How much do you like your Z3

UK forum for general and technical discussion about the Z3 roadster

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Phil
Joined: Sun 09 Mar, 2008 10:43
Posts: 2695

  M roadster S54
Location: Solihull

How much do you like your Z3

Post by Phil » Fri 04 Mar, 2011 11:45

Hi everyone

I need your help with a little project.

We are running a mini series of articles in Straight Six magazine (BMWCC) on Z relationships . It is all about your love affair with the Z3 from your personal and intimate perspective.
What made you buy a Z3, what keeps you interested, sacrifices, what you love the most, when did it start, how it makes you feel, driving it, not driving it, what frustrates/motivates you as a Z3 owner.
Once it takes shape, will give me an idea on how to present it to the editor for publication in April/May .

Just tag on your thoughts to this thread

Cheers.

Phil
Sapphire black/Imola red and black interior/ red roof/ S54 - the only RHD one made.

"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."

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Bench
Joined: Thu 03 Mar, 2011 13:03
Posts: 152

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Flitwick

Post by Bench » Fri 04 Mar, 2011 11:54

Owned my Z3 for 6+years now, although i have owned other BMW's and Audi etc I never got rid of the Zed.

Things i love about it, it can sit all winter under its cover and the second the sun turns up I can literally jump in turn the key and off she goes. I love the styling from its long bonnet and retro looks.

I also love the diversity you see in Z3's and enjoy parking next to diregarded dirty examples in my lowered highly polished version (is that showing off).

Mechanically, mine has been very sound kept up with regualr oil changes and servicing and all i have had to change is water pump and thermostat. Water pump was more as a precautionary measure if anything. So defienitely liek the reliabiltiy!....touch wood.
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TaffZee
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Post by TaffZee » Fri 04 Mar, 2011 13:05

Had a Z3 for 2 years started with a 1.9 now have a 2.8, Love the feel of the sun in my face when the top is down, its classic sports car looks (without all the problems), the admiring looks you get, the power and sound from the straight six engine. But what makes it really special?

The other owners, the ammount of Enthusiasm from people you meet who own a Z3 or Z4 is Infectious, I have met some really good like minded people through this site and have become firm friends with some of them, the comments you recieve regarding your motor are always complementary, and any other comments are always constructive without any put downs or the mentality of "my cars better than yours" I enjoy the outings the meetings and the banter on this site. If I wanted to promote our beloved zeds I would recommend a visit to zroadster.net just to see exactly how much respect these cars recieve, After all I believe its not just a lttle old sportscar, it becomes a lifestyle.
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stu
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Joined: Fri 10 Oct, 2003 18:49
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  Z3 roadster 2.8 supe
Location: On the edge!

Post by stu » Fri 04 Mar, 2011 13:14

What made you buy a Z3?

It is such a beautiful sensuous shape, it's a real roadster with a purity of purpose (open air motoring at the touch of a button) but still has a useable boot and decent tank range and that magnificent engine note of BMW's six cylinder petrols, especially when pushed to the limit. Oh, that and we got a good deal on ours due to the change in body shape.

What keeps you interested?

It's had so much done to it from standard, it's such a Q car. The fun is explioting the opportunities to show people what a Z3 can actually do, after it's been 'enhanced'. Everyone comes away with a different impression after they've had a ride in the car! This car's a keeper also due to the fact we bought it new and have had so many wonderful experiences in the car so far and plan to have so many more wonderful experiences. The car still wins admiring glances and still floats my boat when I get it out of the garage and go for a drive, especially on a clear day.

Sacrifices?

Almost none really. We bought the car we liked, we did the modifications we liked and haven't really had to compromise. The only compromises are really "who'sturn is it to drive"?

Love the most?

The amazing feeling of being so alive when you're on a nice flowing country road (we have lots oop North!), with the top down on a sunny day and with lovely music (Matt Monroe?) playing........

When did it start?

4th September 1999, late morning. She drove! :-(

How it makes you feel, driving it?

Special, "different", happy.

How it makes you feel, not driving it?

Sad, unhappy.

What frustrates/motivates you as a Z3 owner?

The 'negative' press around the car means a lot of people have uninformed low expectations of the car. When they come into first hand contact with the car, ours in particular, they change, for the better. That's really cool and feels really good. It's not frustrating, but it is motivating when you can help people change their own opinions on a car.

I do get frustrated with the lack of opportunity to use the car as intended, with family and work comittments coupled with some ropey weather over the past few years. Hopefully and we are ever optimistic, the chances to enjoy will return soon, when our beautiful son Luca is old enough to come out for some Zedding!

Peace out!

Stu (&Sylv - It's her car really!).
someone in a minority once wrote:I know I'm in a minority
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stu
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  Z3 roadster 2.8 supe
Location: On the edge!

Post by stu » Fri 04 Mar, 2011 13:17

Bench wrote:I enjoy parking next to diregarded dirty examples in my lowered highly polished version (is that showing off).
Definite YES

:wink:
someone in a minority once wrote:I know I'm in a minority
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Hard Top
Joined: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 23:16
Posts: 1239

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Netherlands

Post by Hard Top » Fri 04 Mar, 2011 13:28

It started for me with the James Bond film, Goldeneye, back in 1995.
I fell in love with the car straight away, and even more so when my wife bought me a Limited 1/87 scale model.
The idea of this car looking so retro, even more so at the time, really appealed to me.
The model car mysteriously disappeared a few years ago now, and I suspect that it was the kids of visiting friends who 'half inched' it. :head:

I admired the car from a distance for many years, until the summer of 2009, when I saw the car I now own in my friends showroom.
I found my self driving past his garage and popping in for a chat, more and more often, as the car was not showing on his website, as he did not want any time wasters.

December 2009 and I take the Merc in for suspension repair (again) and I was sick of it, the damn thing was a money pit.
Long story short, deal was struck, I left the car in the showroom until the weather improved (seemed like a bloody long time) and when I picked her up, had Christmas day all over again. :D

HT

PS. One of the contributing factors in taking the plunge? zroadster.net. I was a 'lurker' for four months. :dunce: :rtm:
I don't think I need to add anything else to my post, as I would only be echoing things all ready written on this thread.
HT

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hornel Z3M
Joined: Sun 16 May, 2004 21:33
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Location: RAGLAN

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Post by hornel Z3M » Fri 04 Mar, 2011 19:33

I purchased my first Z3 1.9 in 2004 and loved it to pieces. Paid £10,000 for it and spent about £3000 modifying it. One day when the weather was bad and because i never took it out in the rain i was asked by a friend of mine to sell it, i did this on the spur of the moment and believe it or not was waking up in the night feeling really upset that it had gone. I then decided if i was going to buy another one it would have to be different, so i was fortunate enough to see a Z3M advertised on the friday evening on the roadster forum and bought it on saturday and i love this one even more if thats possible. I keep it covered , charged and warm right through the winter, never drive in the rain, avoid mud and you could eat off it.:bawl:

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chris1984_99_99
Joined: Sat 01 May, 2010 18:24
Posts: 198

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Troon

Post by chris1984_99_99 » Sat 05 Mar, 2011 01:07

Growing up as a kid I only ever had 2 cars i liked (i never was really into cars) and only ever had the 1 model, which was of course a Z3. it was always my dream car. Walking home from high school I would often take the long way home just so i could walk past the house that had one sitting in its driveway.

Many years later after a year working abroad i decided to treat myself, and within 2 days of being back in the country, I was driving my Z3. Turns out its date of manufacture is on my birthday (be it in 99) and its actually almost identical in every way to the model z3 i still own.

