Although not the primary BMW-powered car in our Uncommon Rides sequence, and never the primary with two doorways, it is the primary BMW convertible we’ve seen right here. And the 2 aforementioned doorways on this little convertible have One Easy Trick up their sleeve — disappearing into the physique of the automotive. It’s the form of element you’d solely count on on some loopy previous Citroën.
However that’s not the one distinctive side of the Z1. Need to study one thing?
Many years in the past, BMW determined upon a brand new Z-series of automobiles, all of which had been to be two-seat roadsters. The primary Z was after all the Z1, offered between 1989 and 1991.
The tidy dimensions of the 154 inch-long roadster had been additionally distinctive in composition. The physique was lined in detachable plastic panels (form of like a Saturn). Throughout the mannequin’s preliminary run, BMW recommended homeowners would possibly buy an extra set of panels with a view to change the automotive’s colour on occasion.
The Z1’s attention-grabbing design is credited to Hurt Lagaay. After working at BMW from 1985 to 1989, Lagaay would go away to work for Porsche (for the second time) and rack up fairly a listing of notable designs. See if you happen to’ve heard of any: Porsche 911, 924, Boxster, Cayenne, 996, Carrera GT.
Having designed every part of significance at Porsche, he retired in 2004.
However again to this Uncommon Trip. Z1s are motivated by a 2.5-liter inline-six engine, paired with a five-speed guide — each objects borrowed straight from the 325i. Inside parts are commonplace BMW of the interval, aside from jazzy camo-pattern seats. The small general dimensions put area at a premium, and meant zero Z1s had been offered with air-con.
The roadster’s doorways are electrically pushed (together with the home windows) through motors connected to rubber belts. Due to the excessive sills — which made entry and exit a swish affair spectacle — the Z1 is operable with the doorways within the down place.
As speculative consumers snapped up early fashions as investments, gross sales had been all the time hampered by sluggish manufacturing. BMW was solely in a position to construct a most of 10 to 20 Z1s in a day. Demand previous the mannequin’s debut was overhyped, and didn’t translate into actual gross sales. After manufacturing ended after simply three years, BMW took time without work from the Z-game, remaining roadsterless till the launch of the much more sensible Z3 in 1995.
Right here’s one thing you don’t see day by day; a automotive constructed past the Berlin Wall, in West Germany.
Our specific instance as we speak is presently discovered on Craigslist of New York. The vendor signifies (very like the Hooper Bentley) that the Z1 was a particular order left-hand drive car for a Japanese proprietor, and solely not too long ago made its solution to the USA.
With simply 1,500 miles on the clock, that is certainly one of many cleanest and least-traveled Z1s of the eight,000 produced. It’s yours for $135,000.
[Images via seller]