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Thread: Z8 History

  1. #1

    Post Z8 History

    Production run numbers;
    Very special thanks to the Z8 Club for the complete listings in this thread.

    Z8 (ECE incl. Alpina; EJ11.....AF77000 to ....AF80159) - 3,160
    Z8 (USA incl. Alpina; EJ13....AH60000 to ....AH62542) - 2,543
    Total cars produced during run.................................. 5,703


    US model production dates by VIN numbers.
    (nb: Not to be confused with the Model Year, which changes on or around 1st Sept)
    1999 - AH60000 thru AH60017 - show, press fleet and DE cars only
    2000 - AH60018 thru AH60508
    2001 - AH60509 thru AH61606
    2002 - AH61607 thru AH62233 - first US spec Alpina is AH61933, which is already an 03 Model Year car.
    2003 - AH62234 thru AH62542 - 2003 Model Year Z8 & Alpina VIN's overlap. 450 US spec Alpinas were made.


    EU model production dates by VIN numbers.
    1998 - AF77000 and AF77001 - show & 007 cars
    1999 - AF77002 thru AF77083 - show and press fleet cars only
    2000 - AF77084 thru AF78538
    2001 - AF78538 thru AF79753
    2002 - AF79753 thru AF80017
    2003 - AF80018 thru AF80159 - 2003 model year Z8 & Alpina numbers overlap, with 105 EU spec Alpinas made.


    Cars by color for the full (EU & US) production run
    (exterior // interior)

    Silver // Black................................1,895
    Silver // Red-Black..........................1,262
    Silver // Crema..................................16
    Silver // Crema-Black...........................9
    Silver total....................................3,182

    Black // Black...................................667
    Black // Red-Black.............................342
    Black // Crema.................................229
    Black // Crema-Black.........................331
    Black // Individual interior.....................3
    Black total.....................................1,572

    Red // Black.....................................137
    Red // Red-Black................................77
    Red // Crema.....................................62
    Red // Crema-Black.............................15
    Red // Individual interior........................3
    Red total...........................................291

    Topaz // Black...................................135
    Topaz // Red-Black................................8
    Topaz // Crema..................................138
    Topaz // Crema-Black...........................37
    Topaz // Individual interior......................1
    Topaz total........................................319

    Stratus // Black..................................114
    Stratus // Red-Black.............................12
    Stratus // Crema..................................46
    Stratus // Crema-Black..........................23
    Stratus // Individual interior.....................1
    Stratus total.......................................196

    BMW Individual cars..............................124
    Individual 2-tone Stratus // Crema............11
    Individual 2-tone Black // Silver.................7
    Individual 2-tone Carbon Black // Silver.......1
    Individual total.....................................143

    Individual notes.
    To the best of our knowledge there were no Individual cars imported into the USA, though four Midnight Blue Metallic & Arizona Sun cars did go to Canada. These were special ordered by a chap called Manfred who was very high up in BMW Canada. He never saw his cars because BMW AG moved him back to Munich before they arrived. Three of the four remain in Canada, the fourth has returned to Germany to join a private collection.
    Canada was also rumored to get a small shipment of very pale blue Alpinas, the owner of the Midnight Blue car tried to buy one of these cars, but it was sold from under her. As yet we have no images of this combo.
    BMW Z8 Club members have told me that best looking of all the Individual cars seen in the EU is the Carbon Black Metallic with deep Saddle interior. As yet we have no images of this combo either.

    Alpina notes.
    The total run of 555 cars included 450 cars destined for the USA, available only in silver or black here. The remaining 105 cars were offered in Europe in all five of the standard Z8 colors as well as an Alpina blue which was similar tone to the Z8 Topaz, but had a more lilac/purple hue to it. Although this was the Alpina's signature color in their brochure and promotional material relatively few were made in that color, but the first and last Alpinas cars 1/555 and 555/555 were both Alpina Blue. Of the he non-US Alpina's I believe that 75 were sold mainland Europe, 20 in Japan and 10 in Great Britain.



    Sales figures for the United States
    special thanks to Fred Meloan @ BMWNA

    2000
    Aug........108.......108
    Sep.........68........176
    Oct..........43........219
    Nov.........41........260
    Dec.........57........317

    2001
    Jan..........51.........51
    Feb..........61.......112
    Mar..........81.......193
    Apr..........87........280
    May........105........385
    Jun.........109........494
    Jul............91.......585
    Aug..........91........676
    Sep..........35........711
    Oct...........63.......774
    Nov..........94.......868
    Dec........102........970

    2002
    Jan..........57.........57
    Feb .........48.......105
    Mar..........55.......160
    Apr..........56.......216
    May.........67.......283
    Jun..........32.......315
    Jul...........39.......354
    Aug..........36.......390
    Sep..........27.......417
    Oct...........38.......455
    Nov..........40.......495
    Dec..........29.......524

