The Rare and the Beautiful: A Look at the 10 Most Elusive BMWs Ever Made

Knowing the rarest BMWs is like diving into a history of unique engineering feats and exclusive designs. Here are ten of the rarest BMWs ever made, each with a story that contributes to its rarity and desirability.

1991 BMW 318is (E30)

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This might be the most ‘ordinary’ car on this list, but the 318is is a rarity due to its one-year-only production and the fact that it brought the sportiness of the E30 M3 to a more affordable level. It’s become a cult classic, with prices for mint condition models reaching over $20,000.

1989 BMW Z1 Roadster

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The Z1 Roadster was BMW’s innovative take on a modern roadster, with only 8,000 produced. Its most unique feature was the drop-down doors, which retracted into the car’s body. The Z1 may command anywhere between $40,000 to $60,000 today.

1979 BMW M535i (E12)

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This was essentially the precursor to the M5, and BMW only made a few with the M designation. Its production was limited, and it came equipped with a 3.5-liter engine and special M-Technic suspension. These are rare finds and can sell for upwards of $50,000 depending on their condition.

2003 BMW Z4 M Coupe (E86)

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The high-performance M Coupe version of the Z4 was a limited-production model with only about 4,275 units made. Its 3.2-liter straight-six and distinctive shooting brake design make it a sought-after modern classic. These can range from $50,000 to well over $100,000 for low-mileage examples.

2010 BMW M3 GTS

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Built for the track, the M3 GTS is an even rarer sight, with only 135 units made. It featured a 4.4-liter V8 engine, roll cage, racing bucket seats, and a fire extinguisher. Such rarity and track readiness push prices north of $250,000.

1995 BMW 850CSi

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The 850CSi is a high-performance variant of the 8 Series with only 1,510 units produced. It featured a tuned V12 engine and special modifications from BMW’s M division. Collectors value the 850CSi for its grand touring prowess, with prices typically between $100,000 and $175,000.

1987 BMW M5 (E28)

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The first-generation M5 was the fastest production sedan at the time of its release. With a production number of just 2,191 units, it’s a rare beast. It boasted a modified 3.5-liter engine from the M1, making it a sleeper hit. Pristine examples can demand over $100,000.

2000 BMW Z8

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Inspired by the 507 and limited to only 5,703 units, the Z8 is a collector’s favorite. With a 4.9-liter V8 from the E39 M5 and aluminum spaceframe construction, it combined retro styling with modern performance. It’s not uncommon for Z8s to command prices well into the $200,000 range.

1990 BMW Z1

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The Z1 is notable for its unique vertically sliding doors and limited production run of just 8,000 units. It was a showcase of BMW’s innovation in the late 80s, sporting a 2.5-liter inline-six engine and a high-tech composite body. Today, well-kept Z1 models fetch around $40,000 to $60,000.

1978 BMW M1

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The M1 is a legend, as BMW’s first and only mid-engined sports car. With only 453 units produced, it was designed for racing in the Procar Championship. Featuring a 3.5-liter inline-six engine and a distinct wedge-shaped body, the M1 is both a performance machine and a design icon. Values have soared in recent years, with prices often exceeding $500,000.

This article originally appeared on MyCarMakesNoise.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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