As a big fan of the E46 longroof, I really want to like this car. I’ve said to my wife (to much eye rolling) that if we won the lottery, one thing I’d do is put an M3 drivetrain into my wagon. She doesn’t believe me, and I think she’d be surprised.
The E46 platform is aging well; prices for regular models are quite low (Team O’Neil is starting to thrash them); the M3's values have bottomed and are now on the rise. So that should make this worth a fair bit of money. But as is the case with someone else’s project, you have to think, “could I build one for that much?”
Eh, I’m not sure. If I had a garage and lots of time on my hands, definitely. But I don’t have either, and most people don’t have both the space and the time. I think I could get the donor cars for under $10k, leaving a huge margin for just handing the work over to a shop, and what if I didn’t modify the body? Just look at this one:
With the minimal exterior changes, I bet that could be done for under $25k. And it wouldn’t have the curse of being someone else’s project.
I am impressed that the NPOCP example seems to have retained the awd system by using a 330xi oil pan up front, and beefier X3 diffs. Neat! But that’s part of why it’s going to be interesting maintaining the frankenbimmer going forward. And I’m pretty sure that combining parts from three different high-maintenance vehicles is NOT a recipe for trouble-free motoring.
I don’t hate it, but I wouldn’t spend $26,500 on it. I’m not sure I’d spend more than half that, and that’s the sad truth about selling your project.