We love a vehicle with a good story, well-built cars are nice and all but something substantial is forever memorable.
Richard's E46 caught our attention early, the first time we were tagged on Instagram we were instantly smitten. It was a Euro with JDM influence, and more importantly it wasn't trying too hard but the details made sense.
We organised a photoshoot, and had a chat with him in what is actually a very personal build. "This car was my dad's, and I was lucky enough to get it given to me when I began to drive," he told us when we pried into the car's history, " I was never into Euros but over time I slowly got attached to it".
Tuning for Euros (we're not talking VAG or modern-day direct-injection turbos) has never really been a focal point for any enthusiast in Australia, but there is a massive culture in the US and of course, Europe. Richard remembers, "it took me a year or two to understand, but then I got hooked", and off he went on his modification journey. Like many with their first car, the modifications were bolt-ons, but he benefitted from a recent 2.8L engine rebuild.
The mods list under his ownership isn't extensive, brand new bushings all round, BC coilovers and a Magnaflow exhaust system, however people tend to forget that more does not always equate to better. Richard has focused on driving the actual car, "the bushings have made a big difference, even with the stock sway bars the car is so smooth".
This makes sense, his dad was a mechanic and some of his lessons to Richard are gems, "I've learnt to never take my car for granted in terms of not taking care of it, driving it and not appreciating it". Cars are meant to be driven, but like everything that you care about, they need to be maintained, treated with respect and the rewards you get out of the car, are only a result of the work you put in.
He expands, "growing up we were the most financially stable, so it was important to take care of your belongings". Hindsight is a great thing as it gives a sense of perspective. As a kid, Richard "begged dad for a new car" because his group of friends only appreciated JDM. Nowadays though, Richard's more than happy with his E46, "this is an opportunity for me to build something unique to me and my life".
Richard has big future plans for the car, he is by no means finished or looking for the next build. Currently budgeting for a turbo kit, he also intends on going widebody, "probably get a kit from you guys at Carbonetics". While we appreciate his plans for us to get further involved, to us the car is already a unique creation.
Next time you listen to a story told by your friends, pay close attention to what you're actually intrigued by. More often than not, it's the lead up to the ending, not the conclusion itself. When it comes to cars, we tend to arrive at the same destination, but we all get there differently. The journey is what makes it worth the listen.
Grateful to have honest, fulfilled enthusiasts like Richard in the community, because people like him make all of us richer in our minds!
-2.8L M52 Rebuilt Motor (Bearings, Gaskets, Injectors, Pistons)
- Simota Cold Air Intake System with Carbon Fibre Cover
- Cat-less Headers, Decat, Resonator Delete with a 3-inch Dual Exit Magna-Flow muffler
- ECU Tuned
- Epman Racing Short Shifter
- Whiteline Front Strut Brace