- Chassis # --
- Showing just 41,595 Miles From New
- Alpine White Over Imola Red Interior
- 1 Of Only 84 Finished In This Color Combination
- Fitted With The Highly Desirable S54 Engine
- Sale Includes Clean CARFAX Factory Books, Extra Keys, And Available Service Documents
Back in 1995, BMW decided to give another country a shot at manufacturing one of their famous driving machines. The result was the BMW Z3, a range of two-seater sports cars straight out of Greer, South Carolina. The model was produced as both a roadster (that later received a facelift) and a coupe, the latter of which was nicknamed “clown shoe” or “sports shoe” in Germany. While the roadster was introduced with a 4-cylinder engine and later received a 6-cylinder engine, the coupe was only ever available with a 6-cylinder engine. The engines were paired to one of four transmissions, two 5-speed manuals as well as a 4-speed and 5-speed automatic.
1997 saw the introduction of the M versions of both roadster and coupe models, which introduced a number of performance upgrades to make the zippy Z3 even zippier. European models received the S50 inline-six engine while North American models received the less powerful S52 inline-six engine. Both markets switched to the new S54 engine in 2001. The S54 made the Z3M even more desirable, especially in the US market where it made 315 hp compared to the S52’s 240 hp. To add to the rare factor, only 1,112 examples were built with the S54 engine worldwide, making the S54-powered Z3M a collector’s gem. It was only ever available with a 5-speed manual transmission.
Apart from the engine changes, the Z3M featured a limited-slip differential, a wider rear track, larger brakes, cosmetic changes, special colors, new wheels, and quad exhausts. The interior had some gauges in the center console, leather on both the center console and door pulls as well as unique seats and color options. Production of the Z3 range ended on June 28, 2002, and was replaced by the Z4. In total, just under 300,000 Z3s were sold in the model’s lifetime.
This particular example, Chassis # –, is a low-mile example of a Z3M Roadster equipped with the later, more desirable S54 engine. It is one of approximately 1,564 Roadsters produced with the S54 power plant and 1 of only 84 finished in this color combination. The exterior is finished in Alpinweiss III (Alpine White 3) with an Imola red/black leather interior. According to the Carfax report, this car was bought new out of Rancho Santa Fe, CA in 2002 before being offered for sale in 2004 with only 1,675 miles on the odometer. The car was bought in 2005 by someone in Odenton, MD who went on to love the car for the next 16 years. During this part of its life, the Z3M was serviced regularly at BMW MINI of Annapolis and Stauffers Auto Repair in Millersville, MD. Save for a couple of blemishes and imperfections on the front bumper, the car is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. The convertible top is original to the car and functions as it should with no holes, rips, or tears in the fabric. The oval mirror which was prone to leaking was replaced with an OEM mirror that is in perfect shape. In preparation for sale, we commissioned an extensive service by Leading Edge Autosport which included new spark plugs, flex hose, brake fluid, and seat bushings among other regular maintenance items.
The S54-powered Z3M is still a sleeper in today’s hot market for modern collectibles. Not only is it a robust and fun platform, but it is also a limited production car making it a wise investment that can also be thoroughly enjoyed. Upon purchase, the new owner will receive service records alongside a second set of keys and the original books.
body and paint
The paint maintains a consistent, deep shine throughout with no serious or unsightly blemishes to note. The paint possess and incredible shine due to a recent full ceramic coating done on October 2nd of 2020. The "Ceramic Pro" product was applied on the paint, wheels and the windows were treated. There is a 5 year warranty that comes with this treatment.
All of the obvious VIN stickers are present throughout each panel and match the correct VIN number. All of the shut gas are excellent as expected from a lower mileage Z3 M. There are no signs of accident damage to speak of and the paint appears to be mostly, if not all original despite slightly higher paint meter readings on the hood of 12 Mils. This could be attributed to the ceramic coating. Paint meter readings are provided in the photo gallery.
glass and trim
The glass appears to be all original and blemish-free including the windshield that has some light stone peppering but certainly does not warrant replacement. All of the trim is supple, free from sun fading or shrinking. The soft top fits excellently with no rips or blemishes to note and the plastic rear window is clear.
The wheels are tidy with what appears to be the original, hard-to-replicate, smoked factory finish. There are a few blemishes as noted in the photo set and some curbing on the passenger front wheel. Overall, very presentable for the age and miles.
A few touched-up spots on the hood from stone peppering can be found under close examination. There are also a few faint scratches on the driver's side rocker panel.
seats and surfaces
The seats and interior surfaces present very well with wear commensurate with the mileage displayed. Everything appears to be original except for upgraded Weather tech mats. The driver's side seat bolster has some wear consistent with the mileage as does the driver's side sill. The dash and door panels are excellent.with no noteworthy issues.
functionality and accessories
Everything works as it should upon our inspection of the systems including the A/C, lights, radio, top, seats, windows, wipers, etc. The notorious seat rail issues that these cars normally have has been properly fixed.
Some wear on the drivers bolster, passenger seat bottom has some light scratches, and there is some minor bubbling of the red finish just above the shift boot under the air-recirculate button. There is also a small trim piece missing from the back of the rear view mirror.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay is tidy, clean, all stock looking and has proper stickers and finishes. On the underside of the hood there appears to have been stains from a cleaning product or other corrosive substance that stained the underside of the hood in places.
The trunk area is clean, all original and issue-free.
The engine fire to life with its first revolution upon cold start. The exhaust is brilliant sounding and raspy at the higher end of the rpm range as these S54 engine units are known for. There are no odd noises to note, the power delivery is linear, and strong. The car has had regular servicing and was also recently based-line serviced upon our acquisition.
The five spead transmission shifts smoothly between all of the gears and the clutch operates as it should seemingly with plenty of life left.
brakes and suspension
The brakes are firm and function perfectly with no fade or shatter. The suspension feels as it should.
The S54 powered M roadsters are a truly special driving experience. The short wheelbase combined with the nearly 330 hp power plant make for an entertaining backcountry drive. Its wide track creates impressive amounts of grip making the driver feel confident in hitting apexes at speeds higher than one would expect. This car is a fine example of this platform's greatness. It has excellent power, smooth shifting, confidence-inducing steering, and does all of this with the wind in your hair.