BMW only built 8,000 Z1 roadsters between 1989 and 1991, but have no fear, you can still buy yourself a brand new one if you have around $100,000 sitting around.

The Z1 is a real oddball, with the coolest doors on the planet, and while we wait for its successor, let's recap what made the original car so special.

The Z1 used a skeletal frame to which the body panels were mounted, it made the Z1's body incredibly stiff, banishing scuttle shake and giving the car superb handling. The cars body panels were made from plastic, which was mounted on a sub structure of hot dipped galvanized pressed steel. The seams were continuously zinc welded, adding 25 per cent to body stiffness. The side panels and doors were made from General Electric's Xenoy injection-cast thermoplastic, the bonnet and boot lid were glass reinforced plastic and the whole body was painted in a special flexible lacquer.

Those magnificent doors were operated by toothed belts which lowered both the window and door at the touch of a button. The Z1 used the innovative Z-axle suspension set up at the rear and also featured some clever aerodynamics, the front of the car was designed to create a high pressure zone ahead of the wheels to induce down force while the aerofoil shaped rear silencer helped to decrease turbulence and lift. The engine is one of BMWs finest in the form of the M20B25 unit taken from the E30 325i.

More than half of the 8,000 Z1s were built in 1990, but what makes chassis number 06057 stand out is the fact that it has only covered 122 unregistered miles since then.


It was originally sold to a customer in Sweden and formed part of a private collection until it was imported into the United Kingdom in 2013. Now, it's up for grabs at Silverstone Auctions' May 24 gig, where it's expected to sell for around $100,000.

Knowing that a normal Z1 costs half of that in the US, would you go for this unregistered gem or rather wait for the next 1990 Miata with 27 miles on the clock to show up?

Keep your Miata, six-cylinder crazy doors for me please!

Photo credit: Silverstone Auctions