1997 Z3: Amy and Wayne Lester
1997 BMW E36/7 Z3 2.8 roadster #LC04218
2,793cc M52 inline six-cylinder
Amy & Wayne Lester
Nebo, North Carolina (since 1998)
From the moment Amy Lester saw a photograph of BMW’s retro-styled roadster, she had to have one. The car wasn’t even available yet, but she was already obsessed. Her husband Wayne didn’t mind: The Z3 was the perfect car for both Lesters, combining his interest in British roadsters and her experience restoring a BMW 3.0 CS coupe. The Lesters were heavily involved with the BMW CCA’s Peachtree Chapter, and they decided to start a club for Z3 owners before they’d even gotten one of their own. They also organized the first Z3 Homecoming in 1997.
Rather than settle for a four-cylinder Z3, Amy wanted to wait for the six-cylinder she knew would follow. Even then, she wanted something special. Visiting BMW Manufacturing, the Lesters spotted a Z3 2.8 in a coppery rose color called Sundown. “We had to have it,” Amy says. “It was just so different.”
Twenty-three years later, the Lesters still have their Sundown Z3 2.8, and they still drive it regularly. “We are currently at 410,000 miles, and they keep on coming,” Amy says. “The engine has never been disturbed, and it still looks pretty good. We get stopped often to say how pretty the color is and then we tell the admirers about the miles. It blows them away. As it is said, more smiles per mile!”