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Lot No. 305 - 1998 BMW Z3 M-Roadster

Sold for: £21,150

The last true analogue BMW sports car? Just 41,000 miles, full service history and original bill of sale
Details Specification
  • A smart, first-generation S50-engined Roadster with the 316bhp, 3.2-litre inline-six
  • UK-supplied, right-hand drive model in Arctic Silver Metallic with Black/Estoril Blue Nappa leather
  • Just 41,000 miles, only two former keepers, full service history, original bill of sale, and a matching hardtop
  • The M-Sport spec included a limited-slip differential, a wider rear track and larger brakes
  • Z3 M-Roadster and Coupe are considered the last analogue BMW sports cars

The original BMW M Coupé and BMW M-Roadster are high-performance models of the BMW Z3 coupés/roadsters produced by BMW between 1998 and 2002.

The Z3 was the first modern mass-market roadster produced by BMW, as well as the first new BMW model to be assembled in the BMW Spartanburg plant in the US, with some major components - such as the engine and transmission - being imported from Germany. The Z3 was introduced as a 1996 model year vehicle, shortly after being featured in the James Bond movie 'Goldeneye'. While the film was number one at the box office, sales of the car peaked, and it was sold out by the time the car was launched. The Z3’s design was a tad contentious at the time, it seemed that the market wasn’t quite ready for such an Avant-Garde styling exercise from conservative BMW, but today the distinctive styling is regarded as a real virtue. The length of the bonnet and the short rear-end are complimented by swooping wheel-arches and side-vents, plus its purposeful yet comfy cockpit feels like a nice place to be.

However, it wasn’t until 1999, when BMW installed the performance version of one of the most beloved six-cylinder engines in the car industry, the 3.2-version of the S50 engine from the E36 M3, giving 316bhp at 7,400rpm 260 lb-ft of torque, that the Z3 became an interesting driver’s car. The Z3M could now sprint to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 155 mph, aided by uprated suspension, an LSD, a wider track, and larger brakes, all combining to create a proper sports car experience. Today, these cars possess a real feeling of integrity and a distinctive ‘old-school’ charm; UK’s Top Gear declared it ‘the best handling car in the business.’

Apart from the engine transplant and performance upgrades, the interior of the Z3M received a mild-makeover too and bits of chrome were added, plus a host of ‘M’ upgrades to differentiate the Z3M from the standard car.

With instant response from its naturally aspirated performance engine and a throaty growl from its quad exhausts, the Z3M is now considered as the last bastion of proper BMW sports cars. Today, the Roadster is appreciated for its timeless design, with these special cars now becoming rarer and much sought-after.

The car presented here is a particularly fine example, in Arctic Silver Metallic, with just 41,000 miles, only two former keepers, a full-service history, its original Bill of Sale, and its rare matching hardtop. Our vendor searched high and low for the right Z3M, intending it as a gift for his wife, and came across this car, which had been cherished by its first owner, was always garaged, used sparingly and was in very original and genuine condition. With thorough servicing and MOT records to verify the low mileage, it's accompanied by its full original BMW book-pack and many receipts supporting the service history (reassuringly, this includes an invoice for the brilliant yet sometimes fragile VANOS unit being changed by BMW). 

In splendid condition all round, we imagine that it would be difficult to find a better example of these spirited little German roadsters.

You can now book a one-to-one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location between 16th and 30th July. Please contact Joe on 07779 082707 / joe@silverstoneauctions.com to secure your appointment or to discuss the car in more detail. The health and safety of both our customers and team remain the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.

Year of manufacture:
Chassis number:
# of cylinders:
Engine capacity:
Body colour:
Arctic Silver Metallic
MOT Expiry:
Tuesday 30 June 2020
Right-hand Drive
Registration number:
R150 VJB
Z3 M-Roadster
Engine number:
Interior colour:
Estoril Blue nappa leather
Odometer Reading:
Warranted Mileage:

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