touring cars, and sports cars. A selection of Stuck's former race cars were on display at the event including a few CSLs; E46 M3 GTR's; M1's; 700RS; E24 635CSi; LeMans E53 X5; Porsche's; Audi's; and Brabham-Alfa Romeo.

With only six road car versions ever made, it's very rare to see the E46 M3 GTR in person. In 2001, BMW wanted to take down Porsche but the S54 inline-six engine was no match. So they developed a new 4 litre 500hp V8. Due to the rule book being so loosely worded, they were able to get away with only making a small amount of road cars (10 were ordered). The V8/E46 combination dominated the ALMS that year. But because they didn't offer the V8 in a mass produced road car, Porsche complained so they changed the rules for 2002. It stated that they would need to sell 100 cars and 1000 units of the V8 engine; something that was not feasible. So BMW did not return for the following year and ceased production of the road cars after the sixth was built. The E46 M3 GTR race cars did go on to race with great success in Europe however. What a great piece of BMW Motorsport history.

The E24 635CSi "Jagermeister" ETCC Group A 1984 #6 race car was another iconic classic piloted by Hans.

And then there was the one-off monster E53 X5 Le Mans. Packing a Le Mans V12 race engine under the hood producing 700 hp. It was capable of 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds and topped out at 193 mph. If that's not impressive enough, Hans was able to get it around the Nürburgring in 7 minutes 50 seconds.

The show also celebrated the 100th Anniversary of BMW this year. There was a great turn out of timeless well kept bimmers of all ages.

To see more coverage from this event, head over to Imraan's Instagram page: HERE