1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

E36 M3s are garbage

You know you’ve seen the internet comments, probably more than once. Odds are, people saying that don’t own or haven’t owned a M3 at all, and more than likely even if they do, they haven’t owned an E36. But there was some weight behind the claim that in some regards the US-market E36 M3 was the least M3ish of all of the generations, and generally speaking they’ve remained the cheapest. That is, all except for one.

The Lightweight was a 1995 homologation special model with aluminum doors, a sport suspension, a shorter rear axle ratio, and an adjustable aerodynamic package. Deleted was the air conditioning, sunroof, and radio as well as some sound deadening, and rumor has it that the S50s were hand-picked for each of the 126 produced. These have been steadily climbing in price, and last year I was pretty shocked to see the asking price of one I looked at crack $100,000. But I don’t think anyone was ready for the results of the ex-Paul Walker group of five in January. If you weren’t paying attention, two hit $220,000, then $242,000, then $258,000. But the gem was the super low-mileage example that hammered for an absolutely astonishing $358,000 after premium. Mouth firmly agape yet?

So it’s no surprise that some of the lesser examples have come out of the woodwork, and this might be the lesser of the lesser. It’s a tired, slightly rusty, blown motor example – but it’s all there, and ready to be restored. What’s the ask?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: BMW Legends Collection

Let’s say you want to start a car collection, and for ease of argument’s sake, let’s say you’re really into BMWs. Which is the model you want? You could be a 507 enthusiast, love the classic 3.0 CSL or 2002, envy every E30 or lust over the modern muscle the company produces. But odds are if you’re reading these pages you, like me, gravitate towards BMW’s Motorsport models.

Within the Pantheon of classic models, there then comes the difficult decisions. How do you choose between the E30 M3 and the 1M, for example? Well, Enthusiast Auto Group has a suggestion. Why not have them both? Or, even better, why not assemble all of the greatest hits from BMW’s M division over the past 40 years and put them together into one curated, turn-key package?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: The Collection of BMW Legends at Enthusiast Auto Group

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Motorsports Monday: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight

This is no backdated 3.2 Carrera. It’s not an RS tribute or any other of the many modified 911s we see that attempt to replicate this car. It isn’t even an RS Touring. This is the real deal. The Holy Grail for many Porsche enthusiasts: a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight.

We aren’t told much about it and a few of the interior pieces are not original, but it is otherwise a very nice example in the color combination of Tangerine over Black. The mileage too appears to be very low showing only 18,158 kilometers. Anyone interested will need to do a lot of homework to fill in all of the details, but what a car these are.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight on eBay

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1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

I’m going to continue on the M3 theme, and again we’re looking at a ’95. Just the other day, I pointed out how the E36 M3 – even in ‘diluted’ USA form – was a great value for a driver-oriented enthusiast compared to the E30 M3. But that’s not true of all E36s. There’s the Canadian M3 – essentially, a Euro import with all the verboten goodies we didn’t get here, one of which we saw sell last year for $65,000. There the M3 GT, which also upped the ‘special’ quotient quite a bit on the mass-produced M, and also will cost you a pretty penny. But for U.S. specification collectors, there’s really only one option in the E36 catalog: the Lightweight.

Over the past few years I’ve written up several of these cars as speculation has continued to grow that this will be the next logical step in market capital following the E30. Asking prices have been, at times, what most would consider outrageous for the E36. But never quite this outrageous. I hope you’re sitting down, swallow and move the drink away from your computer. Consider yourself warned.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight on eBay

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1988 Porsche 924SE – REVISIT

As part of a ‘924 Roundup’ back in late September, I included a stealthy 924S Special Edition model with low miles from an unassuming and apparently unaware second-hand dealer. The good news is that the dealer doesn’t follow our page, where they would have learned that their 924S is more than just one of the high compression motors for 1988 but also effectively a lightweight Club Sport model equipped from the factory with the M030 Koni suspension. It seems not many others have caught on, either, as it remains available with a price drop below $9,000. That’s a lot of limited edition performance Porsche for your money! Someone grab this one before anyone gets wiser.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 30, 2015:

