I can simply describe Andrew Ting’s BMW M3 in no other words. A Gentleman. You might ask, what makes this M3 anymore gentlemanly than the one that belongs to your affluent neighbour down the street. Well, to the lay person. Nothing much.. but that is exactly what the gentlemans’ aim is to achieve. A gentleman does not need nor beg for attention, he simply receives it; with humble and grace.
Words – Joshua Nham / Photos – Kiet Lieu & Trung Nguyen
We first laid our eyes on Andrew’s M3 a few weeks ago with the inception of our Street Cover Community Facebook group. As much as we all love to hate and criticise Social Media, sometimes it can actually be used for something productive other than a procrastination tool. Therefore upon seeing Andrew’s post, I knew straight away that we had to feature this car. It’s really that simple. So for all you fans, jump onto the Facebook group and take a look at the amazing community that has blossomed. We are extremely grateful for each and everyone of you that has contributed.
We’ll start Andrew’s journey with why he chose the E46 M3 to serve as his blank canvas. Simply put he fell in love with the factory body lines of the BMW M3 “To me, it’s classy yet aggressive at the same time, which is expressed through the subtleties such as the bonnet bulge, quad tip exhaust and wider fenders.” It’s hard to disagree with Andrew there, the stylish Coupe manages to age gracefully compared to other European vehicles which seem to age 20 years as soon as the next model is released.
Another well informed choice when finally cherry picking his Mona Lisa was to opt for the classic 6 speed manual variant. As he wanted to steer clear of the “Known issues of the SMG transmission.” Of course banging down the gears in a traditional gearbox is always fun too..
Once Andrew finally found his black beauty, the first port of call was to get her sitting right. After a fair bit of research he decided on the tried and trusted KW v2 Coilover. “I’ve found them to be a very comfortable coilover whilst also letting me get the car low enough.” KW are notorious for retaining an excellent quality of ride whilst still being able to get very low. A perfect gentlemanly choice which doesn’t sacrifice comfort or style.
Of course wheel choice was next on the cards, initially Andrew went for the traditional BBS LM combo, but after laying his eyes on a particular white M3 sitting on custom Work Equips from the States he was inspired. “After seeing those I simply had to have those wheels (haha!). I got in contact with the owner and he said he could build a set for me.”
This was certainly no straight forward task. First of all the centres had to be converted to the unique BMW stud pattern of 5×120. So off they went to be professionally redrilled and inserted to the correct size. With the centres taken care of it was time to address the dish.. here comes the exciting part. A set of custom 3.5″ & 4″ step up lips (with matching barrels) were spun up to increase the 17″ diameter face to 18″, with the final specs being 18 x 10F and 18 x 12R. This creates a gorgeous set of Work Equip 05’s that very few posses in the world.
The work doesn’t stop there though.. the task of fitting 12 inches under the guards of this M3 is no easy task. “Fitting the rear wheels was difficult. In order to make them fit, my rear fenders have been cut and sealed. I wanted maximum clearance while still retaining the OEM look of the E46 M3 metal fenders.” Another gentlemanly decision, no tacky bolt on flares or ghetto guard pulling here. The inner wheel wells have also been modified to minimise scrubbing with the chassis. Vorshlag Camber plates help tuck in the fronts, whilst the stock adjustable arms do the job for the rear.
Now lets move onto the performance side of things. One of the many outstanding features of the BMW M3 is the distinct sound of that naturally aspirated 3.2L straight 6 engine. Andrew has accentuated this enigmatic roar with a Titanium muffler produced by a small Japanese company called Redhot (Dixis) who are now defunct. A rare item indeed which Andrew had to source from the States once again.
Andrew then looked at the intake side of the 3.2L beast. “I added a CSL style airbox which was made by a UK based company called Evolve. It’s a beautiful piece that is full carbon fibre and gives the car that induction roar of the E46 M3 CSL.”
Apart from the breathing mods Andrew is happy with the stock performance the M3 gives him; nothing too hardcore which would disrupt his gentlemanly commute to work everyday. Although the thought of a supercharger has crossed his mind, for now he is enjoying the naturally aspirated power plant BMW has refined.
Now the devil is certainly in the details. This is where we start to get into the nitty gritty details which add to the overall aggressive yet classy balance that Andrew strives to achieve. “I like to keep the car fairly OEM looking.” At the rear he has added a carbon fibre CSL style rear diffuser to beef up the aggression.
Subtle details like these tinted corner indicators and blacked out side grille are small touches you wouldn’t recognise unless pointed out.
The front grille is also blacked out to match and the headlights are enhanced with angel eyes (the only car that should have angel eyes imo). The yellow tinted fog lights serve as a nice colour break to the rest of the darkened out vehicle.
So that just about rounds out our feature of Andrew Ting’s BMW M3. Such a car of quality and taste is hard to come by in recent times, it seems what quantity the Adelaidians’ may lack they definitely make up for it in quality! What do you fellow Sydney siders have to say A little bit of friendly rivalry is always good haha.. None the less we LOVE seeing new cars, so if you guys are interstate (or even overseas) and would like to show us your car, please contact us through our Facebook group just like Andrew did! Plenty of more awesome features coming your way fans. Also heaps more amazing photos from Andrew’s shoot in the gallery below so check it out.
BMW M3 E46
Evolve CSL style carbon fibre airbox with Alpha-N tune
Dixis Titanium rear muffler
EAS Aurora 60 LED Angel Eyes
Yellow Lamin-x fog light film covers
SGT CSL style carbon fibre rear diffuser
Khoalty matte black front and side grills
Khoalty smoked front corner indicators
ZCP alcantara steering wheel
ZHP shift knob with alcantara boot
Suspension & Wheels
KW v2 coilovers
Vorshlag camber plates
WORK Equip 05 18×10 front and 18×12 rear
Hankook Ventus V12 tyres 245/35/18 front and 285/30/18 rear