2003 Alpina Roadster V8 with 7 Miles

I still remember hearing the news that Alpina was going to be tuning a Z8 around 2002. “Awesome”, I thought, “this thing is going to eat Porsches for breakfast!” Imagine my shock when I found out it was going to be an automatic; I was confused and felt lost. Then, I found out they yanked the 4.9 S62 M5 powerplant out in exchange for something less powerful. It was as if Alpina had broken into my mind and destroyed my dreams – I didn’t get it. Then I saw one, and I thought “Wow, they actually made it look a little bit better”. Yes, externally it was only wheels, but somehow those wheels and Alpina badges were still magical and understated but hinted there was more to this car than just less horsepower and more money. Fast forward a few years and the Alpina Roadster V8s are commanding more money than the original Z8 they were based upon. What had I missed?

Well, I missed that Alpina hadn’t just slapped some wheels onto a Z8; Alpina had completely reworked the E52 to be their own car. Yes, the tuned M62B48 V8 borrowed from the B10 had a few less horsepower than the S62, but critically it had more torque, and that torque was available lower in the rev range. Alpina had also softened the suspension, which apparently improved ride quality despite the massive 20″ wheels. Indeed, by softening the character of the Z8 slightly, Alpina had made the V8 Roadster a more enjoyable and more relaxing car. One thing they didn’t change was that bite-the-back-of-your-hand good looks. Today’s example looks stunning in black, a nice change from the very popular silver that most seemed to be painted. Oh, and it’s got 7 miles. SEVEN. If that doesn’t blow your mind, the price will.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Alpina Roadster V8 on eBay

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2000 BMW Z8 with 4,602 Miles

It boggles my mind that the Z8 design is now 24 years old. First penned in 1995 and shown at the Japanese Motorshow in 1997, the Z8 looked outrageous and the recipe sounded perfect with internals were borrowed from the E39 M5. That meant the S62 quad-cam double-VANOS 4.9 liter V8 cranking out 394 horsepower and routed exclusively through a Getrag 6-speed manual transmission driving only the back wheels. Coupled with Henrik Fisker’s sumptuous lines, the Z8 managed to both channel the history of BMW’s landmark 507 and be a cutting-edge design at the same time. It was the halo car that helped to lead BMW into a new Millennium. Sold for sometimes upwards of $160,000 they were instantly collector fodder, but these cars also caught headlines almost immediately due to problems with their aluminum space frames deforming in the shock tower area.

Between collectability, the up-front expense and fear of destroying the chassis, a fair amount of these cars appear today with very low mileage. So why look at this one? Well, it is well below average mileage, but mainly – the color. Only 5,703 Z8s were produced, putting it roughly on level footing with the E24 M6 in terms of scarcity. Worldwide only 325 were selected in Topaz Blue Metallic, and of those this is one of the 131 produced for the 2000 model year and only 30 sent to the U.S., 21 of which had the Crema interior of today’s example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW Z8 on eBay

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2001 BMW Z8 with 15 miles

There is a Z8 that lives near me. It’s silver with a red interior and is quite striking. I don’t think its owner drives it daily, but if the weather is nice I see him just about each morning (presumably) heading to the office. Top down, lovely exhaust note burbling in the background. It’s a beautiful car with a road presence few other cars possess. That presence isn’t in the same way certain high performance machines command the road. It definitely isn’t the way a Dodge Hellcat commands the road. Actually it’s about the opposite of that. It’s grace and elegance and timelessness wrapped together. With almost 400 hp it performs pretty well too.

I’ve said before that I didn’t really like the Z8 when it debuted. I love them now.

The one we see here is not the one owned by my daily driving neighbor. Not at all. This one, a Triple Black 2001 BMW Z8 located in Connecticut, has 15 miles on it. Yes, you read that correctly, 15!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW Z8 on Classic Driver

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Steve Jobs’ 2000 BMW Z8

In my time looking at cars owned by the famous, I’ve run across a wide variety of people. From earlier this week of the ‘King of Basketball’ to the ‘King of Rock & Roll, I’ve even looked at actual kings. Sometimes the cars have a cool story but most of the time it is merely a name on an old piece of paper or if I’m really lucky, a photo or two of that person in the car. But today’s car, the gorgeous BMW Z8, was owned by a guy who changed technology and how we use it forever  — and I could really care less.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Steve Jobs’ 2000 BMW Z8 at RM Sotheby’s

