Pick of the Day: 2002 BMW Z8, a nod to the past, and a look to the future

The low-mileage roadster is a largely hand-built exotic with evocative styling and modern drivability

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The Z8 boasts an M Power V8 engine linked with a 6-speed manual transmission

Can a collector car also function as a usable and excuse free daily driver, offering the amenities we now demand of most cars and yet still have something intrinsically special that sets it above other modern high-performance cars? My answer is a strong “yes!”, especially when the car in question is the BMW Z8.

The Z8 was built from 1999 until 2003 and offered a nod to the past as well as a look to the future. The Pick of the Day is a 2002 BMW Z8 roadster finished in Titanium Silver over a black leather interior.

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This Z8 has covered a total of 29,830 miles from new and has original paint, a very clean car in exception condition, according to the dealer offering the car on ClassicCars.com.

It gets better as the dealer has the complete history of this car, showing that this Z8 was sold new at the Midwestern Auto Group in Dublin, Ohio, in December 2001, and was likely a lease vehicle. The first owner drove the car only 1,014 miles in three years, after which the car was sold to its second owner in March 2004.

The second owner drove it regularly during summer months for the next 12 years, the seller says, and during that time, the car was always serviced and maintained at the local BMW dealer.  At 27,960 miles, the car was sold again in August 2016, and since then has covered 870 additional miles.

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The time to buy a Z8 is now. BMW produced only 5,703 of them with just 2,543 coming to the U.S. These were very special cars, with aluminum bodies and built on the same BMW body assembly line as the Rolls-Royce Phantom. 

“Building the Z8 is as unique a process as is the car itself,” according to BMW. “Z8 bodies are constructed and painted at BMW’s Dingolfing plant, approximately 60 miles northeast of Munich; the front and rear bumpers are manufactured at the nearby Landshut facility.  Completed bodies are then shipped to the former pilot plant area of the company’s Milbertshofen factory in Munich, where the limited production Z1 was built, for final assembly.


  “There, a small team of highly skilled craftsmen will largely hand-build approximately 400 cars for the U.S. market in 31 assembly steps.  The complete assembly and finishing period for a Z8 is about 10 times longer than that for a 3-Series sedan.”

In their own words, BMW set out to ensure that every Z8 was “a perfect car.”

Having driven a number of Z8s, I have to agree. The roadster offers a vintage look and feel in a truly modern package. The build quality of these cars is otherworldly and the fact that they can be used so easily as daily drivers is astonishing.

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There are scores of sub-5,000-mile Z8s on the market at any time, but the Z8 is a driver’s car and this example has been driven and enjoyed instead of sitting unloved in the garage. The asking price is $159,900 for what would definitely qualify as “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

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