1999 BMW Z3 Roadster


• Outstanding condition Z3 that’s never seen a wet road
• Covered less than 6k miles in its 22 year life with one owner 
• Immaculate condition inside and out with desirable options

The Background

BMW began building the Z3 in September 1995 and it was previewed first in the famous 007 film ‘Goldeneye’ that November. Whether it was the Pierce Brosnan appeal, or the the sporty, German Roadsters looks – perhaps a mix of the two - the Z3 was launched later in the year to a gigantic waiting list meaning that supply was short, and cars were attracting a serious premium.

The UK-market Z3 was powered by BMW’s new M44 1.9-litre 16-valve engine giving 140 bhp. A five-speed gearbox from the 318iS with a snappy new short shift lever drove the rear wheels whilst the BMW Z3 suspension was a carbon copy of the 318Ti Compact, spruced up with a new quick ratio steering rack, plus the front chassis brace from the 3-Series convertible. 

Not just were these a desirable, great looking, sporty rear-wheel drive Roadster, but the Z3 came with a reputation for being very practical car thanks to a spacious rear boot and serios capacity for its two occupants. The engines were generally reliable and, thanks to many shared parts with the contemporary 3-Series, part supply is excellent.

This Z3 is offered with that original 1.9L engine, regarded as being a reliable, competent performer. It’s mated to a 5-speed gearbox which has the unmistakeable ‘BMW feel’, nicely and directly selecting gears with fresh-out-of-the-factory-precision. What marks this example out over the rest is that it appears – on first glance - that it could have just rolled off the factory line.

The History

The seller purchased the car earlier this year from the original and only other owner who’d bought it new 22 years ago. Clearly, covering just shy of 5,800 miles in its lifetime, the original owner did not get much opportunity to use the car; it being said to have sat in dry storage during most of the years with 1-2 outings in summer months.

With just a single owner for almost the entirety of its lifetime, this provides a brilliant opportunity for the next owner to create their own memories in this competent little roadster.

The Paperwork

Much of the paper MOT history has been kept with the car to substantiate the low mileage and, of course, online records are all present. In its 22-year history, it has passed every MOT first time without a single advisory notice.

The Service Book shows two engine services in its lifetime, dictated by the mileage-based service intervals, with the most recent being undertaken at 5,553 miles. The original purchase invoice is present, showcasing a substantial list of option boxes ticked from the BMW dealer in Essex where the car was purchased back in September 1999.

The Interior

Sitting down into the optional BMW leather sports seats you could well be back in 1999, visiting the dealership, ready to make your purchase. The condition of the interior is simply jaw-dropping: the seats are unmarked, barring some very light creasing in the driver’s bolter, the dash and controls up front feature an optional six-CD changer and on-board computer and presents in flawless condition, so-too does the trim, carpets and the seals around the doors. Elsewhere, the optional rollover hoops are clean from marks and provide occupants with plenty of protection.

All controls work as you would expect them to with the electric roof going up and down reliably each time it’s asked of them which – in the case of this car – has not been many times.

The Exterior

Barring three to four very light, small scratches in the paint surface, it’s easy to describe the exterior of this Z3 as being in near flawless condition and surely one of the most factory fresh looking in the country, if not the world. Upon close inspection, the picture builds further with the plastics inside the doors all free from scuffs, the seals in excellent condition and trim around the engine bay in matching state.

The metallic Topaz Blue paintwork – a popular choice for BMWs of this era – shines brightly in the sun and suits the car brilliantly, completing a classy, timeless look. Likewise, the original steel wheels certainly offer something different to modern alloys, they are – of course – shod in tyres with a great deal of tread remaining and in fine condition.

The Mechanics

Little needs to be said about the mechanical condition of this Z3... Always kept in dry storage and driven only once or twice a year, the car is said to be mechanically faultless. With no modifications, a recent battery replacement is the only work that’s been taken on outside of the prescribed two mechanical services. The seller has included some photos taken when he was presented with the opportunity to look under the car when it was on ramps; as can be seen the factory chalk markings remain on the gearbox and differential casings, further evidencing its lack of wet use. The underneath looks to be extremely clean with no rust spotted and white factory grease can still be spotted on the bonnet closure. 

The new owner will be lucky enough to enjoy a Z3 in almost the exact condition that would have been experienced by the original owner: effectively having kindly just run in the drivetrain for them.

The Appeal

For anyone in the market for one of BMW’s early, spritely little roadsters – fast becoming a modern classic – there is surely no better car on the market right now. Driving, and looking, as if it has just come out of the factory, the low mileage and fantastic condition make this an extremely attractive offering for either a collector, investor or a driver looking to put a smile on his/her face.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1999
  • Make BMW
  • Model Z3
  • Colour Topaz Blue
  • Odometer 5,780 Miles
  • Engine size 1895
  • Location Essex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
27 bids
  • ly•••• £10,000 11/08/21
  • ly•••• £9,890 10/08/21
  • ci•••• £9,750 10/08/21
  • be•••• £9,500 10/08/21
  • Ro•••• £9,250 10/08/21
  • be•••• £9,050 10/08/21
  • JD•••• £8,500 08/08/21
  • be•••• £8,100 07/08/21
  • Da•••• £7,500 06/08/21
  • be•••• £6,750 05/08/21

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