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Thread: Gr's Imola Project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Gr's Imola Project

    It all started in 2006. I bought an Audi A4 2.8Q Sport as my first car. I loved the car and still do, the downside was that it was a Tiptronic and I always wanted an E46. I continued to look for an E46 though, mainly a facelifted 325i Sport with a manual...

    As time went on I began narrowing my search down, from 325i to 330i. I was saving and saving and saving. I then said I couldn't get a 330i without Sport, so that's what I was looking for. All along I knew of the mighty "not so special" ZHP, but never thought I would save enough...

    June 2008 rolls around and I was really searching for a new car now. At this point I knew I wanted a ZHP, but I was also looking at B6 Audi S4s for the same and even lower price, but a whole lot more car. In New England there really weren't many ZHPs around and most were Jet Black or Silver Grey. So I started leaning more towards S4s. Anyway, I looked at an Alpine/Alcantara ZHP at Bill Dodge BMW. It was a 2003 with 10k original miles but wasn't in the best shape. I had caught it when it was traded in so I saw it pre-detail. That car let me down and kinda turned me away ZHPs. One day on my way to see a beautiful Nogaro Blue B6 S4, I stopped at a different highline dealer, Richards Motorcars, just outside Boston, to browse their lot. I walk into the showroom, and there it was, shining in Imola Red in the center of the showroom floor. (I wish my old comp didn't die so I had the pics still from the showroom)

    Anyway long story short, the car had 1 owner and 27k miles on the odometer. It looked like it was brand new. They pulled it out of the showroom and off I went on a test drive. I fell in love. We negotiated and the deal was done. Because Mass doesn't give temporary plate I had to get transit plates. The next day I drive back down and pick it up . I was the happiest kid alive. The drive home was amazing!!

    As soon as I brought it home, I examined the car. I came to the conclusion that an enthusiast owned the car. It had Turner Motorsport pullies, it had (but the owner removed) a front stress bar and rear, but left the rear brackets in. Every bulb was converted to LED, glove box, foot wells you name it. The roundels on the wheels were white/red and there was a carbon fiber e-brake handle. As well as the AA brake duct grille rings from an E39 in my lower mesh grille and a B&M ssk. Looking through the folder, I found all oil changes and other receipts. The car was babied til the 27k

    From then on I began making my own changes to it.

    At 32k my passenger seat cushion was replaced, as it turned my SRS light on. A common E46 issue.

    Unfortunately around the same time, some tool decided they wanted to key my drivers side 3/4 panel . Bill Dodge BMW repaired the damage and it came out incredibly well.

    At 38k, just before the factory warranty was up, BMW replaced my steering wheel because I said it had "pre-mature wear" (the magic term) as well as my shift knob and CABs. The brake fluid and power steering fluid were flushed at the same time.

    From then and on it has been mods and maintenance.

    Maintenance includes: oil changes religiously
    -Diff and tranny fluid swapped out at 48k with Redline.
    -The famous E46 clunk came along, most people live with it, but I couldn't, so I coughed up the dough and got my diff mounts changed as well as CV shaft seals while I was there.
    -Air mass meter boot
    -Cooling system overhaul at 56k
    -New OE clutch at 60k
    -Tranny mounts at 60k
    -Valve Cover gasket @ 72k
    -Beisan Systems Vanos rebuild and anti-rattle kit at 72k
    -NGK Spark plugs @ 72k

    This October BMW of Stratham inspected my subframe, found absolutely nothing wrong and I talked with the mastertech who claimed it is the "cleanest undercarriage of an E46 he has seen" way to put a smile on my face

    Mods over the few years include:

    -18x8.5 et35 BBS CH Motorsports
    -Michelin Pilot Supersports
    -E46 cargo net
    -OE alarm
    -Orion V2 Angel eyes
    -M3 dead pedal
    -OE rubber mats
    -AFE Stage II intake
    -Dynavin Nav
    -Dice link iPod adapter (removed)
    -Euro first-aid kit box (still have to put this on)
    -Turner water pump pulley cover (best $10 I ever spent)
    -Clubsport splitters
    -BMW Performance stress bar
    -LED license plate bulbs-- Thanks Lance!
    -Style 135 spare tire w/Bav Auto air hose extension
    There's more I'm prob forgetting

    I love the car, it has been soo much fun and a joy to own. It is currently at 58k miles and I plan to own it til it dies. It is stored in the winter(for now) but once spring comes I drive the hell out of it

    It has been to Show & Shine 3 years now, climbed Mount Washington, countless amount of times the Kangamangus Highway and Auto road all around northern NH. This year I am planning on auto-x and tracking it a lot...

    Anyway I wish I had some pics from when I got it, but my old laptop died

    These are some pics of her

    My favorite pic of the car!

    Mt. Washington

    First S&S (I am the guy in the middle)

    Sleeping beauty (winter hibernation)

    March 31, 2012, New wheels!

    Last edited by gr330zhp; 04-05-2012 at 06:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Western WI
    I was wondering when you were going to start one of these threads! Well done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Ocean County, NJ
    Great read. Nice work.

    Droid X. Tapatalk. Use it.
    -Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
    ZHP Pre-Ride Briefing

    2005 ZHP, Alcantara, Silver Cube, Nav, Sharked, BMW Perf Intake, BMW Perf CF Strut Brace, CF Valve/Fuel Rail Covers, Shadowline Grills, CF Splitters, Fog Light Inserts, LED Interiors/Plate Lights, Euro-mirrors, CDV Delete, Beisan vanos, GAS DISA, BP Coded

    2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Q4; Sport Package, CW Package, Nav, Sunroof

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Lebanon, OH
    I've always loved your ride. When are you slamming it? I forgot?
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Thanks guys!! This was a fun thread to writeup

    It is probably gonna go low next spring, but it depends how addicted I get to auto-x/track, maybe this year

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    As I've said before, these project threads are my favorite part of the site.

    Thanks for posting this, Stathi.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Bronx, New York
    Nice write up, beautiful car.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Seacoast, NH
    Nice...So as soon as the ZHP is out of storage I'll probably be seeing you more.
    "The server is too busy at the moment. Please try again later."

    2009 Horizon Blue Mini R56 Cooper S 6spd
    2012 Pepper White Mini R56 "Justa" Cooper 6spd
    On the hunt for an e30, z3, or 318ti...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Nice scored a winner.

    (Auto-X FTW. You will become addicted)

    Project STX: TCKline Racing l APEX l Vorshlag l Eibach l Hawk l Schroth l BMW Performance

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyb74 View Post
    Nice...So as soon as the ZHP is out of storage I'll probably be seeing you more.
    I suppose...yes

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