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From digest.v7.n1362 Sun Mar 22 20:26:48 1998
From: Duane Collie <>
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 15:46:28 -0500
Subject: MultiVex Mirror Test on the M3

George Dalby of MultiVex Mirrors (tel. 19-535-0039) was good enought to Fed-X me the first trial set of M3 Racing Mirror inserts to test before the Driver's Schools and I installed them on Friday. They are simple to install with sticky foam backing tape and fit right over the stock glass. There is zero distortion in the glass.

The mirror itself is derived from the F1 and CART mirrors and is quite unique. It starts as a flat mirror and gradually curves to a convex edge - allowing you full view of the cars in either lane without having to turn your head to clear your blind spot. Like transitional bifocals! The E36 M3 mirror, though pretty and aerodynamic, leaves a LOT to be desired in the way of information gathering due to its small size head and oddball shape. I hated the way the stock mirrors failed to provide adequate coverage for making lane changes and vehicles overtaking mine.

So what are they like to drive with? Great and FUNKY!

The first 30 minutes it becomes difficult to get used to them. Vehicles directly behind you are at just about normal appearance distance-wise, but as the cars track to the outside and around you, they maintain the visibility (where they would fall out of the visible spectrum in the stock mirrors) but become farther away the closer they get. What's that mean? Well - you never lose sight of the car in the mirror - not at all - but it's somewhat difficult to make a lane change as the clearance distance is not readily apparent. This is a mirror that will take some time to adapt to. They work MUCH better with a quick glance than to study the rearward car by staring into the mirror.

Our Driver's School was rained out so I did not get chance to track test them, but I was experimentling with them on five lane I-495 on the way home. Driver's side mirror is perfect. Passenger side mirror could use a very slightly more aggressive convex at the outer edge for my tastes - but that's a minor detail. In low speed transitions (10 mph speed differental), the mirrors are easy to use and there is no difficulty in making a lane change decision. At higher closure speeds (20 mph) the depth perception makes you cautious and I found myself still double checking with a neck swivel to be sure I was clear. Then again, I've only used them for 4 hours of driving so I suspect that this will become more comfortable over time.

I think that they are a very worthy upgrade to an M3. It keeps you aware of any car within two lanes either side of your vehicle without you having to remove your eyes from the road ahead to clear your blind spot. It will take some adaptive time to rely on them for tight passing situations on the track and such, but that's just the ole learning curve. I'm FAR more comfortable driving in traffic with them already. Serious Drivers should consider forking over $ 80 and try a set. Joe Marko at HMS Motorsport (781-631-2269) is the Distributor on these. These are already available for other BMW models and the M3 production mirrors are due to be available next month.

Just don't stare into them when you first get them - they really can make you go crosseyed!

Thanks George!

Duane Collie
National Capital Chapter

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