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Junkyard Gem: 2003 BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster

Junkyard Gem: 2003 BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster


The BMW Z4 is now in its 21st model year, 34 years after the first Z Series cars were built. I’ve been seeing discarded Z3s for a few years now, during my travels through the boneyards, but its E85 successor appears to have held onto its value well enough to get fixed when it gets bent or broken… until now. Here’s a first-year E85 Z4, found in a car graveyard in Northern California.

Just as the Z3’s chassis was derived from that of the E36 3-Series, the first Z4 was based on the platform of the E36’s successor, the E46.

American Z4 shoppers in 2003 had their choice of two straight-six engines: a 2.5-liter rated at 184 horsepower and a 3.0-liter rated at 225 horsepower.

This car has the 2.5-liter engine. The MSRP on this car was $33,100, or about $54,804 in 2023 dollars.

The interior has been thoroughly gutted by bargain-hunting junkyard shoppers, but the pedal count tells us that it came with the five-speed automatic transmission rather than the base 5-speed manual (the 3.0i came with a 6-speed manual as standard equipment).

The Z4 Coupe didn’t become available until the 2006 model year, so it was mandatory convertibles for all Z4 buyers when this car was new.

It appears that this car had an unfortunate scrape-the-guardrail incident, followed by not-so-effective repairs involving body filler and tape.

There will be more junkyard Z4s to come, and they’ll get picked over less quickly as they become more commonplace.

Driving through a puddle has never been so exhilarating. The German-market ads were more artsy.

0 mph never looked so fast.

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