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This immaculate BMW Z1 is the best 'ugly duckling' we've ever seen

With less than 3000 miles on the clock, this Z1 is a true time-warp car

12w ago
6.9K

BMW's Z-car roadsters such as the Z8 and Z3 are often regarded as 'pretty' cars, but the same can't be said for the Z1. With its unusually angular design and squared-off lights, many regard it as an 'ugly duckling' within BMW's model range.

However, it had a number of redeeming factors, including those awesome retracting doors, not to mention its fairly impressive performance and handling characteristics.

Introduced at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Z1 was a world away from anything else on the road, and certainly drew a crowd - for better or worse. There was also the novel idea that buyers could change the colour of their cars at home, with the plastic body panels being removable in as little as 40 minutes, with a range of official replacement panels available in various colours from BMW.

This particular example is from 1991, and has driven just 2,377 miles since it rolled out of the factory. With its dark-grey exterior and 16" wheels, it's hardly a surprise that it is described as being up to "showroom condition."

Inside is much the same story, though the owner has upgraded the stereo system with an aftermarket unit, though this is completely un-doable should the new buyer wish to do so.

Under the hood is the 2.5l six-cylinder engine, putting out 168hp and 164 lb/ft of torque - hardly big numbers, but in a lightweight, RWD roadster it's plenty.

In the end, the auction finished at just over $50,000 - would you pay that much? Let us know below.

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Comments (2)

  • It’s fine to look at....... as an ownership proposition however it doesn’t live up to the hype. I’d far rather have a mint condition Honda S2000.

      2 months ago
  • Absolutely useless. The 2.5 liter 6 cylinder engine doesn't exactly offer sports car performance. If BMW had installed the then available 3.5 liter 6 cylinder from the e34 M5 (S38B36) with 315 hp, the Z1 would at least have been a sports car.

    In addition to this, these damn doors. It was a funny idea on the drawing board. But in real life it's the last crap. As long as the roof is open, the world is fine. But anyone who has tried to get in or out of the Z1 when the roof is closed will notice that this car was only built for people without a spine. Even when I was in my early twenties, I had problems getting in or out of the Z1. The only option left is to park as far out of sight as possible so that nobody sees you crawl into and out of this car on all fours.

      2 months ago
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