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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #26  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:05 PM
AlroyJetson AlroyJetson is offline
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Very nice car and images. I love seeing someone so in love with their ride. Even though the original M3 and CSL are two totally different cars, I could relate to a lot of things you wrote.
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  #27  
Old 09-17-2012, 05:06 AM
E60* E60* is offline
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Amazing vehicle and awesome summary there. The time, detail and attention thats gone into that is top class.

I had the opportunity to park my M3 behind a CSL on the weekend. Thing of beauty





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  #28  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:37 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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Chapter 6: The CSL Art Cars

Season 2012 is coming to an end here in Finland. Because of the climate, many sports cars are driven only in the summer. I don’t even have winter tires for my CSL, so driving the car in winter would not only be stupid but also illegal.

To be able to appreciate the car even better, I wanted to get familiar with its heritage. So far, BMW has produced only two CSL models. The first one was the legendary BMW (E9) 3.0 CSL. These cars are very rare, so when I heard there was an opportunity to see two examples at the same time, I was thrilled. The BMW Art Cars were coming to town.

The world-famous Art Cars had been on display at the London Olympics, all 16 of them. (Yes I know there are actually 17 but the frozen one is so difficult to maintain that I am counting it out.) And from there, six of them were transported straight to the Port of Helsinki, here in Finland, and among the six were the two most interesting ones, the CSLs!

Those of you who have read this entire thread already know that I am a bit crazy. And the rest will soon learn it as well. Just visiting the museum where the cars were going to be on display was obviously not enough for me. I literally waited in the bushes like paparazzi, and when the fancy transportation truck arrived, I took the first pictures of the cars, as BMW staff – all wearing white gloves - were pushing the cars into the museum.

Well, to tell the whole truth, I did contact the museum days in advance and got press accreditation. So I had the right to be there. I immediately sold the pictures to a leading tabloid magazine, and it was the first to publish the scoop that the cars had arrived – with my pictures as proof.

I ended up visiting the museum four times – all before the exhibition was even opened for the general public. BMW Finland and the EMMA museum staff were very nice and cooperative and I got some great pictures of the cars, pictures that were then published in many magazines here. It was really nice to be surrounded by people who not only understand BMWs and art, but also appreciate what a photographer can do for their business. Thank you!

For me, this was an unforgettable experience, as I was able to get much more familiar with the cars than regular museum visitors. The cars on display here were (and are, until the end of this month)

BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), Alexander Calder (1975)
BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), Frank Stella (1976)
BMW M1 (E26), Andy Warhol (1979)
BMW M3 (E30), Michael Jagamara Nelson (1989)
BMW M3 (E30), Ken Done (1989)
BMW M3 (E36), Sandro Chia (1992)

Even if the cars didn’t have any art on them, the exhibition would still have been worth a visit. I mean, how many times have I seen an M1 before? And was it even the same year I saw an E9 CSL? Well, here they both are side-by-side. It is great that the whole concept started from racing. These cars are not everyday cars. These cars are hard-core race cars. And THEN they were painted to become something even more.

Have you tuned up your BMW to be very fast? I mean VERY fast? Compare it to this small piece of art from the year 1976, the Frank Stella CSL. It has 750hp and a top speed of 341km/h (212mph). Just looking at the insanely wide slick racing tires, I can easily imagine this car would destroy any modern street-legal BMW on the racetrack. This is art!

The guys in white gloves, i.e. the BMW staff responsible for the transportation of the vehicles, told that the company policy is that the cars are not started anymore. The engines are still in there, but BMW does not plan on running them ever again. I really hope I misunderstood what they were saying. Because to me, this really takes away from the experience. It reduces these fearsome racers into just metal canvases without purpose. Of course they are still legends, but the thought of these very capable cars still being able to do laps on the racetrack is what makes them special. Watching old video footage is somehow not the same.

Witnessing the brutal performance-oriented design of these classic CSL racers made me think about the E46 CSL. How much do these cars have in common? To be honest, my first feeling was that very little. In this thread I have been telling how fast, raw and uncomfortable the E46 CSL is. Well that is nothing compared to these race cars. Looks like my CSL has some very strong and healthy relatives!

BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), artist Frank Stella (1976).


The Frank Stella car sports some very intimidating wheels and tires. How much wheel lip is enough to make a car hot?


BMW 3.0 CSL (E9), artist Alexander Calder (1975). This is the first Art Car.


The CEO of BMW Finland had brought his son’s scale model Art Car with him. He was kind enough to let me photograph it, standing next to the real thing. I really like the way these pictures turned out.




