CARFAX weirdness?


May 28, 2022
Hey guys!

usually super active over at but they don’t have a Z3 community. I am currently looking into buying a first gen Z3 M Roadster, for the pure fun on it and because I have 30 years of BMW fandom, so I don’t mind the repair bills (so no, Miata is not the answer;))

I recently came across this super low mileage 1998 version but the CARFAX is a bit puzzling so wanted to see what everybody is thinking about this vehicle. Links are below and some headlines from my end too:
  • 1998 M Roadster in “good” condition as the dealership states
  • CARFAX states that vehicle had 6 prior owners and the first 20K miles went without trouble mostly on the first owner
  • Between 20K miles and 28K miles the car has had 8 oil changes (amongst the items of what CARFAX states was standard checkup) and 5 more owners, who each drove it 2k - 4k miles.
  • From the looks of it, the car is in pristine shape, inside and out.
  • Price of the vehicle seems a bit high, I would imagine a fair price would be in the 18K - 22K range. What are your thoughts?

here’s the CARFAX:

here’s the vehicle ad:
1998 BMW M Roadster


Zorg Guru (V)
British Zeds
Jun 14, 2014
North Oxfordshire
Model of Z
M Roadster
Hi and welcome to the forum. Nothing wrong with frequent owners as buyers enjoy them for a few summers and move on for something else and l suppose for peace of mind get a service done on it. I’m can’t say anything on US prices as I’m across the pond but it’s the lower powered S52 engine but saying that it might be able to take a turbo if you want more power. You did not get the S50 like European countries but you do have the more expensive and powerful S54 variant and yet again I don’t know anything about US pricing maybe @FRANKIE can advise. Cars of this age have the usual oem bushings get tired just check that the rear beam is not sitting on its plates. They should look like this

as I could not tell from the photo in that ad. Also check the rear brake pipe especially the driver side in your case as it’s hidden by the ream beam and mine fell apart when I did my rear end refurb. I also could not make out the condition of the diff mount bushing as they can delaminate. Saying that from the photos it looks a tidy car, but best seen in the flesh. If your happy with that engine go and have a look at it, take it for a drive and see if that will let you inspect it on the ramp to see for yourself. Usual rot place are the outer sills and Jack points. I would certainly be wanting money off for the cracked console trim or replaced as part of a deal.


Jun 3, 2022
One thing is for sure... US used car prices are through the roof right now. I wouldn't want to buy during this COVID market. All US car prices are inflated and would assume it must also be the case in EU. I agree that it seems high for this reason and may be what is driving it. Make an off though. the worst they can say is no. :D