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Jim's 1999 M3 Restoration and Street GTR Hommage Conversion

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  • Jim's 1999 M3 Restoration and Street GTR Hommage Conversion

    This thread will document Jim E's restoration and street GTR Hommage conversion of his 1999 M3.

    "Hommage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but usually often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic"

    Backstory
    Jim is the original owner of this US-Spec 1999 M3. It was produced in the final week of worldwide production for the E36 M3 coupe. It is also the last Individual E36 M3 coupe ever made and it is also one of the very few Individual cars permitted by BMW NA, though limited to just two special order options; headlight washers w/ intensive cleaning and front seat lumbar. Currently the car sits with 31k original miles. Here are a couple of interesting statistics about these options:

    Total headlamp washers (option 502) for the BG93 96-99 cars were 159 out of 11,793 cars produced - which were nearly all Canadian orders. There were 9 US-spec cars with them. 7 of those are pre-production models. Besides Jim's the other single production US-spec M3 is a full Individual car as well in Avus Blue with Montana leather.

    The other very unique (for M3s back in the 90's that is) option was lumbar with the sport seats. Lumbar support SA488 was not available with sport seats on E36. So it was never an option on the M3. There are only 13 E36 M3s ever produced in the world with lumbar support and I believe Jim's is the only coupe with it.

    Jim had ordered this car back in late 1998 and ordered every option that was available above and beyond what was already available in the U.S. They did not allow: PDC, Electric Rear Vent Windows, Rear Sunshade, tilt steering, Full Leather (L7) etc....

    Jim's order for this car was also originally approved by BMW for a custom color. He had chosen a color called Spa Yellow Pearl. This was a color from the Acura NSX at that time. Sadly he got a call in early 1999 by a representative from BMW NA who told him that they would not be able to fulfill his order because BMW would not have enough time to test the color before the end of production. He was not happy whatsoever.

    As it turns out, he never got his car the way he wanted it and therefore set out on a nearly two decades long idea and laborious collection of nearly every rare and unique part (including Gp.A racing parts) that brings us into his vision of a street GTR Hommage. As part of this journey, he wanted a car as it was originally designed with the motorsport S50B32 - which he had built by Chris Fletcher who was one of the engine builders for BMW's official race team - PTG. This is also his second attempt to make this restoration happen. The first was with BMW Classic/BMW M, shipping the car back to Germany. After years of the project and them not able to build the car to his exact specifications (some interior work was actually done) and eventually not realizing his vision, Jim decided to pull the plug and the car (with a ton of parts) was packed up and shipped to me.

    Build Goal
    To build as a new Hommage to the E36 M3 GTR raced here in the U.S. in the form of a fully loaded street going version. Some notable highlights will include:
    • Fletcher (One of the original PTG engine builders) Built Motorsport Grp A S50B32 (~400+ Crank Hp.) - Technically an S50B34 as built for racing but with about 11.5:1 compression to make it "streetable."
    • Full Custom Standalone Race ECU
    • GTR Motorsport crankshaft - lightened and knife edged
    • BMW Motorsport Camshafts 288/272, motorsport vibrations damper and motorsport hydro engine mounts and other spec goodies.
    • Full schrick valve train with titanium retainers - Custom forged piston and rods along with ARP etc...
    • Motorsport Grp A Carbon Airbox
    • Motorsport Grp A Full Exhaust System
    • Motorsport Grp A Headers
    • Euro Getrag 420G Gearbox 6-speed (E36 evo version)
    • Euro 210 Rear End with Motorsport 3.91 Gearing and custom LSD by another PTG worker
    • GT Front Tray - Clubsport Class II (GT2) Rear Wing w/Risers - Optional PTG Spec. GTR Wing Top - Original Gurney Flaps
    • M3 GT (Stamped + Polished) Style 24 Wheels (Staggered and Square 8.5" Configs)
    • Chassis off and Glass Out Respray + Full Underbody Restoration
    • Custom Mulberry and Alcantara Seats (M3 GT theme) - Extended Full Leather Interior - BMW M Division Genuine Alcantara Headliner and Parcel Shelf - BMW M Division Steering Wheel to E46 thickness
    • Alpina Gauge Pod Retrofit - OE Vertical Headlight Aim Retrofit - OE PDC Retrofit - OE Rear Vent Retrofit, etc...
    • Original Motorsport Seat Belts - Original M3 GT Carbon Fiber Trim
    • OE Grade Reproduction Fully Body Sticker Label Sets
    • Brembo GT Big Brake Kit Front and Rear
    • Car must be fully authentic and as period specific as possible. It will be 99% OE, OEM or BMW Motorsport (or parts Motorsport would have used in racing)
    • Restoration level 1 concours
    Why
    This is in Jim's words:

