How do you take one of the best modified E90 M3s ever created, and make it even better? How do you add to a car nearly any enthusiast would call perfect, without taking the project too far? These are the questions we had to ask ourselves at IND when Felix’s amazing Dakar Yellow BMW Individual M3 arrived at our facility. Although we have all seen photos of this M3 before, and even provided many of the parts already on the car, my heart skipped a beat when this car rolled off of our car transport. Felix is a man of excellent taste, and has already created one of the best machines in the US, in terms of performance, feel, and of course it’s striking appearance.
Adding to this BMW Individual M3 without diluting it’s already spectacular presence and truly completing this M3 was our task. We knew that just a few missteps, a few custom parts too many would take this car too far, and that it would be crucial to proceed with good taste.
Enhancing the car’s details was our ultimate plan of attack, and to that end we addressed the exterior, interior, and engine bay with hopes of taking this M3 from amazing to world-beating.
We started outside the car by adding one of it’s key show pieces- the original carbon fiber mirrors from the BMW Motorsport program. Coupled with the car’s Varis diffuser and IND carbon roof, these mirrors perfectly enhance the personality of this Dakar beast. The remainder of the exterior of this car was already stellar, with BBS FI wheels, Brembo brakes, a Vorsteiner GTS-V front lip, a rear diffuser from 3D Design, and even the rare E90 M3 carbon roof conversion from us at IND, we knew that the exterior could be left well enough alone.
After installing the BMW Motorsport mirrors, we moved on to painted details, and addressed what felt like hundreds of small items. From the gloss black painted fasteners holding the Varis diffuser together, to the gloss black painted hose clamps in the engine bay, to the gloss black painted speaker surrounds inside the car, no stone was left unturned in creating a perfectly finished feel. The engine bay saw a comprehensive refinish with Carbon Fiber strut bars by Dinan, textured black powdercoated valve covers, Dakar yellow ignition coil covers, and painted ESS supercharger and diverter valve. The ESS intake manifold got a coating of Lamborghini’s Grigio Estoque paint, with a special addition of pearl coat from IND.
The bulk of the effort was spent on perfecting the car’s interior. The already fantastic BMW Performance seats were disassembled completely and re-stitched with Dakar Yellow thread in both the seat’s perimeter and BMW Performance logo located in the headrest. The seat backs were repainted in a high gloss black with yellow flake, designed to match the custom IND painted interior trim already in the car. The trim pieces in the seats were refinished in a simpler gloss black to give the seats an overall subtle look that could have come directly from BMW.
The dash was removed and reupholstered in black leather, again giving the work an original BMW Individual feel that would not detract from the rest of the car. To coordinate with the car’s headliner, the door panels were subtly split and their upper half was refinished in alcantara fabric, while leaving the lower half in original BMW leather to resist wear and maintain the car’s daily usability. A genuine M3 GTS center arm rest was obtained through German contacts at BMW. From the arm rest the eye will travel back to the show piece of the interior- a custom built roll bar, welded in place as one piece by Fall Line Motorsports and finished in Dakar Yellow by IND. A rear closeout was built to resemble the M3 GTS as closely as possible, while adapting the closeout to the different dimensions of the sedan. Finally, yellow seat belts were added to the front of the car, and may be my personal favorite single piece on the car.
We hope that coupled with the parts we’d already provided for this E90 prior to it’s visit to IND, the work we’ve done over the past month and a half makes this Dakar Yellow E90 one of the best in the US. Enjoy the photos!