- Post is under moderation1989 BMW Z1 £38,000
This looks like a well-preserved Z1 – just replace the original tyres and your summer will be full of fun, reckons Paul Hardiman.
This German-market Z1, in a slightly unusual Traumschwarz (Dream Black) came to the UK in 1998 with just three home-market stamps in its service book, all from BMW main dealers, and after two owners. There are now 11 more stamps from UK dealers and specialists and the latest of its four UK owners has compiled a detailed history summary. Last cambelt change was in 2016 at 83,737km (52,031 miles), new rear springs were fitted in 2014. The odometer now reads 84,680km (52,617 miles).
The composite body is free from cracks – these cars tend to go first around the door locks as everything stiffens up with age, but this one is fine. It’s had some areas repainted – the last bill is dated 2012, but it doesn’t look like a full respray.
The wheels have been refinished in BMW Sparkle Silver and are shod in original-specification Goodyear Eagles. They all have good tread, but at least two are so ancient they’re not even datestamped and the newest is 12 years old.
If you intend to enjoy the car, they need putting on a shelf and using for show only. It’s not scraped under the floorpan or chin and the exhaust looks to be in fair shape, although the outer layer of the transverse rear silencer – which doubles as an aerofoil – is flaking.
Z1 interiors, especially the seats, are not very robust and show their age quickly, but these have done quite well, being a little baggy on the bases as is normal but not too worn or discoloured, and the front bolsters are good. Carpets and dash plastics are all good apart from one tiny nick in front of the passenger. There’s a genuine BMW Bavaria stereo too – some came with aftermarket Sony units.
The hood is original and good, apart from one tiny wear hole on the right-hand side. Most important, the electric doors open and close perfectly, as do the windows, and there’s no scuffing on their inner trims which happens if they wear or get badly out of adjustment. There’s slight wear to the sill side trims, caused by the driver and passenger sliding across to get in and out, but that’s normal.
In the boot, the original toolkit remains clipped under the lid next to the warning triangle and the first-aid kit has never been opened. There’s a car cover too.
The straight-six is clean and workmanlike rather than concours. Fluids are to maximum levels and it fires instantly. There’s a little balljoint-like rattle over potholes in Project Shop’s driveway, but it doesn’t feel worn out and drives nicely, with everything working as it should and the temperature steady a third of the way up the gauge. These cars aren’t blindingly fast, being slightly heavier than the E30 325i from which they borrow most of their mechanicals, but performance is adequate and handling excellent.
As well as the detailed history file, there’s a photocopy of the Z1 repair manual, two sets of keys and an MoT until January. You can have a regular British numberplate if you want, too.
CHOOSE YOUR Z1
In production from March 1989 to June 1991, demand for Z1s is so high that 8000 are built, all LHD, against an original plan for 5000.
The car is based on E30 and E36 mechanicals in a steel ‘punt’ chassis, clad in removable thermoplastic and glassfibre panels.
The Z1 sees the first use of BMW’s multi-link rear ‘Z axle’, but its big novelty is electrically operated doors that slide down into the sills. 66 Alpina RLE conversions are built, all with 2.7-litre 204bhp engines.
Just 50-150 cars (depending on who you believe) are officially imported into the UK, all with mph speedos and priced at £36,925. Expect to pay a small premium over mainland European examples if you can find one.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #1989 / #BMW-Z1 / #BMW / #BMW-Z-Series / #BMW-Z1-E30 / #BMW-Z-Series-E30 /
Contact Project Shop, Bicester, Oxfordshire (projectshop.co.uk, 01869 351883)
Engine 2494cc, sohc, inline six-cylinder, #Bosch-Motronic fuel injection / #BMW-M20 / #M20 / #M20B25
Power 171bhp @ 5800rpm DIN
Torque 164lb ft @ 4300rpm DIN
Performance Top speed: 140mph; 0-60mph: 7.8sec
Fuel consumption 30mpg
Seats have aged well for a Z1 and the rest of the cabin’s in good nick.
2494cc straight-six won’t win a concours prize but it works well.
Bodywork and wheels look good and the sliding electric doors work as they should.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #BMW-ArtCars / #A-R-Penck-Z1 / #A-R-Penck / #BMW-Z1 / #BMW-Z1-A-R-Penck / #BMW-Z1-E30 / #BMW-Z1-ArtCar / #BMW / #1991 / #BMW-Z-Series / #BMW-Z-Series-E30
BMW’s 11th #Art-Cars / #BMW-Art-Cars is unique for two reasons: it’s the only Roadster to be a canvas and is the only one painted by a German artist.
