Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why So Cheap? 1990 BMW Z1

I love it when cars are bidding on eBay with a few days to go and the price is ridiculously cheap.  It doesn't always mean the same thing as a really low price on craigslist (scammers!) and the fun part is to figure out why the bidding is so low.  This next car is an example of a limited production (8,000 were built for the European market only) car that is offered well below normal values. Time to don your deerstalker and figure out why?  Find this 1990 BMW Z1 here on eBay bidding for $13,650 with 1 day to go.

Wow, a Z1 bidding for about the selling price of an E46 M3, gotta be something wrong, right?  First, there is the small issue of location, this thing is being offered in the Dominican Republic, which is great if you happen to live Santo Domingo, but really bad if you live in a place like Toledo.  This thing is 25 years old, so importation shouldn't be as sketchy as it was a few years ago, but getting something like an in-person inspection done before auction end is pretty much out of the question.

Let's talk condition.  The engine (a BMW M20B25 inline6 making 168 horsepower and 164 ft-lbs of torque) is said to run well and the 5-speed manual gearbox has no issues...just needs a bath.  Mechanically this thing won't be expensive to run because it wasn't fitted with some crazy M engine.

The mechanical parts might be in good shape, but the seller admits it needs some work on the cosmetic side.  Needs paint work, body work some panels has been repaired in the past , and needs a better job , door system needs to be fixed or overhauled , front lights are not original, rear right light needs to be replaced, nice restoration project.  I think I understand the price now...

See a cheaper Z1 for sale?


  1. It sold. The Z1 is a Baur, btw, and is built on the BMW E30 chassis. There was a beautiful red one for sale in South Carolina in September 2015 for $59,0895 (buy-it-now) just for comparison purposes. I do not know if it sold. We have featured a few of them on Baurspotting from time to time.

  2. Wheeler Dealers did an episode on a Z1

  3. That BaurSchpotting site is one of my favorites. Had a hankering for a 2002 Baur day!

  4. This is one of those instances where I'd love to be an automotive archaeologist and trace the path this car took from whence it rolled off the line to where it sits today. I bet it's fascinating.

    1. Probably a little boring - here is my guess; Miami "business man" buys car new in Europe, ships it to South America, lets his third wife drive it, she gets in a car accident. Ships car to Dominican Republic for work, left unchecked and only sits after being half-assed repaired with non oem parts. Now its up for sale and probably is a good deal, go for it!


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