Member Spotlight: E46 M3 On Air Suspension (Video)

A few weeks ago, in an excellent piece on varying BMW tastes, BimmerLife columnist and Stanceworks co-founder Mike Burroughs discussed his own evolving journey through the BMW community. Wherever your passion lies, and whatever direction you choose to take with your own cars, it’s important to consider that all areas of automotive interest, from students building their first BMW to cotton-swab-wielding concours judges, contain passionate enthusiasts—and you might find something in common with all of them as the years go by.

With that in mind, we want to showcase recently-joined Green Mountain Chapter BMW CCA member Keith Haydu, featured in this video by media production house Hitting Redline. In it, Haydu talks through the practical benefits of air suspension, and how the M3 can be both a show car and a weekend car—and at times, a daily driver.

While it looks prohibitively low, the six-speed Lexus LFA White M car can actually be used with ease. “If I want to go ahead and drive the car spiritedly, I do,” says Haydu. “I’ll set it on a slightly higher bag-pressure setting, so my car will actually go just a little bit higher, but it’ll be a lot stiffer.”

But while the car can be taken on fun drives, it was primarily built to look good at shows in the air-ride community. As Haydu puts it, “It’s made to be admired.”

The car has been a journey, with adjustments and special touches added along the way. Breyton three-piece wheels sit right under the fender lips when the car is “aired out,” and every time we’ve caught up with the car since the video was produced, the air-management system has been in a different configuration. This endless adjustment is helped by—and perhaps a product of—the fact that Haydu works at Bag Riders, a specialist in air-ride equipment.

While it takes a special kind of commitment and expertise to build a car like this, it does remain an enthusiast car, built with passion and commitment—and with a focused goal in mind. And at the end of the day, it’s definitely a vehicle that starts conversations. Whatever your perspective on the owner’s chosen path, we’ve found that the focus of the air-ride community is on pushing the limits of aesthetics, and this white-on-cinnamon E46 is a strong example of the community’s potential when mixed with a capable BMW platform.—David Rose

[Video by Hitting Redline, photos by David Rose.]

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