The May Sale 2017

Back to lot listing

1989 BMW Z1

Lot No.: 370

Registration: ULZ1898
Chassis Number: WBABA91070AL01039
Engine Number: Not Specified
CC: 2.5L
Year of Manufacture: 1989
RHD/LHD: Left Hand Drive
Sold for (£): 32,063

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 endowing the car with 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, including creating 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; it's special to look at, to sit in and to drive and, importantly, as the years have passed, it has started to become more appreciated and values have started to climb. 

The owner of this sparkling little Z1, prior to our vendor's purchase, had inherited the car in 2004 from his father, who had purchased it new on the 5th August 1989.  His father had enjoyed the car for all those years, but the time was right to commence a programme of extensive restoration that ultimately cost close to £25,000, all of which is carefully receipted in the history file and is covered in detail in a book entitled “BMW Z1 Roadster – Celebrating the 20th Anniversary in Pictures” which he wrote himself.

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 story 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 the contemporary BMW colour of 'Chilli Red', by Rene Visser of Holland.

For sale only because of a change in our vendor's circumstances, this Z1 has the distinction of being restored to an exacting standard, from long-term family ownership and is in superb order. It has an MoT valid until 20/02/18, and the private registration number, UL Z1 1898, is included in the sale, as is a whole host of spares and a copy of the aforementioned book written by the car's previous owner.

Note; The vendor has informed us that the car occasionally 'pops out' of reverse gear and the ant-roll bar drop-links will need replacing soon.