FEATURE CAR: Gaz’s E46

For my first feature car I thought I’d post something a little different to the slew of Japanese cars that fill this blog. That’s not to say I’m not a fan of the Jap scene (far from it in fact), but that there’s something equally as awesome about carefully put together European machinery.

I first saw Gaz’s BMW 330 a relatively long time ago when I popped into the garage where he works. At this point it was pretty much standard but in immaculate condition. A few months later and I was back at the same garage getting some tyres fitted when I saw the same car, albeit sitting a lot closer to the ground and with a hefty dose of tyre stretching. Fast forward a few weeks and Gaz and his super clean BM were in Stockport town centre ready for a brief photo shoot.

On the exterior your eyes are instantly drawn to the BMW Style 32 wheels taken from an E38 7 Series, finished in black and wrapped in 215/35/18 tyres in order to give a decent amount of stretch without being too over the top. I’m not normally a fan of black wheels but on some occasions they can work brilliantly and this is definitely one of those, the contrast with the silver paintwork working in perfect unison.

Once you’ve torn your eyes away from the wheels you’ll no doubt notice the carbon fibre CSL bootlid which accentuates the shape of the car with it’s larger rear spoiler lip. Again I’m not usually fan of unpainted carbon fibre body panels but in this situation I think it works brilliantly, partly due to the black wheels working alongside it to break up the silver bodywork.

Towards the front end of the car the visual enhancements are a little more subdued: Umnitza angel eyes and Clubsport splitters help make the front that little bit more aggressive whilst amber indicator lenses help to add to the “Euro” look of the car.

Under the bonnet the modifications are relatively subtle in comparison to the rest of the car but are all there for a reason. Engine breathing has been assisted by the addition of a Dave F filter and the removal of the catalytic converter in order to squeeze a few more ponies out of the BMW lump, along with a remap.

On the suspension side of things, the massive drop has been provided by a set of FK coilovers. Personally I feel that the car is sitting perfectly; obviously in other parts of the world people are willing to slam their cars to extreme levels along with insane amounts of camber and tyre stretching but here in the UK that really isn’t possible due the poor standard of the roads. Gaz’s car proves that you can still have a car that sits just right without going to extreme lengths that would no doubt do more harm than good to the car over time!

Helping to bring the big BM to a halt are a set of grooved Brembo discs and Mintex pads, while interior creature comforts include a factory fitted TV/sat nav system, Clubsport weighted gear knob, alcantara gaitor and leather…lots and lots of factory fitted leather!

Overall Gaz has done a fine job in making his E46 stand out from the sea of executive driven 330s that usually roam the streets without going overboard with in-your-face modifications. Well chosen high quality parts have been used throughout to ensure that his BMW remains unique and individual, which at the end of the day is one of the key staples of the modified car scene.

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