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December 2019 Car of the Month: BlackbirdM3

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    December 2019 Car of the Month: BlackbirdM3

    ***Editors Note: I've known Will for years and he's been a huge help with my Datsun Roadster, but I tend to forget that this man also daily drives his M3, and has for years and years. This is how it should be. Nothing more to say. Thanks Will for letting me feature your M3***

    Build Date: 10/1987


    ~165K miles on it and has for the most part been pretty bullet proof.

    Beyond that, the car is pretty much stock. I do have an IIGo SS91 chip, and the EVO 3 lower air box (not the carbon Alpha N setup) as well as a stainless steel double sheer shift fork, The stock muffler rusted out so I replaced it with a stainless steel Stromung muffler.

    The future holds an engine rebuild, with an EVO 2 intake cam on the exhaust side, and an Evo 3 cam on the intake. This will require a new chip and possibly new injectors (It might happen sooner than later since the cams are sitting here waiting for me to install them.) I'd really like a carbon air box as well. (Oh the noise an S14 with Alpha N and a carbon intake makes....) The car is driven just about every day, rain, snow, or 100+ degree heat. I cant think of a single car that I'd rather own and drive.

    A well sorted E30 M3 reallly is the Ultimate Driving Machine.

    It has undergone many 5 different iterations. It took me a long time to get the car right.
    - Turner J stock springs
    - TC Kline revalved Koni Sports.
    - In 2016 I was forced to replace all my rear suspension bushings... Oh what fun that was. The new ones are either poly or delrin bushings. At this time I also fitted a Z3 finned differential cover.

    Why isn't everyone running this setup? Yep its firm, but not harsh. Way more plush than the H&R race springs that were less than half the spring rate. This made the car a proper sports touring car. A totally transformative change.

    (Editors note: I agree and if LAs roads werent so disastrous Id still have this setup on my own E30)

    BBS RK 16x8 wheels that would accept a 225/45/16 tire.

    Story Behind the Car:

    The car was first sold in Lomita CA to a Japanese BMW Dealership owner 4-16-1990. It was shipped to Japan. It came back to North America in May of 2010, but in London Ontario Canada. The owner then moved to Vancouver Canada and put the car up for sale in June 2011. I went back and forth with him waiting for the insurance claim from the wreck of my '69 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV, until late November of 2011. I had the $, the car looked clean, so I bought a plane ticket to Vancouver Canada and went to get the car. I bought the car with a little over 74000 miles on it. The previous owner had redone the interior with the Recaro fabric not early in 2011.

    I had all the paperwork for the border crossing, and they did little more than look at the VIN # and then sent me on my way. Two days later I arrived home with my M3. Over 1000 miles with no plates and not even as much as a second glance. I got the car smogged, passed with flying colors then off to the DMV... The local DMV came out and had a look, all the paperwork was in order, it had been sold in CA to start with, so I was told there shouldn't be any issues with the registration. They issued the temp plates, and off I went thinking it was all good and the plates would show up at any time. Four months or so later, still no plates. I contacted the DMV, and they insisted that the car was Canadian, and I was going to have to get written proof from BMW Canada saying that the emissions system was California legal. Of course, BMW Canada laughed at me and told me that it was a US car, and to get lost. So, I had to prove that it was a US car (Even though the DMV could see the date and location of where it was first sold.) I went back and forth with Sacramento for another month knowing full well that the temp license had days left. I had provided all the required info to get it registered, but the people in Sacramento could not fathom that the car had gone to Canada, and then come back. Finally I was on my way home late one night when I was pulled over by the local police for not having any plates on the car. I showed the guy the clearly visible temp plate in the rear window, explained the situation, including showing him all the paperwork and copies of the emails that had gone back and forth to the Sacramento DMV. The following day I called Sacramento and voiced my displeasure over being pulled over due to their inability to get their acts together. A week later my real plates arrived.

    People wonder what my license plate means. Its a very strong reference to the Lockheed SR-71. When the predecessor to the SR-71 called the A-12 Cygnus arrived at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa Japan, the locals feared it and named it Habu. The name of a very rare, deadly pit viper that was found in that part of the Japanese islands. The ground crews found out about it, and kinda dug the name, so they kept it. The name carried on with the name when the SR-71s arrived less than a year later. Of course, the SR-71 is the fastest, highest flying air breathing aircraft ever built. It was big, black and somewhat menacing. When the flight crew became mission ready, they received two patches. One was a shield that reads HABU, and another in the shape of a diamond around the shape of the SR-71 with MACH 3 across the bottom. The BMW M3 was of course designed to be a racecar first, and a street car second. It is to this day the best Touring car ever built winning 1436 times, winning the British touring car Championship twice, Euro Touring car championship twice, Australian Touring car Championship twice, DTM twice, Italian Touring car Champ 4 times, and one (nearly two) World Touring Car Championship. (Ceccato would have won his second, but was taken out by a young Michael Schumacher at the exit of the first corner of the race on the first lap of the race.) In other words it was, and still is the greatest touring car in history. Because both my BMW M3, and the SR-71 were black, built for one purpose, and untouchable in their own respects. With my car specifically, it was built in Germany (flown over by the SR-71) , first sold in Southern California (where the SR-71 was built) shipped to Japan (where they flew the SR-71 from) I took the liberty of referencing the SR71 (HABU) and adding the M3 (Mach 3) to give me HABU M3.

    I do autoX the car, and have won my class more times than I haven't. I have yet to lose to a later M3 on street tires (I've never run R compounds on the car.) I have never taken it out on the big track, but I'd like to at some point.

    Get out and drive em!

    Current Car:
    -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
    -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project

    Make R3V Great Again -2020

    Beautiful car and I dig the Habu strory!
    sigpic84 325e


      For a car that's daily'd it is pretty spotless. Beautiful car and cool story, congrats!
      '86 325e Zinnoberrot /// '02 325ci Schwarz II /// '18 M4 Azurite Black Metallic ///

      Albie325 Build Thread | Albie325 COTM Jan 2021


        Very cool. Congrats on COTM!


          This car is sick. Cool story flying to Canada and driving it back without plates. That is wild! haha!


            Awesome story! Well deserved car of the month.