Spotted: LSA-equipped BMW M3

When it comes to engine swaps the LS platform is pretty common. We have seen it used in classic cars, Japanese cars, and even a few European makes. While Chevrolet Performance Parts was on the 2018 Hot Rod Power Tour, The Block spotted a 1995 BMW E36 M3 that we just had to share.

According to Chevrolet Performance Parts The Block, the car is owned by Michael Richardson and powered by a supercharged LSA engine. Richardson is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and previously owned a fourth-generation Camaro featuring an LS1.

“I had the universal donor for any kind of swap basically since they’re such a good [platform] to start with,” he said during Power Tour’s last day at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte. “So I was just looking for something to put that motor and drivetrain in and kind of stumbled on this BMW. It’s actually pretty easy; it’s not too complicated. You can make all the factory stuff work.”

First, Richardson added a T56 transmission, then got an LS3 rotating assembly from Chevrolet Performance and topped it off with an LSA blower.

“I’m brand loyal to Chevrolet Performance engines,” Richardson said. “I know nothing about the BMW stuff unless I need to know about it. But I’m brand loyal to the LS stuff. If it’s got an LS in it, I’m going to like it.”

He bought the E36 four years ago specifically to do a swap, although the BMW was a complete running and driving car. According to The Block, 2018 is the first year Richardson participated in the Power Tour as a Long Hauler, but he and a friend had hit some of the more convenient stops closer to home over the past two years.

“It’s tiring, it will wear you out,” Richardson said of his first Long Haul experience. “We don’t have AC, but fortunately we’ve got a reliable car. We kind of did the reliability mod with the BMW with the LS in there.”

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About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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