The chassis was specially designed for the Z1 and features a number of innovative features: removable body panels; continuously zinc welded seams; a composite undertray; as well as the unusual dropped doors. Parts of the car (including the engine, gearbox, and front suspension) were borrowed from the BMW E30 325i, but the Z1 remains largely original. The 6 cylinder 2.5-litre engine was borrowed from the already highly successful BMW E30 325i and this, coupled to the fact that the body of the car was constructed from light weight composite materials, gave the car adequate performance. Some 8,000 examples were produced between 1988 and 1991 when production ceased.
Of the 8,093 produced, around 7,000 stayed in Germany, and a mere 77 cars were registered to new owners in the UK, of which just 50 or so are estimated to survive today. You will recognise a genuine UK-delivered car by the speedo in MPH and fuel gauge measured in gallons.
The example you see here has a fascinating history. In 1990 the band New Order released their single “World In Motion” in support of England’s campaign at the World Cup held in Italy that year. The track was an instant hit, going on to become the band’s first and only number one; in recognition of this Factory Records gifted Bernard Sumner of the band with a brand new BMW Z1. Bernard clearly loved his Z1 dearly, owning the car for 23 years in total. Although the car itself was unmodified, unsurprisingly the Z1 was fitted with a state of the art Alpine ICE system and CD changer.
The Z1 is offered in good condition in all respects, in particular the convertible roof is clean, as is the original leather “camouflage” leather interior. The service book shows 13 stamps in total (all but one with a BMW dealer), and the Z1 is additionally offered with a UK V5 and fresh MOT. Stored in a temperature controlled garage and only driven when dry, and with a recent cambelt service and new tyres, this is not only a nice example of an appreciating classic, but one with a very interesting history of ownership.