    2003
    Jan............31.......31
    Feb...........16........47
    Mar...........48........95
    Apr.............8.......103 (+37 Alpina Roadsters.......37)
    May...........19.......122 (+44 Alpina Roadsters.......81)
    Jun.............4.......126 (+37 Alpina Roadsters......118)
    Jul..............3.......129 (+48 Alpina Roadsters......166)
    Aug.............0.......129 (+36 Alpina Roadsters......202)
    Sept............5.......134 (+32 Alpina Roadsters......234)
    Oct..............1.......135 (+22 Alpina Roadsters......256)
    Nov.............3.......138 (+25 Alpina Roadsters......281)
    Dec.............0.......138 (+20 Alpina Roadsters......301)

    2004
    Jan.............1...........1 (+10 Alpina Roadsters......311)
    Feb.............0...........1 (+10 Alpina Roadsters......321)
    Mar............1............2 (+25 Alpina Roadsters......346)
    Apr.............0...........2 (+19 Alpina Roadsters......365)
    May............0...........2 (+5 Alpina Roadsters........370)
    Jun.............1...........3 (+7 Alpina Roadsters........377)
    Jul..............2...........5 (+11 Alpina Roadsters......388)
    Aug.............1...........6 (+7 Alpina Roadsters.......395)
    Sep.............1...........7 (+4 Alpina Roadsters.......399)
    Oct..............1...........8 (+1 Alpina Roadsters.......400)
    Nov.............0...........8 (+2 Alpina Roadsters.......402)
    Dec.............0...........8 (+2 Alpina Roadsters.......404)

    2005
    Jan.............0...........0 (+1 Alpina Roadsters.......405)
    Feb.............2...........2 (+1 Alpina Roadsters.......406)
    Mar.............0...........2 (+1 Alpina Roadsters.......407)
    Apr.............2...........4 (+0 Alpina Roadsters.......407)
    May............0...........4 (+0 Alpina Roadsters.......407)
    Jun.............1...........5 (+3 Alpina Roadsters.......410)
    Jul-Dec........4...........9 (+5 Alpina Roadsters.......415)


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The breakdown from the of US and EU Z8 Alpina totals.

    ALPINA Z8 US
    2002 Titanium/Black - 73
    2003 Titanium/Black - 94
    Total Titanium/Black - 167

    2002 Titanium/Red-Black - 31
    2003 Titanium/Red-Black - 45
    Total Titanium/Red-Black - 76

    2002 Titanium/Crema-Black - 0
    2003 Titanium/Crema-Black - 1
    Total Titanium/Crema-Black - 1

    Total 2002 Titanium - 104
    Total 2003 Titanium - 140
    Total US Titanium - 244

    ----------------

    2002 Black/Black - 42
    2003 Black/Black - 62
    Total Black/Black - 104

    2002 Black/Red-Black - 9
    2003 Black/ Red-Black - 37
    Total Black/Red-Black - 46

    2002 Black/Crema-Black - 10
    2003 Black/Crema-Black - 42
    Total Black/Crema-Black - 52

    Total 2002 Black - 61
    Total 2003 Black - 141
    Total US Black - 202

    ----------------

    2002 Alpina Blue/Individual - 9
    2003 Alpina Blue/Individual - 0
    Total Alpina Blue/Individual - 9
    Total US Alpina Blue - 9 (NB: all these went to Canada)

    ----------------

    Total 2002 Alpina - 174
    Total 2003 Alpina - 281
    Total US Alpina - 455

    ----------------
    ----------------

    ALPINA Z8 EU
    Alpina Blue/Individual - 58
    Alpina Blue/Crema - 1
    Total EU Alpina Blue - 59

    Black/Black - 9
    Black/Red-Black - 2
    Black/Crema-Black - 4
    Total EU Black - 15

    Titanium/Black - 5
    Titanium/Red-Black - 6
    Total EU Titanium - 11

    Total Stratus/Black - 9
    Total Stratus/Crema - 1
    Total EU Stratus - 10

    Total Red/Black - 1
    Total Red/Red-Black - 2
    Total EU Red - 3

    Total Topaz/Individual - 1
    Total EU Topaz - 1

    Total EU Unknown - 1
    (Presumed to be #555/555 and Alpina Blue/Individual)

    2001/2002/2003 EU TOTAL - 100

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------


    In January 2006 the total number of US Spec E52's registered as sold is:
    1,967 Z8's + 415 Alpina Roadster's = 2,382


    In 2006 BW NA registered 5 more cars sold, but I coud not tell if they were Z8's or Alpinas.

    This means that there's around 165 Z8/Alpinas unaccounted for, roughly 37 Alpinas & 128 Z8's. A fair number of US spec (ie: AH6**** VIN) cars were sold in Canada, and these would not show up on BMW NA's stock lists, so this may also account for some of these cars. It has been suggested to me that many BMW dealers in the US put one or two in their private collections too, and that is why so many appear to be 'missing'.