You could argue that neither the artist of this month’s Art Car, A R Penck, nor the car itself fit into a particular system, they’re both non-conformists. This is certainly demonstrated by the artist painting his secret language on the Z1 Roadster, which is mainly comprised of symbols, forms and archaic-looking shapes that call out to be decoded.
A R Penck was born as Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939. At the early age of 17, the self-taught artist had already held his first exhibition. In the years to follow, Penck devoted most of his time to studying the works of Picasso, Rembrandt and prehistoric cave paintings, the latter of which, in 1960/’61, was to result in the famous silhouetted ‘Matchstick Man’. The study of mathematics, cybernetics and physics increased his knowledge of pictorial language and Penck’s works soon became internationally acclaimed. They are now exhibited in museums throughout Europe, Japan and the USA.
To Penck, the BMW Z1 is already a “work of art”, worthy of the term #BMW-Art-Car , as it already reflects the creativity and imagination of its designers and engineers. “Art-on-art and art-on-technology… that interested me, especially art on a three-dimensional object,” he commented. Penck became inspired by technical design, and challenging it with his own cosmos and sign language. In its simplicity it’s reminiscent of prehistoric cave paintings but it is, nonetheless, a challenge to the observer, as the figures and signs resulting from a long process of abstraction are codes that have to be deciphered.
The Z1 was commissioned shortly after German reunification and as the first German artist he paints an Art Car with little reference to the car itself and with a lot of irony: “I have only been a passenger in a car for many years and I have only ever been a passenger in a BMW!” he said.
Penck’s work has always been provoking so it was perhaps only natural that his way to get himself in the mood to paint the Z1 raised a few eyebrows. He did this by playing the drums just before painting the car to feel the vibration and then he painted the car with thick black paint in around 15 minutes.
“Every artist is like a general who knows his battle order and has his soldiers on call to be used as needed. In the old days artists painted the sun but today everything is a bit more abstract,” said Penck. “The interesting thing about a work of art is not what it actually shows but first that it is shown and then how it is shown – you need to assume that you can think anything about it.” That’s one of the wonderful things about Penck’s Z1 – the car presents you with more riddles than answers and as for the hidden meanings, Penck leaves that to your own imagination…Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationHITS THE SPOT Z1 PERFECTION Tweaked and tuned Roadster
An oddity it might be but the Z1 is a mighty fine driving machine that can be easily enhanced with a few choice mods. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Sebas Mol.
Super-slick BMW Z1 E30
“Few cars are capable of turning this many heads with so little effort”
I don’t like convertibles, I don’t like roadsters, I don’t like soft-tops in general – whatever you may choose to call them. Most girls do, but not me. I have nothing against them or the people who choose to buy them but they’re just not for me. The Z1, on the other hand, well that’s a different matter altogether. For some reason this futuristic oddity has always been very special to me and I still remember being blown away when I first saw it at the British International Motor Show at Earls Court back in #1988 at the tender age of six. But how could you not have been, even as an adult at the time? Or even as an adult now?
The ‘Z’ in BMW’s Z models stands for ‘Zukunft’, meaning ‘future’ in German, and no other model has managed to capture the essence of that word so completely as the Z1. The Z8 did look pretty futuristic but it was a modern reimagining of the 507. The Z1, however, was its own car and one that has magically managed to avoid ageing. It’s such a rarity and such a great-looking machine, especially with the roof down. Its clean lines and fantastic styling details belie its 27 years of existence. Whilst on a shoot with one a few years ago a passer-by even wandered over and asked if this was the new model of BMW!
Now, Z1s are expensive so you have to be pretty committed to want to modify one, but for owner Patrick Emperhoff modifying was the logical course of action when it came to bringing his sorry-looking Z1 up to scratch. “I have been interested in BMWs since I was 18 years old and the Z1 was the car that started it all for me, although I did not have enough money to buy one at the time,” he says. That didn’t stop him from indulging in some of BMW’s other offerings, though, including an E30 318i Cab, an E21 that he swapped an Alpina M20B27 engine into, a 2002Ti, and E93 335i – all of which he still has. He never stopped thinking about that Z1, though, and had to wait 15 long years before he finally got to fulfil his teenage dream and pick up this very car.
It was, says Patrick, in a bad way. Not that you’d have any clue looking at it now. It’s not just super-clean but has been treated to a host of choice mods that have given it the sort of purposeful look that we approve of. As far as the styling goes, this Z1 has been left alone because, well, why mess around with such a great shape?
