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2001 BMW Z8 Roadster
Chassis no. WBAEJ13441AH60841

In recent times many motor manufacturers, particularly those with a significant sporting heritage, have felt the need to reference iconic models from the past when launching their latest. BMW has proved adept at exploiting this 'retro' trend, commencing in 1996 with the Z3 coupé and convertible, the styling of which brilliantly recalled its fabulous '328' sports car of pre-war days. Its next effort along similar lines - the 'Z07' concept car of 1997 - took its inspiration from the post-war Alfred Goetz-designed '507', a luxurious limited-edition roadster.

The sensation of the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show, the Z07 was received so enthusiastically that BMW took the decision to press ahead with a production version: the Z8. For the most part the Z8 remained remarkably faithful to the original concept, retaining the 507-like twin-nostril front grille and distinctive front-wing vents. A period-style interior had been one of the Z07's most remarked upon features, and that too made it into the Z8.

The Z8's body panelling and spaceframe chassis were fabricated in lightweight and corrosion resistant aluminium, while the 32-valve 4,941cc V8 engine, shared with the M5 saloon, was built by BMW's Motorsport division. With 400bhp on tap, the Z8 raced to 100km/h (62mph) in 4.7 seconds and only the built-in rev limiter stopped it from exceeding 250km/h (155mph). Power reached the run-flat tyres via a Getrag six-speed manual gearbox. Needless to say, the Z8 also came with all the modern appurtenances one would expect of a flagship model: traction control, stability control, front and side air bags, GPS navigation, climate control, and power operation of the seats, steering wheel, and convertible hood all being included in the package.

The fact that the Z8 was a low-volume model assembled, for the most part, by hand, enabled BMW to offer customers considerable freedom in personalising their cars. Further enhancing its appeal to collectors, the factory announced that a 50-year stockpile of Z8 parts would be maintained. Despite a (US) launch price of over $128,000, initial demand was so high that a bidding war broke out, with many Z8s selling for well in excess of that figure. By the time production ceased at the end of 2002, 5,703 of these fabulous cars had been built.

This particular BMW Z8 was delivered new to Mr Jason Claxton in Grand River, Ontario in January 2001, passing to its next owner - Lorenzo Giordano, a prominent member of the Montreal Mafia - in 2003, by which time it had covered fewer than 20,000 kilometres. In May 2007 Giordano was arrested and spent the next eight years in prison; released in December 2015, he was shot dead in March 2016. The car was put on the market a few weeks later with 24,693 kilometres recorded, and early in 2017 was imported into Luxembourg.

A major service was carried out by Garage Ginion in Waterloo when the car arrived in Belgium in March 2017 (at 25,148 kilometres), which included converting the radio to European specification (detailed bills available). The most recent service was undertaken by Garage Bilia-Edmond in Luxembourg in 2019. Since the car's arrival in Luxembourg in 2017, a total of €7,200 has been spent on various works including replacing both front lights, the right taillight, and the left door trim cup holder (October 2017); replacing all the cylinder head coolant hoses (May 2019); and fitting a new battery (June 2020). Invoices for all these works and parts are on file together with those relating to the car's importation into Europe in February 2017.

Finished in grey with black leather interior, the latter smelling like new, this beautiful Z8 Roadster is presented in pristine condition, with a spotless engine bay, and is still on its original tyres. The car comes complete with windbreak and cover; canopy cover; original radio; coffee table book; two keys; Motorola/Startac BMW mobile telephone (Canadian specification); tool kit; Carte Grise; and Contrôle Technique.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department