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2002 BMW Z3 Coupe

Post By: David Clower

Date: 06/21/2023

The Story

2002 BMW Z3 Coupe (this is a non-M) M54 3.0 // 5MT Hellrot II // Red Interior 2/14/2002 Build Date (appropriate given the exterior/interior combination) 1/47 Hellrot II Coupes 1/2 Exterior/Interior combination (only manual) This car came into my family via my grandfather. I am blessed with cars being a family affair, and so this was his latest foray. We traveled to Illinois by train and rental car specifically to pick this car up with only 40,000 miles. We proceeded to drive the car home all the from Illinois to Virginia, where the car currently resides. It was a trip filled with mishaps and a ton of fun. For about four years my grandfather gave this car a cozy but uneventful life. The car was detailed to the teeth via Automotive Aesthetic in Charlottesville, but it was taken out for a spin maybe once per season. As time marched on, my grandfather grew too weak to enjoy driving the car anymore, and eventually met with me to pass the car along to somebody who would drive it. While admitting that I would modify the car to my taste (he was a purist himself), I vowed to maintain the car's grace. He and I spent the next 8 months discussing the build, ordering parts, and putting the car together. He passed away this February, just late enough for me to haul a fully built wheel to his bedside, but too soon to see them make it onto the car. This car is an ode to the bond we had, and I hope every smile and connection that is made over this car keeps him smiling, wherever he is now. With a timeless design such as this, I decided that restraint was the best look for this car. A timeless OEM BMW Wheel, the Style 5, rebuilt to a gorgeous standard with a just-flashy-enough design in the prima donna look was paired with Airlift suspension to keep the car functional, the pristine body perfect, while providing maximum stance. Front camber plates were thrown to the max, resting somewhere around -3, the rear semi-trailing arm suspension completed the look on its own, completely untouched. Z4 rear hubs with E46 rear rotors and calipers were fitted to the car to move the hub inboard (this conversion adds approximately 24mm or 1" of clearance for the wheels). An Eisenmann Race Exhaust was paired with a resonator delete to provide the stock M54 with a rowdy sound under load, but idle nearly silent. The car shouts when it's time to play, but dignified when the adults are around. A wiper delete to bring the perfect lines in the rear to their fullest potential, the last few pieces to accentuate this car's look are period correct Hamann pieces, coming soon!

Current Setup

  • Wheels: BBS RC090 (Style 5s) 17-18" Conversion + Ehrlich Wheel Works Waffle Conversion - 18x9 et32 // 18x10.5 et27
  • Tires: Michelin PS4S - 205/40r18 // 245/40r18
  • Suspension: Airlift Performance 3P
  • Performance: Eisenmann Race Exhaust + Resonator Delete
  • Interior: BFI GSA Heavyweight Shift Knob w/ M Coin
  • Exterior: Lowe's Special Wiper Delete

Gallery