1997 BMW Z3 2.8


  • Recently resprayed
  • Drives brilliantly
  • Low mileage example
  • Well maintained
  • Long MOT

The Appeal

First introduced in 1995, the Z3 was BMW’s well-received contender for the roadster and coupe market. Based upon the E36 chassis, the Z3 became the first mass-produced Z series BMW and would be made available in numerous forms, including this widebody 2.8L. 

This Z3 has just shy of 70k on the clock, a rather low figure for its age, and performs absolutely brilliantly.

It’s also just had a respray in what is arguably the fastest colour; Hellrot Red, along with refurbished alloy wheels. If you’re looking for a stunning example of one of the most desirable BMWs, this is without a doubt the vehicle for you. 

The History and Paperwork

  • Just 3 former keepers
  • Only 69K miles covered
  • Long MOT until April 2023
  • Service history
  • Well maintained
  • BWM Handbooks
  • V5C document present

Performance roadsters typically pass from owner to owner as the summers come and go, but this BMW Z3 has a rather remarkably low number of just 3 former keepers. In addition to having so few former owners, the car shows just shy of 70K on the clock, certainly a reasonably low figure for a 25-year-old vehicle. 

Throughout its time with the current keeper, the vehicle has been absolutely treasured and given plenty of attention. Perhaps most obvious is a fresh respray in Hellrot Red, painted red calipers, and gorgeous refurbished alloys. In addition to the cosmetic improvements, the car has also seen plenty of mechanical attention over the years, including but not limited to: suspension components, brakes all round, wheel speed sensor, exhaust, and a carbon clean. 

Details of all prior maintenance and servicing can be found within the included folder containing a large selection of invoices. Included alongside the invoices, are the original BMW handbooks, complete with a stamped service booklet. 

The Interior

  • Mostly original interior
  • Great condition
  • 3-spoke M sport leather steering wheel
  • Electric folding softop
  • Tonneau cover
  • Electric seats

This Z3 showcases iconic 90’s BMW interior design, with quirky patterns and materials throughout, a welcome aesthetic over the bland black interiors of its rivals. As the vehicle is 25 years old now, there are of course minor areas of wear, but overall, this interior presents itself rather well to this day. 

Perhaps most noticeable of all is a small tear in the base of the driver’s seat, along with incredible minor signs of wear in the surrounding material. As the rest of the seat is in excellent condition for its age, it would perhaps make sense to have this small tear professionally repaired as opposed to replacing the unit. It should also be noted that whilst the material of the passenger seat shows far fewer signs of wear, the electric controls may require some attention moving forward. 

Otherwise, there is very little to fault inside this Z3, as all interior trim pieces, both door cards and all carpeting is in great shape for their age, albeit perhaps in need of a thorough detail to achieve a fresher finish. All dials and controls are in excellent working order (with the exception of the cassette player) and show minimal wear to contact points. 

In the boot, you’ll find the original BMW toolkit and a relatively new Yuasa battery. 

The Exterior

  • Gorgeous exterior
  • Fresh Hellrot Red paintwork
  • Recently refurbished wheels & red calipers
  • Superb early “widebody” styling

There are few colours that better suit performance cars than a striking red, and this freshly laid Hellrot Red certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s a rather eye-catching colour, yet suits the energetic terrier-like nature of the Z3. As the vehicle was only recently resprayed throughout the current owner’s keep, the exterior shows only incredibly minor marks towards the front end, as is to be expected with road use. 

In keeping with the gorgeous paintwork, all wheels have been professionally restored, and look absolutely fantastic. The wheels come wrapped mostly in Avon tyres, with plenty of tread for the new owner to enjoy. To complement the fresh paintwork, a set of red brake calipers hides behind each wheel.

Not one to do half a job, the current owner has also treated the exterior of this Z3 with new badging, and lights. Having covered the same distance as the paintwork, these components are in excellent condition, with no noticeable signs of damage. 

Overall, you would certainly be hard-pressed to find a better-looking Z3 example on today's market, let alone one in fresh Hellrot Red. There is no doubt this roadster will look superb as part of a collection and is guaranteed to turn heads wherever you venture. 

The Mechanics

  • 2.8L straight-six 
  • 5-speed manual gearbox
  • Drives brilliantly
  • Tasteful powerflow exhaust
  • Dyno tested previously
  • Engine carbon cleaned
  • New brakes
  • New springs, and suspension components
  • Well maintained & serviced
  • Recently serviced

Buyers will be pleased to know that this Z3 fires up right away, and drives without known fault other than requiring a new evaporator unit for the A/C. Although the included paperwork details a superb maintenance record with invoices to prove, the vehicle is mostly standard, retaining plenty of OEM components. There is however, a custom powerflow exhaust fitted by a previous owner, to let the throaty straight-six sing. 
 As the paperwork shows, the vehicle was also subject to a carbon cleaning, and dyno testing session. The dyno printout shows a peak power figure of 187.6hp, which is definitely believable given how happily the vehicle revs and pulls through the gears. 

If you’re looking for a sporty roadster to enjoy the summer with, you really can’t ask for much more than this well-maintained Z3. 


This stunning Z3 is arguably one of the finest available today, showcasing a superb new paint job, gorgeous refurbished wheels, a superb maintenance record, and great mechanical health.

With the sunny weather now upon us, what greater vehicle to enjoy the twisty B roads with?

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1997
  • Make BMW
  • Model Z3 2.8
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 69,717 Miles
  • Engine size 2800
  • Town Doncaster
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Yorkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
25 bids
  • Fr•••• £6,100 09/08/22
  • ti•••• £6,000 09/08/22
  • Fr•••• £5,900 09/08/22
  • ti•••• £5,800 09/08/22
  • Fr•••• £5,700 09/08/22
  • Wi•••• £5,600 09/08/22
  • Fr•••• £5,500 09/08/22
  • ru•••• £5,000 09/08/22
  • ro•••• £4,800 09/08/22
  • Fr•••• £4,700 09/08/22

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