I just love the look of them, they looked retro right from the start, they never tried to be modern, that is why they will never look old. They sound great, they turn heads, its A to B..but with a huge grin the whole way!
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This sideways motion is feeling all too familiar...

siwilson
Joined: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 10:54
Posts: 782

  M roadster S54
Location: Horley

Post by siwilson » Sat 05 Mar, 2011 09:59

What made me buy a Z3?
I first saw the Z3 when I lived in California and just liked the look of it. Being man with a wife and two kids I had to have a semi practical car, so I went for a Mustang. I came home to the UK and thought what the heck! First a face-lift 2.0 auto in and now the S54 M.

What keeps me interested?
I still just like how it looks, it's rarity and of course the drive.

Sacrifices
It's not a practical car for me, so I need to have another on the drive. I also can't justify another toy, so my desire to own a Caterham and a 911 will have to wait for a while.

What I love the most?
The colour (Laguna Seca Blue is so different and rare) and the noise of the Eisenmann's. They burble when you blip the throttle and and pop on the over-run.

When did it start?
As son as I turned the key and every ever time since :)

How it makes me feel driving it.
Peaceful and that temporarily all its OK in the world.

How it makes me feel when I am not driving it
I smile when I look at it and try to find excuses to get out and use it.

What frustrates me as a Z3 owner
The way BMW distance themselves from it like an unloved step-child. The general downer non-Z3 owners have on it. They act like mindless bullies in the playground who pick on a weaker kid just because others do.

What motivates me as a Z3 owner.
Nothing really, it's just a car after all. I like the fact that I own it and love to drive it, but its not going to change my life. Friends and family are for doing that.

Si.

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Gazza
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Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
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  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Post by Gazza » Sat 05 Mar, 2011 13:29

What made me buy a Z3?

I had a BMW 120i as a hire car in Ireland, very impressed with the whole package so when I returned home I decided to check out BMW cars in general. I wanted something I hadn't had before, convertable came to mind. I started looking at the obvious - 3 Series, too many to be different then I spotted a Z3 2.8 in Black on Autotrader that was only 4 miles away and at a very reasonable price. The car needed an oil service and a new rear window so the haggling started and I won.

What keeps me interested?

I had the 2.8 for about a year, dressing her up with new alloys and going the Stealth route with black grills and rear lights. Joining in Runs organised by members of zroadster, I meet a few ///M owners, the look of the ///M had stolen my heart, tough, aggressive, purposeful. I had to have one !. I started looking at the S50 model, doing my reasearch and came across the many Vanos worries. I didn't let that worry me but I was obviously aware. I decided to look for an S54 and found one with hardtop and FBMWSH about 20 miles away. Five years and 30K miles later and I'm still smiling.


Sacrifices ?

None whatsoever


What I love the most?

The way the car drives, easy in town and exhilarating in the country.


When did it start?

September 2005 with my 2.8


How it makes me feel driving it.

Conspicuous,Youthful,Adventurous,Flambouyant,Excited.


How it makes me feel when I am not driving it

Wanting,Sensible


What frustrates me as a Z3 owner

The attitude and opinions of the few, even from some Z3 Coupe owners.


What motivates me as a Z3 owner.

I like to promote the Z3, it is very much overlooked.
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Mustang Fastback

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Mike Fishwick
Joined: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 11:27
Posts: 1991

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Daglan, France

Sorry it's so long!

Post by Mike Fishwick » Sat 05 Mar, 2011 13:36

Why I bought a Z3:

On my first drive, during a BMW Car Club Oktoberfest at Donington, I found the Z3 to be pleasant to drive, with a general feeling of solidarity, and a comfortable driving position – plenty of leg room. I found that the 1.9 was the nicest to drive, with rather sharper steering – probably due to having 50 lbs less weight in front of the axle line – but as we owned a 1.9 litre Golf TDI, a 2.8 litre version was essential to maintain a similar performance level. I finally bought a 10,000 mile and eighteen-month old 2.8 from a BMW dealer.

Performance:
It is no use complaining that the 1.9 litre model - or any other smaller-engines Z3 - does not perform like a car with a larger engine. However, when comparing with similar engines the Z3 is not found wanting. The 140 bhp 1.9 for example, is far better than the VW Golf GTI 16V engine of the same period, which was totally gutless in standard form.

Likewise, the 2.8 is a much nicer engine than the 2.5 litre Porsche Boxster of the same period, which had to be run to peak rpm all the time to stay with a 2.8 Z3, which had far more torque. This means that the Z3 will be off and down the road in any gear, while the Boxster driver is sorting out his power band!

This massive torque (206 lb-ft) which gives wonderful bottom-end performance is perhaps the only fault of the 2.8 - it does not feel like a sports car engine, having been designed to lug a Seven Series around. It does, however, mean that it is very relaxing to drive, with characteristics not unlike a good turbo diesel.

Appearance:
Perhaps the reason I like the Z3’s appearance is that the it does not conform to any particular style. I disagree that it is ‘retro,’ as it does not ape any older car, simply being a modern sports car, whose proportions are dictated by the use of a standard front engine drive train.

Handling:
The oft-repeated claim that the Z3 body lacks torsional rigidity, exhibited by 'scuttle shake' is a myth perpetrated by 'Autocar' and 'Top Gear' so should be ignored. This is made in reference to the 'tramlining' effect it is prone to in poor road surfaces if fitted with seventeen-inch or larger wheels, and can be cured - see my modifications.
Another often-voiced criticism is that the Z3’s suspension is ‘Wobbly,’ which may be true of a car with worn-out dampers, but in standard form it is quite firmly suspended. When reading road tests, or watching television presenters, you must remember that they have their own agendas, and like to pass off their misconceptions, errors, and gut feelings as truth!
Coming from a well-sorted Golf GTI I found the Z3 to feel more rigid, but to have the same type of handling characteristic – slight initial understeer, which converts of neutrality with a small application of power. Those who claim that it is tail-happy must either be driving on worn tyres, or treat their car like some kind of weapon!
Frankly, it is difficult to provoke a tail-out attitude, even on a wet road, and this is another factor against the Z3’s popularity with the media. All ‘road Testers’ want to show off by provoking a power slide, which even if it cannot then be controlled (as in a TVR) is passed off as ‘entertaining.’
Basically, the Z3 is a well-balanced and safe car, which is satisfying to drive, and will look after its driver even when he makes a mistake.
I find that there are very few cars which will stay with the Z3 on twisty road, even if they can manage to outpace it (modern diesels are wonderful!) on the straight.

Gear Change:
After twenty years of Golf GTI driving I found the Z3 transmission to feel far more rigid, but unlike many owners, I do not find the gear change to be ‘clunky’ – it just needs a positive approach.
It must be said, however, that the ZF gearbox fitted to the 2.8 and 3 litre models is not as slick as the Getrag box used on the smaller-engined cars. However, we never hear this complaint from owners of the 328 or M3, which use the same ZF gearbox.
I regard these complaints as being more to do with the driver than the car – it is likely that many those who complain have come to the Z3 from an average small car with plenty of rotational flexibility in the transmission. They therefore really need to exercise more finesse in their gear changing, make sure that the clutch is fully depressed, and take a firm grip on the gear lever.
Environment and usage must be considered too, as lots of Z3 owners use their cars infrequently. In damp climates such as the UK this results in rust forming on the steel clutch plates, and the friction plate absorbing moisture and swelling. This will result in clutch drag and baulky gearchanges until the car has covered about another 1,000 miles in a fairly short period – but so many owners only drive occasionally.
Another factor to remember is that the clutch slave cylinder is seldom – if ever – bled, which will also cause clutch drag and a poor gear change if it contains any air.
Owners of more modern models, with a clutch delay valve, should remove it, as these things do nothing for a decent gearchange, being foisted on us - along with electronic throttle operation - to suit the Americans, who want the social kudos of a 'Five on the floor' but cannot change gear properly!

