Massive BMW 'Z' meet set for Silverstone

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The UK's biggest-ever gathering of BMW 'Z' cars is planned for this summer.

Organised by BMW Car Club GB as one of the highlights of its 60th birthday celebrations in 2012, Z-Fest hopes to attract hundreds of cars ranging from Z1 to Z8.

It will take place at the Silverstone Classic powered by the AA in Northamptonshire from 20-22 July and will include a parade around the famous circuit.

Steve Miller, general manager of the BMW Car Club GB, said: "A number of hugely successful Z-Fests have been held on the continent and in The States – now it’s our turn.

"There are close to 50,000 'Zeds' registered in this country and we are aiming to get at least 500 cars to join in our special landmark celebrations at the Silverstone Classic."

Background notes on the Z cars

BMW introduced its first two-seater Z1 roadster to the media in 1986 with the new Z badge standing for Zukunft – the German word for ‘future’. Just 8000 were produced and the Z1 – which notably featured novel doors that dropped down into its doorsills – has become one of the rarest and most collectable of all BMWs. 

The innovative and distinctive Z1 was superseded in turn by the more-mainstream Z3 and Z4 models – both produced in far greater numbers and with the added bonus of right-hand drive. The Z3 gained notoriety for its on-screen role in the James Bond film GoldenEye while the Z4 remains on sale in BMW showrooms today.

BMW also applied its sporty Z moniker to its range-topping Z8 roadster – a V8 engined aluminium chassis supercar capable of topping 180mph. Just 5,702 of these hand-built models were built between 1999-2003 and it, too, headlined in a James Bond movie when driven by Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough.

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