To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
Chassis No. WBAEJ13461AH60971
Estimate: $220,000 - $240,000 US
BMW introduced its quirky Z1 Roadster with roll-up doors in 1988. Next on the scene was the mass-market Z3 in 1995. The Z8 arrived in production form in 2001. The three cars couldn’t be more different in their design, engineering and intention. However, like the Z3, the Z8 was chosen to star in the newest James Bond film, The World is Not Enough, where it met an untimely end.
Inspiration for the Z8 came in 1993 when BMW’s Wolfgang Reitzle and Bernd Pischetrsrieder attended a party at the factory where a vintage BMW 507 was displayed. The duo liked what they saw and decided that, one day, they would try to repeat the feat. Conceived under code Z07, a team from BMW Technik GmbH developed a concept car that was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1997.
The Z8 was to serve not only as a “halo” car for the BMW lineup but was also used as a test bed for new engineering techniques. The real technical achievement was hidden from view—an advanced form of welded and extruded aluminum space-frame chassis construction. Despite the high cost, it proved feasible. Ultimately, the same construction methods were used to underpin the BMW-engineered Rolls-Royce Phantom when it appeared four years later. The beautiful and timeless styling was the work of Henrik Fisker, who was then heading up BMW’s Designworks studio in California.
The understructure was built up at BMW’s Dingolfing plant, with final assembly in dedicated workshops at the Munich plant. All Z8s were fitted with BMW’s silky smooth and powerful 400 horsepower 4.9-liter V-8, as used in 5- and 7-series models while backed up by a Getrag six-speed gearbox from the M5. The limited production model went on sale in 2000, and just 2,543 of the 5,703 built came to the United States at a base price of $128,000 fully equipped.
This attractive Z8 is finished in black with a richly appointed tan leather interior. It has just over 7,000 miles from new and is equipped with “100 percent of the options, including the removable hardtop.” Among these features are Xenon headlamps, factory alloy wheels, a premium sound system, full power accessories, black canvas top and the corresponding top boot. Z8s were built in limited numbers when new, and few come up for sale, especially in the exceptional condition of this example. The Z8 offers advanced engineering clothed in a modern yet timeless design. 2001 BMW Z8 Convertible