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1. Tell us the story behind your ride. What made you pick this particular one? Where did you find it? I test drove a Z3 in 1996 after seeing one in "Golden Eye". I loved the car--it was small, light, and fun to drive. Although I couldn't afford it at the time, I didn't forget about the Z3. Five years later I still wanted a Z3, and they had become more attainable. I started looking, and eventually located and purchased a near perfect condition garage queen Z3 1.9 in Miami only 13,000 miles on the odometer. 2. Describe the modifications you have made. Where did you start, what’s the most recent mod and what motivated it? Over the last 17 years I've owned the car, little by little it has become fairly heavily modified. At first it was a daily driver and just had a few basic mods like aftermarket wheels and stereo. After the car was no longer my daily driver I added some more modifications, including a supercharger, exhaust, and sport suspension. My taste in cars and how I use them has evolved over the years. By 2014 the racing bug bit hard. At that point the modifications became more track oriented, such as a half cage, race tuned suspension, bigger brakes, racing seats, and weight reduction. 3. Of all the mods you’ve made, which do you think offers the biggest bang for the buck? The supercharger absolutely transformed the car. It added about 100 horsepower after the custom ECU tune, which is huge in lightweight car. Although the investment was significant, the value is massive. 4. How did you go about selecting the specific parts for this build? Any installation tips to share? I don't believe in cutting corners. With every part I added, I tried to select the best part for the application. Before any part was selected, I did significant research to makes sure the part I selected the best choice. Parts availability for the Z3--and more specifically the Z3 1.9--is sparse in comparison to most modern BMWs. Because of that some parts had to be customized to fit. Fortunately the Z3 is a fairly basic car, so most installs are relatively straight forward. 5. What’s been the biggest challenge with this build? Off the showroom floor the Z3 1.9 is not exactly known for great performance. It was quite a challenge--and often trial and error--to get the car to accelerate, handle, and brake as well as it does now. 6. What are you planning next? I recently purchased a second hand BMW M44 race motor built by renowned BMW tuner Metric Mechanic. I'm in the process of rebuilding it to install in my Z3. It should significantly increase power and further liven up the car.
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