Whatever position and combination of doors and roof you go for the Z1 refuses to look ungainly or ugly and few cars are capable of turning this many heads with so little effort. So, if you’re not going to touch the styling, what can you do to up the ante in the looks department? Wheels and suspension? Yeah, that’ll do it…
The wheels, Patrick tells us, were already on the car when he bought it, although the centres had been painted violet, which we can’t imagine was a good look. But now those 17” OZ Futuras deserve all the praise that you can heap upon them, with Patrick getting the centres back to a far more natural and neutral silver, while the dishes have been polished to perfection. They really suit the car, especially when combined with the drop delivered by Patrick’s choice of suspension. You’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to aftermarket suspension choices for the Z1 but if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. This is why this example has been treated to a set of special production coilovers from H&R, which deliver a ride height that’s spot-on. The chassis has been further sharpened-up with the addition of some Powerflex bushes, while under the bonnet sits an aluminium strut brace.
A lot of the changes that Patrick has carried out are beneath the skin, while we can’t see them, he can most definitely enjoy the positive effects they have on the driving experience.
The Z1 interior is a strange place, a mix of familiar #BMW-E30 switchgear, a few oddities, like the mismatched speedo and rev counter (the latter being smaller and sticking further out from the instrument cluster), and those seats. They are quite unlike anything ever fitted to a BMW before or since, with their futuristic styling, a creative combination of materials and that crazy camo print pattern.
They’re super-comfy, super-grippy, and offer loads of support – which are all things you want from a seat mounted in a car that handles as sweetly as the Z1, especially with that uprated suspension on board. To further sharpen-up his Roadster’s responses Patrick has fitted a quicker steering rack to pick up the slack, with a smart Alpina steering wheel offering the perfect means with which to carve through corners, along with a short-shift kit.
While the Z1 is nimble and light on its feet, with a capable and willing chassis, the #M20B25 under the bonnet doesn’t have quite enough grunt to make the most of what the chassis is capable of. It’s still a glorious engine and with 170hp and 164lb ft of torque it’s not short of shove but the Z1 is crying out for a little more under-bonnet action. Patrick hasn’t gone mad on engine mods but he’s carried out a few tweaks to make the most of what he’s got. A chip has helped to perk the engine up a bit while a Wiesmann exhaust has given it a more sonorous soundtrack. Finally, a 3.90 LSD has added a lot more punch and made the Z1 feel a lot quicker and more responsive.
The combination of H&R coilovers, quicker steering, a short-shift, and a shorter final drive has resulted in a car that is insanely fun to drive, with plenty of straight line punch. Patrick has turned an already sharp chassis into one that’s scalpel-like in its precision and response. Indeed, the chassis upgrades are Patrick’s favourite aspects of his Z1. “I love the suspension and the quick steering; it feels like a gokart!” he says with a grin. And, while he’s more than happy to show it off, because you can’t own a Z1 and shy away from attention, this is not a show queen and his future plans for it are entirely centred around driving it. We couldn’t approve of that any more if we tried.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE #BMW-Z1-E30 / #BMW-Z-Series / #BMW-Z-Series-E30 / #BMW / #BMW-Z1-Wiesmann / #BMW-Z1
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: 2.5-litre straight-six #M20B25 / #BMW-M20 / #M20 , performance chip, #Wiesmann exhaust, five-speed manual gearbox, 3.90:1 LSD with M Roadster cover with cooler
CHASSIS: 8x17” (front) and 9x17” (rear) #OZ-Futura wheels with 215/40 (front and rear) tyres, #H&R special order coilovers, #PowerFlex bushes, aluminium strut brace, stainless brake hoses, quicker steering rack
INTERIOR: #Alpina steering wheel, short-shift kitStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationBrightwells June sale #1989 / Z1 / #BMW-Z1 / #BMW-M20 / #M20B27 / #M20 / #BMW-Z-Series / #BMW-Z-Series-E30 / #BMW / SOLD FOR: £ 25,000
It seems like the Z1 has been on the cusp of going up in value for many years now and we’re somewhat surprised that they’ve not attracted investors and collectors in greater numbers. This example had covered just 53,000km (approximately 33k miles) and had a large history folder packed full of receipts and invoices. At £25,000 it looked like good value for money.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #1989 / #BMW-Z1 / #BMW /
SOLD FOR: €95,450
Proof, if any were needed, that the highest prices paid are for the really low mile immaculate examples. With just 2800km from new this Z1 was about as perfect as they come and had just had €4000 spent on it replacing the cambelt and refurbishing the brakes.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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