The museum staff was very helpful and they even let me do a private midnight shoot, so that I could play with the lights a bit more. And I did.


BMW (E26) M1, artist Andy Warhol (1979). Yes I know this is not a CSL, but it was such a thrill to see this car that I had to include a picture of it here.


BMW (E46) M3 CSL. Inspired by the awesome “official BMW car art”, I took my own car for a spin and painted a work of art myself! The car is light-painted with LED lights and the pattern reveals the wonderful shape of the engine hood, fenders and mirrors. Enjoy!


The winter is long and there will be plenty of time to share more stories and pictures of the 2012 season. You are welcome to post any CSL-related questions, comments and picture requests in this thread! (I will be posting more M3 CSL interior pictures, as many people have been asking for those.)

Thanks for reading!

Anssi

P.S. Because I admire the work that Earl Shepherd did to his Z4 M Coupe, I want to include a link here:
http://www.myartcar.com/
This car is simply amazing. BMW should accept this car as the official Art Car #18. At Bimmerfest you can learn more about it here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=541249
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  #29  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:52 AM
BosBmw540 BosBmw540 is offline
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very nice write up & excellent snapshots both in detail, beautiful ladies, and most important, the absolute beauty, sexy beast - the M3 csl.
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  #30  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:54 AM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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although i currently own a ZHP, and usually people upgrade to a newer model, but definitely my next car would be an M3! it's simply an amazing car, too bad can't afford one now
and may i say that you own one of the cleanest cars i've ever seen
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  #31  
Old 01-09-2013, 11:03 AM
bavspeed bavspeed is offline
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Incredible ability to tell a story of your love and passion for CSL.
Thank you for sharing and I especially appreciate your ability to convey your thoughts in words....and no misspellings either!!!
Magnificent.
dp
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  #32  
Old 04-12-2013, 03:51 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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Chapter 7: The Interior

The summer driving season of 2012 is long gone. I have never categorized myself as a summer person, but this car has changed me. Now I realize that every day I am counting the days to when I can drive my CSL again. Legally, that day would be March 1st, since that is the day when summer tires are allowed again. However, there is so much snow here in Finland that I probably have to wait a couple of weeks still. And the wait is killing me!

So while I wait, I thought I’d make this post of my 2012 season. Most likely it won’t make the wait any less painful, but it brings back nice memories – and photographs.

Getting seated in the CSL is starting to be routine already. Open the long door, put one foot on the floor mat, be careful not to scratch the carbon fiber door panel, fall into the bucket seat, wonder how the seat belt can be so uncomfortably far to the back.

But there is one sensation that does not seem to fade away with time and that is the smell. Or actually, the lack of it. All other BMWs I have driven have had the smell of leather.

A related observation is the acoustics. Standing still, the car is very quiet, the soft cloth is much more sound damping than leather. However the carbon fiber door surfaces are hard, so there is a very unique reverberation in the car.

And then there is the incredible illusion of safety. The car feels rock solid and the seat allows very little freedom of movement. One gets the feeling that nothing bad can ever happen to the driver, there is a sense of being immortal.

And it ALL changes the second you start the engine. Suddenly, the car is full of sound and noise. And you just know that if you are going to exploit the capabilities of the car to the max, you – a mere mortal - will be putting your life on the line!

I still get a bit scared each time I roll the first meters in the car. And when I make the really sharp left to my driveway, the car jumps a bit. The turning radius and wheel angles don’t match 100% so some tension is created in the turn. In regular cars, the difference is absorbed by high profile tires and gentle tire slip. But with the CSL, there is so little flexibility and so much grip that the tension just keeps on accumulating until it is violently released, making the car jump into a slightly different position. Reminds me of how earthquakes quickly release the tension that has slowly built up over decades. The character of the car would be very different without the Cup tires.

An inviting picture of the interior of the car. There is something bright white in the part under the throttle pedal. I thought it looked a bit distracting in this picture and I actually did consider changing the shooting angle so that it would not be visible. But then I thought that if BMW put it there then it must serve some purpose so here it is. Does anyone know the function of this white part? Since everything else is grey and black, the iconic red needles in the instrument panel are also very prominent.


The carbon fiber door panels are beautiful. This picture illustrates the complex shape of the panel. I have no idea how bad the loudspeakers might be, because I have only used the sound system twice. To be honest, I should have bought a car that does not have it at all. But I wanted air-conditioning, and cars that come with air-conditioning typically also have the sound system. (For best racetrack performance, the CSL could be specified without any sound system or air-conditioning.)


