New member considering Z1 ownership

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Tofty81
Joined: Sat 11 May, 2013 09:26
Posts: 9

  M coupe S50

New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by Tofty81 » Sat 11 May, 2013 10:30

Hi all
I'm new to the forum and am the current owner of both a Z3 M Coupe and Alpina Roadster S.
I'm considering adding a Z1 to the stable so any advice as to where I can find a good example for reasonable money would be much appreciated. :D
I'd like initial thoughts on what I should reasonably expect to pay? I'm not overly fussy on mileage as long as it has a good history and has been looked after as it should have.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Racing Tortoise
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Joined: Mon 07 Nov, 2005 15:53
Posts: 888

  Z1 roadster
Location: W2

Re: New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by Racing Tortoise » Sun 12 May, 2013 10:00

Welcome! Nice stable of cars and good shout on adding a Z1 - very much a different car to the two you have, believe it or not. As to where to find one, keep an eye out on the Classifieds (Pistonheads, http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk, http://www.carandclassic.co.uk, http://www.classicdriver.com). I found mine via this route from a UK private seller who had advertised it on one of the aforementioned classic sites (I don’t recall which). Otherwise, if you don’t mind the idea of importing, try looking around on http://www.mobile.de (there is a “switch to English” tab), which usually shows any number of Z1s for sale, most commonly in Germany and Italy. But they tend to be more expensive in Europe and the exchange rate is not currently favourable.

Price-wise, it’s a little hard to tell. These are not easy cars to sell in the UK as there is a limited market for them here so there is sometimes a gulf between what sellers want to achieve and what the market is prepared to stomach. I bought my current Z1 – dream black with camo leather (one of the better combinations) for £17,200 back in July 2010. The private seller was asking £17,995 and I haggled him down as it needed a service and cambelt change. That seemed entirely reasonable for a very clean example with 35k miles on the clock. Since then prices seem to have risen slightly. As a guide, I have it insured on an agreed valuation of £20k (which I will probably increase when the renewal comes around in July) and I’d probably advertise it for £22k if I had to sell. Most cars you see for sale in this country are in the £20-25k range and low-mileage (sub-50k miles). High mileage and condition tends to hit the value since the majority of examples tend to have been cherished. Tattier or higher-mileage cars offered by private sellers might still start around £15-16k I think.

When looking at one, don’t underestimate condition. Drivetrain issues are not the biggest concern with a Z1 – they are after all not mechanically complicated cars. The main concern is also not ultimate cosmetic finish as that is easily rectified, either with some elbow grease or with the services of a professional detailer. The chief concern (in my view – others will no doubt comment) should be with panel condition, door fit and (depending on your point of view) interior condition. The issue with body parts is that many are obsolete and no longer available from BMW new, so damaged panels are tricky to replace. If there are cracks (open the bonnet and look around the screws along the top of the wings attaching the wing to the chassis), then this should be a haggling point. Misaligned panels is not necessarily a concern – panel fit on these cars is a bit approximate (they are hand-made after all) but they should be reasonably consistent. Check the door panels for vertical scratch marks or a horizontal scuff – this is quite common but can be a sign that the doors need stripping down, cleaning and re-aligning, which is easily enough done by an experienced specialist (eg Munich Legends in Sussex) but has an associated cost so would be another haggle point.

Also bear in mind that the interiors on Z1s easily look tired – the original interiors are not hardwearing – on cars with the camo leather, the Nubuck sections turn light grey pretty quickly and the leather sections wrinkle like nobody’s business. On the lemon and grey interiors, I think finding new cloth to re-trim damaged cloth sections is next-to-impossible. But I had a professional valeter out to do my interior last summer and for £80 he had it looking vastly improved. Plus where the leather trim on the sills/dash gets scuffed (I’ve yet to see an example without this), you can get these re-connollised fairly easily or attack them with something like Gliptone.

Hope this helps and good luck!
Currently: bereft of Z1
Previously: 1991 Ur-grun Z1 and 1991 Traum-schwartz Z1

Tofty81
Joined: Sat 11 May, 2013 09:26
Posts: 9

  M coupe S50

Re: New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by Tofty81 » Sun 12 May, 2013 10:33

Thanks, that's a really helpful response.
Particularly the links to those websites, I knew some but not all of them. :thumb:
Am I right in thinking many of the mechanicals are from the E30 325i?
I had in mind a budget of £20k for how much I'd like to spend. I've seen the few with dealers which are currently on the market at the £25k range and I'm not sure I want to stretch that far, so it's good to know I was thinking around the right ball park.
From your post it seems to me that the condition of the bodywork is perhaps the most important thing to consider due to the parts not being easily replaceable. Is there anything mechanical that I should be looking out for?
What are parts and servicing costs like for these?
I had previously looked at some of the Z1's for sale in Germany and as you say, they seem considerably more expensive in general. Surprised me really as I would have assumed that they're less rare over there and that would have kept prices lower.
Look forward to hearing any more thoughts you may have. :wink:

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Racing Tortoise
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  Z1 roadster
Location: W2

Re: New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by Racing Tortoise » Sun 12 May, 2013 11:06

Yes, engine from E30 325i but chassis is bespoke. Servicing and day-to-day running costs are pretty low, as is classic insurance. Best if services annually regardless of mileage and cambelt should be changed every 4 years along with the tensioner.

