- Chassis # WBSBF9326SEH07422
- Highly Collectible Modern Classic
- Showing Just 36,584 Miles From New
- 1 of ~126 Examples Produced
- Over $16,000 In Recent Servicing And Reconditioning
- One Of The Rarest BMW Models Ever Produced
The BMW E36 M3 was the second generation of BMW’s high-performance version of the 3 series. The E36 M3 was launched in November of 1992 and was produced until the tail end of 1999. The car was available as either a 2+2 coupe, a convertible, or a 4-door sedan with all versions being powered by a 240 HP 3.0L S50 I6 or a 3.2L S52 I6 depending on the model year. The E36 M3 was a speedy car, there’s no doubting that, but some US racing teams and weekend warrior-type enthusiasts wanted more out of their German coupe. That’s when the M3 Lightweight (LTW) came in.
The M3 Lightweight was created to satisfy the request of US racing teams who wanted a version of the ROW-only E36 M3 GT homologation special. It was homologated for the IMSA Firehawk series of the mid-90s with approximately 126 cars ever built. As this was very much a race car, luxuries were basically non-existent. The cars came without a radio, A/C, leather seats, tool kit, or sunroof. The doors just had aluminum skins covering them, interior trim pieces were converted to carbon fiber, there was limited sound insulation, and the trunk was blessed with nothing more than a carpet. All of the stripping down made the LTW about 200 lb (91 kg) lighter than a regular E36 M3.
Go-fast performance changes consisted of the removal of the top speed limiter and a shorter differential ratio of 3.23 compared to the stock 3.15. The suspension was also upgraded with shorter springs from the European specification M3. The LTWs were equipped with a hand-picked US-spec S50 engine tuned to with racing and performance in mind. Every single M3 Lightweight was delivered to Performance Technology Group (PTG), BMW’s Factory Backed US race team at the time. PTG included the so-called “trunk kit” which contained a front strut brace, lower X-brace, GT rear wing, and a deeper “racing” oil pan with a dual-pickup oil pump.
Exterior modifications included the fixed rear wing, M3 GT front spoiler with splitter, and BMW Motorsports International badges. These were all performed by PTG prior to delivery and served to make the M3 LTW even more racecar-like. All 126 examples were finished in Alpine White with vinyl multicolored motorsports flags on the left front and right rear corners of the car. All of these included, but not installed modification pieces prompted PTG to issue a letter with every car stating that installing these parts resulted in the factory warranty being voided!
This particular example, a 1995 model year with the VIN WBSBF9326SEH07422, shows 36,584 miles on the clock and was purchased by LBI Limited in November of 2015 from Virginia after spending parts of its life in Texas, South Carolina, and New Jersey. This M3 LTW was thankfully used as intended, with racing pedigree at many track days around the country.
When we came into possession of the car in 2015, it had several interior and exterior modifications for use at the aforementioned track days including a roll cage, 5 point belts, coilover suspension, and an aftermarket brake set up (all of which has since been removed and returned to stock configuration). The engine also received further love in the form of aftermarket cams, a TRM DME chip, Conforti cold air intake, and a Bimmerworld silicone intake boot. An aftermarket header and Super Sprint exhaust send spent gases out through twin “DTM” style tips and an Alpina finned differential cover keeps differential temps in check. The instrument cluster has been adorned with a white gauge overlay kit that matches the body color and the stock shift knob has been replaced with a “ZHP” shift knob.
$16,000+ in service/corrective work was put into the car returning it to close to stock condition, while refreshing parts in the interior, suspension, brakes, motorsport graphics, and more. Given that this example has seen liberal use over its lifetime, the exterior has acquired some chips and scratches and the exhaust has a slight rattle. The interior carbon-fiber trim also shows some cracking and there is a hole in front of the driver’s side window switch. Given the slight imperfections of this car, it represents the perfect opportunity to own an example that can be used and enjoyed without risk of damage while still owning one of the rarest BMWs ever put into production. Given their rarity and pure unadulterated driving experience, these rare cars are sure to increase in value over the years.
