Words & Photos by Henry Phull
As a lover of the OEM+ style, Tallis Godfrey’s estoril blue BMW E36 M3 Evo cabriolet was one of my stand out cars of last year, having spotted it at a selection of shows. This is yet another example of how simplicity is usually a favourable approach to a build. I never had the chance to meet Tallis at any of the events until recently at the ‘Bacon, Eggs & BMWs’ meet, where we finally arranged to photograph the car. As the weather was so good that day he agreed to let me shoot it then and there, after finding a nice spot within the Fairoaks Airport grounds.
Okay I’m aware, its a cabriolet.. but we decided to keep the roof on for the majority of the shoot. There’s something about the E36 hard top.. they look exquisite. Possibly nicer than a coupe, but thats just my opinion. Feel free to judge yourself, or let the photographs choose for you.
The M3 sits on a classic choice of wheel, the 17″ ‘Style 5’ / BBS RC090 with polished barrels, complimented by Audi platinum silver centres with custom estoril blue nuts to match the car’s paintwork, a fantastic job by Dips at The Custom Cars. The staggered 8j & 9j set are running 205/40/17 tyres up front and 215/40/17 with additional 5mm spacers on the rear.
It certainly made a change to see an E36 without the headlights full of condensation! Tallis has installed a full plasma white 5.5k HID kit, with added CCFL angel eyes to accompany brand new OEM lenses. They look mint, and make the car look like new.
Suspension wise, the M3 features Eibach Pro Street coilovers, fully wound down, and a Stance-Solutions Static+ kit which fits directly to the top of the coilovers – an interesting alternative to a full air ride setup. The rear suspension remains completely static, where as the front is assisted by the Static+ kit, charged with air to raise the ride height up to 50mm if required. Ideal for tackling annoying obstacles.
Tallis has currently set up the rear camber arms to -3.3, but has had them up to -5.5 in the past.
This is one of the cleanest E36 M3s you will ever see in the UK. Everything on it has been done to absolute perfection.
The inside of the car has had just as much love and care spent on it as the outside has. Notice the extended leather dashboard and centre console, all colour coded. Plenty of ICE is also to be found, with an H&K upgraded 11 speaker system, Alpine head unit with DVD, Sat Nav, Freeview and iPod connectivity.
Being a BMW ‘Individual’ model, the M3 came with colour coded leather sports seats from the factory. Tallis however went the extra mile and custom fitted a pair of Vader headrests, an essential mod for any E36. The OEM steering wheel was retrimmed by Royal Steering Wheels which features extra thick padding, oem grain and perforated leather, blue and red ‘M’ stitching and matching blue inserts to compliment the Individual colour combination.
Behind the steering wheel there are retrofitted Mercedes AMG paddles customised to fit using a slip ring from an E39, all working to control the factory SMG gearbox.
The air install includes a twin head pump in the boot which is controlled by a single two way switch, seen on the top left switch surround above the gear selector. Compression fittings rather than a push fit were chosen for a nice sound when raising and lowering, using a 6mm nylon line with a 12 o/c solenoid to dump the air. All of this is discreetly hidden away.
Being the Evo model, it has the later 3.2 S50 straight six engine and is almost entirely untouched, bar a Gruppe M induction kit and an Autologic remap. The bay is finished off with a custom polished strut brace. The exhaust is also completely stock as Tallis loves the look and sound of it as it is.
Every panel, bumper strip and accessory is like new. It just goes to show that by tackling all the minimal parts on a car, it can really bring it back to life and have people wondering what it is that makes this car look better than most other E36 M3s.. because lets face it, this car is mostly OEM. Most non die-hard BMW fans won’t realise how much effort has actually gone in to making it look as stunning as it does, but they will stop in the street and look. Its a real head turner. For Tallis, thats a job well done.
Of course we had to take the hard top off for a cheeky shot. I wouldn’t mind rolling around in the summer like this, so very stylish.
Tallis has really stepped up the OEM+ game with his pride and joy. Be sure to check it out at shows this year, where it will probably be rocking a new set of Porsche splits for the new season. I’m looking forward to seeing the new look.