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LC88977 - Part 1: Introduction

While this is not an official Project Roadster in the same vain as the M Coupe Buyers Guide Project Coupes, Daniel is willing to share the story of his most recent M Roadster found right here on this site. This is part 1 of a series detailing the work that has gone into his Dinan-modified roadster.


In December of 2013 I was perusing through and came upon an Imola Red 1999 DINAN M Roadster that caught my eye. I had just sold my 98 Arctic Silver M Roadster and was preparing to purchase a late model M3 Coupe. I’ve owned several M Roadsters since 2000, I’m very familiar with them mechanically and I’ve always been a fan of DINAN’s performance packages.  The idea of owning a version with almost every DINAN option, including the rare period correct Fiske wheels, with a hardtop, from a one owner family was just too tempting to pass up. So on Christmas day I flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico to inspect the car in person, complete the transaction and then drive the car home back to Los Angeles.

To give you some background on the car, the seller was asking full market price given the condition, mileage (43k miles) and DINAN options added to the car.  Before arriving, I had Sandia BMW in Albuquerque perform a pre-purchase inspection on the car. They found a few items that needed to be addressed, but were not too problematic. Amongst the findings was a broken rear sway bar tab on the trailing arm, which the dealer recommended fixing by replacing the entire trailing arm (!). Another issue they found was a leaking output shaft seal on the back of the transmission. The cost of the replacement seal is only $8, but the labor involved will cost several hundred dollars. I discussed these issues with the seller and we came to an agreement on the price that took into account these needed repairs and a few items I had noticed in pictures, which the dealer missed. A quick word about dealer PPIs: while I believe a PPI is important, I’ve learned to not completely trust any dealer’s PPI work, as I have always found a number of items that they have missed.

So once I had a good understanding of what I was buying, I was on a plane to New Mexico, where the owner met me at the airport with the car. After seeing the car in person, test driving it and completing the transaction, I was on the road by noon with a new-to-me DINAN M Roadster and my trusty Valentine One radar detector. The drive home was a wonderful experience, especially as the roads were empty on Christmas day and I avoided any rain or snow, even driving through Flagstaff. Some 12 hours and 800 miles later I was home safe, having avoided any issues. I did have a long list of items I noticed about the car that needed to be addressed, most of which I was expecting.  My plan was to give the car a complete mechanical and cosmetic overhaul and use it as my daily driver. After more than a year of ownership, I’ve documented the details of my progress restoring the car and I plan to share them with readers by posting write-ups and pictures of each project, as well the cost and process of addressing each issue.  Stay tuned!

The performance components that came installed on the car:
DINAN Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake with DINAN cone filter
DINAN Stage II software, verified by DINAN Morgan Hill
DINAN Free Flow Exhaust mufflers
DINAN lightweight flywheel and performance clutch
DINAN Stage II springs and adjustable Koni shocks and struts
DINAN sway bars, front and rear
Fiske aluminum FM/5 staggered wheels
Stainless steel brake lines
Cross-drilled rotors



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Car Enthusiast Guides
Jon Martin
Fort Collins, CO