Upon purchase, the buyer will receive records for the aforementioned services, a copy of the vehicle’s clean Carfax report, photos of the build sheet, copy of delivery letter from PTG, as well as photos of the original build sheet. This is a unique opportunity to own a very rare version of the classic E36 M3. Despite its racing pedigree, the E36 M3 Lightweight is a very drivable and enjoyable car that would fit right at home at any BMW CCA event. It’s powerful, it’s raw, and offers a unique driving experience that can seldom be duplicated by other cars in its class.
body and paint
Given the fact that this car was utilized as a weekend track day vehicle for a portion of its life, the condition of the exterior does present some minor issues that come along with the territory. Having said that, just before it was put up for sale, this car received over $16,000 in service and detail work, leaving it overall clean and tidy. There is some stone chipping present throughout the front of the vehicle in the white paint, largely relegated to the front bumper. The front lip shows some minor scuffing as well. There is a spot of bubbling and peeling paint on the rear section of the back driver's side wheel arch. The rear bumper has a few minor imperfections in the white paint as well as the black plastic trim including some paint scratching and chipping on the corners of the bumper. There is a small paint chip on the passenger side of the wing. The body itself is relatively straight and tidy. The body gaps throughout the car appear within a respectable standard with the only noteworthy section being the front bumper which appears to be off just a touch at each corner. It should be noted that despite its time as a track toy, all the body panels appear to contain their correct VIN stickers.
glass and trim
The windows all appear in good order with the correct BMW branding and “Splintex” located on them. The front windshield has some very minor pitting in it due to normal use. There does appear to be some light window tinting applied to the side and rear windows. The headlight lenses show some minor pitting but remain free of cracks or chips. The turn signal lenses are in good order, same with the fogs lights. The rear passenger side taillight has a small crack in it but remains structurally sound. Much of the exterior moulding was replaced during this vehicle's refreshing, leaving it in as new condition. There are however a few pieces of black rubber trim that display their age and show some cracking, especially around the trailing edges of the rear windows and the black rubber strip the lines the bottom of the windshield.
The iconic “BMW Motorsport” wheels show some curbing, especially on the driver's side rear wheel. The center caps and mounting hardware are clean and tidy.
As this car did spend a portion of its life as a weekend track day car, there are various imperfections throughout the vehicle that come with the territory. These include but are not limited to stone chipping, scuffs, and some worn-out trim pieces. For a better idea of the issues present on this vehicle please closely view the detailed photos in the gallery above.
seats and surfaces
Overall the interior of this M3 Lightweight presents in decent condition, however, there are remnants of its previous track time still present on the interior of the vehicle. The iconic “BMW M Hurricane” cloth seats remain in good order with smooth and issue-free seating surfaces. The carpets show their age a bit with some wear and discoloration in high traffic areas. Remnants of the roll cage that was once bolted into the car appear in the footwells of the rear seats underneath new carpeting in the form of mounting point holes which have since been closed off with filler. The carbon fiber trim pieces show some cracking, especially around the shifter, with a small hole present where some sort of switch or button appears to have been previously mounted. The steering wheel is in decent order however the stitching has become “flattened” and has lost most of its color. The gauges have been upgraded to include white faces to match the exterior of the vehicle, however, the factory stickers still remain in place over top of the fuel and temperature clusters. The front door panels were replaced during this vehicle recommissioning and remain in excellent order. The headliner is nice and tight with minimal signs of aging. There is some chipping around the end of the emergency brake lever where it meets the button. The shift knob has been replaced with a “ZHP” style shift knob.
functionality and accessories
This BMW M3 Lightweight underwent a thorough sorting process right before coming to market. As such the functionality of the vehicle is in good order. The gauges all appear to function as they should and appear to read their respective info as they should. The windows roll up and down with ease, with the driver's side regulator having been replaced during the cars recommissioning. The interior lights illuminate when the doors are opened. The info/computer module located in the center dash functions as it should although it appears to have some bad pixels as the characters don't display exactly as they should (a common problem with these older units). The HVAC system operates as it should with the fans and mode selectors working well.