There are lots of interior pictures of the M3 CSL in internet. But there are very few good ones. The reason for that became clear when I attempted to take one. The cloth simply does not photograph well. It took me one hour of work to brush the cloth so that it looks (relatively) neat in this picture.


And the same thing from the other side.



Although they are not very comfortable, the CSL does have back seats for two people. I love it that BMW has also included beautiful carbon fiber side panels there. Those panels are at risk every time the front seat belts are unbuckled, because if the belt is let go, it will hit the panel when it retracts. Seat backs fold down for extra trunk storage capacity. This is a surprising feature, but very useful for a photographer like myself, since photography equipment needs lots of space.


Here is a picture that you will not see every day. I would love to understand the design parameters that have resulted in a shape like this. Most likely, this part of the car must meet very demanding structural rigidity requirements. To look at the solution is awe-inspiring. German engineering!


And here is the hook on the door. The hook fits into the pit in the previous picture, providing extra stability in the case of a side collision. I think. I hope I never get to see these parts in action.


After all those interior shots, it is nice to end with an elegant exterior picture. I found the perfect place to park my M3.


Thanks for reading!

Anssi
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  #33  
Old 04-12-2013, 03:59 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 M3 CSL


Chapter 8: Night Cruising and Crazy Light-painting

Finnish summer nights are perfect for cruising. The beautiful “golden hour” light must have gotten its name somewhere else, because here in Finland it lasts all night. During June and July, it does not get dark at all. Between sunset and sunrise there is hours of inviting playtime. Somehow, sleeping is not a competitive alternative. We Finns sleep during winter. In the summer, we are too busy.

This summer we did not get to see many noctilucent clouds. There was one night when there was potential for a spectacular display of NLC, but regular clouds came in front and spoiled the show. In fact, I only saw the clouds once and took this photo of them:


This year is going to be a very active year for aurora borealis (the northern lights) and I am hoping to see them (and photograph them) as south as Helsinki. I subscribe to an aurora borealis alert service, so I get an alert in my cell phone when there is substantial activity. A BMW M3 CSL illuminated by northern lights – that is the photograph I want to take!

At midnight, the streets are empty. Many car enthusiasts hear them calling, and it is not unusual to see high-performance tuning cars. For example, I was well and truly out-accelerated by a four-door BMW E30 320i (1987). Later the owner told me his car has twice the horsepower that my CSL has! The city streets are just so incredibly inviting during the light summer nights that I created this photograph as a tribute to the City of Helsinki:



The text is actually over 4 meters (13ft) high, and it is drawn with my latest creation: a computer-controlled LED light rig. Now I can draw whatever shapes I want. So the text is really there in the picture, drawn during a long exposure of 57 seconds, and there is no digital manipulation or Photoshop.

With the LED rig, I can draw abstract art like this:



Or I can draw text and logos. I really wish BMW AG would get interested in this; I would love to draw them a commercial picture using this technology!



This picture has already appeared in this thread before, but here it is again, just to show how wonderful the powerdome shape of the M3 hood is, when it is illuminated with the LEDs:



Those warm summer nights are also an opportunity to explore the city. The Port of Helsinki was moved to a new location, so the old port is being completely transformed and it will have homes for 20,000 people. The entire area is now under construction and from the point of view of urban photography, it is a treasure! I shot probably 10 days there during the summer of 2012.

A futuristic steel underpass at the old port area:


Same location as above, but from a more beautiful angle. She is Pauliina:


And she is Anna:


One more LED art picture to finish. No digital picture manipulation or Photoshop! I took this on 26 October 2012, right after midnight, and four hours later it started to snow and the winter came.



Thanks for reading!

Anssi
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  #34  
Old 08-21-2013, 06:32 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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I did not know Roundel Magazine was available online, but as I was searching for information on M3 CSL, I was surprised to find my own feature:

http://roundel.imirus.com/Mpowered/book/vrd11/i12/p38

(There are 5 pages, so keep clicking the arrow to see it all.)

Roundel Magazine is great and I am really happy with the way they presented the story and the pictures.

This forum post is very much based on the article so there is not much new there, but I thought there might be forum members who missed the Roundel issue and now have the opportunity to view it online.

Enjoy!