Dislikes:
The large steering wheel was like something from a truck, and I soon replaced it with a smaller RAID airbag wheel, with the annoying indicator self-cancelling disabled, as I always found it to be obstructive or cancelled too early.
The rear view mirror was far too wide, and suspended in the driver’s field of view – I replaced it by a similar-sized and slightly convex mirror, mounted on the screen frame, where it does not obstruct vision – particularly on the approach to tight left-handers. Better still, in this position it has a field of view above the roll-over bars, extending from the driver’s left ear to just behind the passenger’s head, which can be vital in Europe and on UK roundabouts.
The gear lever was far too long and wobbly, so I shortened it by one and a half inches, and replaced its rubber core with body filler. This resulted in a shorter and more precise gear change which suits the car – and me!
I would have liked an additional couple of gallons fuel tank capacity, but the 55 litres gives a decent range, once one realises the inaccuracy of the gauge at low tank levels.
The instruments – as in all BMWs – are both sparse and poor, resembling something stolen from a Ford Transit. Perhaps BMW should examine a Porsche Boxster, with which they claim to compete. An enthusiast’s car should possess gauges for oil pressure, oil temperature, volts, and fuel – with meaningful calibrations and a reasonable degree of accuracy.
The elimination of the silly storage compartments between the roll-over bars would have been a good idea. This would have made access to the rear of the cockpit area so much easier, and BMW could have provided anchorages for a child seat – they seem to believe that sports car owners do not have small children, and – again – here they could usefully take a tip from the Porsche 911.

Likes:
The appearance of the Z3 has really grown on me over the years, and I feel it is one of those cars which will never look old, for it does not conform to a particular styling period in the way which, for example, the Z4 is an obvious product of BMW’s ‘Bangle’ period. I find the driving position superb, the power-operated soft top to be waterproof and (10 seconds) rapid, while the luggage capacity (using all the available volume which is to be found) is sufficient for a six-week European camping trip. It is a generally good, do-anything car, which after all these years still gives me pleasure to drive – or sit in the garage and admire!

Maintenance:
I do all the maintenance, which is based on oil changes at more frequent intervals than the BMW service schedule, and includes the gearbox, final drive, and power steering oils. When changing the oil filter I always replace the vital internal ‘O’ rings, which are usually ignored by ‘professionals.’
I currently use EBC Greenstuff pads, which have so far lasted for 70,000 miles, as have the front discs (Black Diamond drilled and grooved). The rear discs have covered 111,000 miles.

Modifications:
The first thing I did was to fit a different boot lining, without the bulge for a CD player, which while it increases boot capacity only slightly, makes the overall space so much more useful. CDs do not have a place in any car, particularly in countries such as the UK, where for many people petty crime is almost a way of life.
Apart from the above-mentioned steering wheel, mirror, and gear lever modifications, most changes have involved handling improvements. These began with a Hamann strut brace, followed by Strong-Strut’s Butt Strut and Body Brace. Of these, the Butt Strut made the largest improvement, in terms of reducing understeer and sharpening steering response.
Later modifications were the fitment of Bilstien Sprintline dampers and E46 strut mounts, using standard rear springs (I prefer the ability to carry luggage and a passenger to a fashionable ride height!) and 20 mm lower Eibach front springs to gain some front negative camber.
The rear anti-roll bar has been increased in diameter to17 mm, which sharpens the steering and improves the general feel of the car.
I use Powerflex polyurethane bushes at the back of the front wishbones and the anti-roll bar pivots, the wishbone bushes finally eliminating the annoying ‘tramlining’ effect on poor road surfaces.
The rear suspension cross-member mounting bushes are reinforced with hard PVC inserts forced into the gaps within the bushes. This makes a small difference, but it is out of all proportion to the meagre cost involved.
The engine ECU was remapped shortly after purchase, and while peak power and torque were only increased by about 5%, mid-range was noticeably improved, and the car has always been very frugal on fuel.
I manufactured a large cold air intake, drawing air from a high pressure area at the front of the car, and modified the air box to improve distribution across the filter element. I use a standard filter element, but due to its small dimensions I replace it every year.
A modification to be carried out this year is a front brake upgrade, from 288 to 300 mm front discs, using the existing callipers in E46 brackets, and changing to EBC Redstuff pads, which now seem to offer the best of all worlds.

Running Costs:
The Z3 usually returns fuel consumption in the low-to-mid thirties, with an all-time best of 42 mpg over a 250 mile run. On any 60 mph country road it will manage 38 to 40 mpg, which makes it a practical car even at today’s petrol prices. The use of 97 octane is well worth while, with a 10% gain in mpg for a 5% increase in cost.

Reliability:
In 111,000 miles the Z3 has really only needed a new clutch switch (under warranty) a washer pump, a thermostat, a viscous fan coupling, and (after twelve years) a battery. I replaced the water pump with a later (steel impeller) type as a preventative measure.
It is the most reliable car I have ever owned, with the lowest maintenance costs. This must be qualified, however, by my preference for DIY maintenance, and the fact that I have owned the car since it had covered 10,000 miles. It has therefore always been driven sensibly, and well maintained.

Buying Used:
Anyone buying a Z3 must remember that production ceased in 2003, and that they are buying a car which may have been used for a sucession of short journeys by a different unsympathetic driver every year, and which may not even have had an oil change for several years, simply because the Service Indicator has not told the owner to do so.
Typical problems are severe ‘tramlining’ on poor road surfaces. To avoid this, tyres must be evenly worn, and the large rubber bushes at the back of the front wishbones replaced, by either polyurethane or the more solid rubber type used on the M Roadster.
Look at the hood – in the UK, most hoods are seldom lowered, and so remain in quite good condition, but the hoods of cars which have been frequently ‘topless’ will show areas of shiny fabric, and possible abrasions, where the folded fabric has rubbed together.
Likewise, the rear window often shows signs of being abraded by the top rear seam in the roof, particularly if it has gathered any grit or other debris.
The screen can be zipped out and replaced for about £200, while a new hood with a fixed window can be fitted for about £650. Treated carefully, the window will outlast the roof – but beware of raising or lowering the roof on cold days, as the window can split.
Clean the window on both sides with whatever wax you prefer for the paintwork, and it will never turn that awful yellow-brown shade seen on neglected cars.
Do not be too impressed by a service history – even by a BMW dealer – as it only means the car has had oil and filter changes at extreme intervals. Overall condition is more important, as is the maturity of the owner, in the case of previous long-term ownership.
Although generally confined to the M Roadster, some normal Z3s have been known to suffer from ‘popped’ spot welds and even split boot floors above the final drive torque stay. This can be expensive, and is often a sign of ownership by one of the ‘Drop the clutch at 4,000 rpm’ brigade.

Tyres:
After the original Michelin Pilot Sport tyres wore out, I fitted Falken FK-451, which we had used on our Golf TDI from new.
Tyres can be an emotive subject, with owners telling me in the early days that it was ‘folly’ to use ‘budget’ tyres on a powerful RWD car. Several sets of tyres later I am still using Falken – now their FK-452 - and am still waiting to find out what this ‘folly’ is! Our Golf is remapped, putting 165 bhp and 275 lb-ft through the front tyres with no wheel spin or excessive wear problems, so they cope with the Z3’s current 200 bhp/230 lb-ft easily enough. For about £350 a set in seventeen-inch sizes they do not cost too much to replace, either.

