The Z1 is arguably one of the most special models to ever leave the factory gates of BMW. The crazy doors alone are enough to make this car unique, but the whole car is basically a prototype. This beautiful red example has been in the possession of just two owners, who put just 27.300 km on it.
If a BMW model starts what a Z, you probably know what that means: it's a roadster. However, what not everyone knows is that this letter originally stood for Zukunft (meaning future). A very appropriate name for the first Z model, the Z1. Why? Because it's basically an experimental prototype. One that actually made it into production.
One of the best-known and most striking features of the BMW Z1 are, of course, the doors. Doors that open forwards, backwards and upwards had already been done, but BMW thought there was another way. The Z1 received doors that open downwards. With the push of a button, the doors disappear into the door sills. If you want, you can drive this car with the doors open all day long. Just because you can.
However, the Z1 is not a one-trick pony. There is much more that makes this car special. The bodywork, for example. BMW used various special plastics for this. The doors and side panels are made of Xenoy thermoplastic, whereas the hood and boot lid are made of GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic).
The flat undertray is made out of plastic as well. This ensures optimum downforce, as does the ingeniously designed front and rear bumpers. And then, of course, there's the wedge shape. Add to that the relatively low weight and you have a car with excellent cornering abilities. All of this was designed by Harm Lagaay, who would later go on to design the Porsche 924, Boxster, 996 and Carrera GT.
Under the hood the M20 engine can be found, the 2.5 liter straight-six that was also used in the E30 325i. The front suspension was borrowed from the 325i as well. The rear suspension however, was not derived from the E30. This was a multi-link suspension, another novelty. Together with the 8-series, the Z1 was the first BMW to be equipped with this type of suspension.
A total of 8.000 units of the Z1 have been built from 1989 to 1991. Only a few dozen of these were originally delivered in the Netherlands. This red one is one of them. With only two owners, 27.300 kilometers on the clock and a beautiful colour, this is a very desirable example.
The classic roadster recipe, but improved. At its introduction quite pricey and although groundbreaking in terms of design, novelties and road holding, the Z1 seemed slightly underpowered. The 2.5 liter six-in-line with 170 hp is a wonderful engine, but BMW did not move the boundaries. A test drive with a Z1 should actually last longer than the well-known hour. Because the straight-line performance is good, but not spectacular (0 to 100 in 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 225 km/h). Take it on a longer road trip, and you'll fall for its qualities.
We once spent 2 weeks on the road with a Z1, to the Monaco Grand Prix and back. Via mainly N-roads and of course the Route Napoleon. Simply fantastic. Wonderful road holding, wringing out the silky six-in-line and of course the surprised looks when the doors disappear. You can't drive more open than this in a convertible. Arriving in Monaco we got more attention than any Ferrari; 'where are the doors?!?'.
It makes the BMW Z1 a Collectable that every enthusiast should once have owned. This Z1 also has a (demonstrably!) low mileage and the red is still red. You won't find them like this anymore.
This BMW is equipped from factory with:
BMW LM wheel BMW styling II (S283)
The first owner had a Sony radio CDX 7580 with CD player installed. Apart from that, this BMW Z1 is still completely original.
There are some minor signs of use, documented on the photos:
Light stone chips on the hood
Small cracks in both GRP front fenders where they are screwed on the body (not visible with the bonnet closed).
The car still has its original paint and the red is actually still red. The car does not suffer from known Z1 issues such as cracks in the GRP bodywork or scratches on the doors.
The most important points from the recent service history are:
April 29, 2021 - 26.802 km - BMW Dusseldorp: gear oil, differential oil changed, fuel filter gaskets replaced
April 2, 2021 - 26.590 km - BMW Dusseldorp: MOT + timing belt, serpentine belt, valve cover gasket replaced, brake fluid and coolant changed
October 7, 2019 - 25.979 km - Rob Leeuwenburgh B.V.: clutch slave cylinder replaced
July 6, 2018 - 25.000 km - BMW The Hague (now Dusseldorp): new battery
August 28, 2017 - 24.254 km - Rob Leeuwenburgh B.V.: cylinder head gasket, thermostat housing replaced, oil + oil filter, coolant changed
March 13, 2017 - 24.049 km - Rob Leeuwenburgh B.V.: timing belt, water pump replaced, coolant changed
Included with sale
Manuals & service history
About the seller
The owner has been a BMW enthusiast for years. Ten years ago he decided to buy something really special from BMW. This particular BMW Z1. At the time, the car came from the first owner, a true BMW collector with several cars of the German brand in his garage, which also explains the particularly low mileage. While in possession of the current owner, this Z1 once won first prize for the most beautiful and original BMW during an event at Classic Park in Boxtel. The reason for selling this car? After enjoying the unique convertible for years, it is now time for something different. The owner has taken very good care of the car (as can be seen in the service history as well) and always kept it in a well-ventilated garage.
Seller - Steve Seller type - Private Location - The Netherlands VIN - WBABA91080AL04368 Year/date of production - August 6, 1990 First registration - August 22, 1990 Mileage - 27.300 km Verifiable - Yes, NAP verified Warranty - No Body type - Convertible Engine - 2,5 liter straight-six with 170 hp Lay-out - Rear-wheel drive Transmission - 5-speed manual Exteriorcolour - Top Red (257) Interior colour - Grey/Dark Grey Upholstery - Leather Smoker's car - No Owners - 2, including current In possession since - September 21, 2012 Tires - Continental Sport-2FR (front: 2013, 8 mm; rear: 2013, 7,5 mm)
The description of this Collectable has been created with the utmost care, based on information from and validated by the seller. The Collectables performs a (pre) selection based on the information provided and consults public sources for any irregularities. However, bidders themselves must ascertain the correctness of the description and can, if desired, have a personal investigation carried out. All Collectables on our platform can be subjected to any possible inspection, investigation or valuation by buyers in advance, of course in consultation with the seller. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more details.