BMW Z1 celebrates 30 years

07th September 2017
erin_baker_headshot.jpg Erin Baker

It may not be the centenary celebrations of BMW Group again this year, but there are plenty of memorable cars and bikes on display at the Revival, plus a nod to a nice little anniversary: the 30th birthday of the BMW Z1.


Visitors can see a pristine example of the Z1 on display in Earls Court this year. When the Z1 was unveiled to the public in 1988, it was the first two-seat sports car from BMW for 30-odd years - the 507 from the late Fifties was the Z1’s predecessor.

Some of the Z1’s innovative design quirks are as unique today as they were back in 1988: “young”, “dynamic” and "brash” were internal targets for the character of the Z1. Driving took precedence over comfort, there was a mid-mounted engine and, most striking of all, vertically sliding doors and a pastiche outer skin over a sheet metal structure. There were no wings, no spoilers, just the aero design of the car’s body.


Production came to an end in June 1991, with 8,000 Z1s built. Go pay homage to the one in Earls Court, which sits alongside a 507, M4 Convertible and 640d M Sport Convertible.

Don’t miss the March Motor Works, either, taken over by BMW Group Classic and full of sumptuous toys such as a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Freestone and Webb Limousine, a 1958 BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale and BMW R25 (1950), R69 (1959) and R12 Gespann (1940) with sidecar.

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