2003 Alpina V8 Roadster: $450,000 to $500,000
Like The Big Lebowski, Catch-22 and Raging Bull, the BMW Z8 is one of those things that gets more appreciation in retrospect than at the time.
It was decried as retro-pastiche. A styling exercise unbacked by the driving experience we expect from BMW. A car with an identity crisis, unsure whether to be a genteel boulevard cruiser, like the 507 it was styled after, or the sports car that its 400bhp, M5-purloined V8 and 0-62 time of 4.7 seconds suggested.
But when it looks like it does and goes like it can, do the hows, whys and what fors really matter? We’d suggest no, but it definitely seemed to matter to Alpina.
Rather than leaving well enough alone, Alpina got hold of about 1 in 10 of BMW’s run of 5,307 Z8s, deciding that it’d be much better if the mouth matched the trousers. So, out went the S62 V8 and six-speed manual and in went an Alpina-built 4.8-litre V8 and a ZF five-speed automatic, both tuned for easy, loping muscle, rather than the frenetic fury of M Division’s effort. Softer suspension and softer leather sealed the deal – the Alpina’s V8 Roadster was a jaw-dislocatingly gorgeous cruiser and nothing else besides.
Which is why this example’s odometer reading of seven miles is particularly painful. Yes, it’s rare, and yes, it has appreciated in the 17 years it’s been sitting in a hermetically sealed garage. We wish the owner all the happiness that rolling around in a pile of cash can bring. But, to us, it’s little in the way of compensation for the years they could have spent burbling away in the prettiest BMW of the past three decades.