BMW launched its Z-Car program with a unique composite-bodied Z1 with drop-down doors that was never exported to North America.
Jurgen Otto's "Federalized" Z1 & Beechcraft Bonanza.
After its debut at the 1987 Frankfurt Auto Show, rumors of 35,000 orders in 1988 initiated by speculators, salted the market. Prior to actual production in 1989, BMW had 5,000 orders for the Z1. When the smoke had cleared, BMW sold 8,000 Z1s between March 1989 and June 1991and then cancelled production. Almost 6,500 Z1s were sold in Germany and approximately 550 were sold in Italy. The rest were scattered around Europe. While some made their way to the U.S., BMW never homologated the Z1 for legal export to North America.