BMW M3 E46
That's the "one"Text: Wayne Douglas
Pictures: Reinis Babrovskis
If your a car guy, then your pretty certain to have a 'list'... A list of cars you would like to own at some point in your life at some stage. We have all said at some point, "oh, I'd like one of those some day" or "that's my next car right there!" as we spot something we really like, be it at the launch of new model, or the first time something has caught your eye, that for some reason you had overlooked until that point.
This was certainly the case for Ian Agnew, and the car in question was a BMW (e46) M3. Ian was and no doubt still is a massive VW fan, having owned a number of tastefully modified V-Dubs over the years. But one car was always to be added to his "list" of must haves, and surprisingly this was something outside of his usual Das Auto camp! Well not surprising really that a BMW M3 would be a must have for many a petrol head, as the M3 ticks a lot of boxes.
The e46 model was first released in the late 2000's and produced to early 2006, even though this model is now close to 15 years old, if your lucky enough to pick up a clean well looked after car like Ian's example, you will agree that they still live up to BMW's quote of being "The Ultimate Driving Machine"
From the outside, this is a car that demands attention and carries a lot of road presence. With a widened stance and flared arches front and rear, four exhaust tips, an impressive bonnet bulge and front wing side vents with a "M" logo, means there is no mistaking this car for a lesser model in the range. Try as some might, with there eBay special "M" badge on the boot lid!
The e46 M3 is certainly no slouch and backs every inch of its aggressive looks up by producing 343bhp from it naturally aspirated 3.2 litre engine in standard form. A perfectly tuned suspension, coupled with drilled brake discs all round and some grippy tyres meant that the guys in BMW's Motorsport division had created something very special indeed.
Ian searched for some time before finding this stunning example, and as an added bonus he was lucky enough to find it close to his home, and had known of the car and could be assured it was a well looked after example. The car really is in excellent condition both inside and out and a real credit to both Ian and its previous owner.
A stunning colour combination of unmarked Carbon Black paint work on the out side, with optional 19" chrome finished alloy wheels and vibrant Nappa red leather interior on the inside, you can certainly see how this car turns heads and appealed to Ian. The SMG gearbox makes light work of traffic jams and proves to be immense fun as you attack the twisty bits of road when out for a spirited run.
Ian certainly set the bar high for a non VW purchase, but will it be enough to keep him there, or will the lure of the ever popular VW scene see him going back to his first love.