General:
After about twelve years of ownership I have seen my Z3’s value fall from around £22,000 to a level of about £4,000, but I am not concerned by this, for regardless of money, there is no modern car that I would readily exchange it for – it suits my tastes and pension-funded income perfectly.
Would I sell it? You must be joking . . .

Lazeodoom
Joined: Fri 17 Aug, 2007 16:57
Posts: 262

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Birmingham

Post by Lazeodoom » Tue 08 Mar, 2011 01:44

My first memory of any Z3 was when I saw Goldeneye at the cinema and I then developed a fascination with the 'Bond Car' for the first time. I was 15 years old, brought up in what is now called an 'under-privileged background' two years off my licence and clearly I would never drive such an exotic vehicle so long as I should live. My childhood bedroom was plastered with images of Z3's in black with chrome gills, my friends laughed and my parents considered taking me to a psychologist.

After university I got a very good job and I started to save for a house to call my own. After three years I had a nice wedge saved and I wandered off the Building Society. However, this was the UK in 2007, and I remember going to the bank and the smarmy, bonus-grabbing, economy ruining Suit explained that unless I could sell him a kidney or a grandparent, I wasn't getting a mortgage any time soon. He suggested that I carried on renting or as he put it, "just ask your parents for a loan. Thats what I did". Having explained reality to him I left the bank with the contents of my account, rang my landlord to say I'd be renting for a few more years and then I dusted off the wishlist. Within a month I had my very own Zed.

The test drive was on May 20th 2007, an overcast day, but I just didn't care with that roof down. My cars until this point had been a Fiat Panda 750cl (one lady owner; thanks Mum!), a Ford Orion canal barge and a Vauxhall Astra Mk3, so to even touch a Z3 at this point was madness. The test drive was the first I'd taken, despite seeing plenty of Zeds that didn't cut the mustard. After an hour of driving I handed over a wedge of cash as a deposit and 36 hours later I left a nondescript multistorey in Birmingham with a car that I never thought I could own. I had literally just finished a 10 hour night shift and drove home through the drizzle in a fug of fatigue but with a dopey grin on my face, realising just how long that bonnet was, how close the ground I was and I seriously considered heading to the Building Society to show that Suit precisely where he could stick his financial advice.

Four years on and I've taken the Zed from 39k to 70k miles and its approaching the 14th birthday: For every day I curse because I'm defrosting this or frowning at that, I have ten days where I can just drive, corner, overtake, relax, wash, polish, vacuum, listen to my bostin' loud stereo or of course lower the roof and drive with the world in the car with me. I love taking it down the M5 to the beach, or along the A44 through the Cotswolds, low to the ground and lost in a convertible world overtaking massive oversized lorries travelling through overgrown forests made up of roadsigns and gantries. Nothing compares to the way that people in boring cars covet that special smile that says "This is cheaper than your car, and its more fun". Its glossy black body, mirror-finished gills and super clean interior still make me grin from ear to ear.

Even when I can't drive and I have to get a lift because of the snow, even when it needs a service, even when its slightly muddy, even when petrol is expensive, I just don't care as long as I can look forward to getting into the Zed, turning the key and losing myself in the joy of seeing a long empty road just waiting for my car to grace it with its presence.

And what have I sacrificed? My girlfriend thinks its funny that I drive a hairdressers car, when of course she'd be proud of the Orion or the Astra that I would probably still own as an alternative! In any case, I've saved enough for my own place now so I can have my cake and eat it. And the Suit from the building society? If I see him I'll give him a wave, but he can have his sensible Renault provided I can keep my charismatic Zed!

Southcoaster
Joined: Mon 09 Aug, 2010 18:02
Posts: 39

  M roadster S54
Location: Hastings

Post by Southcoaster » Tue 08 Mar, 2011 23:44

6 Cylinders in a straight line just sounds right
I’ve had lots of straight 6s, all BMWs and they sound right and go right
The Z3 is an unassuming car – slightly retro in its styling and appears small.
I had a Z3 2.8 in 1999 for only a few months, hated the colour – dark silver metallic, almost as bad as black! Sold the company and let the car go with it :shock:
I always felt I never gave the mark a chance, so last year, when my wife gave me permission to go toy shopping, I decided to give it another go!
I do not like todays fully electronic, I’ll tell you how to drive me, I’m kind to butterflies, eco – hybrid prams :devil:
The Z3 is a real sport car.
You put the car on, it fits, it starts like a sports car, it sounds like a sports car and it handles like a sportscar. Engine in the front, power to the rear.
I am fortunate to have a Z3M and it is awesome. People do not know what it really is. Sure, I have had the odd disparaging (in fun) remark, the usual being of a tonsorial nature :roflmao:
But when I drive it, my wife tells me that my grin literally stretches from ear to ear. I can chuck it round tight roads, gun it down the straights and it hits illegal in no time :shock: And the sound, aaahhhh!! But if I want to drive normally, sensibly, then it’s at home there as well :drive
There is nothing comparable in the marketplace these days, The Z4, no disrespect, does not ring my bell, especially as they now have the foldy tinny roof – YUK if you want a coupe, buy one. If you want a sports car – a roadster, then it has to be a rag top. :D
The Z3 reminds me of the Healy 3000 which was a classic when I was a child and look how much they make these days!! The Z3 is good fun and good value.
We are going to grow old together and when I get too old to drive her, I will hang her from the ceiling as a piece of classic art :thumb:

steveH
Joined: Fri 22 Jun, 2007 20:47
Posts: 49

  blank.gif
Location: chesterfield

Well done Phil in inspiring so many replies....Thanks

Post by steveH » Wed 16 Mar, 2011 21:52

This is a personal Thank You to PhilR for this thread has produced a truely varied and honest reponse for quite a few who clearly love their Z3 's.
Provided all contributors are happy we shall use these in the forthcoming article to appear in May edition of the BMWCarClub Straight Six mag.
So thanks again all who spent time to jot down their experiences and to PhilR for his efforts to get this far.
steveH on behalf of BMWCC

Wrinkley
Joined: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 20:11
Posts: 103

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Beverley

Post by Wrinkley » Wed 23 Mar, 2011 09:01

What made you buy..........................................................................

Well I've been a lifelong biker,but my other half Joanne had decided that six days away on the back of the bike was enough.
So that sort of ruled out anymore 2 week European trips.
So we came up with the Idea of a roadster.
We tried all the usual suspects then decided on a Z4.
A chap who we had spoken to previously and had kindly taken us out in his beautiful 97 wide-bodied 2.8 Z3,rang to say he was considering selling his car.
The rest is history and we bought the car.

What keeps you interested................................................................

We are both so very pleased that we went for the Z3 rather than the Z4.
The Z3 is a car which you can tweak and personalise to your own needs and preferences.
Although we paid top money when we bought the car we have subsequently spent a considerable amount making it right for us.
The Z3 is a hobby that we both share and enjoy.

Sacrifices.............................................................................................

The only sacrifice is that we don't get out on the bikes as much.

What do you love most......................................................................

We primarily bought this car for pleasure and holidays and I love the fact that Joanne loves to get out in it and gets real pleasure from it,after we had bought it she did admit that she had always wanted a bright red Z3.

I also love the fact that whilst it is a modern car it needs to be driven and involves you all the way,one of the things we disliked about the Z4 was that it felt just the same to drive as our Volvo.

We love the retro styling and don't think there's a bad angle on the car

When did it start................................................................................

We bought the car in September 2010 and it was bought as Joannes car although she did not need to use it on a day to day basis.
After a couple of month's of ownership and tweaking I really started to like this car.
We have both decided that that's it, this car is a keeper and we will do whatever needs doing to keep it in the condition it's in today.

How does it make you feel when driving it...........................................

