LeatherZ Shift Knob

LeatherZ just keeps coming out with new ideas and products for the Z3. When I first heard that LeatherZ could recover the stock BMW shift knob with their higher quality leather, I knew I would want to have one. After thinking over the additional color options LeatherZ offered I decided to try something different and go with a two-tone dark gray and black. LeatherZ’s dark gray is an almost perfect match to the dark gray on the seats in my 1998 M roadster, and it’s also a great complement to my LeatherZ covered armrest.

Removing the stock Z3 shift knob is fairly easy, the M series has one additional step due to the lighted face. Basically all you have to do is pull it off. With the M series you’ll want to get under the shift boot first and disconnect the two wire plug. Once I removed my shift knob I mailed it to LeatherZ and waited for its return. I went about a week without a shift knob, surprisingly it wasn’t that big a hindrance to shift without the knob in place.

LeatherZ provided a couple interesting pictures (1, 2) of the shift knob during the recovering process. You can see how the lighted knob is internally wired in these pictures. Once LeatherZ completed the upgrade they mailed the shift knob back to me. Reinstallation was fairly easy, I threaded the 2 wire connector plug through the shift boot and plugged it in. Then noted the “U” shaped pattern to the receiving end of the shift lever, aligned the shift knob and pushed it back down (adding a whack with the heal of my hand for good measure).

I’ve heard of some Z3 owners having shift knobs come off while driving. I wouldn’t recommend using glue but maybe some lock-tight inside the “U” indentation would provide some additional holding strength for those that require it.

LeatherZ Pricing Options:

If LeatherZ provides the shift knob (new):

1. Black, Beige, Dark Gray, or Tanin Red monochromatic or 2-tone Leather Shift Knob – $100.00.

2. Illuminated M-style Leather Shift Knob in Black, Beige, Dark Gray, or Tanin Red monochromatic or 2-tone Leather – $135.00

3. Illuminated M-style Leather Shift Knob in Black, Beige, Dark Gray, or Tanin Red monochromatic or 2-tone Leather with Corrected Amber (not red) LEDs – $165.00

If customer provides shift knob:

1. Black, Beige, Dark Gray, or Tanin Red monochromatic or 2-tone Leather Shift Knob – $40.00.

2. Illuminated M-style Leather Shift Knob in Black, Beige, Dark Gray, or Tanin Red monochromatic or 2-tone Leather – $75.00

3. Illuminated M-style Leather Shift Knob in Black, Beige, Dark Gray, or Tanin Red monochromatic or 2-tone Leather with Corrected Amber (not red) LEDs – $105.00

In most cases the customer can specifiy a different shift pattern insert at no additional charge.

LeatherZ is also planning to carry BMW brushed and matte chrome (real metal) shift knobs that also illuminate. These knobs are shorter than stock and should be similar to the one in this article.

AC Schnitzer V8 Roadster

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AC Schnitzer BMW M Coupe RS

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I have been told that this coupe is one of 2 that was built by AC Schnitzer. One was built as an demonstrator and this one that was made for a custumer. The car is cosmos black and has black and red leather interior. The car is equiped with the following parts…

* RS height adjustable suspension front and rear

* RS brakes front and rear, 333 mm front disk internaly ventilated, with floating brake calipper and 328 rear disk internaly ventilated. 200 kph – 0 kph in 5,2 sec (app 140 meters)

* RS exhaust 2 x twin

* Removal of the toppspeed limit

* Front spoiler*

* Rear spoiler*

* Specially made Seats, reduce the weight of the car by app 50 kg

* Navigation system

* Velocity High End sound system.

* Short Shift system

* BBS Le Mans wheels 8,5 ET 30mm – 10 ET 23mm x18″

* Continental Sport Contact N1,225/40-18 and 285/30-18. This is a special tire developed for the Porsche 996 GT3 and has an extremly soft rubber mix

* The engine is stock but was build with the use of handpicked parts that are individually picked to fit 100% together

* Spoilers reduce the lift in the car form app 35 kg in the front and 55 kg in the rear to 0 kg front and rear at 200 kph

The former owner drove the Nurdburgring in Germany on 8 min,14. That is fast. They also tested this car on the Hockenheim ring and timed it to 1,15,38 sec. To compare the Ferrari 360 Modena use 1,17,09, Porsche 996 GT3 use 1,15,08 and the Viper GTS (Euro) with 384 HP use 1,16,34 sec.

ref: Auto Motor und Sport no: 23 3 November 1999.

Custom Gray and Black Leatherette Seats

Custom Gray and Black Leatherette Seats

During the downtown Greenville party at 2000 Z3 Homecoming I noticed this really good looking black and gray 1.9 Z3. These custom seats appear to have originally been gray leatherette seats that have had custom black inserts added to them. The two tone look was very striking with the black exterior paint.

The gray inserts inside the door are part of the original gray leatherette package. The dash had a carbon fiber kit installed that really matched the black and gray interior. The steering wheel was also different, three section of ridges and the entire wheel appeared to be a little thicker.

Z3 Safety Shell Exhibit

Z3 Safety Shell Exhibit

2.8 with ///M Wheels

2.8 with ///M Wheels

Both Front and Rear ///M Wheels

Four Front ///M Wheels

Custom Stripes

Custom Stripes

Pictures taken at the 2000 Z3 Homecoming

Prototype Camera Mount

Picture taken at the 2000 Z3 Homecoming

Owner: Arnie Coleman

Video taken from this prototype camera mount can be seen here. The final version will probably differ from this prototype. It was my opinion that the additional contact points around the roll hoops was overkill. The heavy metal support has a thick rubber pad under it. The rubber keeps the unit from sliding, even after a day of mountain driving it never moved. The straps on the prototype were velcro, I’m hoping the final version will have clip-straps like the BMW roll hoop windscreen.