Before his untimely passing in October 2011 at the age of 56, Steve Jobs and Apple contributed unimaginably to the technology that has integrated itself into our daily lives. Making computer technology more user-friendly and accessible to the masses, Jobs turned computers and technology from tools for commercial use into objects of art and aesthetic design, showing that a product conceived to make communication and organization more efficient can also be intuitive, user-friendly, and beautiful. Steve Jobs endeavored to “Think Different.” So did Apple. Thanks to them, many other organizations and individuals did as well. The iPhone, in particular, upon release surpassed not only the transformation of the mobile phone, but also proved to be virtually magical from the standpoint of both users and the industry.
BMW similarly chose to think different when developing the Z8 throughout the 1990s and into the car’s regular production in the early 2000s. Serving as a halo car for the marque and a test bed for new engineering technologies, the Z8 convertible showed where BMW and automotive technology could be heading in the 21st century. With styling evocations from the highly prized 507, but decidedly forward thinking, it pioneered an advanced technique of welded and extruded aluminum space frame construction. Modern amenities were abundant, and with 400 bhp on tap, those lucky enough to own a Z8 new were left wanting for nothing. Widely considered by many to be one of the most attractive yet innovative cars of the 2000s, it quickly became a bona-fide modern collectable. In its road test of the car in its May 2000 issue, Car and Driver concluded, “name another car that is both fabulous to drive today and likely to be found on the 18th green at Pebble Beach in 2025.”
THE STEVE JOBS Z8
While not known to be a car enthusiast per se, Steve Jobs did have a penchant for German automobiles and design, owning BMW motorcycles and Mercedes-Benz SLs. According to legend, Jobs was convinced to buy the Z8 by Larry Ellison, the iconoclastic CEO of Oracle, who enthused to Jobs the car was a paragon of modern automotive engineering and ergonomics, reflective of Steve’s own products and psyche.
Jobs’ Z8 was well suited to his signature, minimalist style, finished in Titanium over a Black leather interior. With a production date of 1 April 2000, this early example was delivered to him on 6 October of that year. Within the recorded production of Z8s, this makes his car the 85th Z8 produced for the first year of U.S.-specification production and the 67th customer car. Jobs’ ownership is documented through several service invoices accompanying the car, as well as a copy of the all-important California “pink slip” registration in his name and at his personal residence. This is significant because Jobs famously and rarely registered his cars to protect his anonymity (and also perhaps because of his anti-authoritarian streak!)
Jobs owned only one Z8. This is that car.
Read more in the full Sotheby’s listing here.
MacDailyNews Take: The BMW Z8 is listed at $300,000 – $400,000 and offered without reserve on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.