M who? The BMW Z3 could be finally getting its due

BMW has more of a performance pedigree than almost any other mainstream carmaker out there. It is known as the ultimate driving machine, after all. Curiously, though, BMW doesn’t often come out with a dedicated sports car. I’m talking the two-seat, top down, wind-in-your-hair kind of sports car. Only a handful of roadsters have worn the blue and white roundel over the years, so your choices are limited, especially if you’re on a budget. And if that budget is tight, you really only have one choice, and that choice is the Z3.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/09/06/bmw-z3-finally-getting-its-due

BMWs self-recycling plastic cooling system components are only cheap in terms of quality. If your budget really is tight, keeping a Z3 out of the local self-service junkyard will hurt. As for purchase price, most Z4s advertised for sale are four-figure cars.

I bought my 2000 AC Schnitzer Z3M four years ago with 75K miles on it, and the only issue I’ve had is to replace the original rubber clutch cable with a braided stainless one. I’ve had many great cars in my lifetime, and can tell all of you car folks that this has by far been my absolute favorite! Its been so much fun and totally reliable over the five thousand miles I’ve put on in since… When I let my buddy take it for a spin, I could tell by the smile on his face that he was going to get one too, and he did about a month later. To me, it’s a perfect sports car as is, but I also enjoy modifying and improving it. Installing a VF Supercharger and other goodies has made the perfect sports car even more perfect, and I’m completely and utterly in love!!

To the author:
The M roadster and the “clown shoe” M coupe, the former of which has become a cult favorite…I believe you meant to say the latter of which!?

Should be (given the price) but…nope.

@Jim-R you do realize you’re comparing vinyl to leather, and wood to plood, yes?

It’s good to see these getting some love from Hagerty, finally. (+1 vote for adding the E85/E86 Z4, pleasepleaseplease!) They are handsome and fun, the interior harkens back to the “good old days” of sports cars with all those gauges and chrome surrounds, and the car comes in enough flavors to suit any budget and taste. To my way of thinking, the rear subframe issues aren’t due to bad spot welds, they’re due to putting 300 HP in a chassis originally designed for 100 HP. Do attend to them no matter what though, because the alternative – rear suspension separating itself from the car – can be pretty ugly.

I run with a bunch of Z3 enthusiasts when I do ZSCCA events in our Z4MC. There may be fewer of them than there are Miata fans but they are ever so enthusiastic about their cars! And a great bunch of people too.

Nope. Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and seats in the Miata. If you see plood it’s in the BMW.
Besides, if you look down on plood inserts, how do you feel about the veather dash both cars have?

Never cared for the Z3; maybe those “gills” on the front fender had something to do with it. When the first-gen Z4 came out, I found it (and its “origami” styling) to be so much more attractive.

While rchottea didn’t care for the gills, I never cared for the “running shoe” look.