Classics roll into St Ann’s Bay

Sure the Toyota Supra is a classic, but when’s the last time you’ve seen a Levin GT-Z?

The changing face of the Jamaica Classic Car Club was on full display as the club made the trek to St Ann’s Bay on February 16 and set up shop at the Roxborough Restaurant Bar and Grill for the afternoon. The variety at the event did plenty to dispel that old stereotype of a classic car being something old and English. Marques from America, Europe and Asia were well represented in fine form.

There were plenty of modern classics, cars revered not just for their age, but for their importance, rarity, and market demand. While the Toyota Supra is always a draw it was the humble Toyota Levin, in GT-Z trim, that pulled plenty of attention. The GT-Z was based on the AE92 Toyota Levin/Trueno coupe and came factory-equipped with a supercharged version of the brand’s famous 4A-GE 1.6-litre four cylinder 16-valve DOHC motor. It was never a common sight to begin with during its production run, but its significance is that it was most potent model of its generation with 160bhp.

This BMW E46 M3 didn’t initially stand out given the fact it was parked next to a V10 M5 and an Alpine 5 series when the Jamaica Classic Car Club visited the Roxborough Restaurant Bar and Grill in St Ann’s Bay.

It is this understanding of car culture that allows the uncovering of some real classic gems. Just like the GT-Z, parked near a Supra, it would have been easy to bypass the BMW M3 of Major Gregory Webster as it sat next to a V10 M5 and a genuine Alpina 5 series. A 2005 E46 version, other than it being left-hand drive it would have been welcomed as another well-presented example of BMW’s famous high-performance 3 series. Those with a more delicate eye spotted the six-speed manual gear lever.

This E46 was equipped with the much wanted six-speed manual transmission and not the dreaded sequential manual transmission.

The E46, produced from 2000 to 2006 is considered peak M3 with its 335bhp inline six-cylinder and natural handling balance. While it wasn’t the ultra-rare lightweight CSL model, manual E46 M3s have re-entered the worldwide discussion as to their worth as they’ve become highly sought after as donor cars for conversion purposes. The car was sold with two transmission options, a six-speed manual and a six-speed sequential manual transmission, or SMG as it’s known. This was the precursor to the fully-automated dual-clutch transmission. Basically the SMG did away with the clutch pedal. However, the system has not aged well leading to owners of SMG models wanting to swap to the manual gearbox.

The E46 is considered the best M3 ever made with its super smooth and powerful inline six-cylinder engine.

“I’ve owned it for a year now,” said Webster knowing full well what he purchased from its previous local owner.

It’s not 100 per cent factory as it’s been tastefully modified according to Webster. He has no intention to do anything further but enjoy what is already considered a modern classic that is potentially going to be even rarer to find in the future. “It drives good, all I’ve had to do since I’ve had it is put gas and new tyres on it.”