Left for dead near a race track, this 2002 BMW M3 was in a rough shape when YouTuber Mat Armstrong found it a year ago. He’s no stranger to taking on time-consuming projects, having recently finished restoring a stolen and abused M140i he upgraded with M2-sourced bits. As for the E46 featured here, it’s a right-hand-drive example finished in Laguna Seca Blue that was literally abandoned on the side of the road.
Prior to being ditched by the previous owner, the M3 served as a track day experience car. In other words, people paid money to drive it around a circuit and receive valuable lessons from a professional instructor. That means it spent the better part of its life being trashed around a track. Riding lower to the ground courtesy of a custom suspension, it’s the more desirable version with the manual gearbox instead of the widely criticized SMG.
The car has been meticulously restored over the past 12 months, both in terms of the oily bits and aesthetics. OEM parts were largely used, with one big (and possibly sacrilegious) exception as the front brakes come from an AMG C63. In addition, it also has an aftermarket exhaust system to maximize the soundtrack delivered by the naturally aspirated inline-six “S54” engine.
Richard Hammond gave this M3 E46 his proverbial stamp of approval, hence why the Drivetribe sticker on the quarter window hasn’t been removed. It’s currently missing the fog lights but they’re on the way.
Mat Armstrong is parting ways with the car as he’s raffling it off in the UK to a lucky buyer of a £9.95 ticket. In recent months, he has video documented the work he has put into reviving the troubled M3 that thankfully lives again after being dormant. This E46 story has a happy ending as it initially looked like something that was about to face the crusher.
Source: Mat Armstrong / YouTube