Back in late October of 2010 we came across this ’95 Dakar Yellow M3 on eBay. It looked great. A one owner car owned by a ///M Enthusiasts who also had tucked in his garage a Dakar Yellow M Roadster. The car had a reserve on it. We placed a low bid thinking it would just bump the price up and not meet reserve. Well….. we were wrong. November 7th, 2010 the car made it to Knoxville from Florida. And so the project began.
The car is a 1995 BMW M3 in Dakar Yellow with black leather. When purchased car had 182,000 miles on it. The car has been resprayed at some point in its life. When we got it the original owner had just put a brand new factory headliner in it. Upon test driving the car we immediately knew it was gonna need a driveshaft. And the tire roar was ear bleeding loud.
Once we got it to the shop we looked it completely over. All four wheels were bent. The trans fill plug was loose and leaking a bit. Being a Florida car and seeing the Florida sun, the moldings and seals were completely dry rotted.
Immediately the headliner came out of the car and sold for one not in good shape. We immediately sent it off to have it recovered in alcantara along with the rear deck.
At the same time we removed the black plastic moldings around the car. We feel the black plastic cheapens the look of the car. Lots of E36 M3 guys disagree with this. But for us personally we will never understand it. We sent them off to our good friends Wade’s Body Shop in Oliver Springs, TN to have them match body color. The paint that was used is a new product that was shown at SEMA last year which sticks to the plastic. They came out great. When these were completed we added BMW Lightweight side molding emblems.
Next step was to get this car having a proper stance. We ordered up some H&R Sport springs. H&R is a fantastic company and the sport springs they offer are progressive. Offering a lowered look and still giving us a factory type ride, but with improved performance through the twisties.
The car was coming together. After the drop we ordered up some VMR VB3 (CSL reps) in Hyper Black. We picked 18×8.5 size all the way around to be able to rotate tires. The VMRs got wrapped in BFGoodrich tires in 235/40/18.
While the car was up in the air we went ahead and made our own “test pipe” by cutting off the resonators and welding in straight pipe and painting it black.
We found a great supplier who had all sorts of Euro stuff for the car. We ordered a 3-spoke steering wheel wrapped in alcantara with ///M tricolor stitching. ZKW headlamps, equal length headers, and a gauge cluster.
When we installed the driveshaft we figured it was a good time to upgrade the clutch. We installed a UUC clutch and lightened flywheel along with a factory Z3 M Roadster shifter for shorter throws but retaining a factory feel.
While doing a ZCP (E46 Competition PKG) brake upgrade on a customers E46 M3. We decided to mock the brakes up on our car. The fronts fit perfect. The rears on the other hand need some fab work. Tara’s husband Steve lent us a hand and custom fabbed some brackets for us to make the Competition Package brakes to work on our E36. While we haven’t installed them yet on the car below are some teaser pics of the front brakes mocked up along with our custom bracket during the measuring process.
A common problem on E36s is the door panels tend to come apart which ours were. Brand new door panels are quite pricey. We found a company that redoes the door panels along with custom touches for extra. We went the extra mile and did alcantara inserts with ///M tricolor stitching on the handles. They look fantastic and complete the theme we have going on in the interior.
The factory rear differential came out of the car. And in went a 3.38 limited slip with new 3 clutch pack setup for 40% lock. Factory final drive was a 3.15. This upgrade alone has awoken the car up a considerable amount.
We want this car to stay true to its roots, but upgrading areas that BMW could have possibly done a bit better. Being that this is a 95. The factory kidney grilles remain along with the body color mesh grille in the bumper. Stay tuned for more when more upgrades come in. Till then enjoy some of the pictures below.