1998 BMW M Roadster ***New Price***
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive 1998 BMW M Roadster.
This particular M Roadster was produced on 12th November 1998 at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, California in the USA. It was delivered in ‘estoril blau’ (colour code 335) with a black walknappa leather interior (trim code Q6SW). The car was delivered with a 5 speed manual gearbox and has the desirable S50 European spec engine which is good for about 321 HP. This car was very well optioned from the factory, with amongst other things: air conditioning, Harman Kardon sound system, cruise control, heated windscreen washer nozzles and heated sport seats.
The car was sold new by Westco Motors in Cairns and it was first registered on the 1st March. Based on its service book the car didn’t stay in Cairns for long. The running in check was performed by a BMW dealer in Wollongong, NSW and the odometer read 2,525 km at that time. The car remained in the Sydney area until 2012 when it found its way up to Queensland. The current Brisbane based owner acquired the car in 2015 and at that time the odometer was approximately 68,000 km. He is understood to be the third owner. The service book confirms this car has been meticulously looked after. Despite the car being used sporadically it was serviced every year. The car was last serviced by BMW specialist S Wills Mechanical in October 2021.
Today the odometer reads 70,505 km, which is confirmed by the service book as genuine.
This car presents exceptionally well and ‘estoril blau’ is the most STUNNING colour for the car! When you walk around the car you struggle to find any paint defects. There are a few very small ones, but you have to look closely to find them. The M Roadster version of the Z3 clearly distincts itself from the standard version. When you walk up to the car you immediately notice the more aggressive look. The flared rear wheel arches to accommodate the wider wheels and tyres notable contributes to that. The subtle ‘M’ badges on the front wings and on the boot tell ‘those in the know’ that this car is not your everyday BMW Z3. The wheels are in really good condition, with no kerb rash or other marks on them. The wheels are shod with Pirelli tyres all round. They are in good condition, but they are date stamped 2006 (front) and 2008 (rear), so based on age probably should be replaced if you consider doing any serious driving with this car. The glass, the lights/lenses and the badges on the car are all in really good condition. Under the bonnet you’ll find BMW’s amazing S50 3.2 litre 6-cylinder engine. This same engine is used in the BMW M3 (E36). The engine bay is exceptionally clean and its presentation is consistent with the mileage and that for a well maintained car.
After admiring the exterior for a while and noticing all the subtle differences compared to the standard Z3, it’s time to take a look inside. One of the first thing you’ll notice are the subtle ‘M’ badges on the steering wheel and the gear knob . . . and then there’s the equally subtle print ‘M Roadster’ on the kick plates and inside the tachometer. Not surprisingly, the interior is in excellent condition and it presents really well. The black leather seats are in very good condition, though there is some minor wear on the driver’s seat bolster caused by the seat belt. The sport seats are really comfortable, provide ample support and immediately make you feel right at home behind the steering wheel. As expected from a BMW, the dashboard is simple yet functional. The important gauges are right in front of you and the centre console contains three additional gauges. Together they provide all the information you need. The dashboard, the centre console as well as all of the instruments and controls are in very good condition.
After having admired the interior for a while its time to take this car out for a drive, but first we have one very important job to do . . . and that is to put the soft top down. That is fairly easy to do. You just unhook the two clips at the front, lower the side windows slightly, press the button on the centre console and the soft top opens easily. It folds up nicely behind the seats and there is a heavy duty cover you can put over the folded soft top to protect it.
Now it’s time to go for a drive. As expected, the car starts easily from cold and almost immediately settles into a smooth idle. In true sportscar style the car is fitted with a manual five speed gearbox. Press the clutch, which is light and easy to operate, select first gear and off we go. It is immediately obvious how smooth the 3.2 litre 6 cylinder engine is. Being naturally aspirated means there is no delay and the power is available throughout the rev range. The car accelerates easily and you quickly and very easily shift through the gears. Out on the road this car is just a real joy to drive. As you would expect from a German car, everything looks and feels solid. There are no rattles or squeaks, the engine just purrs along and the sports exhaust creates a nice sound without being too loud. The long bonnet and the short rear end of the car also gives you that classic sports car feeling. You very easily forget that the car you are driving is already 24 years old. It still drives as good as the day it left the factory.
Having enjoyed this car for some 7 years, the current owner has made the difficult decision to sell. He has recently moved house and unfortunately has nowhere to keep it.
Accompanying the car are the full set of books, tools, run flat compressor and two sets of keys.
