Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2017

Back to lot listing

1989 BMW Z1

Lot No.: 504

Registration: ULZ1898
Chassis Number: WBABA91070AL01039
Engine Number: Not Specified
CC: 2.5L
Year of Manufacture: 1989
Estimate (£): 30,000 - 35,000

Of all the BMW 'Z' cars, the 'Zukunft' tag is arguably most fittingly applied to the Z1, a car that even now, twenty-five years after it first went on sale, looks fresh and modern. The Z1 used a skeletal frame on which the body panels were mounted, making it incredibly stiff, banishing scuttle shake and giving the car superb handling. The body panels were made of plastic, mounted on a substructure of hot-dipped galvanised pressed steel and the seams were continuously zinc welded, adding 25 per cent to body stiffness. The side panels and doors were made from General Electric's 'Xenoy' injection-cast thermoplastic, the bonnet and boot lid were glass reinforced plastic and the whole body was painted in a special flexible lacquer.

'State of the art' thinking was evident in every aspect of the car's design. Those magnificent doors were operated by toothed belts which lowered both the window and door at the touch of a button. The Z1 used the innovative 'Z-axle' suspension set-up at the rear and also featured some clever aerodynamics, the front of the car was designed to create a high-pressure zone ahead of the wheels to induce downforce whilst the aerofoil-shaped rear silencer helped to decrease turbulence and lift. The engine is one of BMW's finest in the form of the M20B25 unit taken from the E30 325i. The Z1 is special in every sense of the word, its special to look at, to sit in and to drive and importantly, as the years have passed, people have clearly started to appreciate it as prices have soared. This is a marvellous little car with almost universal appeal and is, without a doubt, one of BMW's finest moments of the past thirty years.

When our vendor’s father bought this car new on the 5th August 1989, it was to spark a life-long passion in our vendor for the Z1, leading ultimately to him taking over ownership of the little Z1 from his father in 2004.  At this point, he decided to undertake a programme of extensive restoration that ultimately cost close to £25,000, all of which is receipted in detail in the history file and is covered in detail in a book titled “BMW Z1 Roadster – Celebrating the 20th Anniversary in Pictures” authored by our enthusiastic vendor.

Starting with a replacement engine, (the original head had failed at 90,000 miles),  a suitable Z1 2.5-litre engine with 33,000 miles was sourced and fitted. The details of this comprehensive restoration would fill a book (it did) and included a new 'Visco' clutch, new radiator, new belts on the electric doors, high performance 'Franz Schaffer' brake kit, 'Motorsport' suspension springs, new 3.91 'Visco' limited slip differential, new Klaus Hermann Mayer roof, Franz Schaffer glass wind deflector, new windscreen, new front light glass covers, original Z1 'Nubuck' leather seats, BTB twin exhaust system, remote locking and an original set of BMW 16 inch wheels. All of this was complemented by a panel off respray in contemporary BMW colour Chilli Red by Rene Visser of Holland.

Presented to auction with a fresh MOT, this Z1 has the distinction of being restored to an exacting standard, from long-term family ownership and is in superb order. The private registration number UL Z1 1898 is included, as is a whole host of spares and copy of the aforementioned book written by our vendor.

Please Note :  The 'ghost' door opening kit and 18 inch 'Project Khan' alloy wheels are NOT included with this lot.