A journey into the avant-garde automotive history of the late '80s leads us to this 1989 BMW Z1, one of the quirkiest and most innovative gems of its era. Underneath the iconic Dream Black exterior lies a 2.5-litre straight-six engine, outputting a modest 170hp, paired with a five-speed manual transmission - all driving the rear wheels.

What really sets this car apart are its features, not least the electrically lowering doors, recyclable thermoplastic body, and multi-link suspension. Only 8,000 were ever made, and this example, with an original Z1-branded stereo, adds to the allure of rarity.

With just over 61,000 miles on the clock, this Z1 has been tenderly cared for by its current owner, a noted car designer/artist for 12 years. Despite some cosmetic blemishes, it has been dutifully serviced, most recently by BMW specialist Barkers Motor Works.

The Z1's significance can't be understated - it's a progenitor of BMW's 'Z' line, a futuristic statement piece from BMW Technik GmbH. It's the sort of machine that might not set your hair on fire with outright pace, but every mile will be imbued with character and panache, not to mention conversations everywhere you park & lower this doors. A fine piece of automotive history, this BMW Z1 would fit snugly in any enthusiast's garage. A car to drive, yes, but also to admire. It's not just a piece of the '80s; it's a piece of the future from the past.

Country of sale: United Kingdom

Price: Auction (estimate of 50,000£)

Seller: Collecting Cars

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