Due to heavy pressure from US enthusiasts who wanted a racier variant of the E36 M3 to compete with lightweight Porsches, BMW finally caved in 1995 and debuted the E36 M3 Lightweight. Essentially, it was exactly what its name implied, a lightweight variant of the E36 M3. At least that’s how it came from the factory. It had less sound deadening material, cloth seats, no air-conditioning, no radio, no trunk lining, a massive wing and a special fabric floor carpet. All in all, the E36 M3 Lightweight was around 200 lbs lighter than the standard car.
All examples were painted in Alpine White and each and every car had its engine had picked from the assembly line to insure its perfection. It was then shipped to PTG Racing in Virginia where M-colored checkered flag decals were placed on the left-front and right-rear corners of the car. Buyers of the E36 M3 Lightweight also found new parts for their car in the trunk, such as a special oil pan, oil pump with dual pickups from the European M3, spacers to make the wing higher and some other performance parts. These parts would make the E36 M3 an illegal road car in the US and the car came with a paper for owners to sign acknowledging that any installation of these parts would void the warranty.
No one knows how many E36 M3 Lightweights were made, but its rumored to be around 125. So they are very rare cars. The late Paul Walker actually owned one, making him a legitimate petrol head. E36 M3 Lightweights are very rare, very cool and highly sought after collectors cars. Which makes this one that’s up for auction very exciting.
This particular E36 M3 Lightweight only has 99 miles on it and is going up for auction in New York. Being that they didn’t come with any real options, it’s exactly the same as every other E36 M3 Lightweight. However, all of the upgrades that came in the trunk back in 1995 have been applied to this car and it’s race track ready.
No price has been given, but expect it to be incredibly expensive. With only 99 miles, it’s likely this car crests six figures. If you’re a big BMW enthusiast with money to burn, this is worth it because it’s a really rare and special part of BMW North America’s history. Plus, you’d own a car only owned by the petrolhead-elite.[Source: Hemmings]