    Around 30 cars were used as press and DE cars. During the DE I was told that these early numbers (AH60001-32) either had to be broken up, or deported as per EPA rules on preproduction prototypes. However nearly all of these cars have subsequently appeared on EBay, some more than once.


    A nice clip of the Z8 being made...

    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  2. #2

    Origins

    The idea of building a modern-day 507 had been kicked around for years at BMW but the decision to go from a pipedream to production had its origin on May 3-4, 1993 during a Board of Directors retreat held at the Chateau de la Messardiere in St. Tropez, France.

    Eberhard von Kuenheim was retiring as Chairman of BMW and the board had brought along one of each of the cars built during his 23 years at the helm to honor his achievements. In addition, Herbert Dormeier, head of Overall Vehicle Development, decided to throw in a 507 roadster (built before von Kuenheim's time) to add a little spice to the collection. Despite its age, the 507 proved irresistable to all in attendance and soon fanned the flames of a modern-day interpretation into the fire that forged the Z07.

    Apparently, the main protagonists were the new Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder and Research and Development Director Wolfgang Reitzle, but the entire board participated in the decision. Subsequently, Chris Bangle, then head of design, was asked to come up with some design concepts for the board to consider. He then offered the assignment to his staff, and Henrik Fisker volunteered, which resulted in the Z07 show car design for which he holds the patents.


    Below, the concept and the inspirartion;
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3

    What the Press said.

    "Cool as can be. That's the BMW Z07 concept car, which will go on sale in two year's time as the Z8...That's a lot of dough, but it would buy you even more horsepower than a Porsche 911 Turbo or a Ferrari F355 can muster, with high marks for style and emotion, trademark BMW handling and road holding, and ten out of ten for build quality and rarity value. All things considered, the Z07 looks set to become the next supercar shooting star." Automobile Magazine

    "The roadster's throwback styling - more than its performance, if that's possible - will win admirers. The Z8 is curvaceous yet muscular, from any angle." Autoweek

    "First impressions of a remarkable new sports car. An experience like no other began with the capture of my vision, drawn along the rise and fall of sculptured fenders as if the aluminum bodywork emanated a curious magnetism. I unconsciously gauged the Z8's overall proportions and in the instant it took for my eyes to sweep the car's entirety, concluded they were in impeccable balance. Beautiful, a term I don't often bestow upon mechanical devices, seemed appropriate for my reaction...The new Z8 roadster is the best example yet of ultra-sophisticated technology wrapped by unashamed emotional appeal. Its graceful lines evoke a time when life wasn't so complicated, when design was expressive of values beyond mere costliness...All of this wouldn't mean beans, of course, unless the Z8 delivered on this promising blend of high-tech and haute couture. And it does - unequivocably, unquestioningly, undisputably, unassailably, uncompromisingly...Balanced to the eye and to the aesthetic mind, unburdened by extraneous visual elements, the Z8 is both a marvel of technology and a beautiful driving experience." BMW Power

    "In truth, the Z8's visual charisma is so powerful that just sitting in this car with the engine off is more fun than driving many cars...Besides, name another car that is both fabulous to drive today and likely to be found on the 18th green at Pebble Beach in 2025." Car and Driver

    "Suffice to say that we're all witnessing the birth of an automotive legend. As with the Cobra 427, we'll all remember the first time we saw a Z8, the first time we heard one, and, along with a privileged few, the first time we drove one." Motor Trend

    "You might start with beautiful, which is what everyone has been saying about this shape since BMW unveiled its Z07 concept car at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show...Really, there's too much in this car to get your imagination around. At first, it seems too gorgeous, more like an art car than a proper BMW. On the boulevard, people turn and stare, kids fall off bicycles, and guys at valet parking get into fistfights in an effort to be the first to reach the driver's side door...The BMW Z8 just isn't like anything else. It's different - singular. This might not be exactly the word that Carl-Peter Forster is looking for, because it doesn't have the sound of big box office in it. But it is the kind of word that people who drive cars are always hoping for." Automobile Magazine

    "From various angles there seems to be something of the best of all sports cars in the makeup of this roadster, even a little Cobra and Cheetah. The proportions are of strength, speed, power...Whether it's exclusive or not, the history, the gestures of life, the power, muscle and speed of the Z8 will be evident to anyone." Autoweek

    "The inevitable questions arise. Is the Z8 special enough to justify its hefty price? Absolutely. It is serious fast, its build quality is simply amazing, and the eye-catching design is matched by a truly gorgeous cockpit. The engine alone is worth the price of admission. Is there a better, more desirable car for the same money? Perhaps, but we haven't driven it yet...Right now, however, the BMW Z8 is king of the road, ruler of the overtaking lane, boulevardier extraordinaire. In a sector determined by style, speed, and spottiness, BMW really does build the ultimate driving machine." CAR

