There are parts of Canada so rural, a diehard gearhead could live his entire life without ever seeing an E46 BMW M3. Hold that thought for a second – never seeing one in person, only in magazines and online!
Such was the case for Kenton von Hollen. He’d never seen one until he actually bought an M3. For all he knew, it could have been a unicorn, but that didn’t stop him from believing and buying a 2003 E46 BMW M3 in Imola Red.
“I’ve always been a car guy, having owned a built Z31 300ZX with a big turbo as well as a Duramax diesel truck that made over 1200 lb-ft. But I’d always wanted a European car because they seemed more sophisticated, comfortable and fast but could haul my family,” von Hollen said. “I live in a rural province of Canada (Alberta) that’s bigger than California yet only has three car dealerships. It’s the kind of desolate place where you don’t see performance cars too often,” he added.
As a result of his geographical location, he’d never laid eyes on a real E46 M3 until the day he bought one.
“I’d never seen one, but based on everything I’d read, I knew it was the car for me,” Kenton confirmed. “I can still remember the first time I drove the BMW M3. The handling was out of this world and it was built so well. It was everything I’d hoped for,” he added.
Two short months after buying the 2003 BMW M3, he was about to embark on a journey that would begin with a Stage 2 turbo kit. Five days after delivering the car at HPF, it was making 600whp with methanol injection and 110-octane leaded fuel. As luck would have it, on his long drive home, von Hollen cooked two pistons in the motor. The loss of compression was traced back to a faulty boost controller and a malfunctioning fuel pump. Depressed by his bad fortune, von Hollen was unwilling to admit defeat and wasted little time having M&B Cylinder Heads build him a low-compression short block. When run on the same 110/meth combo, it made 680whp with an extra 100 lb-ft of torque compared to when the bottom-end was stock.
3.2L straight-six 24v S54 motor with M&B Cylinder Heads and Lab22 built motor with 11.5:1 Wiseco pistons, Crower rods, heavy-duty wrist pins, balanced crank, M&B head, Supertech valve springs, Dr Vanos rebuilt Vanos with cryogenically-treated exhaust hub, Steed Speed CNC’ed exhaust manifold, HPF scavenge oil system, Radium catch can, Lab22 black anodized FMIC, intake manifold and pipe, 71mm Precision PT7168 billet turbo, 44mm Tial wastegate, twin HKS SSQV blow-off valves, AEM Infinity engine management, Walbro 255LPH in-tank pump,ID2000cc Injectors, Radium multi-pump surge tank with twin Walbro 400 E85 fuel pumps, PTFE lines and anodized fittings, Flex Fuel ethanol sensor, fuel temp and pressure sensors, Vibra-Technic engine mount
six-speed manual transmission with OS Giken R3C triple-disc clutch and lightweight flywheel, Autosolutions short shifter with race bushings, ZHP illuminated shift knob, reinforced subframe, Driveshaft Shop Level 5 axles, Vibra-Technic transmission mount
Brembo monoblock six-piston calipers, 355mm grooved rotors f, four-piston, 345mm r, Ferodo DS2500 street pads, Cobalt Friction XR1/XR3 track pads
TCKline dual adjustable coilovers, camber plates, Powerflex subframe and control arm bushings
Wheels & Tires
18×9″ ET 35 f, 18×10.5″ ET 27 r Apex ARC-8 wheels, 5mm front spacers, 265/35 R18 f, 275/40 R18 r Toyo R888 tires
widened rear fenders, BMW CSL trunk, carbon fiber front splitters, painted reflectors, smoked LED turn signals, Depo smoked corners, black hood and kidney grilles
AEM wideband and boost gauges mounted in rearview mirror, custom pedal covers and clutch stop, LED lighting
Dynavin D99+ head unit, JL Audio 10W3V3-2 subwoofer and XD700/5 amp, GAS E46 H/K crossover