Steve Jobs’ BMW Z8 Comes to RM Sotheby’s New York ‘ICONS’ Sale

  • RM Sotheby’s announces 2000 BMW Z8 purchased new by Steve Jobs to be offered in ‘ICONS’ sale, set for 6 December
  • Third iteration of Manhattan auction at Sotheby’s headquarters presents more than 30 iconic automobiles across automotive history and design
  • Frequently updated list of entires for the ICONS sale available at www.rmsothebys.com

NEW YORK, NY – October 27, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – RM Sotheby’s is thrilled to announce early highlights for its final auction event of the year – ICONS, set for 6 December at Sotheby’s global headquarters in Manhattan. This third iteration of the company’s New York sale will celebrate the cutting edge of automotive design, presenting an expertly curated roster of more than 30 of history’s most iconic automobiles from the world’s most admired marques.

The BMW Z8 once owned by Steve Jobs wearing its original hardtop (Credit – Karissa Hosek © 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
The BMW Z8 once owned by Steve Jobs wearing its original hardtop | Credit – Karissa Hosek © 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Latest entries for the sale are led by a 2000 BMW Z8, chassis no. 60085, originally owned by late visionary Apple founder, Steve Jobs. Before his untimely passing in 2011, Steve Jobs and Apple remained true to the mantra, “Think Different” and contributed unimaginably to intuitive and elegant technology that revolutionized how people interact with computers, consume music, and with the masterstroke of the iPhone—communicate. BMW was also thinking differently when they released the Z8 in 2000. The model served as the brand’s halo car and a test bed for new engineering technologies, demonstrating where high performance automobiles could be heading in the 21st century. Pulling styling cues from the lauded 507, yet equally forward-looking, the Z8 pioneered an advanced technique of welded and extruded aluminum space frame construction. With abundant modern amentities and 400 bhp on tap, those lucky enough to own a Z8 new were left wanting for nothing. Widely considered one of the most innovative and attractive cars of the new millenium, the Z8 quickly joined the ranks of the “modern classic.”

A rear view of the BMW Z8 once owned by Steve Jobs (Credit – Karissa Hosek © 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
A rear view of the BMW Z8 once owned by Steve Jobs | Credit – Karissa Hosek © 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

At its time the pinnacle of BMW design and technology, the Z8 unsurprisingly attracted Steve Jobs. While not a car enthusiast per se, Jobs did have a penchant for German design, owning both BMW cars and motorcycles, as well as Mercedes-Benz SLs. It was reportedly Larry Ellison, iconoclastic CEO of Oracle, who convinced Jobs that the Z8 was a paragon of modern automotive engineering and reflective of his own products and psyche. Jobs’ Z8 was delivered on 6 October, 2000 in his signature minimalist style and color, finished in Titanium over Black leather interior. His ownership is documented by several service invoices accompanying the car, as well as a copy of the original California registration in his name and at his personal residence. This is significant as Jobs rarely registered his cars to protect his anonymity, holding on to them less than six months. He kept the BMW until 2003, when it was sold to its second and now current owner, who sold the car to another tech executive in 2004 and quickly suffered from seller’s remorse, buying it back a mere eighteen months later.

The BMW-branded Motorola cell phone that accompanied the Z8 (Credit – Karissa Hosek © 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
The BMW-branded Motorola cell phone that accompanied the Z8 | Credit – Karissa Hosek © 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Without a doubt BMW’s most iconic car of the 21st century, the Z8 has resided in California all its life, and comes to RM Sotheby’s ICONS sale in exemplary condition, having been driven just 15,200 miles from new. It is offered with a plethora of important accessories, including its proper hardtop and hardtop stand, car cover, owner’s and service manuals, two keys, navigation CDs and, ironically, its BMW-branded Motorola cell phone, used by Jobs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was known to have hated that phone (Estimate: $300,000 – $400,000 offered without reserve).

A copy of the original California registration for the Z8 in Steve Jobs’ name (Courtesy of the owner)
A copy of the original California registration for the Z8 in Steve Jobs’ name | Courtesy of the owner

“Not only was the Z8 the halo car for an iconic brand and the Bond car for a generation, but it caught the eye of the most iconic and influential entrepreneur of our time,” says Don Rose, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “Jobs’ legacy is all around us, with over one billion iPhones sold to date. However, he only owned one Z8, and this is that car. The BMW is a perfect fit within our ICONS event, while making it difficult to determine whether the icon in this case is the car or the man… I say both!”

Additional iconic highlights for the New York sale include:

  • A Hinchman Race Suit and Bell Helmet worn by unquestionable icon and ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen in “Le Mans”, given out as a prize as part of a promotional contest for the film in 1971 (Est. $400,000 – $500,000, offered without reserve);
  • A beautifully restored 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pininfarina, chassis no. 3009 GT, a true gentleman’s grand tourer (Est. $1,500,000 – $1,800,000);
  • A meticulously maintained 1995 Porsche 911 GT2, chassis no. 392127, the ultimate street-legal 993 showing just 11,500 km (Est. $1,100,000 – $1,400,000);
  • The 1952 Chrysler D’Elegance by Ghia, chassis no. 321953, the most influential of the Ghia-bodied American Dream cars penned by legendary designer Virgil Exner (Est. $900,000 – $1,100,000); and,
  • An exceptionally restored, factory “triple black” 1966 Jaguar E-Type Series I 4.2-Litre Roadster, chassis no. 1E 13575 complete with hardtop and matching-numbers engine; a stunning example of one of the most famous and instantly recognizable mechanical shapes ever created (Est. $250,000 – $325,000, offered without reserve).

RM Sotheby’s ICONS sale is part of a weeklong celebration of auctions and events, entitled “A Life of Luxury”, surrounding the newly established Sotheby’s Luxury Division, with the exhibition opening 30 November. One of the most unique auction events of its kind, “A Life of Luxury” offers clients and enthusiasts an unparalleled experience at the heart of the auction world spread across jewels, watches, wine, fashion, and of course—cars. For further information or to view a frequently updated list of entries for the 6 December sale, please visit www.rmsothebys.com. Call +1 519 352 4575 to speak to an RM Sotheby’s car specialist about limited remaining consignment opportunities.

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About RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s is the world’s largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles. With more than 35 years’ experience in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, from private treaty sales and auctions to estate planning and financial services, coupled with an expert team of car specialists and an international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. In February 2015, RM formed a strategic partnership with Sotheby’s, uniting the two companies for the full calendar of future automobile auctions. For further information, visit www.rmsothebys.com.

Source: RM Sotheby’s

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