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Friday, January 22, 2016

Saucin'. Mark Labuschagne's cambered E46 M3.

Words & Photos: Mahesh Kalain

I over-heard a friend saying “80% of the reason why I came to Cape Town for OTF was to see Mark’s M3.” I understand why. Now, let’s face it, we almost never see heavily lowered BMW M3’s in South Africa, especially cambered out to this extent. I first heard about this car when Amish Raga, from Euro-Worx, down in Port Elizabeth, installed air ride. Photographs started to surface, and I kept a watch on this build, originally sporting a set of OEM M3 CSL wheels. When a car is stock, it’s what the factory wanted it to look like, feel like, and drive like. Then you get us, a different breed of car people, who are never satisfied with just being “factory”. A personal touch needs to be added, and it may start in a small way, maybe a set of wheels, better tires, possibly an exhaust system, and eventually, well, you know where this ends up.

It came to no surprise that when a good friend sent me a photo of this M3 on a new set of wheels, with major camber, I knew I had to make a plan to spend some alone time with it. As the OTF show came closer, I heard that this car was on show. Poised upon a set of bespoke CCW LM5T wheels, this M3 already had me. You see, cars like this exist only on the internet. Seeing something of this calibre isn’t common on this side of the pond. We see cars like this online, and then try and emulate the idea on our own builds, but on a budget. It never works, and if it does, it comes to a dismal end. Cars like this are what thrive within the stance and custom car world. Simple approach of the less is more theory, where quality far outshines quantity. To most people, all this car has is a wheel set, and a lowering system... What’s so special then?

Personally, I believe that the speciality lies within the fitment and wheel choice. Fitting something that isn’t meant for the application is a menacing task, but when completed, it makes every sense. The doubt fades away, and looking at the complete package from a far completes the project. Taking the time to taste-fully source a set of wheels, and doing the research regarding the perfect fitment is a task on its own. Speaking to Mark, he liaised with a chap named Nick Craft over on Instagram, who has built a properly fitted E46 M3 of his own. Sporting the camber and, wheel set up that Mark was after, Nick was the man for the advise.

Even though the car basically has a wheel, and a suspension set up, personally, I believe that this car emphasizes exactly what the stance scene locally is missing. This is the missing puzzle. This car ticks all the boxes for insane camber and wheel fitment. People often criticize the lack of ‘things’ done to the car, but it’s the smaller details that most miss, that make this car special. A big shout out Mark for taking the time to get the car ready for me for the shoot, and also for driving to multiple locations

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