At first glance, Jefferson Ho’s Estoril Blue E36 M3 looks like your average older M car. A closer look, though, makes it clear that the car is far more interesting than most.
Ho’s 1998 M3 first came to our attention on social media, when a photo shoot of the car went viral. Like everyone else who saw it, we were intrigued by the car’s aggressive track stance and E36 M3 Lightweight-inspired appearance. We wanted to see the car in person, but that wouldn’t be easy since this M3 and its owner live in Vancouver, British Columbia, nearly 1,000 miles north of us. Fortunately, Ho and an entourage of friends made the drive down south to Los Angeles last year, when we finally got to see his car in person.
As impressed as we were that Ho would make such a long drive in a 17-year-old modified BMW, we were even more impressed after watching his M3 carve the canyon roads here in Southern California. The car was so fast and composed that it deserved to be seen in Bimmer, so we made our way north a year later to meet with Ho and photograph his car on its home turf.
A family affair
Like so many enthusiasts since the automobile was invented, Jefferson Ho bonded over cars with his father, from whom inherited his love of Bavarian machinery.
“BMWs were a big part of my childhood growing up due to the fact that my dad and his three brothers all owned E30s,” says Ho. “It’s also what kept my dad and me close.”
Interestingly, his father’s E30 was the only one out of the fraternal bunch that had been modified. His father’s tinkering inspired Jefferson to modify his own cars, starting with Japanese makes before diving into the BMW pool with an E9X 3 Series just like one his dad owned, right down to the color.