NZPC: Hi, Max. That’s a super tidy daily. How did you end up owning it? Max: Hey NZPC. I was working for BMW at the time and the M3 was owned by a regular customer of ours. The E46 was always that poster car for me when I was younger, and my dad also loved them, which is probably where I got it from. Anyway, the previous owner traded the car in on a new BMW 1M, and when discussing the purchase with the finance department, he said they could only take it as a trade if I were to buy the car, this coming after lengthy discussions with him previously about how I’d love to own it. I took it home that day and it’s been three years now — what an amazing machine to drive; I was sold after the first time behind the wheel.
That’s a pretty sweet way to pick up a new ride. What brought about the the ITB and trumpet set-up, and how has it changed the feel of the car? I toyed with ideas on what to do with the car engine-wise, trawling through internet conversations and tossing up components like turbos, superchargers, etc. But I’ve always enjoyed doing things a touch differently, and went down the route of making power out of the naturally aspirated engine. From researching and watching copious videos, I found two companies that sold the velocity stack conversion at a very high price point. With that spanner in the works, I decided to make my own, and that was started about three weeks out from the V 4&Rotary South Island Champs in Timaru! After making the trumpets, blanking off lines, and fitting the appropriate sensors, I contacted my friend Codie Nicholl at BCD in Christchurch to get it all running smoothly. After many tweaks, and the help of a friend remotely plugging in from Italy, the car runs great. The overall performance is much better, and, most importantly, drivability hasn’t been compromised in the process.
From where did you draw your inspiration when modifying it? Being born in England, I grew up around these kinds of things. I’d never seen an E46 M3 in New Zealand that had been modified in a way that really stood out to me, especially those that would remain practical. So, the majority of inspiration has come from overseas.
Being a bit of a Euro-tourer, has it seen any track work? Yeah, I recently gave it a shakedown at Levels Raceway in Timaru. The car sounded phenomenal on track with the velocity stacks.
No doubt about that — it’s an awesome-looking setup! Thanks for the chat, Max.
2003 BMW M3 (E46) PHOTOS: ROSS DRANSFIELD