    "As with many works of industrial art, appreciation of the BMW Z8 begins with a slow, pondering gaze. From 10 meters away, the Z8 evokes the classic roadsters of the late 1950's and '60s, an era many auto enthusiasts consider the golden age of the sports car. Now position yourself for another view. This machine seems to push automotive design five years ahead with subtle nuances we haven't seen before. The Z8 is the retro trend at its genuine best, not a cheap, cartoonish throwback." Robb Report (Car of the Year)

    "The BMW Z8 is about everything we love about cars. Faster and more nimble than all but a few sports cars made today, it looks as smooth and sensuous as the roadsters of the '60s." Autoweek

    "Every surface on the Z8 flows continuously without any sense of abruptness. Take the cut line for the door as an example. It starts at the bottom of the front wheel well, separates into two before sweeping upward, cresting over the car's shoulder, then tucking back into the cockpit. And if you continue to trace the broad downward-sloping rear fenders, you'll end up at an elegant narrow band of wrap-around taillights. At the rear, the rounded rectangular cutout for the license plate and the two polished-steel tailpipes melt into smooth surfaces, giving the Z8 a perfect blend of beauty and power...This BMW roadster has succeeded in reinforcing the passion and enthusiasm we have for fine automobiles." Road and Track

    "Forget everything you've seen or read about the Z8: Nothing will prepare you for the real thing. The new Z8 is magic; I fell in love the instant I saw it." Roundel

    "For the designers and engineers at BMW, the production Z8 represents the zenith of their ideas and abilities. The incredibly positive public response has confirmed their belief in the car, but it's certain that, for Fisker at least, the highest compliment came from von Goertz himself, who said "If I were to design the 507 today, it would look like the Z8." Bimmer


    Many thanks to Grease Monkey for this great selection of quotes from the press
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  4. #4

    Post BMW Press Release 4/16/03 - End of Production

    Two Successful BMW Cars Bid Farewell To The Sports Car World: Production Of Z8 and M5 Soon To Be Discontinued 04/16/2003

    Munich, April 16, 2003. The immensely successful career of two sophisticated and sporty BMW models is gradually drawing to an end. The production of both the classic Z8 Roadster and the high-performance M5 Sedan is shortly to be discontinued. At the end of June 2003 the very last batch of these fascinating cars will leave the manufacturing plants at Munich and Dingolfing.

    During the three years in which it was produced, the exclusive, unlimited short-run series of the BMW Z8 captivated around 5,700 customers worldwide, including the film hero James Bond, his action movie "The World Is Not Enough" bringing worldwide acclaim to this beautiful car. The Z8 also became enormously popular as a collector's car; it now adorns the garages of numerous classic car aficionados.

    At least three and a half times as many BMW M5s were produced at the Dingolfing factory: By the time production ceases, around 20,500 of these vehicles will have been manufactured and sold worldwide, making the M5, which was launched in the autumn of 1998, not only the first of its kind in the high-performance Sedan segment, but also the most successful. It's no surprise that the M5 has won numerous awards. Most recently, Automobile Magazine presented the M5 with Best Sport Sedan/Wagon in the editor's poll, for the fourth consecutive year: "BMW's soul-stirring M5 is...a 155 mph cruise missile dripping in luxury. Turn off the radio, shut down the cell phone, and pay attention. You're about to go for the ride of a century."

    While 2,100 of the first generation M5?s were hand-built between 1984 and 1987, the second generation was able to continue the success story with 12,000 vehicles manufactured from 1988 to 1995. Thanks mainly to the integration of the current M5 model into series production of the 5 Series at the Dingolfing plant, it was possible for the very first time to produce more than 20,000 units of this fascinating car.

    Same power unit, varying concepts:

    As well as having the same sporting characteristics, the M5 and the Z8 have one other special thing in common - they both have the same power unit. Their identical 5-liter, high-revving V8 engine developed by BMW delivers an impressive 394 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. If you shift through the six-speed manual gearbox quickly, the M5 accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Being built almost entirely of aluminum, the slightly lighter Z8 does this classic sprint in a mere 4.4 seconds.

    Although both cars are equipped with the same power unit, they do differ greatly in terms of body design and concept. The Z8 presents itself as a fascinating, open two-seater, which was recently awarded the title "Classic Car Of The Future" due to its intelligently reproduced classic ambience. To drive it is to experience that authentic roadster feeling constantly accompanied by the sonorous sound of the V8 engine. It goes without saying that the Z8, priced at $132,195.00 was equipped as standard with everything needed to experience immense power and comfort.

    The M5 - "The Businessman's Express" is what a British car magazine said of this car. This is a fitting description of this high-performance Sedan. The fast four-door car behaves just as well on the motorway as it does when tackling the N?rburgring's northern circuit. For $71,095 customers could purchase a superior sports car that offers convincing comfort.

