The M Coupé captivated you ever since you first laid eyes on it, right?
Yes that’s right. The long bonnet and the shooting brake rear end did it for me. I have always had a passion for cars but the M-Coupé has been on my wish list for every birthday and Christmas since I first saw one on a trip to Germany in 1998. But, being raised in Denmark where cars are so expensive, I never thought I would own one…
You know what they say: Never say never! Where did you buy your M Coupé?
I bought it in Munich, Germany in 2010 and got it shipped down here to the UAE. It is all original — and that’s the way I want to keep it. It has no modifications and I have no plans to make any because the car is so rare, it would be a real shame to mess it up.
Tell us about the shipping process? Was it, pardon the pun, smooth sailing or did you have any problems?
After buying it in Germany, I drove it to Denmark where I put it in a 6.0m container. It took about four weeks to reach Jebel Ali and then the fun began… I had put all the car’s documents in the glove compartment to make sure I had them all when it reached Dubai. This was a bad idea because, apparently, you need to submit all the documents to customs before you are allowed to open the container. I had no idea about this and so it took me another week to get new documents drawn up.
Meanwhile, the container had to be stored in Jebel Ali port and I had to pay for the storage. Maybe wheels should investigate and make a complete import/export checklist so others won’t make the same mistake as me…
We might just do that. But now you have the car back, I bet you are enjoying that S50 B32 engine, the same as the 1996-1999 M3. What’s the performance like?
It produces 321bhp and has 350Nm and it’s a true driver’s car. There’s no sat-nav, no cruise-control and no ESP. It’s just you, a manual gearbox and 321 horses at the rear wheels.
It’s great fun to drive — a little right-foot at the exit of a turn or a roundabout, and the rear will come out nicely. Just don’t overcook it, or the rear will exit the turn before you do! That has happened but luckily nobody saw it!
It’ll reach 0-100kph in around five seconds — maybe not as fast as cars today but for something built in 1998, it’s pretty awesome…
The Coupé, which is based on the M Roadster, is much stiffer than its convertible counterpart and handles better.
The rims look sharp. But it took a while to get them this neat, didn’t it?
It actually came with nice, but aftermarket rims. One wheel had a really bad scratch on it. Luckily the previous owner still had the original damaged five-spokes, so I shipped them down here too. I took them to a workshop in Al Quoz to get them fixed, but after three attempts they couldn’t do it, gave up and gave me my money back.
So next I took the rims to AGMC and asked if they could do something about them. They could, but they had to sand them down to the base metal and paint them three times before I was satisfied. They are really nice now, and good as new.
We had one of these M Coupé’s on these pages a while ago. But still, you don’t see too many of these around…
There were less than 2,200 units ever built, so it is quite rare. Five cars originally made it to the UAE — I have seen two of them, but they were not in very good condition. As you will no doubt agree, mine is almost flawless…
It sure is in good nick. Where do you get it serviced? And are parts easy to get hold of?
It was in a really good condition when I bought it and I sure intend to keep it that way.
The previous owner had it stored every winter in Europe, and after bringing the car to Dubai, I keep it stored in a garage 10 metres below the ground from May to September.
One more month and it will say goodbye to Dubai’s roads until the temperatures begin
to drop again.
I have the car serviced by my good friends down at MotorWorks in Al Quoz. All parts are available, but have to be ordered from BMW in Europe.
It might not look like it, but you can squeeze two sets of golf clubs into the boot. The interior is lavish too. This car really wakes me up every morning when I turn the key.
That’s what it’s all about! Where do you enjoy driving it the most?
Somewhere with no other cars, no traffic lights and no speed cameras. Would love to take it back to Denmark and go out for a spin on a sunny day in the countryside.
So would we. Do you remember your first car?
Yes, it was a Lada Niva — a Russian 4x4 but it broke down beyond repair, so I replaced it with a Skoda 105 S. That had a 1,046cc rear engine and 46bhp. I bought it from a good friend — not for any money, but for six drinks!
You’re a bit of a wheeler-dealer! What else have you had?
Back in Denmark I had a VW Sharan, Skoda Octavia, Audi A6 Allroad and a 1982 Golf GTI Convertible. In Dubai, I have had a Porsche Cayman S, BMW Z4 M, BMW M3 and a Jeep Wrangler. Now I have the M-Coupé and a Hummer H3 for rainy days and school runs. My wife drives an Volvo XC60.
At least it’s safe! What’s your dream car?
You’re looking at it! Though the new 1M has something about it…