Photography by Martin Srnka, Norbert Baran, Piotr Błaszczykiewicz & Sylwia Klaczyńska
Photography by Gabriel Milori
I was first acquainted with James (also known as FLOSS around the internet), when his previous car was making its way around the forums. It was an Alpine White E90 335i sitting on a rather unique wheel setup—a set of CCW Classics with gold centers on one side & silver centers on the other. Some hated it and some loved it, one thing for sure was that it was different. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
James had left his first E46 M3 to get the 335i sedan for his family. He also thought that he was done with the manual transmission. That’s a fairly common decision that most regret and that’s exactly what happened. The E90 was so different from the E46, James said… “It just wasn’t an ///M.” And since he only had the first E46 for four months, he felt like he had unfinished business to take care of.
He picked up this 2005 Interlago Blue E46 M3 equipped with Competition Package and of course, a 6-speed manual gearbox. It was first revealed online sporting a set of CCW Classics again. It was breathtaking with nothing more than an aggressive fitment. It retained the stock appearance yet showed some serious character. The stance was dialed in thanks to BC Racing Coilovers with custom spring sizes and rates which are now known as their Extreme drop kit.
The amber lights were added to go a different route than the typical clear or smoked option usually found on this platform. The chrome and ambers really compliment the IB in a classy way. The E46 has aged perfectly and with the HRE Vintage Series that recently came out, it was just what James needed. He went with the 501 Series because he liked that design best. Admiring HRE wheels since he was a kid, he told himself that he had to own at least one set in his lifetime. The specs are 18×10″ with 245/35 Hankook V12 (Front) & 18×12″ 285/30 Hankook V12 (Rear), filling up every last inch of those large wheel wells.
He decided to throw a different set of wheels on the other side just for our shoot (like the E90′s two face look). These are OEM BMW Style 5s custom rebarreled to 18×10/12″ with polished lips, chrome hardware and painted centers built by James himself. He has always been into wheels, but it wasn’t until his sponsorship with CCW that he started getting into refinishing wheels. Over time getting closer and chatting with the guys at CCW, he picked up a couple of things along the way from basic wheel sizing and measurements all the way to safety. He said that he’s always wanted something on the side besides a regular day job, and this let’s him get creative while doing something that he loves.
Like many ///M-owners, James bought his car because of its great performance. While the stock power may be plenty for some, he eventually got an urge for more. That’s when the decision to install a VF Engineering VF480 supercharger was made. He hasn’t dynoed the car yet, but it should be good for around 420hp to the wheels. So with unique looks and power to back it up, James's M3 has earned a spot here on our site.
Photography by Matt Petrie
Kids are so impressionable to many things and one of them is cars. For those who are into the modified car scene as a whole, whether they own one or just enjoy spectating, it usually starts with a defining moment. For some it was a family member who had a special weekend car that would offer you to ride along in. As for others maybe it was seeing something truly awesome on the road and never forgetting it, which still happens continuously as you grow old. Regardless of how you came to love cars it started with one car guy and unintentionally led to another’s passion down the road. That’s the magic these M Coupes have on people.
Frequently riding shotgun in Alex’s Estoril blue coupe or driving it myself, I can’t help but notice the attention it gets from people of all ages. The older folks are puzzled as they try to identify it because they recognize the roundel, but that’s about it. To the average person it is difficult to distinguish the little Z3 roadster that lies within the angled hatch and fat, fat rear end of this quirky “clown shoe”. Kids on the other hand aren’t so much puzzled as they are hypnotized by it. They don’t care for the identification; all they know is that it looks like an operational toy. Between the color, the fully polished wheels and the occasional surf board strapped to the roof rack at the Jersey shore, it’s no wonder kids can’t take their eyes off of it.
The main reason why people don’t recognize these cars is due to their rarity. If you’ve never seen an M Coupe on the road before you’re not alone. About 3,000 were built for North America from 1998 to 2002. These cars were literally parts cars being built using bits and pieces from other models in their generation. They were built alongside the M3 in their respective years of production. The early models from 1998 to 2000 had the E36 M3 S52 engine and when production began on the E46 M3 during 2001 and 2002, you guessed it; the M Coupes came equipped with the S54. Due to the size of the clown shoe the S54 was detuned to 321hp, but that’s something that is easily reversible. Mark’s is pretty unique within their already limited community. He is one of the lucky owners stateside(less than 700) to have an S54 in his Titanium Silver coupe.
As always with this disease, modifications were made to these coupes to further distinguish them from the rest. Mark is running a set of 16” BBS RS faces with Rotiform bubble lips reaching a final size of 18x9f and 18x11r. Suspension is dialed in with Ground Control coil overs and Vorshlag camber plates bringing him down just atop the tires for a purposeful, enjoyable drop. Out back he’s got a 3.73 LSD rebuilt with a three-clutch setup from bimmerdiffs.com and a custom catback exahaust with Magnaflow 14815 mufflers and stainless steel piping done by Piper Motorsports. Authentic AC Schnitzer flippers in front help accentuate the splitters and tie into the body lines nicely. Inside he makes this car feel more at home with European dash panels, glovebox and driver’s side kick panel. Nothing is overly done and just the right amount of work was placed in every area of Mark’s car to give it a clean European look.
Alex’s coupe is sporting original Kinesis K57 wheels in double-staggered form (Kinesis is now owned by Asanti and sold their wheel designs to CCW). The fronts are 17×9.5 while the rear is 18×11.5. He is slammed on TC Kline coil overs with SWIFT springs up front to get him a little closer to those 17’s. The interior is the factory Estoril blue two toned seats and dash with an upgraded Momo steering wheel. The front end is simple and clean with shaved reflectors in the bumper and custom headlights. Unhappy with the DEPO headlight option, he made his own custom retrofitted projectors and shrouds to help him see at night as this car is daily driven in rotation with 3 other BMW’s in his driveway. “Daily driven” need not be a sticker on his window to let people know this car gets driven often and hard. One look at the odometer and you’ll have to do a double take because it is currently clocked in at 209,000 miles. No typo here, whether it is to work or to go skate with friends this car is getting redlined and sideways daily.
The rear end on these cars is wide enough to make any other modded car owner jealous. The curves are undeniable and the room for aggressive setups is almost as endless as Alex’s rear step lips. Mark is stuffing an awesomely meaty 295 in the rear on his 11, while Alex opted for a 275 on his 11.5 with a lower offset. Despite their different styles, both Mark and Alex are executing flawlessly and representing the Z3 M Coupe community in proper fashion.