2001 BMW Z8 Roadster

Ryan Merrill © 2014, courtesy of Auctions America

The Z8 is BMW’s spiritual successor to the 1950s 507 roadster. Both have a long hood with short deck design, which creates a powerful and sporty appearance.

This limited-production roadster with optional hard top is equipped with a 4.9-liter DOHC V8 as used in the M5, mated to a proper 6-speed manual gearbox and producing nearly 400 horsepower.

The Z8 has electronic traction control and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and factory alloy wheels. This example has fewer than 51,000 miles and is handsomely presented in Titanium Silver Metallic with a black leather interior.

The removable hard top is in the same color as the body and has a rear-window defogger. The soft top is black and the remote mirrors are chrome.

In developing the Z8, BMW married form and function like never before. The design is flawless from any angle, inside and out, carried over from Henrik Fisker’s Z07 concept introduced at Tokyo in 1997 and paying homage to the Count Albrecht Goertz-designed 507 of the 1950s with side vents, a sleek front end and such retro touches as a banjo-type steering wheel.

With 50/50 weight distribution and the acceleration of a Ferrari 360 Modena, this was BMW’s fastest roadster to date, the movie car choice of James Bond and a true supercar with brilliant braking and cornering. Motor Trend magazine brought out its true “M” potential, achieving a 0–60-mph sprint of just 4.2 seconds, and top speed was reported as 155 mph.

Jeff Zurschmeide

Jeff Zurschmeide - SCM Contributor

Jeff is a lifelong automobile enthusiast with a penchant for sports and racing cars. He has raced SCCA, local circle track, and stage rally as a co-driver. He makes his living as a freelance automotive journalist and is the author of six books on automotive topics. As a rule, he practices catch-and-release fishing when it comes to collectible automobiles, trying to leave each one in better condition than he found it. Enduring passions include his MGA and Austin Mini, and his 1969 Corvette. He recently purchased a 1920 Ford Model T Touring because “you just have to have one of these once in your life.”

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