The ubiquity of the E36 M3 makes it a tough car to write up, even if it is my 2nd favorite generation of M3. Unless it’s a hot sedan or extra clean coupe, there are just too many out there for $7k on Craigslist to be remarkable. Well, today we’ve got a VERY special coupe, in fact it’s one of the most special M3s every made. I’ve only seen one Lightweight in my life, but the M-flag across the corners got me going immediately. No other E36 looks as purposeful as the Lightweight. They came sans air conditioning, stereo, insulation, etc., and were made under a kind of “wink-wink nudge-nudge” agreement with BMW, where many of the parts came in the trunk. Owners had to acknowledge that putting them on would void the factory warranty. I’m guessing about zero of the 85 lucky buyers cared about the warranty as they put on a new oil pan and pump, front strut bar and lower x-brace. Unless they were a climate-controlled-garage-ninny, I’d bet they used the warranty as toilet paper and headed to the track.
The undercarriage shows this Lightweight has been used, but overall it’s extremely clean. The one significant upgrade is the BBS RKII wheels. Whereas the Lightweight came with 235 width all around, the new rolling stock boasts a massive 285mm in the back and 255 in the front. In a lightened version of one of the greatest handling cars ever, that contact patch has to create ungodly amounts of grip. Bidding starts at $25k, and while that may seem like a lot for an E36, when put in the context that there are only 85 of these in the country and E30 M3s are going for that all the time, it starts to sound reasonable. These will only go up in price as time goes on and M3s move further and further away from the lightweight sensibility that makes this car magic.