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Posts in Category: Project Coupes

LC61892 - Part 2: The Road Trip

2000 BMW M Coupe in Titanium Silver over Imola RedOne of my favorite parts of Projects Coupes is the great excuse for an M Coupe road trip. As I mentioned in my previous article, my wife got to join me for this trip. After saying our goodbyes to Rick and Lizete, Jenn and I hit the road. But instead of heading west to Colorado, we headed east. Maine was the only one of the 48 states in the continental U.S. that I hadn't visited before, and it was only 50 miles away. We crossed the border, headed to the coast, and found a great local sea food restaurant for dinner. We even managed to snag a prime table by the ocean-side window.

 

LC61892 - Part 1: Introduction

2000 BMW M Coupe in Titanium Silver over Imola RedThere's a good chance you may have heard me mention a Project Coupe over the past...ummm...year. This is admittedly a late introduction to a coupe I picked up on Memorial Day weekend 2017, but so it goes. Over time I've gotten more picky about the Project Coupes I choose which in turn I seem to like each one more than the last. This one I like a lot, so I've been in no hurry to let it go.

 

LC60723 - Part 1: Introduction & Buying Process

1999 BMW M Coupe in Alpine White over Dark BeigeWelcome to the newest installment of the Car Enthusiast Guides Project Coupe series! We’ve taken a bit of a break recently to allow for the purchase of a new home, the arrival of a baby and plenty of other life events. Now that our lives are a bit more settled, we're back with our newest project coupe that we feel like you’ll enjoy following as much as we'll enjoy wrenching on.

 

LK60129 - Part 2: Return to Form

2001 BMW M Coupe in Imola Red over Imola RedAs mentioned in Part 1, this project was less about repairs and more about returning a low mileage S54 to its former glory. Previous owners had made some modifications unbecoming of a 34k mile S54. The transformation over the past few months has been substantial. I find myself in the garage to stare more and more often.

 

LK60129 - Part 1: Introduction

Let me introduce you to the very first non-monochromatic Project Coupe. Looking back, I realized all of our coupes have either been black, white or more often than not, silver. Even the Z3 Project Coupe is sterling gray. Apparently we've been stuck in a rut. It's also just our second S54 project, and it just so happens to be the lowest mileage one we've had arriving with exactly 34,001 miles.

 

LC60885 - Introduction and Farewell

Step 1 of a proper introduction is exchanging names. This coupe's name is Bugs. It was given that moniker by its previous owner who purchased it at the ripe old age of 2 with only 18k miles way back in 2001. She lovingly cared for it from then on with only herself and BMW service ever having sat behind the wheel. 

 

LK61067 - Part 2: Devil's in the Details

What is there to say about this 2002 Titanium Silver over Imola Red example? Well, first of all it’s flat out gorgeous. Titanium Silver has a wonderful way of highlighting the car’s body lines and curves. There's a reason it was the most commonly selected exterior color during production. When Jon pulled up into my driveway (after driving over 1,000 miles) I was struck by how absolutely clean it was. Granted there were bugs on the bumper and windshield, but oh my goodness was this a clean example of a stock S54 M Coupe. The odometer reads slightly over 103k, but I would have guessed 50-60k upon first glance.

 

LK61067 - Part 1: Introduction

The story of this project coupe starts way back in the spring of 2011. I remember it coming on the market and loving the color combo (and 1 of just 16 S54s). I was then blown away by its condition with 88k miles. After reading the description I realized why it was so nice. The seller wouldn't even wear jeans in it for fear that the metal rivets would scratch the leather. He also replaced all the bushings, regularly washed the undercarriage, and was way ahead of the scheduled maintenance. My type of seller.

 

LC61069 - Part 5: Borrowing from the Best

In doing these projects coupes, we have found that many coupe-specific parts are getting either hard to find or very expensive. It takes some luck and/or creativity to gather all the parts you may need. The cool part about buying "used" parts is that they come with some history. I was in the garage looking at the project coupe the other day and realized it now has parts from a lot of very special coupes. Not only will the buyer of this coupe getting a well-sorted, beautiful, and fun to drive car; but they will also be getting a piece of coupe history.

 

LC61069 - Part 4: Details

While the Randy Forbes kit was obviously the largest project, it was just one of many to make this coupe the best it can be. As always, if you need to do any of the projects mentioned, feel free to ask and I can tell you how I did it or what articles or videos I followed.

 

LC61069 - Part 2: A Learning Experience

As Mark alluded to in Part 1, we always recommend pre-purchase inspections when buying a car sight unseen. It's too bad we did not heed our own advice. We were so excited about the deal that we did not even ask for additional photos. We were in for some surprises.

 

LC61586 - 2000 Titanium Silver over Black

While not technically an official "Project Coupe", this coupe has been treated as such, and I thought it deserved an article of it's own. Unlike our last couple project coupes, this one did not take much to get it fully sorted. The story started when a woman in Denver emailed me saying it was finally time to let her coupe go.  She had purchased it new with her husband from Weatherford BMW in Berkeley, CA in January 2000. It had always been garaged and given regular maintenance at dealerships or well known independent shops. She had every piece of documentation including dealer brochures and online articles she had printed out prior to purchase. It also only had 45,000 miles.