For me this car is about driving flowing A roads and twisty B roads with the top down,and it makes me feel exited in a different way to which my bikes do.
For Joanne,well she just loves driving it you can see it in her face and also in the way she drives the car in a shall we say,spirited fashion.

How does it make you feel when not driving.....................................

Can't say it makes either of us feel anything,but we do look forward to the days when we know we're going out in it.

What frustrates and motivates you as a Z3 owner..................................

What frustrates me the most is that living in the centre of an historic market town we don't have a garage so we have to garage it about 1 mile from home.
I also find the negative press about this car rather frustrating,it was never meant to be a super-car so why berate it because it isn't.

What motivates me is that as a lifelong biker 39 years of continuous ownership who's never really been that interested in cars, I have very quickly grown to love this little car it's great fun to be out in and a pleasure to keep looking 100%.
Whilst both Joanne and myself have and will continue to love biking,it's great for both of us to be able to share and enjoy the driving that the Z3 affords us.

As a footnote,I am getting a little worried because yesterday which was the 22/03/2011 and was a glorious spring day,and I choose to go out for the day in the Z rather than on the bike.

Top down from 9.45am to 4.45pm we had a fabulous day.

Steve and Jo

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eyezcar
Joined: Thu 06 May, 2010 21:23
Posts: 56

  Z3 roadster 1.9i
Location: Peterborough

Post by eyezcar » Thu 31 Mar, 2011 13:08

Mine gave me the will to live, I had a Quadruple bypass Jan 2010 aged 49, and this Z3 had been sitting on the forecourt of the dealer at the end of my road for about 6 weeks before I went in for the op, when I came out part of my rehab was to get up to walking 1 mile a day, so five day after levelling hospital I was able to get to the end of the road about 150 yrds and look at this car , this I did as part of my daily routine for six week , long story short when I got my licence back I brought the car and I had it nearly one year.

theduck
Joined: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 17:54
Posts: 113

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Cradley Heath

Post by theduck » Sat 02 Apr, 2011 20:43

Only had the car a week, so still learning what there is to love. One thing that has come up a few times already is the number of people that have commented on how lovely it must be for me to have a brand new car like this!

I cant think of another car thats 12 years old that, regardless of how good condition it is in, that could be mistaken for being brand new. That is what I love the most thus far.

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Robert T
Site Admin
Joined: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 11:35
Posts: 10008

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Post by Robert T » Sat 02 Apr, 2011 21:08

I think all I need to say is that I bought my Z3 new 12 years ago and it still makes me smile every time I walk past it, every time I turn the key and every time I go out in it - be it for the weekly shopping, for work or for pleasure. I have been as far as test driving a Z4, but just wasn't tempted. It will take a seriously good car from BMW to make me even think about moving to something else, and even then I'll be desperately trying to find some way to justify keeping the Z3 as well. I can't see me changing any time soon.

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
Image

Warrior
Joined: Tue 11 May, 2010 11:02
Posts: 382

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Post by Warrior » Sun 03 Apr, 2011 01:02

eyezcar wrote:Mine gave me the will to live, I had a Quadruple bypass Jan 2010 aged 49, and this Z3 had been sitting on the forecourt of the dealer at the end of my road for about 6 weeks before I went in for the op, when I came out part of my rehab was to get up to walking 1 mile a day, so five day after levelling hospital I was able to get to the end of the road about 150 yrds and look at this car , this I did as part of my daily routine for six week , long story short when I got my licence back I brought the car and I had it nearly one year.
Nice one 8-)

My reasons for buying aren't quite so personal but I can empathise with your view. 8-)

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CoachOz
Joined: Tue 30 Nov, 2010 11:52
Posts: 69

  Z4 roadster 2.5si
Location: Bonny Hills
Contact:

Post by CoachOz » Sun 17 Apr, 2011 12:44

Well it's a BMW and I've been driving them for about 20 years - such engaging cars to drive. I love just about everything about it - the way it looks, sounds, handles, accelerates, the creature comforts ( leather, wood, air, cruise, heated seats, etc).

Basically it is such a joy to drive - I still look for excuses just to go out for a drive and feel a bit sad as I drive it back into the garage. Reminds me of the traditional English sports cars, but faster, more comfortable and without any of the problems.

And the boot is big enough to fit the weekly family shopping!

I wish the steering wheel adjusted
Image

1997 2.8 & 2000 528i Touring

Diamondj
Joined: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 20:23
Posts: 118

  Z3 roadster 2.2i
Location: Milton Keynes

Post by Diamondj » Sun 17 Apr, 2011 15:14

I'd been driving a battered L reg Astra for a couple of years as i'd been using it basically as a van for work and then one fateful day around a year ago.....it died! It had not been in good health for quite some time but i just wasn't going to spend any money on a car worth almost nothing and by now i had access to a real Van so when the faithful workhorse Astra finally rattled off to the scrapyard in the sky i realised that the replacement need not have be "practical"; i've no kids and at present not married so all the car had to do was look good and ferry me about :) .
I started my quest, went through the usual suspects of Porsche Boxsters and was actually tempted by a couple of Japanese offerings but....something kept leading me back to looking at Zeds. I did toy with the idea of a Z4 as i'd always liked them but for similar money i could get a better spec Z3 and to be honest i now realised that the shape of the Z3 i preferred much more.
It is without doubt not only a pretty but also slightly aggressive and dare i say it "sexy" looking car. Proportionally, the long sculpted bonnet and short boot makes it look so purposeful, it looks like it's moving even when it's not.
Although my beautiful, beautiful car is now 8 years old nobody seems to look on it as an "ageing" car; when i park up at work my Zed is one of the few cars poeple wish they could have often commenting on how lovely it is, most of the women want to be taken out for a ride in it and assume i must be "pulling for fun" with "that car" :lol:
I love the way she goes through the gears, i love the speed/fun factor, i love knowing that she looks good, i love the sound of the straight six at higher revs, i love everything about her. The driving position is excellent, the seats are some of the most comfortable i've ever sat in, basically the car just fits me like a glove and i have absolutely no intentions of selling her in the forseeable future, possible ever - i can see her being around for a very, very long time, even if it buy another car i can see the Zed still being with me.
I plan on improving her where needed/wanted but not going to go to far with the cosmetics. She's been good to me so far, apart from unresolved MPG issues which i have previously spoken about she's been great; at the moment i can't think fo anything i don't like about her and i'm sure when i do the little things i want to do she'll just get better and better.
To sum up, a beautiful car that will only become more and more appreciated with age as a true Roadster in the classic sense harking back to the kind of sportscars from the 50's and 60's that were all about driving enjoyment - i love her, pure and simple and it appears everyone else loves her too........which is nice :) :)

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EnthuZiaZT
Joined: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 15:27
Posts: 442

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Sutton, Cambridgeshire

A really good sports English sports car made by Germans

Post by EnthuZiaZT » Tue 03 May, 2011 20:49

The car we have now is our second Z3, we have tried the Z4, it would be a little more practical, having a bigger boot, but we love the shape of the Z3, its curvy, sexy and exciting to drive.
Some years ago we had an MGB GT, which we enjoyed. We went to all the club meets and made many friends. The Z3 in our opinion is the car MG should have bought out to replace the B.
The modern engineering means it is far more practical than the 'B' the only downside is the cost when things do go wrong.
Driving a Z3 is like being in an exclusive club, nine times out of ten when you meet another one on the road, which is a comparatively rare event, you always get a friendly wave.
WE LOVE 'EM!! 8-)
Last edited by EnthuZiaZT on Fri 03 Jun, 2011 22:43, edited 1 time in total.
Mike & Sandy - Mora Metallic Individual 2.0L

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Bill-
Joined: Sat 21 May, 2011 11:57
Posts: 305

  blank.gif
Location: Brands hatch

Post by Bill- » Fri 27 May, 2011 10:47

I must say, that as a potential Z owner, this thread is a fantastic read. Thank you all for sharing your Knowledge

Bill-
Joined: Sat 21 May, 2011 11:57
Posts: 305

  blank.gif
Location: Brands hatch

Post by Bill- » Sat 16 Jul, 2011 08:13

I'm now a Z owner & love it :o

Jamezee
Joined: Sat 21 Feb, 2009 23:46
Posts: 1411

  Z3 roadster 2.2i
Location: Royston Vasey

Post by Jamezee » Sun 31 Jul, 2011 06:26

Nice pics of his car and article in this months straight six by myredzed :thumb:
Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Harry Callahan.

