Ask any enthusiast what makes the E92 M3 special, and almost everyone will name the engine, a high-revving V8 derived from BMW’s Formula One-inspired V10.
“I love the engine in that car, and I don’t think it’s on the horizon for BMW to ever make a normally aspirated V8 engine like that again,” says James Clay, who as the owner of BimmerWorld Racing has raced more than a few fast BMWs, including an E92 M3.
Thinking the car would be the last of its breed, he bought one for the road just before production ended. To make it extra-special, Clay ordered his car in medium blue paint from BMW Individual and with blue stitching on its black leather seats.
“After going through the hundred or so colors that you can order from BMW Individual, I decided to order Santorini Blue,” he says. “I took Performance Center delivery, and in the front room was this dark blue E92 M3. ‘That’s cool,’ I thought. ‘I wonder who’s getting that?’ Then they told me it was mine!”
Rather than Santorini blue, Clay’s car had been sprayed the darker San Marino, an M6 color.
“It was too late to order another one, so it came down to take it or leave it,” Clay says. “I’ve grown to love it, but it took me a while to warm up to it.”
Clay’s E92 M3 was delivered in June 2013, and he started modifying it as soon as he got it home to Virginia.