BMW Z3

 

Classic Rides Video “The Wee Beemer”

 

Features

 Soft top convertible roadster

 Heated leather seats for 2

 Climate control

 Radio and CD player with AUX input

 Front and side airbags

 M Sports suspension

 Central locking

Technical Stuff

Engine: BMW M44 1.9 litre, 16 valve, 4 cylinder, fuel injected petrol, 140  hp (103 kW)

Transmission: Automatic GM 4L30-E 4 speed, rear wheel drive with limited slip differential and automatic stability control

Braking: Power assisted discs with ABS

Dimensions: Length – 4m  Width – 1.7m  Height – 1.3m

Weight: Unladen 1275 Kg

Driving “The Wee Beemer”

With automatic transmission and power everything (including seats), the wee beemer is a very easy car to drive. It is no tarmac shredder, but plenty fast enough for most, and with M Sports suspension handles winding roads with great assurance. Drop the top, get out in the country and inhale the fresh air – it is a lot of fun.  Don’t forget to bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen if it is a hot sunny day, but even on a cold day, put on a warm hat and gloves, crank up the heater, turn on the heated seats, and enjoy open top motoring!

 

A Bit of History

mThe BMW Z3 was launched in September 1995 and was the first BMW to be built outside of Germany, in Greer South Carolina, USA.

It was featured in the 1995 Bond film “Golden Eye”, a major marketing success. More than 15,000 had been sold before the car was introduced, although it is likely none were available with the stinger missiles, radar scanner and passenger ejector seat.

The Z3 finished production in June 2002, having sold more than 279,000 roadsters. During this time it was offered with bewildering array of engines and specifications, from the 1.8 litre 4 cyclinder to a 3.0 litre six. There was even a concept V12 version shown to the German press in 1999.

Our Z3 came off the production line in December 1998, and was sold new in Japan in March 1999. It came to New Zealand in 2005, was sold in Hawkes Bay, where it remained until purchased by Classic Rides in 2018.

 

What the motoring press said back then:

Wheels Magazine: “…this is going to be a very easy sports car to own, I know it will be an instant success and loved both for its image and BMW’s pragmatic approach to the task of building a desirable open two-seater”

Washington Post:  ” an absolute hoot to drive in light traffic and on winding country roads”

And a couple of TV commercials:   1990’s fun! and:  “don’t do this at home”

And is it a Classic?

Some might argue the Z3 is too modern to be a true classic car – yet. Being “only” 20 years old and a car of the 90’s, this might be so – but they said the same thing about the MGB in 1965. It certainly has style, with design cues back to the BMW 507 roadster of the 50’s. Either way, what’s not to enjoy with the fun and usability of this modern roadster, which if it isn’t a classic now, certainly will soon be.