A 2000 BMW Z8 once owned by Steve Jobs is being auctioned on December 6th by RM Auctions and Sotheby’s. The car has had three owners (one of them twice), has 15,200 miles, the original BMW-branded Motorola flip-phone it came with, and an estimated value between US$300,000 and $400,000. Or, 400 iPhone Xs, as long as you’re not buying them off Ebay.
The Steve Jobs BMW Z8
Sotheby’s put together a fanciful backstory for the car, and it has lots of fun little tidbits. First and foremost is proper documentation proving the provenance of the car. From the description:
Jobs’ ownership is documented through several service invoices accompanying the car, as well as a copy of the all-important California “pink slip” registration in his name and at his personal residence. This is significant because Jobs famously rarely registered his cars to protect his anonymity (and also perhaps because of his anti-authoritarian streak!).
The car was manufactured on April Fool’s Day in 2,000, which would have been the 24th birthday of Apple’s founding, which Sotheby’s didn’t note. It was the 85th unit produced in that, the first year of production, and Mr. Jobs took delivery in October.
He then sold it in 2003 to the current owner. Curiously enough, the current owner sold it to a techie in the Bay Area in 2004, but then bought it back in 2006. That makes four transactions, with just three actual owners. It’s the chap who bought the car from Steve Jobs who is auctioning it now.
Other Tidbits about the Car
It comes with the original BMW-branded Motorola flip-phone, a device Mr. Jobs was known to loathe. Look at it, below. That BMW branding is hackneyed, at best. Sotheby’s didn’t claim this, and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it, but it’s in the realm of possibility that this butt-ugly flip-phone played a role in Mr. Jobs’s eventual decision to disrupt the cellphone industry.
It has 15,200 original miles and has been driven regularly, or at least semi-regularly. The car also includes the soft-top and the original hard-top, as well as the hard-top stand that came it. It has the service manuals and maintenance records, as well as the navigation CDs that came with it. It also has a license plate that reads “JOBS Z8,” as shown below.