On February 5, 17 years ago, the 24 Hours of Daytona would mark the start of the 1995 IMSA GTS-2 season. More importantly, it would mark the start of BMW’s all-new GTS-2 M3 program. Organized in just 60 short days, a pair of E36 M3s that mirrored their showroom counterparts took to the infamous Florida track, to which they qualified pole and third on their first-ever outing.
The BMW E30 M3 is regarded by many as the best BMW ever made. It set standards still held today as to what a performance car should be; a certain degree of rawness yet the tameness to be a perfect daily driver. Known to many as “God’s Chariot”, and a machine not to be tampered with, many believe it was perfect just the way it came from the factory. If you are one of those people who believes that, I suggest you close your computer right now and quietly leave the room.
A large part of the automotive build process lies in the search. We scour classifieds, dig through boxes of parts, and roam junkyards looking for that thing that strikes us as “just right”. Each one of us has an image in our heads of the perfect car and it constantly infiltrates our daydreams. For some it’s a sleek black VIP car with flat lipped wheels cambered into radiused fenders.
A mere 6 hours away from the STANCE|WORKS headquarters lies one of the most well-known race tracks in the world. The (Mazda) Laguna Seca Raceway has been lapped time and time again by nearly every PlayStation and X-Box owning gearhead on the planet, yet the opportunity to experience the circuit first hand is little more than a distant wish for most of us.
As the sun slowly rose above the eastern horizon, peeking through the streets and alleyways of Long Beach, the sky began to turn a purplish-blue. A soft ambient light draped the paddock, accentuated by the bright red highlights of illuminated tail lamps. A crew of men dressed in blue and white pushed a pair of white purebred race cars out from the upper level of the transporters and slowly lowered them to the ground.