As regards cars currently for sale, Dick Lovett have had that red one up for possibly as much as a year, so I reckon they'd be game for haggling on it. They are a (good) BMW main dealer so probably a good source.
Currently: bereft of Z1
Previously: 1991 Ur-grun Z1 and 1991 Traum-schwartz Z1

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Jet
Joined: Fri 14 Nov, 2003 16:24
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Re: New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by Jet » Mon 13 May, 2013 22:56

Check less obvious things like exhaust showing outer layer rust, the nubuck leather with excessive wrinkles and shiny. Original features such as the Z1 branded Sony stereo ( early cars only), space saver, tool case in the boot, petrol flap with stickers. Look for excessive scratches on the instrument cluster cover. Put the hood down and check the area above the door button, another weak point that cracks. The roof 'elbow' where it creases when folded, check the inside. The rear screen, can be cloudy and scratched, as it rests on the space saver when folded. The Wheel arch liners go brittle and crack over time, the aerial is built into the windscreen, Original mats, rear brake disks should be 280 diameter (early cars). Check gearbox oil replaced, tappets on high mileage cars. The passenger door will be quicker to open/close as its used less, check when the door belts were last replaced.

Cars priced in the £20k bracket are generally in good condition, you will get alot of car for that and most of the above should not be an issue, even the tatty lower priced cars can be restored.

Good luck

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Green Genie
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Joined: Thu 01 May, 2008 18:29
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  Z1 roadster
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by Green Genie » Tue 14 May, 2013 12:48

Some comments to consider when this was asked before...

http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopi ... 25#p163425


Excellent buying guide here:

http://fred.brossaud.pagesperso-orange. ... z1_eng.pdf

HTH
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sfh3l
Joined: Fri 02 Sep, 2005 17:07
Posts: 552

  Z1 roadster
Location: Buckingham

Re: New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by sfh3l » Tue 21 May, 2013 20:09

Tofty81. Welcome!
I have little to add to what has been said already but just wanted to echo previous comments and to say to you not to get disheartened, as you will find the right car and it will be worth waiting for.
I agree re panel condition, but I would say so long as they aren't actually broken into little pieces, they are possible to save. Interior is something different though and that is where I would take the most care. The seats are, as RT says not at all hard wearing, but they don't look so bad and the Nubuk can be conditioned and recoloured occasionally and this will make a big difference. The bits that can look really poor though are the inner sill trims, as these get kicked and have stuff dragged over them and they are difficult to dress up nicely after that.
The Z1 is indeed a very different car to your current ones. You'll find it a bit slow, but very sweet and an enchanting drive. I have run mine alongside some quite interesting cars and it is almost unique I think in its particular appeal. I also feel that for what it represents, the Z1 is criminally undervalued by the market and as a result is a great opportunity to get into a sweet classic car that is eminently practical to drive. I am off to the Pyrenees in mine tomorrow!
Good luck in your search and I hope to see you around sometime soon.
Best regards,

Sam Lever.

Anyone who says money isn't everything hasn't found the right classic car yet.
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ChrisS
Joined: Thu 30 Jul, 2009 10:11
Posts: 163

  Z1 roadster
Location: Witney

Re: New member considering Z1 ownership

Post by ChrisS » Thu 23 May, 2013 00:12

The Z1 I bought was the third one I drove. One of the others had larger wheels that made it tramline quite badly. My car with standard 16 inch wheels feels much nicer, especially on badly maintained roads. It's quite surprisingly rigid for a 20 year old car without a roof - one positive effect of those inconveniently high sills.
Although the engine feels as if it would do with a 6th gear at 55 mph, once you're at motorway speeds, it feels eager and unstressed, and the clever aerodynamics confer a remarkable feeling of stability. If you have a wind block, the interior is nicely free of draughts at all sensible speeds. The seats are comfortable and the heater is powerful.
For a concept car that just happened to make it into production, it's remarkably well resolved and easy to live with.
Mine is insured for 5000 miles a year and actually I've averaged about 4000, which is more than any of its previous owners have done. It seems sad that there are very low mileage examples about. Their owners just aren't enjoying them enough.

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