Straight-six and vertically retractable doors included.
It was only in production from 1989 until 1991, but the BMW Z1 clearly made its mark among many loyal fans. Even before it went on sale, BMW received way more orders than it initially planned. But the novelty began to wear off just over a year later, hence its ultimate demise. The Z1 was powered by a 2.5-liter straight-six (taken from the E30 325i) tilted 20 degrees to the right due to the low hoodline. A Getrag five-speed manual was standard. Output came in at 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque, solid numbers for a roadster that weighs around 2,700 lbs.
It also handles exceptionally well thanks to its specially developed chassis. But perhaps what the Z1 is most famous for is its removable body panels made of plastic and vertically retractable doors. Owners were even encouraged by BMW to buy extra sets of body panels that’d enable the car’s color to be changed whenever desired. All told, 8,000 Z1s were produced, most of which were sold to German buyers. None were sent to the US, but they were later privately imported, such as this one that’s up for sale at Volvo Cars of Manhattan. This 1990 Z1 has 41,622 miles on its clock and has an asking price of $55,000. That’s literally around the same amount for a new Z4 today. So which of the two would you prefer to own?