One of my favorite BMWs this one. What a profile. Like a clown’s shoe. Totally. Quite daring of the Bavarian brand to actually produce this one, you either love it or hate it. Although the love nowadays predominates, I feel. Especially on a car-enthusiast’s blog.
Introduced in ‘98 and only available for a few years it was only available with the two biggest 6-cylinder engines: Either the 2.8 M52TU or the 3.2 S50 B32 engine. When the 2000-update of the entire Z3 range came these were replaced by the 3.0 M54 B30 (231 hp) and the 3.2 S54 B32 (325 hp). The latter of course in the M Coupé.
Which this one is obviously with it’s quadrophonic sound system underneath that bumper. Personally I have fond memories to the 3.0 as that engine was in my beloved Z4 as well. “Ein richtiger Bauern motor” as the BMW dealer I got it from claimed. A farmer’s engine, bullet proof. It proved to be just that while I had it in my possession.
And I have fond memories to this engine in the 3.0 Z3 Coupé as well. When I was at the Nordschleife a couple of years ago I spotted a single driver in this green Z3 Coupe, heading to the gate. I asked him if I could join ‘m (I do this all the time, not everyone is willing to show their skills but I’ve seldomly heard “no”) so 5 minutes later I was riding shotgun.
And the guy was quite capable, a regular visitor of the ring, living nearby, his Z3 Coupe was bought to do just this: Weekend blasting the Ring. At one moment I asked if he ever crashed a car on the Nordschleife and he promptly replied: “Last year at Schwedenkreuz. But maybe you should have asked that before you got in the car?”
Never mind: I had a blast. And was impressed with that M54B30. Again. There was a reason this exact engine was in the anual „the 10 Best Engines“ list of the American magazine Ward’s Auto World from 2001 to 2003.
In Germany though, it wasn’t called the Clown Shoe. Or it’s direct translation “Clownschuh”. Ze Germans called this Sporting Break ein Turnschuh. Sport shoe. Sneakers. I prefer the Clownesque-ier name though.
The model itself is another Minichamps in 1/43. It has several flaws, one of which is that it doesn’t roll decently. I also feel it’s front suspension is somewhat too high and several seams aren’t as crisp as I’d like ‘m to be.
And it’s not the color I’d get my own Clownshoe in. It was just a cheap opportunity to get it on an online auction that made me pull the trigger. It was a lot of 3 BMWs, one of which will be heading to my Greenfield logistics center in the near future.
And that’s it for this week’s TT. No Porsche and after the flood of cars from Zuffenhausen last several weeksthat’s not a bad thing. Just another epic brand from the south of Germany. Hope you enjoyed it, just as I’ve enjoyed the 1:1 and the M54B30. And yes Philipilihp: I do expect to see a Porsche from you today ;-)