BMW dust caps x 4 (replica)
Little Tree Air Freshener-Vanillaroma (now worn out and in the bin)
2006 AA road atlas (with the latest safety cameras)

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Ian_C
Joined: Sun 10 Dec, 2006 20:10
Posts: 2412

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Lytham St Annes

Post by Ian_C » Sun 31 Jul, 2011 09:07

Jamezee wrote:Nice pics of his car and article in this months straight six by myredzed :thumb:
Thanks Jamezee. Wasn't sure which edition it was going to appear in so it was a nice surprise when I opened the mag yesterday :D
Current...1998 ///M Coupe
Image
Previously...1997 Z3 2.8
Image

davidmkh
Joined: Mon 14 May, 2012 10:29
Posts: 8

  Z3 roadster 2.2i

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by davidmkh » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 17:27

Well, I have only had my Z3 for 2 months now and from the 22 cars I have previously owned, it is most definitely my favourite car.

What made me buy a Z3:
I am a huge Bond fan and so always dreamt of owning a 'Bond Car'. DBS's are a bit out of my price range and so I must admit this was part of the attraction for me. However, it wasn't until I actually experienced the drive and the overall connection that I had with the car that I truly fell in love with it. Mine is a 2001 2.2 and in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cars on the road.

Sacrifices:
Rather tight on boot space as to be expected of course and so there is the re-ironing of my shirts to do (can't hang them up now).

What I love the most:
Feeling individual and the overall driving experience. I could have spent the same money on a 5-year old Corsa, enough said.

Olly2012
Joined: Sun 10 Jun, 2012 09:51
Posts: 94

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Waterlooville, Hampshire

How much do you like your Z3

Post by Olly2012 » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 17:59

Definitely one of the best looking cars around- the lines are beautiful. We've had ours a whole 3 weeks and try not to use it for short journeys- still taking neighbours, friends and relatives for a blast in it though and that's costing me a fortune in fuel- but hey! We didn't buy it to be economical! It's just great.

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
Posts: 6312

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Southernboy » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 18:35

A Z3 is one of the most satisfying drives. A combination of the "old" sports car feel with reasonaly modern convenience and technology. Perhaps one of the most endearing aspects is that it allows for upgrading in most areas which is essentially an opportunity to lavish care on what is a "faithful friend." It's looks are sufficiently contemporary not to appear outdated, and that is worth a heap too.
Finally, but for the Z3, I don't think this forum would be what it is, really fantastic!
"Normal is overrated"
Image

Z3 Upgrades and Additions

gookah
Z Register member
Joined: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 10:51
Posts: 2727

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by gookah » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 19:34

Nice thread resurrection, just in time for it's anniversary..... :D
Image

Z3 2.8 Progress Journal (Mine)
Z3 1.9 Sport Progress Journal (Wifey's)

I have an element of 'M-styling' on my car, If that's a good enough reason for the manufacturers to adorn a 320 with the M badge, then its certainly a good enough reason for me..

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Robert T
Site Admin
Joined: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 11:35
Posts: 10008

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Cheshire

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Robert T » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 21:36

Just as much as I did last year. :D

Cheers R.

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk 2
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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6 pot roadster
Joined: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 13:07
Posts: 107

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Macclesfield

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by 6 pot roadster » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 22:34

How much do you like your Z3?

Enough to cover 3600 miles camping around Europe on Honeymoon.

Just got back last Friday

J

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whiteminks
Joined: Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:58
Posts: 2765

  M roadster S54
Location: Lincoln

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by whiteminks » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 23:20

Adored the look when I first spotted one when I was in North Carolina on holiday.
I so wanted a classic sportscar but did not have the know how to look after one.
BMW dependability and gorgeous looks.......................... a total no brainer.............
Bought Toadster my 2.2 baby in 2006 and Sharky my s54 ///M a year later.
Still have them,,,,,,,,,,,,, absolutely no regrets..............they are a joy but I have the opportunity to change and move on............... but my heart and my soul won't let me :wink:

Long live the massively underrated Z3...............so much a part of who I am xxx
big cheesy wrote:'I nearly cacked my trolleys till I quickly tuned in'. Yorkshire Cruise 2008.

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Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9200

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Gazza » Tue 03 Jul, 2012 09:43

whiteminks wrote:they are a joy but I have the opportunity to change and move on............... but my heart and my soul won't let me
Couldn't agree more :thumb:
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Mustang Fastback

ImageImage

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stu
Site Admin
Joined: Fri 10 Oct, 2003 18:49
Posts: 3540

  Z3 roadster 2.8 supe
Location: On the edge!

How much do you like your Z3

Post by stu » Tue 03 Jul, 2012 19:17

6 pot roadster wrote:How much do you like your Z3?

Enough to cover 3600 miles camping around Europe on Honeymoon.

Just got back last Friday

J
good man. Everything fit OK?
someone in a minority once wrote:I know I'm in a minority
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6 pot roadster
Joined: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 13:07
Posts: 107

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Macclesfield

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by 6 pot roadster » Wed 04 Jul, 2012 00:43

Absolutely perfect, the 'Z' towed fine... We bought a Raclet Solena trailer tent for the job :-)

I have fitted a tow bar, KN panel filter and SS exhaust, I couldn't imagine a better way to go touring on a budget.

Bonzo
Joined: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 21:52
Posts: 864

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Norfolk

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Bonzo » Fri 21 Sep, 2012 16:51

