While Jim Tengström’s automotive journey began with a Mazda 323, since 2010 he’s been a BMW guy.
It all started at an event called Bimmers Of Sweden. Being surrounded by BMW cars and enthusiasts of the German brand made an instant impression.
Before we continue with the subject of this spotlight – Jim‘s wide-body E46 M3 – I need to show you the shared garage where it’s kept, where we met. There was so much interesting stuff in here that I didn’t know where to look first.
Outside the M3 I had come to shoot, it was the Audi S2 Avant that I was immediately drawn to. Jim told me that this thing packs a serious punch. To the left of the Audi was another E46 under the knife, its red roll cage giving me some idea of where it’s going. It might be worth me returning in the future for a proper garage tour, but for now let’s get back to the story at hand…
Jim’s first BMW was an 1986 M535i (E28), and from there he moved straight to this E46 M3, which was acquired from his cousin who was moving onto a 1M Coupe.
An initial round of upgrades were made during Sweden’s cold winter months, and these included a Schmiedmann exhaust system and wheels. During the following summers, Jim drove the M3 as often as he could. It’s how the record plays in this part of the world.
In 2018, things began getting a little more serious, starting with the interior.
Jim purchased a pair of Recaro Pole Position seats and had custom diamond Alcantara sections with extra cushioning added to make the daily drive a tad more comfortable. A Wiechers Sport roll cage was custom painted in gold pearl to match the theme of the car, and other details like Takata Racing harnesses, a Sparco steering wheel and Coolerworx shifter were fitted.
In this form, Jim entered the M3 in Sweden’s Elmia Custom Motor Show before taking a year off the build ahead of the most major upgrade – a Flossman Auto Design M3 GTR wide-body kit in glorious carbon fiber.
As Jim’s interest in BMWs grew, the company’s rich race car history really stood out to him as something special. Flossman have been creating BMW race car kits in Germany since 1980, so fitting their product to the M3 ticked a heritage box. The gold color and livery take this one step further, Jim’s inspiration being the 1979 Warsteiner BMW M1.
The rear wing meanwhile is a Geoff Steel carbon fiber item.
Jim runs a couple of sets of wheels on his E46, and on the day I caught up with him the car was wearing its track day option – OEM 18×9.5-inch BMW E92 M3 shoes. In the suspension and brake department you’ll find BC Racing coilovers, and Porsche 987 4-pot calipers clamping BMW E46 M3 CSL 345mm rotors via PFC11 pads.
The M3 has a stance that’s aggressive but still functional. There are so many speed bumps in Sweden that running the car at a super-low height would gravely endanger the Flossman carbon kit, so Jim keeps things practical. He plans to drop the rear a little further though, just to balance things up.
Up front, it’s mostly a stock affair with the only changes made to the factory 3.2L S54B32 setup being a K&N filter, the aforementioned exhaust system and a Radium oil catch can. Jim reckons the engine now makes around 350hp, which suits him nicely for daily driving duties and fun track excursions. That said, a little more never hurts and to that end an E46 M3 CSL intake and ECU will soon be added to the mix.
At that point, Jim will consider the M3 complete, which means he can move onto his next project which, surprisingly, is not a BMW but an old Jeep Cherokee. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that.