It’s a phrase used by the military to describe operations that gradually increase in scope until they go way beyond their original intent. It’s a phrase that can also describe the evolution of many a project car.
Take the 2004 E46 M3 owned by young Southern California enthusiast Robert Henning. When he first decided to tune the car for more performance, he envisioned only a few upgrades.
“I think the first real modification was a CSL-style carbon fiber rear diffuser,” he recalls. “I was looking into full exhaust and pulley packages after that, but the price was almost as much as a supercharger.”
It was enough to make Henning consider his alternatives. Doing a bit of casual exploration, Henning came across a company in the Pacific Northwest called HPF, which stands for the self-explanatory Horsepower Freaks. Intrigued by HPF’s turbocharging kits, Henning decided to skip the piecemeal mods altogether.
“One day, I just decided to save my money a little longer,” he says.
And thus the mission began to creep.
Big power and a bulletproof motor
This is Henning’s second M3. Although the first ended its days in a traffic accident, he liked it enough that he bought another one soon afterwards.
“I love everything about the E46 M3,” he admits. “I think it is one of the best M3s ever made. It looks amazing next to brand-new cars and has a timeless body style. A stock M3, if put into the hands of the right drivers, can do wonders around a track. It’s just an all-around amazing car any way you look at it.”