As part of this Silverstone Classic powered by the AA (July 20-22) the BMW Car Club GB is organising the country's first ever Z-Fest bringing together hundreds of cars from the German marque's range of Z-Cars.
“We wanted to do something spectacular to mark our anniversary and staging the UK's first Z-Fest at the world's biggest classic racing festival certainly fits that bill,” said Steve Miller, general manager of the BMW Car Club GB. “A number of hugely successful Z-Fests have been held on the continent and in The States – now it's our turn. There are close to 50,000 'Zeds' registered in this country and we are aiming to get at least 500 cars to join in our special landmark celebrations at the Silverstone Classic.”
“The main gathering will be on the Saturday and the cavalcade on the circuit, of course, will be a major highlight for all those attending on that day. This really is going to be something special and undoubtedly is this summer's big event for Zed enthusiasts both in the UK and on the continent. I know club members and specialist forums are already planning a number of cruises and convoys to Silverstone.”
“The term 'Zed Car' has become synonymous with some of BMW's most desirable sportscars and that's why we are so proud to be staging the UK's first Z-Fest as one of the major attractions at this summer's Silverstone Classic,” said Nick Wigley, Silverstone Classic Event Director. “Every year more and more car clubs choose the Silverstone Classic to celebrate major milestones in their history and the promise of more than 500 BMW Zed cars parading around the circuit in July is sure to be a major highlight both for the fans and those lucky enough to be participating.”
Since 1986 BMW has attached the now famous 'Z' – which stands for Zukunft, the German for 'future' – to four models starting with the. These started with 8,000 handmade Z1 – a car notable for the doors which dropped into the sills.
After the Z1 BMW applied the 'Z' to its mass market roadsters Z3 and Z4 models, the later becoming famous as James Bond's car in Goldeneye. BMW's connection with 007 remained for the film The World Is Not Enough, in which the fictional spy drove a BMW Z8 – the top of the Z-Car range. Only 5,702 Z8 were made – all hand-built – between 1999 and 2003 making it, along with the Z1 the rarest and most desirable of the Z-Cars.
The Z-Fest joins a number of special events and celebrations at this year's Silverstone Classic including anniversaries for the Lotus Elan, MGB and Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500.
For more details on the 2012 Silverstone Classic, including details of the 'Early Bird' ticket offers visit www.silverstoneclassic.com.