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2002 BMW Z8

A few weeks back I was sitting outside enjoying a beverage and some fantastic fall weather when a Z8 drove by. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I will readily admit that I wasn’t a fan of the Z8’s styling when it debuted. I’m not sure exactly why, but it’s purposeful blending of vintage and modern didn’t appeal to me in my early 20s. But it’s aged incredibly well, i.e. not at all, and as I’ve aged I have now come to appreciate these machines much more. I’m fortunate enough to live in the vicinity of a Silver one and while I don’t see it frequently I do cross its path from time to time. And I’m glad I do. With around 2,500 sold in the States you’re not likely to see one often and as with most limited-production cars prices are high, but there’s really a lot to love about these BMWs. The performance ain’t too shabby either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z8 on eBay

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2002 BMW Z8

On a recent visit to Berlin, I was surprised to come across a black BMW Z8 parked on the street in Die Mitte, a central borough of the German capital. Since reunification 25 years ago, a lot of money and talent has flooded into this city, with high end shops and consumers with Euros to spend. The Z8, though, was a bit of short lived flagship for the Bavarian marque, rarely seen in the wild today. At first values held steady to right around where they sold for new, but now collectors are becoming hip to this rare roadster. The fact that James Bond made the Z8 famous in The World Is Not Enough just adds to the vehicle’s cache. This Z8 for sale in Florida has just over 5,000 miles on the odometer and will catch your eye in its red hue, a departure from the silver and black paint jobs that usually adorned these Bimmers.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z8 on eBay

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Convertible Week: 2002 BMW Z8

Debuting at the end of the 1990s, the BMW Z8 arrived during a time when carmakers were exploring the retro styling theme, such as Volkswagen with their New Beetle and Ford with their revived Thunderbird. The Z8 was meant to harken back to the 1950s during the heyday of the 507, a limited production V8 roadster that made an impact with its dramatic styling. Fast forward to 1999 and the Z8 arrived with a V8, this time shared with the E39 M5. The engine was placed aft of the front axle for optimum weight distribution. One innovation the car employed was neon lighting for its tail lamps and turn signals. This was perhaps an answer to what modern day LED lighting can offer. Most Z8s you come across are silver, but this Topaz Blue over red leather example is a real eye-catching combination.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z8 on Classic Driver

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2001 BMW Z8

$_57

Every time I come across a Z8, I start thinking about the funny place it holds in the market, slightly appreciating but not very appreciated, an interesting but maligned attempt at a German Cobra… and then I see it from the rear. While the F-Type’s reiteration may be making a play for the top derrieres list, the Z8 viewed from behind erases reason and makes me dream of using the monster S62 to slither a mountain road. This one looks classic in black and very serious with the hard top on. The Teutonic, measured approach to a passionate type of car makes them a bit of an odd duck, and a Z8 owners meeting would most likely host more of investors than enthusiasts. Alas, I dig these cars, but will never own one.

Click for details: 2001 BMW Z8 on eBay

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2002 BMW Z8

$_57

The Z8 is a bit of a wallflower these days, its handsome looks appreciated by those who remember when it hit the roads but a less eye-grabbing than the ultra-faceted and streaked cars coming out 12 years later. Even to the trained eye, they don’t show up that often, and it seems like a lot of owners are hiding them away in the hopes of selling them for more later. I still get excited when they do come out of their garages, and the today’s silver example reminds me of the sunny afternoon drive 7 years ago that shifted my opinion on convertibles. Structural rigidity be damned, there’s nothing wrong with having your ears a few unobstructed feet from the S62’s rumble.

Click for details: 2002 BMW Z8 on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup: “Mag” Edition

Our reader Kyle recently requested to see more magnesium wheels; as I have a bit of a early magnesium BBS wheel fetish myself, I was only too happy to oblige. Here’s a quick selection of the magnesium wheels on Ebay – BBS isn’t the only magnesium wheel producer, but they’ve got some of the best designs. Interestingly, a few years back many people thought these wheels were throw-aways as no one wanted old race wheels, but a resurgence in popularity has once again made them a valuable commodity. From vintage racing Porsches to modern track cars, magnesium wheels are still some of the lightest you can get and in the 1980s they were one of the few ways to get really wide wheels on your race car. Generally, BBS wheels with an “E” prefix denote magnesium centers, though the new E88s below claim to be forged aluminum. I’m secretly hoping to find a set of languishing BBS E51s – they were originally 4×108 15″ and 16″ wheels fitted to 924s and would bolt right up to my Audi. What are your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BBS E78 15×9.5 5×130 Wheels on eBay

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