There’s no car more perfect than the BMW E30 M3, in my Germanic eyes. It is perfection. Lightweight, boxy, RWD, powerful and agile. For some people, though perfection just isn’t enough: The Mona Lisa could use one extra brush stroke (a moustache), the Steak N’ Shake steakburger could be grilled a little less crispy; Scarlett Johansson could have a better singing voice. If everyday Jack American approached the Mona Lisa very casually with a paint brush and box of water colors he would be publically bounced and trounced. If everyday Jack American returned his steakburger for one in ‘medium rare’ his replacement would be spit on, or worse. And if everyday Jack American asked Scarlett Jo to please take singing lessons before recording another album she probably would not have sex with him.
But there is a loophole. How much money do you got, son?
Green changes everything. A “guy with an extensive BMW collection” commissioned Piper Motorsport of Sterling, Virginia to improve upon perfection. The man in question brought in a pretty decent example of an e30 M3 and some crazed ideas of merging old school BMW looks with new school BMW running gear; brand new motor, brand new suspension, etc. The muscle car guys call this “pro-touring” when they do it to their Chevelles and Challengers. In the case of this vehicle we’re going to have to refrain from publishing the nickname of this particular build style as it simply doesn’t work without all those swear words for proper emphasis.
One can’t just bolt an e90 3 series suspension and e60 M5 powertrain into an e30. German engineering is pretty good but not that damn good. This job required a bit of ‘Virginia engineering.’ I’m pretty certain that this is the first time that phrase has been used when not referring to intercourse with a blood relative.
In order to make this thing work a very large part of the original car had to be scrapped. In fact, according to Piper, only a few exterior body panels and miscellaneous interior bits remain on the car.
To fit a modern v10 into a space once reserved for a cocaine addled 80s four-cylinder took some quality time with a torch. The original firewall was cut out and a new one was fabricated and tacked into place. The original transmission tunnel received the same treatment.
The religiously good chassis of the e30 M3 required some surgery to fit e90 front and rear sub frames. Surgery is an understatement. The front frame rails were removed and new ones were fabbed and placed, and the front shock towers were moved up to allow full travel of the e90 suspension.
The back of the car received a Joan Rivers-esque work-over to accept the rear e90 sub frame. The entire rear end of the car was lopped off and rebuilt to make it all work well, with exception to the rear exterior body panels.
Piper has also installed a roll cage that will remain mostly hidden under interior paneling when the vehicle is finished. Pretty slick.
As of now the car remains under the knife. Some lucky, rich SOB is going to have a real beauty on his hands. Let’s just hope the fool has the driving clout to keep this monster on the road.