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Thread: Sports Car Market magazine

  1. #1

    Sports Car Market magazine

    I thought that it might interest everyone to hear what the editor of 'Sports Car Market' Keith Martin magazine has to say about the Z8.

    I reviewed a Z8 for the New York Times, and found it a thoroughly enjoyable high-performance roadster. However, BMW has never been in the business of building two-seat convertible supercars, so the Z8 has no historical lineage (no matter how hard their PR flacks may try to connect it with the 507 - an attempt as futile as that of DaimlerChrysler's to connect Maybachs old and new, or of VW to associate their new Bugatti with the authentic ones. What is it about the Germans and instant heritage, anyway?)

    As far as their values, I just checked eBay and there were three Z8s listed, ranging in price from $85,000 to $105,000, which indeed reflects a high percentage of value retention compared to their 2003 MSRP of around $130,000. However, it is SCM's position that the Z8, with 5000 built, with no distinguishing mechanical characteristics (they are, after all, essentially rebodied 7-series sedans), and no performance heritage whatsoever, will never be first tier, or even second tier collectibles. They are a great drive, and a stylish package, and will never be any more - or less - than that.

    [email protected]

    503-261-0555 x 210

    Sports Car Market
    P.O.Box 4797
    Portland, OR 97208


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    Here is my response, but feel free to make your own!

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    Dear Sir,

    It has recently been brought to my attention that you have a very dim view of the BMW Z8, and cast it in a negative light in both your narratives and opinions. Since you have assumed such an esteemed position of authority on such matters I must ask you to look once more at our car.

    Contrary to the popular thought that it was some sort of rebodied 7 series the Z8 was built from the ground up as a showcase BMW's manufacturing of an all aluminum chassis on a specially prepared production line. The only part of the 7 Series that found it's way onto this car were the brakes!

    This construction process was the testbed for the technology that is now the Rolls Royce aluminum chassis production line, and going forward will be used in the new flagship 8 series sedan line.

    This unique sports car was then given the S62 engine of the M5, which at the time won many international awards for being the best motor in the world. There were several other more minor, but still noteworthy features about the car, like it's use of neon lamps for the turn signals, but none is so striking as it's form, the car is simply beautiful. I personally knew I wanted one from the moment BMW showed it at the 1998 Tokyo show. I thought then it was the most gorgeous car I had seen, and I still do.

    BMW's management wanted the car to have a classic feel, and not be another fast dating and depreciating sports car like many of it's contemporaries. Look at the current values of a 2000-2003 AM, MB-SL, Ferrari or Porsche, the cars this one was tested against in the car magazines, and you'll see that they have all depreciated over 50%. If you look at Autorader, the best resource for judging resale values in the USA, you'll see that on average a Z8 has lost a only 20% of it's MSRP - but mint ones with very low miles are still holding their original value.
    $129,950 - Highest price
    $69,980 - Lowest price
    $100,698 - Average price

    May I know also draw your attention to this link which shows a brand new Z8 selling for ?9,980 more than it's old MSRP in the UK. I grew up there, and I can tell you that seeing a LHD car selling for such a premium in an RHD market says a very great deal!

    If you would also please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our website I think you'll see that the Z8 also has a really dynamic owner's group and Club that runs extraordinary events, like this year's drive across the Alps to the Mille Miglia. The Club and the online communty also serves to underwrite the desireability of this car.

    You can dismiss BMW as the maker of family saloons, and not sportscars like Ferrari, but as a I know from the ownership and maintenance perspective I'd rather have my BMW's reliability and usability than any of the Italian iron I had in my youth!

    In 2008 you will see at least 30 Z8's at the Monterey Classics week appearing as a group at all the principal events. This will be the first time our owner's group attends the week, it will be both the biggest gather of Z8's in the USA, and also draw a lot of attention to the market strength of the car.

    Thank you for your time, and please feel free to contact me me if there is anything you need clarification on. A final picture to leave you with, as you can see BMW has a long history of building two seater roadsters. They may not all be supercars, but they are all roadsters.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  2. #2
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Excellent respone Andrew! Jealously can be an ugly thing. I think it would be a fair statement to make that virtually every Z8 owner could afford most any car their heart desired and they pick a Z8 to own. Most have multiple expensive cars and still hang on to the Z8. It is one of the most beautiful cars ever designed, and everytime I drive it, even in Los Angeles where every car imaginable can be seen, the Z8 always causes a sensation. It will only get better with time.

