Jeff Nguyen always wanted a BMW M3. He liked how it looked, the way it drove and how it handled. It was sleek, stylish and looked great in gray. You have to figure when he finally got an E46 BMW M3 he was going to leave it stock, right? Hell no.

As west coast event manager for the TWCompetition show team, Nguyen spends the majority of his free time immersed in automotive chatter. He enjoys frequenting the car-show circuit and talking cars with anyone as passionate about them as he is. Whether it's a conversation about performance modifications, styling enhancements or cleaning brake calipers with a Q-Tip is irrelevant, as long as there's an audience to share with. And this student of dentistry knows how important it is to clean the hard-to-reach places. It's strange he doesn't prefer a toothbrush over the Q-Tip, but as he says, "Even the softest toothbrush is too abrasive for custom-painted calipers."

Starting with an undeniably awesome platform, Jeff has managed to walk the thin line between subtle but sexy and over-the-top grandiosity in building this stunning steel-gray M3. Nguyen combined its natural good looks with a collection of stylish exterior enhancements and smooth interior touches to turn this BMW into a show-stopping conversation machine. And perhaps one of the best things about the car is that even after all the modifications there is still no doubt that it is a M3. It just looks better then the last one you saw.

But Nguyen knows that performance and appearance are equal partners and he plans to further increase the power output on the stock six-cylinder motor. By adding an exhaust header, among other things, he hopes to liven up the performance without compromising any durability or street ability. After all, this is also his daily driver.

The comfort of the Recaro seats, his favorite addition, allows Nguyen to drive to car shows as far away as Texas. But driving your car to the shows instead of pulling them on a trailer comes with unforeseen difficulties. It's hard enough to have to detail it upon arrival, but one time on his way to Hot Imports Nights in Dallas he blew out two tires and had to scurry about to replace them just in time for the cutoff. He still managed to take home two awards, including a first place in the "Best BMW" category. That's dedication.

If you get into a conversation with Jeff Nguyen about car shows and winning trophies and he suggests that you detail your car in the same manner he does, you might want to listen. Because unless you have more awards to show than he has, don't laugh when he tells you to clean it with a Q-Tip. After all, he knows what he's doing.

2002 BMW M3

Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

3.2-liter inline six, dohc, four valves per cylinder
Gruppe M carbon-fiber intake, Rogue Engineering power pulleys and SSK, Eisenmann race muffler

Rogue Engineering mounts and weighted selector rod, Spec Stage II clutch

KW Variant II coilover system, AC Schnitzer front tower brace

Brembo Grand Turismo assemblies

Wheels and Tires
Modular Society Klass KF200, 8.5x19 (f) 10x19 (r)
Yokohama AVS Sport, 245/35-19 (f) 275/30-19 (r)

AC Schnitzer carbon-fiber front lip, aluminum support struts, roof spoiler, carbon-fiber rear diffuser, OEM carbon-fiber overlay, color-matched front kidney grilles and front reflectors, hyper white foglight bulbs, Wheelpower Phosphyre Halos, Hamann brake ducts molded to OEM front bumper, Hamann eyelids, ATR carbon-fiber GTR race hood, carbon-fiber side gills

Recaro Sportline sport seats, Recaro sliders, wedge seat brackets, black carbon-fiber dash trim, AC Schnitzer aluminum pedal set,aluminum E-brake handle and black floor mats, Schroth Rallye four-point racing harness and shoulder pads, custom suede headliner, pillars, door panels, rear seat center panels, E-brake and shift boot, OEM Euro center tray

Eclipse AVN-5435 double-DIN CD/DVD/Navigation, Diamond Audio D6 1000watt amplifier, Diamond Audio 12-inch D6 subwoofers, custom keyhole rearview camera

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