    BMW AG

    Thanks to Z8Bob for forwarding this to me.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5

    Cool 'The World Is Not Enough' Z8 Trivia

    Just came across an interesting article on the Z8s featured in the James Bond film "The World Is Not Enough". Turns out there were a variety of Z8s used during the filming.

    BMW supplied 3 hand-built Z8 prototypes (production had not begun yet) which were used in the scenes where Pierce Brosnan is seen driving the car. Apparently they sent along BMW engineers to oversee their use and they guarded them 24 hours/day.

    Special Effects Supervisor for EON Productions (maker of the Bond films), Chris Corbould, built 3 replicas using Cobra kit-car chassis'and fiberglass bodies. Grilles, wheels, chrome, lights and badging were supplied by BMW. The replicas were powered by 5.7-litre Chevy engines bolted to Tremec 5-speeds, and used Jaguar rear ends. Because the Jag used inboard brakes, fake discs had to mounted outboard to preserve the Z8's stock appearance. One of these cars, sans drive-train, was sawed in half for a scene in the movie.

    They also built a 1/4 scale radio controlled model of the Z8 which was used in some of the scenes. The film makers defy anyone to tell the model from the real thing!

    Thanks to Grease Monkey for this info.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  6. #6

    Post Z8 Safety Car

    Here are some shots of the specially prepared Z8 Pace Car for the German Motorcyle Grand Prix in 2001.

    This car was an early production EU Z8 (AF77050) that is actually red underneath the full white plastic shrink-wrap graphic covering. This kind of plastic covering is very common in Germany, it gets used on taxi's and police cars, which are usually silver underneath, keeping the service cars protected. When it comes to reselling them they peel off the film to reveal as new paint in an easy to sell color. This car had an LSD fitted, a roll cage and several other added track upgrades by BMW's M Division.

    I took these shots of the car on display in the museum at the N?rburging in Aug 07, but it is now back with BMW Classic in Munich where it gets to stretch it's legs on special events like this.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  7. #7

    BMW Individual's 'Shamu' Z8

    Here are several pictures of this unusual variant of the Z8 made by BMW Individual. The makeover has been fondly named 'Shamu' after the famous Killer Whale. These pictures were taken at a dealership in Germany, and at the Essen Motor Show. The 'official' pictures were downloaded from the 'BMW Individual' website.

    There were a total of 19 Shamu's made in the three different colors combos listed at the start of this thread. Zed8 spotted one of the Silver/Blacks at a dealership in Istanbul, and I have been sent images of others from Germany, which is where I think most of them live. A nice feature of the Individual cars was the unique metallic paint on the rims which has a very high metal content making the rims looked like polished metal. It was called 'Bright Line' in the brochure, but so far I have not been able to find a paint code for it. The bottom car wears BMW's 20" Motorsport rims.

    There are several more Individual cars in the Gallery.

    Many thanks to Z8Muse, Z8Bob, Kai, Zed8 and Robin for sending the shots & info.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  8. #8

    From the scrapbook of Routineer.....

    an odd experiment that seemed to quietly vanish.

    Many thanks to Routineer for this and sharing much of his other unique collection of Z8 memorabilia.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  9. #9

    Bodies being shipped to Alpina.

    This picture was sent in by Benjamin Van Zand, it shows the completed Z8 tubs being delivered to the Alpina plant. You can understand from this picture why the final year's build of Z8's and Alpinas have such randomly overlaping VIN's.

    These numbers have all been on EBay

    Alpina 060 -AH61961
    Alpina 094 -AH62021
    Alpna 198 - AH62259
    Alpna 285 - AH62265
    Alpna 426 - AH62398
    Alpina 443 - AH62430
    Alpina 449 - AH62452
    Alpina 499 - AH62463
    Alpina 496 - AH62460
    Alpina 531 - AH62518
    Alpina 541 - AH62538

    (note the shipping wheels.)
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  10. #10

    Pre-production Z8 caught at the 'Ring.

    I was going through my files of digital pics and I found this one which I took on a trip to the Nurburgring back in, I believe, 1998. Most people know that BMW tests all models extensively on the 'Ring. On trips there I caught a look at pre-production Minis, X5 4.6, E46 M3, and the BMW Rolls. There were two BMW Engineers testing the Z8 and they were swapping from car to car with the 996 Cabrio in the background. Both cars were being run VERY hard.
    Enjoy.
     

  11. #11

    An interesting footnote from the Henrik Fisker, the Z8's designer.

    In an interview given to Motor Sport Center Henrik had this to say about his favorite designs;

    MSC:Tell us about some favorites - a design of yours, whether that be a car that made it to production or a design that never made it past clay or even the sketch pad, and a favorite design of someone else's.

    HF: I have to say the AMV8, or the V8 Vantage, that's what they're calling it, is probably my favorite design, when it comes up, but it's not quite out yet, and I have to say the BMW Z8, even though it was a sort of spiritual successor to the 507.