  3. #3
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    "the Z8 has no historical lineage (no matter how hard their PR flacks may try to connect it with the 507"

    The "press flacks" shouldn't have a very hard time connecting the Z8 with the 507, considering the quote of the 507's creator, the late Albrecht Graf von Goertz: "If I were to design the 507 today, it would look like the Z8."

  4. #4
    Fred, I suspect that those whose principal concern is in the 'market' are more interested in values than cars, or the pleasures of driving.

    Growing up at the National Motor Museum, where my Dad was one of the directors, as well as being President of the Guild Writers. I have been immersed in motoring history and heritage my whole life. Driving was an art form in our family, and my brother even had a go at making a trackday car himself, which bore our father's (now his) name, Strathcarron.

    My first job, from 13 to 15 was working in the photography department of the museum during my school holidays. That is how my journey as a photographer began, and also quite likely where the seeds of this site/archive were first sown. The John Montagu Library, as it was then called, had almost a quarter of a million images images in it, and every morning I would be pulling out old glass plate negatives making prints to send to the curators, and the curious around the world. The afternoons were always filled with assisting the museum photographer record one on the cars, or events of the day.

    I have sat in rain soaked fields surround by an army of Austin 7's whose owners were every bit as delighted with their steeds as the following weekend's Bugatti owners, but in general they were a nicer crowd. Don't know why, but Bugatti's always attracted a rather snooty crowd.

    I also grew up surrounded by wealth. Most of the unhappiest souls I knew were the richest, and conversely most wonderful were the not. The pursuit of money alone seems not to be the most truly rewarding path to take in life, but if one looks at this month's cover of Mr Martin's magazine the headline is all about the dollar value, not the driving pleasure. However that makes his dismissal of our Z8 even more curious, because as we all know it is one of very few modern cars to really hold its value.

    Reading Mr Martin's off-hand and rather arrogant brush off of the Z8 makes one question both his interest in automobiles and his understanding of joy they bring us, their proud owners.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  5. #5
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Good letter, Andrew.

    It's shocking to see someone advising others on the future value of something of which they know nothing about - and getting paid for it.

    In actuality, it does share more than the just the brakes. Both axles are form the 7, and I believe some of the control arms as well (or are they from the 5?). However, as we know from the great research efforts of Z8Doc, the ring and pinion gears are also from the E65 7 - 215k.

    So, yeah there are some 7 parts, but "rebodied"? Sure, and the Veyron is a Passat who knows somebody.
    Last edited by thegunguy; August 17th 2007 at 22:53.
    thegunguy

  6. #6
    Talking of VW's, I love that the slow selling Phaeton wearing a fancier set of clothes and a Bentley badge is selling faster than they can pop them out at $100K over the cost of the well engineered and put together Phaeton!
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  7. #7
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    I think the Phaeton is now out of production. I too was lucky enough to grow up in a family where money was not an issue and I could vicariously live out my love of cars through my father. I remember the 63 Corvette split window fuel injected coupe, the 65 Jaguar E Type convertible, the 67 Ferrari 275GTB 4 cam long nose coupe "damn I wish he never sold that one", and then the myriad of Mercedes Benzes that would follow " 69 280SL, 71 280SE 3.5 convertible, 72 350SL, 73 450SEL" and many others. Decisions about cars were never driven by what they may be worth in the future but rather by what was practical, needed, looked good, ect. In some cases, such as with the Ferrari and the 3.5 convertible, they were sold for more than they were bought for when new, but that was just the luck of the draw, The Z8 captured my imagination the first time I saw it in person at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show. I stood there and looked at the black beauty turning on the stand for nearly an hour. I knew then that I would one day have one. While no one minds owning a car that holds its value, its true value is in the driving joy it brings to its owner and whether or not some car critic agrees is besides the point.

  8. #8
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    Hmmm, let's see. The Z8 is a "thoroughly enjoyable high performance roadster" that currently trades at about 73% of MSRP after nearly 5 years "which indeed reflects a high percentage of value retention". But it isn't collectable? Well, OK, I guess that depends on how he defines collectable, but on the other hand who cares? The market seems to have its own opinion on the matter already.

    A "re-bodied 7 series sedan"? Such profound ignorance (or outrageous lie) compels me to put Sports Car Market on my "ignore" list.

