Guest Blog: Andy Sapp>> Battle Scarred E46

Buried in the heart of the Dirty South, my battle-scarred E46 creeps through a confederate graveyard sharing rank with the soldiers that lie beneath it. Battle takes a  toll on everything in it's path, and like each headstone in this cemetary… every scratch, scrape and dent has a story to tell. This war-hardened machine has been to hell and back, and still lives to tell her tales.

My name is Andy Sapp. This is my drift car. Although commonly mistaken for an E46 M3, the car is actually a 2001 325Ci. It does not have a big turbo, fancy supercharger, or little blue bottle in the trunk. The car is not lightweight, cheap to work on, or easy to fix. It has more electronic systems woven into it than I can keep track of, most of which  always work against me. Despite all of these things, I can tell you… for me there is no better drift car on the planet.

I got this car new in 2001 with 7 miles on it. I started drifting it in 2003, and by 2005 it became my dedicated track machine to compete in Formula Drift. At that time, the car had around 40K on the clock. This past weekend she rolled past 123,000 miles.

If ever there were doubts to the quality of German engineering… throw them out now. This car has seen over 83,000 miles of absolutely obliterating the rev-limiter, yet still retains it's turn-key reliability it had when I first got it. Aside from general maintenance items, the only major replacements have been sensors (all of them), clutches (many), and a transmission. I suppose I can't forget corner lenses and taillights… but those are my fault!  Simply stated… this car is built for war.

And like a good soldier, she follows orders… which sometimes inflicts bodily harm. But with each scar, comes a tale of great battle. The front fog-light missing from a demo in 2006, bumper lens shattered and missing from a tandem collision with another BMW, and rear bumper-scrape after rear bumper-scrape from walls across the country.

I have had more fun in the driver-seat of this car than I ever could have imagined.  Let's take a closer look at what makes this car tick.

An immediate attention-getter, the Um•Nitza Predator Orion V2 LED Angel Eyes give the car a sinister ‘evil' glare. The ViS Racing Sports lip kit helps to give the car it's bulldog stance… although after 3 years of plowing cones, snapping zipties and being dragged around course – it has seen better days.

Around back we see a Turner Motorsport CSL fiberglass trunk held down with Protex fasteners. I think this trunk was a prototype, because it is only a bare shell with nowhere to bolt the factory trunk latch. A pair of Aspec tips protrude from the bumper  c/o Foerst Motorwerks.

Up front I have a pair of Racing Dynamics RGP's… 17×8.5ET13 wrapped 235.40.17 in Advan Neova AD07's. Gran Turismo East keeps the alignment dialed on the car, and work their magic to stretch the rear tires.

For the rear I run a pair of matching RGP's, but 17×9.5ET20.5 wrapped 215.45.17. These wheels are out-of-production and very hard to find. Over the years I have acquired a large collection of them. I am always looking for more… especially these rears.

Under the hood looks about the same as it looked when I got the car. The Conforti intake is about the only noticeable difference. I removed the factory plastic engine cover for easier spark-plug access at the track. The car has a set of used TMS World Challenge headers, a Conforti ECU reflash (Shark Injector), and a set of TMS underdrive pulleys. It puts down about 180HP/170TQ last time it was on the dyno.

The car has fully adjustable arms and plates from TMS, along with every billet aluminum bushing they offer. All of the aluminum bushings make the car very predictable. The UUC Motorwerks 1.0" sway bars combined with Bilstein PSS9 coilovers could be a bit stiffer for my liking. The car still has a lot of body-roll at times

This is where the music gets turned up, and the thrashing begins. The custom 6-pt rollcage was built to spec in 2005 with full interior. The air conditioning and stereo are still in the car.

A close-up of the cockpit controls. The delrin shifter and Powered by Max hydro e-brake are the newest additions. The e-brake remains useless until I can fully disable ABS without the ECU tripping into limp-mode. Wood grain?  Oh yes.

I'll wrap things up with the car in it's element. There is nothing more I love than moments like these. Full tilt, foot through the firewall, and charging into battle. I never intended for this car to become an all-out drift machine… or for the car to be a war-hardened veteran. Looking back, though… I wouldn't change a thing.

Keep drifting fun.  Or else.

-Andy Sapp



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Bout time! haha! Great article Andy, I remember back when I first saw you at "Southern Fried Slide" with the "Open diff NA style" stickers on your car. Man it's come a long way *thumbs up*


yes sapp!


yes sapp!