    I still find myself really looking at that car when it drives by, and think we were able to create a car that is really going to be timeless. I think one of the unique things about that car is that every little detail works on the car. There's a lot of details, there's a lot of stuff on it, but as a whole it just all came together perfectly.

    That had a lot to do with the engineers who worked on the project, but really I felt that was such a complete car, it didn't need any extremities to work. It's very pure; it's not extremely wide or extremely low; it doesn't have any extreme, but it is a beautifully sculpted car, and I like it a lot myself. I found that successful, and that is from my era, my time. Even today I don't think I would change anything on it.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  12. #12

    An interesting collage of pictures from the factory,

    taken during the production run. Here is a short list of the principal aluminums used in the construction.
    The exterior body panels are made from 6061 (AlMg 0.4, Si 1.2)
    The floor and trunk panels are made of 5754 (AlMg 3.0)
    The body panel brackets are made from 5183 (AlMg 5.0, Mn 0.3)
    The space frame is made of 6063 (AlMg 0.7, Si 0.5).
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  13. #13

    The Z07 concept car.

    While at the inaugural Z8 Club meet in Munich I was able to take these shots of the Z07. There are several interesting details, such as the neon front indicators within the head lamp cowls, the four spoked steering wheel, the drilled discs, centre hub locks, and of course the D Type rear fairing.

    There was also a coupe version of the Z07, which was shown in Tokyo in 1998, but just one Z07 was built. The coupe version was created by adding a removable rear quarter and roof section that replaced the D-Type rear fairing. However two fully functioning Z8 production coupes are rumored to have been made, both with tweaked 500hp motors, built as proof of concept for a proposed run of just 800 cars. One is said quite similar to the Z07 Zagato double bubble and be very beautiful, the other was a testbed for the body panel creasing that defined the Z4, and is said to be as ugly as a Z4.

    The Marketing Department didn't believe there would be a strong enough market for a coupe, so they cancelled the project. Thats the same Marketing Department who wanted the Z8 to have the 280hp V8 automatic motor and drivetrain from the 745, and gave us the run flat tires!

    These two coupes are said to be hidden in the 'secret vaults' in Munich, but it is unsure if they will ever make it out onto public display. I'd hoped we might see them in BMW's new museum, along with many other still secret cars, like the M8 and the 850csi convertible, but so far they are a no show.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  14. #14

    Was this the car that started it all?

    This picture came from the June 1996 issue of Car. They said it was the Z3's big brother, and this shot was one of a few caught during testing in Germany. It looks like a fixed head coupe with lovely, almost Bentley like lines. It also looks a lot like an MB SL with the steeply raked back screen, but my guess is that what was underneath was pretty close to what we have under our skins.

    While I was in Munich at the Z8 Club's inauguration I heard a rumor about a pair of 500HP Z8 'Super Coupes' that are said to be in hidden away in the bowls of the company, and I wonder if this is one of them? It's my guess that this was the original design for the car before they decided to do the 507 homage that we know and love. The US Patent for the design of the Z07/Z8 was applied for almost two years after this picture was published!

    You can download the full story here.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  15. #15
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    Was this while BMW still owned Rover group?

    Looks more like a contemporary MG font end.

  16. #16
    A history of roadsters - a nice official picture from BMW.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  17. #17

    A Bond update...

    This info was sent in by a fellow enthusiast who asked me to post it - thank you!

    The Z8 had a starring role in the James Bond film "The World Is Not Enough" which opened on November 19, 1999. The car's involvement in the film was announced in July, 1999, ten months before the Z8s went on sale to the public.

    BMW supplied 3 hand-built Z8 prototypes (production had not begun yet) which were used in the scenes where Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is seen driving the car. BMW sent Stefan Fitterer (a motor mechanic) and Gerhard Jokeit (a master electrician) to oversee their use and they guarded them 24 hours/day. When not involved in filming the Z8s were hidden under giant "shower caps" to prevent leaks to the automotive press.

    Special Effects Supervisor for EON Productions (maker of the Bond films), Chris Corbould, built 3 replicas using Cobra kit-car chassis'and fiberglass bodies made from molds taken off the factory's clay model! Grilles, wheels, chrome, lights and badging were supplied by BMW. The replicas were powered by 5.7-litre Chevy engines bolted to Tremec 5-speeds, and used Jaguar rear ends. Because the Jag used inboard brakes, fake discs had to mounted outboard to preserve the Z8's stock appearance. One of these cars, sans drive-train, was sawed in half for a scene in the movie.

    They also built a 1/4 scale radio controlled model of the Z8 which was used in some of the scenes. The film makers defy anyone to tell the model from the real thing!

