1995 BMW M3 Lightweight Would Make One M-Thusiast Very Happy

BMW is on its fifth iteration of the M3 now, and there’s little question that the latest is the fastest and most capable. But to many, the E36 from the 1990s was one of the best. If you count yourself among them, this example could be your dream car.

It’s a 1995 M3 coupe, but not just any M3 coupe. It’s a factory Lightweight, one of just 125 made, and it’s just begging to be driven, and driven hard.

The E36 M3 Lightweight was, true to its name, stripped of some 225 pounds of excess weight. It had aluminum doors, manual cloth seats, less sound insulation, carbon-fiber trim, and no radio, sunroof, toolkit, or air conditioning. It also featured the wheels, aero kit, and suspension components, from the M3 GT. And the BMW M checkered flag decals to go with the rain-pattern upholstery, just to make it extra delicious.

This example was owned by two successive enthusiasts in Pennsylvania, the first of which traded in his ’89 Porsche 944 Turbo to buy it with a window sticker of $48,470. He put 51,524 miles on it before the second put on just 1,800 miles over the course of 12 years.

It shows a few small signs of wear, mostly cosmetic, and with 53,338 miles on the clock, the rare M3 Lightweight is listed for sale in Philadelphia for $110,000. That’d be enough to put you into a new M5 today (or two M2s, or an M3/M4 and an M240i) – but while either would likely run circles around this one, over twenty years later, we’re not sure they’d be as much fun to drive.

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    I’d love to have one.

  • alexxx

    It’s crazy how 20+ years old car still looks good….

  • GobbleUp

    The best M3 generation by far…I owned 3 varieties of the e36.
    Underpowered by today’s standards for sure, but superb handling.

  • drc

    I had a standard BMW M3, 1995. When the Lightweight came out a few months after I had bought mine, I was tempted to upgrade to one because I was doing a lot of track days as an Instructor. At first they were priced at a premium, but they sat and sat at the dealerships because of the radio and air conditioner delete. Also, the deep/baffled oil pan was not installed on the car from the factory, but included in the trunk kit with the car along with the Big Wing spoiler. Putting on the proper oil pan required dropping the front sub-frame, it was a big job. (E36 M3’s suffered from oil cavitation on aggressive G-loads, especially on autocross courses). So, I didn’t buy it, even after I was offered a significant discount. Instead, I got a Porsche 993 C4S, and that was better anyways

  • Vassilis

    Sweet! Why does it not have the proper seats though?

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