Few things are better than a 2-seat roadster with a burly six-cylinder powerplant up under the bonnet. The British probably invented them, but cars like this 1998 BMW Z3 M Roadster are the modern embodiment of the "less is more" philosophy that makes 2-seat sports cars so special. A rare M-edition roadster with only 67,485 miles on the clock, it sports a desirable color combination and classic good-looks, and would drastically improve the overall status of anyone's garage.
Silver always works well on German cars, and while it's a color usually reserved for the exclusive 7-Series, the original Arctic Silver Metallic looks particularly striking on the swoopy 2-seater bodywork. With just over 67,000 original miles, it remains in great shape, thanks to a combination of quality BMW workmanship and careful ownership over the past 15 years. The shark-like Z3 style still looks modern today, it's the kind of car that makes people stop and watch as it drives past, and with BMW's legendary build quality, it hasn't lost a step over the years. Gaps are tight, the aggressive front fascia is in great shape with only a few minor imperfections picked up from the road, and the rest of the paint still has a very glossy, uniform finish that looks great. M-models offered several aesthetic and aerodynamic differences compared to the rest of Z2 range, including sculpted wing-mirrors, redesigned bumpers, revised fender "gills", Roadstar Style 40 wheels, and special quad-exhaust tips out back. There's also a third brake light neatly integrated into the trunk lid, a modest M-Sport badge, and a Imola Red power convertible top that's rarely been used.
Those of you who have driven BMWs already know that the interior is singularly focused on the driver, an environment that works with you to seamlessly blend man and machine. The Black-and-Imola Red leather M-spec seats are in outstanding condition and still gently but firmly hold you in place. Black carpets are plush enough to whisper luxury, but lightweight so they don't slow the car down. Red and graphite carbon fiber accents, round gauges with chrome rings ahead of the driver, along with the M-spec auxiliary gauges in the center stack (voltmeter, clock, and oil temperature) were obviously influenced by great sports cars of the past. Everything was standard in the Z3, including A/C, power everything, a tilt steering wheel, airbags, an anti-theft system, and cruise control, all of which are joined by the car's original AM/FM/Cassette/CD changer stereo. It's all fully operational, which isn't a surprise, and the M-Sport floormats and badging remind everyone that this isn't just a Sunday cruiser. Rollover hoops were introduced for the 1998-model, and they add a very sporty touch when the top is down, and there's even a trunk big enough for a few overnight bags out back.
BMW's legendary M-spec 3.2 liter S52 inline-six lives under the long hood, and yes, it's as smooth and torquey as you've heard. In the lightweight Z3, it's positively robust, flinging the lightweight car down the road with ease. It never grumbles or stumbles, it's always impeccably smooth, and you'll relish running it through the gears every chance you get, just for the joy of the machine doing its work. The 5-speed manual slips through the gears with just a gentle tug on the knob and the all-independent suspension manages to be both competent and supple at the same time. Z3 M models offered a limited-slip differential, a wider rear track, and larger brakes (shared with the vaunted E36 M3) than the standard Z3, making them perfect roadsters that can really handle themselves on track days. The dual exhaust system gives the six a wonderful tenor voice and a lifetime in a warm climate shows in the clean undercarriage, and yes, experts, the welds are in fine shape out back. Big 17-inch Roadstar Style 40 wheels and 225/45/17 front and 245/40/17 rear performance radials finish off the look and provide plenty of grip out in the wild.
First-class BMW performance, style, and luxury at a third-class price. Where else can you get this much "kick-ass" for so little cash? Call today!