    007's Z8 was heavily modified by "Q" and had a bulletproof windshield, titanium armor plating in the doors, a heads-up multi-tasking display, rocket launchers in the side gills which could fire 2 Stinger missiles each, radar and laser-scanning target acquisition control for missiles located in the steering wheel hub along with firing buttons plus sonic-laser eavesdropping device, thermographic navigation system, a remote-drive control system built into the car's ignition key (one button unlocked the doors and turned on the exterior lights, another one disengaged the clutch, started the engine, moved the shifter into gear, released the handbrake and disengaged the clutch, while touch pads controlled throttle, brakes and steering), plus it was equipped with 6 beverage holders! All in all, fully loaded!

    As for visual differences: Bond's Z8 had a "BMW Roundel" logo between the seats (instead of a "Z8"), it had the chrome Z8 lettering on the rear end and was shod with Michelin Pilot Sports.

    To promote the film and BMW's participation in it, 1/24 and 1/18 scale models of Bond's Z8 were produced for its release and 1/12 scale models were produced later. There was also a diorama of the helicopter scene. BMW dealers hung large scale "Bond's Ultimate" banners in their showrooms and 5 related different posters/print ads were released by BMW. There was also a montage poster used in theaters.

    The only disappointment with the film was that the Z8 wasn't featured in a classic "Bond chase sequence" and that we didn't get to see Sophie Marceau riding in it. There was also a scene featuring the Z8, driven by Bond, arriving at the casino which was left out of the film but does appear on the DVD as a trailer.

    As a side note: In the Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies" where Bond drives a 750iL, 17 of the cars were used in the filming and all were crashed. In fact, 10 of them were crunched while filming the remote-controlled driving sequence in the parking garage! Thank goodness the Z8s (except for one!) were treated with more respect.


    The advertising campaign used to promote the Z8 driven by Bond in The World Is Not Enough was put together by the Fallon McElligott advertising agency. David Lubars was the man in charge.

    Codes was the first TV ad which debuted on the November 1 episode of Ally McBeal on FOX, but only in the ten largest television markets. A second spot called Villans shows an instructor telling enemy agents how to capture James Bond. She also warns them that they need to steer clear of Bond's BMW Z8, but that one has been lost to the ethers.

    The first nationwide ad aired on the Tonight Show when Pierce Brosnan was Jay Leno's guest. As an aside, Leno was reputed to have taken delivery of the first Z8 sold in the US. admin note:- I asked him about that Z8 in person at a car event here in LA, and he denied ever having owned one. I'd heard from a couple of another sources that Pete Sampras took the first one and paid over $300K for it, but this may well be an urban legend as I have never seen a picture of him in or with it.

    Subsequently, the TV ads were aired on Monday Night Football, Just Shoot Me, West Wing, Law and Order, Friends, Frasier and ER. This campaign included the print ads that were placed in Forbes, Fortune, Time, USA Today and the car magazines. Some bad repros of them are shown below.

    Finally, the ad agency produced an online game designed to put fans behind the wheel of a virtual Z8. The 9MB Shockwave game was hosted on BMW NA's website, and let users drive the car through the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan, which Bond visits in The World Is Not Enough. Occasionally Bond's BMW has to cope with an aerial assault from a helicopter. Once you completed the two levels of the game you were given the link to a screensaver which wasn't available any other way. These are lost to history unfortunately.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  18. #18

    A funny coincidence...

    The top picture was one of official 'launch photos' for the Alpina V8 Roadster. I had always thought it was taken in some far away place that I'd never visit, but I took the shot below while on the Z8 Club's Mille Miglia event, and then discovered by total chance six months later that this was the exact same bit of road on the east side of Lake Garda in Italy!
    We were on our way to the Riva speedboat factory when I took the lower shot, just as we exited a tunnel. The Alpina photo was shot from just above the tunnel mouth maybe five years earlier.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  19. #19

    The only picture I have seen of the Z8 Coupe

    EBay brought me the Nov 1999 edition of Road & Track, with this illustration showing an artists impression of the Z8 Coupe.

    At the BMW 10th year celebrations in Munich in Oct 2009 I saw the Coupe the flesh, and though it had the double bubble top shown here, it didn't have the rear 3/4 light windows which it really needed. Consequently it wasn't as attractive as this illustration would suggest, and I think that based on the car we were shown, it is a good thing they didn't make it. All of us present agreed the Z8 with the hard top on is a more attractive package.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  20. #20
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Andrew, this illustration was done by the German Auto Motor und Sport magazine, and it appeared in their issue 18 of August 25, 1999.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  21. #21

    BMW's original USA Press Launch Kit.

    Another fun Z8 coincidence. I just bought this beautiful Z8 Launch Press Kit and original BMW Z8 watch from EBay. The seller was local, so I said I'd pick it up from him over the weekend, and I am so happy I did.

    He was the photographer of the Motor Trend "4.2 Second" cover story which was actually made during the two day press launch, on the drive that is shown in the very well laid out itinerary that BMW created for all the assembled journalists. Their route not only went right by my house, but it also took in most of the roads in the Santa Monica Mountains that we meet and drive around, including Top of the World!