Anssi
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  #35  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:03 PM
Roadmax Roadmax is offline
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Great write up, thanks Anssi and please post more pictures of your mint CSL.
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  #36  
Old 12-07-2013, 10:14 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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A picture experiment with 600mm optics. I wanted to capture the unreal perspective that makes the rear of the car look much wider and stronger. Check out the rear tire, it looks HUGE:



Equipment used:

Canon 5DmkII
Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/12...28-dg-os-hsm-s
Sigma 2x extender
tripod
remote trigger

Settings:

f/5.6 (largest aperture available with the 2x extender)
1/80s
ISO 400 (faster shutter speed, in order to reduce camera shake)
mirror lock-up and remote triggering with 2 sec delay (to reduce camera shake)

Katri posing in front of two CSLs:


Marika in my Silbergrau Metallic CSL:


Nina with my friend's Black Sapphire Metallic CSL:



Anssi

Last edited by m5time; 12-07-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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  #37  
Old 01-07-2014, 09:58 PM
cypher85 cypher85 is offline
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Anssi.. I just want to say WOW.. Very impressive write up; probably the best I have laid eyes on. You are professional sir, that much is very clear. Thank you for sharing your passion for photography and your beautiful vehicle with us. I am not a BMW owner; though I have always wanted one. I am a Corvette owner! Now before anybody jumps down my neck for posting on this site I will say that I am a true enthusiast and admire craftsmanship and passion regardless of make and model. Next to my vette I have wanted and lusted over an E46 M3. To me it is one of the very few cars that embodies the purest sense of the relationship between man and machine, especially the example that you have so graciously shared. I have driven an E46 M3, and though I am loyal to the manual transmission, I did enjoy the SMG. It definitely is a different experience in itself. I live in the states and really don't have a clue how often CSL's become available for purchase; however, after reading your experiences I would be ecstatic to own one. I have always had an interest for one since I first saw the CSL in a magazine. I have done my best to modify my suspension to attain the levels of response and handling that you so describe. I would be lying if I didn't say that I am dying to see for myself how the German engineers mastered those aspects... I imagine despite my efforts to attain said response and handling, it wouldn't feel as taut and poised and aggressive as your CSL. I will be checking in from time to time hoping to find more excellent reading and pictures. Thank you again sir, you have my respect.

Michael

Last edited by cypher85; 01-07-2014 at 10:05 PM.
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  #38  
Old 01-08-2014, 08:59 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 M3 CSL
Wow. Thank you so much for those comments! And welcome to Bimmerfest forum.

I absolutely adore classic Corvettes, see my work here:

http://www.m5time.com/albums/tearsheets/V8_2012_09.jpg

http://www.m5time.com/albums/tearsheets/V8_2012_02.jpg

And the new ones are not bad, either:

http://www.m5time.com/albums/INFO/Co..._02_M5TIME.jpg

Unlike an M3, a Corvette is immediately recognized as a sports car. A case example: I had to apply for a special membership in the local sports car club. I could not just apply for a regular membership since their rule book told me my car was not eligible. And they were right: M3 is a premium coupe, not a sports car.

But that is also one of the things I like about this car. Only a true car connoisseur will know the capabilities and value of an M3 CSL. For the rest, my car is just a 10-year-old BMW that the owner seems to love.

Anssi
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  #39  
Old 01-08-2014, 11:50 AM
cypher85 cypher85 is offline
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Thank you for the warm welcome! I adore all Corvettes, especially the classics as well. What I love about the Corvette is it's no fuss driver focused sports car with a goal of affording a visceral experience. They are also quite easy to modify and quite cheaply at that. It has been a great pleasure tweaking and modifying it to my liking. There is such an aftermarket scene that there are numerous options to choose from once the bug for modification presents itself. Thank you for the links, very beautiful pictures. I love attending track events and auto cross events when I can and I will say it is not very often that I see a M3. All the M3's I find are usually cruising on the interstate.. looking fabulous.

Were you ever able to successfully enter the club? I would think most sports car club members would have enough knowledge and love for these beautiful machines to know what a gem you have. I can assure you if you applied to the one I am apart of people would be clamoring to see your car and would welcome you with open arms.

I am kind of an odd duck when it comes to corvette owners, I love and appreciate all of them but my favorite is the C4. People usually either love it or hate it and I am the former. To me the modern the Corvette began with the C4. Driver-focused interior, backbone chassis, advanced suspension geometry, composite springs, electric ride control, active traction control, six-speed manual gearbox, ABS, the return to 300+ HP... All of that comes without even bringing up the ZR-1, which took until 2001 with the Z06 for the C5 to best. The C5 (and every Corvette since) was a refinement of everything the C4 started, while the C4 has little to do with anything from its immediate predecessor. I do very much like the new one, it is quite impressive. Not trying to hack this thread, just giving a little opinion on my vehicle.

What would you say is your favorite thing to do in your car? For me I enjoy country cruising during dusk when I have nothing but beautiful road in front of me and gorgeous nature around. Of course ripping it up on the track is fun as well.

Michael

Last edited by cypher85; 01-08-2014 at 12:01 PM.
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  #40  
Old 01-08-2014, 01:16 PM
m5time m5time is offline
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Since I plan to own this car for the next 40 years at least, I am not in a hurry. I have two small children and I take my role as a parent very seriously. I am accepting the fact that I currently don't have a lot of time to invest in driving. This is also the reason why I specialize in night-time photography, it is the only time I have available.

What I need is a car that can give me a very quick fix. We fathers get our "free time" in small quantities. CSL is exactly the right choice. I take it easy for the first 15 minutes to warm up the oil and then I drive like crazy for the next 45 minutes. And then I come back home, heart pounding and thoughts wonderfully disorganized.

After 10 years, I will still have the same car and it will still look like new. Perhaps then I will take it to the country roads and longer trips. And tell all about it here at Bimmerfest.

Yes, I was eventually accepted to the car club. And when I took my CSL to a car meet with the club, I felt really welcomed and appreciated. The members there are fine gentlemen.

Anssi
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  #41  
Old 01-08-2014, 01:39 PM
cypher85 cypher85 is offline
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Your night time photography is very impressive, unlike anything I have seen. Sounds to me like you have yourself a perfect car for you. Glad to hear you were eventually accepted. I agree, the members in my club are fine gentlemen as well. Always a good time when you can spend time with people who share the same passion for cars.

Michael
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  #42  
Old 01-10-2014, 07:40 AM
89gtcs 89gtcs is offline
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Your photography is beautiful my friend - you have a gift
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  #43  
Old 01-10-2014, 08:32 AM
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bighorns bighorns is offline
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I thoroughly enjoyed this article, and I love your car. I've only been into the BMW scene for 5 years, and am pretty new to this particular forum, so this is the first I have seen of your posts. Thank you for the fabulous write up and photos! It made me want to drive this car for myself!
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  #44  
Old 02-02-2014, 04:03 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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Chapter 9: My summer at the gravel pit

Driving the CSL is addictive. And the addiction comes with a price: I cannot photograph it while I am driving it! Almost all my photos are of a car that is standing still. Quite boring, considering what the car was designed to do.

That explains why I took very few photos this year. I chose to drive it.

In the area of photography, I went for quality instead of quantity. As always, I wanted to learn something new. Experimenting takes a lot of space. This summer a friend found a perfect place for me: a huge gravel pit. And its owner was ok with me and my team taking photos so I spent a lot of time there.

Evening after evening, I studied the light, learning when it was just right for my photography. Having learned the right hours for shooting, I did a very elaborate shoot with the CSL. I spent a ridiculous amount of time placing the car just right and detailing it so that there would be no embarrassing little mistakes. Working with your own car, it does not matter how long a shoot takes, as long as you get the results you want. The opening picture of this post shows the final shooting position of the car.

Then it was time to up the stakes a bit and introduce a model in the picture. This is always a challenge since cars and people require different type of lighting to look good. I wanted to try very complex photo set-ups so I needed a pro model who would look great in every frame. Jessica is the answer! The final pictures here are a mix of ambient light and strobes.



Thanks to careful planning of the shooting hour, I was able to use my favorite settings: 1/160s and ISO 50. Aperture here was f/4 - I knew that a bit later there would be less light and that then I would switch to f/2.8.



Because Jessica will get every frame right, I could experiment with highly labor-intensive effects like smoke. Random factors like wind - or blind luck - make every smoke picture a bit different. I think this was the best frame we did with the "M Color Smoke" concept. It was done later in the evening, so I was at 1/160s, f/2.8, ISO 100.



We then started the assembly of the fire rig. This always takes time, so by the time we were ready it was already dark enough to end up the night with this:



As you already know, I never use digital photo manipulation. That is real fire.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Anssi

P.S. During the summer, I shot many other photo gigs at the same fantastic location. If you are interested, you will find them here
1944 Military vehicle shoot, featuring Nina, Oona, Rina and Salla http://www.m5time.com/Models2
1992 Harley-Davidson shoot, featuring Jessica http://www.m5time.com/Bikes
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  #45  
Old 02-25-2014, 10:35 AM
m5time m5time is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 M3 CSL
A couple of weeks later, I returned to the same location to shoot one more frame, with lots of fire.



Anssi
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