As you may already know, the actor Paul Walker was a massive car enthusiast, even outside of his Fast and Furious franchise. His collection was massive and filled with some incredibly cool cars, like various different Porsche 911s, R32 GT-Rs, and more than one E36 BMW M3 LTW. In fact, not only did he own more than one LTW, he owned five.
Five seems like an excessive amount of identical cars to own but the E36 M3 LTW wasn’t just any car. It was a very special car, one of the best in BMW’s history. Walker actually felt that it was the best in BMW’s history and was his personal favorite, which is why he owned five identical cars. You be thinking, “Nico, they only came in one spec, they have to be identical.” If so, you’d be right. The E36 M3 LTW was a very limited, special edition M3 that was only sold in North America, so it truly only came in one spec. However, Walker as known to modify many of his cars and he didn’t touch a single one of his M3 LTWs, proving how much he genuinely loved them.
What was the E36 M3 LTW, you might ask? LTW stood for “Lightweight” and, unlike current special BMWs with that word in their badge, the E36 M3 LTW actually lived up to its name. It had aluminum door skins, no air conditioning, no radio, and less sound deadening than the standard car. All of its weight savings measures shed 282 pounds from the standard M3. And then BMW gave it sharper suspension, better steering, and a new differential with a shorter final drive. It was the pure, triple-distilled essence of the E36 M3 and was considered to be a sensational driver’s car. It’s so good, in fact, that Michelin still uses one at its South Carolina test track to benchmark tires.
The engine was the same 240 horsepower 3.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-six. However, despite the weight loss, the LTW was actually slower to 60 mph than the standard car. The final drive forced more shifts between 0-60 mph, which actually dropped its time but just barely. Still, when you were already on the move and ready to tackle some corners, the LTW would leave the standard car for dead.
After Paul Walker died, his estate sold all of his five LTWs for $200,000 each. Considering they were about $95,000 in today’s money when brand-new, that’s a lot of money. It’s unfortunate that they’re so rare and hard to find, as the large public should know about it.