And it's up for auction on eBay right now.
Once the purveyor of the "ultimate driving machine," BMW now peddles anything but. A little more than three decades ago, the Bavarian automaker was peddling a low-weight, low-drag boxy coupe with a high-revving naturally aspirated four-cylinder that made nearly 100 horsepower per liter - the original E30 BMW M3. Today, they'll slap the once-legendary "M" badge on just about anything with four wheels, provided it has enough power.
And somewhere in-between then and now, around the same time that the Mazda MX-5 Miata was born, the Bavarians concocted this: the BMW Z1. One is up for auction on eBay right now, and it's entirely unlikely you'll ever again manage to find one in such stunning condition.
One of the core concepts behind the Z1 was an odd one: that anyone ought to be able to exchange all the exterior bodywork on the car in an afternoon, with just basic hand tools. In that way, any owner could rid the car of all evidence of minor accident damage, or completely change the exterior color by swapping their red panels out for blue ones.
Yet perhaps even stranger was the car's doors, which opened by sliding down into the Z1's oversized sills. Lamborghini, eat your heart out. Other notable bits included a standard 2.5L M20 inline-6 with around 170 horsepower, a five-speed Getrag manual as the sole transmission available, and one of BMW's first-ever multi-link rear suspension designs, which went on to be used in the E36 3-Series.
As of this writing, the 1991 BMW Z1 up for grabs on eBay has a starting bid of $50k, with zero takers. What makes it worth as much as a brand new BMW Z4? Well, it has just 2,377 original miles on the odometer, and it's in stunning shape considering its age. According to the lister - World Imports USA, based out of Jacksonville, Florida - the car was purchased new in Italy and spent the bulk of its life in Germany before being imported by the dealership just this year.
If you were holding out for the most pristine example of one of history's quirkiest convertibles, now is your chance.