Back in February a good friend of mine had, shall we say, a slight altercation with a row of trees, after recently having his e92 M3 supercharged
The resulting outcome was this:
He phoned me to tell me his tale of woe and his worry that his pride and joy would be written off. The obligatory pi$$ taking followed.
A couple of days later his worst fears were confirmed when his car was indeed written off. Out of curiosity he asked how much it would be to buy the car back. Now, bear in mind that this is an 08 manual e92, with pretty much every conceivable extra including individual audio and the car had just over 20k miles on the clock. The figure given by the insurance company to buy the car back was 8.5k
I knew he already had a new DCT Dakar Edition lined up and so flippantly said "if you can get that back on the road for less than 20k I'll have it".
Being the good mate the he is, we agreed that he would get the car back to being road worthy and if satisfactory I would buy it off him. I had no doubt that it would be as seeing him prep his race bikes I knew no stone would be unturned and the car would become as good as new. We enrolled the services of world renowned Mr Vanos http://www.mrvanos.com/
to project manage the rebuild.
We had all agreed that this was not going to be a botch job and so the car was completely stripped so we could see what we were dealing with. This is what we found
Underside of the carbon roof
Obviously all of the damage was on the nearside of the car with the majority being to the rear quarter. The car is obviously designed to give way in certain areas to absorb impact and this saved allot of the suspension and subframe components.
We needed to buy:
o/s/r suspension strut
o/s/r alloy wheel
Everything else was unmarked. Fortunately (or fatefully) there was a new rear quarter and an almost new rear subframe complete with hubs on ebay. These were rapidly scooped up and fitted:
The door lined up perfectly which was a great sign as it meant the car wasn't too bent!!
The next step was to get the car to the bodyshop to start the metal work. The whole rear quarter needed to be replaced. The car was taken to a small bodyshop well known to Mr Vanos who aren't the quickest but do THE BEST metal work. More used to straightening rally cars this was a small job apparently. Look away now if you're feint hearted.......
For the scrap heap:
I must admit when I saw these photos I was very nervous as to what I had got myself into. However from talking to the guys, this was a run of the mill job to them. If you take a close look at the pictures you will see that they have unpicked the original BMW welds so that they can re-weld the new rear quarter in the same place. Also if you look you can see the rear pillar has been cut through in steps so that when re-attached the welds are not all in line returning the original strength.
Rear quarter in place:
Rear quarter now in place it was time to get it to the paint shop, mad max style.................
The guys at the paintshop were over the moon when they saw the car, the metal work was so good hardly any prep work needed to be done as the original seams had been used to attached the rear quarter and only a skim of filler needed to cover the join in the rear pillar. Their biggest concern was that the swage lines on the repaired side now lined up better than the original side. As I said at the beginning this was to be a top class job and so the seams were prepared and sealed again and the car was re-sprayed inside and out.
Back at Mr Vanos HQ with Supersprint exhaust now fitted
Lights and ancillaries starting to be re-fitted
Bumpers and interior fitted
Projex Circuit 20" wheels fitted, car MOT'd and the car is ready for collection
Back home and now with carbon splitter and BMW Performance carbon spoiler fitted
I've had the car almost a month now and the car is like new. No squeaks, no rattles, no vibrations, no warning lights, it's perfect. I had one of the first E92 M3's when they were 1st released and I'd go as far as to say this one is even better.
Although this car is registered as a Cat D there is no way you can tell. The guys at the MOT station did not know the history of the car and were asked to go through the car with a fine toothcomb and mention anything they thought that showed the car had a chequered history. They couldn't and were shocked when shown the pictures of the car with the rear quarter missing. They honestly couldn't tell.
I thought it may be useful to show this project as I know there is allot of scepticism around cat D cars. I'm not saying all are repaired to this standard and I have spent more on this car than needed to get it back on the road again in as new condition. There are lots of corners that can be cut if doing something like this to make a profit however this is going to be a car I take my family in and so cutting corners and botching things was not an option. I haven't done it to fix and sell for a profit (although I have been offered VERY good money for it) this will be my daily car for the next few years and I didn't want any niggling worries in the back of my mind every time I drove it.