Truly my favorite sports car!! I have owned many including Corvettes, Trans Ams, Z28s, Mustangs, and MG Midgets, but this one takes the cake. Although I still own a 1970 Corvette (rarely driven these days), I still lust for the fun per mile that my Z3 delivered. My wife and I were looking for a sports car for my fortieth birthday back in 2005 and stumbled onto this Atlanta Blue 2.8 5 speed with tan interior. One test drive and the rest is history! The performance, economy, power, looks, and driving pleasure makes this my most fun since my old MGs (when they were running properly). I owned this car for five flawless years and drove the he'll out of it.
The 1997 Z3 1.9L straight-4 is really a unique find, at a great price. I would not pay more than $8,000 for one with around 80,000 miles on it, which is the car I got for myself. Incredible value for a truly zippy and economical car! Lots of fun to drive, and a real head turner for those of us who are into that type of thing. Dark green with tan interior and top is the way to go. Engine without a drop of any fluid on it. Very tight gearbox for a manual transmission, will get you up to 40 miles per hour as quickly as need be. Perfect commuter car!!!
I bought the '97 Z3 2.8L with the M body style, wide tail and tires, the first year of this style. I think this body is a classic. The Z4 is a bit crisp for me. I have owned my car for 10 years and have had no problems other than a minor driver's seat rail play (seat slid back/forth) which I got fixed under warranty. In 2000, I compared this vs. my neighbor's Porsche 2.5L boxster he wanted to sell me and this vintage of the two cars didn't render a big difference. I felt the BMW 2.8 had more power than the Boxster and handled as well when I pushed both on a very windy back road. There is a huge difference between the 4 cyl and 6 cyl BMW. Once I drove the 2.8L, I said no to the 4 cyl.
Purchased this 1997 bmw z3 with 147400 miles on the clock and fixed lamps out and several small problems , just a little tlc along with struts and rear shocks, carrier bearing on the driveshaft had to be replaced to take care of vibration, tire balance is very important on this car . wal mart balance lifetime for 9.,00 per tire is a deal. long story made short after service we drove the car 2000 miles trouble free on the blueridge parkway most of the time in fifth gear, this 2.8 with the 5 speed gear box is simply the most fun we have had in a car in years and is still a head turner, the car now has 150000 miles on the clock and oil level is still full. this thing is a keeper.
While in college in the late 1960's, I owned an Austin Healey 100-4. The Z-3 I purchased in 1997 had all the elements that I loved about the Austin Healey. The 6 cylinder in a must for the Z-3 and frankly the only color to consider if you are an aficionado is the dark green with tan interior and top. Any one who reports that there is insufficient power or that the top is too hard to put up is not a roadster devotee. Boys, step aside and let the real men tell you what constitutes a genuine sports car. Thank you BMW for bringing back a car that is in the lineage of the Austin Healey, Morgan and MG.