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BMW Z8 Values Are Officially Insane

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author photo by Doug DeMuro December 2016

Here's something you might not have realized: The BMW Z8 is worth a ton of money. While other early-2000s BMW models have depreciated quickly, like the used vehicles they are, the Z8 hasn't. In fact, it's done the opposite. The Z8 is a 14-year-old BMW that has gained in value. Remember how you couldn't afford a BMW Z8 back when it was new? Yeah, well, you still can't.

Here's the situation. When the BMW Z8 came out in 2000, we all thought it was really cool, and really special, because it was BMW's supercar. It also cost $129,000 with shipping (before options), so it was a little out of everyone's price range. After all, this was a time when BMW's other roadster, the Z3, started at just $32,300 with shipping. So those of us who like used cars figured we'd wait a few years, and then this beautiful specimen would be ours at something close to $50,000.

Well, that never happened.

Instead, the opposite happened: Rather than dropping in price like all other expensive German cars, the Z8 has dramatically appreciated -- to the point where these things now routinely list for well over $200,000. In fact, the cheapest one currently listed on Autotrader is offered for about $165,000, which means the Z8 has roughly kept pace with inflation. As you probably know, that 2000 BMW Z3 I discussed earlier is worth about five grand now.

So how did the Z8 do so well on the used market? One reason is, of course, its beautiful styling. Effectively a modern take on the gorgeous BMW 507, the Z8 is arguably the most beautiful car of the last 20 years -- a vehicle that dabbles in "retro," and dabbles in "futuristic," and somehow manages to look good doing both.

Rarity is also a factor. From 2000 to 2003, BMW only manufactured about 5,700 Z8 models for the entire world, and sent just 2,500-ish to the United States. And then there are the car's other desirable traits: The fact that all Z8 models (except the rare Alpina version) used a manual transmission, in a world where stick-shift exotics are all shooting up in value -- and the fact that the Z8 offers a big, muscular V8 borrowed from the M5.

So the Z8 never had that little waiting period where it depreciated to a price that mortals could afford. Instead, it just went up, and up, and up -- and now its values are, officially, insane.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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BMW Z8 Values Are Officially Insane - Autotrader