BMW built 15,322 M Roadsters, however, most of these were sold in North America. Only 997 factory right hand drive examples were built of which it is understood a miserly 67 cars were sold new in Australia.
The BMW M Roadster is a true ‘modern classic’ and in our opinion offers incredible value for money. It would be hard to find a better Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example.
- rare Australian delivered, factory RHD example
- finished in the stunning colour of ‘estoril blue’
- immaculate condition
- meticulously serviced from new
- books, tools and two sets of keys
On 7 March 1916 the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW) was established. The company was the result of a reorganisation of the Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik, a company founded by Gustav Otto in Bavaria, Germany, in 1910. The company was one of the aircraft pioneers in the early 20th century. A year later, in 1917, a Bavarian aircraft engine manufacturer by the name of Rapp Motorwerke changed its name into Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH (BMW). That company transferred all its engine production assets to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke in 1922 and that company was then renamed to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW).
The company survived World War I and started focussing on the production of motorcycle engines, farm equipment, household items and railway brakes. In 1923 BMW produced its first motorcycle, the BMW R23.
In 1928 BMW purchased the Fahrzeug Fabrik Eisenach which built Austin Sevens under license. That’s when BMW officially became an automobile manufacturer. The first car BMW sold under its own name was the BMW 3/15 which was basically a rebadged Austin 7. Throughout the 1930’s BMW focussed more and more on producing their own cars and expanded its range into sports cars and larger luxury cars.
During World War II the BMW factories were heavily bombed and severely damaged. Motor vehicle production was curtained and BMW has concentrated on building aircraft engines during the War. As a result, after the war the company was prohibited from producing aircraft or motor vehicles. Miraculously the company survived by making pots, pans and bicycles. It began manufacturing motorcycles again in 1948 and cars in 1952.
Its first post war effort was the BMW 501 which was built in a new factory in Munich. The car was reasonably successful and it effectively relaunched BMW. At the time BMW was also building its fabulous little Isetta, but the company was doing it tough financially. In 1955 the BMW 507 made its debut at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. The 507 was roadster powered by a 3.2 litre V8 engine and was meant to revive the companies sporting image. Instead, the high production cost led the company to the verge of bankruptcy. Only 252 examples were built before production ceased in 1959. As it turns out, it would take BMW nearly 30 years before it would produce another roadster. The company was in serious financial trouble in 1959 and only a large investment from a third party saved the company and prevented a takeover by Daimler-Benz.
It was the launch of the BMW ‘New Class’ cars in 1962 that proved to be a game changer for the company. In fact, the compact little cars probably saved BMW from financial ruin. By 1963 BMW’s fortunes had turned around and from then on the company went from strength to strength.
In 1972, to support its racing activities, BMW created a new subsidiary – BMW Motorsport GmbH. The first project for the newly established company was to turn the BMW 3.0 into a ‘proper race car’. Enter the BMW 3.0 CSL – a legend was born. BMW soon realised there was a growing market for high performance sporting cars and started producing ‘M’ versions of most of their model range. The first official ‘M’ badged car built was the BMW M1, which was launched at the 1978 Paris Motor Show. The M1 was conceived to compete head on with Porsche on the race track, so it was a race car that had to be homologated, so a number of road cars were built. BMW’s first true road going ‘M’ car was the M535i introduced in 1979. From then on, BMW produced ‘M’ cars for most of their models with the exception of the Z1 and the 7 series.
In 1985 BMW setup a new division called BMW Technik GmbH. Its sole purpose was to develop concepts for new vehicles and technologies. In August 1986, first road going prototype of what was to become the BMW Z1 was shown to the public. In September 1987, the Z1 was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It was BMW’s first roadster since the 507 and the start of a whole series of ‘Z’ cars. All the ‘Z’ cars were initially launched as roadsters, but for some models a coupe was also available.
In 1995, BMW introduced the Z3, which was the successor to the Z1. With the lucrative North American market front of mind, the Z3 was introduced via a video press release hosted by BMW North America. Interestingly, the Z3 was built in California, becoming the first BMW to be manufactured outside of Germany. The Z3 was also the first of the ‘Z’ models to be given the famous ‘M’ badge in 1997 when BMW introduced the BMW M Roadster and the BMW M Coupe.
With a 3.2 litre inline 6 cylinder engine up front mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox and looks that could kill, the BMW M Roadster is one of the last ‘old school’ traditional sports cars.
- BMW M Roadster
- 70,505 kilometres