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1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

The year was 1994, and BMW brought some pre-production M3s in Dakar Yellow to various tracks around the U.S. to engage their primary target audience; enthusiasts. I still remember seeing them and being both very excited and slightly let down. From a performance standpoint, even in turned-down U.S. form the M3 was a potent small sedan. 240 horsepower was top of the small car market back then and around a track, stock for stock the E36 was easily a match for the outgoing fan-favorite E30. Coupled with an eye-searing color, it was an impressive and modern package that I loved. But I also loved the street-racer aspect of the E30, and that was something that the E36 didn’t capture well….at first. That was remedied later in 1995 with the introduction of the “CSL” version of the E36. Stripped out, available only in Alpine White and with Motorsports GmbH details throughout, the M3 Lightweight channeled both the E9 3.0CSL racers that started the M trend and captured the spirit of the E30 with its giant, adjustable rear wing and splitter. Instantly these began popping up at track events; despite the entire production run of only 126 cars, it wasn’t uncommon in 1995 and 1996 to see 4 or 5 of these special cars turn up and trounce all the other cars with ease. Since new, these limited edition M3s have always held more value than nearly all of the rest of the model run – and as prices of all things M rise, it’s no surprise that it appears the tide is carrying them up as well:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

I still remember the first time I went to the track and saw the notorious M3 Lightweight. I had read about it coming in the BMWCCA magazine and it looked exciting. Sure, it still wasn’t the full bore M3 that the rest of the world got to experience, but if you were a track junkie it was a recipe made in heaven. With less weight and some trick aerodynamic aids added to the already stout out-of-the-box E36 M3, it was no surprise that several of the BMWCCA instructors who had other 3-series dumped them to get the Lightweight. They were also a hit in Club Racing, where they were turned up a few notches to make a serious track weapon. Today one such club racer is for sale from the seriously BMW-savvy group at Fall-Line Motorsports:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Ruf BTR Lightweight – REVISIT

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Generally, when someone says that the price of a car has dropped $10,000 it’s a fire sale. For example, I’ve never bought a car for more than $10,000! But when you’re talking a rare, one of one Ruf BTR Lightweight, a $10,000 price drop means that the asking price is still a staggering $248,500. While this will remain eye candy to nearly everyone who reads this, I still thought it was worth a second look!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Ruf BTR Lightweight on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site July 1, 2014:

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1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

There are plenty of people that think that the E36 M3 came to the U.S. in neutered form, but if you drive one you’ll realize that they’re pretty capable cars right out of the box. But BMW knew that the M3 would be hitting the track, and right out of the box they offered a more track-focused version. Stripped down and with extra aerodynamic equipment, the Lightweight was an instant hit with club racers and track addicts, but many enthusiasts still felt that they deserved the full-fat M3. However, if the recent trends with the E30 have taught us anything, it’s that even the less-special versions of the special cars will still command stronger money, and the Lightweight is certainly one of the more special E36 cars. Details like the moveable splitter and stackable rear wing, along with those great Motorsport-colored flags and forged wheels; I’ve loved this car since the first time I saw one pop up at the track in late 95:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight on eBay

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1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

In an era where successive generations of vehicles get larger and heavier, lightweight specials crop up occasionally to cater to the purist. Porsche has a penchant for lightweight specials, such as the 911 GT3RS and various Club Sport models that have peppered the lineup throughout the years. BMW has been hip to this lightweight game as well, and saw the potential shortly after the introduction of the E36 M3 in the US market. The Lightweight (LTW) was a 1995 homologation special model that saw the deletion of luxuries such as air conditioning, a radio, some sound deadening material, leather trim and the sunroof. Aluminum skinned doors, sport suspension and a revised rear axle ratio gave the Lightweight an edge over the standard M3. A little over 100 of these LTW models were offered to US customers and are highly prized by Bimmer fans today. This M3 LTW for sale in Florida is unlike many in that it has a good amount of miles under its belt.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight on eBay

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