    It should come as no surprise that the E36 M3 is the most under-appreciated and misunderstood M-car of all time. What may surprise many is that the E36 M3 is the most historically significant M-car of all time and for many reason. The E36 M3 has set the standard for M-cars in terms of vision and what BMW wanted M cars to represent for BMW as a whole. It had the highest sales jump from one generation to the next. It made the U.S. the #1 seller of M cars till today. What many people don't know is that the E36 M3 had the highest win ratio in professional racing in spite of the fact that BMW Motorsport build an insignificant amount of M3 Gp.A/GT cars compared to the E30. If you compare the E30 win ratio in DTM with the win ratio of the E36 M3 in IMSA/ALMS, they are neck and neck with both over 60% and the E36 a hair higher. So for those who revel in the E30 M3 glory, there are some facts you needs to be aware of. The E30 was not some visionary car about the future of the M brand. In fact it was technically a BMW Motorsport car and not an M-division car. The E30 M3 was simply a reaction to Mercedes racing the W202 190 E 2.3 16 valve. Basically BMW wasn't about to let Mercedes dominate DTM and take sales away from BMW's bread and butter 3-series. You hear many people throw out the statistic that the E30 M3 is the most winning touring car of all time. This is true but what most are completely ignorant about is that it's a numbers game that no other M-car could compete with. "Around 300 M3 racing cars/kits we supplied" through June 1991. As of November 1991, BMW Motorsport Team Manager was quoted that they had supplied so many E30 M3's that the original 250 raced regularly all over the world. So of course if you race that many all over the world and you have an excellent race car (which the E30 M3 was) then it's easy to get to that statistic. BMW subsequently disclosed that about 270 Gp.A kits were supplied and a further 60 Gp.N kits we made throughout the race history of the E30. In case anyone was wondering, Gp.A is all out racing spec and Gp.N is showroom stock with very little deviation allowed.

    What about the E36? Somewhere around 85 E36 race cars were built and these were not M3s! These were 4 cylinder cars S14 and S42 Super Touring cars. BMW commited to Super Touring racing because BMW's (Paul Rosche) had pulled out of DTM when Mercedes, GM/Opel, and Alfa set him up for failure by making sure the E36 M3 would be at a disadvantage. Rosche had the last laugh becuase DTM folder in the mid-nineties. After that BMW AG raced an E36 M3 GTR and dominated the 1993 ADAC national GT title but they never considered this to be the highest level of professional racing. It wasn't until BMW NA's Eric Wensberg convinced BMW NA to back Tom Milner's team PTG to race in IMSA starting in 1995. This had full Motorsport backing and BMW, after its first year, utterly dominated IMSA at that time. And who did they beat? What I consider to be the best motorsport company in the world - Porsche. The fact is BMW never made many E36 GTR's and the one it raced in ADAC was a 3.0. The only place BMW ever raced the E36 GTR with the S50B32 is the United States. This is why I think the most appropriate place to have a GTR hommage car is in the U.S.

    Homage or Hommage?

    Feel free to chime in with your opinion on the correct usage. German publications seem to use Hommage whereas American English uses Homage.

    At BMW Classic (Germany)











    Getting loaded up with a small portion of the new parts destined for the car post-paint.



    First order of business was to remove the custom CSL inspired carbon airbox to make way for the Original BMW Grp A carbon airbox.













    Jim flew out for a few days and we were able to iron out final fitment issues to achieve this.



    The Grp A box requires some bracket and minor metal removal but otherwise fits quite well in a factory street car. Don't worry, the brackets will be properly shaved off before the engine bay is repainted.



    More fitment details on the 3pc part. Note the trick brake duct with intake scoop off the bumper and into the airbox snorkel.





    Stripping the chassis down...

    Trunk stripped out and wiring harness pushed back through into the cabin.





    Hood mostly stripped



    Doors completely stripped









    Both doors are easily removable for the paint process now.



    Organizing every nut, bolt, zip tie required for reassembly in exact OE fashion. Any wear items are going to be replaced with new parts.



    Glass out (BMW Classic already had it cut luckily)





    Logically the dash is next.



    The original Mulberry carpet is in great condition other than the original floor mat backings that flaked off into the pile. This carpet is all getting replaced with new black carpet.



    Back seating area stripped.





    Exterior trim removed










    MSportParts | Braymond141

  • #2
    Wow, what a build - looking forward to this! What a list of parts!! Staying same color I assume?

    Comment


    • #3
      YES YES! the thread I was waiting for. Time to ignore my family for thanksgiving and read up!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SamGrant951 View Post
        Wow, what a build - looking forward to this! What a list of parts!! Staying same color I assume?
        Yes it's staying the same color but with a twist. I don't want to disclose it until the end so it'll be a surprise. It's gonna be pretty cool. Only a few people know.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bmwstephen View Post
          YES YES! the thread I was waiting for. Time to ignore my family for thanksgiving and read up!
          The pressure is on! Hope we don't disappoint.

          Comment


          • #6
            Absolutely amazing and exciting. Thank you guys for taking us along for the journey!

            Comment


            • #7
              Mannnnnn... This will be good. Also I like seeing the chalky airbag haha. When you say you're getting new black carpet, is that NOS or can you elaborate? Are you going to do the aluminum doors? Is the motorsport headliner for a sunroof or are you deleting that? Lastly, when will it be done so I can shoot it?

