As the 90s saw the re launch of the production convertible BMW‘s offering was a brand new car called the BMW Z3. Early models came with a modestly powered 1.9 140 bhp engine, which didn’t really inspire the buyer and was claimed to be under powered, however BMW already had plans for a 2.8 litre version with more power resolving this problem.
The 007 Bond edition gave the public a good look at this all new roadster and right from its launch the retro style soft top sold well as sales spiked while James Bond movie ‘Golden Eye’ hit number one at the box office.
So as not to break with tradition, an M car version was launched known as the M Roadster with a 3.2 litre engine. It was capable of a 0 to 60 time of just over 5 seconds and became a blisteringly quick addition to the vast range of Z3s available.
With the production run finishing in 2002 to make way for the Z4 model, the Z3 has quickly become a modern classic with values still waiting to increase so grab a beamer bargain for the summer while you can.
The BMW Z3 is today starting to look like a future investment and the smart buyer will be now looking to make a purchase of these little roadsters while prices still remain reasonable. Here are a few hints and tips on how to get the best for your money.
Firstly watch out for rot especially in sills; front and rear wings and boots, check these areas thoroughly. Six cylinder engines have good performance so if you are looking for a more thrilling drive steer clear of the less powerful 4 cylinder models. The electric roof does have some bugbears with the electric motors failing; this is normally down to owners manually lowering and raising the roof. Shock absorber mountings can rattle and rear sub frame mounts can be noisy so listen out on a test drive. Fuel tanks do protrude underneath the car so check for damage from bottoming out as they are expensive to replace and make sure the tool kit is still in the boot area.
The Z3 M roadster is the top of the range option with a 3.2 litre engine. Prices are high and these M cars are a more specialised proposition. Interiors look good but are a little cramped for the taller buyer and of course are a little noisy but these are the down side to a small roadster.
The BMW Z3 is BMW’s first mass-produced mass market roadster, and was the first new BMW model to be manufactured in the United States. E36/7 refers to the roadster variant of the Z3 which was introduced in 1995, and E36/8 refers to the coupe variant of the Z3 which was released in 1999.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“Modern classic cars are today future investments and it’s amazing how quickly the next new thing becomes a thing of the past. The BMW Z3 is exactly this and is now appreciated for what it was and what it is today”.