Given the previous history of this M3 as a track day vehicle, there is some evidence scattered throughout the interior of its previous use. Lifting up the rear carpets reveals the old mounting points for the roll cage which has since been removed. The gauge faces have been replaced with white-faced gauges to match the exterior of the car and some of the carbon fiber trim pieces are cracked with the section surrounding the shift knob also containing a small hole. For a better idea of the overall condition of the interior please view the detailed photos in the gallery above.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay is another area where this car's previous life as a track day toy is quite apparent. Although the best effort was put into returning it to its “stock” configuration there is still some evidence of past modifications such as mounting point holes drilled in the strut towers for a previous heavy-duty cross brace. There is a Conforti cold air intake in place as well as a Bimmerworld silicone intake boot. Apart from these modifications the engine bay is in overall good order with some minor paint chipping present and scratching present but an otherwise decently clean and tidy appearance. Factory stickers are still present on the shock towers and all the appropriate VIN stickers are in place.
The spartan rear trunk area is in decent order with the carpets showing minimal wear and decent fitment. There is a plastic organizational tray on the passenger side but no spare tire and no tools since these did not come with a toolset. Factory stickers are still applied to the underside of the trunk lid and the correct VIN stickers are present where they should be. Lifting the carpet mat reveals factory plastics and surfaces, showing some paint chipping and dirt but otherwise solid and issue-free surfaces.
The underside of this M3 Lightweight shows as one would expect from the condition of the car. It's overall solid and well looked after but there is some scratching and scuffing in high wear areas like the underside of the front spoiler. There is some minor road dirt accumulation but the floors and underside as a whole appear to be solid. The old roll cage mounting points are present on the underside of the floors but they have been shored up and the holes sealed with filler. Much of the suspension and brake components were replaced with stock components during the car's recommissioning and it is apparent in their clean and tidy appearance.
There is clear evidence of this vehicle's previous duty as a track day toy present in the engine bay and on the underside of the vehicle. For a better understanding of these areas please review the detailed photos in the gallery above.
This M3 benefits from over $16,000 in service and reconditioning work leaving it running well and ready to be enjoyed. Despite the removal of much of the aftermarket components, the car still does have an aftermarket cam contributing to a bit of a rougher and lumpy idle than it would have stock. There is also a slight rattle from the exhaust. Other than this, the car makes excellent power, smooth and linear throughout the rev range. It idles fine and holds temperature well. There are no flat spots or stumbles on acceleration.
The transmission shifts easily between gears and holds power with no issues. The clutch takeup feels appropriate and provides good feedback with a solid catch point and no shutter or jerking.
brakes and suspension
Both the braking systems as well as the suspension were completely gone through during this vehicle's extensive reconditioning. Aftermarket suspension and braking components were replaced with the correct factory pieces leaving both of these systems in fantastic order. The brakes bring the car to a smooth and controlled stop with a good pedal feel and no issues. The suspension feels tight and compliant with no odd road noises or behaviors to speak of.
The tires are a brand new set of Yokohama Advan Fleva BSW B on all four corners in size 235/40R17 90W.
The E36 M3 is a phenomenal machine in its own right, but with the extra weight savings and slight performance boost provided by the M3 Lightweight, it turns it into a whole different animal. If the looks weren't enough to inform you, stepping behind the wheel makes it very apparent that this is a true homologation vehicle, designed with the explicit purpose of going racing. Its scant production numbers and supreme drivability mean that the BMW M3 Lightweight will always remain a very special vehicle in the long lineage of other fantastic machines that have emanated from the Bavarian powerhouse of an auto manufacturer.