              Comment


              • #8
                Miscellaneous details

                BMW M Division rewrapped steering wheel (an absolutely stunning piece).



                Original Individual sticker removed for replication. The entire car sticker set is getting reproduced, so this is one of many.



                Replicated on OEM material using an OEM laser engraving machine.



                The Individual sticker will be supplemented by this new one. Both Hommage and Homage were produced as no definite decision could be made on which was correct.





                Underside work...



















                Engine and trans on their way out





                Grp A. headers 😳


                The engine and trans are both new (under 20 miles on them). When the time comes to reassemble, there isn't much to do on them except for minor refreshing.

                MSportParts | Braymond141

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mock fitting the Precision Glass Composites full carbon GTR wing.







                  The original GTR used a GT base with a molded in third brake light. The Clubsport (GT2) wing Jim plans to run is not compatible with the mounting hole positions the GT uses. I got out my Clubsport base so we could see what the GTR top half looks like on it. In my opinion, it's a better look.







                  Playing around with a custom length upper gurney flap for the wing foil.



                  The PDC retrofit requires a 32mm hole to be drilled in the rear of the body.



                  The GTR airbox needs a few more things to be fully functional. Checking one item off was a throttle/cruise cable mount. I made one up in Fusion and 3D printed a prototype.










                  MSportParts | Braymond141

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tips and tricks for removing stubborn trim clips...

                    The inner door sill trim clips are held in quite firmly. When you remove them they have a tendency to pry up the metal. I documented the process and using a 3D printed tool to tap the metal back perfect.



                    Some holes are much worse, but you can see the curl in the metal from the clip being forced out.






                    MSportParts | Braymond141

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What else is there to say, but simply awesome. I so want to drive the end result. But then also not, as it will put my stock S50B32 to shame.

                      p.s. What exactly is this BMW M division rewrapped wheel? Does it mean it's rewrapped by BMW itself? Didn't know they offered such a service.
                      Last edited by MParallel; 11-25-2021, 03:50 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bimmertav View Post
                        Absolutely amazing and exciting. Thank you guys for taking us along for the journey!
                        Of course we're happy to share this. Honestly, if you don't share this with other enthusiasts then what's the point. The end product will be stunning etc.... But for me the there's just as much fun in the journey and the people you get to know and with whom you share your passion.


                        Originally posted by Nate047 View Post
                        Mannnnnn... This will be good. Also I like seeing the chalky airbag haha. When you say you're getting new black carpet, is that NOS or can you elaborate? Are you going to do the aluminum doors? Is the motorsport headliner for a sunroof or are you deleting that? Lastly, when will it be done so I can shoot it?
                        Haha. The airbag won't stay that way. That's the original airbag. I have a new one but It also got a little chalky. That airbag will be covered in nappa to match the steering wheel. There's a way to stitch the center part so that in case the airbag is ever deployed it breaks open there.

                        The carpet is brand new. I had it on order for a long time and BMW had finally made a run of them. Not sure if they are available now. So it's not NOS technically.

                        My goal with this build has always been to keep it 99% OE, OEM or BMW Motorsport (including other non-BMW parts Motorsport would have used). It also has to be period specific as much as possible. 99s did not offer Aluminum doors and they also don't work or have provisions for side airbags. Weight saving per door is about only 16lbs shell to shell comparison so it's not inconsequential but not all that much in the big scheme of things. With all the options and that fact that its now an evo spec, this is about as heavyweight as an E36 M3 coupe can get.

                        The headliner was wrapped in alcantara by BMW M division and I will not delete the sunroof. My goal is to make the ultimate iteration of the E36 M3 with pretty much every factory option that it could have come with and more. At the end of the day this is a street car and not a track car though my goal is to run it in historic races if I can.

                        Are you a photographer? I have dabbled in photography and have some decent Canon lenses etc.... When it's done it's all your to shoot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MParallel View Post
                          What else is there to say, but simply awesome. I so want to drive the end result. But then also not, as it will put my stock S50B32 to shame.

                          p.s. What exactly is this BMW M division rewrapped wheel? Does it mean it's rewrapped by BMW itself? Didn't know they offered such a service.
                          You already know that you have an open invitation to drive my car when it's done. For everyone else's info, without MParallel's help, I would not own that Motorsport Gp.A Carbon Intake and for that I am supremely grateful! This is what I mean about the journey of this build. You meet people and make friends which is what really makes this experience memorable and worth it.

                          When my car was in Germany at Classic, BMW M had done some interior work. For M cars, BMW M only does the interior and not Classic. It's not an independent service they offer as far as I know. It is wrapped in nappa to match the interior and was made to the thickness of the E46 M3 wheel.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Perhaps this project was meant to be form the beginning. Soon after I got my car I scored a few signatures. The one on the right is from a very famous person. The one on the left is also a very well known person among the original M3 crowd back in the day.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wow... After this is done can you both write a book together? This is going to be incredible!

                              Comment

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