When I was very young, I was facinated by the car that belonged to the Doctor that lived in the house opposite ours. It was a creamy white colour with a flowing shape and was probably an old Jaguar, but it had eight lights on the front, and that struck me as being rather special! I used to watch from the window whenever I could to see it pulling out of the drive in the mornings and count the lights to see if he had fitted any more! My family could not afford a car, but I loved to look at them and wonder what it would be like to sit in one.
Fast forward to 1968, when I got my first car, a 1957 Austin A35 (I lusted after Lotus Elans and MGB's) which I loved, even though the body was 50% filler and the oil was 50% sawdust! this was followed by an escort, 2 Fiat 126's, 2 Lada's, (please, before they became a joke), a Fiesta, a Peugot 309, a Nissan Primera which I still have (super car 115k lovely condition) and also at present, a Kia C'eed 2 1.6 CRDi, (a super engine and lots of kit.)
At the beginning of this year, Terry, the bass player in my band said he wanted to sell his Z3 as he had got a puppy and it was surplus to requirements, even though he loved it.( I had only ever seen his Z in the dark when he brought it to a rehearsal some time before and I sat in it. The smell of the leather was lovely, and it felt very good even though I couldnt see much of it). I pestered him for the spec. and as much info about it and photos etc.. He told me what he wanted for it, which seemed very reasonable, so I arranged a date when I could pop over to see him for a test drive and for my motor technician son to look over (and Under) it. Came the day, and of course, it was raining! I hadn't been to Terry's house before, so I was driving slowly along looking at the house numbers, found the number before his and cast my glance down to his drive, and there she was, basking in a sudden burst of sunlight. I actually felt as if a little shock of electricity had passed through my body,.......... she was beautiful ! Like seeing a girl and falling in love at first glance! I had never really noticed any Z3's before, I had seen Z4's but felt they were trying too hard to be masculine and they didn't do anything for me. Terry drove us over to the garage where my son worked, and he went over it and put in on the hoist to look under it and check everything out.
He said it was all good, but to remember it was as old as our Primera and things would need doing at some stage.
I then had a test drive and although the seating position took a bit of getting used to and the road was wet, I was more than happy.
A week or so later she was mine.
I sent pictures to all and sundry and got such positive replies (and 1 hairdresser jibe from my son-in-law which I put down to jealousy!) that made me glad I had gone for it , in spite of my wife's total lack of enthusiasm!
Driving it for the first time with the top down was a revelation, ( not having ever been in a roadster with the top down before), so much light in the car, hearing the sounds of birds singing as you drove along, hearing people talking and smelling the beer as you drove past a pub, the sun on your face, so many new sensory things lacking in a closed car.
Like many others, I get a real buzz from just looking at her and walking around her, and just take her out for the sake of a drive in the open air. Oh and the sound of the big six is a delight on every drive.
I christened her Z3lda (Zelda) after Helda, the mythical Swedish girl who caters to my every need when my wife Chris goes away. :shock:
There is no way a Z3 could be seen as masculine, just a beautiful, slightly raunchy lady of a car.

How much do I like my Z3? .... Take a guess!

Bonzo.
Last edited by Bonzo on Sat 17 Oct, 2015 19:52, edited 4 times in total.
Z3lda (Zelda), 1998 2.8, Montreal Blue, Beige Oregon leather interior and M steering wheel, Sports Seats, Wood trim, Chrome Line Interior, Centre armrest with Cupholder, Alpina Softline wheels, Chromed Angel Eyes, De- tango'd, Rear stone guards, Sport aerial, ASC front strut brace, Strong Strut Butt Strut and Body Brace, Uprated brake fluid, Yellowstuff pads 78k.

User avatar
Brian H
Joined: Tue 16 Dec, 2008 19:55
Posts: 2503

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Brian H » Fri 21 Sep, 2012 17:32

^^^^Thanks Bonzo, I enjoyed the read :)

User avatar
Badman gee
Joined: Sun 14 Nov, 2010 10:45
Posts: 2299

  M roadster S50

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Badman gee » Fri 21 Sep, 2012 17:32

Bonzo wrote:When I was very young, I was facinated by the car that belonged to the Doctor that lived in the house opposite ours. It was a creamy white colour with a flowing shape and was probably an old Jaguar, but it had eight lights on the front, and that struck me as being rather special! I used to watch from the window whenever I could to see it pulling out of the drive in the mornings and count the lights to see if he had fitted any more! My family could not afford a car, but I loved to look at them and wonder what it would be like to sit in one.
Fast forward to 1968, when I got my first car, a 1957 Austin A35 (I lusted after Lotus Elans and MGB's) which I loved, even though the body was 50% filler and the oil was 50% sawdust! this was followed by an escort, 2 Fiat 126's, 2 Lada's, (please, before they became a joke), a Fiesta, a Peugot 309, a Nissan Primera which I still have (super car 115k lovely condition) and a Kia Rio Graphite CRDi, (a super engine and lots of kit.)
At the beginning of this year, Terry, the bass player in my band said he wanted to sell his Z3 as he had got a puppy and it was surplus to requirements, even though he loved it.( I had only seen his Z in the dark when he brought it to a rehearsal some time before and I sat in it. The smell of the leather was lovely, and it felt very good even though I couldnt see much of it). I pestered him for the spec. and as much info about it and photos etc.. He told me what he wanted for it, which seemed very reasonable, so I arranged a date when I could pop over to see him for a test drive and for my motor technician son to look over (and Under) it. Came the day, and of course, it was raining! I hadn't been to Terry's house before, so I was driving slowly along looking at the house numbers, found the number before his and cast my glance down to his drive, and there she was, basking in a sudden burst of sunlight. I actually felt as if a little shock of electricity had passed through my body,.......... she was beautiful ! Like seeing a girl and falling in love at first glance! I had never really noticed any Z3's before, I had seen Z4's but felt they were trying too hard to be masculine and they didn't do anything for me. Terry drove us over to the garage where my son worked, and he went over it and put in on the hoist to look under it and check everything out.
He said it was all good, but to remember it was as old as our Primera and things would need doing at some stage.
I then had a test drive and although the seating position took a bit of getting used to and the road was wet, I was more than happy.
A week or so later she was mine.
I sent pictures to all and sundry and got such positive replies (and 1 hairdresser jibe from my son-in-law which I put down to jealousy!) that made me glad I had gone for it , in spite of my wife's total lack of enthusiasm!
Driving it for the first time with the top down was a revelation, ( not having ever been in a roadster with the top down before), so much light in the car, hearing the sounds of birds singing as you drove along, hearing people talking and smelling beer as you drove past a pub, the sun on your face, so many new sensory things lacking in a closed car.
Like many others, I get a real buzz from just looking at her and walking around her, and just take her out for the sake of a drive in the open air. Oh and the sound of the big six is a delight on every drive.
I christened her Z3lda (Zelda) after Helda, the mythical Swedish girl who caters to my every need when my wife Chris goes away. :shock:
There is no way a Z3 could be seen as masculine, just a beautiful, slightly raunchy lady of a car.

How much do I like my Z3? .... Take a guess!

Bonzo.
not as much as me then :D
Image

The 'BEAST' 666

Olly2012
Joined: Sun 10 Jun, 2012 09:51
Posts: 94

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Waterlooville, Hampshire

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Olly2012 » Thu 27 Sep, 2012 19:33

Great read. Thanks. I think many of us feel the same about our 3s.

Toony
Joined: Fri 17 Feb, 2012 22:27
Posts: 31

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Warwickshire

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Toony » Sun 30 Sep, 2012 09:57

I like my Z3 very much. Why ?

I guess it goes back as far childhood when I'd help my Dad and Grandad with the ritual cleaning of their pride and joy cars on a Sunday morning. Both of them worked hard during the week, and whilst not in the position to buy expensive new cars were both very enthusiastic about the cars they were able to afford. So it would cars such as the Rover P6 or a MK2 Jag - not new but cherished.

Interest in special cars is therefore in the blood. Having passed my test less than a month after my 17th birthday (lucky that day), I have enjoyed owning a variety of cars over the last 33 years. It's fair to say that most of these I would consider as uninspiring, as they were generally the more practical types, to suit family use.

So approaching the half century last year it was time to put that sparkle back into being behind the wheel, without breaking the bank !

I had owned an MGB Roadster when I was 19, and whilst it was a somewhat scruffy example, I put some time and effort into improvements and enjoyed open top motoring.

When it came to deciding which car to get this time, the Z3 just seemed to be a natural choice. A year ago, it was much to the surprise of my wife and grown up children (and their own toddlers) that I brought home a bright red Z3 with a 2.8 engine.

The mid-life crisis gags followed, as expected, that's fine. But it was not long before these were replaced with the 'can we go for a spin' requests.

The next place to go was a visit to my Dad. 'Wow she's a beauty' he said, and in an instant he was in the passenger seat and ready to go.

Aside from the delightful appearance of the Z3, a most endearing feature is the superb straight six lump under that purposeful looking bonnet. It delivers power in such a relaxed way, and whilst not of super-car performance levels, it provides more than enough for enthusiastic road use.

