Get Off In Two Pages
I know what you're probably thinking, no you didn't grab a copy of Eurotuner by mistake, and this is in fact a BMW on the pages of Super Street. We aren't known for featuring Bimmers but this isn't exactly your typical M3 and Toan Nguyen certainly isn't your typical M3 owner. Some of our dedicated long-time readers will recall this isn't the first time we've featured a German car in the book - hey, we can appreciate a well-built car when we see one!
The term well-built only begins to hint at the quality of the parts and workmanship that went into this car. In fact in the hands of Formula D driver Charles Ng this E46 took top honors in the Limited FR class at the 2010 Super Lap Battle Finals, taking out our very own 2010 Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge winning Toyota Supra in the process-and the lap time of 1:53.481 wasn't the only thing that impressed us. The exhaust note is sheer bliss, like a seemingly baritone F1 engine; listening to the M3 blast around Buttonwillow is a memory I won't soon forget.
Once parked the M3 is equally as attractive. The wide stance of the Laguna Seca body hunkered down over TE37s commands attention from anyone within a half-mile radius. I couldn't decide which I liked better, the wildness of the Takata Green or the smooth flow of the Mag Blue, so I had Toan bring both. As your eyes scan across the exterior it's surprisingly familiar territory for import enthusiasts. A URAS universal hood vent has found its way into a fiberglass hood up front and around back a Voltex GT wing is perched atop the trunk lid.
Perusing the spec box you'll quickly see more familiar names like Endless, AEM, Hyperco, Clutchmasters, Worksbell and Personal to name a few. At first glance this might seem more like the spec sheet of an Evo than a M3. Needless to say these aren't brands typically associated with euros and I was immediately intrigued by this E46 and I wanted to get the story behind the car and the owner. As it turns out Toan is well versed in import tuning, having owned no less than three Integra Type Rs, along with another GS-R DC2 and an EK hatch. While working as a technician at a BMW dealership he became enthralled with the performance of the M3. While he may have left Japanese cars behind his taste in the JDM aftermarket has stuck with him. He is now working as a technician at Rennspec, a shop known for modifying all sorts of Euros with a subtle JDM touch. Toan's car caught my attention and now I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
2001 BMW M3
Owner Toan Nguyen
Hometown San Gabriel Valley, CA
Occupation Technician at Rennspec
Power 445hp @ 8100 RPM; 295lb-ft @ 7500 RPM
Engine 3.2L S54 inline six cylinder engine; ESS Tuning VT2-500 supercharger; AEM water/meth kit; race header; 200 cell race cat; custom 3.5" exhaust, coolant reservoir, oil catch tank
Drivetrain JB Racing flywheel; Clutchmasters FX300 clutch with Kevlar disc; auto solutions short shifter; Delrin engine/trans mounts; BMW Motorsports LSD, 3.91 final drive; Motul Gear 300 75w-90 transmission fluid, Competition 75w-140 differential fluid
Engine Management ESS Tuning re-flash
Footwork & Chassis Moton clubsport coilovers with external reservoirs; Hyperco springs; Ground Control race camber plates, rear shock mounts, front/rear sway bars, weight-jack adjuster, rear camber arms, race Delrin/alloy front control arm bushings; TMS spherical rear trailing arm bushings, billet subframe bushings, billet differential bushings; custom Delrin steering damper
Brakes Brembo 4-piston calipers front/rear, 355mm Type 3 Le Mans rotors front/rear, stainless lines; Porterfield R4 brake pads; Endless brake fluid
Wheels & Tires18X9.5" +22/18X10.5" +22 Mag Blue Volk TE37 wheels; 18X9.5" +22/18X10.5" +22 Takata Green Volk TE37 wheels; 275/35R18 Nitto NT01 tires; Hasegawa lug nuts
Exterior Vorsteiner dual inlet front bumper; custom wind splitter and undertray; Voltex 3D-GT wing; fiberglass hood; URAS hood vent
Interior Recaro SPG Pro Racer seat; VAC seat mounts, fire extinguisher mount; Worksbell steering hub; Personal steering wheel; custom Delrin shift knob
Thanks you Roman and Hans @ ESS Tuning, Dani @ Race Technologies, Bruce @ Performance Shock, James @ The Attic, Chris @ Tuner Motorsport, Mike and Tony and Crew @ Evasive, last but not least all the guys @ Rennspec and my family, all my friends and my girlfriend for all the love and support.