 

LC61069 - Part 1: Introduction

Aloha fellow dorks.  It’s been a while since our last article, and we’ve been busy since then.  We had a blast saving a coupe from the far reaches of Alaska, so we thought we’d cross an ocean for our next one.  Say hello to the next M Coupe Buyer’s Guide Project Coupe coming all the way from Hawaii.  It’s a 1999 Arctic Silver over Estoril Blue example with 85k on the odometer. You’ll see the only noticeable modifications are 19” E46 Style 67 M3 wheels and a significantly lowered suspension.  Aside from that, it’s a mostly stock example and will be our pride and joy for the next few months. Woohoo!

 

LC61254 - Part 3: And Done...

This project coupe is just about complete, and it came out better than even my high expectations. I'm probably most excited about the interior. If you remember, there was once a torn seat bolster, worn out seat bottom, disintegrating floor mats, sagging glove box, cheap chrome touch points, and a broken stereo. No more!

 

LC61254 - Part 2: Fixes and Updates

As noted in Part 1, this project coupe has been our biggest project yet. It has also been one of the most fun because of it. It's not quite done yet, but it's been awesome seeing it be completely transformed. When I first picked the coupe up from Alex's, I stopped at the local Cars & Coffee on the way home. To be honest, I was a little bit embarrassed to show up in it with the dented hood, peeling wheels, torn seat bolster, sagging glove box, a radio hanging out of the dash, and riding on snow tires in July. I was also afraid I'd stall it in front of hundreds of car guys because the clutch feel was so terrible. Now it's posing for photos worthy of posterizing and is as fun to drive as any coupe I've ever driven. How'd it get from there to here?

 

LC61254 - Part 1: Introduction

The story of this project coupe started way back on April 3rd. Every once in a while, I search Craigslist for random coupe-related terms that someone may post a listing under. This one was posted as a "ZM3 Coupe". Not only that, it was on the Fairbanks Craigslist. Yep, Fairbanks, Alaska. Oddly enough it had been posted for almost a month when I saw it. Apparently Fairbanks is not a hotbed of Cartel activity. The first question was, "how did it get there?"

 

 

 

LK60219 - Part 2

As most probably remember, I talked my dad into buying an S54 M Coupe last summer (I'm sure he knew it would happen eventually). It turned out to be in much better shape than we even hoped with the biggest surprise being the TC Kline D/A coilovers and camber plates with a later discovery of IE subframe bushings. Yep, we sort of won the unknowing Toyota dealership lottery. At 73,000 miles, it was not perfect however, and I've been working over the last 9 months to make all the needed corrections to make it feel as much like my coupe as possible.

 

LC60348 - Part 4: Detailing & Dyno

So far we've transformed the exterior of the coupe to a 100% stock appearance and the interior with a clean and functional hatch. It's dramatically safer with brand new rotors and pads and the engine is healthy with new fluids and fully functioning oil lines. The final step in the process is to clean up the final exterior details, test how powerful the supercharger really is, and find this coupe a new loving home.

 

LC60348 - Part 3: Mechanicals

With all of the DIY fixes completed, it was time to bring the coupe in to our friends at PTech to get their professional opinion. We took a bit of a risk buying this coupe without a proper PPI, so I was anxious to finally get it professionally inspected.

 

LC60348 - Part 2: DIY

It's time to update you on the status of our project coupe! Once I got the coupe to San Ramon after a long spirited drive, I called Performance Technic to schedule an appointment for an overall inspection. They were booked for another couple weeks, so I figured I'd tackle what I could on my own before bringing it into the shop for the bigger projects.

After some discussion with Jon and Rick, we concluded that a major objective with this coupe would be to return the exterior to 100% stock appearance to maximize the appeal for the future owner. I look at a stock appearance as sort of a "blank canvas" that the new owner can modify how he/she sees fit without being distracted by the previous owner's modifications

 

LC60348 - Part 1: Introduction

It’s my pleasure to introduce the third M Coupe Buyer’s Guide Project Coupe!  

We came across this 1999 Arctic Silver over Dark Gray coupe for sale in Fullerton, CA not long after our last project coupe was sold. There weren’t many pictures in the craigslist ad (7), but from what we could tell it was in good condition. We ran a Carfax on the coupe, showing it started it’s life in Pennsylvania and was sold in 2010 to it’s 2nd owner in SoCal and quickly made it over to it’s 3rd owner in 2012 (the seller). It also only had 53k miles.

 

LK60219 - Like Son, Like Father

I can honestly say my dad has had more influence on my life than any other single person. A high school scholarship essay I wrote attesting to this even made it’s way into the appendix of a parenting book, so it feels good to have a little positive influence in return. I’m pleased to introduce the newest member of the Coupe Cartel, my father, Randy Martin.

 

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