///Mission Impossible :
Back in 1995 James McDowell, vice president of marketing at BMW North
America, Inc. and mail-order firm Nieman Marcus worked together to
launch the BMW Z3 roadster in the Nieman Marcus Christmas Catalog. It
was a BMW Z3 special edition “007
JAMES BOND” along with 2
tickets for a Goldeneye dinner party inLA with Pierce Brosnan. Originally BMW and Neiman
Marcus had set a 20-unit sales goal over the 3,5 month Christmas selling
period. In two days, 100 Z3 orders were placed, so BMW agreed to
increase the total production to 100 units.The
BMW Z3 used in the movie Golden Eye was one of the first Bond cars made
outside of Great Britain.
Pictures by Doug
Roddick (Victoria British Columbia Canada) & Jack Golden (Orange, California
USA) owners of a Neiman Marcus BMW Z3 Roadster 007.
included with the 007 Roadster was:
The first demonstrators
arrived at the dealers in March of 1996.The original Z3 had its
battery in the engine compartment, on the right side in front of the
passenger. Throughout 1995 and to mid 1996, BMW officially denied that they
would ever build a 6-cylinder Z3. Vic Doolan, then head of BMW NA broke the
silence at the Pebble Beach Concours by telling the press that not only would
there be a 6-cylinder, but that the ///M Version (shown that year at Geneva as
a concept car) would go into production. When the battery was moved to the
trunk in mid 1996 speculation was that this was to accommodate the 6-cylinder
(2.8 liter) engine.
1996 was a significant year
for a number of reasons. (1) the first products were coming out of BMW's
Spartanburg Plant. (2)The new Z3 was an exclusive product of that plant.
(3)The Summer Olympics were held that year in Atlanta > close to Spartanburg.
Everyone who bought a Z3 prior to the opening of the Olympics received a
license plate frame commemorating BMW as a sponsor of the Olympics. Not
coincidentally, the signature color for the Z3 - used in "Golden
Eye" and all the ads was called Atlanta Blue. Since the dawn of the
automotive era, light blue had been the color of French racing cars, while
dark blue and white were the colors of the US. Curiously, the light blue in
BMW's palette took the name "Atlanta" while the dark blue became
"Montreal Blue". Because of the number of orders received for
Atlanta Blue Z3s exceeded the company's ability to produce them, it was
withdrawn from the color offerings in 1996. Arctic Silver became the most
popular exterior color, with the black and tannin leather interior. In 2000
BMW attempted to replace Atlanta Blue; however BMW received so many nasty
letters that the color was reinstated. Thus Atlanta Blue became (along with
black, red and white) one of the few colors to span the entire production run
of Z3s. The other colors besides these were: Boston Green, Dark Green and
Violet Red and Turquoise.
Late in 1996 the BMW Z3
Register was founded by Wayne and Amy Lester. This became the Z3CCA.The 1996 model year ended
with a group of Z3'ers from Atlanta deciding to drive to Spartanburg over the
Labor Day weekend to see the plant. Others from all over the country joined
them. This became Homecoming. We all shared common experiences on the wait for
our Z3 and what it was like to be the first one in your neighborhood to have
one.It was there that it became
evident that the Z3 stirred a passion in those associated with it not just
owners, but factory associates would come up, ask your production date, then
tell you what they did on your car. The Z3 created a family among those who
owned them and those who made them. The reply to "Thank you for buying
one" was "Thank you for building them."The Z3 family has grown since
1996. The 2.8s. ///M's, Coupes, 2.3s, 2.5s and 3.0s have all joined the
original Z3. If you are a new Z3 owner, from all of us who have been here
since the beginning - Welcome to the family!
An article by
BMW Z3 (1996-2001) Model
1995 : The
Z3 appeared in the Nieman Marcus Christmas catalogue.These cars were all
Atlanta Blue with beige upholstery
1996 : The first
demonstrators arrived at the dealers in March of 1996.
Z3 1.9 rear-drive Roadster (140 bhp), 5-speed gearbox or 4-speed
automatic,ABS,PAS,alloy wheels, central locking, electrical windows and
mirrors, electrical seat adjustment,airbag. Options include
air-conditioning , ASC+T traction control, leather trim & electrical
Z3 2.2 Sport and 3.0 Sport launched. 2.2 Sapphire and Titanium editions
(both £25950 new)
Revised M Roadster and Coupe with 325 bhp engine, DSC III stability
control system, uprated brakes.
The 250,000th Z3 roadster > Jet Black with a red top and Mugello
red seats with black inserts. The console is trimmed with red birchwood and
the roll bars are black leather in front and red leather in back held
together with red stitching
2002 : An
in-dash CD player was newly standard for 2002.