"In this Special Series, I document my complete paint & body restoration along with the exterior upgrades to CSL specifications. In collaboration with my long time friends at @exclusivautomotiv, we hope to cast light into the world of custom paint & body.
In this entry, I follow up into my intentions: why The Phoenix needs a complete paint & body restoration [...] and a color change."
Beyond the technique.
In Part 1, I approached my intentions to the complete body restoration of The Phoenix with a focus on my technical experience with paint, and why my M3 needed it, badly.
The previous owner had the car resprayed for a "refresher", without pulling any trim, panels and windows off the car. It got worse as we pulled the rear bumper and inspected it.
More of the same: the rear bumper had dents and cracks that were painted over.
We also found out why my CSL diffuser DIY fitment wasn't perfect. I'll write a detailed entry on this later on.
Why the color change.
"Blasphemy!" [..] "I can't hear you!"
When looking at the bill, PY wasn't all that
When the estimate got approved and the first deposit got made, it became obvious to me I didn't care enough about Phoenix Yellow
I will detail the entire costs of doing this when it is over - but I'll just say it's expensive: about the price I paid for the car.
When the decision was made to redo the engine bay, it became obvious PY wasn't making a comeback considering the costs.
[...] and it isn't that rare
The purists will say I'm botching away a rare PY.
I disagree that it's rare.
Even though it was a launch color, it was available throughout the entire generation.
Let's look at the numbers:
Out of 84,383 E46 M3s that were produced, 3723 were painted in Phoenix Yellow.
[...] nor valued that much.
The purists will say I'm mauling away the value.
I disagree that it's valuable.
Let's look at the numbers:
There isn't a single PY E46 M3 in the Top 25 of highest bids recorded on Bring a Trailer.
The Phoenix will never be a numbers matching CSL.
My E46 M3 is going through a CSL'ification process - yet few of it is using original BMW parts. The CSL bumper, trunk, roof, diffuser and upcoming wheels are all produced by aftermarket companies.
It will never be uber valuable: I like driving too much.
Is it really blasphemy if you keep it within the family?
Last but most importantly: I'm growing ever more attached to the E46 M3. There's a sense of rationalized emotions to it all, it's why we own these cars.
There's a sense of purpose to the process of rebuilding a car: stripping it down to its essence and rebuilding it to your image with people you consider friends, maybe even family, and your bloodline.
For as long as it makes some form of sense, I hope to keep it a part of the family.
It's called Phoenix for a reason and it isn't the color.
Up next: I chat about the final color selection, why I picked this legendary shade, how it's formulated and the first spray session.