  9. #9
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Very good Andrew !

  10. #10
    The Other Red ZAchterbahn's Avatar
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    Well said, Andrew. But why even dignify so much ignorance with a response?

    As a matter of fact I would not mind a temporary dip in pricing to separate the true Z8 aficionado from the arm chair investor crowd. This would allow me to pick up a nice Alpina that I have been looking for to complete my Z8 happiness.

    And then there is always that other color combo besides the one we own already that a number of us would not mind picking up for the right price, let alone the thought of not having to weigh fun factor versus weather forecasts, road conditions, undue wear and tear that curtail our desire to just take her out for a therapeutic spin no matter what.

    At first I thought this Top Gear clip would help my cause and put a damper on Z8 prices while flooding the market with desirable used ones, but the ending makes me wonder. Check it out: http://youtube.com/watch?v=We__i42jxug

    Cheers,

    Christian

  11. #11
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Andrew, thank you for a response that we as a group can all agree with and be proud of. As far as mister "cranky pants" on the video, no one who has either seen or driven a Z8 could sit through the whole clip without immediatley seeing that there was an underlying bias present before the "test" even started. To me, the Z8 is very well defined, and satisfies my driving needs in a variety of ways that no other vehicle has ever come close to. As a bonus, the cost of ownership has been a pleasure with its high residual values.

  12. #12

    That clip...

    was discussed here some time ago. Clarkson never liked the Z8 either, but he also said here that the Elise doesn't handle. I think we can sumize that he is an excellent entertainer with a sharp tongue and blunt driving skills.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  13. #13
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    What? I am confused by your response.

    My point is that the self-important Mr. Martin's automotive knowledge is questionable if he can make the statement he did regarding the Z8's lineage to the 507 in light of the 507's creator stating that the Z8 would be the 507 had he designed it today. Mr. Goertz praise of the Z8 is well-known in the automotive community

  14. #14
    Fred, nothing to be confused about, I meant that those whose principal concern is in the 'market' are more interested in values than in cars, or the pleasures of driving. I then went on to share my own background in motoring to illustrate why I'm more concerned with pleasure than profit when it comes to all things motorized.

    Mr Martin is obviously a pretty opinionated but not very well informed chap with a clear disdain for anything German - but I wonder what he'll say about the new Alfa 8C - talk about reaching deep for some long lost heritage!
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  15. #15
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    was discussed here some time ago. Clarkson never liked the Z8 either, but he also said here that the Elise doesn't handle. I think we can sumize that he is an excellent entertainer with a sharp tongue and blunt driving skills.
    Agreed - as before. Clarkson's not such a great driver, but he's a hoot to watch. Too bad he can't set aside bias in his reviews, but I'm looking forward to the TG debut on BBC America tonight.

    I'd like to see the combination of Clarkson's wit and Tiff Needell's driving abilities.
    thegunguy

  16. #16
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how well-informed Martin is if he is not familiar with Goertz's quote regarding the 507 and Z8. His statement is either ignorance or the diliberate disseminsation of false information.

  17. #17
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I vote ignorant based on some of his other comments. I can accept ignorance so long as someone doesn't use it to advise others as if they are knowledgeable.
    Last edited by thegunguy; August 21st 2007 at 00:45.
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  18. #18
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy View Post
    In actuality, it does share more than the just the brakes. Both axles are form the 7, and I believe some of the control arms as well (or are they from the 5?). However, as we know from the great research efforts of Z8Doc, the ring and pinion gears are also from the E65 7 - 215k.
    Rear axle is from E38 (old 7 series), front axle from E39 (old 5 series).
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  19. #19
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the correction Dieter. See, we can't even get it right the first time. How is this guy an expert?

    You would think the fifty year commitment to support the car would be of interest to collectors, but the "expert" failed to mention that aspect.
    Last edited by thegunguy; August 21st 2007 at 14:05.
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  20. #20
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    Anyone questioning the expertise of Keith Martin, read below on the ALFA Romeo 8C2300

    It defined the careers of many of the great drivers of the era, particularly Nuvolari, Caracciola, and Chinetti. It set Enzo Ferrari firmly on the path to automotive greatness, and it established the standards of quality, technological excellence, and beauty that have defined the Italian automobile to the present day. As such, it has been one of the holy grails of performance car collecting for as long as that passion has been around.

