In the 80s BMW decided on a
contest between their own development teams BMW “M” and BMW Technik. Both
groups were asked to build a new innovative car. BMW Technik dug deep into
their desks and came with doors that disappear into the body, a 2-seater
Roadster (this is before the Mazda Miata revolutionized the open car market).
One of the highlights of the car is that all painted body parts of the car are
fiberglass or plastic and can be removed and exchanged for a different color. Separate
body kits were made available in all colors.
The car is loosely based on the 325 model with modifications to the frame. Many
of the modifications and innovations that came from the Z1 design and project
were later implemented into the BMW series of the 90s and into today.
The car was never made available for the US
market. Only 8000 total units were built. Waiting lists in Europe were 2 years
plus. Since the car was never federalized and properly tested the car is not
eligible to be imported under the regular import rules. This car is considered historically significant
and received a special exception.
Jay Leno owns one and the Sultan of Brunai owns 5. The
Sultans VINS are:
Here is a great You-Tube link with a promotional video: