In Reply to: Long term durability of Z3 posted by Z3 Buyer on October 27, 2000 at 12:36:53:
For the most part, i tend to get well built, but relatively inexpensive and disposable cars (i.e., not classic looks or particularly fun cars to drive) such as Toyota and Nissan. My current '89 Toyota truck replaced an '82 which ran fine (except I needed a bigger cab and AC for new family). My current '98 Maxima replaced a '92 with a bad tranny. Both of these are still in service and will remain until they die.
I bought the Z3 more for looks and the fun factor than anything else. After 2.5 years, it is holding up really well. Sure I've had a few of the problems associated with the Z3 (top separation from around backlight, leaks that only seem to move when fixed, etc).
However, if you have ever owned any other ragtops before, you will find that there are certain expected personality quirks to deal with when driving this type of car. The Z3 is different in the respect that, as a more recent incarnations of ragtop cars, it is well built, plenty of power, and loads of comfort compared to ragtops and roadsters of old.
One of my main gripes with the car is one you mentioned...the paint. I'm not sure it has anything to do with the watter-base or "softness" of the paint than other factors (too long to go into right now). I figure I will have to get the whole thing striped and repainted (the same color) at about 5-6 years mark (dark green is one of the worse in this category).
Other than that, I plan on keeping the Z alive and running much longer than anything else I have owned. The ragtop quirks I can live with...and consider it part of the character of the car. Everything else will be fixed or replaced to keep the car running until I die rather until the car dies.
4/'98 2.8l Drk Grn/Beige/Black - 17" - sport bun warmers - Wood steering wheel, brake handle and trim - Dinan Stage 2 Software, Strut Brace, and Air Intake - Custom Borla Exhaust with Intercooler Tips - Eibach Sway Bars - BavAuto SS Brake Lines - Ron Stygar short Shift - LeatherZ stuff - starry night paint detailing on front - yada, yada, yada - and power top (real roadsters don't have no fuggin' power top)
I'm seriously looking into purchasing a new Z3 3.0. I am one of those that like to keep a car a long time...8-10 years. Lately though I've been somewhat apprehensive after reading several problem areas with the Z3. Seems that the Z3's Achilles heel is it's rag top. It looks like several owners have needed to get their tops replaced due to leaks and other troulble areas. Is this going to be a every 2-3 year replacement item? What's going to happen after the warranty runs out? I'd hate to drop $40K on a car and need to spend several hundred bucks every couple or so years for a new top.
I guess the soft water based paint is also right up there too.
I wonder how many Z3 owners are planning on keeping their cars past the warranty period and perhaps much longer. I think the Z3 will garner even more looks and smiles 10 years after it's production life since it's looks are one of the best ever designed (IMO)...right up there with the gorgeous 635CSi.
Any thoughts on the Z3's long term durability?