    Perhaps it did define the career of Rudolph Caraciola, but only when he passed one in his Mercedes Benz. Rudolph Carraciola was a team driver for Daimler Benz (NOTE MR. MARTIN, there is no company named Mercedes Benz, it is the name of a car produced by Daimler Benz) from 1926 until racing was halted by Workld War II.

    Enzo Ferrari never raced in an ALFA 8C2300. Enzo Ferrari retired form racing in 1929, the first 8C2300 was built in 1931. Ferrari founded Scuderia Ferrari in the era of the 8C2300, and the Cavallino Rampante appeared on 8C230s, but as private, not works entries. Ferrari rejoined ALFA Romoe to run ALFA Corse, but it was after the competitive era of the 8C2300.

    Luigi Chinetti did win Lemans (in 1932 and 1934) driving 8C2300s, as a private entrant, not an ALFA works driver. Chinetti is much more famous as the US importer for Ferrari.

    To associate Tazio Nuvolari with ALFA Romeo his hardly a mark of automotive expertise. Almost any high school student interested in racing history will associate Nuvolari with ALFA as easily as Carraciola with Daimler Benz.

    His article sounds authoritative, but if a new docent at the Blackhawk made this many errors, one of use would quietly suggest that he get some help with his history. At least three members of the local ALFA club would take him apart.

    After reading this, I am not surprised that Mr. Martin was not aware of Mr. Goertz's statement concenring the Z8 and th 507. In fact I doubt if he even knows who Albrecht Graf von Goertz is. His newsletter appears to be aimed at the "meat market" of classic car owners who just want an expensive trinket and enough information so as not to embarass themselves among their equaly ignorant colleagues.

  21. #21
    and my understanding is that Mr. Martin considers himself a particular expert on Alfa Romeo, so that this should be his sweet spot.

  22. #22
    The sadness is that it is ill informed fools like this that define this era of absurd buying that will surely be another bursting bubble. Why?

    Because classic cars and art share a value curve based on what a little kid was wowed by at 7, and can finally afford at 57 (or earlier if he/she is lucky).

    In my youth I saw the Bugatti's command the top of the market, while Ferrari's were being bought up by odd people like drummers in rock bands. Now is the time of the cars of the late 50's and 60's, but just as surely in 2060 what is really at the top of the market will be the cars of this decade that are wowing the kids of today.

    Are you old enough (like me!) to remember when the Japanese drove the values of the French Impressionists like Van Gogh, Monet, Manet and Gaugin far above Rembrandt and the older great masters? Then it became Pollock and Warhol's turn, yet both were oddball curiosities just three decades earlier. Such is the wave of value in all things, today's children become tomorrow's collectors and curators, and will most fondly remember the first things that fired, inspired and thrilled them.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  23. #23
    There will be a large amount of "expensive" American Iron sitting around in a few years after us Baby Boomers pass.

    It's funny; I don't know about our cars. In a way, the Z8 represents an older roadster era. Yet, I have seen our cars give younger kids a thrill. I gotta believe that 31 Z8's traveling across public roads next year will fuse some neuro-synapses in youngsters who will then dream of them for the next 50 years. (Of course, then there is the question of availability of fossil fuel and other issues in 50 years.)

  24. #24
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    and my understanding is that Mr. Martin considers himself a particular expert on Alfa Romeo, so that this should be his sweet spot.

    To quote a collegue - "Someday I'd like to meet someone who knows as much as he thinks he does."

  25. #25

    That is genius!!

    Andrew Macpherson

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

  26. #26
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I'm guessing Mr. Martin would not like my plate - 507V2
    thegunguy

  27. #27
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jim's Avatar
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    Hey guys, I've enjoyed all the comments on this (above) & wanted to mention that 2 yrs ago @ Pebble festivities I met and spke w/K. Martin & unfortunately did find him to be on the arrogant side. I pointed out a very cool & old historic vette and mentioned that it would make a quite nice story. He really blew me off on it, & as I had no relations w/the car/owner and in fact told Martin how much I enjoed his magazine every month was alittle surprised @ his arrogant nature. Guess it's just the way he rolls...whatever,
    Jim

  28. #28
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    Arrogance is usually a defense for stupidity. Given some of Mr. Martin's comments on Z8s and ALFA Romeos, I would have to say the shoe fits.

    I have found that most really knowledgeable people are very open and willing to share their knowledge. Perhaps their openness and willingness to learn from others is how they got so smart in the first place.