    Here are some shots of this very rare package, there must have been less than 60 of these made, making it one of the rarest bits of Z8 memorabilia I've found so far.

    Many, many thanks to Lanny for alerting me to this on EBay.

    Also I just found this clip online which appears to have been made of this event...

       
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  22. #22
    Another one for the archives from EBay - the original Z07 Press Kit.

    thanks to Lanny for pointing this one out too!
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  23. #23

    An interesting dealer package

    This one certainly comes under the "I want what they're on" heading!

    BMW NA produced this very fun little sales kit that was handed out to their sales teams right before the release of The World Is Not Enough. When you open the lid of the box, (latch code 007), a lamp lights and an electric voice lets you know you are selling ecstasy - X to Z! It then tells you how the mighty Z8 will be a wonderful tool to bring people into your dealership, and help you sell everything from the 325 up.

    Inside there is a fly fishing lure (lure your customers!) and some cufflinks (agent ID) and a video with a three minute clip (I'll get it copied to Quicktime soon) about both Bond & BMW's heritage, and encouraging the sales folks to go to the cinema to see Bond & the Z8. Check out the fishing license application too - that is really silly, but fun!

    Interestingly the Z8 in the clip wears a chrome Z8 logo under the trunk lid's BMW emblem.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  24. #24

    The original BMW Z8 Flash Site

    BMW created a dedicated Z8 page back in 00/01, which was also the very early days of Flash, and even streaming content on the web, so it seems very simple by todays standards. You can see it here.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  25. #25
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    I believe, just as with other collector and classic cars, the total number of 5703 should be based on color combination and year produced, such as mine if one of 491 built for 2000 and then broken down by rarity by the color combination for that year. You don't see 63 - 67 Corvettes lumped all together as a production run for rarity, it is broken down by year, color, and other options. 1 of 491 for any year of car is extremely rare and should be treated as other collector cars. I just don't get why the forum keeps saving 5703 for a 4 year run. If you want a 2000 you only get 491 choices to pick from.
    Zed0037

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  26. #26
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    But, 63 to 67 vettes were different each year, and there were numerous trim levels/motors etc. But I do agree, a 2001 for example is specific, and there were not many made that year, and perhaps only very few in a certain color combo.

  27. #27
    Z8Mania
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    I wholeheartedly agree. I wonder if this is not a convention that we've adopted because these are modern cars and that way of classifying the cars is something that the vintage crowd tends to do- because back then often there were big differences from year to year.

  28. #28
    Z8Mania
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    This picture was sent in by Benjamin Van Zand, it shows the completed Z8 tubs being delivered to the Alpina plant. You can understand from this picture why the final year's build of Z8's and Alpinas have such randomly overlaping VIN's.

    These numbers have all been on EBay

    Alpina 060 -AH61961
    Alpina 094 -AH62021
    Alpna 198 - AH62259
    Alpna 285 - AH62265
    Alpna 426 - AH62398
    Alpina 443 - AH62430
    Alpina 449 - AH62452
    Alpina 499 - AH62463
    Alpina 496 - AH62460
    Alpina 531 - AH62518
    Alpina 541 - AH62538

    (note the shipping wheels.)
    For the sake of clarity- those are not shipping wheels- they are actually plastic covers they attach to the wheels to protect them. I have a set of those covers (not from the Z8- rather an Alpina sedan, but it came with the exact same covers- I asked the dealer to put them aside for me).

  29. #29
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I might go for segmenting by color, but MY is pretty much useless in the Z8 as there's hardly any variation between years, unlike the vettes you mentioned. During earlier times, models were updated, at least visually, yearly. So, there are definitely preferred years that draw collectors. In the Z8 world of the future, I believe we'll see emphasis on colors by rarity or preference for collector cars with low miles. There might be a slight preference to 2003 cars as they received all the little tweaks along the way, but there's really nothing that's a "must". Obviously, the Alpinas will hold a premium for some.

    So, my take is maybe split by color, and we have those numbers.
    thegunguy

  30. #30
    I think it is really more akin to a 300SL or a 507, it is what it is, and if you want one thats what it is. A well cared for car will always be the one wanted, and I guess as time goes by people will drive them less and show them more, meaning the mods we've all done to make them drive better may not be of such interest, and people may wnt a stock car more, but not me. I'd want a car with all the period correct upgrades, which is what I also look for in my classic bikes.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  31. #31
    Z8Mania
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    I think some will want it bone stock- others will want the typical mods. Good points.

  32. #32
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I certainly would want mods, even if an old car... I'd never want a bone stock muscle car or any other. Even back in the early 70s those cars had already progressed far into the mods, that's how I remember them, and that's what I would want. At that time, they were just 10 year old cars, that were nearly used up.

  33. #33
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    Development vehicle