When he’s not working on his very own E34-generation 5 Series Touring, pro detailer Chromatic Garage freshens up BMWs and other cars for a living. His recent project involved a Bavarian model from just about the same era, namely an E36. Not just any version of the 3 Series, but a mighty M3 finished in Dakar Yellow. It hasn’t been cleaned in years, so it was high time for the sports coupe to get a makeover.

We’re being told it’s a low-mileage example set to undergo additional tweaks to fully restore it to its former glory. Before that happens, we get to see the M3 E36 being cleaned from top to bottom in a relaxing 30-minute timelapse video worthy of your time. The engine bay where the naturally aspirated inline-six calls home was also freshened up, much like the original alloys and the wheel wells.

It’s not the first E36 to arrive at Chromatic Garage as the Canada-based detailer pampered a lesser 318i Alpine White a few months ago. This M3 will undergo a partial respray as the hood’s yellow shade doesn’t match the rest of the body panels. The same holds true for the right fender as it too needs to be repainted. The exterior trim pieces will be temporarily removed to clean the areas underneath before the car will receive a full polish to make it shine again.

The E36 M3 is important for being the first BMW M3 to have an inline-six engine, a tradition that continues to this day. The E90/92/93 era had a larger V8, as did the super-rare E46 GTR, but the M3 is generally known for its six-cylinder engines. It’s also worth noting the E36 M3 was also the first to boast variable camshaft adjustment (VANOS).

Depending on the year and region, the E36 M36 was sold with S50 and S52 engines with power varying from just over 280 hp to nearly 320 hp There were quite a few regional limited-run special editions sold during its life cycle, including the GT for Europe and the Lightweight for the United States. There was also an Australia-only M3R, an Evolution Imola Individual for the UK, and a German-only M3 GTR, just to name a few.

Source: Chromatic Garage / YouTube