2003 BMW (E46) M3 CSL - MANUAL CONVERSION

This 2003 BMW M3 CSL is a cherished example of one of the marque’s most coveted modern classics, and will be familiar to many for having been professionally converted to a three-pedal, manual gear shift mechanism. It is powered by the same 350bhp 3.2-litre S54 straight-six as every other CSL, and has the same six-speed transmission. However, gone are the SMG lever and paddle shifters, and in their place is a proper gear stick and a clutch pedal in the footwell. The car has been used and enjoyed as intended, with 142,804 miles on the odometer.

First registered in September 2003, it was supplied by Murketts BMW in Cambridgeshire. It has evidently been very well cared-for by its previous keepers, and boasts a comprehensive history file and record of past servicing. The current owner purchased the car around five years ago, and has enjoyed some 28,500 miles behind the wheel.

During his ownership, the seller made the decision to convert the car’s Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) system to a fully fledged three-pedal manual. Having experienced the car in its stock specification for a few years, he commissioned former F1 engineer Darragh Doyle of Everything M3s in Banbury to do the work. Alongside the gear shift upgrade, the CSL’s standard 3.62:1 final drive was changed to a 4.1:1 ratio to allow it to accelerate even faster.

The CSL’s bodywork panels present smartly, with the seller noting only a few very small blemishes in the ‘Silbergrau’ paint around the wheel arches, and one underneath the nearside tail light. There are also some stone chips around the front bumper and carbon lip spoilers, as well as a few marks on the bonnet. Its carbon-fibre rear diffuser and roof panel are in great shape.

All of the light lenses are in excellent condition, with no chips or cracks, and the window seals are finished with high-gloss Shadow Line trim surrounds. The car rides on the original lightweight forged 19-inch double-spoke alloy wheels, which present very well.

In the cabin, the seats are upholstered in Amaretta synthetic suede with anthracite ‘Reflex’ cloth centre panels. There is some visible wear on the seat bases and bolsters, but no rips or tears. It is clear that the interior trim has been kept in good order in spite of the mileage, and the carbon-fibre door cards and centre console are in superb condition.

Factory-fitted equipment includes rear parking sensors, climate control, the BMW Business stereo and CD player, and xenon headlights. The boot lining is in good order, and the first aid kit and tyre inflator are still present. The official commemorative plaque from BMW is mounted just below the gear lever.

As well as the three-pedal gear shift, this M3 CSL has also been upgraded with the AP Racing big brake kit, comprising six-pot calipers at the front and four-pot items at the rear. The car boasts outstanding history, with 15 service stamps in the original booklet.

Its last scheduled maintenance was in July 2019 at 140,100 miles, carried out by marque specialist Everything M3s in Banbury. This consisted of an engine oil service, replacement of the brake fluid and coolant, a new thermostat, re-gassing of the air-conditioning system, and a refresh of the steering system.

Prior to this, it had an oil service and Inspection II visit in August 2018 at 137,750 miles, and another oil service in August 2017 at 132,585 miles. A full summary of the main service history is included at the bottom of the listing.

In 2015 at 121,089 miles, the engine was rebuilt at CPC Auto Services in Amersham, which included a full strip down, new cams, lifters, head gasket, main bearings, bottom end bearings and a new oil pump. The car also had the VANOS unit rebuilt one year later. The approved rear sub-frame boot floor fix, to rectify a common fault on the E46 model, was carried out under warranty at 107,334 miles by BMW dealer Murketts Huntingdon.

During the seller’s ownership, and beyond the shift mechanism conversion, the car’s differential was stripped and rebuilt with the 4.1:1 ratio, and the suspension was also refurbished. The AP Racing calipers were fitted, and the braking system was overhauled. It has also received some minor body and paint repairs to rectify corrosion, a new Bosch battery, and has been back to a main dealer for a recent airbag recall.

The most recent MOT test was on 31 October 2019 at 141,613 miles, which resulted in a clean pass with no advisories whatsoever. Each of the last four MOT tests, covering some 12,000 miles on the road, has exactly the same result, with no warnings or alerts. The wheels are fitted with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, in size 235/35 ZR19 at the front and 265/30 ZR19 at the rear. All four tyres are date-coded to 2017, and still have 4-5mm of tread remaining.

Accompanying the car is the original CSL book wallet, including the owner’s manual, sales literature, and the stamped maintenance record. There is also a very good history folder containing numerous old receipts, MOT certificates, and other documentation.

This BMW M3 CSL is one of only a handful of known three-pedal conversions in the world. The work was carried out by a respected M-car specialist in the UK, and the car has been reviewed on video by respected motoring journalists, Matt Prior and Henry Catchpole, with the latter concluding: “This car just feels like the complete package now”. This represents a unique opportunity to acquire a very well-known M3 CSL, which is ready to provide many more miles of thrills for its next owner.

Please note: the cherished plate shown on the car is not included in the sale. It will be switched back to another age-related registration plate in the event of a successful auction.

Summary of maintenance history:

  • 18 Sep 2003 - Pre-delivery
  • 22 Oct 2003 - 1,180 (running-in)
  • 2 Nov 2004 - 9,880 miles (oil service)
  • 13 Feb 2006 - 24,021 miles (Inspection I)
  • 30 Jan 2007 - 38,229 miles (oil service)
  • 6 Nov 2007 - 53,603 miles (Inspection II)
  • 28 Jul 2008 - 65,524 miles (Inspection I)
  • 6 Jul 2009 - 78,008 miles (oil service)
  • 18 Jun 2010 - 90,072 miles (Inspection I)
  • 22 Jul 2011 - 101,524 miles (oil service)
  • 9 Apr 2013 - 111,822 miles (Inspection II)
  • 15 May 2014 - 114,122 miles (oil service)
  • 27 Oct 2015 - 121,089 miles (Inspection I)
  • 15 Aug 2017 - 132,585 miles (oil service)
  • 31 Aug 2018 - 137,750 miles (Inspection II)
  • 4 Jul 2019 - 140,100 miles (oil service)

Car Overview

  • 142,804 miles
  • manual
  • RHD
  • Silver Grey Metallic (A08)
  • Amaretta suede / Reflex cloth
  • 3.2L Inline six-cylinder
  • VINWBSBL96060JC98149


Lot Overview

  • Lot #00414
  • private Sale
  • Bedworth, Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Seller

  • DChapman

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