Well I like this car but I'm getting boring with all this stuff.



All this Stuff of BMW is getting boring.


This car is SICK. Awesome awesome awesome.


this car is amazing. andy proves you don't need big hp or a high dollar build to have a shitload of fun drifting, and still do it competitively. much respect


Chile is boring


pure awesome. a car that is used and abused, gotta love it.

some show, mostly go.. that's what I dig. much better than looking at a stock m3 that was posted earlier. how did you get ahold of the world challenge headers? thank you.

I can't wait to turn my current IS300 into a dirty track car, right now it is still a DD so it plays the part... as most a street car can.


Is it the BMW two-month-special??


Sapper!!! good pics.


Battle Scarred? Barely. Does look good though.


probably my favorite bmx of this month :D


Awesome! Car, pics, writeup, everything.


My facelifted 330Ci is getting a lot of inspiration from your build, but I still don't know if I want to get the Kaaz LSD, I think I'll be going OS Giken


About time they had an entry on Andy Sapp. Love it! A BMW driven to the limit, just like it should be.


Yeah, ill be honnest, i'm not reading speed hunters as much due to the bombardment with BMW's

wheres the variety gone?


Great writeup/history. Car is really impressive, good job man!


I don't care what kind of car it is or what month it is, that was an awesome writeup. I can tell that car's like a best friend, the world would be a better place with more such car/driver combinations.


Skrate murdaaaaaaaa!




You run some sticky 235's in the front with no stretch, and stretched 215's in the back? What in the world? I guess you never plow with that setup.


FYI BMW haters it was BMW month all of Sept. so suck it.


Great Article Andy.




This car i well known by the BMW fans. Great work Andy, perfect E46, would lové to hear that particylar sound !


great car. I love those battle scars


Inspiration for my car


Nothing quite like a roughed up Bavarian biatch ;) nice change from the usual OCD clean style.

The stance is down right dirty too with the dished 17's. "Simply stated... this car is built for war."

couldn't have put it better!





<3 Marty


Seems you're having a lot of fun (and scares) in the driver seat! :P


I had 43 of andy sapps love children. awesome article. awesome pics.


other than those stupid german electronics this car/driver combo absolutley rocks!

did i mention i dislike the german electronics?


Not bad for a drifting E46 with a lil jdm look in my opinion...


love the article!

super surprised at the low amount of power he's making! its like the ae86 of bmw!

super bored of all the bmw articles like previous posters have said tho.. lol


Andy, have you thought about using a separate caliper on the rear discs for the handbrake? you could basically create a whole secondary rear brake system that doesn't use any of the original BMW electronics. Willwood should be able to set you up with everything for not too much cash.


now THAT is damn cool, he's proud to have a solid driving machine and has no qualms about it NOT being an M3. have to say I appreciate the use the car has seen and his dedication to keeping the car DD friendly and extremely streetable w/ a/c and a stereo, etc. awesome article and pix, wish there were more rides JUST like this one, and more people ON TRACK too~!


Nice! I admire you for using your car to its full potential! Now it is even greater than the engineers that designed it could have ever imagined :DD couldnt help but smile, You are keeping it REAL


this is my absolute favorite car to ride in and driver to ride with, super smooth and aggressive, I cant wait till the next event.


Love the car, love the article.

Why do people complain about the "bombardment of BMW aricles" when we've only just come to the end of BMW month? Seriously you act about 12 guys, also don't get worked up because you're not seeing anything japanese, this is speedhunters, not japanhunters.


awesome pics and write up. andy rips like no other. ATL!


Bayerische Manure Wagon. what's so special about a sissy beamer ?


Thanks to everyone for such great comments!

@ reefer: I stumbled on those TMS headers in the 'used bin' on their website. They SCREAM!

@ Vraiu: Yes... the car looks pretty beat up in person - the pictures hide the damage, hahaha.

@ David W: Go for the KAAZ! It is bulletproof. Definitely give Dan a shout at!

@ Carl S: Yes, because of the car's weight, I like to have more meat up front - because the car has no power the stretched rears work great for me.

@ Justin Lancon: Separate calipers might be my next avenue to try and get around the ECU's temper tantrum with trying to disable the ABS. :)

Thanks again to everyone for such a positive response. This car really means the world to me, so to receive such great comments definitely means a lot!



tailpipes remind me of a '67 Maserati it bitches. I think you should start DTM'ing it along with drifitng.


car just proves what you can do when you stop just getting wet over forum's :P


Super cool