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Purple People Eater // Dylan Coleman’s RB26-swapped BMW E36/M3

By October 11, 2017Vehicle Features

Photos by: Cory Mader | @LXIIPhotography

Video by: Andrew Linga, Carlos Ureostegui | @definitionxmk @zarkhan



It was an overcast morning in Newport Beach. Joggers and bicyclists passed by on the trail along side the bay while gulls floated overhead. The pullout was nearly empty, but was soon to play host to a one-of-a-kind build. Dylan’s RB-powered M3 really takes more than a couple minutes and walks around the car to comprehend.

Upon first glance, the aggressive Street Fighter LA body kit jumps out – each corner molded onto the body, widening the car a considerable amount and allowing for huge Rotiform SIX and impressive Wisefab angle kit to work at full lock. The Midnight Purple III paint drapes every curve in shifting hues of purple to bronze to a royal blue that photos can only hope to accurately capture.

The second thing that jumps out is the one-off RB26 engine swap filling the engine bay. In a world of 2J’s and LS swaps, it’s refreshing to see someone go all in, even when it takes a ton of work to make it happen. The R32 transmission with dog box started the powertrain in the right direction, but no matter how you look at it, nobody ever expected a GT-R engine to be dropped in a BMW chassis. In response, RAD Industries came up with a completely custom engine mount setup that has proven it’s worth within the otherwise shaved and tucked engine bay. Up top, the single Turbotechnics turbo helps power in the air while the screamer pipe setup let’s it blast after combustion.

Moving from the engine bay (difficult to stop drooling over, but not impossible) to the interior, we find an ASD hydro E-brake, custom short shifter kit, and a full roll cage. The Recaro Pole Position seat, Racepak digital dash, and custom door cards and dash panel wrap up the functional cockpit.

Underneath the car, Feal Suspension stiffens up and lowers the ride while Toyo R1Rs facilitate the grip – yes, even drift machines need grip. Wisefab is seen everywhere else, with upper and lower arms, tie rods and extensions, and upper coilover mounts wrapping up the suspension package.

As we took in the entire car, snapped photos, ran video, and talked to Dylan, it was obvious how much work and love had been poured into this build. The smiles that covered everyone’s faces when the RB roared to life (minus a couple bicyclists that got pretty disgruntled) drove home the point even more so.

While we wrapped up for the day, a crowd of other modified cars rolled in, forming an impromptu and respectful meet in the tiny lot. It was a joy to see JDM, USDM, VAG, and KDM lovers all come together to discuss the M3, their own builds, and snap a couple photos of their own. After all, that’s why we do it: for the love of the build.



1996 BMW E36/M3



Wilwood Big Brake Kit


5 Speed R32 Transmission converted to RWD with Dog Gears
Action Clutch (Stage 3)
Custom Short Shift Kit Custom
RAD Industries Custom Drive Shaft


Block: Nissan R34 Crank
CP 8:5 Pistons
Custom 4 Inch Down Pipe
Custom External Wastegate/Screamer Pipe Exhaust
Custom Fuel Rail
Custom Intake Manifold with Individual Throttle Body
Fully Polished Turbotechnics Single Turbo Upgrade
Fully Shaved Engine Bay
Mishimoto R- Line Performance Intercooler
Mishimoto X-Line Performance Aluminum Radiator
Mishimoto Aluminum Coolant Expansion Tank
Mishimoto Oil Line
Mishimoto Race Thermostat ARC Oil Cap/ ARP Studs
Polished Candy Purple Engine Cover with Fully Polished Engine Components
RC 1000cc Injectors
Wiring Specialties Harness with Custom Wire Tuck


Nissan Skyline GT-R Midnight Purple III Paint
StreetFighter LA E36 Widebody Kit Over Fenders (Molded)
StreetFighter LA E36 Widebody Kit Rear Spoiler (Molded)
StreetFighter E36 Widebody Kit LA Front Lip


ASD Motorsport Hydro E-Brake
Custom Door Panels
Custom Hoonigan Dash Panels
Custom Roll Cage
Hard Motorsport M3 Competition Door Straps
Racepak IQ3S Digital Dash
Renown 100 Steering Wheel
Recaro Pole Position Seats


AEM Infinity ECU


Feal Suspension (Fully Independent)
Wisefab Coilover upper mounts
Wisefab Hub Add-ons
Wisefab Upper Arms
Wisefab Lower Arms
Wisefab Tie rods
Wisefab Tie Rod Extensions
Mobile Weld Specialist E36 Strut Reinforcement Kit


Toyo Tires R1R


ARP Stud Conversion Kit
Custom Polished Candy Purple Rotiform SIX Wheels (Deep Concave)
Motorsport Hardware Stud Kit



Action Clutch (www.actionclutch.com)
Feal Suspension (www.fealsuspensionstore.com)
LTMW (www.ltmotorwerks.com)
Mishimoto (www.mishimoto.com)
Mobile Weld Specialist
Racepak (www.racepak.com)
RAD Industries (www.rad-industries.com)
Recaro Motorsport (www.recaro-automotive.com)
Rotiform (www.rotiform.com)
Turbonetics Performance (www.turboneticsinc.com)
Toyo Tires (www.toyotires.com)
Wilwood Disc Brakes (www.wilwood.com)