Has a recent upsurge in interest seen the BMW Z8 transition to icon?

Being a star of the big screen doesn’t necessarily bring critical acclaim – witness the Bond-driven BMW Roadsters (Z3 and Z8) that had starring roles in GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough. Neither were desperately revered for their dynamic abilities and didn’t receive fawning critical approval from the press, yet they both went on to find favour with their owners and today the Z8 has become something of a collector’s item with big money being paid for examples with low miles and perfect provenances.

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We’ll gloss over the Z3’s quirky styling and ancient underpinnings and focus on the main event, the Z8 Roadster. This should have been the car to take BMW forward into the new millennium but what we got was something of a retro pastiche of the 507. It was a car with a bit of an identity crisis – was it a Californian cruiser, an autobahn weapon or a tack-sharp driving tool? Nobody really seemed to know. 

The onward march of time seems to have been kinder to the Z8 than to some other machines that have had a less than stellar critical acclaim – is it the car’s styling, cracking V8 or limited production run that’s kick-started the Z8’s appreciation society? Collectors now covet the Z8 – 10 or 12 years ago these LHD-only machines were sitting unloved in specialists’ showrooms.

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