Home / Automotive / Cars / BMW Z1: The Weirdest BMW You Probably Haven't Heard Of


Created in the late 90s, the BMW Z1 is probably the weirdest car from the Bavarian's that you've never heard of.

Yup, not many people, especially those born after the 90s, even know about this model, the BMW Z1. But what a beautiful, quirky machine! It's like the engineers were fooling around with a concept roadster and, suddenly, it was available to the public. And, now that it's considered a classic at almost three-decades-old, you can import them to the U.S.

It's full of quirks, like those radically cool downward-retracting doors. Yup, they retract downwards into the body and its completely lawful to drive with them down! Other oddities are the removable body panels, in case you want to change the colour of your Z1, and the rather neat bonnet hinged at the (really tiny) grill and not the windscreen.

The car was basically a 90s-era E30 BMW 325i, so most of the interior is recognisable as such but there are a few crazy bits in there too. Like the glovebox that's hidden behind the passenger seat, interior lighting that isn't particularly useful and the world's smallest sun-visors. And then there's the rollbar that's situated above the windscreen which doubles as a grab-handle for when you're getting in and out, over the retracted doors.

Performance, too, is pretty much in line with the donor vehicle it's based on, which means it's pretty slow, and because there are no doors, chassis flex is quite noticeable.

All-in-all, it's probably these quirks that make it quite a sort-after vehicle among BMW collectors and, considering only 8000 were ever made, they hold their resale value quite well.

There's so much more to this weird little car but we'll let Doug DeMuro tell you all about it in the video below.

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