• Jan 16, 2007
Pay more, get less. That's okay, looking at the pictures of this rare lightweight E36, it's not exactly slumming. There were under 150 of the 1995 "Coupe Sport Light" M3's produced and here's your chance to part with a lot of cash to own one.

The cars were intended for competition, so some of the creature comforts of the more pedestrian M3s were removed. Extravagant things like air conditioning and sound deadening, gone. Steel door skins were replaced by aluminum; you'll forego leather seats, a sunroof, even a radio. Who cares about all that stuff? Leather looks crappy after a while, a sunroof cuts into headroom, and with handpicked, extra-strong sixes underhood, the CSLs obviated the need for a radio. To us, it sounds less like a penalty box and more like the M3 we'd want, anyway. Power seats and geegaws have no place in a car with sporting intentions, but the market demands them. What all that extra equipment eventually translates to, besides weight, is stuff to fix. The CSL M3's return you to a simpler time, offering an equipment level closer to the beloved 2002tii; a moment of silence, please.

This particular example has just over 7000 miles on the odo, and looks to be meticulously kept. We'd love to take it out and flog it 'til the cosmoline stinks. Exclusivity has its price, for the mere starting bid of $39,975, you can start dreaming of the day you're wheeling your ultra rare Bimmer around and some cretin at the supermarket dings it.

Thanks for the tip, Spencer!


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  • 24 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Octane cars has an M3 GTR and a Subaru ESX STI Easystreet. Check them out: www.octanecars.com
      • 8 Years Ago
      The US 'special' engine S50B30US was pointless when compared to what Porsche offered in the 968, a 3.0 I4 with 240ps@6200 and 225ft-lbs@4100.
      The real M engine had 282hp@7000 and 236ft-lbs@3600, and that came out 15 years ago.
      Then the real M engine was upgraded with Double VANOS 317hp@7400 and 258ft-lbs@3250, the US upgrade was more displacement, more torque 236ft-lbs@ 3800 (unless it was the automatic then 225ft-lbs)

      Then the US finally gets into the M game (beside the 850csi) with the S54B32
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 95 M3 CSL, or more commonly known as Lightweights, are exceptional cars. They do an admirable job of performing well beyond the 240 horses that were supplied by the factory.

      I have the pleasure of owning one, which has been a race car since 95 and it hunbles many a competitor.

      BTW, I bought the above referenced car of much discussion, and cant be happier to own a second CSL.

      Cheers!
      • 8 Years Ago
      The irony here is that the opening bid is probably more than most US LTWs originally sold for. Charging a premium for a car stripped of all amenities turned out not to be a successful formula for BMW and dealers had to heavily discount the LTWs to get rid of them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very well said Carzzi, Andre, and hennescrewed. While the starting price might feel high for a decontented car, this is a great example of a sweet spot in automotive history. It has just enough electronics, plenty of power, yet without excessive mass that curses all, but Lotus products. I'm sure there are E30 M3 fans on one side and E46 M3 on the other that will disagree, but this may be the best BMW.
      • 8 Years Ago
      here is a very small group of people that cares that that is a m3 lightweight 90% cant afford it anyways
      the other 9% think the price is dumb.

      IMO there isn't a market for older 70s-90's bmws BMW's yet. Right now it's just a used car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well #5 nagmashot, the Euro the M3 3.0 (s50b30) of that year made 286hp not 321hp; the 321 hp 3.2 litre s50b32 came later.

      You may call that S50B30US "pointless"; but it did make the car less expensive to produce and certify. I recall reading that the producing and certifying the Euro engine equipped M3 would have cost around $15-20K more than the version that did make it to the US.

      Even so, it produced a healthy 240hp/225 lb.ft, a deficit of 40hp/11 lb.ft from the Euro S50. Is that something that $20K could fix? Sure! Yet, out the box, it would run mid-fives to 60 and 14s@100mph in the 1/4mi. Times like that are competitive even today, with the likes of the 350Z and S2000. And the US M3 could handle every bit as well as the Euro. Not bad for a 12 yr old car that cost a competitive $35K back then (not the LTW of course).

      So, is that engine "pointless", even in a LTW? One shouldn't think so. It is a factory original LTW with that US engine, and should be sold that way to retain its provenance. Sure, I could buy it and swap-in an S50B32-Euro... but then I'd keep that factory-cherry-picked original engine shrinkwrapped for when it came time to pass it on the next bimmerphile.
      • 8 Years Ago
      E30 m3 will probably be the only m3 worth anything in the next 10-15 years. Right now a good e30 m3 can sell for as much as or more than a used e36 m3. We'll probably have to wait for those who were kids in 1980's to hit their 50's and have gobs of disposable income
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looking to reduce weight? Get rid of that rediculous spoiler. Those graphics are hideous as well. I can't imagine someone would pay for an interior like that. Only BMW.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just for information: The car shown was initially called M3 GT (in my eyes the CSL came only with the E46 M3, at least in Europe).
      The other special version of the E36 was the M3 GTR (even before the E46 M3 GTR, which was succesful in the ALMS) with additional winglets on the front and huge fenders to allow extra large racing wheels.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Um, I don't see any leather, or AC. I see cloth seats, and a functional heat/vent system. Are we looking at the same car RR? Oh, and as this car is an American spec car, you're right, it is "some kind of special American model." And, BMW called this model the CSL.

      As for the 286HP comment, a little bit of research would tell you that all American-spec e36 M3's had less than 286HP (240 actually). And I'm sure there were people in BMW-M who thought that was a bad thing, but it's what happened.

      What other M-cars have had less than 286HP? The first M3 comes to mind. The e30 M3 had 200+/- (depending on the year, later Evo cars came with more). That was an M-car that very few would be embarrassed about. In fact, I have yet to drive a car that handles better than my dad's '89 M3. (I admit, I haven't driven a lot of exotic cars, but the e30 M3 handles like it's on rails... curvy, sinuous, glorious rails).

      So, if you're trying to redefine what an M-car is, you go ahead and believe what you want, but don't rail on someone who's selling a car for advertising it under the model name which the manufacturer gave it. (Go ahead and rail on someone selling a '95 e36 M3 with a 3.2L V6... that's a car that BMW didn't ever make.)
      • 8 Years Ago
      That's NOT a CSL. The CSL's of that era had a large front scoop spoiler, had nowhere near that amount of weight inside (carpets, leather, air-con and all the other heavyweight stuff). They also had CSL logo on the rear and had 350+HP - not 240. No M car has ever had less than 286BHP. The M factory would be embarrassed to let such a weak-ass car leave the factory. I reckon this is some kind of special American model. It sure ain't a CSL.
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