It does bring a smile to my face, and whilst now of an age where i am carrying a bit more weight and a lot less hair, inside I feel 19 again. 8-)

My wife appears to have built up affection for the car, and having been busy, she often says 'why not get the Zed and let's have a blast to blow away the cares of the day'.

Evening drives to the pub, days out to the Cotswolds, a few days touring East Riding, and who knows maybe a trip to the Pyrennes next year.

That's why I like my Z3 very much :D

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sirius-c
Joined: Wed 12 Dec, 2012 22:24
Posts: 489

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Eeh ba gum lad, 'ow do?

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by sirius-c » Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:36

I love my Z that much its causing problems in my relationship, she just doesnt understand when i tell her its a man thang! :D
1997 2.8L Z3 Roadster

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Designed or not designed, that is the question.

M3BMC
Joined: Fri 24 Mar, 2006 14:45
Posts: 76

  M roadster S50
Location: Lymm

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by M3BMC » Thu 13 Dec, 2012 17:29

I got my M roadster nearly 10 years ago having lusted after one for several years beforehand. I took the plunge in 2003 and once purchased immediately took off on a road trip around Europe and into Africa. Was on the road for 2 months, visited 17 countires and covered 10,000 miles. The car was brilliant and taught me that it needs to be driven with a bit of respect as I learned how not to accelerate too eagerly! Over the years it has proven to be very reliable and not as expensive to maintain as i first feared. The depreciation over the years is less than a bogstandard eurobox family mobile and with prices now bottoming out i am hoping it will not depreciate much more. The insurance is now down to £300 (was £1600 in year 1) which is just another reason to love it. So it makes sense financially and as a daily driver still brings a smile to my face whenever driven. I love it as much now as i did when i first got it all those years ago. :drive

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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
Posts: 6312

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Southernboy » Fri 14 Dec, 2012 06:31

Living in South Africa has it's challenges....lots of sunny weather in summer and even more in winter, great roads, and very few cameras outside the cities. It allows me to drop the top often, as well as cruise at speed for miles and miles. These factors contribute to open roadster driving, and encourages maintenance, upgrades, lavish polishing and detailing etc...and if anyone has noticed...I've done a heap of that with complete interior re-fitting, CF trim, etc etc...simply; a marvellously indulgent hedonistic experience thoroughly enjoyed... "Zed Rules!!"
"Normal is overrated"
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Z3 Upgrades and Additions

shootinhoover
Joined: Sun 15 May, 2011 10:23
Posts: 11

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: darlington

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by shootinhoover » Sun 16 Dec, 2012 16:26

hi,
well everybody has just about covered there love for the zed,i actually fitted a carpet in the garage for mine. We are talking major shagg pile here.sad but true. :oops:
..-./ ../ .-..

fauxsuper
Joined: Tue 23 Apr, 2013 09:17
Posts: 1

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by fauxsuper » Tue 23 Apr, 2013 20:57

I've only had my Z3 for a month, and what I like most about it is the motor. (1998 2.8 with 5 speed) I've wanted a roadster with an inline six since riding in a Healey 3000 back in the 60's. I also had the chance to drive a somewhat ratty E-type in the early 80's, and fell in love with that motor. The Z3 reminds me of both of those cars. (I'd love to get an exhaust note similar to either one of those, however.) It seems fashionable to deride the Z3 for having a broad torque curve; I understand that having a motor with a distinct "power band" can be exhilarating, but it makes driving smoothly difficult. I love the smooth power delivery and broad torque curve of the Z3's motor and find it ideal for the mountain roads near San Diego, where I do most of my "recreational" driving. I previously owned a first generation MX-5, which was a wonderfully involving little car, if you kept the engine wound up.

Living in San Diego means that you are going to sometimes have to drive on freeways (to get to the great mountain roads) and the Miata was somewhat tedious at times with a downshift or two almost always needed to deal with traffic. And losing a "race" for a lane slot to someone in a Camry, because you weren't in the right gear could be downright aggravating. In top gear, at freeway speeds, the Z3 still has some acceleration in reserve, combine that with the more relaxed ride motions and dealing with traffic is much less of a chore; actually somewhat fun at times.

The car seems fast to me: it's as fast as most of the "muscle cars" I was exposed to in my youth. I've had rides in faster cars and driven a couple (including an M Roadster and Porsche Boxster S), but as long as the car is fast enough to give me that feeling in the pit of my gut, it's fast enough for me.

The automotive press has not been kind to the Z3 it seems, with lots of negative comments from the British press in particular. There seems to be a lot of people who seem to go out of their way to be critical. In the US, the Z3 always comes up lacking in comparison to the Boxster, I guess I must just prefer the front engine configuration of a traditional roadster: and I've owned two mid-engine cars, a 914 2.0 and a first generation MR-2.

I do have to admit that I love the way the car looks; seeing it parked in my garage makes me smile. Modern cars often look like "transformers" toys to me. Someone else here mentioned that the Z3's styling doesn't seem to be tied to any one era, and I'd have to agree with it.

The only thing I don't particularly like is the "tramlining" which I understand is curable, it's more an irritant than anything else. I would maybe like a little information through the steering as to what the tires are doing on initial turn in, but the tires fitted to it might be the problem themselves as they are a Chinese import sold by Firestone dealers. I mentioned exhaust sound earlier, and I'd be interested to hear other's experiences here; I want to hear the exhaust, but not at the expense of a constant drone on the freeways.

In any case, it's good to read posts here from long term owners who seem to love their cars even though the "honeymoon" is over.

Fozzfox72
Joined: Wed 10 Apr, 2013 10:40
Posts: 90

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Fozzfox72 » Wed 08 May, 2013 23:55

I'm a new owner.
I have always had a great admiration for the pure Z3 BMW styling, the fact that they are becoming a rare sight also appeals.

It took me 4 months, 3 test drives and over 400 miles driving to test drives before I found the one for me. I searched online daily, and there are loads out there and all very different in spec and price and condition.

Now I own one. And proud as punch too

It really is a drivers car, smooth, long nosed, with a great cockpit and an unmistakable throaty rasp, with frightening power gagging to bolt along the road like a soppy greyhound chasing a hare. It handles like a scalectrix round corners and cruises at low speeds laughing at passing boy racers knowing full well that IF you wanted too you could easily use the power it packs under that long nose and throw horse power all over the show.

For the money it's gobsmacking how little they go for, for the brand and pedigree it absurd! I have never owned a car before that I look forward to driving just for the hell of it, 2 seats, escape, peace, freedom.

And the car, it's a BMW Z3 roadster 2.8, V 6 Montreal blue. And for me the colour is the best, striking and very retro. Awesome. These cars have so much character, great body shape, power, handling and real head turners too. A true roadster in every sense.

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Titan
Joined: Fri 01 Apr, 2005 21:20
Posts: 4002

  Z3 roadster 2.2i
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Titan » Thu 09 May, 2013 05:41

Fozzfox72 wrote:.... it's a BMW Z3 roadster 2.8, V 6 Montreal blue.
Wow - that's rare
Not many V6s around ;)


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Southernboy
Joined: Thu 07 Oct, 2010 13:39
Posts: 6312

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Southernboy » Thu 09 May, 2013 06:52

.....never seen the V6 version...:shrug
"Normal is overrated"
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Z3 Upgrades and Additions

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Badman gee
Joined: Sun 14 Nov, 2010 10:45
Posts: 2299

  M roadster S50

Re: How much do you like your Z3

Post by Badman gee » Thu 09 May, 2013 10:18

I've not seen a v6 either!
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