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      Your path: Home >> Wall-E's World >> Model Cars >> 2001 BMW Z8
2001 BMW Z8
Manufacturer: Maisto
Release dates: 2006(?)-Current
Catalog number: 996
Date Purchased: September 2010
Date Completed 29-Sep-12
Number in collection: 182

The BWM Z8 was a high performance sports/touring car produced in very limited numbers from 2000 to 2003. It was very similar to the Z07 concept originally seen at 1997 auto shows, and the styling of both were inspired by the 507 sports car from the late 1950's. This car features all-aluminum body and chassis construction, a 4.9L v8 engine rated at 400 horsepower, and a price tag that started at around US$128,000. Each car also included a removable solid hard top in addition to a folding soft top. It was also featured in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.

This replica is made by Maisto, as part of their Special Edition series. Like all other cars in this series, it features a die-cast body with opening doors and hood. All other parts are plastic. The engine is represented by a one-piece insert that snaps underneath the body, and has acceptable engine and underhood details. The chassis is a single piece with suspension, exhaust system, and other details moulded in. This one is better than other cars I have in this series. The interior has nice detailing, and an open car such as this helps to show it off. The body is also nice, with several plated and clear parts for details. Although fully assembled, these cars are easily taken apart to make painting easier.

I originally worked on this car long before I started photographing them. The 'before' pictures are not of my car, but ones I found online of cars that are in original condition, in a different color. The 'after' pictures are of my car, but taken while I was originally writing this page.

Click to zoom Click to zoom
What I started with. Actual car I used for reference.

Pictures of car before any changes were made (click to enlarge)

Disassembly was started by removing two screws that hold the chassis to the body. The remainder of this process, as well as the resulting parts breakdown, is as follows:
  • The bottom half of the interior, with the front seat bottoms and console moulded to it as a single piece. Front seat backs fit loosely into tabs in the seat bottoms, and there is a separate chrome plated roll bar behind each seat back. This assembly fits into pins moulded into the chassis under the seats and near the front. All pieces except the roll bars are black plastic.
  • A flexible vinyl tie rod, with the front wheels attached to it by plastic pins. These are the same pins that hold the interior assembly in place. The wheels are plastic with a painted aluminum finish, and the tires are soft vinyl. I saw no way to remove the wheels from the tie rod without damaging either or both, so I stopped there.
  • A black plastic chassis, with above average details of engine, suspension, and exhaust moulded into it. Mounting points for the rear wheels are plastic retainers that are bonded to the chassis by heat applied to plastic rivets. The rear wheels and tires are the same style and finish as the front wheels. They attach to pins similar to the ways the front wheels are mounted, and have a plastic retainer heat-bonded to the chassis. I saw no way to remove the wheels from the chassis without damaging these parts.
  • A steel spring, painted the same color as the body, that locates between three pins cast into the underside of the body. The purpose of this part is to allow the doors to spring back closed after being opened, and to hold them in place when closed.
  • The two metal doors, which are easily removed once the retaining spring is removed. Each door has a black plastic interior panel with nicely engraved detail. They press-fit onto pins cast into the inside of the doors.
  • A black plastic dashboard and steering wheel. The steering wheel has control stalks moulded to it, and is attached to the dash by a plastic pin. The dash has simple engraving for gauge faces, and very basic detail for other controls. This whole assembly is pressed onto a pins cast into the underside of the body.
  • A black plastic single piece engine compartment insert. Some painted or printed details are factory applied. This piece also includes the headlights. The bezels are moulded to the font of the piece, and features clear lenses. These attach to the bezels by heat applied to moulded-in pins. I cut these bonds and removed the parts.
  • Two chrome plated front grille and fog light assemblies, and a black plastic grille that mounts under the front bumper. These are all attached to the body by heat applied to moulded-in pins. I cut these bonds and removed the parts.
  • A one piece, clear plastic windshield assembly that is held in its place on the body by two screws.
  • The die-cast body, painted silver self-stick decals for emblems and rear number plate. It features an opening hood attached to the body in a way that would probably make it difficult to remove without damaging the hood and/or body. There is also a plastic rear splash pan, painted to match the body, that I didn't remove because it seemed to be cemented to the body with very strong glue.

After disassembling the car, only paint and foil were used to add details.

The following is a summary of the changes I made:
  • Wheels and tires: Sanded the tread surface with 220 grit sandpaper to simulate wear. I used Testors flat black, white, and light blue to detail the emblems in the center of the wheels.
  • Engine compartment insert: Painted inner fender well area Tamiya aluminum to match the body. Testors flat white, acrylic flat black, Tamiya aluminum and semi-gloss black were used to detail the engine and remainder of engine compartment details, using pictures of the actual car as a guide. Headlight bezels were detailed with Bare-Metal foil, Tamiya metallic gray, and clear smoke tint.
  • Chassis: sanded away moulded-in lettering that listed the description of the car, the model company name, and their logo. Filled two small screw holes that hold car in place inside packaging with epoxy putty. Painted majority of the piece Testors acrylic flat black and Tamiya aluminum. Engine, transmission, exhaust system, suspension and frame details were painted with Tamiya aluminum, flat steel, and semi-gloss black. I could not find a picture of the actual chassis, so I did the best I could based on descriptions I read about the car. It may not be completely accurate.
  • Interior: Painted seats inserts, rear panel, lower dashboard, console, and door panel centers Testors flat red. Outer portion of seats, Upper section of door panels, floor, dashboard top pad, and steering wheel are Testors acrylic flat black. Applied Testors acrylic semi-gloss clear to all interior surfaces except floor. Remaining interior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
  • Windows: Used Testors acrylic flat black on the frame to touch up areas that were too painted too lightly by the factory.
  • Body: Painted entire underside of body Testors acrylic flat black. Applied Bare-Metal foil to front turn signals, tail lights, front fender vents, door handles, side view mirrors, exhaust pipe tips, and rear reflectors. Painted tail lights, rear reflectors, front turn signals, front and rear, fog lights, side turn signal repeaters, and backup light with Tamiya clear red, clear orange, clear yellow, and Testors flat white. Front grille area is Testors flat black. Drew in body panel seam with a metal tipped 'quill' pen and black ink. Remaining exterior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
Detailed parts, before assembly To the left is the car prior to assembly.

The car was reassembled by reversing the procedure used to disassemble it. No glue was needed.

Pictures of completed car (click to enlarge)

The proportions of the completed car look very close to the actual car. The table below shows how close they are.

Actual car 
(mm / in)
(mm / in)
Dimensions of actual car based on model scale
(mm / in)
Calculated scale based on model to actual car
Length 4399 / 173.2 181 / 7.13 4344 / 171.1 1:24
Wheelbase 2504 / 98.6 104 / 4.09 2496 / 98.2 1:24
Width 1829 / 72.0 76 / 3.00 1824 / 71.9 1:24
Height 1318 / 51.9 55 / 2.18 1320 / 52.4 1:24

According to my calculations, this car is probably as close as you can get to its advertised 1:24 scale.

I was happy enough with my original effort that I made no changes from when I originally worked on this car. I just disassembled it once more and gave it a thorough cleaning before I took the pictures that you see here. The interior may seem 'loud' to some, but this is a factory color style, at least when paired with a silver exterior.

This is another car that I'm glad I bought when I had the chance. With the exception of an older release that I saw in an antique store, I haven't seen another one in any store. I also think this is one of the better efforts from the Maisto Special Edition series, at least with the others currently in my collection.

Liked what you saw? More cars can be found HERE .

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